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.

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Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Top 5 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Michigan

? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Rank School Avg Net Price ? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
1 Northern Michigan University $
2 Ferris State University $
3 Andrews University $
4 University of Michigan-Flint $
5 Madonna University $

What you need to know about online school in Michigan


  • Q. 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.


  • Q. 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.


  • Q. 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.


Best Online Colleges in Michigan 2021



See Our Rankings Methodology
  1. Northern Michigan University
    Location

    Marquette, MI

    A public school based in Marquette, NMU ranks among the top online colleges in Michigan. The school offers distance education programs at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Online learners can also pursue various online certifications, endorsements, licenses, and specializations.

    NMU offers fully online bachelor's degrees in areas including construction management, psychology, and Native American studies. Graduate programs include business administration, public administration, and social work. NMU's online doctorate in family nurse practitioner offers enrollment pathways for both bachelor's and master's degree-holders.

    Some programs combine online and campus courses. For example, NMU's electrical engineering technology program includes both online courses and in-person lab components. Students complete some in-person requirements at NMU's main campus in Marquette. Other lab sessions may occur at additional locations, such as Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, Wisconsin.

  2. Ferris State University
    Location

    Big Rapids, MI

    Located in Big Rapids, FSU serves more than 8,000 students through campus and online programs. Online learners can enroll in associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. Ranked among the top Michigan online schools, FSU offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

    FSU offers more than a dozen online programs at the bachelor's level. Candidates can pursue several professionally focused degrees, including allied health science, automotive management, and dental hygiene. The school also offers an integrated studies program that enables candidates to design their own course of study. Integrated studies majors select courses from multiple academic departments, including psychology, communications, and business.

    Potential students can contact academic advisors to learn about FSU's online programs. These advisors help learners with the application and enrollment process. Enrollees can also discuss career pathways, course content, and credit transfers. FSU offers both virtual and telephone conferences with advisors.

  3. Andrews University
    Location

    Berrien Springs, MI

    A private Seventh-day Adventist college, Andrews ranks among the most diverse online colleges in Michigan. The school serves more than 4,700 students online and from its main campus in Berrien Springs. Students can complete online programs at the associate, bachelor's, or certificate level. Most online courses use a self-paced format, enabling enrollees to work at their own pace.

    Andrews offers online degrees in three major academic areas: business, health professions, and religion. Learners can pursue bachelor's programs including business administration, religion, and public health. Andrews also hosts degree-completion programs in general studies and aviation. Enrollees can complete the first two years of their bachelor's at another institution before transferring to Andrews to complete their studies.

    Andrews offers credit for prior learning, which allows students to translate relevant professional experience into academic credit. Eligible undergraduates can fulfill up to 30% of their required credits through prior learning evaluation.

  4. University of Michigan-Flint
    Location

    Flint, MI

    A member of the University of Michigan system, UM-Flint hosts more than 35 online and hybrid programs. Students can pursue online degrees and certificates at the undergraduate and graduate level. Unlike many online colleges in Michigan, UM-Flint offers discounted tuition to out-of-state online learners. Learners who reside outside of Michigan pay just 10% more in tuition than state residents.

    At the bachelor's level, UM-Flint offers programs including early childhood studies, general philosophy, and healthcare administration. Graduate students can pursue master's programs such as accounting, computer science, and liberal studies.

    UM-Flint also hosts several hybrid programs at the master's and doctoral levels. Examples include a master's in educational administration and a doctor of education. These programs combine distance learning with in-person campus visits. Students complete most work online and visit campus every 4-6 weeks, depending on their program.

  5. Madonna University
    Location

    Livonia, MI

    A Livonia-based, private Roman Catholic college, MU ranks among the top Christian online colleges in Michigan. The school hosts several online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. MU serves about 3,100 students annually.

    Online learners choose from programs in fields including business, education, and nursing and health sciences. Some of MU's online programs include hospitality and tourism management, educational leadership, and sociology. MU also ranks among the best Michigan online colleges for nursing studies. The school offers seven online nursing degrees, including bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs.

    Online learners benefit from many helpful student resources, including digital library access, technical support, academic advising, and MU's online writing center. Students can complete coursework using either a computer or MU's mobile learning app.

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.

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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