Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Updated January 27, 2023

Get started with your search for top-ranked schools in Michigan. Discover which colleges offer programs that fit your needs.

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Credit: Photo by Mike Kline (notkalvin) | Moment | Getty Images

There is no better time than now to consider going to college in Michigan.

Employment projections indicate increases of 1.1 percent to 4.5 percent in 2017. Unemployment drops to 4.5 percent through 2019. Salaries and wages increase 3.7 percent in 2017, 3.9 percent in 2018, and 3.8 percent in 2019.

So what do you do when life keeps you from committing to time on a college campus? Online colleges have come a long way in the last decade. With the latest in Video on Demand, interactive video, video conferencing technology, and software, distance learning has never been easier. Options include adult education courses for personal growth; associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees; specialist certifications; and post-graduate certificates.

The Open Education Database shows 97 Michigan colleges and universities now offer online classes, and opportunities expand yearly. The growth in online learning spiked after Governor Snyder issued his "Any Time, Any Place, Any Way, Any Pace" plan. The governor envisioned a system wherein public schools in Michigan offer students early college enrollment, online, and dual enrollment options to succeed.

The U.S. Department of Education found that in Michigan, 49,000 college students – 7 percent – take all courses online. For undergraduates, the number was 34,000. Another 66,000 take some of their classes online. In graduate programs, 17 percent (14,000) complete all coursework online. Another 7 percent (7,000) take advantage of at least one online class.

Note that top industries in Michigan include aerospace, automobile manufacturers and suppliers, carbon fiber/composites, agrobusiness, cyber security, and defense. Most of these require post-secondary education, and online curricula at state colleges help busy professionals, parents, caretakers, and out-of-state students to complete their degree and find their dream job.

Take advantage of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, which provides reciprocal agreements between participating states. As part of the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP), public universities agree to charge out-of-state students no more than 150 percent of in-state tuition. Private institutions discount their tuition rates by 10 percent. Over 100 schools agreed to follow the Compact, but individual participation remains discretionary and voluntary. Students should research the MSEP requirements before enrolling.

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What are the best online colleges in Michigan?

The top 25 schools in the state are tabulated based on several sources of information. Critical data comes from each school’s website, while other statistical analyses were performed by journalists, mathematicians, and data-gathering websites. Materials referenced include U.S. News and World Report, the IPEDS database from the National Center for Education Statistics, the Princeton Review, Money Magazine, and Payscale.com. The determination of rankings requires examination of the school’s performance results, reputation, graduation rates, class sizes, and other details. The other factor includes outcomes for the school’s graduates. Schools rank higher when graduates leave with lower debt-to-income ratios, higher starting salaries, and successful job placement.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor supports flexible online learning opportunities for students worldwide. The public college serves about 664 distance learners across five online programs.

Of these online programs, one is a bachelor's degree and four are master's degrees. Students learn alongside fellow distance learners in a virtual classroom environment, where they connect with faculty and staff. Degree candidates receive a well-rounded education through general and advanced coursework, with the option to pursue experiential learning opportunities such as faculty-driven research projects and internships. A leader in student success, the college connects students with academic advising, career services, and other success-oriented resources.

Prospective applicants should connect with the financial aid office or their desired program to learn about degree requirements, application materials, and other information. Students can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. Of all enrollees, 65% receive financial aid awards.

Average Tuition
In-state
$16,212
Out-of-state
$52,669
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
23%
Students Enrolled
48,090
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
1% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Kettering University

  • Flint, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Flint, Kettering University provides top-ranked online programs to 376 distance learners. Students can choose from one of nearly a dozen online programs.

A leader in online education, the college offers seven online master's programs. Students learn alongside fellow distance learners in a virtual classroom environment, where they connect with faculty and staff. Enrollees receive a well-rounded education through general and advanced coursework, with the option to pursue experiential learning opportunities such as faculty-driven research projects and internships. Students can also benefit from personal and professional development by connecting with academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources.

Prospective enrollees should schedule an appointment with the admissions office to discuss application materials and degree requirements. To defray degree costs, students can speak with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities. The institution notes that 100% of incoming learners receive financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$40,616
Out-of-state
$40,616
Retention Rate
90%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
2,221
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Lawrence Technological University

  • Southfield, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking a premier distance learning education should consider Lawrence Technological University. The Southfield-based school supports eight online programs, reaching 627 online students near and far.

