Michigan State University is a four-year public university located in East Lansing, Michigan. The university offers certificates, as well as degrees ranging from bachelors to doctorates. Here’s the information you need to know about MSU—from admission requirements to the Michigan State acceptance rate, and from MSU tuition to financial aid stats, popular majors, and more.
Total Cost of Attendance
Michigan State University is a top-ranking research institution with a diverse student body and a strong athletics program.With more than 50,000 students from all 50 states and over 130 countries, MSU offers more than 200 programs of study.
Tuition and fees for 2021-2022 were as follows for first-time, full-time undergraduates:
• In-state: $14,750, 2% more than the previous year
• Out-of-state: $40,562, 2% more than the previous year
• Books and supplies: $1,168, 1.2% more than the previous year
Room and board costs were:
• On-campus and off-campus: $10,676, 1.5% more than the previous year
• Other expenses: $3,140, 1.5% more than the previous year
Total expenses were $29,734 for in-state students, which is 1.7% more than the previous year, and $55,546 for out-of-state students.
In 2020-2021, 72% of first-time, full-time undergraduates received some kind of financial aid, and the university is generous with institutional funding. These are the types of financial aid students received:
• Grants or scholarships: 58% received them with an average award of $12,822
• Federal grants: 34% received them with an average award of $4,608
• Pell grants: 22% received them with an average award of $5,322
• Other federal grants: 34% received them with an average award of $1,212
• State or local: 8% received them with an average award of $1,164
• Institutional: 54% received them with an average award of $10.656
• Student loan aid: 36% received them with an average award of $7,721
• Federal student loans: 34% received them with an average award of $4,999
• Other student loans: 6% received them with an average award of $18,093
Generally, financial aid is monetary assistance awarded to students based on personal needs and merit. Students that qualify for financial aid can use it to pay for college costs like tuition, books, and living expenses.
The federal government is the largest provider of student financial aid. However, aid can also be given by state governments, colleges and universities, private companies, and nonprofits. The different types include:
• Scholarships: These can be awarded by schools and other organizations based on students’ academic excellence, athletic achievement, community involvement, job experience, field of study, and financial need.
• Grants: Generally based on financial need, these can come from federal, state, private, and non-profit organizations.
• Work-study: This federal program provides qualifying students with part-time employment to earn money for expenses while in school.
• Federal student loans: This is money borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education. It comes with fixed interest rates that are typically lower than private loans.
Colleges, universities, and state agencies use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial aid eligibility. The FAFSA can be completed online, but note that state and federal and school deadlines may differ.
You can find other financial aid opportunities on databases such as:
In 2020-2021, 6% of incoming students at MSU received private student loans.
Private loans are funded by private organizations such as banks, online lenders, credit unions, some schools, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations. While Federal student loans have interest rates that are regulated by Congress, private lenders follow a different set of regulations so their qualifications and interest rates can vary widely.
What’s more, private loans have variable or fixed interest rates that may be higher than federal loan interest rates, which are always fixed. Private lenders may (but don’t always) require you to make payments on your loans while you are still in school, compared to federal student loans which you don’t have to start paying back until after you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment status to less than half-time.
Private loans don’t have a specific application window and can be applied for on an as-needed basis. However, if you think you may need to take out a private loan, it’s a good idea to submit your FAFSA first to see what federal aid you may qualify for as it generally may have better rates and terms.
If you’ve missed the FAFSA deadline or you’re struggling to pay for school throughout the year, private loans can potentially help you make your payments. Just keep in mind that you will need enough lead time for your loan to process and for your lender to send money to your school.
Tuition and fees for 2021-2022 were as follows for first-time, full-time undergraduates:
• In-state: $14,750
• Out-of-state: $40,562
• Books and supplies: $1,168
Total expenses were $29,734. In 2020-2021, the average total expenses for a public, four year university were $15,900, making Michigan State 87% higher.
Graduate Tuition and Fees
Michigan State tuition for 2021-2022 was as follows:
• In-state: $19,714 with no fees
• Out-of-state: $38,638 with no fees
In 2019-2020, the average tuition cost for graduate school at a public university was $12,410. The 2020-2021 Michigan State tuition of $38,638 was more than three times higher.
