Michigan Colleges & Universities

Michigan colleges represent everything that is right with American higher education--opportunity, affordability and choice. From big time campuses to distance learning portals, schools in Michigan cater to the learning styles and individual needs of students worldwide. Add to that Michigan's thriving economic scene, and you have the makings of an ideal postsecondary education environment.

Michigan Colleges: Meaningful Career Training in a Thriving Metropolis: Michigan's higher education environment draws tens of thousands of students from across the globe to study and prepare for their careers. And it's no wonder--high school grads and midcareer changers know the reputation and opportunity that Michigan colleges and universities offer. For example, Michigan State University has one of the largest enrollments of any U.S. school, while the University of Michigan is a leading research institution. The bottom line is that schools in Michigan can help to develop the total student inside of you in preparation for a dynamic profession.

Michigan Colleges: Academic Pursuits for Every Professional Aspiration: The higher education scene in Michigan is diverse and multifaceted, so you won't be confined to a narrow set of choices with respect to colleges and programs. Michigan boasts a collection of 15 private liberal arts colleges, 22 private colleges and universities, 11 seminaries, 17 public colleges and universities, 31 community colleges, and eight for-profit colleges and universities.

With respect to student population, Michigan Live reveals that a total of 289,475 students were enrolled in Michigan's 15 public universities in fall 2007.

Michigan Live also sheds some light on the average tuition costs of colleges in Michigan. Michigan's average public four-year college tuition in 2007 was $8,508. The state ranks sixth behind Vermont, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Illinois. The average tuition of Michigan's community colleges was $2,338 in the same year. Michigan's public university tuition saw an increase of about 11 percent, while private colleges increased a modest 6 percent.

Michigan Economy: Strong in the Face of Economic Challenges: The Michigan labor market is a study in duality. The state is facing the same economic challenges blanketing the entire country, but annual employment and salary remain strong and steady. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the statewide mean annual salary hit $42,930 in may 2009. That figure is just off the national average of $43,460. The mean hourly wage for graduates of colleges in Michigan was $20.64 in the same period and in line with the national average of $20.90.

The composition of the Michigan statewide economy represents a mixture of manufacturing, trade and technical, and business services. The major industries leading the state economy include trade, transportation, and utilities (710,300 employed); government (642,300 employed); education and health services (622,300 employed); professional and business services (520,600 employed); and, manufacturing (483,300 employed).

One of the key aspects that graduates of colleges in Michigan appreciate is the number of Fortune 500 businesses that make their headquarters there. Fortune Magazine lists the following companies as established and functional within the state's global economy as of May 2009:

  • • General Motors (Detroit) - $148,979M in revenues
  • • Ford Motor (Dearborn) - $146,277M in revenues
  • • Dow Chemical (Midland) - $57,514M in revenues
  • • GMAC (Detroit) - $35,445M in revenues
  • • Delphi (Troy) - $20,383M in revenues
  • • Whirlpool (Benton Harbor) - $18,907M in revenues

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation reveals several key green industries that graduates of Michigan schools may focus on to get an even greater jump in the hiring market. These include alternative energy, life sciences, homeland security and defense, and the advanced manufacturing industry.

The writer Kelly C. Richardson, EdS is a freelance writer, career adviser and educational consultant. He's written content for McGraw-Hill, Follett Educational Services and Pearson Higher Education.

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