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The Right Place

Higher Education

The West Michigan region is home to more than 20 colleges and universities, which produce some of the most qualified graduates in the nation. This strong educational network provides the Grand Rapids business community with a pipeline of highly skilled talent.

Regional Highlights

  • More than 91,000 students enrolled in local colleges and universities
  • 38% of our workforce has an associate’s degree or higher
  • Grand Rapids has seen a 93% increase in the number of college educated residents since 2000
  • Ranked 2nd in the nation for efficient spending on education in 2015 (WalletHub.com)
  • Ranked 4th Smartest City in the U.S. by Forbes

Top 10 Degrees by Field (2012)

Degree MSA* West Michigan Region**
Business Management and Marketing 3,011 3,845
Health Professions and Related 2,817 4,530
Education 1,332 1,539
Liberal Arts and Sciences 1,183 1,564
Psychology 544 572
Public Administration and Social Service 555 611
Computer and Information Sciences 504 654
Social Sciences 480 484
Visual and Performing Arts 440 718
Communications and Journalism 465 509

College Enrollment

Institution 2014 Enrollment
Aquinas College 1,933
Baker College 3,481
Calvin College 3,993
Central Michigan University - Grand Rapids 500
Thomas M. Cooley Law School 1,880
Cornerstone University 2,770
Davenport University - Western Region 8,715
Ferris State University - Kendall College of Art and Design 1,459
Ferris State University 14,600
Grace Bible College 700
Grand Rapids Community College 13,113
Grand Valley State University 25,094
Hope College 3,455
Kuyper College 370
Montcalm Community College 2,832
Michigan State University - West 400
Muskegon Community College 4,640
Western Michigan University - Grand Rapids 1,500

Educational Attainment - Grand Rapids MSA* (2015)

Educational Attainment - West Michigan Region**(2015)

Citations and Data Sources

Data source: Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI)

*The MSA consists of the following counties: Barry, Kent, Montcalm and Ottawa.

**The West Michigan region consists of the following counties: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Ottawa.