Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Northern Michigan University is a mid-sized, 4-year public school in Marquette, Michigan. Learn about its ranking, financial aid and student life, and get the pros and cons of studying at Northern Michigan University.

Is Northern Michigan University the School for You?

Located in Michigan's upper peninsula, Northern Michigan University (NMU) opened its doors in 1899 as a school for teacher training. Today, the school offers academic programs in various fields of study and is 1 of 3 public universities in Michigan that also acts as a community college. Determine if NMU meets your educational goals by weighing the following facts.


  • Total cost is $747 lower for in-state students and $8,902 lower for out-of-state students than the national average for 4-year public universities
  • Acceptance rate is 4.2 percentage points higher than the national average
  • High number of academic programs
  • Low number of TAs teaching courses


  • Graduation rate is 22 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student-faculty ratio is 5 higher than the national average for 4-year public schools
  • Student debt following graduation is $2,743 higher than the national average
  • Far from major cities

Rankings & School Analysis

Northern Michigan University offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as undergraduate and graduate certificates. The school plans to offer its first doctoral program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, in the 2014-2015 academic year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), NMU has a below-average graduation rate; only 18% of students who began their studies in 2006 graduated in 4 years. You may want to note, however, that the school's 6-year graduation rate was 44%, suggesting that it takes most NMU students longer than 4 years to earn their bachelor's degrees. If you apply to NMU, you might experience better odds of acceptance; NCES figures show that the school had a 68% acceptance rate in the fall of 2012. This was about 4 percentage points higher than the 2011 average.

Whether you are an in-state or out-of-state NMU student, you can expect to pay less than you would at comparable universities. For the 2012-2013 school year, the NCES reported an in-state total cost (including tuition and fees and room and board) of $17,113, which was $747 less than average. The out-of-state total cost for the same year was $22,009, or almost $9,000 less than average. Although it costs less to attend NMU, students still carry about $2,700 more in debt at graduation, per 2011 data from the Project on Student Debt.

U.S. News & World Report ranked NMU #25 among top public schools in 2013. With over 180 programs of study at the university, you're likely to find an academic program that suits your interests. You may find that some of your classes at NMU are on the large side; the NCES lists a student-faculty ratio of 20:1, or 5 higher than the national average for 4-year public colleges. Additionally, the school does employ a small number of teaching assistants.

Northern Michigan University is a significant distance from major cities, so travel to and from campus may be a bit tedious. According to the College Board, the school is 300 miles from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 380 miles from Chicago, Illinois. At a distance of 456 miles, Detroit, Michigan, is even further away.

Admissions & Financial Aid at Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University offers students a rolling application process. The application fee is $30, although students experiencing hardship can apply for a fee waiver. First-year students wishing to enroll in bachelor's degree programs must meet the minimum grade point average of 2.25 and minimum ACT composite score of 19 to be considered for admission. Other programs, such as associate's degree and certificate programs, may have different requirements. Michigan high school students are advised to complete the Michigan Merit Curriculum during high school, which includes 4 years of English, preparatory mathematics, social studies and science, as well as 2 years of language.

The university offers many types of financial aid, and according to U.S. News & World Report, 55.2% of full-time undergraduates were awarded some form of need-based aid in 2011. If you wish to apply for financial aid, you should plan on completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the school's priority deadline of March 1.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2011) Rolling*
Financial Aid Priority Application Deadline (2014-2015) March 1**
Application Fee (2012-2013) $30***
Acceptance Rate (2012-2013) 68%***
Tuition, Fees & Living Expenses (2012-2013) $17,113 for MI residents
$22,009 for non-residents***
Average Financial Aid Package (2011) $9,155 (full-time undergraduates)*
Percent of Students with Need Met (No year given) 13%**
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2011) $29,343*****
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 7.2%***

Student Life at Northern Michigan University

Although NMU is considerably far from major cities, it is in close proximity to Presque Isle Park, Marquette Mountain and Lake Superior. These places offer a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, skiing and swimming. The university also features multiple organizations and clubs, including a paranormal research group, student government and community service, to name a few.

While NMU offers sororities and fraternities, only 1% of both men and women join a Greek organization, according to the College Board. In addition to student clubs and recreational activities, you'll also enjoy access to Division I and II sports, including basketball, football, golf and ice hockey. Club and intramural sports are present on campus as well. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus, although some exceptions might be permitted.

There a couple noteworthy things to mention about NMU. First of all, the school provides each full-time student with a laptop as part of their tuition. In fact, the school has received several awards for its extensive use of technology in the classroom. Secondly, you may be interested to know that the NMU campus is home to an Olympic training facility for pro weightlifters and wrestlers.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Rural
Student Population (2012) 8,474 undergraduate; 685 graduate***
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2012) 47% to 53%***
% of Full-time Students (2012) 89%***
% of In-state Students (2012) 75%***
% of International Students (2012) 0%***
Retention Rate (2011-2012) 72%***
Campus Housing Available Yes***
Extracurricular Activities Roughly 300 clubs, athletics****
Noteworthy Each full-time student receives a laptop as part of tuition****
Olympic training site for elite wrestlers and weightlifters on campus****

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

School Contact Information

  • Address: 1401 Presque Isle Ave., Marquette, MI 49855
  • Phone: (906) 227-2650