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Online Colleges in Michigan

Most Affordable Online Colleges
Article Sources

Sources:

  1. About BMCC, Bay Mills Community College, http://www.bmcc.edu/about-bmcc
  2. About the Higher Learning Commission, https://www.hlcommission.org/About-the-Commission/about-hlc.html
  3. Center for Distance Learning, Wayne County Community College District, http://www.wcccd.edu/dept/distance_learning.htm
  4. “Does the 8-hour day and the 40-hour week come from Henry Ford, or labor unions?" PolitiFact, Louis Jacobsen, Sept. 9 2015, http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/sep/09/viral-image/does-8-hour-day-and-40-hour-come-henry-ford-or-lab/
  5. EMU Online, Eastern Michigan University, https://www.emich.edu/extended/online-offcampus/emu-online/
  6. Fall 2016 Online Courses, Bay Mills Community College, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Vb3GeHTSkvD6GasuFHHt5cNSlHBNDeHWF_yLnxhAMnM/edit#gid=1120886785
  7. Growth Industries, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, http://www.michiganbusiness.org/grow/industries/#medical-devices
  8. “How the Weekend Was Won," KVIE Public Television, http://www.pbs.org/livelyhood/workday/weekend/laborhistorian.html
  9. Industry Sectors-Grand Rapids, The Right Place, http://www.rightplace.org/industry-sectors
  10. Internet-based Courses at SVSU, Saginaw Valley State University, http://www.svsu.edu/officeoftheregistrar/registration/internetbasedcourses/
  11. Leading Industries-Lansing, Lansing Economic Area Partnership, http://www.purelansing.com/Leading-Industries
  12. Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_19820.htm#51-0000
  13. Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_24340.htm#00-0000
  14. Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Lansing-East Lansing, MI, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_29620.htm#00-0000
  15. Michigan Community Colleges, Michigan Community College Network, http://www.michigancc.net/contact/mcc.aspx
  16. Online Classes, Washtenaw Community College, http://www.wccnet.edu/academics/classes/online/
  17. Online Courses, Northwestern Michigan College, https://www.nmc.edu/programs/online-programs/online-courses.html
  18. Online Degree Programs, University of Michigan-Dearborn, http://umdearborn.edu/academics/graduate-studies/online-learning
  19. Online Instruction Center, Glen Oaks Community College, http://www.ed2go.com/gocc/
  20. Online Learning, Henry Ford College, https://www.hfcc.edu/online-learning
  21. Online Learning, Lake Michigan College, https://www.lakemichigancollege.edu/home/programs-majors/browse-all-programs/online-learning
  22. Online: Programs and Courses, University of Michigan-Flint, http://www.umflint.edu/oel/online-programs-courses
  23. QuickFacts Michigan, U.S. Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/26
  24. QuickFacts-Grand Rapids, Mich., U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/2634000
  25. QuickFacts-Lansing City, Mich., U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/2646000,2634000
  26. State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates-Michigan, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mi.htm#00-0000
  27. The Detroit Region's Key Industry Drivers, 2010-2013, Detroit Regional Chamber, http://www.detroitchamber.com/the-detroit-regions-key-industry-drivers-2010-2013/
  28. Virtual Campus, Jackson College, https://www.jccmi.edu/virtual-campus/
  29. Amway Free Enterprise Scholarship, Michigan Colleges Alliance, Accessed August 2016, http://www.michigancolleges.org/current-scholarships
  30. Michigan College Access Network, Accessed August 2016, http://www.micollegeaccess.org/about/what-we-do
  31. Michigan College Grants, Accessed August 2016, CollegeGrants.org, http://www.collegegrants.org/how-to-pay-for-college-with-michigan-college-grants.html
  32. Michigan Competitive Scholarship, Accessed August 2016, MI Student Aid, http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,4636,7-128-60969_61016-274563--,00.html
  33. Michigan Educational Opportunity Grant Program, Department of Treasury, Accessed August 2016, w3.lara.state.mi.us/orr/Files%5CAdminCode%5C595_10566_AdminCode.pdf
  34. Michigan GEAR UP, Accessed August 2016, MI Student Aid, http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,4636,7-128-60969_61016-391867--,00.html
  35. Michigan Guarantee Agency, Accessed August 2016, MI Student Aid, http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,4636,7-128-60970_61107---,00.html
  36. MI Student Aid: Student Loans, Accessed August 2016, MI Student Aid, http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,4636,7-128-60970---,00.html
  37. MI Student Aid, Accessed August 2016, MI Student Aid, http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,4636,7-128-60969_61002---,00.html
  38. Michigan Tuition Grant, Accessed August 2016, MI Student Aid, http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,4636,7-128-60969_61016-274564--,00.html
  39. Tuition Incentive Program, Accessed August 2016, MI Student Aid, http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,4636,7-128-60969_61016-274565--,00.html
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Michigan holds the unique distinction of having two separate parts to its state. Its upper peninsula is connected to a lower, larger, glove-shaped landmass by a 5-mile bridge, nicknamed "Big Mac." This bridge takes commuters, residents and travelers over Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes. It's no coincidence that Michigan's name is derived from a Native American word that means "large lake."