Distance learners join a supportive online learning community, connecting with fellow classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom setting. Through coursework and experiential learning opportunities, students gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their industry of choice. Throughout their studies, degree-seekers can access career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources.

Before applying, prospective students should schedule an appointment with the admissions office to discuss application materials and degree requirements. Eligible enrollees can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid awards to offset the costs of study. An average of 98% of all students receive financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$34,080
Out-of-state
$34,080
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
2,848
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Michigan Technological University

  • Houghton, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Houghton-based Michigan Technological University guarantees flexibility through its online programs. Distance learners can connect with 618 online students across 11 online programs.

Among the school's offerings include seven online master's degrees. These programs connect students with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom setting. Enrollees complete foundational and advanced classes relevant to their field of interest. Degree-seekers can pursue experiential learning opportunities, like internships, to deepen their knowledge. Enrollees can benefit from academic advising, career services, and other learning resources.

Prospective students can connect with the admissions office or speak with their program of choice directly to learn more about the application process. Qualifying learners can use scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid awards to offset degree costs. The institution reports that 96% of enrollees benefit from some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$16,834
Out-of-state
$36,688
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
7,027
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
9% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Grand Valley State University

  • Allendale, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Allendale, Grand Valley State University provides top-ranked online programs to 2,974 distance learners. To date, the institution supports two online programs, including one master's program.

Degree candidates connect with classmates, faculty, and staff through a virtual classroom setting. Students benefit from a well-rounded education, completing foundational and advanced classes. Throughout their program, distance learners can access academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources to prepare them for success after college.

Prospective applicants should meet with the admissions office to discuss application materials and admission requirements. To offset degree costs, learners can inquire about funding opportunities through the Office of Financial Aid. About 87% of all incoming students receive financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,180
Out-of-state
$18,610
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
24,033
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Michigan State University

  • East Lansing, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Michigan State University offers a variety of distance learning opportunities across numerous programs. Students near and far can join the school's growing online learning community of 13,163 distance learners across 19 remote programs.

Degree-seekers attend lectures and complete coursework through a virtual classroom environment, alongside classmates and faculty. Enrollees complete general and advanced coursework, with the option to modify classes and select major electives, minors, and degree concentrations. Students also receive guidance from academic advising, career services, and other resources.

Learners interested in applying should meet with the admissions office to discuss application materials and admission requirements. Students can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. Of all degree-seekers, 70% benefit from financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,555
Out-of-state
$40,384
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
49,809
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

University of Detroit Mercy

  • Detroit, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Detroit Mercy provides flexible online study options for students from all walks of life. The school supports 997 distance learners across eight online programs, including five master's programs.

Distance learners join a supportive online learning community, connecting with fellow classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom setting. Degree candidates gain knowledge in and outside of the classroom through coursework, research projects, and internships. Throughout their program, distance learners can connect with academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources to prepare them for success after college.

Learners interested in applying should meet with the admissions office to discuss application materials and admission requirements. Eligible students can apply scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid toward their learning expenses. The institution reports that 100% of enrollees benefit from some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,840
Out-of-state
$28,840
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
5,080
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Madonna University

  • Livonia, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Madonna University is a private college that offers online degrees from its main campus in Livonia. The school supports 1,822 distance learners across 32 online programs.

Degree-seekers can connect with faculty, colleagues, and staff through a virtual classroom environment. Students gain knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their field through classes, internships, and other learning opportunities. Enrollees can take advantage of academic advising, career services, and other resources to receive guidance throughout their studies.

Prospective students should meet with the admissions office to discuss admission requirements. Learners can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. Out of all degree-seekers, 97% receive aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$23,100
Out-of-state
$23,100
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
2,992
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
61% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Andrews University

  • Berrien Springs, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Andrews University appeals to learners seeking flexible online study. The private institution supports 21 degrees from its main campus in Berrien Springs, attracting 918 distance learners across the globe.

Degree candidates receive support throughout their studies, learning alongside peers in a virtual classroom environment. Enrollees can customize their coursework, select electives, and pursue experiential learning opportunities. Students also receive guidance from academic advising, career services, and other resources.

