2022 Top Private Colleges and Universities in Michigan

Private colleges and universities frequently top the lists of the best schools in the U.S. These institutions offer rigorous academic programs for students looking for a personalized college experience.

Private colleges and universities generally cost more than their public counterparts, but students often receive the benefits of smaller class sizes, strong alumni networks, and generous financial aid opportunities.

Unlike public institutions, private institutions do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition. This means students from anywhere can enroll in Michigan’s private colleges and universities without paying higher out-of-state rates.

2022 Best Private Colleges and Universities in Michigan

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

This site is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    Hillsdale College

    Hillsdale, MI

    Graduation Rate

    88%

    Enrollment

    1,543

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $28170

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $28170

    From its campus in Hillsdale, Michigan, Hillsdale College enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the institution helps students reach their educational goals. Undergraduates complete lower-division and upper-division coursework to earn a bachelor's degree. The school's 120-credit bachelor's programs also include general education credits. Upper-division credits typically focus on advanced concepts within a major. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant.

    #2

    Carnegie Institute

    Troy, MI

    Graduation Rate

    93%

    Enrollment

    122

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $14020

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14020

    A top choice for students seeking professional eduation in Michigan, Carnegie Institute hosts 8 certificate programs. Diploma and certificate programs graduate students faster than associate or bachelor's degrees, often taking just weeks or months to complete. These credential programs focus on career advancement, building new skills in an accelerated timeframe. Students gain specific skills that can make them more competeive in the job market. The school has received accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Carnegie Institute's admissions department can answer most applicant questions about the school's admissions process. After finishing one of the school's programs, students can immediately enter their career track.

    #3

    College for Creative Studies

    Detroit, MI

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    1,512

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $46170

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $46170

    A private institution, College for Creative Studies grants degrees from its campus in Detroit, Michigan. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #4

    Compass College of Cinematic Arts

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Graduation Rate

    78%

    Enrollment

    72

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $14040

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14040

    A private institution in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Compass College of Cinematic Arts offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 91% of students receive aid, and 66% receive loans. The institution reports a 78% graduation rate. Applicants can expect admission rates of 21%. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. Compass College of Cinematic Arts holds accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

    #5

    Sacred Heart Major Seminary

    Detroit, MI

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    418

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $20987

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20987

    From its campus in Detroit, Michigan, Sacred Heart Major Seminary enrolls students in 8 programs. Students choose from rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The school boasts a 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. A total of 100% of students receive some form of financial aid. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 100%. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. Prospective learners can expect admission rates of 100%. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements.

    #6

    Calvin University

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Graduation Rate

    75%

    Enrollment

    3,307

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $37600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $37600

    From its Michigan campus, Calvin University offers 101 academic programs. Degree-seekers enroll in rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The school reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 12-to-1. A total of 100% of students receive some form of financial aid. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 75%. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. Applicants can expect admission rates of 73%. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #7

    Kalamazoo College

    Kalamazoo, MI

    Graduation Rate

    79%

    Enrollment

    1,451

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $51999

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $51999

    From its Michigan campus, Kalamazoo College offers 29 academic programs. The institution's many rigorous academic programs rank among the best in the nation. The school holds a student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-1. Approximately 100% of students at this school offset educational expenses with financial aid. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 79%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. The school reports an 74% admission rate. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #8

    Hope College

    Holland, MI

    Graduation Rate

    76%

    Enrollment

    3,061

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $36300

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $36300

    Hope College enrolls students at its Holland, Michigan campus as a private institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. At the institution, 97% of students receive financial aid and 52% take out loans. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 76%. The admission rate for prospective students is 78%. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #9

    Andrews University

    Berrien Springs, MI

    Graduation Rate

    61%

    Enrollment

    3,162

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $29808

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $29808

    Andrews University, which offers on-campus and programs from its Berrien Springs, Michigan campus, often ranks among the top colleges. The institution offers a variety of degrees and courses. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Learners typically earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in two, and a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. Admission advisors can provide additional information on submitting an application. Degree-seekers also use financial aid to cover their educational costs. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #10

    MIAT College of Technology

    Canton, MI

    Graduation Rate

    57%

    Enrollment

    1,537

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $14501

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14501

    From its campus in Michigan, MIAT College of Technology enrolls students in 18 programs. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 22-to-1. Approximately 93% of students at this school offset educational expenses with financial aid. The school reports a 57% graduation rate. The institution understands that hands-on experience makes graduates more competitive in the job market. Hopeful learners can expect admission rates of 81%. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants. Applicants can reach out to the admission department to learn more about enrolling.

