A new listing of the most influential colleges says University of Michigan is the most influential higher-education institution in Michigan. The ranking was put together by AcademicInfluence.com, a technology-driven rankings site dedicated to higher education. "State-based rankings matter because in-state student tuition discounts may be considerable," Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of AcademicInfluence.com and professor of physics at Wake Forest University, said in a statement. "Other reasons students give for staying within their home state may include closer proximity to family and friends, familiarity with their favorite places, and even a dedication to state schools they'd heard about growing up." The rankings are put together through the "InfluenceRanking Engine," which is a machine-learning technology that uses publicly available data repositories, including the National Center for Education Statistics, to map and objectively measure a school's influence through students, faculty, staff and alumni. AcademicInfluence says the rankings are unbiased and "resistant to manipulation." The rest of the top five schools in Michigan, in order, are Wayne State University at number 2, followed by Michigan State University at number 3, Western Michigan University at number 4 and University of Detroit Mercy at number 5. Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant was ranked number nine, above Northwood University in Midland at number 30. Additionally, Ferris State University in Big Rapids came in at number 14, above Saginaw Valley State University at 31.