One of the features of the Midwest landscape is the dense combination of state universities and small colleges. This certainly comes from the old Yankee heritage coupled with immigrant identities.
While the ideal of the private college is shaped by New-England-in-the-Fall preppy image, the reality is quite different, as Michael Chingos points out in his report at EducationNext. Among the findings:
Private colleges serve a similar proportion of low-income students as public colleges, and low-income students have higher economic mobility rates at private colleges (although this may be due to their greater selectivity).
This is certainly good news for the many small colleges such as Aquinas or Hope (show above). But for the state of Michigan overall, there is another sobering statistic. Michigan colleges, public and private, struggle in their ability to promote economic mobility. the economic success rate for the public institutions is 29%, a notch above the national average of 28%. And the story for private schools is significantly worse: their success rate is a sobering 20%. For a state that seeks to regain its economic mojo, both figures need to increase.