Michigan Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2014

AC Online: Ranking the Most Affordable Online Colleges in Michigan

When comparing online distance programs, Michigan has an array of fully online four-year degree programs that you can consider. Accredited online programs in Michigan give students the chance to earn the same degrees and certifications that their on-campus peers obtain. Because these online programs have access to equivalent faculty, courses, and tuition assistance, the only difference is the superior convenience of online learning. The flexibility of Michigan online schools mean that online degree programs are an excellent choice. To assist the search for the program that best fits your needs, we’ve assembled a list of the very best online schools in Michigan. We’ve ordered from lowest tuition to highest, allowing you to easily compare value. Enjoy all of the educational options found within an online education in Michigan.

Click here to see our methodology.

Baker College of Jackson

2800 Springport Rd, Jackson, Michigan 49202-1290

Undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs are available through Baker College's Online Campus, or Baker Online. The online college has more than 40 fully-online, regionally accredited programs. Classes last about six weeks each and are taught with Blackboard software. Baker's Instructional Design Department works on curriculum to optimize its online delivery.


Baker College of Muskegon

1903 Marquette Ave, Muskegon, Michigan 49442

Baker Online includes undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs taught completely online. All students start with a three-week orientation class and classes are expected to each last about six weeks. Online college courses include Blackboard software and students can access course material at any time. Baker Online graduates receive indefinite, free employment assistance.


Baker College of Clinton Township

34950 Little Mack Ave, Clinton Township, Michigan 48035

Baker College's Online Campus has regionally accredited undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. All online college students start with a three-week orientation class. Courses include Blackboard software and students can access course material at any time. Typical online classes with Baker College last about six weeks.


Baker College of Flint

1050 West Bristol Road, Flint, Michigan 48507-5508

Baker College of Flint offers extensive numbers of online college classes to students interested in distance learning. Degrees can be found at the associate and bachelor's levels in areas that include computer science, general studies, health administration, and more. The college, accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, also provides a fully online doctoral degree in business administration.


Baker College of Cadillac

9600 E 13th St, Cadillac, Michigan 49601-9600

Baker College of Cadillac offers a full range of online college degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can complete associate, bachelor's and master's degrees with subjects including business, information systems, nursing, occupational therapy, and sundry others. The school, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, also offers e-certificate programs and a doctoral degree in business administration online.


Baker College of Owosso

1020 S Washington St, Owosso, Michigan 48867

Baker College provides 40 associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs as well as certificates. All courses are 100 percent online with no need to go to campus. Programs are set to last about a month and a half and students can access online college class material at any time. Students are assigned -- First Year Advisors -- to answer questions about classes and provide guidance.


Baker College of Allen Park

4500 Enterprise Dr, Allen Park, Michigan 48101

Baker Online offers more than 40 fully-online certificate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Online college programs are regionally accredited and courses are set to last about six weeks, plus an initial three-week long orientation course. Students can access their classes, which are taught using Blackboard software, at any time.


Baker College of Auburn Hills

1500 University Dr, Auburn Hills, Michigan 48326-2642

Baker College's Online Campus has undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs taught entirely online. The regionally accredited online college courses include Blackboard software and students can access course material at any time. More than 25,000 students around the world attend Baker Online.


Baker College of Port Huron

3403 Lapeer Road, Port Huron, Michigan 48060

Baker College of Fort Huron offers a wide range of online college classes to students who prefer distance learning. Degrees can be found at the undergraduate level in areas that include criminal justice, game software development, health administration, and more. The college, accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, also offers a doctoral degree in business administration available entirely online.


Northern Michigan University

1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, Michigan 49855

Northern Michigan University provides undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and individual courses online. The University is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. A compatibility quiz for those interested in finding out if online college learning is best for them can be found on the University's website.


Eastern Michigan University

202 Welch Hall, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197

Eastern Michigan University Online, or EMU-Online, offers undergraduate courses and degrees, graduate degrees, and graduate-level certificates. Some courses are hybrids, meaning that some of the class must be taken in-person. Students can access online college course material anytime and the EMU-Online help desk is available 24/7.


University of Michigan-Flint

303 E Kearsley, Flint, Michigan 48502-1950

The University of Michigan-Flint has hundreds of online courses as well as three fully-online bachelor's programs. The school provides online college student services, including advising, financial aid, and library services. Courses include Blackboard software. Students can check on the University's website to see if UM-Flint is in compliant with their state's distance education laws.


