20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns

Most Affordable Michigan College Towns;-Tuition isn’t the only factor to take into account while figuring out how to pay for college. Housing, food, transportation, and entertainment are additional considerations that a college or university may not always be able to cover. Fortunately, there are many affordable college towns for students to live in and enjoy for those attending school in Michigan.

Methodology for College Towns in Michigan
Our editors compiled a list of every college town in Michigan using Wikipedia before ranking them using Sperling’s Best Places to determine which were the most inexpensive. We analyzed housing, food, healthcare, transportation, and utility expenditures to the national average in order to determine which college towns are the most cheap. Before reducing our list to the 20 most affordable college towns in Michigan, we also took into account aspects like amenities, crime rates, public transit, and general quality of life.

20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns


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Alma College’s cost of living is 20.3% cheaper than the state average and 23.6% less expensive than the national average.
Alma, often known as “Scotland, USA,” is a small town far from the big city, yet that is one of its main attractions for students. Alma’s laid-back downtown, which also houses the institution, is where students can get all they need in terms of eateries, coffee shops, and other services. Alma’s low crime rate makes it a safe environment for people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors and town at their own leisure, which is just as alluring.

2. Sault Ste. Marie

Sault College, Lake Superior State University
Cost of living: 19.6% less than the state average and 22.9% less than the national average.
The Upper Peninsula’s Sault Ste. Marie, sometimes known as Soo-Saint-Marie, is the oldest city in Michigan and the location of Sault College and Lake Superior State University.

There isn’t likely to be boredom among the locals. The name Soo, as it is affectionately known, is derived from an old French phrase that meant “waterfall,” and in this place, life revolves heavily around the water. There are lots of enjoyable outdoor activities available near the Soo Locks, as well as various inland lakes and Lake Superior beaches. Four casinos and two educational museums about the river and its significant history are close by for students of legal age.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns

3.Big Rapids

University of Ferris
Cost of living: 15.5% below state average and 18.8% below national average.
Big Rapids, which is the location of Ferris State University, is a college town through and through. Residents who enjoy the outdoors can find lots to enjoy in Big Rapids, just like in so many other cities in Michigan. During the warmer months, lots of people like to hang out along the Muskegon River. People tubing along the moving river, tailgating, and mingling. Parks, Chippewa Lake, Rogers Dam, or Haymarsh Lake State Game Area are a few other outdoor recreation areas. Big Rapids prefers the latter for target shooting and deer hunting.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns


Cost of living at Albion College is 18.1% less than the national average and 14.8% less than the state average.
Albion appears on a number of lists highlighting the “worst college towns in America,” yet a newspaper article from Albion College adamantly asserts that this has no bearing on the Albion experience.

It’s also true that the college more than makes up for the town’s lack of student-friendly amenities by hosting campus events and other social gatherings. Albion is also unquestionably inexpensive. Nearly half the national average can be found for a two-bedroom rental in Albion, where prices for food, healthcare, and entertainment are all lower.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns


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Cost of living at Hillsdale College is 14.5% less than the state average and 17.8% less than the national average.
The historic college that is the center of attention in the sleepy rural community of Hillsdale is called Hillsdale College. Campus residents may easily walk to downtown, where they will discover quaint cafes and stores like Jilly Beans and Checker Records. Beautiful parks and even a lake allow for lovely off-campus walking locations. The surrounding town of Jonesville, which is a popular with students for its delectable restaurants, and a movie theater are accessible from the town’s exit.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns


University of Siena Heights and Adrian College
Cost of living: 13.7% below state average and 17% below the national average.
Although Adrian, home to Siena Heights University and Adrian College, is a small town, its vibrant student population manages to find lots of inexpensive things to do. Numerous popular local eateries provide students food and amusement, while a movie theater and the college’s top-ranked hockey team offer inexpensive, enjoyable entertainment.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns


Kalamazoo College, Western Michigan University, and Nazareth College
Cost of living: 13.6% less expensive than the state average and 16.9% less expensive than the national average.
In all of Michigan, Kalamazoo is one of the most affordable cities to live in and is home to three institutions (as well as Derek Jeter). Beautiful outdoor spaces abound in and around the city, including the 180-acre arboretum at Kalamazoo College, where locals, both permanent and students, enjoy running or strolling their dogs.

During the summer, the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market offers a reasonable setting to purchase locally grown food. The unusual Aviation Zoo is an air museum that everyone would find interesting in terms of entertainment, and the nearby minor league hockey team can always be relied upon to add some

8.Berrien Springs

Andrews College
Cost of living: 16% less than the average for the country; 12.7% less than the average for the state.
Andrews University is located in the sleepy, endearing tiny town of Berrien Springs. Since the University is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventists, the town offers several churches and a well-known health foods store to individuals who have Seventh-day sympathies. Other than that, Berrien Springs provides people with a wide range of amenities. In addition to wineries and Lake Michigan beaches, the town also has bars, restaurants, a library, and a riverfront park.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns


Southwestern Michigan State University
Cost of living: 12.1% less expensive than the state average and 15.4% less expensive than the national average.
Saginaw’s recent transient increases in crime and unemployment have started to go down.
Students from Saginaw Valley State can still afford to attend college in the town.

According to Sperling’s Best Places, housing prices for students living off campus can be as much as 52% lower than the national average, with costs for food, healthcare, utilities, and entertainment also being lower than the average. Speaking of entertainment, students at the institution have a lot to choose from, and those who simply want to get away may easily travel to Midland or Bay City, the other two cities in the Tri-City region.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns

10. Mount Pleasant

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Central University of Michigan
Cost of living: 11.9% below state average; 15.2% below national average.
Right in the center of the Lower Peninsula sits Mount Pleasant, the location of Central Michigan University. A place like this is perfect for anyone who like the outdoors and the natural world. Students can enjoy the many lakes, rivers, and forests in and around Mount Pleasant while adhering to a strict spending limit for entertainment. Speaking of rivers, tubing or kayaking down the Chippewa, which passes by and connects five of Mount Pleasant’s parks, is a favorite pastime for both locals and students.

