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1201 S State St
Big Rapids, MI 49307-2251
p. 231-591-2000
w. www.ferris.edu/

Ferris State University

Ferris State University Rating: 4.0/5 (15 votes)

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Academics

For students who want a great chance at getting a job after college, Ferris State University has an impressive track record of generating graduates who quickly find work after graduation.

Career and work force development have been a key component of the university’s mission since its founding in 1884, and these core values have held true to today. In 2009, the employment rate for Ferris grads was at 93 percent. About 89 percent of Ferris State University programs are aligned with in-demand career fields.  

The university has a main campus in Big Rapids, Michigan and also maintains 15 off-campus facilities and an online program.  

Degrees and Programs

The university has more than 190 undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of fields of study, and offers a number of degrees that no other institution in Michigan offers in the fields of health sciences, business and technology. For example, the university’s welding engineering technology program is one of only four such programs in the United States. Seven Ferris State University degrees can be earned online, including a master’s degree in nuring.  

The university also offers doctoral degrees in optometry and pharmacy colleges. In fact, the majority of Michigan’s pharmacists and optometrists are graduates of Ferris State. The university’s pharmacy school is well-regarded and is perhaps one of the better-known programs on the campus. Also highly regarded are the university’s teacher education program, which is ranked best in the state of Michigan, and its engineering school.  

The most popular degree programs at the university are business administration, construction management, criminal justice, nursing science and pharmacy.  

Ferris State has a faculty-student ration of 1:15, and 62 percent of classes have 20-49 students, while about 33 percent have 20 or fewer students.  The university has a freshmen retention rate of over 70 percent, which typically indicates a high level of satisfaction among students, and sufficient support for students within the university to help them stay in school and on track to graduate. Credit for this high rate is given to a peer mentoring program that matches freshmen up with upperclassmen.  

Accreditation and Rankings

Ferris State University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits schools, colleges and universities in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The NCA also accredits schools for the Navajo Nation. The NCA accredits about 10,000 educational institutions.  

Ferris State University is ranked the No. 98 regional university in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report. The publication gives Ferris State the No. 36 ranking among public institutions in the region. U.S. News and World Report also give the university’s pharmacy program good reviews.  

Ferris State University opened the Michigan College of Optometry in January 2011. This $22 million facility houses the university’s optometry program, providing state-of-the art laboratories, classrooms and other facilities.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Admissions

Ferris State University has selective admissions standards and the school can be tough to get into. Only about 55 percent of students who apply to Ferris State are accepted.

The fall admission deadline for new students is June 15. The spring semester deadline is October 15. Students seeking scholarships are encouraged to apply as early as possible in their senior year as some scholarships are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

The average high school GPA of 3.1 and the average ACT score is 21. Some specific programs at the university have admission requirements, and transfer students should be sure they meet those requirements before applying to the university.

As of May 2011, the university does not charge an application fee.  

Financial Aid

Students applying to Ferris State University are eligible for federal grants and student loans. There are also a number of grants and scholarships offered by the state of Michigan, the university and other organizations that students may be eligible for.

For example, the Academic Opportunity Scholarship is good for $2,000 per year and Michigan residents who have a high school GPA of 2.0 or better are eligible. The university offers a number of science and technology-based scholarships, such as the FIRST Robotics/FIRST Technology Scholarship, a $1,000 one time only award available to new freshmen who competed in the FIRST Robotics or Technology Challenge.

Non-Michigan residents can take advantage the Great Lakes Scholarship, which allows them to pay in-state tuition instead of out-of-state tuition.

About 71 percent of Ferris State University students receive financial aid of some sort. The university awards more than $16 million in student aid each year. The university’s office of financial aid also stands ready to help students find other grants and scholarships they may be eligible for. The school’s website, has a helpful list of scholarships that students can use to see which awards they may be eligible for.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2761st for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Michigan.

Students

Ferris State University is a mid-sized college in a rural setting in the middle of Michigan. The winters are cold and the summers are mild, and while the area is relatively quiet, the university does offer students some entertainment options.

