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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

College calculator: Don’t believe college sticker prices

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is the cheapest public university for some Michigan residents to attend, and the most expensive for others. It all depends on your family income.
The amount you pay at U-M – or any of the state’s 15 public universities – often bears little resemblance to the sticker prices listed on websites.

One reason for why Michigan’s low-income students are under-represented in the state’s big public universities may be because many families don’t realize the sometimes huge difference between sticker and net price, and how those net prices vary between colleges. Net costs are lower than sticker prices for most Michigan families.

Use the chart below to see how much students in your income bracket would pay to attend Michigan’s public universities.

(Net costs by income bracket for Michigan’s private colleges and community colleges, as well as colleges across the nation, can be found here.)

College calculator: What your family income will buy at Michigan’s 15 public universities

Want to see what college you could best afford? Click on the income ranges to see what the average net price is at Michigan's 15 public universities. The income is a family's adjusted gross income. To see how different income brackets compare, you can add them by clicking on the buttons or remove them by clicking on the colored name of the bracket range below the chart.

$0-$30,000 $30,001-$48,000 $48,001-$75,000
$75,001-$110,000 $110,001+


Note: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, "average net price is generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state/local government, or institutional grant or scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance. Total cost of attendance is the sum of published tuition and required fees (lower of in-district or in-state), books and supplies, and the weighted average for room and board and other expenses."

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