University of Michigan Admissions Statistics

Learn About Michigan and the GPA, SAT and ACT Scores You'll Need to Get In

Law School Quadrangle, University of Michigan
jweise / Getty Images

The University of Michigan had an acceptance rate of 29 percent in 2016; admission to the school is highly selective, and applicants will need grades and standardized test scores that are well above average to be admitted. The university also looks at non-numerical measures such as essays, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation.

Why You Might Choose the University of Michigan

Located in Ann Arbor Michigan, the University of Michigan consistently ranks as one of the top public universities in the country, and it is the most selective of Michigan's 15 public universities. The university has a highly talented undergraduate student body — about 25% of admitted students had a 4.0 high school GPA. The school also boasts of impressive athletic programs as a member of the Big Ten Conference. With over 44,000 students and 200 undergraduate majors, the University of Michigan has strengths in a wide range of academic areas. Its strong liberal arts and sciences programs earned it a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

It should come as little surprise that the University of Michigan made our list of the top Midwest colleges and top Michigan colleges. The school's more specialized strengths also earned it a spot among the top engineering schools and top business schools

Michigan GPA, SAT and ACT Graph

University of Michigan GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Admission
University of Michigan GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission. See the real-time graph and calculate your chances of getting in at

Discussion of Michigan's Admissions Standards:

With less than a third of applicants being admitted, the University of Michigan is one of the country's most selective public universities. In the graph above, green and blue represent accepted students. As you can see, the majority of accepted students had a GPA of B+ or higher, an SAT score (RW+M) above 1100, and an ACT composite score of 23 or higher. Your chance of getting accepted goes up significantly as those numbers go up. The greatest density of data points in the graph is for students who got a 1300 or higher on the SAT and and 28 or better on the ACT. Realize, however, that high test scores and an "A" average don't guarantee an acceptance letter. Hidden beneath the blue and green on the graph is a lot of red — some students who can boast of excellent numerical measures still get rejected from the University of Michigan. This graph of University of Michigan rejection data makes visible all the red behind the blue and green above.

On the other hand, a number of students were accepted with test scores and grades a bit below the norm. The University of Michigan uses the Common Application and has holistic admissions, so the admissions officers are considering qualitative as well as quantitative information. Students who show some kind of interesting talent or have a compelling story to tell will often get a close look even if grades and test scores aren't quite up to the ideal. A winning essay, strong letters of recommendation, and interesting extracurricular activities all contribute to a successful application. You'll also want to put care into the University of Michigan supplemental essays for the Common Application. These essays include a 500-word  (or less) response to a question about your specific reasons for being interested in the university. Make sure your response is well researched and specific to Michigan. If you write a generic response that could be submitted to any school, you have lost an opportunity to demonstrate your interest in a meaningful way.

Students applying to the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, or the School of Music, Theatre & Dance will have additional application requirements.

Admissions Data (2016):

  • University of Michigan Acceptance Rate: 29 percent
  • Test Scores -- 25th / 75th Percentile
    • SAT Critical Reading: 640 / 730
    • SAT Math: 670 / 770
    • ACT Composite: 29 / 33
    • ACT English: 29 / 34
    • ACT Math: 27 / 33

University of Michigan Admissions Data for Rejected Students

University of Michigan GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Rejected Students
University of Michigan GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Rejected Students. Data courtesy of Cappex.

Because the University of Michigan is extremely selective and has holistic admissions, high grades and test scores do not guarantee admission. In the Cappex graph above, all data for admitted and waitlisted students has been removed to make the range of GPA, SAT and ACT data for rejected students more visible. If you are a very strong student, don't let this graph discourage you, but it should serve as a reality check. Quite a few students with solid "A" averages and SAT/ACT scores that are well above average do not get into the University of Michigan. It is probably best to consider the university a reach school, and you'll want to apply to other schools with a slightly lower admissions bar to ensure that you receive some acceptance letters.

More University of Michigan Information

The university's admissions standards are just one piece of the college selection equation. As you develop your college wish list, you'll clearly want to consider other factors such as price, academics, and student life.

Enrollment (2016):

  • Total Enrollment: 44,718 (28,983 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 50% Male / 50% Female
  • 97% Full-time

Costs (2016 - 17):

  • Tuition and Fees: $14,402 (in-state); $45,410 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,048 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $10,872
  • Other Expenses: $2,454
  • Total Cost: $28,776 (in-state); $59,784 (out-of-state)

Michigan Financial Aid (2015 - 16):

  • Percentage of Students Receiving Aid: 64 percent
  • Percentage of Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 50 percent
    • Loans: 29 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $16,865
    • Loans: $6,950

Academic Programs:

Graduation and Retention Rates:

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 97 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 77 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 91 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs:

  • Men's Sports: Lacrosse, Gymnastics, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Wrestling, Swimming, Tennis, Ice Hockey
  • Women's Sports: Field Hockey, Rowing, Soccer, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water Polo, Swimming, Softball

If You Like the University of Michigan, You May Also Like These Schools

Students who are attracted to the University of Michigan are often looking for large, selective, comprehensive research universities. Among public institutions, applicants to Michigan often consider Michigan State University, Ohio State University, and Purdue University. Farther afield, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and the University of Virginia are also popular.

When it comes to private universities, applicants often express interest in Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Chicago. Realize that the University of Michigan is one of the more expensive public universities in the country, so the cost difference between public and private institutions may not be significant. This is particularly true for out-of-state applicants and those who qualify for financial aid.

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Grove, Allen. "University of Michigan Admissions Statistics." ThoughtCo, Jan. 10, 2018, Grove, Allen. (2018, January 10). University of Michigan Admissions Statistics. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "University of Michigan Admissions Statistics." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 23, 2018).