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Ferris State University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn about Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI. Read about its admission info, financial aid and degree programs to make an informed education decision.

About Ferris State University

Ferris State University is a four-year, public university located in the western lower peninsula of Michigan, in the city of Big Rapids. In addition to its main campus, Ferris also has ties to several Michigan community colleges, and therefore has 19 satellite locations across the state. Ferris also runs the Kendall College of Art and Design in nearby Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Ferris State University focuses on providing students with degree and certificate programs that can help them gain employment. The university has specifically tailored its offerings to align with the careers with projected growth, and at least 140 of the university's programs prepare students for careers that are expected to have the highest growth through the year 2016.


Ferris State University is comprised of eight colleges offering 180 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with the most popular programs in the College of Business, College of Education and Human Services and College of Health Professions. Ferris has one library on its main campus, the Ferris Library for Information, Technology, and Education, also known as FLITE.

The university prides itself on its small class sizes, stating that it has the smallest number of large classes of any university in the state. Only one percent of Ferris' classes have more than 50 students, and over 50% of its classes have 20 students or fewer.

In addition to on-campus learning, students can earn some degrees entirely online. The school also offers plenty of individual courses online. Those students interested in studying abroad can enroll in either short-term or semester-long study abroad opportunities.


In general, students should apply 30 days before the start of the term in which they want to enroll. However, incoming transfer students are encouraged to apply by July 1st for fall semester admission and December 1st for winter semester admission.

To apply, students should submit an application, official transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. If submitting a paper application, students should also include the $30 application fee. Applying online is free. Students should expect to choose a major when they apply. The university also accepts Advanced Placement (AP) scores for credit.

In 2011, 77% of the students who applied to Ferris State University were admitted. Of those, 32% went on to enroll in classes. The student population at Ferris is fairly evenly split between males and females. The majority (69%) of students attend full-time, and 94% of them are Michigan residents.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition for Michigan residents in the 2012-2013 academic year was $357 per credit hour, and $536 per credit hour for non-residents. In addition to this, students who want to pursue online studies should expect to pay a $10 per credit hour fee for any online courses in which they are enrolled. The cost of living while attending Ferris State University varies based on the type of residence hall and meal plan.

Ferris State University offers a few merit scholarships for high-achieving students. Incoming freshmen are eligible for the Woodbridge N. Ferris scholarship, which awards funds based on the student's GPA and standardized test scores. There are other merit scholarships as well, many specific to departments or particular programs.

Graduate tuition varies by program. A limited number of graduate assistantships are available for eligible students.

School Type Public, 4-year*
Degrees Offered Associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctoral*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Remote town*
Student Body 13,357 undergraduates, 1,203 graduates in 2011*
Student Housing Residence halls, on-campus apartments and family housing available**
Schools and Programs Eight colleges; 180+ degree programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 16 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011: Associate's: Respiratory Care Therapy (78)
Bachelor's: Criminal Justice/Police Science (232)
Master's: Business Administration (41)
Doctor: Pharmacy (147)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 19% in four years
45% in six years
47% in eight years*
Admission Rate 77% in 2011*
Entering Class Size About 2,700 in 2011*
First-Year Retention Rates 71% for full time students and 50 for part-time students in Fall 2011*
Average ACT Score of Admitted Students Middle 50% ACT scores 20 to 23 in 2011*
Application Due Date Rolling admissions; incoming freshmen should apply by 7/1 for fall semester and 12/1 for winter semester in 2012**
Decision Notification Date Rolling; as soon as possible after receipt of all documents**
Tuition (YEAR) $9,934 per year for Michigan residents, $15,822 for non-residents (in 2011-2012; full-time tuition and fees only)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2011:
Federal grants (48%)
State and local grants (26%)
Institutional scholarships and grants (67%)
Federal student loans (76%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 95% in 2011*

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **Ferris State University.

School Contact Information

  • Address: 1201 S. State Street, Big Rapids, MI 49307
  • Phone: (231) 591-2100
  • Website:

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