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Ferris State University (FSU) is a public institution located in Big Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1884, it’s now the ninth largest higher education institution in the state. In addition to its main campus, the school has 19 other locations where students can attend classes. FSU also offers online courses and online programs that students can take advantage of.

Overview of Ferris State University (FSU)

The university is dedicated to aligning its practices and resources in support of several core values including collaboration, diversity, ethical community, excellence, learning, and opportunity. Graduates are prepared for successful careers, responsible citizenship, and lifelong learning. By partnering with industry leaders, the institution maintains state-of-the-art equipment, technology, and amenities for students. Ferris State University is also committed to helping students gain real-world skills outside of the classroom.

The total student population is 11,165. Of these, 9,929 are undergraduate students. The university also employs 485 full-time and 227 part-time faculty members, all of whom serve in instructional capacities. This makes the student-to-faculty ratio 15:1, which is about average for the nation. Ferris State University does boast exceptional access to faculty and promotes engaging instruction, one-on-one career advice, and the development of professional connections. Professors have real-work experience in their fields and work hard to provide relevant, adaptive coursework.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 16:1
Graduation Rate 47%
Year Founded 1884

Student Enrollment

Total Students12,472


Undergraduate Student

Male 5,256
Female 5,928

Graduate Student

Male 605
Female 683

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FSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 3,717
Female 5,458


Male 3,197
Female 4,748

Acceptance Rate87%

Male 86%
Female 87%

Enrollment 1,916

Male 907
Female 1,009
Application Fee NA
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Formal demonstration of competencies Recommended
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Recommended
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted No

FSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Ferris State University is ranked third for best value school in the nation. Undergraduate tuition is based on student grade level – freshmen, sophomore, junior, or and senior. Additionally, all estimates provided by the institution assume students are enrolled in 14 credit hours per semester.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, United States residents and Canadians enrolled as freshmen and sophomores paid $12,740 per year, or $455 per credit hour, to attend the university. International students paid much more, however, with a tuition rate of $20,552 per year, or $734 per credit hour. United States residents and Canadians enrolled as juniors and seniors paid $13,636 per year, or $487 per credit hour. Again, the cost for international students was higher, coming in at $21,924 per year, or $783 per credit hour. Notably, there is no difference in tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

It's important to note that those taking graduate-level classes pay a different rate. For United States and Canadian students, the cost was $686 per credit hour, while international students paid $1,030 per credit hour. Additionally, the pharmacy and optometry programs cost more, as do the doctoral degrees available.

Prospective students should be aware that there are other costs associated with earning degrees at Ferris State University. In addition to tuition, many must pay for some type of room and board. For undergraduates, living on campus costs approximately $12,740 per year. There are also several other things such as fees, books, supplies, travel, and personal expenses to consider.

To help offset the cost of higher education, Ferris State University offers a wide variety of financial aid to first-time freshmen, transfer, and international students. Options include grants, loans, scholarships, and student employment. The university has several significant scholarships available to freshmen, as well as numerous transfer student scholarships. In total, 96% of those enrolled at the school receive some type of financial aid. While most assistance comes in the forms of grants and scholarships, 67% of students still require loans in order to attend.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $13,097
Average Total Aid $9,769
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Room & Board $10,042

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $12,068
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $12,068
  • Books and Supplies - $859
  • Room & Board - $10,042
  • Other - $682


Ferris State University provides high quality instruction in a large selection of academic programs. Students can choose to pursue associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees, as well as some professional certificates. There are more than 180 undergraduate programs, 16 master’s programs, and four doctoral programs, as well as 15 graduate certificates available. Notably, this institution is the only one in Michigan to offer some majors.

All major options fall under one of the following colleges:

  • College of Arts, Sciences, and Education
  • College of Business
  • College of Engineering Technology
  • College of Health Professions
  • Kendall College of Art and Design
  • Michigan College of Optometry
  • College of Pharmacy

For first-time, full-time students pursing bachelor’s degrees at Ferris State University in fall 2020, the retention rate was 79%. Retention for part-time students is somewhat lower, coming in at 44%. These statistics do show, however, that most full-time students are pleased with their academic experiences enough to return for a second year.

The overall graduation rate in 2020 was 50%, with 24% of tracked students transferring out before their final academic year. It’s worth mentioning that only 58% of entering students fit the survey criteria, as the only individuals counted were first-time students attending the university full-time. This data is significant because it highlights the percentage of students who succeed in earning their degrees or certificates within 150% of the standard completion time (four years).

All of Ferris State University’s programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College and Schools, which is recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) also accredits several programs within the College of Business. Additionally, the institution has many specialized accreditations. Some of the most notable agencies associated with the school include Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Student Population Total

Student Population 12,472

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 512 Total Graduates / 24%
Business Administration and Management, General 231 Graduates
Construction Management, General 60 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 52 Graduates
Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping 34 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 327 Total Graduates / 15%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 160 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other 49 Graduates
Health/Health Care Administration/Management 32 Graduates
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 20 Graduates
Health Information/Medical Records Administration/Administrator 20 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 288 Total Graduates / 13%
Criminal Justice/Police Science 242 Graduates
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration 46 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 279 Total Graduates / 13%
Mechanical/Mechanical Engineering Technology/Technician 58 Graduates
Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology/Technician 45 Graduates
Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians, Other 44 Graduates
Industrial Technology/Technician 39 Graduates
Visual and Performing Arts 104 Total Graduates / 5%
Graphic Design 27 Graduates
Illustration 20 Graduates
Music Management 20 Graduates
Interior Design 13 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 30%

Outcome & Salary

Data on the 2019-2020 class shows that 85% of graduates had successful job placement. This is down from the 2015-2016 academic year, when job placement rates were 96%. It’s important to note, however, that some programs had better rates than others. Those with degrees in creative writing had 100% placement rates, while digital media graduates only had a 50% placement rate. Other majors with 100% placement rates include biology with pre-optometry concentration, sociology, project management, business administration in aviation, elementary education, and manufacturing engineering technology. In general, the business college saw the best placement rates overall.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $43,800
College Grads Average Salary $65,889
College Grads Mid Career Salary $62,800
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $658,890
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,286,890
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $52,388
10 Year Projected ROI $606,502
20 Year Projected ROI $1,234,502
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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