Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, Central Michigan University is a public, 4-year school that offers undergraduate and graduate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is Central Michigan University the School for You?

As its name suggests, the main campus of Central Michigan University (CMU) is found in central Michigan within the city of Mount Pleasant. The school offers online and on-campus opportunities in 50 different locations within the U.S., Canada and even Mexico. CMU students can choose from certificate programs, as well as bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. Examine the pros and cons below to discover if CMU is the school for you.


  • Cost of room and board is $829 less than the national average
  • Acceptance rate is 5.2 percentage points higher than the national average
  • High number of academic programs
  • Accepts CLEP, AP and dual credits, as well as credit for life experiences
  • Located approximately 28 miles from downtown Midland and 41 miles from MBS International Airport


  • Low ranking (bottom 25%) among national universities
  • Total cost (including tuition and fees & room and board) is $1,466 higher for in-state students and $1,135 higher for out-of-state students than the national average
  • Graduation rate is 22 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student-to-faculty ratio is 7 higher than the national average for public, 4-year schools
  • Student debt following graduation is $2,788 higher than the national average
  • High number of TAs teaching courses

Central Michigan University at a Glance

You're likely to find an area of study that matches your interests at CMU, since it boasts over 400 academic programs. Based on statistics from U.S. News & World Report, the 5 most popular majors in 2011 were business and marketing; education; parks, recreation and fitness; communication and journalism; and social sciences.

You may not receive as much personal attention from your professors as you'd like at CMU; the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) lists a student-to-faculty ratio of 22:1, which is 7 students higher than the national average of 15:1 for public, 4-year institutions. Another thing to keep in mind is that nearly 33% of the school's teaching staff is made up of graduate teaching assistants.

Unfortunately, CMU doesn't have a very high ranking, according to U.S. News & World Report. The publication ranked the school in the bottom 25% among national universities in 2013. CMU has a below-average graduation rate; per the NCES, the 4-year graduation rate for students who began in 2005 was only 18%, or 22 percentage points lower than the national average of 40%. CMU students also carry nearly $2,800 more in debt at graduation than students at other colleges, based on 2011 figures from the Project on Student Debt.

On the bright side, CMU's acceptance rate is above average; the NCES reports a Fall 2012 acceptance rate of 69%, which is 5.2 percentage points higher than the 2011 national average of 63.8%. Another plus is the school's acceptance of various types of alternative credit, which you may be able to apply towards your studies. As far as location goes, CMU is just a short drive from both the city of Midland and MBS International Airport.

If you're wondering how much it costs to attend CMU, the NCES lists an in-state total cost of $19,326 for 2012-2013, which includes tuition, fees and room and board. This is $1,466 higher than the 2012-2013 in-state national average for public, 4-year schools. Out-of-state students can expect to pay a total cost that is about $1,135 more than average. You might be interested to know that, although CMU's total cost is higher, the cost of on-campus room and board is actually $829 lower than the national average for public, 4-year colleges.

Getting In & Financial Aid at Central Michigan University

If you decide to apply to CMU, plan on submitting a $35 fee with your completed application for admission. You'll also need to make arrangements for your official high school transcripts and ACT scores to be sent to the school. According to the school's website, applications are accepted all year; however, if you wish to receive priority consideration, CMU recommends applying by December 1. The NCES reports that in the fall of 2012, 99% of students applied with ACT scores, and 25% of them received a score of 25 or higher in the test's composite, English and math sections.

To help cover the costs of attending CMU, you may apply for financial aid using the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The school suggests submitting your FAFSA no later than February 15 if you wish to be considered for the most available aid. Per 2011 U.S. News & World Report data, the average financial aid package awarded to full-time undergraduates was about $12,000. Financial aid packages may include loans, grants and/or scholarships. Work-study opportunities may also be available to you.

Application and Tuition Info
Priority Application Deadline (2013) December 1****
Financial Aid Priority Deadline (2013) February 15****
Application Fee (2012-2013) $35*
Acceptance Rate (2012-2013) 69%*
Tuition, Fees & Living Expenses (2012-2013) $19,326 for Michigan residents*
$32,046 for non-residents*
Average Financial Aid Package (2011) $12,072 (full-time undergraduates)**
% of Students with Need Met (no date given) 58%***
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2011) $29,388*****
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 4.4%*

Life at Central Michigan University

As a freshman at CMU, you'll be required to live on campus. Furthermore, U.S. News & World Report data shows that in 2011, 33% of undergraduates lived on campus in dorms, apartments, theme or wellness housing, as well as sorority and fraternity housing.

There are a variety of activities for you to participate in at CMU, from playing recreational tennis to writing for the school newspaper. With over 250 student organizations, there's bound to be at least a couple that spark your interest. Popular events that take place on the CMU campus are the cardboard boat race, Special Olympics summer games, student research and creative endeavors exhibition and Greek week. Academic-related activities might be experienced through one of the school's eight honor societies. If you're looking for a school with scholarship sports, CMU is involved in the Collegiate Athletic Association and offers baseball, football, soccer, gymnastics and a variety of other sports for both men and women.

Explorations off campus will reveal the attractions of Mount Pleasant. The Chippewa River runs through the town and is open for canoeing and tubing. For more intense thrills, you could contact the local skydiving company and plan a drop. After a busy day, there are restaurants awaiting you in Mount Pleasant's historic downtown area.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Distant town*
Student Population (Fall 2011) 21,698 undergraduate students*
6,496 graduate students*
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (Fall 2011) 45% to 55%*
% of Full-time Students (Fall 2011) 88%*
% of In-state Students (Fall 2010) 95%*
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 76% for full-time undergraduate students*
Campus Housing Available Yes*
% of Students Living on Campus 33%**
Number of Libraries 3****
Extracurricular Activities Over 250 student organizations****
Noteworthy Special Olympics Michigan is headquartered on main campus****

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **U.S. News & World Report, ***College Board, ****Central Michigan University, *****Project on Student Debt.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Undergraduate Admissions, Warriner Hall 102, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
  • Phone: (989) 774-3076