Is the University of Michigan Hard to Get Into?

The University of Michigan is considered a Public Ivy. The title alone makes it seem that only certain students are welcomed to its campus. And now you might be wondering if it’s really hard to get admitted into it.

It’s hard to get into the University of Michigan. With an acceptance rate of 23% only, less than a quarter of all applicants end up with an acceptance letter. While UM does not have a published minimum GPA requirement applicants should meet, the average GPA of accepted first-year students is 3.88.

Before you try to cross UMich off your college list, continue reading.

You will have a much better idea of the things that separate applicants who receive an acceptance letter from U of M from those who get a rejection letter by the time you get to the conclusion of this article.

University of Michigan

Is the University of Michigan Highly Ranked?

Being a Public Ivy, it’s no wonder why the University of Michigan ranks highly in many different national and statewide college rankings. For instance, the school is #3 in Top Public Schools #23 in National Universities, both by US News. Meanwhile, UMich is #23 in the QS World University Rankings.

The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, in particular, is a high-ranking public institution.

As a matter of fact, it’s considered the top college in Michigan by Niche. The other two campuses in the UMich System are also some of the best institutions for higher education in the Great Lake State.

Here are the top 25 entries in Niche’s Best Colleges in Michigan

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor#1
Michigan State University#2
Michigan Technological University#3
Hope College#4
Calvin University#5
Kalamazoo College#6
University of Michigan – Dearborn#7
Wayne State University#8
Western Michigan University#9
Grand Valley State University#10
College for Creative Studies#11
Andrews University#12
Lawrence Technological University#13
Albion College#14
Saginaw Valley State University#15
Central Michigan University#16
Kettering University#17
Spring Arbor University#18
Oakland University#19
Aquinas College – Michigan#20
Northwood University – Midland#21
University of Detroit Mercy#22
Alma College#23
University of Michigan – Flint#24
Cornerstone University#25

Generally speaking, the more college rankings a school dominates, the more selective and lower the acceptance rate. True enough UM, a highly ranked school, is very selective.

What GPA Do You Need to Get Into the University of Michigan?

The average GPA of first-year students the University of Michigan accepts is 3.88. More than half of applicants the school admits have high school GPAs of 4.0. Like many institutions, UM does not have a minimum GPA requirement applicants should meet for their applications to be considered.

High school GPA is considered a “very important” academic admissions factor at UMich.

Despite this, the school evaluates applications from all graduating high school students with all kinds of GPAs. That’s because applicants do not have to have a certain GPA just to be able to give going to UM a shot.

But since the University of Michigan has a very low acceptance rate of 23%, it’s a must that your GPA can impress if you want to be one of the less than one-fourth of all applicants who end up getting accepted. This is some sort of an unwritten rule college-bound teens are expected to know since UM is a most selective public institution.

To have an idea of whether or not your high school GPA could make the heads of UMich’s admissions officers turn toward it, here’s a table demonstrating the percentage of first-year students admitted into the school and their GPA ranges:

3.75 to 3.9956.00%
3.50 to 3.749.20%
3.25 to 3.491.20%
3.00 to 3.240.60%
2.50 to 2.990.20%
2.0 to 2.490.20%
1.0 to 1.990.00%
Below 1.00.00%

The majority of applicants who end up accepted into U of M have GPAs that range from 3.75 to 3.99. Needless to say, your chances of getting an acceptance letter from the school are good if your high school GPA is also within that range. The closer it is to 4.0, the better your admissions chances.

Worry not if your GPA is not the closest to the average GPA of first-year admits (3.88). That’s because the University of Michigan has a holistic admissions policy — various parts of your application will be taken into account, too.

What Test Score Do You Need to Get Into the University of Michigan?

Most first-year students (67.1%) accepted into the University of Michigan who submitted their SAT scores have a composite score range of 1400 to 1600. On the other hand, a vast majority of admitted first-year students (84.5%) who submitted their ACT scores have a composite score range of 30 to 36.

63% of U of M admits have submitted their SAT scores. Meanwhile, 48% have submitted their ACT scores.

Like high school GPA, there is no published minimum standardized test score requirement that UMich applicants have to meet. So, in other words, you can apply to the school no matter your SAT or ACT score.

However, if the goal is to gain admission into the selective school and you prefer to submit your test score, it’s definitely a good idea for your SAT or ACT score to be impressive. After all, one of the academic admissions factors at U of M is standardized test score, which has a relative importance of “important”.

In a few, we will talk about the various admissions factors the school considers — so don’t stop reading now.

The SAT middle 50% range for first-year applicants who get accepted into the University of Michigan is 1340 to 1530. On the other hand, the ACT middle 50% range for students who gain admission into the school is 31 to 34. Have a standardized test score as close to the upper value as possible (or higher), and you’re golden.

Simply put, the figures above mean that:

  • 25% of admits have SAT scores lower than 1340.
  • Meanwhile, 25% of them have SAT scores higher than 1530.
  • 25% of students accepted into UMich have ACT scores lower than 31.
  • On the other hand, 25% of them have ACT scores higher than 34.

Wondering if your SAT or ACT score is enough to get you an offer to enroll at UM? Check out the following tables of the percentage of accepted first-year students and their composite test scores:

1400 to 160067.10%
1200 to 139927.50%
1000 to 11995.20%
800 to 9990.10%
600 to 7990.00%
400 to 5990.00%
SAT scores at UMich

30 to 3684.50%
24 to 2912.90%
18 to 232.50%
12 to 170.30%
6 to 110.00%
Below 60.00%
ACT scores at UMich

If you took the SAT or ACT more than once, it’s a great idea to submit your scores from all test dates. That’s because the University of Michigan superscores standardized test scores — it will consider only your best section scores.

Which Admissions Factors are Considered at the University of Michigan?

There are various academic and non-academic factors considered in the admissions process at the University of Michigan. There are also factors the school does not take into account that others do. Some of the most important admissions factors at UM are academic rigor, GPA, test score and character.

It’s no secret that UMich has a low acceptance rate of 23%.

Knowing the various factors the school’s admissions officers take a look at while carrying out its holistic admissions process can give you an idea of whether or not your chances of getting accepted are good.

At U of M, just like at other colleges and universities where GPAs and test scores are not the only admissions factors, there are various things considered when evaluating applications. Some of them are academic factors, while others are non-academic factors. Some of the most important, generally speaking, are academic ones.

Here are the various academic factors considered at UMich and the relative importance of each:

  • Academic rigor – very important
  • GPA – very important
  • Standardized test score – important
  • Admissions essay – important
  • Recommendation letter – important

Whether you are unhappy with your class rank or your high school does not implement a class ranking system, you will be more than glad to know that the University of Michigan does not include class rank in the admissions process, unlike at some colleges and universities.

And now, let’s take a look at the different non-academic admissions factors and their relative importance:

  • Personal qualities – important
  • First-generation – important
  • Extracurricular activities – considered
  • Talent of ability – considered
  • Alumni member relations – considered
  • Geographical residence – considered
  • State residency – considered
  • Volunteer work – considered
  • Work experience – considered
  • Demonstrated interest – considered

UMich’s admissions officers do not care at all about religious affiliation and race or ethnicity.

Just Before You Apply to the University of Michigan

The University of Michigan has some of the highest positions in various college ranking sites. It also has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the state of Michigan and the US, too.

Consider applying to UMich only if most or all of the components of your application, in particular the various academic and non-academic admissions factors mentioned above, can impress the school’s selective admissions officers in order to keep unnecessary stress and frustration at bay.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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