University of Michigan is a wonderful school with a lot of attributes that our students often look for in a college. We’ve noticed over the last few application cycles it’s increased in popularity. Our students love Michigan because of the culture and academic rigor, but as a highly competitive school, it isn’t an automatic “yes” for most people.
As such, we’ve started to do some investigating to put together a few posts that highlight “Schools Like” certain popular colleges and universities that we noticed are receiving more attention from seniors as of late. These lists aim to make it possible for you to not only apply to your “dream” school, but also to make sure that you also apply to schools similar in culture, size, and location so that you end up at a school that you’re happy at. A lot of schools check a lot of boxes, and we’ve found the following schools to be incredibly similar to University of Michigan in many ways. We spoke to a number of students who attend these schools to get their takes on their undergraduate experience, and we’ve broken them all down below.
It’s important to consider environment when you are putting together your list of schools, as well as diversity of acceptance rate. Depending on your applicant profile, these schools will be targets or safety schools for most. Take a look--we think that if you like University of Michigan, you’ll really love these schools as well.
University of Michigan
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan; small city that’s under an hour from Detroit and about 4 hours from Chicago.
Student population (undergraduate): 28,983
Sports Division: NCAA Division 1 (Big Ten)
Greek Life: Fraternities and sororities are an option on campus. About 20% of students participate in Greek life.
Acceptance rate: 28.6%
Ohio State University
Location: Columbus, OH
Student population (undergraduate): 45,289
Sports Division: NCAA Division 1 (Big 10 Conference)
Greek Life: 12% of the Ohio State student body is involved in Greek life
Acceptance rate: 49.1%
Ohio State University is all about the students--with over 1,000 student organizations, there is something for everyone and the student culture is incredibly rich. About 2 ½ miles from downtown Columbus, the campus sits on 1,700 acres. There are many acclaimed professors and nationally acknowledged departments across the board, not to mention the incredible tradition of sports on campus. The facilities, quality of the teams, and school spirit present at Ohio State are truly unparalleled and considered one of the most impressive school’s sports-wise with 36 varsity teams. Brutus Buckeye has been around since 1965 as the school mascot, and he’s everywhere--even on ESPN, where he’s appeared in advertisements for the network.
University of California, Davis
Location: Davis, California; city, about an hour from San Francisco
Student population (undergraduate): 29,546
Sports Division: NCAA Division 1 (Big West)
Greek Life: About 10% of UC Davis students participate in Greek life
Acceptance rate: 42.3%
UC Davis is a public research university that prides itself on being a part of the 10-school UC system. UC Davis has the third largest enrollment after UCLA and UC Berkeley. Considered one of the “public Ivies,” an education at UC Davis will get you places, and the culture reflects a diverse, intellectually and culturally engaged, and motivated student body. The UC Davis Aggies participate primarily in the Big West Conference and the football team participates in the Big Sky Conference. The city of Davis has more of a ‘college town’ feel, similar to Ann Arbor. The school is often ranked as being in the top 10 public universities in the nation.
University of Texas-Austin
Location: Austin, TX
Student population (undergraduate): 39,619
Sports Division: NCAA Division 1 (Big Twelve Conference)
Greek Life: Approximately 17% of undergraduates are members of the Greek community
Acceptance rate: 39%
UT Austin is a university that prides itself on the city in which it exists. Austin is lively, dynamic, and friendly city but still very much feels like a college town. The public research university is the flagship institution of the University of Texas system. The Texas Longhorns have become a bit of a cultural phenomenon, and pride for football runs deep throughout UT Austin. The dedicated TV station, Longhorn Network, stands alone as the only network that features programming dedicated exclusively to sports at one university. “Keep Austin Weird” is a phrase you’ll see all over Austin, created to encourage consumers to support local businesses, but the concept pervades throughout the culture, and UT Austin students remain just as invested and excited in their education and creating a nurturing student environment as they are to indeed, keeping Austin weird.
University of Washington
Location: Seattle, WA
Student population (undergraduate): 31,063
Sports Division: NCAA Division 1 (Pac-12 Conference)
Greek Life: Around 14.5% of students at University of Washington
Student Culture: Acceptance rate: 49.1%
U-Wub, as it’s fondly called by many students, is a public flagship research university with a budget of over $1 billion. Situated in Seattle, the city’s culture radiates throughout campus and is reflected in the student culture of inclusiveness and community involvement. The daily student newspaper, The Daily, is the second largest paper in Seattle. Many would claim that basketball is the sport of choice for Husky fans, but the school also has a competitive football team, and its rowing, softball, and volleyball teams have all garnered championships throughout the last decade. Considered a pioneer in sustainability efforts, the school puts being green as a major priority and has been nationally recognized for their efforts. The school has also appeared in nearly a dozen films.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Location: Madison, Wisconsin (about an hour from Milwaukee and 2.5 hours from Chicago)
Student population (undergraduate): 29,536
Sports Division: NCAA Division 1 (Big Ten)
Greek Life: About 13% of undergraduate students participate in fraternities and sororities on campus
Acceptance rate: 49%
University of Wisconsin is a top-tier public research university with an immense amount of cultural and academic opportunities both at the university and in its surrounding city. Set on 936 acres, Badger pride runs throughout every facet of campus. You can feel it from the crowds cheering on the football team at every game and at the annual homecoming parade featuring festive floats decorated by students, fraternities, sororities, residence halls and organizations. And let’s not forget Bucky Badger, the UW Spirit Squad, and the Badger Band, who attend the vast majority of large-scale campus events and who students hold very near and dear to their hearts.
Of course, there are many colleges where we are sure you’d be happy. This entire process can be overwhelming, and every college is so much more than numbers and a couple of anecdotes. All of that said, our strategy of dissecting schools works, and if you’re intrigued by University of Michigan, we’d highly recommend that you take a look at these schools as well. If you need any help or have any additional questions, feel free to reach out. We’ll help you find your best match school, and we’ll help get you in.