Continuing our series of best online college by state rankings, we have examined all online colleges in Michigan and chosen to showcase the top 20 schools, based on the methodology stated below.
For this Top 20 best online college ranking, we have ranked each of the schools located in Michigan that offer distance learning students a selection of online and asynchronous academic programs. To rank these Michigan-based schools, we have used two imperative percentage rates as our ranking criteria. These two rates are the school’s Freshmen Retention Rate and their Graduation Rate, which are closely related to each other and yet distinct enough that they provide a helpful overview of a school’s capabilities. The goal of this Top 20 Best Online Schools in Michigan ranking is to assist distance learning students in knowing what their various options are for obtaining a degree in a flexible, online format from a reputable Michigan school.
The State of Michigan is the tenth-most populous state out of the 50 United States, and the state has the 11th-most vast total area, making it the largest state by total landmass that is located east of the Mississippi River. Michigan is the only state that consists of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula, to which the name Michigan was originally applied, is often noted by many to be shaped like a mitten. The Upper Peninsula (which is often referred to as the U.P.) is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac; a five-mile channel that joins Lake Huron with Lake Michigan.
Michigan State University has the eighth-largest campus population of any school in the United States. Seven of the ninety-three colleges and universities that are located in the state are classified as being a Research Universities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (CFAT). These are Central Michigan University; the University of Michigan; Michigan State University; Michigan Technological University; Oakland University; Wayne State University and; Western Michigan University.
We also consulted our own ranking, Top 100 Best Online Colleges, when ranking these schools.
We have judged each of the schools that are located in the State of Michigan and that provide distance learning students with a selection of online academic programs from which to choose from based on the following scoring criteria:
- 50%: Freshmen Retention Rates and;
- 50%: Graduation Rates
To gather the information that we required to rank each Michigan-based school based on this criteria, we used each of the school’s websites whenever possible to obtain their two rates. In cases where a school does not provide this information, we utilized the databases of both U.S. News and World Report and of National Center for Education Statistics. In cases where two or more schools were tied for a spot in this Top 20, we utilized the alphabetical ordering of their names as our designated tie-breaking criteria.
We chose these two ranking criteria because when both rates are taken into account, they greatly assist in shedding light on how capable a school is as a provider of a higher education overall.
20: Grace Bible College
Grace Bible College is a private, not-for-profit evangelical college that is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. GBC, as the college is commonly referred to as for simplicity sake, was originally established in 1945 by Pastor Charles F. Baker, who felt the need for a Bible training school. Grace Bible College initially began as an evening Bible Institute in 1939 and these evening classes were taught at Pastor Baker’s church, the Fundamental Bible Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. These classes were utilized to train lay church members and to train Sunday School teachers. The program was expanded in 1941 to a day program and was named the Milwaukee Bible Institute.
The Milwaukee Bible Institute would be renamed after the institute started offering broader curriculum options in 1953. The institute’s new name was the Milwaukee Bible College. In 1961 the college was moved to Wyoming, Michigan and renamed yet again, this time to its present-day name of Grace Bible College. Today, Grace Bible College offers a variety of academic degree programs, both in a traditional on-campus format and in a fully asynchronous online format.
Some of the online academic programs that are available for distance learning students to enroll in are: an Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Leadership and Ministry degree program, an Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Business degree program, an Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Human Services degree program and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Ministry degree program, among others.
Each of these degree programs as mentioned above–and the rest of the online degree programs offered by Grace Bible College–can all be customized by choosing to add one of seven available concentrations. The concentrations are Business, Church Planting, Criminal Justice, Human Services, Leadership and Ministry, Women’s Ministry and Youth Ministry. Each of these concentrations only requires students to complete 12 credit hours.
School’s Website: https://www.gbcol.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 56.0%
Graduation Rate: 60.0%
Final Score: 116.0/200
19: Oakland University
Oakland University (the university is commonly referred to simply as OU) is a public research university which is located in Rochester, Michigan. Oakland University was originally established in 1957 after 1,443-acres of land was donated to Michigan State University by Matilda Dodge Wilson and her husband, Alfred Wilson. This donation included Meadow Brook Hall, Sunset Terrace and all of the estate’s various other buildings and collections. Additionally, the couple donated $2 million USD along with the plot of land.