While Michigan has ample water-based sights and activities for people to enjoy, it also provides plenty of educational opportunities, too. It could be said that online learning is a priority in the state, at both the K-12 and post-secondary levels. In fact, Michigan's governor recently granted $50 million for technology infrastructure, at the K-12 level, to help meet the needs of online learners. At the postsecondary level, online education has continuously grown. Michigan State University, which comprises three distinct campuses, now has more than 25,000 enrollments in its online or blended programs.

Students interested in online education in Michigan can look to the any of the 15 four-year public universities, which enroll more than 284,000 students, as well as its 28 two-year schools, which enroll approximately 200,000 students. Online colleges in Michigan can open up new opportunities for prospective students of any type, at the undergraduate, graduate or continuing education levels.

Best Online Colleges in Michigan

This list of 10 best online colleges in Michigan was created using data accessed from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Our list provides numerous data points, including in-state tuition and the percentage of distance learners at each school. Details on the methodology used to compile this list appear at the bottom of the page.

1

Ferris State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$10,836
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
25.00%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
42
School Type
4-year

Whether students opt for online learning or campus-based classes, they are all "Bulldogs" once enrolled at Ferris State University. This university boasts both fully online degree programs and also programs that use hybrid learning -- the Heating, Ventilation, Air Condition and Refrigeration degree program is just one example that takes advantage of blended learning. And if you're not sure what kind of program might work best for you, anybody is welcome to take the university's "Is Online Learning Right for Me?" quiz and find out!

Distance-education students are expected to complete a New Student Orientation. A New Student Guide is also available to offer further assistance, helping online learners learn to navigate the Ferris website as well as how to stay connected and informed. Transfer students and veterans may be particularly interested in online learning at Ferris State University since so many of its online bachelor's degrees are degree completion programs.

2

Central Michigan University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,455
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
26.70%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
34
School Type
4-year

Second on our list of best colleges in Michigan is Central Michigan University (CMU), which offers 100 percent online programs through its "CMU Online" platform. The university, located in Mount Pleasant, even includes concentrations in many of its online programs, using courses that are delivered over 8, 12, or 16-week timeframes. Students who need help making their way through the online world can turn to the Online Student Ally program, which offers personal assistance and help.

Students complete their coursework through the learning platform Blackboard and can order their textbooks through CMU's library. Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees are available in a diverse number of fields, not to mention undergraduate certification in disciplines like technical and professional writing or deaf-blind intervener. More than 7,000 students are enrolled in online education at CMU.

3

Siena Heights University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$23,750
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
46.29%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
29
School Type
4-year

Students enrolled at Siena Heights University, in Adrian, will find programs that are 100 percent online and that boast a 98 percent student satisfaction rate. The university is not new to online programming and has provided coursework online for more than a dozen years. This may be the reason why that university offers online completion degrees for adults in a number of fields, including accounting, management, nursing and more. Online minors are also available too, including in religious studies.

Many online undergraduate courses are delivered in an eight-week format, while blended classes may extend up to 10 weeks. Just like campus students, online students have access to numerous types of services, including academic advising, financial aid, technical support and an online library database. Students who do not think education is a serious matter at this Catholic university may be impressed by the GPAs of its student athletes: that cumulative GPA was 3.09 in the fall of 2016.

