Kettering University vs. University of Michigan-Flint

Hi there, I’m hoping for some external opinions.

I’m currently a highschooler with a 4.0 GPA unweighted (4.167 weighted through AP classes) and a 1400 SAT. I’m hoping to go for a bachelors in Computer Science.

I’ve already toured quite a few campuses around the state I live in, Michigan, and have ruled out some colleges/universities like the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor as they just don’t feel right. In the end my list has settled with the University of Michigan-Flint and the Kettering University.

While Kettering University’s degree holds prestige, it’s unfortunately extremely expensive… while Flint’s degree does not hold much prestige but is extremely cheap. With the college savings my parents have left me I’d end up with around $50k in debt at the end of my time at Kettering University while I would end with $70k in spare money after my time at Flint (due to my qualification for the full tuition scholarship).

I’m at a loss for what to choose… does anyone have any advice?

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From a debt POV, it’s clear. Kettering is not worth strangling yourself

But why only U Mich Flint? Are you open to out of state schools if they hit a price target ? Have you looked at Mich Tech.

If so, what do you seek - size, area wise, geographically, etc.

With your scores you have lots of opportunities.


I would look at Michigan State honors program and Wayne State also and see financially if they make sense to you. Both will give you money. If you can get accepted to Ann Arbor and can afford it you might want to take another look.

Did you run the Net Price Calculator at Kettering? If so, did it ask for any of your academic info? If it didn’t, it likely did not include any merit aid. 100% of Kettering’s without need received merit aid with the average award being $18,849 (source). When calculating the difference in cost between UM-Flint and Kettering, did you factor in likely merit aid from Kettering?

I would certainly avoid debt if you can possibly can, especially $50k worth. If those were your only options, I would certainly go with Flint. But I would suggest you apply to both and see what how the financial packages look once the final offers come in.

Additionally, are there any other schools you’re considering? Is there a reason why you’ve only looked at schools in Michigan, or is there a certain distance that you’d be willing to go (perhaps Ohio or Illinois or Pennsylvania, or…)? What would you like out of your college experience? And what is your budget? We can help provide suggestions if you give us some more information.

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I’m really hoping to stick within state, not going too far away.

I’m mostly hoping for a smaller university, area/geography doesn’t matter, I won’t go out of my way for prestige, and really just a university that feels right and offers plenty of help when needed.

I have had a campus tour at Michigan Tech, but the campus is miserable (all of the spending is academics, leading to horrible conditions for students) to the point where they hide things from the tour. Definitely scared me quite a bit with that.

I’d really like to avoid a large school if I can. The larger of a school you head to the lesser of a one-on-one experience it is. It’s also definitely scary for me when I consider that Michigan State/UoM-AA are 6x the size of the town I’ve grown up in.

Yes… Kettering’s price calculator went through all of my financial information and on the campus tour we also sat down one-on-one with an admissions counselor who ran through it again. With scholarships the school comes out to around $40k per year, with the school requiring you to go for a 4.5 year degree.

I am considering Michigan Technological University a little too, but the abysmal conditions for students definitely scares me.

I’m mostly hoping for an in-state experience as prices raise quick once you go out of state, and it’s not necessarily the easiest thing to move between college and home once you start going further. I am definitely up for looking at more colleges, but I’m not sure where to start out of state (my school offers no information about colleges outside of the state). I’m in the Grand Rapids area if that helps with pinpointing distance.

I’m mainly looking for an experience where I’ll be able to learn what I need properly and leave school with a degree that gets me work. It doesn’t have to the prettiest campus or the largest university (honestly, preferably a smaller university as smaller class sizes let you have more one-on-one time with professors) and I don’t really care about prestige either.

When I was born my parents set up an college investment account which they deposited a portion of their paychecks into every year, currently totalling at around $110k. With this I’m hoping to cover most (if not all) costs like housing, tuition, books, gas, etc.

Thank you for your help, this is my first time actually talking about this stuff in a forum so I wasn’t really sure what to say/expect.

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I am not trying to convince you to go to a large college but your making assumptions that could be wrong. Small doesn’t mean one on one. My son that just graduated Ann Arbor had the majority of his classes with less then 35 people in it for engineering and he had as much one on one with professors and mentors as my daughter did at her school of just 1800 students.,with%20fewer%20than%2020%20students.

Rose Hulman has 2300 students with a 10:1 ratio with around 65% of their classes 20 students. Not really a huge difference. Any professor is ready to speak and help you at both of these schools but if you want small check out Rose Hulman. The reason I mentioned is, is due to outcomes. But it’s engineering 24/7 with 70/30 Men to women but those women tend to be pretty close.
You should be able to get half to maybe full ride.

Why not just stay put and go to Grand Valley Computer Science, B.S. - Majors, Programs, Certificates, and Badges - Grand Valley State University

But if your asking about your two choices above then go to the school that you can most easily afford to go to. But at all schools I would look at out comes. Where did the majority of students get hired to go work for? Most of this will be regional. You will always hear that some got jobs at large companies that sound impressive but where did everyone else get jobs at? There should be a list showing where and by whom students got hired by and avg median income by major from each school. That might give you better insight.

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I would strongly recommend Grand Valley. They are a big university, but almost none of their classes are above 100 students and most are below 50. They are also generous with scholarships and financial aid. The dorms and food are great. It’s also easy to get to Grand Rapids with free city buses and Grand Valley has their own bus that goes into Grand Rapids.


