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Accredited Online Colleges in Michigan: What Are the Best Virtual Online Colleges in Michigan?

Farah Abdullah - September 01, 2022

Are you looking for the best online colleges in Michigan? If so, this article will give you all the answers you need. The best accredited online colleges in Michigan can help you pursue a successful career. These online schools in Michigan offer the flexibility to study and learn at your own pace.

Online education gives students the chance to achieve their goals without boundaries. There are numerous virtual schools in Michigan that provide quality education and equal opportunities to online learners. Below you will find tips for choosing the best online school, an overview of the programs on offer, and a deep dive into the top accredited online colleges in Michigan.

Types of Accredited Online Colleges in Michigan

There are two types of accreditation in the United States, regionally and nationally accredited institutions. Accrediting bodies were set up to recognize and improve colleges that grant degrees. The accreditation process is usually rigorous and is repeated every few years.

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Regionally Accredited Online Colleges

Regionally accredited colleges must successfully pass the accreditation process . There are six regional accrediting bodies and each body looks into the education and programs offered by a college or university in their state or region.

Regionally accredited colleges ensure the highest standard of education, are widely recognized, and allow for credit transfer between other regionally and nationally accredited colleges. However, tuition fees are high and admission standards are strict.

Nationally Accredited Online Colleges

Nationally accredited online colleges are offered to educational institutions providing vocational and technical programs. These are best suited to career-focused programs. National accreditation is not based on geography but instead compares similar career-focused programs across the country.

Nationally accredited colleges are for-profit, have cheaper college tuition, and have more relaxed admission criteria. However, credits earned at a nationally accredited college can only be transferred to other nationally accredited colleges and students are not always eligible for tuition reimbursement.

Choosing Between Virtual Schools in Michigan: 3 Factors to Consider

If you have decided to pursue an online degree, it is important to carefully consider your options. Below we have listed the top three factors to consider when choosing the right virtual school.


Learn about the different accreditations maintained by the online school you want to enroll in. Generally, colleges have regional accreditations. If you know what field you want to study in, you must also consider subject-specific accreditations. For example, most recognized engineering colleges have ABET accreditation.

Colleges will usually list their accreditations on their website. You can also check the accreditation agency, CHEA , or the US Department of Education to confirm the accreditation is legitimate or find accreditation that may not be listed on the school’s website.


The curriculum of accredited schools is scrutinized and improved to better serve the educational needs of students. You must look into the topics or areas covered by the curriculum of an online program and the overall curriculum design process of the college you are interested in.


The format of programs offered by online schools varies. Some online schools only offer online programs, others offer hybrid programs. Depending on a school’s format, online students can attend live lectures, watch back previously recorded classes, and complete assignments in an asynchronous format.

Programs of study vary depending on the format on offer and may include associate degree programs, degree completion programs, doctoral programs, and certificate programs. The specific format should match your learning style and support your lifestyle.

Best Online Colleges in Michigan: Overview

School City Standard Online Tuition (Per Credit) Top Online Programs Accreditation
Baker College Owosso In-state: $435
Out-of-state: $435
Business Administration, Computer Science, and Data Analytics
Higher Learning Commission (regional)
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant In-state: $425
Out-of-state: $425
Fashion Merchandising and Design, Engineering Management, and Public and Nonprofit Administration Higher Learning Commission
Davenport University Grand Rapids In-state: $836
Out-of-state: $565
Business Administration in Data Mining and Visualization, Human Resources, and Nursing Higher Learning Commission (regional)
Ferris State University Big Rapids In-state: $455
Out-of-state: $734
Automotive Management
Information, Security and Intelligence, and Project Management
Higher Learning Commission
Madonna University Livonia In-state: $475
Out-of-state: $475
Criminal Justice, Organizational Leadership, and Sociology Higher Learning Commission
Michigan Technological University Houghton In-state: $312
Out-of-state: $312
Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Vehicle Dynamics Higher Learning Commission
Northern Michigan University Marquette In-state: $473
Out-of-state: $473
Applied Science, Criminal Justice, and Construction Management. Higher Learning Commission
Oakland University Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills In-state: $467.5
Out-of-state: $795.75
Environmental Health and Safety,
Public Administration, and Forensic Nursing
Higher Learning Commission (regional)
Siena Heights University Adrian In-state: $540
Out-of-state: $540
Applied Science, Health Care Management, and Business Administration Higher Learning Commission (regional)
University of Michigan Ann Arbor In-state: $16,178.38
Out-of-state: $53,232.38
Applied Data Science, MBA, and Engineering in Manufacturing Higher Learning Commission (regional)

Top Online Schools in Michigan: Deep Dive

Three undergraduate students study while looking at a laptop in an outdoor college environment. Accredited Online Colleges In Michigan
Prospective undergraduate students must check if they qualify for tuition discounts and grants inclusive of online undergraduate degrees.