Cost per Credit Hour
MSU provides a good history of costs per credit hour for undergraduates with these highlights:
• 2021 fall semester (1-11) credits: $491.75
• 2020 fall semester (1-11) credits: $482.00
• 2019 fall semester (1-11) credits: $482.00
Current graduate costs per credit hour range from $950-$1,800, depending on the degree.
Campus Housing Expenses
Room and board costs in 2020-2021 were:
• On campus and off campus: $10,676
• Other expenses: $3,140
MSU offers information about on-campus housing with students wishing to live in a one-bedroom or studio apartment with a full bathroom and a kitchen having options in a number of residence halls. Off campus apartments are also available near the campus, ranging from one to four bedrooms. At the time of writing, the average 948-square-foot apartment is rented for $1,423. For housing not associated with the university, leases may be for a full year rather than the academic year.
At the time of writing, the first community lists these options (although noting that all leases are currently filled):
• One bedroom/one bathroom; 486 square feet: starting at $1,850
• Two bedrooms/two bathrooms; 723 square feet: starting at $1,165-$1,730
Michigan State University Acceptance Rate
In fall 2021, 50,630 students applied to the university and there was an 83% MSU acceptance rate.
Besides the application, admission requirements include
• High school transcripts
• Listing your major
• Letters of recommendations
• SAT/ACT test scores
Application due dates are:
• Early action, non-binding: November 1
• Regular: February 1 of the academic year
SAT and ACT Scores
Michigan State University is test optional, meaning that students are not required to submit SAT and ACT tests. If you choose to submit them, send them with your application. In fall 2021, 48% of applicants submitted SAT scores while 16% submitted ACT scores. These were the 25th and 75th percentiles:
SAT Evidence-Based Reading/Writing
Popular Majors at Michigan State
In 2021, 9,450 bachelor’s degrees were awarded by MSU in more than two dozen areas of studies. Popular majors include the following:
MSU’s advertising program is consistently ranked as one of the three best in the nation. Undergraduates learn how to develop strategic thinking, researching, analytical skills, and more. In 2021, 6% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
In this program, students gain strong competencies in core biological disciplines, including anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, and physiology. In 2021, 5% of graduating undergraduates completed this degree.
Students study human behaviors and the mental processes underlying them in this diverse discipline. Students may develop interests in neuroscience, behavioral science, and more from this foundational degree. In 2021, 4.3% of graduating undergraduates finished this degree.
4. Exercise Science & Kinesiology
Those who choose this major focus on physical activity and movement and how it impacts someone’s health and quality of life. Classes range from sports business management to athletic training, community education, and more. In 2021, 4.1% of graduating undergraduates finished this degree.
5. Supply Chain Management
Students in this program studying to become supply chain leaders, and learn to nimbly adapt to changes as they source and deliver products and services. They also discover how to use innovative technologies to effectively manage supply chains. In 2021, 3.9% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
Finance majors study financial concepts and instruments to learn crucial decision-making skills for future employment in financial institutions, corporations, and more. Classes focus on ethics and a global approach. In 2021, 3.6% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
7. Mass Communication
This program prepares undergraduates for a wide range of workplaces (profit, nonprofit, startups, and more) with a focus on persuasive leadership. This goal: to influence society in a positive way. In 2021, 3.2% of graduating undergraduates completed this degree.
8. Mechanical Engineering
About 26% of all MSU engineering students choose this specialty, and they can benefit by participating in leading edge research alongside professors involved in pioneering work. In 2021, 3% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
Students receive education in domestic and international economies, learning about concepts, policies, analyses, and more. This degree prepares students for a broad range of business careers. In 2021, 2.9% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
10. Computer Science
From computer science theory to new technologies and approaches, students learn computing principles, software development, communication skills, and more. In 2021, 2.9% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
MSU graduation rates are:
• 4 years: 53%
• 6 years: 80%
Post-Graduation Median Earnings
Median salary for the university’s graduates is $61,101 compared to the average of $47,891 for four-year public universities. This makes MSU graduate earnings 28% higher.
Michigan State University is among the top research universities in the world and offers students a wide range of majors and educational opportunities. Although Michigan State tuition is higher than that of the average four-year public university, there is financial aid available to help you pay for it, and the Michigan State acceptance rate is high, which can increase your chances of getting in.
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