Lake Superior State University

650 W Easterday Ave, Sault Ste Marie, Michigan 49783

Lake Superior State University offers individual online college courses and entire degrees through its distance learning programming. Web-based degrees at the school include a Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor's of Science in Fire Science. The school, accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, typically has its regular full-time faculty members providing the online coursework.


Western Michigan University

1903 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008-5200

Western Michigan University offers undergraduate and graduate programs online in addition to graduate-level certificates. Some online college programs are hybrids, meaning that some of the courses must be taken in-person. The University offers online student services, such as BroncoJOBS for those interested in posting their resume and applying for jobs and internships or writing tutoring via Skype.


Grand Valley State University

1 Campus Dr, Allendale, Michigan 49401-9403

Grand Valley State University has individual online college courses as well as bachelor's and master's degrees available online. Many of the degree programs are hybrids, meaning that about half of the course can be taken online-only. Most courses are not designed to be self-paced. Classes use Blackboard software and teachers occasionally ask students to be online at a set time.

Approach to Online Learning

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

Grand Valley State University believes that the most successful online educational experience engages students and promotes interaction with faculty members.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our students enjoy the flexibility of fully online programs and courses combined with personal, face-to-face contact with professors.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

We will continue to grow our online learning programs based on demand, opportunity, and ability to deliver the academic excellence for which the university is known.


Central Michigan University

106 Warriner Hall, Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859

Central Michigan University's global campus offers undergraduate and graduate-level certificates and degrees. Most online college courses require students to take at least one, in-person proctored exam and online classes may also meet online at scheduled time for chat sessions. All classes use Blackboard software and material is available at any time.


Ferris State University

1201 S State St, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307-2251

Ferris Online offers bachelor's and master's degrees, classes, and certificates that are mostly or fully online. "Guest students" who want continuing education units, want to maintain a certificate, or are who are just interested in attending a few courses can bypass some of the admission process. A self-assessment quiz for those interested in finding out if online college learning is best for them can be found on the website.

Approach to Online Learning

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

Ferris has developed degree programs for online delivery that we feel demonstrates our unique strengths, such as our Heating Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration degree, our Automotive Management degree, and our many and varied programs in the health professions areas. Additionally, we have developed many of our 300-and 400-level courses for online delivery to provide alternatives for students who are unable to attend one of our campus locations. All of our programs and courses have the same outcomes and rigorous standards as our traditional face-to-face offerings, and our faculty members develop and encourage collaborative learning environments within our online offerings.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Students today have many areas competing for their time and attention, such as work and family obligations. People who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree recognize the value of the higher degree in the job market, but the attainment of the degree also results in additional financial obligations. Ferris provides online degree programs that allow students to transfer in portions of their degree requirements from prior college coursework that can help to reduce student debt. We are providing a cost-efficient and convenient method for students to complete their degree. These features, combined with responsive faculty and a culture of caring student services, make Ferris stand apart.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years?

We’re committed to growth in our online programs while at the same time continuing to provide exceptional student services. We have new degree programs in development to provide more options for our students. In addition, Ferris State University continues to explore new technologies to enhance the students’ learning experiences.


Oakland University

2200 North Squirrel Road, Rochester Hills, Michigan 48309-4401

Oakland University's eLearning program offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in addition to certificates and specializations. While some classes and programs are totally online, some are hybrids, meaning that part of the class may have an in-person component. Some online college classes use Moodle software, Elluminate video-conferencing, ePortfolio, Second Life, and iTunes U.


Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration

3838 Livernois, Troy, Michigan 48083-5066

Walsh College offers undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs for business students. Up to 82 community college credits can be transferred and used toward a degree at Walsh. Courses can be taught completely online or in the -- 2+2 -- format, meaning that classes meet one day per week for two hours with weekly deliverables due online.


Wayne State University

656 West Kirby Street, Detroit, Michigan 48202

Students can obtain bachelor's and master's degrees in addition to certificates through Wayne University's online college program. Some degrees are offered fully online, while others only have some online course options. Most instructors administer tests online, though some ask students to take proctored exams at testing centers. Many classes utilize Blackboard learning software, Skype, and Wimba.


Michigan Jewish Institute

6890 W Maple Rd, W Bloomfield, Michigan 48322-3032

Michigan Jewish Institute provides online learning options at the undergraduate level to students interested in expanding their religious education. Online college programs include a Bachelor's of Science degree in Judaic Studies with concentrations in areas such as education and leadership. The school, accredited through the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools, also provides related certificates and degrees to choose from.


Davenport University

6191 Kraft Avenue S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49512-9396

Davenport University Online, or DU Online, has undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs in business, technology, and health. Online college courses include Blackboard software. Prospective students can log onto Blackboard to view a demo course. Davenport also provides 24/7 tech support for its students.


