[Skip to Content]

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 (2015)

Degree MSA* West Michigan Region**
Business Management and Marketing 2,924 3,642
Health Professions and Related 2,569 3,935
Education 1,387 1,559
Liberal Arts and Sciences 1,719 2,141
Psychology 553 593
Public Administration and Social Service 553 580
Computer and Information Sciences 505 650
Social Sciences 438 447
Visual and Performing Arts 414 678
Communications and Journalism 467 492

College Enrollment

Institution 2015 Enrollment 2015-2016 Graduates
Aquinas College 1,800 393
Baker College 3,481 726
Calvin College 3,990 899
Central Michigan University - Grand Rapids 500 40
Thomas M. Cooley Law School 350 927
Cornerstone University 2,447 725
Davenport University - Western Region 3,561 751
Ferris State University - Kendall College of Art and Design 1,214 307
Ferris State University 14,715 4,196
Grace Bible College 700 73
Grand Rapids Community College 13,014 1,886
Grand Valley State University 25,323 5,494
Hope College 3,407 713
Kuyper College 259 66
Montcalm Community College 1,685 448
Michigan State University - West 1098 204
Muskegon Community College 4,506 551
Western Michigan University - Grand Rapids 1,500 300

Educational Attainment - Grand Rapids MSA* (2016)

Educational Attainment - West Michigan Region**(2016)

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.