Home College Towns Ranking Michigan’s State Universities: Here’s Our Top Ten

Ranking Michigan’s State Universities: Here’s Our Top Ten

Ranking Michigan’s State Universities: Here’s Our Top Ten

8.  Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Eastern Michigan University is our number 8 pick. Sitting pretty in Ypsilanti, which is 35 miles west of Detroit and 8 miles East of Ann Arbor, this is a city of about 20,000 people. It is an interesting city that was once a French-Canadian trading post on the east side of the Huron River and incorporated as Woodruff’s Grove. On the west side of the river, a community was formed and named Ypsilanti for a war hero in the Greek War of Independence. Eventually, the two merged and kept the name Ypsilanti.

The university costs about $22,400. annually. The average salary for graduates is $36,000. leaving students with an average debt of $26,800.

Many students go into social work from this institution, but there are 7 colleges and schools to choose from on this tree-lined campus. Wander through and look at the brick and glass buildings as you figure out what you want to do with your life. Occasionally look up as I think they have to mow the roof of the science building.

The South campus has older buildings and more greenery for its 23,000 students to enjoy. There are 340 student organizations and Division I athletics. Academics are enhanced by co-ops and internships. The campus is 63% White, 21% African-American, 2% Asian, 3% Hispanic, 2% International, and 5% unknown.

If you are not sold yet, consider this, Orientation and Welcome Weekend in September features Fajita Fest. Come on, you know you want to be part of this.

By Dwight Burdette (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Dwight Burdette (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

7. Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan

By Kpotes - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
By KpotesOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Number 7 is Northern Michigan University in Marquette. There are 147 degree programs to help  9,000 students find their niche in life. The top major is Clinical Laboratory Science, but also offered are majors like diagnostic molecular science and cryogenics, ski management and wildland firefighting. Northern Michigan has a community college program as well as the traditional 4-year program.

Athletics are Division I and Division II and compete in the Superior Dome, the largest wooden dome in the world. Olympic teams train on this site.

For those who want fresh air fun, there are miles of snowmobiling, hiking, cross-country skiing, and bike paths to enjoy as well as beaches at Presque Isle Park and Lake Superior. Skiing and snowboarding are nearby in the winter at Marquette Mountain. About seven and a half miles away is the Echo Lake Nature Preserve for more outdoor enjoyment.

The 300 student organizations include ROTC, Greek Life, and so many other clubs and group activities. One student program that is open to all students regardless of GPA is the Superior Edge Program. About one-third of the students get involved with it, and they participate in one of the four components; citizenship, diversity awareness, leadership and real-world application of classroom theory. Sounds like a great way to get involved. Very creative idea.

The campus is a mix of 85% White, 2% African-American, 1% Asian, 2% Hispanic, 2% International, 2% Native American, and 4% unknown. The annual cost is around $21,300., average debt at the end of 4 years is $24,800., and average salary at graduation is $36,000.

6. Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

By No machine-readable author provided. Cjh1452000 assumed (based on copyright claims). - No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., Public Domain
By Own work assumed (based on copyright claims). Public Domain

Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant is home to 20,000+ students and captured our number 6 spot. There are also 7,000 students online and some crazy number like 40 other locations. CMU offers over 200 academic undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and specialist  programs.

The College of Medicine was recently opened to help address the shortage of primary care physicians in the area. Many students major in education, but other highlights include entrepreneurship, audiology, psychology and physician assistant, as well as the highly rated neuroscience program. There are 150 study abroad options in 40 countries. Faculty/student ratio is 20 to 1.

CMU promotes its Leadership Safari program, which is offered to all incoming students to educate them on the benefits of campus involvement and how to be successful academically in the 8 colleges.

Students also learn about the close to 400 student organizations and clubs, such as intramural sports, theater and dance group, Greek Life, or perhaps the organization that has travel opportunities providing you a chance to run, sail or fly somewhere out in the world (don’t tell your parents about this one yet). Athletics are Division I.

The city of Mount Pleasant has 15 parks, 5 golf courses, water fun on the Chippewa River, shopping and dining, a craft beer festival (which, as we know from previous America Unraveled articles, are always fun), a farmers’ market and a flea market (again previously covered by some of my AU friends). The cost to attend is $22,900., average debt at graduation is $27,800., and the average salary at graduation is $38,000.  And to top off an already outstanding academic opportunity is the school motto “wisdom, virtue, friendship.” I love it!



  1. Thank you for ranking Michigan Technological University #1 among public universities in Michigan. We here at Michigan Tech think so too. However, some of your figures are inaccurate. The total cost of a year at Tech for in-state students (tuition, room & board) is $24,439, not $27,700, and the average starting salary of a graduate is $62,800, not $52,000. Once again, thanks for recognizing the excellent education offered by Michigan Tech.


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