Online Colleges in Michigan 2021

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Known for its diverse economy and top-ranked public universities, Michigan lags slightly behind the national average for adults with a college degree. Therefore, professionals with a bachelor’s degree stand out in the job market in Michigan.

Many of Michigan’s online colleges offer tuition discounts and access to hybrid programs and other student resources. This guide introduces the best colleges in Michigan for earning an online degree. It also covers popular bachelor’s programs, career and salary outlooks in Michigan, and scholarships for Michigan college students.

Advertisement 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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Top 10 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Michigan


  • Do online credits cost more or less in Michigan?

    The cost of online college credits varies in Michigan. For example, Central Michigan University, a public university, charges around $430 per credit, while private colleges typically charge higher rates.

  • What is the most affordable college in Michigan?

    Michigan’s public two-year community colleges charge some of the lowest rates in the state. Public four-year colleges and universities also typically cost less than private colleges.

  • How long do you have to live in Michigan to get in-state tuition?

    In general, students must live in Michigan for 12 consecutive months to access in-state tuition. However, Michigan also considers multiple factors when granting in-state tuition, such as attending high school in the state for at least three years.

See Our Rankings Methodology

Best Online Colleges in Michigan 2021

  1. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

    Ann Arbor, MI



    Founded in 1817, the University of Michigan now offers online bachelor's programs in multiple fields, including arts and culture, business, data science, health, and education. The university offers approximately 1,300 undergraduate research opportunities, and 66% of students receive financial aid. Michigan residents with a household income of less than $65,000 benefit from free tuition at U-M. 

    Many of U-M's online courses classify as massive open online courses (MOOC). These courses feature video lectures, quizzes, assignments, and discussion forums. MOOCs are asynchronous, allowing students to complete courses at their own pace. U-M's MOOCs average a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. 

    Applicants must submit an online application, high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and a counselor recommendation. U-M's students come from diverse backgrounds, with learners from all 50 states and 128 countries.

    U-M is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  2. University of Michigan-Flint

    Flint, MI



    The University of Michigan-Flint offers fully online bachelor's degrees in fields like finance, accounting, marketing, and nursing. Founded in 1956, the university cultivates a diverse student body and helps students reach their professional goals. UM-Flint maintains community partnerships to provide innovative learning opportunities to its students. 

    The university's online learners benefit from academic advising, financial aid, and library access. UM-Flint also offers an online help desk with extended hours. 

    Applicants interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree online must submit ACT or SAT scores and official transcripts. The university serves more than 7,500 students each year and maintains a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. 

    UM-Flint is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  3. Spring Arbor University

    Spring Arbor, MI



    Spring Arbor University offers one undergraduate online program: a bachelor's degree in social work. This program does not require a residency. SAU also offers online graduate programs in nursing, business, education, and organizational management. 

    Each student in the social work program benefits from faculty mentorship during upper-level courses and the required internship. Noteworthy courses include racial and ethical relations, social welfare policies, and practice with individuals and families. SAU maintains a longstanding tradition as a Christian university, so the social work curriculum reflects a Christ-centered worldview. 

    SAU offers dual-enrollment opportunities for high school students who want to get a head start on their college education. The university also offers benefits for military students. 

    SAU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  4. Andrews University

    Berrien Springs, MI



    Located in Berrien Springs, Andrews University offers multiple online undergraduate courses in math, history, and social sciences to help students meet graduation requirements and fill gaps in their degrees. The university also offers online bachelor's degrees in fields like religion, nursing, and general studies. These programs take place entirely online and do not require any campus visits.

    Applicants must submit an online application and official transcripts. Admission requirements vary by degree. All admitted students receive financial aid each year they enroll. First-year applicants with an ACT score of 30 or higher receive additional financial aid. 

    Andrews is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  5. Madonna University

    Livonia, MI



    Madonna University, a private school founded in 1937, offers online bachelor's degrees in multiple subjects. With over 120 faculty members and nearly 2,500 undergraduate students, the university maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-1. 

    MU offers online programs in organizational leadership, hospitality and tourism management, sociology, and family and consumer sciences. The university connects all distance learners with academic and career advisors to help them succeed in their online studies. 

    Applicants must submit an online application, official transcripts, and ACT or SAT scores. The college accepts applicants with a GPA of 2.8 or above, an SAT score of 960 or above, or an ACT score of 18 or above. 

