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 27 percent in 2017; 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 University of Michigan?

  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Campus Features: Located in one of the best college towns in the nation, University of Michigan's attractive 781-acre campus is home to over 500 buildings and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 11:1
  • Athletics: The Michigan Wolverines compete in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference.
  • Highlights: The University of Michigan consistently ranks among the top public universities in the country. Students can choose from over 200 undergraduate majors, and the school has notable strengths in fields ranging from art to engineering.

University of Michigan Admissions Statistics 2017-18

For the 2017-18 admissions cycle, the University of Michigan had an acceptance rate of just 27%. This makes Michigan one of the most selective public universities in the country. Below are standardized test score percentiles for admitted students.

SAT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75 Percentile
ERW 660 730
Math 670 770
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

You can see that students who attend Michigan tend to have SAT scores that are well above average, and if you compare SAT scores for the nation's top public universities, you'll find that Michigan has a higher admissions bar than many other prestigious universities.

ACT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75 Percentile
English 30 35
Math 28 34
Composite 30 33

An average ACT score is just a 21, so you can see that average isn't going to cut it when applying to the University of Michigan.

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.

The GPA and test score data in the graph is self-reported by actual applicants to the University of Michigan, and the grades are unweighted. You can see the real-time graph and calculate your chances of getting in to Michigan with a free account at Cappex.

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 A- or higher, an SAT score (RW+M) above 1200, and an ACT composite score of 25 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 1350 or higher on the SAT and and 29 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. The graph of University of Michigan rejection data below makes visible all the red behind the blue and green in the graph.

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.

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 (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 46,002 (29,821 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 50% Male / 50% Female
  • 96% Full-time

Costs (2017 - 18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $14,826 (in-state); $47,476 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,048 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $11,198
  • Other Expenses: $2,454
  • Total Cost: $29,526 (in-state); $62,176 (out-of-state)

Michigan Financial Aid (2016 - 17)

  • Percentage of Students Receiving Aid: 65 percent
  • Percentage of Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 53 percent
    • Loans: 29 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $18,751
    • Loans: $6,965

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: 92 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, wrestling
  • Women's Sports: basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, water polo

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.

Finally, be sure to look through the top Midwest colleges and top Michigan colleges. Specific applicants may also want to check out the top engineering schools and top undergraduate business schools. The University of Michigan made it onto all of these lists.