Unlike most colleges and universities, Ferris State has more male students than female students (51 percent to 49 percent). Racially the campus is overwhelmingly white, with African-Americans being the next largest demographic group. Less than a third of the university’s students live on campus. However, the university does allow freshmen students to have cars on campus, a benefit many other colleges do not afford to underclassmen.

The university has more than 200 campus organizations including professional and academic organizations, and special interest organizations such as the Gamer’s Consortium, a role-playing group. Club sports are also big at Ferris State and a variety of organizations exist, such as Shred, which is devoted to snowboarding and skiing.

Ferris State University has 28 Greek organizations on campus. About 5-6 percent of the student body is involved in fraternities and sororities.

The university has a student newspaper, The Torch, that has been published since 1931. The university also has an AM radio station.

The Rankin Student Center is located at the heart of the main campus in Big Rapids, and houses many of the student activities’ offices, the bookstore and more. The university’s recreation center houses an indoor pool, hot tubs, an elevated track, climbing wall and much more. The university also has a 5,000 square foot wildlife museum students can enjoy.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics

Athletics

Ferris State University provides a wide range of college sports for its male and female students to participate in, and has had a strong showing in some sports in recent years.

Ferris State University is an NCAA Division II school (except for the hockey team, which competes in Division I) and is a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (the hockey team competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association).

The university offers men’s football, basketball, ice hockey, cross country, golf, tennis and track and field. Women’s sports include soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, basketball, cross country and golf.

Ferris State University were NCAA Division II national runners up in wrestling in 1984 and women’s golf in 2004 and 2006. The men and women’s tennis teams both made NCAA Division II championship appearances in 2004. The university’s stand-out program is its ice hockey team, which won the CCHA championship in the 2002-2003 season.  

Ferris State University’s athletic teams are nicknamed the Bulldogs. School colors are crimson and gold.

Traditions

Public service is something the university emphasizes to its students and a yearly service event, called The Big Event, has become a university tradition. More than 1,500 students participated in the most recent Big Event, which involved community clean-ups and other service projects.

Ferris Fest is a free annual outdoor musical festival that routinely attracts big name musical events.

Local Community

Big Rapids, Michigan is a small city of about 10,000 residents. In fact, the student population of Ferris State University is larger than the city. Appropriate to the small-town setting, most Big Rapids events are rural-themed.

Nightlife is pretty limited in Big Rapids, but some popular student hangouts include The Gate, and River Rock. The university is about three hours from big cities such as Chicago and Detroit.

The university does offer a number of outdoor recreation possibilities to students. For example, the White Pine Trail, Michigan’s biggest rails to trails bike trail is near the university and offers students miles and miles of walking and bicycle trails.

Additional School Information

Ferris State University was founded in 1884 as the Big Rapids Industrial School. The school was later renamed for Woodbridge Nathan Ferris, who later became the governor of Michigan and a senator.

Ferris State has had career training as a primary goal since its founding and was unique in that it accepted women students from its beginning and had them in its first graduating class.

Most of the buildings at the university were destroyed by a fire in the 1950s.

The university is home to the National Elastomer Center, which houses the uinversity’s plastics engineering and rubber engineering programs.

Bibliography

  • The College Board College Handbook, 2010 . 47th ed. New York: College Board, 2009. Print.
  • McGrath, Anne. Ultimate college guide 2010 . 7th ed. Naperville, Ill.: Sourcebooks Inc., 2009. Print.
  • Ferris State University: Michigan College Campuses in Big Rapids MI, Grand Rapids MI, Off Campus Locations Across Michigan." Ferris State University: Michigan College Campuses in Big Rapids MI, Grand Rapids MI, Off Campus Locations Across Michigan. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2011. <http://www.ferris.edu/>.