4

Madonna University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$18,740
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
39.20%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
4
School Type
4-year

The catchphrase banded about at Madonna University, in Livonia, is "100% online. On your time," meaning no visits are necessary to the school for online programs. Online degrees include, but are not limited to, a Master of Art in Teaching in educational technology, a Master of Science in humane studies and a graduate certificate in bereavement.

As a Felician school, the university is built upon Christian principles and intellectual pursuit. The university is unique for spearheading progressive programs online, including the first bachelor's degree in sign language studies in the country and also hospice programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The online programs at the school could be an option for students who attend nearby community colleges, too. That's because Madonna University has articulation agreements with more than a dozen close-by schools.

5

Davenport University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$15,952
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
61.19%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
45
School Type
4-year

Celebrating 150 years of history as of 2016, Davenport University (DU) is a non-profit school in Grand Rapids that has offered online education since 1999. Its online programs include undergraduate and graduate degrees and even short-term certificate programs, like medical case management or global project management. It's never a dull day in the world of online education at DU, at which students can pursue degrees in fields as diverse as sports management, health services administration and data analytics.

Online students make use of Blackboard Learn to access classwork and assignments. In other online courses, they may participate in real-time virtual learning, using a Blackboard Collaborate Online Classroom. Online learning is so popular at the university that more than 40 percent of students opt for online classes. In all, the university offers nearly 400 classes through distance education. Davenport University also offers a Brush-Up Policy that allows alumni to brush up on their learning by coming back and re-taking classes for free.

6

Western Michigan University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,029
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
19.36%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
7
School Type
4-year

Make a friend of the online world at Western Michigan University (WMU), in Kalamazoo, which offers numerous online degrees and programs. Minors and even certificates, such as in holistic health or dance studio management, can be taken through a Web-based platform, too. In fact, nearly a dozen undergraduate programs and more than a dozen graduate programs are currently available for distance-learning students.

The same services and tools that are available to campus students are offered to online students, too. This includes the Career and Student Employment Center and the Writing Center, through which a Skype appointment can be made. Distance learners can even order books online through the WMU bookstore and have them shipped directly to their residence. Vets could be particularly interested in pursuing or completing an education at WMU. More than 700 military students are currently enrolled at the university, which was recently recognized as the state's first Purple Heart University.

7

Michigan State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$14,333
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
19.59%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
15
School Type
4-year

Boasting a wide selection of online programs and degrees, Michigan State University (MSU), in East Lansing, offers both fully online and hybrid programs. While discussions, assignments and tests are Internet-based for the 100 percent online classes, hybrid programs feature coursework that is at least 50 percent online. The university makes the format of its programs very clear by denoting them as either 'online' or 'hybrid' on its online programs page.

Students of Michigan State University can choose to pursue online programs in marketing research, supply chain management or integrative pharmacology, to name just a few. To make transferring easy, the university has set up a Transfer MSU page, which lets student search for MSU course equivalencies by course name and code. New course equivalences are regularly added. Students also can check out the "Ask Sparty" blog on the school website, which features a topic search function as well as the regularly-updated Top 10 questions submitted by visitors.

8

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$14,729
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
1.67%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8
School Type
4-year

The University of Michigan began offering education to residents in Ann Arbor in 1837 and has been expanding its programs ever since. These offerings now include online graduate programs in disciplines like engineering, nursing and public health. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor even offers an e-learning completion degree in dental hygiene. Details about its online offerings can be found on its specific school pages, such as the College of Engineering, which lists its own online courses each semester.

Online students at the school use the Canvas interface for their learning. A Canvas Student Guide enables students to learn about Canvas while its 'Dash' option lets students easily organize the details of their academic life. Online students can learn about campus happenings by reading the student newspaper, "The Michigan Daily," which is available online, or head to campus for events and happenings, all described on the university website. Just be sure to wear blue or maize-yellow -- the university's colors.

9

Washtenaw Community College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$3,816
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
24.29%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
14
School Type
2-year

At Washtenaw Community College, located in Ann Arbor, nearly a dozen certificates can be completed online, primarily in business technology or information technology. This college may be the place to pursue education in computer software applications, management or supply chain operations if distance learning is essential. Students with ambitions for completing an associate degree online can do so in fields like retail management, supply chain management and liberal arts at the college.