    #11

    Kettering University

    Flint, MI

    Graduation Rate

    67%

    Enrollment

    2,030

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $42906

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $42906

    From its campus in Flint, Michigan, Kettering University offers academic programs as a private institution. The school offers programs that prepare learners for the workforce. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Learners at the school choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #12

    Walsh College

    Troy, MI

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    1,744

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11565

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $11565

    Walsh College, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Troy, Michigan. The institution offers a variety of degree-granting programs. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Generally, it takes two years to complete an associate degree, four years to complete a bachelor's degree, 1-2 years for a master's degree, or 3-7 years for a doctoral degree. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #13

    Cleary University

    Howell, MI

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    658

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $21630

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21630

    From its campus in Howell, Michigan, Cleary University enrolls students as a private institution. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. A total of 100% of students receive financial aid and 72% take out loans at the institution. The private school reports a 56% graduation rate. The admission rate is 65%. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. Cleary University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #14

    Alma College

    Alma, MI

    Graduation Rate

    71%

    Enrollment

    1,435

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $42352

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $42352

    Alma College, located in Alma, Michigan, enrolls students as a private institution. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. At the institution, 100% of students receive financial aid and 72% take out loans. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 71%. The admission rate is 67% for hopeful students. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #15

    University of Detroit Mercy

    Detroit, MI

    Graduation Rate

    73%

    Enrollment

    4,987

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $29562

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $29562

    University of Detroit Mercy, which operates a campus in Detroit, Michigan, often ranks as one of the best colleges. The institution offers a variety of degrees and courses. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Students can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The admissions department can help students complete the application process. At the accredited institution, students also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #16

    Spring Arbor University

    Spring Arbor, MI

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    3,118

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $29872

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $29872

    Spring Arbor University enrolls learners from its Spring Arbor, Michigan campus. Students take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Enrollees earn their degree or certificate in as little time as a few months or as much time as seven years depending on program type and enrollment status. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department provides more information about the application process. Financial aid provides options for degree-seekers to pay for their education. Spring Arbor University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #17

    Albion College

    Albion, MI

    Graduation Rate

    68%

    Enrollment

    1,506

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $50070

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $50070

    Located in Albion, Michigan, Albion College operates as a private institution. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 100% of students receive aid, and 67% receive loans. The institution reports a graduation rate of 68%. The admission rate for new students is 74%. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #18

    Aquinas College

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    1,517

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34386

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34386

    From its campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Aquinas College enrolls students in programs as a private institution. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, learners complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #19

    Chamberlain University-Michigan

    Troy, MI

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    497

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $19572

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19572

    Chamberlain University-Michigan offers programs from its campus in Troy, Michigan. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of career goals. Visit the program's website to find information on the typical timeline for completion. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions staff can provide more information on the process. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover educational costs. Chamberlain University-Michigan has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #20

    Madonna University

    Livonia, MI

    Graduation Rate

    58%

    Enrollment

    2,792

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $24000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $24000

    Madonna University offers programs from its campus in Livonia, Michigan. Learners choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. At the school, students typically complete an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. A waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions staff can provide more information on the process. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #21

    South University-Novi

    Novi, MI

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    Not Provided

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16920

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16920

    From its campus in Novi, Michigan, South University-Novi grants degrees and certificates as a top school. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. The accreditation status of this institution is unknown.

