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Overall Score: 75.15

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
Michigan State is a Big Ten school with about 50,000 students, close to 39,000 of them undergraduates. While a large majority of students are from Michigan, the student body has representation from all 50 states and more than 130 countries. Recognized internationally as a major research university, MSU ranks high among U.S. universities in both international student enrollment and participation in study abroad programs, with more than 275 such programs available in some 60 countries. There are a whopping 900-plus organizations for students to join, which can help undergraduates find a place for themselves on such a vast campus. Offerings include a gospel choir, cryptocurrency club and an e-sports student association. Friendships are often made in the dorms, where students are required to live for their first two years. The campus offers all the weekly events you’d expect on a major campus, like free bowling and open mic nights. But many students are content just hanging out by the Grand River before they head off to cheer the Spartans at the big game. Michigan State’s graduation rate of 80% is slightly higher than expected for schools that enroll students with similar test scores and economic backgrounds, according to a Money analysis of graduation rates.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.3 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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