Best Online Colleges in Michigan
As the tenth-most populous state, Michigan has an extensive system of community colleges and public universities, with nearly as many private colleges. Many schools in the state offer online degrees, which provide a flexible path for students seeking the same salary and employment benefits that often result from a bachelor's degree. We've ranked Michigan schools that have online bachelor's programs based on tuition rates and alumni salary outcomes. Colleges scoring the highest combine relatively low tuition and high mid-career wages for graduates.
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Mid-Career Salary|
|# 1||University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||$12,738||$97,700|
|# 2||Oakland University||$9,995||$84,200|
|# 3||Wayne State University||$14,135||$80,400|
|# 4||Ferris State University||$12,930||$78,000|
|# 5||Northwood University-Michigan||$14,105||$72,900|
|# 6||Central Michigan University||$13,454||$72,200|
|# 7||Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration||$14,820||$70,000|
|# 8||Madonna University||$13,350||$69,300|
|# 9||Northern Michigan University||$13,785||$68,100|
|# 10||Siena Heights University||$26,558||$68,200|
|# 11||Olivet College||$27,700||$63,100|
|# 12||University of Michigan-Flint||$12,096||$60,900|
|# 13||Rochester University||$23,996||$62,300|
|# 14||Davenport University||$23,310||$61,400|
|# 15||Grace Christian University||$12,300||$43,500|
|# 16||Finlandia University||$22,708||$43,600|
2020 Online Colleges in Michigan Ranking Details
For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.
Online Higher Education in Michigan
Michigan is home to 187 higher education institutions offering associate, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees. Of these, 55 confer bachelor's degrees. The Midwestern Higher Education Compact reports that the state's college enrollment rate for students 18-24 years old is similar to the U.S. as a whole: 69% of people in this age group either completed a bachelor's degree program or are currently enrolled. However, this figure is only 5% for Michigan residents aged 25-49, which is lower than the nationwide average of 8%.
Michigan residents can take advantage of the state's public universities, many of which pair relatively low in-state tuition with strong alumni salaries.
Michigan residents can take advantage of the state's public universities, many of which pair relatively low in-state tuition with strong alumni salaries. Even nonresidents can attend one of several public Michigan universities at the lower in-state tuition rate by enrolling in an online program, potentially saving them tens of thousands of dollars over the course of their education. For nonresidents to achieve these savings on an in-person program, they must live in Michigan for a year before starting college and provide proof of intent to live there after graduation.
What To Look For in an Online College
Since every person has different preferences and personal circumstances, some online programs may appeal to you more than others. It may be helpful to weigh the factors that matter most to you as you research online bachelor's degrees in Michigan. Ask yourself the following questions to help you narrow your search:
Is this program accredited? In addition to school-level accreditation, some academic disciplines have accrediting bodies that certify the quality of individual programs. You may need to graduate from an accredited program to earn certification or licensure in certain fields, including registered nursing, social work, and most types of engineering. Be sure to confirm that your major’s accrediting body also accredits distance learning programs.
Funding an Online Degree in Michigan
It's always worth investigating ways to make a college degree more affordable. Most college students fund at least part of their degree through loans that require repayment with interest, so every dollar taken off the top means more money saved down the line.
One of the best ways to reduce a degree's cost is through financial aid. Students’ preferred forms of aid don't require repayment, such as scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities. Financial aid can come from governments, colleges, and private sources, most of which require students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine their financial need.
|Program name||Organization||Eligibility and award|
|MAB Scholarship Foundation||Michigan Association of Broadcasters||Students at Michigan college can apply for several awards to study broadcast media.|
|Michigan Competitive Scholarship||Michigan Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning||Michigan residents can earn $1,000 if they demonstrate financial need and score at least 1200 on the SAT.|
|Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver||Michigan Department of Civil Rights||Michigan residents who are enrolled members of a Federally Recognized Tribe can receive a complete tuition waiver at a public university.|
|Michigan Tuition Grant||Michigan Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning||Michigan residents with demonstrated financial need can receive up to $2,800 a year to study at a non-profit private school in the state.|
|University of Michigan no-application scholarships||University of Michigan||The university automatically considers students for dozens of scholarships once they complete the FAFSA. While eligibility and awards vary by scholarship, they are based on merit, need, ethnic background, or field of study.|
Careers and Employment in Michigan
In many ways, the labor situation in Michigan mirrors the outlook in the U.S. more broadly. According to Michigan's Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives (MILMI), the state's fastest growing jobs are speech-language pathologist, physician assistant, health sciences professor, and nurse practitioner. In fact, these jobs far outpace the average growth rate nationwide. However, all three of these jobs require advanced degrees. Undergraduates can begin preparing for these careers by earning bachelor's degrees.
Below, we've listed several popular Michigan jobs that graduates can earn with just a bachelor's degree, including salary and job outlook data from MILMI and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Financial manager: These professionals manage money for businesses, governments, and non-profits to make sure they meet their financial goals. This field is expected to grow 11% in Michigan from 2018-2028 and 17% nationwide through 2030. Financial managers earn median annual salaries of $134,180 and even higher salaries in two of Michigan's top industries: (1) manufacturing and (2) professional and technical services.
- Industrial engineer: Michigan has the country's densest concentration of industrial engineers, who help automate and increase efficiency in manufacturing. Experts predict that jobs will grow by 9% in Michigan and 14% nationwide in the coming years. Industrial engineers earn median wages of $88,950 per year.
- Market research analyst: Market researchers study how and why people buy certain products or services. Specifically, market research requires understanding marketing and business principles, data science, and psychology. These analysts earn median yearly salaries of $65,810 and can expect 15% job growth through 2028 in Michigan. Nationwide, the job outlook is even better at 22% growth.
- Registered nurse: Earning an RN license can set graduates on the path to a well-paying, high-growth career. RNs work in every healthcare setting — from private clinics to large hospitals — and can specialize in any branch of medicine. At 9.8%, the RN job growth rate in Michigan is slightly outpacing the U.S. rate. In addition, RNs earn a median wage of $75,330 a year, with government employers paying the most.
- Software developer and quality assurance tester: Software developers design computer applications that most people use all day, while quality testers ensure that the applications run smoothly before and after release. These positions enjoy a 12% growth projection in Michigan, and the broader U.S. rate is even better at 22%. The BLS groups these two jobs together when classifying their median annual salary of $110,140.