Individual classes can be taken online at Washtenaw, too. These courses are available in accounting, dental assisting, music pharmacy technology and many other subjects. The community college even offers online classes for construction supervisors to learn how to motivate employees. Blended classes, which include both online and on-campus education, are also available, and are listed on a separate web page. This community college, along with other Michigan schools, was recently granted money by the National Science Foundation to help increase minority participation in STEM fields.

10

University of Michigan - Dearborn<

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,304
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
20.79%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
11
School Type
4-year

The University of Michigan-Dearborn completes our list of the best online colleges in Michigan. It offers more than 100 courses online at the undergraduate level, in disciplines such as anthropology, history and sociology. Even "Prehistoric Archaeology" is a course that students can pursue online; this course, and other online courses like it, can be used toward completion of a degree program. Distance learning at the university takes place through the Canvas learning platform, which also is used for some hybrid programs. Students can download iOS or Android apps for Canvas on their mobile devices to check in to classes and see what is occurring.

More than a dozen degree programs at the University of Michigan-Dearborn are offered online at the graduate level, in fields such as finance, software engineering and educational technology. All of these degrees are oriented toward professional careers. Other graduate degrees at this institute may use some level of blended or hybrid learning. According to a recent survey, the school scored at least five percent higher than the national average when it came to student satisfaction.

Affordable Online Colleges in Michigan

The following chart lists schools in Michigan with low in-state tuition costs. Data was compiled using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, part of the National Center for Education Statistics. To see Michigan's schools ranked in order of quality by a number of criteria, please visit the Top Colleges tool.

Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in Michigan

Following are a few of the most affordable two-year online colleges in Michigan:

College NameTuition & Fees/Year
Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Distance Education Participation
Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Number of Online Programs Offered
Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
School Type
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College$2,040N/AN/A2-year
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College$2,900N/AN/A2-year
Bay Mills Community College$3,04070.98%22-year
Wayne County Community College District$3,08021.27%N/A2-year
Washtenaw Community College$3,81624.29%142-year

Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in Michigan

For students who wish to pursue bachelor's or other advanced degrees, these are some of the most affordable four-year online colleges in Michigan:

College NameTuition & Fees/Year
Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Distance Education Participation
Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Number of Online Programs Offered
Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
School Type
Michigan Jewish Institute$3,980100.00%44-year
Schoolcraft College$4,854N/A134-year
Jackson College$5,04032.44%234-year
Lake Michigan College$5,68516.75%N/A4-year
Northwestern Michigan College$6,16326.13%64-year

College Accreditation in Michigan

One of the most important things students can do on their college journey is to ensure they choose an institution that's accredited by a governing body approved by the Department of Education. Accreditation ensures that students' degrees are valid and adhere to a predetermined set of educational standards.

Throughout the state, one main institution is responsible for accrediting Michigan's university, community college and technical college systems:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

The Higher Learning Commission accredits colleges and universities throughout 19 states in the North Central region of the U.S. Students attending online colleges in Michigan can check with the Department of Education to see if their institution is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or another valid accrediting body.

School Interviews

Want to know what it's like to attend online college in Michigan? Some of the state's top educators weigh in on the benefits of taking classes online in the Great Lakes State.

 Shaun Moore, Diane Underwood and John Coughlin
As technology continues to improve, online courses will become more accessible to a wider range of participants, including those who have traditionally struggled with technology or those with disabilities.

Shaun Moore, Diane Underwood and John Coughlin

E-Learning and Instructional Support

Oakland University

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at Oakland?

Oakland University (OU) currently offers 13 undergraduate, graduate, certificate and continuing education programs online. Our programs are a mix of fully online and blended programs. In the blended programs, students are expected to meet on campus some of the time.

Our programs are championed and developed by the sponsoring schools and departments and span a variety of disciplines, including engineering, education, medical and health sciences, nursing, arts and sciences. These programs are accredited by the same organizations as our face-to-face programs. We also offer continuing education and certificate programs in topics such as animal assisted therapy, oncology rehabilitation, and international baccalaureate studies.