The school was originally known as Michigan State University-Oakland, and the first students enrolled in 1959. Michigan State University-Oakland was renamed to its present-day name of Oakland University in 1963. OU owns and operates numerous research centers. These research centers include: the Center for Applied Research in Musical Understanding; the Center for Biomedical Research; the Center for Creative and Collaborative Computing; the Center for Integrated Business Research and Education (CIBRE); the Center for Robotics and Advanced Automation; the Eye Research Institute; the Fastening and Joining Research Institute; the Lowry Center for Early Childhood Education; the Nanotech Research & Development Institute; the OU Center for Autism Research, Education and Support (OUCARES); the Pawley Learning Institute; the Product Development and Manufacturing Center and; the Public Affairs Research Laboratory.
OU has a wide-variety of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs that students can choose from; many of which are available in an online and fully asynchronous format. Some of the online programs that are available are a Master of Science in Engineering Management (MEM) degree program, a Master of Science in Safety Management degree program, a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Reading and Language Arts degree program, a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Health and Safety degree program, among many others.
School’s Website: https://www.oakland.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 76.0%
Graduation Rate: 44.0%
Final Score: 120.0/200
18: Ferris State University
Ferris State University is a public research university which is commonly referred to as Ferris or simply as FSU. Ferris State University is located in Big Rapids, Michigan. In addition to the main campus, Ferris State University has programs that are offered through 19 satellite locations in cities throughout the state including Dowagiac, Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing, Traverse City and University Center, Michigan.
The university was originally established in 1884 as the Big Rapids Industrial School and was founded by Woodbridge Nathan Ferris, a New York-born educator and Democratic Statesman who served as the 28th Governor of Michigan. Today Ferris is the ninth-largest university in the State of Michigan based on total student population, with more than 14,500 students that are studying at the main campus, at one of the 19 off-campus locations that are located across the state or through the school’s online education division.
This online education division provides distance learning students with a variety of online and fully asynchronous academic programs that they can choose from, including: a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Management degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BBA) degree program, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Dental Hygiene degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management (HIM) degree program, a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program and a Bachelor of Science in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) Engineering Technology and Energy Management degree program among numerous others.
Ferris State University is one of only two institutions of higher education in the United States that offers a Bachelor’s degree in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR), making it an excellent choice for any student wishing to enter this field.
Freshman Retention Rate: 80.0%
Graduation Rate: 41.0%
Final Score: 121.0/200
17: Northern Michigan University
With online academic programs such as a Associate of Science (A.S.) in Criminal Justice degree program, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in General Psychology degree program, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Loss Prevention Management degree program, a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Education with a Concentration in Learning Disabilities (LD) degree program and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program. Also, a myriad of other asynchronous programs are available for distance learning students to choose from, Northern Michigan University makes obtaining a higher education incredibly practical for anyone, regardless of how far from the school they reside or how busy and hectic their schedule may be.
Northern Michigan University–which is commonly referred to simply as NMU for simplicity sake–is a public research university that is located in Marquette, Michigan. NMU was originally established in 1899 by the Michigan State Legislature as the Northern State Normal School to offer a variety of comprehensive teacher preparation education programs to the areas in and around Michigan’s Upper Peninsula region which was, at the time, sparsely populated and which consisted mostly of untamed countryside.
The Northern State Normal School’s name was changed to the Northern State Teachers College in 1927; from the Northern State Teachers College to the Northern Michigan College of Education in 1942; and from Northern Michigan College of Education to Northern Michigan College in 1955. The school would undergo a final name change to its present-day name of Northern Michigan University in 1963 when, through the State of Michigan’s adoption of a new state constitution, Northern Michigan College was designated as a comprehensive university. It was then granted the ability to confer upon eligible students a graduate degree upon their successful completion of a graduate program.
Today, NMU is organized into four academic divisions: the College of Arts and Sciences; the Walker L. Cisler College of Business; the Graduate Education and Research; the College of Health Sciences and Professional Studies; the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service and; the School of Nursing. It is through these four academic divisions that NMU can offer over 180 different undergraduate degree, and graduate degree programs to their more than 9,000 total enrolled students.
School’s Website: http://www.nmu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 74.0%
Graduation Rate: 48.0%
Final Score: 122.0/200
16: Spring Arbor University
Spring Arbor University is a private, not-for-profit Free Methodist Church-affiliated liberal arts university that is located in Spring Arbor, Michigan. Spring Arbor University was originally established in 1873 by leaders of the Free Methodist Church and, in particular, Reverend Edward Payson Hart, the Second Bishop of the Free Methodist Church. Spring Arbor University is the second-largest Evangelical Christian University that is located in the state of Michigan.
