Michigan vs. Michigan State

Should I go to University of Michigan or Michigan State University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Michigan or Michigan State is the better college for you.

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University of Michigan vs. Michigan State University comparison
University of Michigan Michigan State University College 3 College 4
University of Michigan Michigan State University
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Location Ann Arbor, MI East Lansing, MI
Setting Midsize City Rural Fringe
Students 47,907 49,695
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $15,520 $14,460
Tuition (Out of State) $51,838 $39,766
Room & Board $12,034 $10,522
Avg Net Price $17,832 $16,655
Avg Grant Aid $21,444 $12,786
% Receiving Grant Aid 61% 67%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 26.1% 76.3%
Avg High School GPA 3.87 3.74
Admissions Standards Elite Difficult
Applicant Competition High
ACT Range 31/34 23/29
SAT Range 1340/1520 1100/1300
Application Deadline Feb 1, 2022


Graduation Rate 90% 77%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $74,400 $60,000
Making Student Loan Payments 78% 68%
Median Student Loan Debt $20,103 $25,484
Median Loan Payment $207 $263
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Comparable Facts

  • Michigan State University is larger than than Michigan based on total student enrollment (49,695 students vs. 47,907 students)

Michigan vs. Michigan State Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Michigan or Michigan State?

  • University of Michigan is 7.3% more expensive to attend than Michigan State for in-state tuition ($15,520.00 vs. $14,460.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 30.4% higher at Michigan than Michigan State University ($51,838.00 vs. $39,766.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Michigan State University than Michigan ($16,655 vs. $17,832)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Michigan State University are 14.4% lower than costs at University of Michigan ($10,522 vs. $12,034)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Michigan State University than University of Michigan (67% vs. 61%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by University of Michigan students is 67.7% larger than aid received Michigan State University ($21,444 vs. $12,786)

Michigan vs. Michigan State Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Michigan or Michigan State? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between Michigan State or Michigan .

  • The average SAT score at University of Michigan (1384) is 225 points higher than at Michigan State (1159)
  • Incoming Michigan students have a 5 point higher average ACT score (31) than students at Michigan State (26)
  • Michigan State has a higher acceptance rate (76.3%) than Michigan (26.1%)

Michigan vs. Michigan State Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Michigan or Michigan State? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between Michigan State and Michigan.

  • The graduation rate at Michigan is higher that Michigan State University (90% vs. 77%)
  • Graduates from University of Michigan earn on average $14,400 more per year than Michigan State graduates after ten years. ($74,400 vs. $60,000)
  • University of Michigan students graduate with a $5,381 lower median federal student loan debt than Michigan State graduates. ($20,103 vs. $25,484)
  • Michigan graduates are paying $56 less per month on federal student loans than Michigan State graduates. ($207 vs. $263)
  • More Michigan graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Michigan State students, three years after graduation. (78% vs. 68%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/