    #22

    Northwood University

    Midland, MI

    Graduation Rate

    58%

    Enrollment

    2,541

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $28020

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $28020

    A private institution located in Midland, Michigan, Northwood University offers a variety of programs. Students complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. Northwood University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #23

    Kuyper College

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    152

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $23970

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $23970

    Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kuyper College enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A waiver makes it easier to apply. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Kuyper College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #24

    Lawrence Technological University

    Southfield, MI

    Graduation Rate

    60%

    Enrollment

    2,812

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $35430

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $35430

    A private institution, Lawrence Technological University grants degrees from its campus in Southfield, Michigan. Learners learn from experts in multiple disciplines. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. At the accredited school, degree-seekers qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. At the institution, 97% of students receive financial aid and 46% take out loans. The institution reports a 60% graduation rate. The admission rate for new students is 82%. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. Lawrence Technological University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #25

    Cornerstone University

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    1,917

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $26250

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26250

    From its campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Cornerstone University grants degrees as a private institution. Students earn an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. The school's programs appear in national rankings. The cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Cornerstone University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #26

    Concordia University-Ann Arbor

    Ann Arbor, MI

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    1,165

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $30890

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30890

    Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Concordia University-Ann Arbor enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Concordia University-Ann Arbor holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #27

    Davenport University

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    6,127

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $19320

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19320

    Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Davenport University educates students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at this accredited school also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #28

    Adrian College

    Adrian, MI

    Graduation Rate

    54%

    Enrollment

    1,865

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $37755

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $37755

    Adrian College, located in Adrian, Michigan, offers 117 programs for students. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 14-to-1. Approximately 100% of students at this school offset educational expenses with financial aid. The school reports a graduation rate of 54%. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. The admission rate is 61% for incoming students. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Applicants can reach out to the admission department to learn more about enrolling.

    #29

    Olivet College

    Olivet, MI

    Graduation Rate

    49%

    Enrollment

    1,023

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $30126

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30126

    From its campus in Olivet, Michigan, Olivet College awards degrees and certificates as a top school. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Enrollees earn their degree or certificate in as little time as a few months or as much time as seven years depending on program type and enrollment status. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree or certificate. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #30

    Siena Heights University

    Adrian, MI

    Graduation Rate

    53%

    Enrollment

    2,036

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $27000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $27000

    Siena Heights University, which operates a campus in Adrian, Michigan, often ranks as a top school. Students take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Depending on the program, students can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years earning their degree or certificate. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The admissions department can provide more information on the process. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Siena Heights University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    Why Choose a Private College or University in Michigan?

    Michigan has over 70 private colleges and universities. These include nonprofit, for-profit, two-year, and four-year schools.

    Undergraduates choose private colleges for several reasons. Many private schools offer strong financial aid packages. Private schools also generally enroll fewer students and provide a small-college feel. That often means a lower student-to-faculty ratio and smaller class sizes.

    While Michigan’s public colleges and universities often rank high in academic quality and offer a tuition discount for in-state learners, some students prefer to enroll at religiously affiliated private colleges or small liberal arts schools.

    Prospective students weighing how to choose the right college can benefit from considering the pros and cons of private colleges and universities.

    Pros and Cons of Attending a Private College or University in Michigan

    Pros

    • Check Circle
      Private colleges and universities generally offer smaller class sizes and smaller student populations, making it easier to connect with classmates and faculty.
    • Check Circle
      On average, out-of-state students pay less in tuition and fees at private four-year colleges than at the state’s public institutions.
    • Check Circle
      Many of the state’s private colleges and universities operate with a religious affiliation, which appeals to some students.

    Cons

    • X Circle
      The smaller size at private colleges and universities means students have fewer course options and majors than the state’s larger public institutions.
    • X Circle
      Michigan residents receive a significant tuition discount at public colleges in the state. They would need a large amount of aid to make up the difference between private and public tuition rates.
    • X Circle
      Michigan public colleges and universities tend to outrank the state’s private institutions in national academic rankings.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Michigan

    What’s the difference between a nonprofit vs. a for-profit college?