Information Summary

Ranks 18th in Michigan and 568th overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Michigan and 211th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 1 0.01
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 8 0.05
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 8 0.05
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest 41 0.28

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Big Rapids, MI 49307-2251
Surrounding communityRemote town (over 35 mi. away from an urban cluster)
Total Population19,166 (11,937 urban / 7,229 rural)
Households6,561 (2.42 people per house)
Median Household Income$30,483
Families3,736 (2.96 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateProfessions focus, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate with arts & sciences (other dominant fields)
Undergraduate PopulationMedium full-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentVery high undergraduate
Size & SettingLarge four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District2604

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees


Ranks 1424th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $10,220 $10,220 $16,440
FT Undergraduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $365 $365 $548
FT Graduate Tuition $4,970 $4,970 $13,428
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $497 $497 $746
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $21,878 $21,878 $28,134
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $21,878 $21,878 $28,134
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $13,744 $13,744 $20,000

Student Tuition Costs for Professional Fields

  In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Optometry Degree — Tuition $21,708 $32,580
Optometry Degree — Required Fees N/A N/A
Pharmacology Degree — Tuition $18,912 $28,384
Pharmacology Degree — Required Fees N/A N/A

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $9,934 $10,354 $9,934 $10,354 $15,822 $16,512
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,016 $1,050
On-Campus – Room & Board $8,744(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses $1,796 $1,946
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $8,744(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $1,796 $1,946
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $2,306 $2,472

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application FeeN/A
Graduate Application FeeN/A
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 10,718 (4,628 male / 6,090 female)
Admitted 8,135 (3,436 male / 4,699 female)
Admission rate 76%
First-time Enrollment 2,006 (976 male / 1,030 female)
FT Enrollment 1,954 (947 male / 1,007 female)
PT Enrollment 52 (29 male / 23 female)
Total Enrollment14,707

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /  N/A / 
College Prep. CompletionN/A
RecommendationsN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
TOEFL
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Great Lakes Intercollegiate Ath Conf
NCAA Basketball Conference Great Lakes Intercollegiate Ath Conf
NCAA Track & Field Conference Great Lakes Intercollegiate Ath Conf

ACT Test Admission

893rd for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 97%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 24
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 25
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 19 / 24

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity3,972
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