Now that you have an idea of admission rates and some of the core programs on offer, it’s time to take a deep dive and further examine some of the best virtual schools. Read on as we take a closer look at the top 10 accredited online colleges in Michigan.

Baker College | Higher Learning Commission

Baker Online offers online classes and live classes for online learners. They also award scholarships and grants to online students. You will do online classwork for degrees with a practical scope, such as psychology degree programs. Students of all programs are challenged equally at Baker College, regardless of the method of delivery.

Central Michigan University | Higher Learning Commission

Central Michigan University is a leading public research university providing high-quality education with five decades of experience in distance education programs . CMU Online provides features for an enhanced student learning experience. You can create an Online Class Binder for online assignments and keep up with coursework. You also have access to a help desk for assistance.

Davenport University | Higher Learning Commission

Davenport University is an accredited private university offering undergraduate programs like online business, health sciences, and computer science degrees. The programs are affordable and designed to give college students a hands-on learning experience. They offer career services to help you find top employers and meet the challenges of the real world.

Ferris State University | Higher Learning Commission

Ferris State University has a flexible online program where you can learn around your schedule and are guided towards academic achievement. The many online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level will help with your career options. They offer a great support system to students before they take any big steps in the job market. Eligible applicants can apply in three simple steps .

Madonna University | Higher Learning Commission

Madonna University is a great choice for online undergraduate and graduate education that will help you find the right career fit. They provide expert faculty in different areas of study and backgrounds to empower your personal and professional development. Student support services like an online writing lab, peer tutoring, and access to the remote library 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Michigan Technological University | Higher Learning Commission

Michigan Tech is a public university offering innovative online technology degrees at graduate and certificate levels. The digital programs are designed to emphasize hands-on and STEM education . Depending on your chosen program, you might take on-campus intensives which offer opportunities for on-campus visits, faculty meet-ups, and in-person student support services.

Northern Michigan University | Higher Learning Commission

Northern Michigan University offers online programs for undergraduate and graduate students with busy schedules. It is military-friendly and prospective students with a military background will feel welcome and supported. It offers online associate degrees , doctoral programs, and undergraduate degrees in both online and hybrid formats. They also offer affordable internet services to support online learning.

Oakland University | Higher Learning Commission

Oakland University offers over 30 online programs. It has integrative studies for online students to explore educational interests in different disciplines. Its online programs are designed to provide education for adult learners looking for an independent and flexible educational experience. They offer both full or partial online schedules and have programmatic accreditations such as AACSB for their business school.

Siena Heights University | Higher Learning Commission

Siena Heights University offers affordable education that is attractive for international students. They offer a variety of online and hybrid programs for nursing students including RN, BSN, and MSN programs . You can complete your online degree in one to two years with affordable tuition rates, transferable credits, and access to financial aid opportunities.

University of Michigan | Higher Learning Commission

The University of Michigan offers a variety of full and part-time higher-education programs including doctoral degrees and online master’s degrees for remote learners. Fields of study include education, arts and science, social sciences, technology, business management, and data science. Their online learning platform allows distance learners to personalize their learning experience and participate in online events.

Should I Consider Accredited Online Colleges in Michigan?

Yes, you should consider studying at an accredited online college in Michigan because they give you the flexibility to get a college degree while working. Online education fosters accessible education for busy and motivated students to work towards career goals. Whether you require an associate degree or a four-year degree, the right online program will help you acquire knowledge and in-demand skills in your area of interest.

Accredited Online Colleges in Michigan FAQ

Are online college degrees taken seriously?

Online college degrees from accredited degrees are taken seriously because they are endorsed regionally, nationally, or both. Undergraduate and graduate students receive comprehensive education and professional experience in an online format. Degree holders from accredited online colleges get the same quality of education as campus programs.

Are there accredited online courses?

Yes, online, hybrid, or blended degree programs can be accredited. Accredited online colleges periodically apply for accreditation renewals for all their programs including online courses. You can choose an academic program in fields that are diverse and accredited through programmatic accreditations like AACSB accreditation for business schools.

What are the benefits of accreditation?

Accreditation provides colleges with formal recognition that they meet the education standards required. Accreditations must be renewed which ensures colleges regularly update and improve their programs to meet the needs of the modern world. Therefore, we are seeing advancements in online programs as technology advances.

What colleges in Michigan are online?

Andrews University, Wayne State University, Cornerstone University, Rochester University, University of Detroit Mercy, and Spring Arbor University are some examples of public and private colleges that offer online options for distance learners.

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Farah Abdullah

About the author: Farah is a writer, project consultant, and IT event organizer. She is a certified project management professional and an avid tech reader. Farah holds a BSc in Information Systems from Effat University in Saudi Arabia as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management from the University of Roehampton in London.

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