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2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan

60 Colleges
$42,796 Avg Salary*
52% Avg Grad Rate*

It's not easy to decide which college to attend when you have so many options available. College Factual has developed its Top Michigan Schools for Returning Adults ranking as a crucial tool you can use to help make the decision.

Our analysis looked at 60 schools in Michigan to determine which ones were the best for adult learners and other students who are considered non-traditional. Instead of depending on subjective information, we focus on over 20 objective factors to determine this ranking. These factors include such things as loan default rate, degree completion, and distance learning options to name a few.

Non-traditional students make up the bulk of today's college students and includes anyone who is attending college part-time, a returning or transfer student, or an adult learner (over the age of 24).

Get more details on our ranking methodology.

Customizing Your List

Refine this list by location and field of study. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as value or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as veterans.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head!

Top Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

Our analysis found Michigan State University to be the best school for non-traditional students in Michigan in this year’s ranking. Michigan State is a large public school situated in East Lansing, Michigan. It awarded 8,997 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school boasts a 6-year graduation rate of 77%, which is excellent when compared to the national rate of 62%. The school charges $519 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State make an average of $53,600 per year during the early years of their career.

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#2

Siena Heights University

Adrian, Michigan

A rank of #2 on our Best Colleges For Non-Traditional Students in Michigan list means Siena Heights University is a great place for adult learners and/or non-traditional students working on their bachelor’s degree. Adrian, Michigan is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 756 students in 2018-2019.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $530 per credit hour. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $42,000 a year.

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#3

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Out of the 60 schools in Michigan that were part of this year’s ranking of the best schools for adult learners and non-traditional students, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor landed the #3 spot on the list. U-M is a large public school situated in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It awarded 7,815 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.1%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The school charges $644 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $63,400 a year.

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#4

Spring Arbor University

Spring Arbor, Michigan

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Spring Arbor University helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for non-traditional learners in Michigan. Spring Arbor, Michigan is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 442 students in 2018-2019.

The school charges $705 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Spring Arbor is $41,000 during the early years of their career.

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#5

Ferris State University

Big Rapids, Michigan

One of the best schools for adult learners and other non-traditional students is Ferris State University. The school came in at #5 in Michigan in this year’s ranking. Ferris is located in Big Rapids, Michigan and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,493 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $442. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Ferris is $44,500 during the early years of their career.

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#6

Madonna University

Livonia, Michigan

Madonna University ranked #6 on this year’s Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan list. Livonia, Michigan is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 585 students in 2018-2019.

The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $770. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $40,900 a year.

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#7

Rochester College

Rochester Hills, Michigan

Rochester College did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking, coming in at #7. Located in Rochester Hills, Michigan, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 228 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $730 per credit hour. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Rochester College go into careers with an average salary of $35,300 during the early years of their career.

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#8

Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Central Michigan University ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan list. This fairly large public school is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and it awarded 4,343 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

A high percentage of the school is made up of adult learners. 28% of the students are 25 years or older. The school charges $427 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan go into careers with an average salary of $41,900 during the early years of their career.

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#9

Oakland University

Rochester Hills, Michigan

Oakland University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking, coming in at #9. Oakland is located in Rochester Hills, Michigan and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 3,500 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

There are 5,284 adult students enrolled in the school, which is 28% of the student body. Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $484 per credit hour. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Oakland is $43,100 during the early years of their career.

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#10

Michigan Technological University

Houghton, Michigan

Michigan Technological University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking, coming in at #10. Michigan Tech is a public institution located in Houghton, Michigan. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,197 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The student loan default rate at the school is 2.8%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $650. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Michigan Tech is $66,400 during the early years of their career.

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#11

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Western Michigan University landed the #11 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking. Kalamazoo, Michigan is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 3,824 students in 2018-2019.

The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $504. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $45,000 a year.

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#12

Cornerstone University

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Cornerstone University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking, coming in at #12. Cornerstone is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It awarded 416 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school charges $975 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Cornerstone make an average of $35,400 per year during the early years of their career.

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#13

Lake Superior State University

Sault Ste Marie, Michigan

Lake Superior State University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking. Located in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, the small public school awarded 393 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The school charges $500 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $37,700 a year.

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#14

Northern Michigan University

Marquette, Michigan

Northern Michigan University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking, coming in at #14. Marquette, Michigan is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,219 students in 2018-2019.

The school charges $448 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University is $35,500 during the early years of their career.

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#15

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, Michigan

Eastern Michigan University came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking. Eastern Michigan University is a fairly large public school located in Ypsilanti, Michigan that handed out 3,635 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $438 per credit hour. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $39,300 a year.

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#16

Andrews University

Berrien Springs, Michigan

Andrews University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking, coming in at #16. Andrews University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Berrien Springs, Michigan that handed out 313 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

As an adult learner you’ll be in good company. 50% of the school is older than 24. The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $1,208. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Andrews make an average of $45,200 per year during the early years of their career.

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#17

University of Detroit Mercy

Detroit, Michigan

With a ranking of #17, University of Detroit Mercy did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan list. Detroit Mercy is located in Detroit, Michigan and has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 752 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

A high percentage of the school is made up of adult learners. 39% of the students are 25 years or older. The school charges $1,080 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Detroit Mercy make an average of $47,100 per year during the early years of their career.

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#18

Grand Valley State University

Allendale, Michigan

Grand Valley State University came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking. GVSU is located in Allendale, Michigan and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 5,421 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.8%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The school charges $553 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $42,800 a year.

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#19

Aquinas College Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

With a ranking of #19, Aquinas College Michigan did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan list. Grand Rapids, Michigan is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 378 students in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.4%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $518. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Aquinas College Michigan make an average of $37,300 per year during the early years of their career.

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#20

Wayne State University

Detroit, Michigan

Wayne State University landed the #20 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking. Wayne State is a large public school situated in Detroit, Michigan. It awarded 3,652 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $434 per credit hour. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State is $40,800 during the early years of their career.

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#21

Davenport University

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Davenport University ranked #21 on this year’s Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan list. Davenport University is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan and has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,000 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The school charges $767 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Davenport University is $30,700 during the early years of their career.

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#22

University of Michigan - Dearborn

Dearborn, Michigan

With a ranking of #22, University of Michigan - Dearborn did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan list. University of Michigan - Dearborn is a medium-sized public school located in Dearborn, Michigan that handed out 1,486 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $494 per credit hour. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UM Dearborn make an average of $48,600 per year during the early years of their career.

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#23

University of Michigan - Flint

Flint, Michigan

University of Michigan - Flint did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking, coming in at #23. Located in Flint, Michigan, the medium-sized public school handed out 1,096 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $475. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $40,600 a year.

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#24

Saginaw Valley State University

University Center, Michigan

Saginaw Valley State University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking, coming in at #24. Saginaw Valley State University is a public institution located in University Center, Michigan. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,527 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $346 per credit hour. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $39,300 a year.

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#25

Macomb Community College

Warren, Michigan

Macomb Community College came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Michigan ranking.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $190 per credit hour. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Macomb Community College make an average of $32,500 per year during the early years of their career.

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Best Colleges in the Great Lakes Region

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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