Ohio is home to many notable colleges and universities, each doing its part to train the next generation of workers. These institutions — including community colleges, career schools, and both public and private universities — are constantly looking for new ways to make education more accessible to their students. The state’s trend-setting status in the world of online education is a testament of that innovation. In 2012, the Plain Dealer reported that Ohio had more students enrolled in online K-12 schools than any other state in the nation except for Arizona. How did Ohio do it? According to the report, Ohio’s state leaders chose to prioritize educational access (and, in turn, online learning), and made the legislative adjustments necessary to prove it. And online K-12 charter schools were not the only institutions to benefit from this shift.

This statewide embrace of online learning can be seen across all levels of education in Ohio, but perhaps most especially in its colleges and universities where this once experimental form of education has become decidedly mainstream. Online schools in Ohio range from small, private colleges to large universities, such as Ohio State University, with a selection of over 12,000 courses, many of which can be taken online. In fact, students today are hard pressed to find a school in the Buckeye State that doesn’t offer some sort of online learning option, and many host full-fledged, 100 percent online degree programs.

Online Schools in Ohio

Online schools in Ohio offer a wide array of disciplines of study, but students should be aware that online education is available through almost any institution in the state, from small private schools to large universities. According to Open Education Database, Ohio offers distance learning through major colleges and universities such as Ohio State University (OSU), Kent State University, Tiffin University and the University of Cincinnati. Associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are administered, as well as certificates, professional courses and non-credit courses.

Many traditional schools host e-campus programs: For example, OSU manages its online courses through its Distance Education and eLearning department, and new and current students must apply for acceptance to the program. Resources available through OSU’s online program include academic advising, financial aid, student organizations, and arts and sports activities.

Colleges and Universities in Ohio

Thirteen state colleges and universities in Ohio confer traditional and specialty undergraduate and graduate degrees. Largest of these schools is Ohio State University, with students at the land grant school topping 63,960 at six different campuses and dozens of extension locations. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), Ohio State University has granted 681,223 degrees since 1873, the year the school taught its first classes. There are more than 175 majors, specializing in actuarial science, animal sciences, pre-medicine, pre-law, welding engineering and other subjects.

Ohio University, ranked 60th among national public universities, enrolls more than 35,000 students at its campuses, including 1,483 international students. Around the globe, with online students, Ohio University teaches a population of 200,000. To assist students in their goal to cover tuition, the school — along with its partner financial aid organizations — provides aid to 81 percent of its freshmen. Among the school’s 11 colleges are the College of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Fine Arts and the Patton College of Education.

Private Nonprofit Colleges in Ohio

Ohio boasts a total of 116 nonprofit colleges and universities of which the University of Dayton is the largest. This group of private nonprofit educational institutions includes liberal arts, technical, religious and medical schools, focusing on majors like health sciences, business, human development, marketing, biology and communications. Performance by these schools is reviewed annually by a nine-member board of regents. Retention rates for first and second year students enrolled in school full-time is about 78 percent. The student population is diverse, allowing degree seekers opportunities to advance their learning in and outside the classroom.

Ohio Community Colleges

Ohio’s community college network consists of 135 undergraduate schools, educating 281,252 students. Teacher to student ratio at the state’s community colleges is 1 to 27, which is about half the national average. The acceptance rate at the schools reaches about 73 percent. Critical STEM disciplines such as engineering — particularly engineering technology — science, math and medicine are fields in which Ohio’s community college students perform above average. Specifically, the state graduates 67 percent more engineering technology majors and 26 percent more health majors than the national average for these majors.

Ohio Online School and Distance Learning Spotlights

Franklin University

Franklin University, with its main campus located in Columbus, is a private, not-for-profit institution with a strong emphasis on educating working adults. Franklin currently offers seven associate, 34 bachelor and 9 master’s degrees, all of which can be earned online. Major subject areas for undergraduate degrees include business administration, communications, financial management, forensic accounting, information technology, public relations and several others. Master’s degrees can be earned in subjects such as public administration, healthcare administration, human resource management, business psychology, computer science and more.

Distance learning students can attend classes at anytime and proceed at their own pace. Online resources are made available through the university’s my.franklin.edu learning portal where students can access classes and grades, as well as library, bookstore and student services. As with other courses through online schools in Ohio, communication with instructors and other students is facilitated through chat rooms, discussion threads and email.