    MU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  6. Michigan Technological University

    Houghton, MI



    Michigan Technological University offers fully online bachelor's degrees in accounting, anthropology, chemistry, construction management, and cybersecurity. Each program eliminates all on-campus requirements. 

    Michigan Tech delivers most coursework asynchronously through the Canvas platform, meaning that courses do not include required login times. Admission requirements and financial aid opportunities vary by program. The university also offers online dual-enrollment opportunities for high school students and online continuing education courses to non-degree-seeking students who are often local community members. All of Michigan Tech's distance learners must attend an orientation before taking their first online course. 

    Michigan Tech is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  7. Ferris State University

    Big Rapids, MI



    Located in Big Rapids, Ferris State University offers fully online bachelor's programs in math, technology, and health. Particularly noteworthy degrees and certificates include dental hygiene, digital media software engineering, integrative studies, and business administration. 

    FSU's distance learners benefit from resources like online tutoring, a writing center, and library services. The university also operates a career services center. 

    FSU admits applicants with a 2.0 minimum GPA. However, certain programs require a higher GPA. Applicants must also submit a short online application that typically takes 15 minutes to complete along with transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. 

    FSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  8. Michigan State University

    East Lansing, MI



    Founded in 1855, Michigan State University now serves nearly 50,000 students from 82 counties in Michigan, all 50 states, and 138 countries. Nevertheless, some students complete their degree without even setting foot on MSU's 5,300-acre campus thanks to the university's accessible online programs. 

    The university offers two undergraduate online degrees: a hybrid bachelor of arts in early care and education and a fully online RN-to-BSN program. MSU also offers a much larger selection of online graduate programs. 

    Admission requirements vary from program to program. To ease each student's financial burden, MSU offers financial aid opportunities like work-study positions. 

    MSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  9. Oakland University

    Rochester Hills, MI



    Oakland University, a public institution established in 1957, serves nearly 20,000 graduate and undergraduate students each year. This large university forms community partnerships with hospitals, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies to provide learners with unique educational experiences. 

    OU offers two online degrees: a bachelor of science in nursing degree completion sequence for registered nurses and a bachelor of science in environmental health and safety. The university also offers online graduate programs, graduate certificates, and professional and continuing education. 

    OU provides priority enrollment to applicants with a 3.2 GPA. However, prospective students with a 2.5 GPA may be considered for admission. OU prefers applicants who demonstrate academic growth. Applicants do not need to submit standardized test scores or recommendation letters. 

    OU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  10. Central Michigan University

    Mount Pleasant, MI



    Based in Mount Pleasant, Central Michigan University was founded in 1892. Today, CMU serves more than 16,000 on-campus students and more than 8,000 distance learners. Approximately 20% of CMU's students supplement their on-campus program with online courses. 

    The university offers 15 online bachelor's degrees. Noteworthy programs include integrated leadership studies, fashion merchandising and design, political science, and nursing. Most of CMU's online programs deliver coursework asynchronously, providing working professionals with maximum flexibility. 

    Applicants must submit an online application, official transcripts, and ACT and SAT scores. 

    CMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Why Choose Michigan for Online Higher Education?

The best colleges in Michigan prepare graduates for careers in in-demand fields that offer above-average salaries. Michigan’s core industries include healthcare, technology, defense, life sciences, and manufacturing. Many of these industries offer strong salaries and hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree.

Common Online Bachelor’s Programs in Michigan

The most common online bachelor’s programs in Michigan include business, engineering, and nursing. The following bachelor’s degrees prepare graduates for in-demand careers in the state.

A business degree trains graduates for careers as financial analysts, management consultants, accountants, and marketing research analysts. Business majors strengthen their analytical and problem-solving skills. They often specialize their degree by studying areas like economics, finance, business administration, and logistics.
Computer Science
A computer science degree emphasizes programming, technical, and computer skills. Learners study topics like software development, cybersecurity, database management, and networking. In Michigan, computer science careers offer above-average salaries and strong demand.
Engineering majors study topics like materials science, aerodynamics, and engineering technology. Within engineering, majors may specialize in areas such as civil engineering, electrical engineering, or mechanical engineering. Most programs require simulations, laboratory assignments, and internships.
A bachelor’s in nursing prepares graduates for licensure as registered nurses. Nursing students examine topics like evidence-based practice, patient care, and health assessment. Nursing programs often incorporate simulations, labs, and clinical practicums to build nursing experience. In Michigan, registered nurses earn over $73,000 per year, on average.
Psychology majors study topics like human behavior, mental health disorders, and abnormal human development. A psychology degree strengthens critical thinking, research, and analytical skills, preparing graduates for a variety of career paths.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

Cost of Attending an Online College in Michigan

The cost of Michigan online colleges varies depending on the school, degree level, and enrollment status. For example, public colleges in Michigan offer a tuition discount to state residents, while private colleges typically charge higher tuition rates. Some public colleges and universities offer tuition discounts to fully online students regardless of their state residency.