SAU (as the university is commonly referred to as) has institutional accreditation which is provided by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC), which is a United States Department of Education- and a Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)-approved regional accreditor. SAU has also received programmatic accreditation through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for their various Education-related degree programs, such as their online Master of Arts (M.A.) in Education degree program and their Master of Special Education degree program.
In total, SAU offers more than 70 Majors and programs at the undergraduate level at its main campus, five graduate degree programs through off-site locations and a total of 7 graduate degree programs through the university’s online academic division, SAUonline. These educational programs are offered to the university’s entire student body, which exceeds 3,000 students in total. The available programs span across many different areas-of-study and are all taught by Spring Arbor University’s dedicated and experienced staff, ensuring that students enrolled at SAU will obtain a flexible and comprehensive education.
School’s Website: https://www.arbor.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 79.0%
Graduation Rate: 52.0%
Final Score: 131.0/200
15: University of Michigan – UM-Dearborn
The University of Michigan’s Dearborn campus–which is known as UM-Dearborn or only as UM-D–was established in 1959 and is, today, a public research university that is located in Dearborn, Michigan.
UM-Dearborn is one of the two satellite campuses which are member institutions of the University of Michigan (U of M) that are operating under the policies and guidelines of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan. The second satellite campus is located in Flint, Michigan and is known as UM-Flint. UM-Dearborn was originally nationally known and respected for its comprehensive Engineering and Management academic programs.
Today, UM-Dearborn offers to its more than 10,000 total enrolled students a selection of over 90 different academic Majors, 28 Master’s degree programs and 3 Doctoral degree programs which span across all disciplines and even includes many interdisciplinary programs. UM-Dearborn is organized into four different academic colleges: the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters; the College of Engineering and Computer Science; the College of Business and; the School of Education through which the university’s myriad of available academic programs are offered.
Many of the university’s academic programs are available to distance learning students through a comprehensive, highly flexible and asynchronous online program format. In addition to offering full degree programs online, distance learning students can also choose to complete one or more of the myriad of available stand-alone online for-credit courses which can be applied towards meeting the academic requirements for obtaining a degree at UM-Dearborn or a degree at any institute that accepts transfer credits from UM-Dearborn.
These online and asynchronous academic programs are taught by the same highly experience academic faculty members as the on-campus program counterparts, ensuring that all UM-Dearborn students receive the same high-quality and comprehensive education.
School’s Website: https://umdearborn.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 80.0%
Graduation Rate: 53.0%
Final Score: 133.0/200
14: Western Michigan University
Having been originally established in 1903, Western Michigan University is a public research university that is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The school’s founder was Dr. Dwight Bryant Waldo (June 13, 1864 – October 29, 1939), who was a New York-native educator. Waldo served as the institute’s first President and, during his tenure, many women and minorities were given the opportunity to attend the college as he was a firm believer in equality and diversity.
Upon its initial establishment, Western Michigan University was known as the Western State Normal School. WMU–as Western Michigan University is commonly referred–has one of the largest Aviation programs in the United States. In addition, it is the site of the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies, which is an academic conference that is held during the first half of May annually for scholars specializing in, or maintaining an interest in, Medieval Studies as a whole.
WMU is divided into five campuses which are located in and near Kalamazoo: the West Campus (the Main Campus); the East Campus; the Oakland Drive Campus; the Parkview Campus and; the College of Aviation. Western Michigan University also operates several regional sites that offer various academic programs to more than 6,000 students each year. These local sites are located in cities around Michigan, including the cities of Battle Creek; Benton Harbor; Grand Rapids; Lansing; the Metro Detroit Area; Muskegon and; Traverse City among others.
Through Western Michigan University’s various satellite campuses and centers, students can enroll in a variety of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certification programs. A number of them are offered in an online and asynchronous format, such as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Comparative Religion degree program and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Family Studies and Child and Family Development degree program among others.
School’s Website: https://wmich.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 79.0%
Graduation Rate: 54.0%
Final Score: 133.0/200
13: Andrews University
Located in Berrien Springs, Michigan, Andrews University is a private, not-for-profit and Seventh-Day Adventists-affiliated liberal arts university. Andrews University is the flagship university of the Seventh-Day Adventist School System, which is the world’s second-largest Christian school system. Andrews University is also the largest evangelical Christian college or university that is located in the State of Michigan regarding total student enrollment, with a student body which exceeds more than 3,400 total students.
