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Northwestern Michigan College: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research the degree programs offered at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, MI. Learn about its academics, and get admission and financial aid info to decide if this is the right school for you.

About Northwestern Michigan College

Located in the eastern part of Traverse City, MI, Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) is a community college serving over 50,000 students a year. In addition to educational programs, the college also provides students and residents of the Grand Traverse region a number of services. The college is home to 90.7 FM, the community public radio station. The Joseph H. Rogers Observatory, named for the NMC science and math instructor who worked to raise funds for its construction, provides regular public viewings, as well as being a part of NMC's astronomy program.


NMC enables students to pursue continuing education, certificates, associate's degrees and even bachelor's degrees. The latter is part of the University Center program, a partnership between NMC and nine area universities to allow NMC students to transfer seamlessly into those universities' 4-year programs. Those programs' courses are then hosted on the NMC campus. Over 10,000 area residents benefit from the Extended Education program, which delivers non-degree training for area jobs and personal enrichment. Over 90% of NMC graduates have reported success in reaching their academic goals.

The academic programs within the college offer a wide range of opportunities. Over 60 programs are available within 11 academic offices. Some of these offices include aviation, communications and the Great Lakes Culinary Institute. Many of these programs provide hands-on experience, such as the NMC's Great Lakes Culinary Institute's Lobdell's Restaurant, a 90-seat restaurant, which serves the public dishes made by culinary students.


NMC maintains an open admissions policy, allowing anyone who graduated from high school to enroll. Students who earned less than a 2.0 GPA in high school can be admitted on a provisional basis, which includes extra counseling and a reduced course load. All other new students need to complete the application and submit high school and any former college transcripts to the NMC admissions office. A COMPASS placement test must also be taken, unless the applicant submits qualifying ACT scores.

In addition to regular enrollment, Northwestern Michigan offers a dual-enrollment program. The program allows high school students the opportunity to take NMC courses concurrently with their regular high school curriculum, often with the high school covering the tuition. Students must fill out a special application, which requires the signatures of parents or guardians and a principal or counselor at the high school. This is only available to students who receive a letter of eligibility from NMC after submitting ACT or COMPASS test scores.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Northwestern Michigan College charges tuition by the contact, or credit, hour. As of fall 2012, residents of Grand Traverse County paid $84.60 per contact hour, while residents of other Michigan counties paid $165.90 per contact hour. Non-Michigan residents were charged $212.45 per contact hour. Different tuition is also charged for any construction technology and renewable energy classes, each billed according to resident status. All courses of the Maritime Academy cost $361.15 per credit hour in 2012, regardless of residency status. Health and registration fees are assessed once each semester, and other fees are charged according to course load.

NMC administers a number of financial opportunities to help students pay for school. Over 150 different need-based scholarships are available for students of varying GPAs, genders and majors. Internal scholarships don't require a separate application, but any need-based scholarship will require that students have filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

School Type 2-year, public*
Degrees Offered Associate's, certificate programs*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Remote town*
Student Body 5,166 (all undergraduate) in 2011*
Student Housing On campus, suite-style residence halls and apartments available**
Schools and Programs 10 academic offices; over 60 program areas**
Student-Faculty Ratio 19 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) Less than 1-year certificate: Data Entry (4)
Less than 2-year certificate: License Practical/Vocational Nurse (20)
Associate's: Liberal Arts and Sciences (311)
Less than 4-year certificate: Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer (25)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 4% within normal time for the program
14% with 150% of normal time for the program
20% within twice as long as normal time for the program (for students who began in fall 2007)*
Admission Rate Open admissions**
Entering Class Size 857 in 2011***
First-Year Retention Rates 57% for full-time and 40% for part-time students*
Average ACT Scores of Admitted Students Reading ACT score of 19; English ACT score of 18**
Application Due Date Applications are accepted year-round**
Decision Notification Date Date undetermined (notification occurs after review of application materials)**
Tuition For 2012-2013: $84.60 per contact hour for Grand Traverse County residents; $165.90 per contact hour for Michigan residents; $212.45 per contact hour for non-Michigan residents; $361.15 per contact hour for Maritime Academy classes*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011:
Grant or scholarship aid (63%)
state/local grant (20%)
Pell grant (54%)
federal student loan (42%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 77% in 2010-2011*

Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, **Northwestern Michigan College, ***IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Info

  • Address: Admissions Office, Northwestern Michigan College, Tanis Building, Main Campus, 1701 E. Front St., Traverse City, MI 49686
  • Phone: (231) 995-1054
  • Website:

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