University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

503 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers online college master's programs in engineering. Students from throughout the United States and nearly 50 countries have received their degree through the program. All courses use the CTools management system and are self-paced. Non-candidates for the degree can be introduced to courses before applying to U-M or another institution. Visitors taking classes for no credit are also allowed.


Michigan State University

, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1046

Michigan State University has more than 100 graduate and undergraduate courses in addition to graduate-level, doctoral and certificate programs online. Because institutions offering distance education programs must acquire authorization from the states in which it operates and Michigan State University has not sought authorization in Arkansas or Maryland, students from those states are not eligible to apply.


Michigan Technological University

1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49931-1295

Michigan Tech Online Learning, or Tech Online, provides graduate-level and certificate programs in engineering, science, and business. While some programs are online college only, others are blended and, typically, the school prefers that students defend theses, dissertations, reports, and projects in-person on campus. Some graduate programs also have a residency requirement. Courses are offered via video streaming, videoconferencing, and the Canvas Learning Management System.


Great Lakes Christian College

6211 W Willow Hwy, Lansing, Michigan 48917-1299

Great Lakes Christian Colleges provides online college coursework to students interested in intellectual, spiritual and personal growth as well as distance education. The school is accredited through The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and its online courses, such as restoration history, have a Christian-based orientation.


Madonna University

36600 Schoolcraft Rd, Livonia, Michigan 48150-1176

Madonna University offers graduate-level degrees, certificates, and endorsements. The school has also partnered with Ed2go, a continuing education provider, to present 300 online college courses, each lasting six-weeks, as well as certificate training programs. Madonna University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Sacred Heart Major Seminary

2701 Chicago Blvd, Detroit, Michigan 48206-1799

Sacred Heart Major Seminary provides an online post-pontifical graduate degree to those interested in pastoral theology. The online college degree leads to a Licentiate in Sacred Theology and is only open to Catholic priests. The degree allows for both common core and elective coursework, and, although offering most coursework online, does require a five-week on-campus component.


Cleary University

3601 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105-2659

Students attending Cleary University can select blended-learning programs and degrees that are available entirely online. Bachelor's and master's degrees, aimed at boosting student skills, can be found in subjects like business management and health care administration. The university, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, also offers students extensive options through online college certificates.


Marygrove College

8425 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, Michigan 48221-2599

Marygrove College provides online graduate programs in education, modern language translation, and human resources management. As a partner with Ed2go, Marygrove also offers non-credit class work online. Courses taken for credit toward a degree are each seven weeks long, and students are expected to take two courses per semester. Marygrove College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Finlandia University

601 Quincy St, Hancock, Michigan 49930-1832

Finlandia University offers fully online college courses to students who may prefer distance education to campus-based learning. Its "eCollege" platform gives students access to coursework 24/7 and to technical support around-the-clock. Students can find classes that are entirely online, a combination of campus and online instruction, or campus-based with online components.


Northwood University-Michigan

4000 Whiting Dr, Midland, Michigan 48640-2398

Online college options available through Northwood University in Michigan provide bachelor's degrees to students who seek distance learning. Courses for most degrees are eight weeks in length, but students can also choose to compete blended-learning programs. Degrees available in areas including aftermarket management, entrepreneurship, and marketing can help round out a student's learning.


Siena Heights University

1247 E. Siena Heights Dr, Adrian, Michigan 49221

Sienna Heights University offers fully online college degrees to students who want to complete an undergraduate education via distance learning. E-learning courses are eight weeks in length and feature weekly discussion threads. The university is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, and provides degrees in areas that include business administration, multidisciplinary studies, and professional communications.


Spring Arbor University

106 E. Main St, Spring Arbor, Michigan 49283-9799

Spring Arbor University, Michigan's largest Evangelical university, provides online associate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in business, communication, education, nursing, and spiritual formation, among other concentrations. Students can access online college material from SAU Online at any time and may use discussion boards, live audio-conferencing, iTunes U, and other tools throughout their course.


Concordia University-Ann Arbor

4090 Geddes Rd, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105

Concordia University at Ann Arbor, a Christian school, provides online college degrees to students who want to advance their education. Master's degrees are available through distance learning in areas such as curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, and organizational leadership. The school's online programs are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Cornerstone University

1001 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525-5897

Cornerstone University Online, or CU Online, offers adult learners degrees in business, education, and ministry. The University also has individual online college courses. Textbooks and other learning resources can be accessed on mobile devices. Cornerstone University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Andrews University

4150 Administration Drive, Room 136, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104

Andrews University provides interactive online college degrees, which includes courses with a specific start and end date, or -- self-paced -- degrees that can be started at any time and can be completed within six moths. The University has both undergraduate and graduate programs. Though most courses are for distance learners, some classes may require occasional visits to campus.