Andrews University consists of eight schools and colleges, through which the university offers to its students a selection of more than 130 undergraduate Majors and 70 graduate Majors. These eight schools and colleges are the School of Architecture and Interior Design; the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Business Administration; the School of Distance Education and International Partnerships; the School of Education; the School of Health Professions; the College of Technology and; the Seventh-Day Adventist Theological Seminary.
Andrews University has a selection of online and asynchronous undergraduate degree programs that students can choose from, including an Associate of Arts in Christian Discipleship degree program, an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in General Studies degree program, an Associate of Science in General Business degree program, a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in General Studies degree program and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion degree program among others.
Additionally, the university also has a wide-selection of graduate degree programs which are available online, such as their Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program, their Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction degree program, their Master of Public Health (MPH) in Nutrition and Wellness degree program, their Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Curriculum and Instruction degree program and their Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Higher Education Administration degree programs.
For students wishing to supplement their education, there are a variety of certification programs which are available, including a Spanish Ministry certification program and a Post-MS Nursing certification program. All of these online programs are taught by the same academic faculty members as each program’s traditional on-campus counterpart.
School’s Website: https://www.andrews.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 80.0%
Graduation Rate: 54.0%
Final Score: 134.0/200
12: Northwood University
Northwood University is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts university that is located in Midland, Michigan. Northwood University originally opened as Northwood Institute when it was first established in 1959 by co-founders Arthur E. Turner and R. Gary Stauffer. In 1982 the school was accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and in 1993, the name was changed from Northwood Institute to Northwood University.
Today, the University maintains four international joint programs, including one with Hotel Institute Montreux in Montreux, Switzerland, which began in the academic year spanning from 2001 to 2002. Northwood University offers to its more than 3,600 total enrolled students a selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certificate-granting programs, all of which span across varying areas-of-study and include a variety of interdisciplinary focuses.
Many of these programs are additionally available for distance learning students to enroll in by being offered via an online and completely asynchronous format. These online courses are taught by the same dedicated and experienced academic faculty members as each of the available programs’ traditional on-campus counterparts.
Some of these online academic programs include a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree program and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) degree program. Additionally, nearly all of the academic programs available through any of the satellite campuses and academic divisions that comprise Northwood University are available in what is known as a Blended format.
A Blended academic format consists of traditional face-to-face learning on-campus and is supplemented by online and asynchronous coursework, combining the experiential learning opportunities of a more traditional academic program with the flexibility of an online program which combines to make for a unique learning experience. The variety and asynchronous nature of these available programs ensure that distance learning students will be able to obtain the quality education that they desire all from the comfort of their home on their time-table.
School’s Website: http://www.northwood.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 78.0%
Graduation Rate: 57.0%
Final Score: 135.0/200
11: Lawrence Technological University
If you’re interested in obtaining a Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree, a Master of Construction Engineering Management degree, a Master of Engineering Management degree, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) degree, a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE) degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree or a Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) degree online and in an asynchronous format, then Lawrence Technological University might be for you.
Lawrence Technological University–which is commonly referred to simply as LTU–is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts university that is located in Southfield, Michigan. LTU was originally established in 1932 in Highland Park as the Lawrence Institute of Technology (LIT) by founder Russell E. Lawrence. The university moved to Southfield in 1955. The school’s campus is home to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Affleck House (the Gregor S. and Elizabeth B. Affleck House; a 1940’s constructed “Usonian” home that is located in the Bloomfield Hills neighborhood of Midtown Detroit) and the Detroit Center for Design and Technology which is also located in Midtown Detroit.
Lawrence Technological University is organized into four academic divisions, the College of Architecture and Design; the College of Engineering; the College of Arts and Sciences and; the College of Management. Through these, the university offers to its more than 4,100 total enrolled students a selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including the previously mentioned online academic programs. The online educational programs and the on-campus academic programs are all taught by the same academic faculty members.
School’s Website: https://www.ltu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 81.0%
Graduation Rate: 56.0%
Final Score: 137.0/200
10: Central Michigan University
Central Michigan University is a public research university that is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and which was originally established in 1892. Central Michigan University (or CMU, as the school is commonly called for the sake of simplicity) is one of the largest universities located in the State of Michigan and is ranked as one of the 100-largest public schools in the United States.