I would run the Net Price Calculators at Bradley (IL), Calvin (MI), DePauw (IN), Illinois Institute of Technology, and Rose-Hulman (IN) and see if any of those end up being affordable. If not, however, then I would look at some larger schools that have honors programs.

Also, take a look at colleges’ Common Data Sets (just do a web search on the school’s name and “Common Data Set”). One of the areas in there will indicate what percentage of classes are under 20, between 30-40, 40-50, and then above 50. That can help you find schools where you’re more likely to find the smaller classes you’re wanting.

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As others said, you have so many options. Your family put aside $110k but the main thing will be what can they afford? So running net price calculators will give you a sense of you’re full pay or otherwise. Are you Caucasian or another ethnicity. In other words, while your parents have saved, you might qualify for more. You’ll certainly get merit aid where offered.

Don’t know anything about UM Flint. Kettering used to be…maybe still is car focused.

You don’t want to go far but just know that you could go to U of Arizona, which has a fine Honors College or U of Alabama Huntsville…around 10k and your $110k will likely cover the entire bill. There are many schools out there with auto merit or high merit. So in state isn’t necessarily the answer but obviously can be for cost. Truman State in Missouri is another.

A school like Hendrix has a program to match u of Michigan tuition. Rose Hulman, as another mentioned, is world class several hours from home. Washington & Lee offers the Johnson Scholarship which covers everything…yes it’s in Va, not close. SMU has the presidential and is in Dallas. Full ride.

You can make a big school small but not vice versa. You do need to be happy but you have the ability to seek more prestigious schools with a higher caliber student body. That should have importance to you because the real world where you’ll find the jobs is bigger in most places.

Get in Honors or a living learning community to shrink your school. . But happiness is first. Just because a school is small, btw, doesn’t mean you’ll get more help. Help goes to those who need it, who seek it out, at large or small.

Look at the Bradley website. Do the net price calculator. It will give you the scholarship. Have you looked at LACs such as Kalamazoo ??? Wooster. Dennison. Depauw ? Wabash ? Evansville ? Wittenberg? Ohio Wesleyan ? Grinnell ??

All have CS. You’d get merit and if you have need possibly more.

What might help you is to buy or go to the library and look at a college guide that lists all colleges. Or you can see on line. For a state. For a major. For cost. But your assumption that staying in Michigan for the lowest cost is not necessarily true.

Hope this helps.

A lot of people have also had good luck with UM Dearborn and Oakland University. Both have small classes. So does Northern Michigan and they have a full ride scholarship you could compete for. Look at Western Michigan and Central Michigan, as they have significant competitive merit and usually small class sizes.


See if Flint will be part of this Wayne State will. Detroit Center for Innovation to be built in The District Detroit | University of Michigan News

Even without the class size point, I took tours at both Ann Arbor and Grand Valley and I cannot say I liked either of them. The largest school in the state that I was interested in was Eastern Michigan University, and that is half the size of Ann Arbor.

The main benefit of Kettering is their coop program, which directly eliminates your “where did everyone else get jobs at” argument.

Northern, Western, and Central I’ve toured and wasn’t really a fan of.

UoM Dearborn definitely looks appealing, but I’m a little bit worried by the fact that they don’t offer housing, meaning that I’d have nothing to fall back on if I were unable to find an apartment to rent.

I don’t know anything about Oakland University, it never appeared in any school provided info/searches, I’ll definitely look into it.

Your school choices are fine - you can do co OPs today from most any school - at least public.

The main point is you can do $40k or even less at many privates depending on your financial need and some publics OOS. You can do the entire thing from your $110k with $$ left over but would require geographic flexibility.

Run the net price calculator on schools people mentioned above.

When u said your school doesn’t help with OOS knowledge…use us. Even if you want to be close to home, grab rapids is near multiple other states.

UM Dearborn has a certain apartment that I believe has a relationship with the school. You should be able to get a place there.

I’m a white male living in a rich zipcode for the area (just barely living within it, at least 15 miles from the main town of it).

I’d still prefer a small school regardless.

I have looked at LACs such as Kalamazoo College, Albion College, and Alma College. Each has extremely high prices, little scholarship opportunities, and holds as much power with its degree as any other college/university.

Have you looked at Saginaw Valley?

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But we don’t know - do u have need ? That’s why you need to do the net price calculators ? You’ll need your parents financials.

Just for fun, go I went to Bradley…solid mid size 5.5 hours from Grand Rapids. $24k merit. So $26k a year for tuition, room and board. Assuming no need. I put your family makes 200k, had one kid in school and is worth $2 million.

There’s more out there than you think ……

Kalamazoo looks to be $36k rough guess if you don’t qualify for need. If you do, maybe less. Fine name. Kettering - With your #s, if it’s the right fit, great but you’ve earned so much more. No one knows Kettering. They used to know the GM institute…well the car companies.

Your list is fine. But with a 4.0, You have great opportunities. Far from home but UAH is a great school. About 10k kids. High tech area…Huntsville AL booming. You’d be $18k tuition, room and board. That’s the power of a 4.0 and 1400 !!

The trade off is your parents don’t spend all of their $110k.

Just throwing out ideas.