Newcomers to Greater Grand Rapids will be impressed by the quality of the educational system, with award-winning public and private schools available on every academic level. From preschool through graduate and professional schools, this region offers easy access to expertly managed learning environments including technical and vocational training. Nearly two dozen regional colleges and universities bring higher education close to home. Grand Valley State University in Allendale offers a public university just 12 miles west of Grand Rapids, although classes are also offered at the Grand Rapids Pew Campus and the Meijer Campus in Holland. Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo consistently ranks among the nation’s top 100 public universities, and Michigan State University in Lansing offers many nationally ranked programs of study. Ferris State University in Big Rapids offers the resources of a large public university in a small-town setting in Big Rapids, and Central Michigan University maintains a campus in Mount Pleasant. CMU also manages an extensive online program and 60 centers across the state including one in Grand Rapids. Private colleges in this region include Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Davenport University, ITT Technical Institute, the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Spring Arbor University, and the University of Phoenix. For an affordable start on a four-year degree as well as two-year programs and continuing education, Grand Rapids Community College maintains its main campus on eight blocks of downtown Grand Rapids. Off-campus learning centers and technical education centers expand the reach of this award-winning college.

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