Grand Rapids, Michigan, City and Higher Education Info

Grand Rapids, Michigan, is the economic and cultural heart of western mainland Michigan. Residents in this city live within reach of several institutions of higher learning, which offer vocational, undergraduate and graduate certificate programs as well as associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Read about the people, culture, economy and higher education institutions in Grand Rapids.

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Information about Grand Rapids

With more than 190,000 residents, Grand Rapids is a pleasant, mid-sized city in southwest Michigan. Although local demographics, as in many American cities, are constantly shifting, the racial composition of Grand Rapids is slightly more diverse than the rest of the United States. According to 2010 U.S. census data, Caucasians make up 65% of the population, while nearly 21% is African-American, and around 16% are Hispanic. The median income per household is almost $40,000.

Each year, the city of Grand Rapids hosts an annual downtown 'Festival of the Arts', which offers live theater performances, music, food and visual art sales. Other attractions in the area include the Gerald R. Ford Museum, dedicated to the nation's 38th president, a longtime Grand Rapids resident. Ford's gravesite is also located in the city. The west bank of the Grand River hosts the Van Andel museum center, a combination museum, archive collection and planetarium, while the Heritage Hill neighborhood boasts one of the country's largest collections of Victorian homes.

Higher Education

There are 17 colleges, universities, vocational schools, seminaries and other institutions of higher education within roughly 20 miles of Grand Rapids. The largest postsecondary educational institution in Grand Rapids is Grand Rapids Community College, with an enrollment of over 15,600 in 2014. Students can earn certificates and associate degrees in several fields at this school. The nearest public state university is Grand Valley State University in Allendale, which is around 14 miles west of Grand Rapids. Other popular colleges and universities in the area include Calvin College and Aquinas College, both private liberal arts schools, Cornerstone University, a 4-year college and seminary school, and Davenport University, which also has campuses in ten other cities throughout Michigan.

Economy and Employment

Furniture manufacturing has long been the backbone of the city's economy, and although this sector has declined somewhat in recent years, several major furniture companies, including American Seating and Herman Miller, still operate in Grand Rapids. A significant number of local residents work as metal and plastics workers, production workers and laborers, while many others work in health care and other service industries. The surrounding region is known for fruit production, including wine grapes.

School Type Programs
Compass College of Cinematic Arts Private, nonprofit Certificates, Associate degrees
Grand Rapids Community College Public Certificates, Associate degrees
Aquinas College Private, nonprofit Associate, Bachelor's, Master's degrees, Post-bachelor's certificates
Cornerstone University Private, nonprofit Certificates, Associate, Bachelor's, Master's degrees
Empire Beauty School - Michigan Private, for-profit Certificates
Excel Academies of Cosmetology - Kentwood Private, for-profit Certificates
Ross Medical Education Center - Kentwood Private, for-profit Certificates
Kuyper College Private, nonprofit Certificates, Associate, Bachelor's degrees
Regency Beauty Institute - Grand Rapids Private, for-profit Certificates
International Cosmetology Academy Private, for profit Certificates
Grace Bible College Private, nonprofit Associate, Bachelor's degrees
ITT Technical Institute - Wyoming Private, for-profit Associate, Bachelor's degrees
Davenport University - Downtown Grand Rapids Private, nonprofit Master's degrees, Post-master's certificates
Davenport University - Grand Rapids Private, nonprofit Certificates, Associate, Bachelor's, Master's degrees
Calvin College Private, nonprofit Certificates, Bachelor's, Master's degrees
Calvin Theological Seminary Private, nonprofit Post-bachelor's certificates, Master's, Doctoral degrees
Grand Valley State University Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Post-bachelor's & Postgraduate certificates

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