To discuss admission requirements, degree eligibility, and other information, prospective students should meet with the admissions office. Eligible learners can apply scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid toward their learning expenses. The college reports that 99% of degree-seekers receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,992
Out-of-state
$28,992
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
3,390
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Spring Arbor University

  • Spring Arbor, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking a premier distance learning education should consider Spring Arbor University. Learners can choose from one of 12 online programs and join the school's 1,551-person online learning community.

Undergraduates can enroll in one of four bachelor's programs, with graduate students benefiting from eight online master's programs. Distance learners connect with fellow students, faculty, and staff through a virtual classroom environment. Enrollees complete industry-relevant coursework, with the option to pursue internships, research projects, and other learning opportunities in preparation for their future career. Degree candidates can receive guidance throughout their studies by connecting with academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources.

Applicants should consult the admissions office to discuss degree requirements and application materials. Eligible students can apply scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid toward their learning expenses. According to the college, 100% of all incoming learners receive financial aid awards.

Average Tuition
In-state
$29,030
Out-of-state
$29,030
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
3,333
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#11 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Northern Michigan University

  • Marquette, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners seeking flexible online study should consider Northern Michigan University. The college supports 1,949 distance learners across multiple online programs.

The institution supports nine remote bachelor's programs and seven remote master's programs. Degree-seekers connect with faculty, peers, and staff through a virtual learning environment, where they receive support and guidance. Students can individualize their studies through course electives, degree minors, and experiential learning opportunities like internships. Enrollees can also access institutional resources such as career services and academic advising, to receive academic and career guidance.

Prospective enrollees should consult the admissions office to discuss degree requirements and application materials. Degree-seekers can connect with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities to make their education more affordable. The college reports that 93% of learners receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,758
Out-of-state
$16,380
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
7,732
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#12 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Cornerstone University

  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking a premier distance learning education should consider Cornerstone University. The private institution supports several online programs from its main campus in Grand Rapids, attracting 521 distance learners across the globe.

Undergraduates can enroll in one of three bachelor's programs, with graduate students benefiting from 10 online master's programs. Distance learners connect with fellow students, faculty, and staff through a virtual classroom environment. Enrollees can individualize their studies through course electives, degree minors, and experiential learning opportunities like internships. Degree candidates can access academic advising, career services, and other learning resources.

Students interested in applying should meet with the admissions office to discuss application materials and admission requirements. The college makes internal and external funding opportunities available to degree-seekers, with 99% of all enrollees receiving aid. According to the institution, 99% of all incoming learners receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$25,360
Out-of-state
$25,360
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
1,998
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#13 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Central Michigan University

  • Mount Pleasant, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Central Michigan University, located in Mount Pleasant, provides online degree options for distance learners worldwide. The school supports 7,657 distance learners across 54 online programs.

These programs connect students with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom setting. Enrollees complete foundational and advanced classes relevant to their field of interest. Degree candidates can pursue experiential learning opportunities, like internships, to deepen their knowledge. Students can also benefit from personal and professional development by connecting with academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources.

Prospective applicants can discuss admission requirements and degree eligibility with the Office of Admissions. Students can meet with the financial aid office to determine eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid awards. An average of 96% of all enrollees receive financial aid during their studies.

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,383
Out-of-state
$22,881
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
19,362
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#14 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

University of Michigan-Dearborn

  • Dearborn, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Distance learners seeking a flexible online education should consider University of Michigan-Dearborn. The school supports 3,115 distance learners across 25 online degree programs.

A leader in online education, the college offers 18 online master's programs. Students receive support throughout their studies, learning alongside peers in a virtual classroom environment. Enrollees complete foundational and advanced classes relevant to their field of interest, and can pursue experiential learning opportunities, like internships, to deepen their knowledge. Throughout their program, distance learners can connect with academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources to prepare them for success after college.

Before applying, prospective students should schedule an appointment with the admissions office to discuss application materials and degree requirements. Enrollees can meet with the financial aid office to explore scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid packages. Of all students, 96% benefit from financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,729
Out-of-state
$25,845
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
62%
Students Enrolled
9,191
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#15 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Western Michigan University

  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students from all walks of life can benefit from Western Michigan University's flexible online degrees. Distance learners can choose from 18 online programs and join the school's 5,974-person online learning community.

