Updated: March 12, 2021

Most people involved in the Michigan ski and snowboard scene can agree that getting out on the snow is one of the only things we look forward to during the winter season. With this being said, sometimes the financial side of the sport is the only thing getting between you, and that freshly groomed run.

As a college student myself, I battle the constant struggle to keep money in my pocket, let alone enough funds to support my passion for skiing. After all, it definitely isn’t the cheapest sport out there.

Luckily for students across the state, we are fortunate enough to have a widespread of resorts from the Upper Peninsula, all the way to the southern border of Michigan to supplement our need to shred. Not only are there various levels of terrain for different skill sets, but many of these resorts will cut some slack on lift tickets and season pass rates for students. That’s right, a discounted rate with something as simple as the flash of your student ID!

If you’re a college student in Michigan or a frugal young adult looking to get out on the hill without breaking your wallet, use the guide below to find the best deals on lift tickets and season passes throughout the state.

Resorts in Lower Michigan

Swiss Valley Ski Area –  Jones, MI

Deal: The resort offers a Monday through Friday Ski U Special. That means $25 all area lift tickets and $15 for equipment rental.

Distance From: WMU – 50 Min  /  CMU –  2 Hr. 50 Min  /  U of M – 1 Hr. 50 Min  /   MSU – 2 Hr.  / GVSU – 1 Hr. 45 Min  /  Ferris St.  – 2 Hr. 10 Min  /   SVSU – 3 Hr. 10 Min

Timber Ridge –  Gobles, MI

Deal: Timber Ridge has discounted rates for all ages, so check the website for details on specific hours and options. As of March 2021, college tickets are available on weeknights from 5pm to close for only $20. 

Distance From:  WMU – 25 Min  /  CMU –  2 Hr. 15 Min  /  U of M – 2 Hr. 10 Min  /   MSU – 1 Hr. 30 Min  / GVSU – 1 Hr.  /  Ferris St. – 1 Hr. 30 Min  /  SVSU – 2 Hr. 50 Min

Bittersweet Ski Area –  Otsego, MI

Deal: Bittersweet offers discounted lift tickets, rentals, and lessons Monday through Thursday after 3 PM with a valid College ID. Visit their website for more details.

Distance From: WMU – 30 Min  /  CMU –  2 Hr. 10 Min  /  U of M – 2 Hr.  /  MSU – 1 Hr. 35 Min  GVSU – 1 Hr.  /  Ferris St. – 1 Hr. 30 Min  /  SVSU – 2 Hr. 50 Min

Cannonsburg Ski Area –  Belmont, MI

Deal: Cannonsburg offers Punch Passes with 6 or 10 uses each for guests who know they’ll want to return again and again for the fun. Sunday nights for $35 a ticket are also a steal and you don’t even need a college ID! 

Distance From: WMU – 1 Hr. 10 Min  /  CMU – 1 Hr. 30 Min  /  U of M – 2 Hr. 10 Min  /  MSU – 1 Hr. 10 Min       GVSU – 35 Min  /  Ferris St. – 50 Min  /  SVSU– 2 Hr. 15 Min

 

Resorts in Northern Michigan

 

Caberfae Peaks Resort – Cadillac, MI

Deal: Caberfae offers an extensive selection of cheap skiing options for college students depending on when you want to ski…as long as it’s on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. For example, students with a valid college ID can ski for just $15 from 6pm to close. 

Distance From: WMU – 2 Hr. 30 Min  /  CMU – 1 Hr. 25 Min  /  U of M – 3 Hr. 20 Min  /  MSU – 2 Hr. 20 Min  /  GVSU – 2 Hr.  /  Ferris St. – 55 Min  /  SVSU – 2 Hr.

Crystal Mountain Resort – Thompsonville, MI

Deal: Crystal Mountain offers College Night from 5pm to close on select Fridays. That’s just $25 for your ticket and an additional $25 for your rental equipment.

