Local Area

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Local Area


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3 College Sophomore

Local Area: Townies are...interesting. The city has strict and unreasonable laws regarding Greek life. But the small town atmosphere is great.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Local Area: It's a small area with not much to do during the winter. But during the summer there is lots to do. The city isnt too big and it isnt too small.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Area: a lot of things to do.

3 College Senior

Local Area: Not much to do when your a poor college student. . .

3 College Freshman

Local Area: It's a cute town, but there's not much to do. There's mostly just bars and restaurants but there's nothing to actually DO.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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 78 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 80 responses

  • 9% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 19% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 49% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 9% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 15% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 79 responses

  • 42% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 11% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 47% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 79 responses

  • 4% Totally.
  • 51% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 46% No way.



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