Local Atmosphere

Big Rapids, MI
Tuition (in-state)
$16,512 ($10,354)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I drive myself and grew up in a near town so I know the ins and outs.

3 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Big Rapids is small but a typical small town if you try to embrace it.

3 College Student

Local Atmosphere: It's alright. A cute little town.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: There is a bowling alley and some parks to visit. Downtown also offers a few places to shop. However, if you are looking for a mall, don't expect to find one. Also, the movie theater is very small and somewhat uncomfortable. Off-campus recreation is almost non-existent. Most activities are on-campus. Safety in Big Rapids is pretty good though, except this year it has been quite interesting. Not sure of the local attitude, and students may "frown" upon locals attending Ferris but everyone at Ferris is ultimately open to anyone and very friendly. I generally go to Grand Rapids if I want to see a movie or go to the mall.

3 College Student

Local Atmosphere: Theres always a lot of on campus activities but for anyone under 21 there is not much to do.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Lauren Moore
Temperance, MI
View all previous student authors

Big Rapids is described by more than half of the students as being "a small town with plenty of charm." With that being said, most students do not plan on staying in the area following graduation from Ferris. For students, it is seen more as a college town than a place to start their careers.

One of the better things about Big Rapids is that it is a relatively safe place (being such a small town). There are great parks and recreation in the area, and the scenery is something to see! The only downfalls to the area include no real great shopping areas (unless a student wants to take a little under an hour drive to Grand Rapids), no professional sports, and a lack of very interesting nightlife.

The town is extremely accommodating to the students, especially the businesses. Though there are people who live in Big Rapids, the city is composed mostly of students. Therefore, some of the businesses actually offer discounts to students on certain items. There are a few nearby schools that Ferris students interact with, especially on the weekends. The closest school that most go to hang out at is Central Michigan University. Also, less than two hours away, there is Michigan State University.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Big Rapids' early history was associated with logging.
  2. The name "Big Rapids" comes from the many river rapids in the region.
Points of Interest
  • Card Wildlife Education Center
  • Jim Crow Museum
Shopping Centers
  • RiverTown Crossings (Grandville)
  • Woodland Mall (Grand Rapids)
Movie Theaters
Carmike Big Rapids Cinemas
213 S. Michigan Ave
Big Rapids
(231) 796-5646
Major Sports Teams
Grand Rapids Griffins: American Hockey League
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Detroit: MI: 3 hours, 20 minutes
  • Grand Rapids: MI: 55 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 68 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 69 responses

  • 14% Painfully remote.
  • 9% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 49% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 20% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 7% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 69 responses

  • 48% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 10% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 42% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 69 responses

  • 43% No way.
  • 52% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 4% Totally.



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