The university has more than 20,000 total enrolled students at its Mount Pleasant campus and an additional 7,000 students that are enrolled in an academic program fully online. These approximately 27,000 students can choose from a variety of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs which are offered through the eight different academic divisions into which the university is organized.
These divisions are: the College of Business Administration; the College of Communication and Fine Arts; the College of Education and Human Services; the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions; the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences; the College of Medicine; the College of Science and Engineering and; the College of Graduate Studies.
The Central Michigan University College of Graduate Studies has more than 70 different graduate degree programs at the Master’s, Specialist and Doctoral academic levels available for students to choose from. These graduate degree programs, in addition to all of the available undergraduate degree programs, span across numerous different areas-of-study, such as Education, Fashion Design, Psychology, Healthcare, Business and the Information Sciences among many others.
School’s Website: https://www.cmich.edu/Pages/default.aspx
Freshman Retention Rate: 79.0%
Graduation Rate: 59.0%
Final Score: 138.0/200
9: Cornerstone University
Cornerstone University is a private, not-for-profit and independent Christian-affiliated liberal arts university that is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cornerstone University was originally founded in 1941 and was known as the Baptist Bible Institute. The institute was accredited in 1972 as a degree-granting collegiate institute and, to adequately and clearly reflect the newly granted ability to confer degrees, the school’s name was changed to Grand Rapids Baptist College. In 1993 Grand Rapids Baptist College absorbed the Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music. In 1999, following approval by the State of Michigan, Cornerstone College and the Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary merged to become Cornerstone University.
Students that attend Cornerstone University are required to abide by a “Lifestyle Statement” that is intended to reflect trinitarianism. The university offers to its approximately 3,000 total students a selection of more than 60 academic programs that span across numerous areas-of-study, including the Arts, the Humanities, the Sciences, Biblical and Ministry Studies, Teacher Education, Technology, Business, and Journalism.
Cornerstone University has obtained institutional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC) and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS).
Additionally, Cornerstone University’s Social Work program has programmatic accreditation through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and their Music programs have programmatic accreditation through the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada’s mission statement is “…to promote the improvement and enhancement of theological schools for the benefit of communities of faith and the broader public.” ATS is recognized by both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the United States Department of Education as an approved accrediting body.
School’s Website: https://www.cornerstone.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 79.0%
Graduation Rate: 60.0%
Final Score: 139.0/200
8: Madonna University
Madonna University is a private, not-for-profit and independent Roman Catholic-affiliated (Franciscan) liberal arts university that is located in Livonia, Michigan. Madonna University was originally established by the Felician Sisters in 1937 and was formerly known as the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary College.
Today, the university is still conducted by the Felician Sisters, who are officially known as the Congregation of Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi. The Felician Sisters are a religious institute of Pontifical right whose members each profess their vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience publicly and who follow the evangelical way of life), Madonna University has extension campuses in southwest Detroit, Orchard Lake and Clinton Township, Michigan. Additional courses are also taught at the Macomb University Center and the University Center in Gaylord, Michigan.
Although Madonna University has always maintained an adamant affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church (Franciscan), students of all faiths are welcome to (and do) attend, and the University employs faculty members regardless of their held religious beliefs. Madonna University is among one of the largest Roman Catholic (Franciscan) universities which is located in the United States. The university offers to its more than 4,500 total enrolled students a selection of over 100 different undergraduate Majors and a range of 35 Master’s degree-granting programs. Madonna University also offers one Doctoral degree–a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program–which began being provided to students for the first time during the 2009 to 2010 academic school year.
Other areas-of-study that Madonna University’s various traditional on-campus academic programs and online and fully asynchronous educational programs include: Clinical Psychology, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Education, History, and Healthcare among others. The traditional on-campus academic programs, the online and asynchronous academic programs and the Blended (hybrid courses that combine on-campus instruction with online coursework) academic programs are all each taught by the same experienced and caring academic faculty members. This ensures that each and every Madonna University student will receive the same comprehensive and high-quality education regardless of how they choose to obtain their higher education in their desired career field.
School’s Website: https://www.madonna.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 82.0%
Graduation Rate: 61.0%
Final Score: 143.0/200
7: Kettering University
Kettering University (which was formerly known as the General Motors Institute of Technology) is a private, not-for-profit STEM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) University that is located in Flint, Michigan. Kettering University was originally established in 1919 as The School of Automotive Trades. The school’s founder was Albert Sobey who opened the school under the direction of the Industrial Fellowship of Flint.