Read;Top 20 Most Affordable College Towns in Kentucky 2023


Olivet College’s cost of living is 91.0% below state average and 12.4% below the national average.
Tiny Olivet, a town in southwest Michigan, is the location of Olivet College, a private institution. Don’t be fooled by the town’s small size—it occupies a plot of land that is only one square mile. Locally owned stores and eateries line the tree-lined streets, and the area’s natural setting offers all of the outdoor activities for which Michigan is renowned. The Firemen’s Festival is just one of the annual activities that the town hosts.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns


Northwood University
Cost of living is 8.4% and 11.7% lower than the state and national averages, respectively.
The calm town of Midland, Michigan, which is located in the Tri-Cities area of Michigan, is (which also includes Saginaw and Bay City). Fortunately, it is close enough to other larger towns that finding something to do is easy if one is willing to drive. Nevertheless, due to its affordable rent and abundance of parks, trails, and even lakes, Midland is a fantastic option for people on a tight budget.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns


Michigan Institute of Technology
Cost of living: 8.1% less than the state average and 11.6% less than the national average.
Due to its low crime rate, picturesque location, and extensive list of services, the little town of Houghton, which is home to Michigan Technological University, has been included on numerous “Best Of” lists. Numerous free leisure activities are available to students who live here, from lounging on the waterfront to hiking one of the numerous nearby trails. Additionally, students have access to the town’s amazing amenities, including restaurants and public services.

14.Grand Rapids

Kendall College of Art and Design, Cornerstone University, Davenport University, Aquinas College, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grace Bible College, and Kuyper College
Cost of living: 4% below the state average and 7.3% below the national average, respectively.
With 15 schools and universities located within the city limits and a permanent population of just under 200,000, it is not surprising that Grand Rapids is known for its college town atmosphere.

There is constantly accessible entertainment taking place because to the abundance of theaters and performing arts centers. A pleasant location for studying or socializing on a budget may be found at places like the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. There are many diverse restaurants, and because the city is walkable, students can save money on things like transportation.

15.Spring Arbor

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Cost of living at Spring Arbor University is 6.4% less than the national average and 3.1% less than the state average.
Although Spring Arbor, the town where Spring Arbor University is located, is not your typical college town, many people find it to be desirable due to its reasonable cost of living and tranquil small-town vibe. Spring Arbor, which locals refer to as a “wonderful place to live,” is home to several parks and outdoor areas, such as Falling Waters Trail, an active religious community, and a town population that values and supports the University.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns


Northeastern University
Cost of living is 6% cheaper than the average for the country and 2.7% lower than the average for the state.
In Marquette, there’s always something to do! Marquette, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts. In or close to the town are:

11 hiking routes
eleven waterfalls
ten miles of citywide bike lanes
Cross-country ski paths totaling 96 kilometers
snowmobile routes spanning more than 500 kilometres
With so many outdoor activities, it makes sense that local costs for things like entertainment and healthcare are lower than normal. In addition, Marquette is home to a large number of stores, eateries, and theaters as well as dozens of concerts and other events every year.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns

17.East Lansing

University of Michigan State
Cost of living: 3.6% lower than the average for the country and.3% lower than the average for the state.
East Lansing, which is home to Michigan State University, is a wonderful place to live! When school is in session, the town’s population doubles, therefore the large number of students undoubtedly contributes to East Lansing’s enjoyable college atmosphere.

Numerous festivals and other yearly events are held throughout the town. Theaters, museums, and a ton of shopping are among the amenities. Even more recently, East Lansing has developed into something of a center for IT businesses and research, which may help to explain why its permanent population has been gradually rising.


Western Theological Seminary, Hope College
Cost of living is.3% higher than the state average and 3% lower than the national average.
Beautiful Holland, Michigan is home to a bustling college culture, a historic Dutch heritage, and a cost of living that is 6% lower than the national average. It makes sense why it consistently makes lists of the top little towns in America.

The quaint downtown of Holland is picture-perfect. Downtown Holland is a popular hangout for locals and students alike because it is lined with cafes, restaurants, book stores, and art galleries. However, the town is most known for its yearly Tulip Time Festival. To celebrate Dutch culture and everything tulip-related, people go from all over the world.20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns


Eastern University of Michigan
Cost of living: 6.9% more expensive than the state average; 3.6% more expensive than the national average.
Ypsilanti, once a bustling city supported by a Ford plant, has slowed down to become a college town supported by Eastern Michigan University students. The town, affectionately known as “Ypsi,” has a wide range of leisure options, including a respected library, in addition to an astounding number of mom-and-pop stores and eateries. Additionally, the town is easily accessible from both Detroit and Ann Arbor, making long nights out simple.

20. Allendale

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University of Grand Valley
Cost of living: 7.4% more expensive than the state average; 4.1% more expensive than the national average.
Allendale has recently been added to our list of Michigan’s most affordable college towns for 2020. Allendale, which houses Grand Valley State University, is a town for young people. In fact, Sperling’s Best Places reports that Allendale residents are 21 years old on average. Allendale’s location in the Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland area gives its people quick access to a variety of eateries, entertainment options, and other attractions.

So which college towns in Michigan have the highest prices? These are they:

Livonia (7.6% above the state median)
Ann Arbor and Rochester Hills both have greater incomes than the national average (by 27.1% and 26.2% respectively).20 Most Affordable Michigan College Towns