College Intel

University of Michigan Admissions

The ivy-covered Michigan Union is featured at the University of Michigan.

The University of Michigan is one of the most prestigious public institutions in the United States. Once a pioneer of the German research university model that now predominates across higher education, it tows the line between a private and public institution, with a funding model mostly comparable to elite private universities that also receives meager but not insignificant funding from the government of Michigan.

With over 33,000 undergraduates and 18,000 postgraduates, Michigan’s campus community is as academically formidable as it is diverse and spirited. U.S. President Gerald Ford is a Wolverine, as is co-founder of Google Larry Page, and actress Lucy Liu. Additionally, thirteen Nobel Laureates and eight Pulitzer Prize winners have taught at Michigan.

Undergraduates do not apply to Michigan’s 14 undergraduate schools and colleges through one centralized process. Instead, each school and college has its own application process. Students must choose between the following colleges and programs: Architecture & Urban Planning; Art & Design; Business; Dental Hygiene; Education; Engineering; Information; Kinesiology; Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA); Music, Theatre & Dance; Nursing; Pharmacy; Public Health; and Public Policy. Each program has its own core curriculum, and 85 majors are offered across the university. The business, engineering, and computer science programs, in particular, have reputations as hubs of research and development.

As part of the creation of the Michigan Territory in 1817, Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, was established as a centralized system of schools and libraries. It wasn’t until 1837, when Michigan entered the Union, that the University of Michigan was commissioned on land in Ann Arbor. Around the turn of the 20th century, Michigan was one of the largest universities in the nation, rivaling Harvard and Columbia. In the late 20th century and as recently as 2008, some groups have advocated for the complete privatization of the university, but no change has thus far been enacted.

Today, Michigan is known for its tremendous research output (and with over $1.6 billion in annual funding, we would hope this output is tremendous!), its history of acting as a model for other major research universities such as Cornell and Stanford, and its lively campus life.

The majority of undergraduate and graduate students live off campus, but those who do live on campus can choose between a variety of themed dorms and “Michigan Learning Communities’’ organized around affinities such as “Women in Science and Engineering,” and “Sustainable Living.” A small percentage of students are in a fraternity or sorority, but most are involved in student organizations of some variety. One of the perks of having such a large student body is that there are groups for every type of student with every type of interest, including “Students for the Exploration and Development of Space” and the “Video Game Music Club.”

The UMich Wolverines compete in NCAA’s Division I. The athletic program has one of the highest overall success rates in competitions as tracked by NACDA Director’s Cup. Students and alumni have accumulated 155 Olympic medals.

In recent years, Michigan has culled its classes from some of the largest applicant pools in higher education. For admission to the Class of 2027, 87,632 students applied (roughly 23,000 more applications than UMich received a mere four years ago), while 15,722 were offered admission, for an acceptance rate of 18%. According to Undergraduate Admissions, admissions officers use the following criteria to evaluate an applicant and assign a “rating:” “Secondary School  Academic Performance;” “Educational Environment;” “Counselor and Teacher Recommendation;” “Essays;” and “Awards/honors, involvement, leadership, and service.”

Obviously, it presents quite a challenge to stand out in a pool of applicants so large and competitive. Students with dreams of showing up in The Michiganensian Yearbook should turn to Ivy Coach to come to a better understanding of the unique perspective they have to show to the admissions committee!


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