 
Total 55 171 82 63 27 2,905 186 3,542
Accounting 1 1 1 29 1 33
Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping 1 1 1 19 3 25
Accounting and Finance 7 7
Adult Development and Aging 5 5
Advertising 1 14 15
Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects 1 1 3 24 9 39
Applied Mathematics, General 1 12 13
Architectural Engineering Technology/Technician 2 42 45
Art History, Criticism and Conservation 1 4 5
Art Teacher Education 5 4 9
Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician 9 2 2 52 4 69
Automotive Engineering Technology/Technician 6 1 2 23 1 34
Biochemistry 5 5
Biological and Physical Sciences 4 1 5 60 1 71
Biology Teacher Education 2 2
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 1 6 3 2 52 1 67
Biotechnology 2 3 5
Business Administration and Management, General 2 12 4 6 5 207 17 258
Business Statistics
Business Teacher Education
CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician 1 18 19
Chemical Technology/Technician 4 4
Chemistry, General 6 6
Child Care and Support Services Management 3 2 28 33
Civil Engineering Technology/Technician 12 12
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 1 1 1 16 20
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician 1 1
Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications 1 1 2
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance 1 1 19 21
Construction Engineering 1 1 2
Construction Engineering Technology/Technician 1 3 35 40
Construction Management 1 2 2 1 65 72
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration 4 1 2 80 4 92
Criminal Justice/Police Science 39 15 1 2 280 12 358
Criminalistics and Criminal Science 2 2
Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other 1 1
Curriculum and Instruction 1 1 18 20
Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration 1 1 2
Dental Hygiene/Hygienist 1 56 1 59
Design and Applied Arts, Other 4 3 7
Design and Visual Communications, General
Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer and Ultrasound Technician 1 21 22
Dietetics/Dietitian 2 2
Drawing 2 7 9
E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce 1 2 3
Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician 4 1 1 6 12
Elementary Education and Teaching 1 1 47 1 50
Energy Management and Systems Technology/Technician 3 3 2 36 2 46
English/Language Arts Teacher Education 4 4
Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies 2 2
Environmental Biology 1 1
Fashion Merchandising 1 1
Finance, General 1 14 15
Fine/Studio Arts, General 1 14 3 18
General Studies 4 1 1 1 42 2 53
Graphic Design 1 2 1 1 79 19 103
Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production 2 1 3
Health Information/Medical Records Administration/Administrator 2 1 12 15
Health Information/Medical Records Technology/Technician 3 1 2 53 4 64
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other 1 4 1 29 1 36
Health/Health Care Administration/Management 2 2 3 1 81 89
Health/Medical Preparatory Programs, Other 1 2 3
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering Technology/Technician 1 1 25 27
Heavy Equipment Maintenance Technology/Technician 56 3 60
History Teacher Education 1 5 6
History, General 9 9
Hospitality Administration/Management, General 1 1 19 21
Hospitality and Recreation Marketing Operations 1 48 2 51
Hotel/Motel Administration/Management 1 1 7 1 11
Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General 2 2 1 1 2 21 1 32
Illustration 1 1 2 2 13 12 31
Industrial Electronics Technology/Technician 1 10 11
Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians, Other 1 35 2 38
Industrial Technology/Technician 1 2 17 20
Industrial and Product Design 8 8 16
Information Resources Management 1 1
Information Technology 1 4 1 1 35 1 43
Interior Design 2 1 13 9 28
International Business/Trade/Commerce 2 2 5 9
Legal Assistant/Paralegal 1 2 7 10
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other 7 1 7 16
Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management 1 1
Management Science 6 6
Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician 1 1 1 1 18 22
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 1 6 1 1 45 54
Mathematics Teacher Education 4 4
Mathematics, General 1 1
Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician 2 2 1 2 60 4 73
Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder
Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist 36 1 38
Metal and Jewelry Arts 1 1
Music Management 1 2 1 28 33
Nuclear Medical Technology/Technologist 2 2 41 2 48
Nursing Administration 19 1 20
Nursing Education 2 2
Office Management and Supervision 1 5 6
Operations Management and Supervision 5 2 48 56
Organizational Leadership 4 4
Painting 1 2 3 6
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management, General 14 2 16
Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist 1 1
Photography 1 1 5 7 14
Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology/Technician 1 44 45
Political Science and Government, General 1 3 4
Pre-Pharmacy Studies
Prepress/Desktop Publishing and Digital Imaging Design 2 8 10
Printing Management 2 8 10
Professional, Technical, Business, and Scientific Writing 1 8 9
Psychology, General 5 30 35
Public Administration
Public Relations/Image Management 2 18 1 21
Quality Control Technology/Technician 8 3 1 1 36 1 51
Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician 3 14 1 18
Real Estate
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 4 3 5 2 186 7 212
Resort Management 3 3
Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist 3 2 1 33 2 42
Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager 1 1 6 2 11
Rhetoric and Composition 1 9 11
Sculpture 3 3
Secondary Education and Teaching 2 2 4
Selling Skills and Sales Operations 1 6 7
Social Science Teacher Education 1 1
Social Studies Teacher Education 5 1 6
Social Work 4 2 43 2 52
Sociology 1
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 1 2 3
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 1 1
Surveying Engineering 1 13 14
Surveying Technology/Surveying 4 4
Systems Engineering 1 1
Technical Teacher Education 1 24 25
Telecommunications Technology/Technician 9 9
Tool and Die Technology/Technician 1 3 4
Welding Technology/Welder 2 35 1 39
Writing, General 1 8 9

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 931st for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $76,056 ($79,607 male / $67,268 female)
Number of FT Faculty 562 (327 male / 235 female)
Number of PT Faculty 980
FT Faculty Ratio 0.6 : 1
Total Benefits $22,258,099

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