Online Colleges in Michigan

Most Affordable Online Colleges

COLLEGE FINDER

Article Sources

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following criteria:

  1. Level of institution is either "Four or more years" or "At least 2 but less than 4 years"
  2. Data is reported for all 11 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section
  3. At least 1% of students are taking at least some of the classes via distance education
  4. "Number of programs offered via distance education" was an integer greater than 0

We ranked the resulting 1,813 colleges on 11 criteria, using 2016-17 data from IPEDS:

  1. Number of programs offered via distance education
  2. Ratio of students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  5. Graduation rate
  6. Retention rate
  7. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Other)
  8. Services (Academic/Career, Placement for Completers)
  9. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)
  10. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  11. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

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
  40. Cleary University, https://www.cleary.edu/
  41. Jackson College, https://www.jccmi.edu/
  42. Wayne State University, https://wayne.edu/
X

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 for 2018-19

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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; if you'd like to use these data points to create your own ranking of online colleges, take a look at our Top Colleges Tool. Details on the methodology used to compile this list appear at the bottom of the page.

1

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.
$16,726
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.
69%
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.
52
School Type
4-year

Started in 1866 with 16 students who were learning from a former Union officer, Davenport University is a nonprofit school in Grand Rapids that has been offering online education since 1999. Its online programs include undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs in subjects as diverse as sports management, health services administration and data analytics.

Online students make use of Blackboard Learn to access classwork and assignments. In some courses, they may participate in real-time virtual learning, using a Blackboard Collaborate Online Classroom. DU's "Free Brush-Up Policy" is also well worth considering; it allows alumni to "brush up" on their learning by coming back and retaking classes at no cost.

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.
$12,150
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.
28%
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.
36
School Type
4-year

Central Michigan University hosts 100 percent online programs through its "CMU Online" platform, 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 degree programs are available through the university in a diverse number of fields, as are undergraduate certificates in disciplines such as technical and professional writing or deaf-blind intervener.

3

Jackson 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.
$5,640
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%
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.
33
School Type
4-year

About 20 percent of the students enrolled at Jackson College in the 2016-17 school year were taking their courses online. This community college offers multiple fully online associate degree programs, in subjects such as:

Jackson students can also pursue sonography degrees mostly online, with a hands-on element that can be completed at a healthcare provider close to the student's location. Numerous resources are available to help students at every phase of their education at Jackson College, including academic advising, veteran services, the Center for Student Success and the American Honors Program.

    Accreditation:

    • Higher Learning Commission

    Location:

    2111 Emmons Rd, Jackson,
    MI 49201
     
    4

    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.
    $24,856
    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.
    45%
    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.
    35
    School Type
    4-year

    Siena Heights University is no newcomer to online education; it has supplied online coursework from its campus in Adrian for over a dozen years. The university has online degree completion programs in a number of fields, including accounting, management and nursing. Online minors are also available, especially in religious studies, suiting the university's Dominican tradition.

    Many of Siena Height's online undergraduate courses are delivered in an eight-week format, while hybrid classes may extend up to 10 weeks. Just like on-campus students, online students have access to numerous types of services, including academic advising, financial aid, technical support and an online library database. Potential students who are considering this Roman Catholic university may be impressed by the GPAs of its student athletes: that cumulative GPA was 3.09 in the fall of 2016.

    5

    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.
    $11,290
    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%
    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.
    25
    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 hybrid-format programs — the Heating, Ventilation, Air Condition and Refrigeration program is just one example that takes advantage of hybrid delivery. And if you're not sure what program format 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 how to navigate the Ferris website and 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.

    6

    Cleary 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.
    $17,600
    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.
    100%
    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.
    38
    School Type
    4-year

    In 1883, Cleary University began as the Cleary School of Penmanship -- a nod to the vital business skill. The institution has diversified quite a lot since then, offering certificate, associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs for students seeking to pursue the study of business, or related fields such as hospitality management, accounting or leadership. This dedication to business, as well as a cozy 11-to-1 student-faculty ratio, helps students to find the instruction they need for a strong career foundation. Students can choose between campuses in Livingston and Washtenaw counties, as well as online options delivered through the Moodle learning system.

      Accreditation:

      • Higher Learning Commission

      Location:

      3750 Cleary Dr, Howell,
      MI 48843
       
      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.
      $14,062
      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.
      23%
      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.
      27
      School Type
      4-year

      Within its selection of online and hybrid programs, Michigan State University boasts many interesting options. MSU students can choose to pursue online programs in marketing research, supply chain management or integrative pharmacology, to name just a few. The university also strives to be accessible to transfer students; the "Transfer MSU" page allows students to search for MSU course equivalencies by course name and code, helping them to plan their transfer. Students also can check out the "Ask Sparty" blog on the school website, which features a topic search function as well as "Top 10" questions submitted by visitors.

      8

      Wayne 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.
      $12,269
      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%
      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.
      16
      School Type
      4-year

      At their large campus in the heart of Detroit, Wayne State University is home to more than 400 student organizations, 18 varsity athletic teams and students representing every state of the Union and over 70 countries. Dozens of degree programs are available across 13 colleges and schools, encompassing everything from the bachelor's to the PhD, with a few certificate programs thrown in for good measure. In addition to a handful of fully online programs in social work, education and more, students can also opt to take many courses of various subjects online through the Blackboard learning management system.