The School of Automotive Trades had its name changed to the Flint Institute of Technology in 1923 before it was acquired by General Motors in 1926. After General Motors had acquired the Flint Institute of Technology, they changed its name to the General Motors Institute of Technology and, eventually, to the General Motors Institute in 1932. General Motors Institute was sometimes referred to as the “West Point of Industry.”
GMI focused on creating business and industry leaders through a unique co-op teaching model which was initially developed at the University of Cincinnati in 1907. GMI also pioneered the freshmen-level manufacturing courses of Production Processes I & II and the Institute also pioneered the creation and instruction of various specialized Automotive degrees.
After General Motors reduced their automotive manufacturing operations in Flint, the company and the university finally separated in 1982. General Motors Institute’s name was changed to GMI Engineering and Management Institute; the letters “GMI” were retained to allow easy identification with the old General Motors Institute despite no longer being owned or affiliated with the company any longer. GMI Engineering and Management Institute’s name was formally changed to its present-day name of Kettering University in 1998. It was named after Charles Franklin Kettering (August 29, 1876 – November 24 or 25, 1958), a businessman, engineer, and inventor that held 186 patents and who additionally worked as the head of the Research and Development department for General Motors from 1920 to 1947. Among Kettering’s most widely used automotive developments are his electrical starting motor and leaded gasoline. Additionally, in association with the DuPont Chemical Company, he was also responsible for the invention of Freon refrigerant that is used to this day in refrigeration, air conditioning systems and various other coolant systems.
These are just a few of his numerous inventions, discoveries and contributions to the automotive industry, which is likely one of the reasons that GMI Engineering and Management Institute would finally be named in honor of him. This name change to Kettering University would also have the added benefit of helping the school to have a more distinct, separate identity from General Motors as well as acted as a way to signal to prospective students that the university had evolved into a more diverse school than what the first automotive-focused Institute was. Today, Kettering University offers a wide variety of undergraduate, graduate and certification programs, both on-campus and online.
School’s Website: https://www.kettering.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 93.0%
Graduation Rate: 54.0%
Final Score: 147.0/200
6: University of Detroit Mercy
The University of Detroit Mercy is a private, not-for-profit Roman Catholic
(Jesuit and Sisters of Mercy)-Affiliated coeducational university that is located in Detroit, Michigan. The University of Detroit Mercy–which is commonly referred to just as Detroit Mercy or UD Mercy–was originally established in 1877 as the College of Detroit.
The College of Detroit was created by the efforts of the Society of Jesus, under the leadership of John Baptist Miège, S.J. (September 18, 1815 – July 21, 1884), who was a Savoyard-born Jesuit prelate who served as the Vicar Apostolic of the State of Kansas from 1851 to 1874. The college would eventually develop into the University of Detroit. In 1927 Father John P. McNichols, S.J., the then-President of the University of Detroit, established a second campus. In 1941, the Sisters of Mercy opened the Mercy College of Detroit.
Both schools would go on to experience lots of success. In 1990, despite some opposition from both sides, these two institutions would merge to form the present-day University of Detroit Mercy. Today, the University of Detroit Mercy is organized into seven academic divisions: the School of Architecture; the College of Business Administration; the School of Dentistry; the College of Engineering and Science; the College of Health Professions and the McAuley School of Nursing; the School of Law and; the College of Liberal Arts and Education. Through these seven schools and colleges, more than 5,000 total enrolled students can choose from a variety of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and certification programs which are offered in both a traditional on-campus format and a fully asynchronous online format.
Some of the online academic programs include: a Master of Science in Product Development degree program, a Master of Science in Nursing with a Major in Health Systems Management (HSM) degree program, a Master of Arts in Economics degree program, a Master of Science in Computer and Information Systems with a Major in Software Management degree program and a Master of Science in Information Assurance with a Major in Cybersecurity degree program, among many other highly comprehensive and flexible academic programs.
School’s Website: https://www.udmercy.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 85.0%
Graduation Rate: 63.0%
Final Score: 148.0/200
5: Grand Valley State University
With numerous for-credit courses that span across a variety of different areas-of-study such as Healthcare, Criminal Justice, Public Administration, Education, Management, Social Studies, the Liberal Arts, the Sciences and Nursing for students–both traditional on-campus and distance learning students–to choose from, Grand Valley State University provides busy adults with a highly flexible and yet comprehensive education.
