7400 Bay Rd
University Center, MI 48710
p. 989-964-4000
w. www.svsu.edu

Saginaw Valley State University

Saginaw Valley State University Rating: 4.2/5 (60 votes)

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Saginaw Valley State University is a public school with more than 10,000 students in University Center, Michigan. It is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.

Diversity and critical thought are both at the core of the university mission. As put in the mission statement, “By fostering an environment of inquiry and openness that respects the diversity of all whom it serves, the University prepares graduates whose leadership and expertise contribute to the advancement of a pluralistic society.”


The newest of Michigan’s public schools, the university was first founded in 1963 as a private liberal arts college but became state-supported two years later. The institution received university status in 1987. In 2013, the 50th anniversary brought not only celebrations but an economic summit to campus to launch new growth in the coming years.


Undergraduate and graduate programs are divided among five colleges: The College of Arts & Behavioral Science; the College of Business & Management; the Crystal M. Lange College of Nursing & Health Sciences; the College of Education; and the College of Science, Engineering, & Technology.

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields within the various academic colleges. Degrees at the bachelor’s level can be received in such areas as athletic training, computer science, economics, general business, marketing, political science, physics, and social work. Minors include creative writing, gerontology, German, and legal studies. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, communication and multimedia, education, nursing, and administrative science. The Educational Specialist (Ed.S) degree is offered in 6 areas.

SVSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

The university has a strong reputation for education programs not quite like those at other schools. Educational resources include the Bilingual/ Bicultural Center, the Partnership in Preparing Quality Teachers, the Math and Science Center, and Continuing Education. Continuing education has 250 online courses for professional development. The Math and Science Center serves local schools and children in grades K-12 by providing teacher education and student activities to improve math and science skills in students.


The admissions department has no stated application deadline, but encourages students to begin applying the summer between their junior and senior year of high school. Applications can be submitted online. Students who are enrolled in high school at the time of application will need to have their official final high school transcripts sent after graduation to the Admissions Office.

As part of their application, students should submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. Students must generally meet the following minimum requirements: high school GPA of 2.5 and ACT of 17.

Transfer students and international students must meet varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background.

Students applying to graduate programs should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying for deadline and application material requirements. Applications can be submitted online. General requirements include the GRE or other appropriate test scores (such as the GMAT), a resume, a one page personal statement, letters of recommendation, and a bachelor’s degree.

Financial Aid

Tuition and mandatory fees at Saginaw Valley State University were $5,078 for the 2004-2005 academic year for in-state, undergraduate students attending full-time. Students applying from out of state and graduate students have higher costs.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Work-study programs are also available from both the state of Michigan (for Michigan residents) and the federal government. Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the Federal Student Financial Aid Form, available on-line.

Graduate students may also receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process. There are several scholarships specifically for graduate students distributed through the departments.

Special financial aid programs for minority or non-traditional students include two endowed scholarships, a travel scholarship, and an equity grant.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3877th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Michigan.


Student life includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. There are academic and professional groups, Greek fraternities and sororities, recreation groups (including the Paintball Club and the Hip Hop Dance team), religious groups, political and cultural groups, and special interests such as the choral society and the forensics team. Cultural venues on campus include a sculpture museum, a theater, and an art gallery. Students have a wide choice of regular films and musical events. Students can write for the newspaper, the Valley Vanguard, or for the literary magazine, Cardinal Sins.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Saginaw Valley State University is an NCAA Division II School. Teams compete in the Great Lakes International Athletic Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, soccer, and track & field. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, softball, soccer, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. The sports teams are supported by a spirit squad, which includes a dance team and a mascot. The team nick-name is the Cardinals.

Local Community

The green, sprawling campus is located in University Center, Michigan, in the area between Bay City, Saginaw, and Midland. The town of Bay City has a population of approximately 36,000, while Saginaw is quite a bit larger with 62,000 people.

The city of Saginaw boasts a children’s zoo, a Japanese cultural center and tea house, regular festivals and concerts, and numerous riverside activities. Bay City is home to a community theater, boat and trolley tours, and a popular state recreation area with trails and wetlands.