The curriculum in our online programs is delivered using a mixture of synchronous tools (e.g., WebEx virtual conferencing) and asynchronous tools (e.g., threaded discussion forums). Oakland University uses Moodle as its Learning Management System, and this serves as the central portal for all course activity in our online programs.

OU focuses on the quality of its online course offerings through intensive faculty training and course review.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

  1. You should be comfortable with technology, and able to resolve simple computer-related problems yourself or with minimal help.
  2. You should enjoy participating in online communities, especially online discussion groups, which are a critical, participatory element of many online courses.
  3. You should engage with the instructors and students in your program as often as you can, using tools like email, web chat, and discussion boards. Doing so will ensure that you stay connected to the curriculum.
  4. Don’t procrastinate. Make sure you meet assignment requirements and deadlines. Don’t fall behind, or you’ll have a very hard time catching back up.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

The future of online learning is full of wonderful possibilities. One of the most welcome changes will be the increased reliability in hardware and software. Consider how much easier it is to conduct an online meeting today than it was just five years ago. As technology continues to improve, online courses will become more accessible to a wider range of participants, including those who have traditionally struggled with technology or those with disabilities.

We anticipate that the use of synchronous meetings will expand in the future, with more opportunities for students to connect to their peers and teachers virtually. Technology will become ever more ubiquitous, allowing online communities to flourish. In this new environment, a variety of devices will connect students and instructors, including not only computers and laptops, but also smartphones, tablets, and other wearable technologies yet to be invented.

We predict that one of the most promising advances will be in the area of virtual and augmented reality. Numerous companies are currently developing hardware that will make it possible for users to connect with each other or with content in virtual environments. Headsets can transport users to a virtual world, or overlay creations in the physical world. This technology will dramatically increase the sense of immersion a student experiences when interacting with both course material and other participants. For example, instead of controlling an avatar in a 3D environment using a monitor and keyboard, the student will be able to immerse him or herself in a full virtual world using a headset and motion controllers.

Financial Aid in Michigan

The Student Financial Services Bureau (SFSB), which is part of the Michigan Department of Treasury, works to ensure all students needing financial assistance to attend college have the information they need. They offer podcasts on how to save for college, plus other vital resources for students. There are also several nonprofit organizations working towards a state-wide initiative to improve access to higher education. The Mission College Access Network has a goal to increase the number of Michigan residents with college degrees to 60 percent by the year 2025. It supports grant programming throughout the state, as well as programs targeted to FAFSA completion and other important milestones for prospective students. Find specific information below for Michigan residents looking for financial assistance through scholarships, grants and loans.

Michigan Scholarships

There is a vast network of scholarship support for Michigan college students, especially at the state level. The state government department that is responsible for grants and scholarships, known as Student Scholarship and Grants (SSG), reports that it has provided more than $5 billion in scholarship and grant funding since 1964, serving over four million Michigan students. Read on to learn about three of these scholarship opportunities:

This scholarship program is for students pursuing their first degree at a Michigan postsecondary institution. Students must achieve a SAT score of at least 1200 to apply.

  • Application deadline:  Nominees will be contacted if eligible to apply
  • Award amount:  $636 for a public college/university; $1,830 for an independent college/university
  • Number of scholarships awarded:  N/A
  • Renewable: Yes
  • Minimum GPA: Not Specified
  • Merit vs. need-based:  Need-based
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status: Must be enrolled at least half-time at a Michigan community college, public or independent college or university
  • Residency required: Yes
"Gear Up" stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, which is a federal program designed to put low-income students on the path to higher education. The Michigan branch of Gear Up offers its College Day Scholarship for students who have participated in the program for 6 years. The program offers assistance for up to 5 academic years. Students must be under 22 years old and demonstrate financial need, based on their eligibility to receive a Pell grant.

  • Application deadline:  Nominees will be contacted if eligible to apply
  • Award amount:  $5,550
  • Number of scholarships awarded:  Not specified
  • Renewable: Yes
  • Minimum GPA:  N/A
  • Merit vs. need-based:  Need-based
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status:  Must be enrolled at least half-time at a Michigan public college or university
  • Residency required:  Yes
This scholarship program, delivered in partnership with Amway and the Michigan Colleges Alliance, is awarded to sophomore, junior and senior students who are majoring in business, finance, supply chain management, communications/public relations, engineering or research and development.