Degree-seekers benefit from a supportive learning community, while connecting with colleagues and faculty through a virtual classroom environment. Students gain knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their field through classes, internships, and other learning opportunities. Enrollees can receive guidance throughout their studies by connecting with academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources.

Prospective students can discuss admission requirements and degree eligibility with the Office of Admissions. Enrollees can meet with the financial aid office to explore scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid packages. Out of all students, 82% receive aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,094
Out-of-state
$15,118
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
21,470
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#16 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

University of Michigan-Flint

  • Flint, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Flint, University of Michigan-Flint supports multiple online programs. Enrollees join the school's 3,847-person online learning community.

Undergraduate students can choose from four online bachelor's programs, and graduate students can select one of seven online master's programs. After enrolling, students join a supportive online learning community where they connect with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom setting. Degree-seekers can individualize their studies through course electives, degree minors, and experiential learning opportunities like internships. The college can connect degree candidates with academic advising, career services, and other learning resources.

Before applying, prospective learners should schedule an appointment with the admissions office to discuss application materials and degree requirements. Enrollees can connect with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities to make their education more affordable. The institution notes that 96% of incoming students receive financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,406
Out-of-state
$22,701
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
7,297
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#17 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Lake Superior State University

  • Sault Ste Marie, MI
  • 4 years
  • Campus

From its main campus in Sault Ste Marie, Lake Superior State University supports a variety of online programs.

Enrollees can connect with faculty, colleagues, and staff through a virtual classroom environment. Distance learners complete general education and advanced coursework, satisfy curriculum requirements, and can pursue experiential learning opportunities relevant to their field. Degree candidates can take advantage of academic advising, career services, and other learning resources.

Interested applicants should meet with the admissions office to learn more about program requirements. Eligible students can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid awards to offset degree costs. The college reports that 96% of the student body receives financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,000
Out-of-state
$12,000
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
57%
Students Enrolled
1,984
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#18 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Northwood University

  • Midland, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking a premier distance learning education should consider Northwood University. The private college provides learning opportunities to 1,930 distance learners across various online programs.

Enrollees can choose from 13 online bachelor's programs and three online master's programs. Degree-seekers join a supportive online learning community where they connect with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom setting. While enrolled, learners gain industry-relevant knowledge through coursework, internships, and other learning opportunities. Students can benefit from learning resources, academic advising, and career services throughout their studies.

Prospective applicants can discuss admission requirements and degree eligibility with the Office of Admissions. Degree-seekers can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. According to the institution, 98% of all incoming enrollees receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,690
Out-of-state
$26,690
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
2,934
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#19 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Ferris State University

  • Big Rapids, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Ferris State University, a public college, supports flexible online learning opportunities for students worldwide. The public college provides learning opportunities to 3,610 distance learners across 32 online programs.

Distance learners can choose from bachelor's and master's programs in many different fields. Students connect with faculty and staff through a virtual classroom environment, while learning alongside classmates and attending remote lectures. Degree-seekers can individualize their studies through course electives, degree minors, and experiential learning opportunities like internships. Enrollees can also access institutional resources such as career services and academic advising, to receive academic and career guidance.

Prospective applicants should connect with the financial aid office or their desired program to learn about degree requirements, application materials, and other information. Students can meet with the financial aid office to determine eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid awards. The college reports that 95% of enrollees financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,376
Out-of-state
$12,376
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
12,472
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#20 Best Online Colleges In Michigan

Oakland University

  • Rochester Hills, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Oakland University offers a variety of online programs suitable for all types of enrollees. The institution supports 4,921 distance learners across numerous learning tracks.

Of its online programs, two are bachelor's programs and five are master's programs. Distance learners join a supportive online learning community, connecting with fellow classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom setting. Degree candidates complete general education and advanced coursework, satisfy curriculum requirements, and can pursue experiential learning opportunities relevant to their field. Enrollees can take advantage of academic advising, career services, and other learning resources.

Prospective students can connect with the admissions office or speak with their program of choice directly to learn more about the application process. To offset degree costs, students can inquire about funding opportunities through the Office of Financial Aid. The college reports that 94% of the student body receives financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$14,520
Out-of-state
$24,735
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
19,013
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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