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Local News

Michigan colleges rank above national average, but low scores and graduation rates mark areas for improvement

Credit: iStock

Anzhe Zhang

Michigan is one of the 16 states and U.S. territories with more than 150 colleges or universities, according to a study compiled with data from the Department of Education that measures SAT scores, tuition, and more within states for 2022.

Among Michigan’s 171 schools, 47 are public institutions while 124 are private, placing the state well into the upper echelon when it comes to the number of institutions for learning within a state.

In spite of lower attendance rates plaguing smaller, more regional schools, two of the state’s largest flagship universities, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Michigan State University, have seen a growing student population.

Michigan ranks twelfth in the nation when it comes to student population, with a total of 542,975 students. It ranks lower than states in the region like Ohio and Illinois with 651,954 and 742,177 students, respectively, but higher than nearby states like Minnesota, with 410,120 students. 

Like other states with a big student population, the students-to-faculty ratio in Michigan is high, with an average of 14.09 students to one faculty.

Michigan falls squarely in the middle when it comes to SAT scores and graduation rate, signifying an area that needs improvement. Students in Michigan who enrolled in college scored an average of 1,122 points on the SAT while the graduation rate hovered at 45.34 percent. 

While these two categories show Michigan is ahead compared to nearly half the states across the nation, it also highlights the difference between Michigan and other states and territories, like the District of Columbia with an average SAT score of 1,252 points and Rhode Island, where the graduation rate is 70.17 percent.

Elsewhere, tuition for Michigan students averaged $18,713 dollars, with state residents paying $16,006 dollars, while the acceptance rate for schools averaged 72.83 percent.