    Nonprofit colleges reinvest their profits back into the school. The money is used to hire more faculty and add to the curriculum, among other services. For-profit colleges distribute their profits to shareholders and investors.

    Some students may find benefits to for-profit colleges — for example, those seeking skills-based training. But, generally, nonprofit colleges meet higher academic standards. Graduates from nonprofit colleges also typically fare better in the job market.

    Michigan has over 60 for-profit colleges, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. Many of those offer programs that can be completed in less than two years.

    Before applying to colleges in Michigan, make sure to research their nonprofit or for-profit status. The U.S Department of Education’s College Scorecard lists whether colleges operate as a nonprofit or for-profit.

    How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Private College or University in Michigan?

    Private colleges and universities in Michigan generally cost more than the state’s public institutions. On average, undergraduates paid around $29,410 in tuition and fees at Michigan’s four-year private institutions in 2019-2020, according to data from NCES.

    In comparison, in-state students paid around $13,320, on average, in tuition and fees at Michigan’s four-year public institutions during that same academic year.

    It’s a common misconception that public colleges and universities are always less expensive than private schools. Out-of-state students, for example, may pay less by attending a private Michigan college than a public one. At public institutions, out-of-state tuition averaged $36,830 in 2019-2020.

    Keep in mind that scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid can reduce how much you pay for your education. Private colleges and universities typically award more institutional aid than public schools. Students can also consider tuition-free colleges.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges and Universities in Michigan

    How many private colleges and universities are there in Michigan?

    Michigan has over 70 private colleges and universities, which include nonprofit, for-profit, two-year, and four-year schools. The state’s private colleges include small liberal arts institutions and religiously affiliated colleges.

    Well-known, four-year private colleges and universities in the state include Albion College, Calvin University, Andrews University, and the University of Detroit Mercy.

    In comparison, the state has over 40 two-year and four-year public colleges and universities. Michigan’s biggest public universities serve more students. For example, Michigan State University enrolls around 50,000 students, while the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor enrolls around 31,000 students.

    What is the most expensive private college or university in Michigan?

    In Michigan, private colleges and universities charge undergraduates around $29,400 in tuition and fees, as of the 2019-2020 academic school year.

    The most expensive private schools include Kalamazoo College and Albion College. Kalamazoo College charged almost $54,000 in tuition to first-year students for 2021-2022. Tuition for Albion College was around $52,600 during the same academic year.

    Overall, college costs in the U.S. continue to rise. However, many students pay less than the posted tuition rate. Grants, scholarships, and institutional aid all can help lower the cost of attending a private college or university.

    What is the least expensive private college or university in Michigan?

    Private colleges and universities tend to charge higher tuition rates. However, the state has options that can be affordable for many students seeking a college degree at a private nonprofit institution.

    Great Lakes Christian College is among the least expensive private colleges. It reported an online tuition rate of around $8,000 for the 2021-2022 academic year. You may also find less expensive private school rates at the Baker College campuses and at Davenport University.

    With research, students seeking an affordable bachelor’s degree can find private four-year colleges in Michigan that cost less than in-state tuition at a public institution.

    Is a private college or university right for me?

    Prospective undergraduates researching colleges need to consider several factors when deciding between a public or private school — cost, major options, campus culture, and academic quality.

    The size and type of institution can also play a role. Some students prefer to attend smaller colleges. Private colleges and universities typically have a smaller student body and lower student-to-faculty ratio.

    Students interested in a religiously affiliated institution may want to attend a private college or university.

    Research colleges to find the one that fits your interests and matches your goals for your college experience.

    Can I get more scholarship money at a private college or university?

    Private institutions generally offer more institutional aid than public institutions. However, students at both public and private colleges can apply for scholarships to cover their costs.

    Many private colleges award scholarships funded by alumni or their college endowments. Colleges use these scholarships, also known as institutional aid, to attract students.

    When applying to colleges, make sure to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Colleges will then put together a package of scholarships, grants, and loans to meet the student’s unmet financial need.

    Prospective students should compare financial aid offers before choosing their college.