Ferris State University

Ferris State University Student Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Big Rapids, Michigan, Ferris State University is rural, public school that offers certificate, associate's, bachelor's, and graduate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition, and admission information.

Is Ferris State University the School for You?

With campuses around southeastern Michigan, Ferris State offers programs in communications, arts, technology, health services, engineering, marketing, and business. Students can earn associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as certificates and teaching endorsements. Many students live on campus, and you can take part in various social and career-oriented activities, including sororities and fraternities. Look at the pros and cons below to decide whether you should attend Ferris State University.


  • Acceptance rate is 14 percentage points higher than the national average
  • Offers scholarships for veterans, transfer students, incoming freshmen, and by major
  • Daycare and a health center are available
  • Accepts dual credit, credit for life experiences, and advanced placement credits
  • No graduate teaching assistants


  • Debt at graduation about $10,000 more than average
  • Total cost is roughly $5,000 higher than the national average for comparable schools, including tuition, fees, books, and room and living expenses
  • 4-year graduation rate is 15% lower than the national average for 4-year universities

Rankings and School Analysis

Ferris State University offers a wide variety of study options and degree levels, including online programs and courses. U.S. News and World Report ranked the school #62 among Regional Universities (Midwest) and #16 among Top Public Schools in 2014.

Students at Ferris State also benefit from interaction with faculty; all full- and part-time teaching staff are instructors rather than researchers, and no classes are taught by graduate teaching assistants. Additionally, students across lower Michigan can attend one of 19 regional campuses through partnerships with local community colleges. While not all programs are offered at all locations, these options give students the opportunity to get started on or complete their education without having to move.

In-state students living on campus paid a total of $22,094 during the 2012-2013 school year, reported the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This is higher than the 4-year, national average for public schools, which was $17,860 in that year. However, Ferris State offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship options, and College Board reported that 67% of incoming freshmen typically receive some kind of financial aid. Still, only 17% of students had their full financial needs met, and the average 4-year student debt at graduation is $37,055, while the national average is $26,660.

Admissions & Financial Aid at Ferris State University

Like most 4-year universities, Ferris State requires students to submit an application, standardized test scores, and transcripts from prior schools. According to College Board, the minimum high school GPA for acceptance is 2.5, a 17 on the ACT, or a 1210 on the SAT, though individual program requirements may be different. Additionally, applicants are considered based on character, an application essay, residence, volunteer work, and recommendations.

If you're considering your financial aid options, it's necessary to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through the U.S. Government. This application is used by most schools to determine your eligibility for financial assistance programs, including loans, grants, need-based and merit scholarships, and work-study options. Additionally, Ferris State offers a variety of options and information for those wishing to apply for scholarships.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular School Application Deadline (2013-2014) August 1****
Financial Aid Priority Application Due (2013-2014) February 1****
Application Fee (2013-2014) $30 by mail, free online application****
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $10,354 (in-state) // $16,512 (out-of-state)***
Average Financial Aid Package (2012) $10,495*
Percent of Students with Need Met (2012) 17%****
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2012) $37,055****
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 6.1%***

Life at Ferris State University

With a variety of student housing options, Ferris State students can live on the 880-acre Big Rapids, Michigan, campus in family apartments, quiet and alcohol/drug-free dorms, theme dorms, or special needs rooms. While students tend to move off campus after their freshman year, 77% of all first-year students live in the dorms.

You can enjoy an active extracurricular social life by participating in one or more of the university's student organizations. These clubs give students an opportunity to gain real-life experience in leadership, arts and entertainment, sports, religious, and major-oriented activities.

Ferris State University athletics include a Central Collegiate Hockey Association and NCAA Division I men's ice hockey team in addition to football, basketball, golf, tennis, track, and other teams. Their women's athletic teams include volleyball, basketball, golf, soccer, softball, and track.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Remote town***
Student Population (2012)14,533 (13,271 undergraduate)***
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2012)51% to 49%***
% of Full-Time Students (2012) 71%***
% In-State Students (2011)92%***
% International Students (2011)1%***
Retention Rate (2011-2012)70% full-time, 43% part-time***
Campus Housing AvailableYes
% Undergraduates Living On-Campus28%*****
Number of Libraries1, plus an online library, interlibrary loan, and satellite campus libraries**
Extracurricular Activities200
NoteworthyGreenhouse, Jim Crow museum, art walk, wildlife museum, observatory

Sources: U.S. News & World Report*, Ferris State University**, National Center for Education Statistics***, College Board****, Princeton Review*****

School Contact Information

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