GVSU offers to its more than 25,500 total enrolled students a selection of academic programs that span across more than 200 areas-of-study and includes 82 undergraduate Majors and 36 different graduate degree programs (which itself includes 74 different graduate emphases and certificate programs). Grand Valley State University’s programs are offered in the undergraduate and graduate certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctoral degree levels and are available in a traditional on-campus format, an asynchronous online format and in a Hybrid / Blended format, which supplements the traditional on-campus programs with online coursework that students can complete at a pace that better suits their personal and professional needs.
Grand Valley State University (which is commonly referred to as Grand Valley or simply as GVSU–is a public liberal arts university that is located in Allendale, Michigan. GVSU was originally established in 1960 as the Grand Valley State College. The college was created by the Michigan State Legislature two years after they had commissioned a study that ultimately demonstrated a need for a four-year college in the Grand Rapids area, which was (and still is) Michigan’s second-largest metropolitan area. William Milliken, the then-Michigan Governor, signed into law for Grand Valley State College’s name to be changed to Grand Valley State Colleges in 1973. However, the “s” was eventually dropped from the name, which was reverted to Grand Valley State College in 1983 when the college’s academic programs were reorganized into divisions.
In 1987 the Michigan State Legislature passed a law renaming the college to Grand Valley State University and granted it with the ability to confer graduate degrees on eligible students upon successful program completion. Today, Grand Valley State University is one of America’s 100 largest universities in the nation as well as the fifth-largest university in the State of Michigan concerning total student enrollment. GVSU operates three campuses: the main campus that is located in Allendale and two satellite campuses that are located in the surrounding area. Smaller education centers that offer a more modest selection of academic programs to students are also operated by the university in the cities of Muskegon, Detroit and Traverse City, Michigan.
School’s Website: https://www.gvsu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 84.0%
Graduation Rate: 67.0%
Final Score: 151.0/200
4: Michigan Technological University
Michigan Technological University provides students with a wide variety of online and fully asynchronous academic programs from which they can choose from, including: a Master of Science in Applied Science Education degree program, a Master of Engineering (M.Eng) in Hybrid Electric Drive Vehicle Engineering degree program, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree program, a Master of Science in Integrated Geospatial Technology degree program, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree program, a Master of Science in Medical Informatics degree program and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mechanical Engineering with a Focus on Engineering Mechanics degree program, among many others that distance learning students can choose from. All of Michigan Technological University’s various online and asynchronous academic programs are taught by the same highly qualified academic faculty members as the university’s traditional on-campus program counterparts.
Michigan Technological University (which is commonly referred to simply as MTU) is a public research university that is located in Houghton, Michigan. MTU was originally established in 1885 as the Michigan Mining School. The Michigan Mining School’s creation was brought about due to Jay Abel Hubbell vehemently urging the State Legislature to create a school with the goal of training mining engineers. Additionally, the land for the school’s first building was donated by Jay Abel Hubbell. Jay Abel Hubbell (September 15, 1829 – October 13, 1900) was a Michigan-native politician and judge who served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives; Hubbell served from 1873 to 1883 making him the first to represent Michigan’s 9th congressional district.
A few years after the school’s initial creation, total student enrollment grew to such a point that the school’s name no longer reflected its purpose. Due to this, the name was changed to the Michigan College of Mines in 1897. This second name lasted through World War I until the school began offering a larger selection of degrees that spanned across a wider variety of areas-of-study. Once again the name was changed in 1927, this time to the Michigan College of Mining and Technology. The name would later be modified a final time, this time to its present-day name of Michigan Technological University. This particular name was chosen in order to retain the nickname “Michigan Tech” that had already been in use since 1927 while appropriately reflecting the fact that the institute was now operating as a four-year university.
School’s Website: http://www.mtu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 87.0%
Graduation Rate: 65.0%
Final Score: 152.0/200
3: Calvin College
Calvin College is a private, not-for-profit Christian Reformed Church-affiliated liberal arts college that is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Calvin College was originally established in 1876 by the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The institute that the Christian Reformed Church in North America initially created was known as the Calvin College and Theological Seminary to train church ministers. The seminary part of the Calvin College and Theological Seminary would later become the Calvin Theological Seminary.