Information Summary

Ranks 32nd in Michigan and 1165th overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Michigan and 272nd overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 1 0.01
Robbery 1 0.01
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 9 0.08
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest 16 0.15

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate professional (education dominant)
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentVery high undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District2605

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1290th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $7,985 $7,985 $19,338
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $438 $438 $438
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $266 $266 $645
FT Graduate Tuition $11,561 $11,561 $22,057
FT Graduate Required Fees $350 $350 $350
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $482 $482 $919
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $19,181 $19,181 $30,534
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $21,255 $21,255 $32,608
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $12,809 $12,809 $24,162

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $7,815 $8,120 $7,815 $8,120 $18,348 $19,063
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,200(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $8,000 $8,220
On-Campus – Other Expenses $1,043 $1,074
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $8,000 $8,820
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,031 $3,113
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,023 $3,113

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$30
Graduate Application Fee$30
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 6,057 (2,348 male / 3,662 female)
Admitted 4,764 (1,834 male / 2,899 female)
Admission rate 79%
First-time Enrollment 1,593 (648 male / 945 female)
FT Enrollment 1,582 (640 male / 942 female)
PT Enrollment 11 (8 male / 3 female)
Total Enrollment10,240

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Great Lakes Intercollegiate Ath Conf
NCAA Basketball Conference Great Lakes Intercollegiate Ath Conf
NCAA Baseball Conference Great Lakes Intercollegiate Ath Conf
NCAA Track & Field Conference Great Lakes Intercollegiate Ath Conf

ACT Test Admission

819th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 97%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 24
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 17 / 24
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 24

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity2,736
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$4,530
Board Fee$3,450

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 74 83 36 15 4 1,493 57 1,779
Accounting 10 2 1 45 1 59
Applied Mathematics, General 3 3
Art/Art Studies, General 1 10 1 12
Athletic Training/Trainer 11 11
Biochemistry 4 4
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 1 2 42 2 48
Business Administration and Management, General 21 6 2 63 7 100
Business/Commerce, General 2 1 19 23
Business/Managerial Economics 1 4 5
Chemistry, General 2 13 15
Chemistry, Other 2 2
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 1 1 12 14
Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst 2 1 1 24 1 29
Computer Teacher Education 3 1 1 21 1 27
Computer and Information Sciences, General 1 1 20 22
Creative Writing 9 9
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 9 3 1 78 1 94
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia 5 1 7 1 14
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 1 8 1 10
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 1 1 20 1 23
Education, General 1 1
Educational Administration and Supervision, Other 1 1 2
Educational Leadership and Administration, General 1 5 1 55 5 69
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 5 1 12 2 20
Elementary Education and Teaching 1 1 1 90 94
English Language and Literature, General 14 14
English/Language Arts Teacher Education 1 1 7 9
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 1 1 23 25
Finance, General 7 1 18 1 27
Fine/Studio Arts, General 2 2
French Language and Literature 7 7
Graphic Design 1 3 40 45
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other 1 1
Health/Medical Preparatory Programs, Other 1 11 2 51 2 68
History, General 2 1 45 4 53
Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians, Other 11 11
International Business/Trade/Commerce 1 5 6
International/Global Studies 1 1 1 3
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching 5 5
Kinesiology and Exercise Science 1 48 1 52
Marketing, Other 1 1 29 2 33
Mathematics, General 19 19
Mechanical Engineering 1 22 1 24
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 1 1
Music, General 1 9 10
Nursing Administration 2 12 14
Occupational Therapy/Therapist 1 38 39
Operations Management and Supervision 1 1 2
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 11 11
Physical Sciences, Other 2 2
Physics, General 1 2 3
Political Science and Government, General 1 18 19
Professional, Technical, Business, and Scientific Writing 1 13 14
Psychology, General 1 2 51 1 56
Public Administration 5 1 15 2 23
Reading Teacher Education 2 36 2 40
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 3 1 127 4 135
Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education 8 8
Secondary Education and Teaching 11 1 12
Social Studies Teacher Education
Social Work 9 6 1 2 65 5 90
Sociology 3 1 15 2 22
Spanish Language and Literature 4 4 8
Special Education and Teaching, General 1 1 91 4 97
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 3 10 2 2 42 59

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1558th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $67,398 ($71,741 male / $60,774 female)
Number of FT Faculty 299 (163 male / 136 female)
Number of PT Faculty 715
FT Faculty Ratio 0.4 : 1
Total Benefits $9,487,418

Elisabeth Bailey+

Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

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