        Accreditation:

        • Higher Learning Commission

        Location:

        656 W Kirby St, Detroit,
        MI 48202
         
        9

        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.
        $12,032
        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.
        21%
        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.
        21
        School Type
        4-year

        The University of Michigan-Dearborn offers more than 100 online courses at the undergraduate level, in disciplines such as anthropology, history, sociology and even prehistoric archaeology. There are also more than a dozen online degree programs available at the graduate level, in fields such as finance, software engineering and educational technology. Multiple other graduate programs at UM-Dearborn utilize hybrid learning to varying degrees, presenting options for students who are not comfortable with 100 percent online courses. Distance learning at the university takes place through the Canvas learning platform, whether the course in question is fully online or a hybrid class.

        10

        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.
        $19,500
        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.
        38%
        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.
        3
        School Type
        4-year

        The catchphrase banded about at Madonna University is "100% online. On your time," meaning no visits are necessary to the school for their online degree programs. Online programs at Madonna U 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. And as part of this principle, Madonna U has spearheaded several notably progressive online programs, including the first online bachelor's in sign language studies in the country. Accessibility is a key point for the university as well; it has articulation agreements with more than a dozen nearby community colleges, easing the process of transferring from those colleges to Madonna University.

        Affordable Online Colleges in Michigan for 2018-19

        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 any number of different criteria, please try out our 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
        Bay Mills Community College$3,04061%22-year
        Washtenaw Community College$3,88828%112-year
        Glen Oaks Community College$4,82423%42-year
        Kirtland Community College$5,37053%112-year
        Delta College$5,69037%172-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
        Henry Ford College$4,45424%104-year
        Schoolcraft College$5,21637%114-year
        Jackson College$5,64024%334-year
        Northwestern Michigan College$6,63027%74-year
        Baker College$9,00042%274-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 Resources in Michigan

        The Student Financial Services Bureau (SFSB), which is part of the Michigan Department of Treasury, works to educate college students about the financial assistance they might 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.

        But what financial aid do these initiatives promote for students? Find specific information below for Michigan residents looking for financial assistance through scholarships, grants and loans.

        Michigan Gift Aid: Grants & 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 between 1964 and 2016, serving over four million Michigan students. Read on to learn about some of these scholarship opportunities:

        1.Fred & Lena Meijer Scholarship
        Type : Scholarship
        Criteria:
        Applicant must be a Meijer Team Member or child (natural, legally adopted, or step-child) of a Meijer Team Member who has been employed for a minimum of one year at the time of the application deadline. Children of Team members must be full-time students to apply, while Meijer team member applicants may be part-time students.
        Award Amount
        $10,000
        Application Deadline
        April 1
        Renewable
        No
        Repay Required?
        No
        School Specific Scholarship?
        No
        Application URL
        2.Grand Rapids Foundation Local Scholarship
        Type : Scholarship
        Criteria:
        Applicant must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and have been a resident of Kent County, Mich. for at least three years. Selection is based upon academic achievement, extracurricular activities, personal statement, and financial need.
        Award Amount
        $500
        Application Deadline
        April 1
        Renewable
        No
        Repay Required?
        No
        School Specific Scholarship?
        Yes
        Application URL
        3.President's Honor Scholarship
        Type : Scholarship
        Criteria:
        Applicant must be an outstanding in-district senior who will graduate this year from a public high school in Washtenaw County. Applicant must have a minimum 3.2 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale.
        Award Amount
        N/A
        Application Deadline
        May 15
        Renewable
        Recipient must maintain a 3.0 GPA and have completed 24 credit hours in order to renew their award.
        Yes
        Repay Required?
        No
        School Specific Scholarship?
        Yes
        Application URL
        4.Gerber Foundation Merit Scholarship
        Type : Scholarship
        Criteria:
        Applicant must be a resident and graduate from an accredited high school in Muskegon or Newaygo County, Michigan.
        Award Amount
        $2,000
        Application Deadline
        February 28
        Renewable
        No
        Repay Required?
        No
        School Specific Scholarship?
        No
        Application URL

        Our Ultimate Guide to Grants and Ultimate Guide to Scholarships can offer more information on ways to apply for grant and scholarship 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

        4,296,731

        Median salary for high school grads

        $27,498

        Median salary with a bachelor's degree

        $54,114

        % of the population enrolled in college or grad school

        26.6%

        Median rent

        $866

        Fun Facts about Detroit

        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

        1,028,173

        Median salary for high school grads

        $27,926

        Median salary with a bachelor's degree

        $45,842

        % of the population enrolled in college or grad school

        27.4%

        Median rent

        $786

        Fun Facts about Grand Rapids

        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

        470,348

        Median salary for high school grads

        $26,819

        Median salary with a bachelor's degree

        $46,862

        % of the population enrolled in college or grad school

        46.5%

        Median rent

        $803

        Fun Facts about Lansing

        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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