In 1894, Calvin College and Theological Seminary expanded the academic curriculum that they offered to serve the individuals who did not want to enroll as pre-theological students. This effectively turned the institution into a preparatory school. In 1900, the school’s curriculum was broadened even further, which made it more attractive to students interested in a career in teaching or who were interested in preparing themselves for enrolling into a professional studies course at a university. In 1901, the first female student was admitted to the school. In 1920, Calvin College officially transitioned into a proper four-year collegiate institute. This four-year collegiate institute would follow the liberal arts educational philosophy of the Free University (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; established 1880) in Amsterdam as was originally laid out by the Dutch theologian and statesman Abraham Kuyper.
Calvin College is accredited by the regional accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (HLC). Calvin College offers to its more than 4,000 total enrolled students a selection of Majors and Minors that represent 109 different academic or pre-professional fields. Some of the areas-of-study that are available include Biblical and Ministry Studies, Engineering, Business and Nursing among others. Distance learning students can enroll in one or more of the many for-credit courses that are offered by Calvin College in an online and asynchronous format. These courses can be used to meet the requirements for one of the degree programs at Calvin or one of the degree programs at a university or college that accepts transfer credits from Calvin.
School’s Website: https://calvin.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 86.0%
Graduation Rate: 74.0%
Final Score: 160.0/200
2: Michigan State University
Michigan State University (which is commonly referred to simply as MSU) is a public land-grant and sea-grant research university that is located in East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State University was originally established in 1855, and the University served as a model for land-grant universities that would later be created under the Morrill Land Act of 1862 which allowed for the creation of colleges in the United States using the monetary proceeds from various federal land sales.
The university when it was founded was known as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, and it was one of the country’s first institutions of higher education that taught scientifically-backed agricultural processes and theories to its students. Throughout its long and storied history, MSU has pioneered the studies of product packaging, hospitality business, supply chain management and communication sciences among others.
Today, MSU is one of the largest universities in the United States regarding total student enrollment. More than 50,500 total students are in attendance at Michigan State University, and they are enrolled in one of the many traditional on-campus academic programs or asynchronous online academic programs that are offered through Michigan State University’s various academic divisions. Some of the available online and fully asynchronous programs that the university’s many distance learning students can choose from include: a Master of Arts in Education degree program, a Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program, a Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum degree program, a Master of Arts in Special Education K-12 degree program, a Master of Arts in Health Professions Education degree program and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education degree program, among numerous others which span across numerous more areas-of-study.
School’s Website: https://msu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 92.0%
Graduation Rate: 77.0%
Final Score: 169.0/200
1: University of Michigan – UM-Ann Arbor
The top school in our Top 20 Best Online Schools in Michigan is UM-Ann Arbor. UM-Ann Arbor obtained an astounding score of 187 total points as their Final Score. Their Freshman Retention Rate was an enviable 97.0% (with 97.0% of all freshmen students returning for their sophomore year) and a Graduation Rate that is at a praise-worthy 90.0% (meaning 90.0% of all degree-seeking students go on to obtain the degree from their chosen academic program in a timely manner). Hopefully, by examining UM-Ann Arbor’s history and the present-day university as a whole, we will be able to shed some light as to how they have obtained such a great Final Score.
UM-Ann Arbor offers to their distance learning students a wide variety of online and fully asynchronous academic programs that span across numerous different areas-of-study and are available in the undergraduate degree, graduate degree and certification levels. Students enrolled at UM-Ann Arbor are eligible to enroll in an academic program that is offered at one of the other campuses that comprise the University of Michigan system.
Some of the online undergraduate programs that are available are: a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree program (offered online through UM-Flint), a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program (offered online through UM-Flint), a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program (offered online through UM-Flint) and a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (BSRT) degree program (offered online through UM-Flint). Online graduate programs include a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Automotive Engineering degree program, a Master of Energy Systems Engineering (ESE) degree program and a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Global Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering degree program, among others. Additionally, there’s a Data Science graduate certificate program and a Museum Studies graduate certificate program available in addition to many other certificate programs.
UM-Ann Arbor is a public sea-grant and space-grant research university that is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. UM-Ann Arbor was originally established in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad (or the University of Michigan) 20 years before the Michigan Territory became a state. This makes UM-Ann Arbor the state’s oldest university. In 1821, the University was officially renamed to the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto a 40-acre lot of land. This lot of land is now known as Central Campus. UM-Ann Arbor is considered by many to be one of the foremost research universities in the United States, and the university is classified as a Doctoral Research University with a Very High Research Activity rating by the Carnegie Foundation.
School’s Website: https://www.umich.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 97.0%
Graduation Rate: 90.0%
Final Score: 187.0/200