Lawrence Technological University

21000 West Ten Mile Road, Southfield, Michigan 48075-1058

Lawrence Technological University offers online college programs for bachelor's degrees in business administration or information technology, and master's degrees in business administration, architecture, educational technology, engineering, and information systems. The University also offers certificate programs and all courses include Blackboard software. Lawrence Technological University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission


Kettering University

1700 University Avenue, Flint, Michigan 48504-6214

Distance-learning programs available through Kettering University provide convenience, flexibility and portability to students. The school, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and School, has offered distance learning for more than 30 years. Much of the school's online college is video based and includes recordings of class lectures, discussions, and student questions.


University of Detroit Mercy

4001 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, Michigan 48221-3038

University of Detroit Mercy offers 12 online master's degree and certificate programs. While many courses are online-only, some are hybrids, meaning some class time on-campus may be required. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Michigan State University College of Law

368 Law College Bldg, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1300

Students at Michigan State University College of Law can pursue an online Master's of Laws degree in global food to give them a better understanding about agricultural industries, food safety, law and government. They need to already have a Juris Doctor, Bachelor's of Law or other comparable degree to be eligible to apply. Students have up to five years to complete the online program.


Western Theological Seminary

101 E 13th St, Holland, Michigan 49423-3622

Western Theological Seminary offers an online Master of Divinity degree over a 4 yr or 5 yr format. Many of the courses are completely online, but 2-4 weeks of on-campus intensives are also required each year. Traveling & housing costs are the responsibility of the student. An online Master of Arts degree is also offered and can be completed in 2 years. The seminary supplies online instruction through Canvas software and is accredited through the Association of Theological Schools.

Approach to Online Learning

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

Simply said, our approach to online learning is to offer "one degree." For 125 years Western Theological Seminary students have earned their Divinity degrees on campus, in our city, sitting at a desk, in a classroom, face to face with their professor. Online learn changed most of that. We knew that the quality of learning could easily decline. Therefore we approached Distance Learning with a commitment to maintain "One Degree." Our goal was to extend formal theological education with online learning, without sacrificing the high educational outcomes expected from our residence students. "One Degree" at Western Theological Seminary means that our Distance Learning students may expect the same curriculum, instruction from the same tenured faculty, the same diploma and the same quality as our residential students receive. It is "one degree" that comes in two formats, both Residential and Distance Learning. Beyond academic courses both formats include tenured faculty attention for advising, mentored internships, annual spiritual formation retreats, daily worship, cultural immersion trips, shared meals on campus, seminars focusing on diversity training, self-care and sexual abuse prevention. All vital learning is experienced by all students pursuing a degree, whether they are residential students or distance learning students.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

  • Our online programs allow a manageable pace for degree completion.
  • Our online students do not need to relinquish their incomes, or uproot their families to earn a degree.
  • Required internships are completed in the churches or ministries to which our online learners are already committed.
  • All students keep to the same pace of learning in each course but there are no synchronous requirements. Each week students engage the lectures and readings on their own schedule.
  • Weekly message boards lead to more thoughtful, in-depth and enriching discussions than time could ever allow in a classroom setting.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Western Theological Seminary has been on the front edge of using technology to make formal theological education accessible. We will remain there, blending the best of academic rigor, faith formation, and technological advances to equip men and women who are called by God to lead the church in mission. As educational technology improves we will adopt it, reducing where we can the time and travel expense of face-to-face learning sessions. However, we will do this as long as the quality of learning is not compromised.


Finding an Affordable Higher Education in Michigan

The state with an Upper and Lower Peninsula also happens to have the longest freshwater coastline of any state in the country thanks to the Great Lakes. The wilderness areas are beautiful, and the cities and towns full of people eager to increase their level of education. Getting a good education is very important, and that is something that many of the residents of the state know very well. In fact, 87.9% of the residents have at least a high school diploma. 24.6% of the residents have at least a bachelor’s degree, and 9.4% of the residents have an advanced degree. When you have a great education, it is easier to find the jobs that you want to have and to make a decent living. Students in the state will find a number of different schools from which they can choose, including affordable online schools in Michigan.