Distance From: WMU – 2 Hr. 50 Min  /  CMU – 1 Hr. 45 Min  /  U of M – 3 Hr. 40 Min  /  MSU – 2 Hr. 45 Min  / GVSU – 2 Hr. 20 Min  /  Ferris St. – 1 Hr. 15 Min  /  SVSU – 2 Hr. 20 Min

Shanty Creek Resort – Bellaire, MI

Deal: On every day of the week, college students can find a sick discount at Schuss Mountain, starting at just $25 per lift ticket. Keep an eye out for next year’s Super Season Pass for college students, too. 

Distance From: WMU – 3 Hr. 25 Min  /  CMU – 2 Hr.  /  U of M – 3 Hr. 40 Min  /  MSU – 3 Hr.  / GVSU – 2 Hr. 50 Min  /  Ferris St. – 1 Hr. 45 Min  /  SVSU – 2 Hr. 20 Min

Treetops Resort – Gaylord, MI

Deal: At Treetops, the entire family can ski and save every Thursday from 4pm to 8pm. Enjoy Thrifty Thursdays with lift tickets, rentals, and group lessons included all for only $15 per person (no college ID required).

Distance From:  WMU – 3 Hr. 45 Min  /  CMU –  1 Hr. 40 Min  /  U of M – 3 Hr. 15 Min  /   MSU – 2 Hr. 40 Min  /  GVSU – 3 Hr. 15 Min  /  Ferris St. – 2 Hr. 10 Min  /  SVSU – 2 Hr

Nub’s Nob Resort – Harbor Springs, MI

Deal: Nub’s offers a discounted College Pass for the season starting in the low $300 range. We recommend buying early in the season, before October, for the best rates. 

Distance From:  WMU – 4 Hr. 15 Min  /  CMU –  2 Hr. 30 Min  /  U of M – 4 Hr. 5 Min  /  MSU – 3 Hr. 30 Min  /  GVSU – 3 Hr. 40 Min  /  Ferris St. – 2 Hr. 35 Min  /  SVSU – 2 Hr. 45 Min

Resorts in the Upper Peninsula

 

Marquette Mountain – Marquette, MI

Deal: Northern Michigan University staff and students get the best rate on lift tickets at Marquette Mountain. We can see why, since the resort is only 10 minutes away from the University. Season passes begin in the $200 range and multiple-day tickets can also be purchased at a hefty discount. 

Distance From:  Mich. Tech – 1 Hr.  50 Min  /  NMU – 10 Min  /   CMU –  5 Hr. 10 Min  /  Ferris St. – 5 Hr. 40 Min  /  SVSU – 5 Hr. 30 Min  /  Gogebic Comm. –  2 Hr.   /   Lake Sup. State – 2 Hr. 45 Min

Mont Ripley – Hancock, MI

Deal: Mont Ripley is the cheapest and most ideal resort for students enrolled at Michigan Tech with FREE lift tickets. For more information and details, visit the website.

Distance From:  Mich. Tech – 6 Min  /  NMU – 1 Hr. 55 Min  /  CMU –  7 Hr.  /  Ferris St. – 7 Hr. 30 Min  /  SVSU – 7 Hr. 20 Min  /  Gogebic Comm. –  2 Hr. 5 Min  /  Lake Sup. State – 4 Hr. 35 Min

Mount Bohemia –  Mohawk, MI

Deal: We’re not sure about Bohemia’s current student discounts, but this is certainly one extreme skiing destination in the U.P. that everyone should check off their bucket list (more than once). For current season pass information at Mount Bohemia, visit their website.

Distance From:  Mich. Tech – 55 Min  /  NMU – 2 Hr. 45 Min  /  CMU – 7 Hr. 50 Min  /   Ferris St. – 8 Hr. 15 Min   /  SVSU – 8 Hr. 5 Min  /   Gogebic Comm. –  1 Hr  /  Lake Sup. State – 5 Hr. 30 Min

Mt. Zion – Ironwood, MI

Deal: All enrolled Gogebic Community College students can ski for a heavily discounted rate with their student IDs. You can’t beat that. 

Distance From:  Mich. Tech – 2 Hr. 5 Min  /  NMU – 2 Hr. 40 Min  /  CMU –  5 Hr. 10 Min  /  Ferris St. – 8 Hr. 10 Min  /  SVSU – 8 Hr.  /  Gogebic Comm. –  2 Min  /  Lake Sup. State – 5 Hr. 20 Min