Public Universities in Michigan: A Complete List

Shopping for colleges? Discover popular public universities in Michigan and learn more about tuition costs and in-demand jobs for Michigan grads.
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Updated on October 2, 2023
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Margaret Weinhold is an associate editor for BestColleges, where she focuses on core content. She is passionate about increasing visibility and accessibility around higher education. Margaret holds a BA in English from the University of Virginia....
Learn more about our editorial process is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Ready to start your college journey? You can choose from 15 public universities in Michigan that have higher-than-average graduation rates. Public colleges in Michigan boast an average graduation rate of 73.7%, according to the Michigan Association of State Universities, which is above the 2022 national graduation rate of 63%.

Keep reading to learn more about some of the most popular public colleges in Michigan. We also provide a full list of public universities in Michigan along with information on net cost, enrollment, and in-demand jobs in the Great Lake State.

3 Popular Public Universities in Michigan

Below are three popular public colleges in Michigan to consider adding to your list. We selected these schools based on factors like number of applicants, academic prestige, and general reputation.

1. University of Michigan

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $19,318
  • Acceptance Rate: 18%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 50,278

U-M — which dates back to 1817 — features 19 schools and colleges that offer more than 275 degrees. Over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students study on campus in Ann Arbor or remotely, choosing from 16 online degrees.

Popular among the public universities in Michigan, U-M leads in research, arts, and athletics, with 29 NCAA Division 1 teams, including the No. 3-ranked Michigan Wolverines. The university also provides generous financial aid, awarding students more than $754.6 million in scholarships in the 2020-2021 school year.

2. Michigan State University

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $22,803
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 49,659

With an expansive 5,200-acre campus in Lansing, MSU was established in 1855 to originally teach agriculture. Today, this large public university boasts 70 colleges with more than 400 programs, including over 300 study abroad options.

MSU's most popular programs include education, communication, environmental science, agriculture sciences, and business administration bachelor's.

Most undergraduates come from Michigan and find jobs in the state after graduation. MSU has some 281,000 alumni living in the Great Lake State.

3. Michigan Technological University

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $18,235
  • Acceptance Rate: 94%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 7,008

Michigan Tech, a classified R2 research institute for its high level of research, features 16 major research institutes and centers that, combined, take up 289,776 square feet. Tracing its history back to 1885, the university attracts researchers who study advanced power systems, applied mathematics and statistics, space sciences, and aerospace engineering.

Research students here have improved prosthetic ankles and launched nanosatellites. You can study online or at the waterfront campus in Alberta, Michigan, and choose from among 140 degree programs. The campus also offers more than 230 student organizations.

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List of All Public Colleges in Michigan

We've created a complete list of all four-year nonprofit public universities in Michigan. You can use the table below to compare data on student population, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants.

The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics. Schools with fewer than 500 undergraduates were not included in this list.

All Public Colleges in Michigan
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
Central Michigan University 14,557 $15,605 79% 19,888
Eastern Michigan University 14,018 $15,826 83% 19,919
Ferris State University 10,072 $13,978 88% 12,228
Grand Valley State University 21,648 $17,105 90% 17,123
Lake Superior State University 1,655 $14,336 77% 2,408
Michigan State University 50,023 $22,803 88% 53,341
Michigan Technological University 7,063 $18,235 94% 7,893
Northern Michigan University 6,970 $17,346 71% 6,217
Oakland University 16,108 $15,161 90% 11,110
Saginaw Valley State University 7,147 $12,432 76% 9,330
University of Michigan 51,225 $19,318 18% 84,289
University of Michigan Dearborn 8,223 $12,444 54% 12,026
University of Michigan Flint 5,985 $10,840 66% 6,140
Wayne State University 23,630 $15,347 75% 14,002
Western Michigan University 17,000 $20,030 85% 20,501
Source: NCES

How Much Do Public Colleges in Michigan Cost?

Public colleges in Michigan cost less than private institutions. That said, tuition rates can vary significantly among two-year and four-year schools, as well as based on your enrollment status.

Four-year public colleges in Michigan cost an average of $13,716 per year, while two-year schools cost $3,756, according to NCES.

You can make college more affordable by applying for federal financial aid. Based on your FAFSA, you can receive loans and grants; however, you'll need to repay what you borrow, plus interest. Scholarships for Michigan students can offer additional financial help that you do not need to repay.

Cost of College in Michigan 2021
Institution Type Average Tuition & Required Fees
Public 4-Year (In-State) $13,716
Public 4-Year (Out-of-State) $39,427
Public 2-Year (In-State) $3,756
Public 2-Year (Out-of-State) $7,707
Source: NCES

Most In-Demand Jobs in Michigan

Roughly 4.247 million people work in Michigan, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Office and administrative support occupations, production, transportation, sales, food preparation, and healthcare occupations are the most common career fields in Michigan.

For bachelor's degree-holders, the fastest-growing jobs in Michigan include software developers and market research analysts and marketing specialists, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

Employment for software developers is projected to grow by 31% from 2016-2026. Market research analysts and marketing specialties jobs are projected to grow by 24%. And for master's degree-holders, physician assistant jobs are expected to grow by 37.8%.

Frequently Asked Questions About Public Universities in Michigan

What is the No. 1 public college in Michigan?

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor routinely ranks among the top public colleges in the Great Lake State because of its affordability, academic excellence, intimate campus vibe, and athletics programs.

Is it expensive to go to college in Michigan?

Michigan four-year public universities cost on average of $13,716 in tuition and fees in 2020-2021, according to NCES. That's higher than the national average of $9,375.

What is the hardest public university to get into in Michigan?

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor receives over 80,000 applications each year and only accepts about 18%, according to NCES. You'll need a competitive application with high academic standing to be considered for this school. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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