Pursuing a Degree in Michigan

Michigan has quite a few institutions for higher learning, many of them with a great reputation. The state has 40 two-year or more schools, and 72 four-year or more schools from which students can choose. Of course, traditional schooling might not be right for all students, and that is why many are considering the affordable online colleges in Michigan as an alternative option. The online schools of today can provide students with a quality education, and because of the technology involved, it is easier than ever to start earning your degree. With the right online classes and schools, you are going to be able to earn your associate’s degree, your bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and even a doctorate on the web.

Benefits of Choosing Online Classes in Michigan

You will find that people are starting to choose affordable online colleges in Michigan for quite a few different reasons. The colleges have a level of convenience that you will not be able to find with the traditional schools. You can take your courses when you have the time, day or night, which means it is possible to keep a job while you are going to school. For those who are already out and in the workforce, this is a very important factor and one of the top reasons they are choosing online schooling. Another one of the things that many students like is the fact that the quality of education is so high, which is different from the older programs of yesteryear. Students today are going to have a number of different classes that they will be able to take as well. They can earn degrees in art, business, criminal justice, computer science, and much more.

Saving Money with Online Education

The cost of the traditional college can be enough to make many people dread going to postsecondary school. Thanks to online courses, this should not be a problem. Take time to compare the costs of the traditional schools to online schools. For example, the average cost of going to a traditional two-year public school is $3,048, and a four-year public school average is $11,172. This is going to be more than many students can pay, and they do not want to go too deep into student loan debt. Choosing to go to an online college is going to be a solution that is generally more affordable.

You deserve to have an education, and having a degree is going to make it easier for you to do better in many areas of life. You can get a better job and start making more money, and you can work in a field that you really love. Take the time to find a good online school, which can help you achieve those dreams.

Previous Rankings
AC Online: Ranking the Highest ROI Colleges in Michigan
AC Online: Ranking the Highest ROI Colleges in Michigan

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a college. Unfortunately, many forget to fully weigh the costs and benefits when making a choice. We decided we could help students by compiling a list of top colleges in Michigan with the best return on investment. Our data comes exclusively from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and the Carnegie Foundation. See if your school made our list:

Click here to see our methodology.
Michigan Colleges Analyzed: 204
Michigan Colleges Ranked: 30
# College Name City ROI Tuition Type Photo
1 Kettering University Flint $1,097,000 $33,946 Private not-for-profit
2 Michigan Technological University Houghton $999,300 $13,353 Public (In-State)
3 Lawrence Technological University Southfield $933,300 $27,870 Private not-for-profit
4 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor $901,400 $12,994 Public (In-State)
5 Michigan State University (MSU) East Lansing $698,300 $12,622 Public (In-State)
6 Wayne State University - Detroit, MI Detroit $610,300 $10,190 Public (In-State)
7 University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) Detroit $587,100 $34,530 Private not-for-profit
8 Oakland University - Rochester Hills, MI Rochester Hills $578,400 $10,230 Public (In-State)
9 Western Michigan University (WMU) Kalamazoo $568,100 $9,982 Public (In-State)
10 College for Creative Studies Detroit $567,900 $34,380 Private not-for-profit
11 Ferris State University Big Rapids $542,700 $10,354 Public (In-State)
12 Calvin College Grand Rapids $530,600 $26,705 Private not-for-profit
13 Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) University Center $478,900 $8,120 Public (In-State)
14 Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti $457,700 $9,026 Public (In-State)
15 Kalamazoo College Kalamazoo $441,100 $37,810 Private not-for-profit
16 Lake Superior State University - Sault Ste Marie, MI Sault Ste Marie $437,700 $9,640 Public (In-State)
17 Albion College Albion $414,300 $34,194 Private not-for-profit
18 Northwood University - Midland, MI Midland $408,700 $20,996 Private not-for-profit
19 Siena Heights University Adrian $360,600 $21,152 Private not-for-profit
20 Madonna University Livonia $357,800 $15,300 Private not-for-profit
21 Hope College Holland $355,600 $27,710 Private not-for-profit
22 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant $342,500 $10,950 Public (In-State)
23 Grand Valley State University Allendale $280,400 $10,078 Public (In-State)
24 Andrews University Berrien Springs $279,000 $24,478 Private not-for-profit
25 Northern Michigan University Marquette $260,600 $8,709 Public (In-State)
26 Alma College Alma $203,500 $30,960 Private not-for-profit
27 Cornerstone University Grand Rapids $180,700 $23,260 Private not-for-profit
28 Davenport University Grand Rapids $144,500 $13,192 Private not-for-profit
29 Spring Arbor University Spring Arbor $113,800 $22,538 Private not-for-profit
30 Aquinas College - Grand Rapids, MI Grand Rapids $69,230 $25,250 Private not-for-profit