  • Application deadline:  Varies; apply through your college’s financial aid department
  • Award amount:  Not specified
  • Number of scholarships awarded:  Not specified
  • Renewable: Not specified
  • Minimum GPA:  3.0
  • Merit vs. need-based:  Merit-based
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status: Must be enrolled at one of the 14 Michigan colleges that are part of the Michigan Colleges Alliance
  • Residency required:  Yes

For more on how to score a great scholarship, check out our Ultimate Guide to Scholarships.

Michigan Grants

In addition to a robust grant program offered through the state's government, several of Michigan's industry organizations and private companies offer specialized grants for students studying a variety of specific subjects, from nursing to teaching and beyond. Here are a few of the grant programs offered through the state:

This grant is for undergraduate students attending independent, non-profit degree granting colleges and universities within the state of Michigan. Students must show need through filing their FAFSA and be enrolled at least half-time. Students may receive 10 semesters (15 terms) of undergraduate assistance.

  • Application deadline:  June 30th
  • Award amount:  Maximum of $1,830 per year
This need-based program encourages high school students to graduate by providing tuition assistance for college in two phases. The first phase is for students enrolled in an associate degree program at a Michigan-based community college, public college or independent college. The second phase is for students continuing on to a bachelor’s program at a college or university located in Michigan. Students must have received Medicaid for 24 consecutive months prior to high school graduation.

  • Application deadline:  August 31st
  • Award amount:  $2,000 (phase 2)
The state legislature created this program in 1986 to assist residents of Michigan enrolled in Michigan postsecondary schools. Students must be enrolled at least half time and cannot receive assistance for more than 10 semesters. Students must apply for the FAFSA in order to be eligible for this grant.

  • Application deadline:  Contact your school's financial aid department for deadlines.
  • Award amount:  $1,000

Our Ultimate Guide to Grants can provide more information on the best way to apply for grant opportunities such as these.

Michigan Loans

Previously, two programs within the state of Michigan worked in collaboration with federal agencies and commercial lenders to provide loans to Michigan students: The Michigan Finance Authority - Student Loan Program and The Michigan Guaranty Agency (MGA). MGA has guaranteed over $14 billion in loans to Michigan students over its 45-year history, according to the state government website.

Though these agencies still have outstanding loans that are being processed, new lending stopped in 2010. Currently all federal loans for Michigan students are being issued directly by the U.S. Department of Education. However private lenders exist on a national scale. Michigan's government website recommends that students consult the financial aid office at their college or university for a list of reputable lenders.

MGA will continue to provide information and resources to borrowers in the form of borrower information programs and financial literacy training.

For more general information on student loans, check out our Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Featured Cities in Michigan

Students can attend many different affordable online colleges in Michigan, and they can likely find employment in many different parts of the state upon graduation. Here's a list of three of the top cities in Michigan, with key economic and demographic information, relevant for online students, as sourced from the 2015 American Community Survey (census.gov).

Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI Metro Area

Total Population

4,296,416

Median salary for high school grads

$27,166

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$53,269

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

26.9%

Median rent

$849

Fun Facts

Detroit is known as the "Motor City." It's also the home of a special brand of music known as Motown, and the Motown Historical Museum is one of the area's top attractions. Other key attractions include Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. The Detroit Red Wings professional hockey team has won more Stanley Cup championships than any other National Hockey League team.

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI Metro Area

Total Population

1,017,877

Median salary for high school grads

$27,463

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$44,603

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

27.9%

Median rent

$768

Fun Facts

Grand Rapids combines many cultural attractions with a wide range of outdoor amenities. The area is known for its many beaches, although wintertime skiing also is nearby. Grand Rapids also is home to many top-notch museums, including the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park and the Grand Rapids Children Museum.

Lansing-East Lansing, MI Metro Area

Total Population

468,737

Median salary for high school grads

$26,097

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$46,357

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

46.4%

Median rent

$781

Fun Facts

In addition to being the political capital of the state, Lansing also is considered by many Michigan residents to be its intellectual capital as well. Lansing is home to several top medical schools, nursing schools, two law schools and prestigious Michigan State University. The area's top attractions run the gamut from arts and theaters to spas, breweries and farmers markets.

 
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