What is the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Acceptance Rate?

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The University of Michigan accepts 23.5% of students. What does it take to get in?


Considered one of the top 25 universities in the world, the University of Michigan combines all the benefits of a large public university with world-class faculty and opportunities for students. It’s consistently ranked in the top 5 of public universities in the nation, and was named the number 1 public research university by the National Science Foundation. With so much going for it, the University of Michigan is remains a top contender for high achievers.


However, with an acceptance rate of 23.5%, the University of Michigan does not make getting in easy, even for highly qualified students. If you are looking for one of the best educations you can get in the world, the University of Michigan might be the school for you. Keep reading to learn more about the tips that have helped CollegeVine’s students get into the school that’s perfect for them.


Applying to the University of Michigan Ann Arbor: A Quick Review


Apply using the Common Application or the Coalition Application. We suggest that you use the Common Application, because it is more established than the Coalition Application; learn more about it in our Guide to the Common App.


Students may apply by November 1 for Early Action, or February 1 for Regular Decision. If you’re unsure about whether you should apply early, check out our post Early Action vs. Early Decision vs. Restricted Early Action.


To apply, be sure to send in all of the following:



If you are applying to a school other than the School of Literature, Science, and the Arts, you may need to submit additional materials like a portfolio. Pay close attention to those additional application components and make sure to get those materials in by the deadline.


The University of Michigan Ann Arbor Acceptance Rate: How Difficult is it to Get In?


Getting into the University of Michigan takes hard work—last year only 23.5% of applicants were admitted. The University of Michigan received 65,685 applications last year, and only 15,468 were admitted. Of those who were admitted, about 6,685 students ultimately enrolled.


If you aspire to attend a school like the University of Michigan, it’s critical to surround yourself with people who have been through the process previously. You’ll want to make sure that your application is as strong as possible, and one way to do that is to work with a company like CollegeVine, where we offer mentorship for underclassmen and applications consulting for seniors. Even if you don’t choose to work one-on-one with one of CollegeVine’s trained near-peer mentors, connecting with someone who has successfully gained admission to a school like the University of Michigan can make the difference between rejection and acceptance.

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So, How Does One Get Into the University of Michigan Ann Arbor?


UVA is interested in you as a person, not just your grades or your essays. Use your application to reflect your strengths in these areas.




Students who are admitted to the University of Michigan took challenging courses in high school and did well in them. Last year, admitted students had an average GPA of 3.88. Not only do you want to excel in your classes, but you’ll also want to score well on your standardized tests—the middle 50% of admitted students earned SAT scores of 1380-1540 and ACT scores of 31-34.


Extracurricular activities


The admissions officers at the University of Michigan don’t care what kinds of activities you pursued as much as they care that you pursued them with passion and excellence. This could mean taking a leadership position at your school, starting a new organization or initiative, or being recognized for your talents through awards and recognition. Whatever you do, show why those activities were meaningful to you and why you went above and beyond in following them.




The University of Michigan wants to develop the next generation of leaders and innovators, so they want to admit students who will take advantage of the opportunities they offer. Use your essays to showcase your strengths and values, and choose recommenders who know you well enough to write a compelling letter for you.


Contributions to Community


The University of Michigan wants to bring together students with educational and cultural diversity to their school. But more importantly, they want to know that you’ll be able to connect your classroom learning with your experience—past and future—to inform original thinking. If you are curious about new people, new ideas, and new experiences, then the University of Michigan is looking for someone with your enthusiasm for learning and adventure.



How to Make Your Application Stand Out


Every application is different, but over the years we’ve seen these strategies give our clients applications that are three times more likely to gain favorable admissions results.


Tell your story.


The University of Michigan is looking for bright, motivated students who will make the most of their education. Whatever you don’t include in your application, they won’t know about, so make sure you highlight your strengths, your values, and your passion throughout your application.


Team up with your recommenders.


Most students think that asking someone to write a recommendation is all you need to do, and then it’s up to the recommender to write a good letter. While you can’t write the letter for them, you can make it easier for them to write you a letter.


For example, you may want to have a conversation with your recommender where you explain why you asked them to write a letter for you. Is this a teacher you admire, or one whose class you struggled with? What unique side of you have they seen that your other teachers may not have gotten the chance to see?


You may also want to share a draft of your essay with them and give them a copy of your resume or go over the activities you’ve been involved in. When your recommenders know more about what you are including in your essay, they can highlight additional strengths or insights into your character to give greater insight to the admissions officer reading your application.


Enhance the themes of your application.


A seasoned admissions counselor will review your entire application in about nine minutes and evaluate it; at the University of Michigan, at least three separate reviewers will read your application. If you want them to remember something positive about you, then you’ll need to mention it throughout your application.


Try this strategy—finish your application at least a week early and leave it alone for a few days. When you return to it, read the whole application in nine minutes. What stood out to you? What wasn’t clear or could be improved on? Then make those improvements.


Work with a counselor.


Creating a strong application takes a lot of work and creativity, but it’s much easier to do if you work with someone who has helped students get into their dream school before. Whether you work with a company like CollegeVine, find an alumni in your area, or work with your high school counselor, getting help with your application is the best way to make sure that your application stands out.


What If You Get Rejected?


The University of Michigan receives applications from more qualified applicants than they can accept. If you find yourself receiving a no-thank-you at the end of the admissions process, don’t be too hard on yourself. Bright, motivated, resourceful students will find success, or create it, anywhere they go.


The University of Michigan does not accept admissions appeals due to their thorough application review process. We do not recommend petitioning your decision.


You can reapply after taking a gap year, but this path is riskier than simply committing to another school and requesting to take a gap year there. To see if a gap year is right for you, visit our posts, What Are the Pros of Taking a Gap Year? and What You Need To Know When Applying to Colleges After a Gap Year.


The University of Michigan does accept transfer students, but you need to have at least a 3.0 college GPA and ideally be of sophomore standing to transfer, in addition to completing a new application again. That said, we think that the best option is to set your sights on another equally great school. If you’re interested in more distinguished public schools, consider schools like the University of Virginia, UNC Chapel Hill, or one of the University of California schools.


Each of these schools offers incredible opportunities and life-changing experiences. If you’re having trouble imagining yourself anywhere other than the University of Michigan, check out CollegeVine’s Envisioning a New Future: Preparing for Life at Your Second-Choice (or Third, or Fourth) School.


The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is a great school for high achievers, so if you’re looking for more personalized advice on your application, CollegeVine offers our College Applications Program, where you are paired with your very own application consultant who guides you through every step of the application process.


For more resources about the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor check out these posts:


How to Write the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Essays 2018-2019

The Ultimate Guide to Applying to the University of Michigan

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Gianna Cifredo
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.