Public two-year colleges charge significantly less than four-year colleges, as the table below shows. As a result, some students enroll in a two-year college to save money before transferring into a four-year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Students attending online colleges may also save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and transportation costs. The online format also lets students shop around for less expensive colleges rather than attending their closest college.

Average Undergraduate Tuition in Michigan
Public Four-Year College Private Four-Year College Public Two-Year College
In-State $12,888 $27,936 $3,582
Out-of-State $35,844 N/A $6,372

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Career and Salary Outlook for Students in Michigan

Michigan college graduates can work in a variety of fields, including business, technology, education, and social services. This section introduces the highest-paid careers in Michigan, including salary data and job growth projections. These management-level roles typically require a bachelor’s degree and professional experience.

  • Sales Managers

    Sales managers oversee teams of sales professionals. They analyze data to set annual sales goals, create training programs for sales representatives, and handle customer complaints. Sales managers also project future sales and calculate the profitability of their organization’s sales efforts. They may create customer recruitment plans, calculate discount rates, and set sales quotas.

  • Marketing Managers

    Marketing managers research product demand, identify potential markets for new services, and develop pricing strategies to stay competitive. They work closely with managers in advertising, sales, public relations, and product development to increase their organization’s profits and market share. Marketing managers also track trends in the market and analyze their competitors.

  • Computer and Information Systems Managers

    Computer and information systems managers, also known as IT managers, determine IT needs, implement computer systems, and secure network systems to prevent cyberattacks. Computer and information systems managers may also supervise software developers, computer systems analysts, information security analysts, and other professionals.

  • Financial Managers

    Financial managers oversee investment activities and financial decisions for organizations. They manage teams that create financial reports, create plans to meet long-term financial goals, and monitor the legality of financial actions. Financial managers also examine market trends, recommend financial strategies, and monitor budgets.

  • Compensation and Benefits Managers

    Compensation and benefits managers oversee benefits programs such as healthcare insurance. They research wages and benefits to make competitive offers, manage the distribution of benefits information, and oversee their department’s budget.

Highest Paying Careers With a Bachelor’s Degrees in Michigan
Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Sales Managers $140,030 5%
Marketing Managers $134,500 8%
Computer and Information Systems Managers $129,880 11%
Financial Managers $129,380 16%
Compensation and Benefits Managers $128,460 2%

Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral

Michigan Scholarships and Grants

Michigan offers several scholarship, grant, and tuition programs to support college students, including need-based and merit-based programs. This section introduces scholarship opportunities for Michigan students. In addition to the following resources, online learners should research scholarships based on factors like their major, college, or career plans.

  • MI Scholarship Search

    Who Can Apply: The Michigan government offers a scholarship search site to identify scholarship opportunities in the state. Students can find scholarships linked to their city, county, or region. Some scholarships require graduation from a specific high school or attendance at a certain college.

    Amount: Varies

    Explore Here

  • Michigan Competitive Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Undergraduates qualify for this scholarship based on financial need and academic merit. Applicants must meet minimum SAT scores and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to renew the award. The scholarship only supports Michigan residents.

    Amount: Up to $1,000

    Explore Here

  • Michigan Reconnect Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Michigan Reconnect Scholarship helps students over the age of 25 go back to school. Applicants must have a high school diploma and live in Michigan for at least one year before applying.

    Amount: Full tuition

    Explore Here

  • Michigan Tuition Grant

    Who Can Apply: The Michigan tuition grant funds undergraduate Michigan residents who meet financial need qualifications and enroll in a Michigan college. Applicants must demonstrate Michigan residency and hold a high school diploma. Recipients can renew the grant by meeting academic progress standards.

    Amount: Up to $2,800

    Explore Here

  • Michigan Tuition Incentive Program

    Who Can Apply: This program supports high school students who qualified for Medicaid coverage. The program requires proof of Michigan residency and at least part-time enrollment.
    Amount: Varies

    Explore Here

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