For additional information regarding Franklin University’s distance learning programs and courses, visit: http://www.franklin.edu/online-learning.

Edison Community College

Edison Community College is a public two-year institution located in Piqua, Ohio. Edison currently offers three associate degree programs online: an Associate of Applied Science in industrial management with a supply chain management option, an Associate of Applied Business in accounting and an Associate of Arts transfer program. Certificate programs are also available in a wide range of academic and technical subjects that include accounting and finance, law and legal, writing and publishing, skilled trades and industrial, media and design, computer applications and several others. Vocational classes are provided through the Tech Online Courses program in fields such as shop practices and measurements, lean manufacturing, maintenance basics, robotics and more.

As with most online schools in Ohio, delivery of course content is accomplished through the use of a number of tools and services including Blackboard and WebAdvisor. Prospective students must complete an Introduction to the Internet class as a prerequisite for enrolling in any subsequent online courses.

Additional information on Edison Community College’s online programs can be found at: http://catalog.edisonohio.edu/content.php?catoid=17&navoid=1168#Online_Programs.

The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University (OSU) offers several online credit courses, and adds more with each passing term. The distance learning option is convenient for any student, but can be a lifeline for busy individuals hoping to complete their degrees. Programs accommodate both traditional and nontraditional students. For instance, the school offers several web-based continuing education courses, which makes it easier for working professionals to meet whatever educational requirements they need to advance their careers, or to maintain professional licenses and certifications. It also hosts an initiative called Program 60, a lifelong learning program designed exclusively for students aged 60 and up who want to take online courses with a goal of personal enrichment.

OSU’s Office of Distance Education & eLearning can help students navigate the school’s online learning options. It also connects students with support programs to help them succeed, such as tutoring, academic advising, and career placement services.

You can learn more about OSU’s online learning programs by visiting: http://www.ced.osu.edu/credit_online.php.

Kent State University (Kent State Online)

Kent State is the second largest public university in Ohio, so it is only natural that it would also offer one of the state’s most expansive online learning programs. According to its official website, Kent State was among the first colleges in the country to embrace online education: It offered its first online program over 15 years ago. Today it offers more than 30 online degree and certificate programs in a variety of academic areas, which the institution says lets students advance their educations “anytime, anywhere.” It also promises that students can expect the same high standards of teaching and quality education from Kent State Online as they would from any traditional campus-based class.

Kent State Online offers programs and services designed to help students even after they have earned their degrees. The Office of Continuing and Distance Education, for instance, offers credit and noncredit workshops and conferences designed to help professionals stay on the cutting edge of their field. Workshop scheduling is flexible to accommodate students’ busy schedules. Those who successfully completed credit-bearing workshops can actually earn graduate-level credits for their time.

You can learn more about all of Kent State’s online learning options by visiting Kent State Online: http://onlinedegrees.kent.edu/.

Ohio University (eCampus)

Ohio University’s eCampus calls itself a gateway for higher education — one that serves even the busiest and most remote students. It offers a full catalog of credit and noncredit online courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can complete a wide variety of degrees online, plus specialized credentials, such as real estate certifications. Even degrees that require hands-on or classroom work can be completed from afar via partnerships with nearly 20 community colleges statewide. In addition to offering term-based programs—meaning those with set start and end dates — OU offers flexible courses, independent study projects, and credit-by-exam opportunities that can be started and completed anytime.

OU’s eCampus also maintains several services designed to help online students succeed, such as online advising and library services. Students who need to complete proctored exams can coordinate with OHIO Testing Services, which can help them locate and register with testing locations state-(or nation-) wide.

Learn more about OU’s eCampus by visiting: http://www.ohio.edu/ecampus/.


Best Online Schools in Ohio Serving Military Students

Ohio’s higher education is an excellent choice for any prospective student eager to serve their country. Army, Navy, and Air Force ROTC can be found at numerous Ohio universities. No matter the degree track, there are opportunities for the civic-minded undergraduate and graduate student in Ohio. We’ve listed all of the universities that fit the following parameters: non-profit, generating four-year degrees, and offer at least two ROTC programs.

Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
Ohio State University-Main Campus$9,168 Columbus Yes Yes Yes
Miami University-Oxford$11,270 Oxford Yes Yes Yes
University of Toledo$7,864 Toledo Yes No Yes
University of Akron Main Campus$8,284 Akron Yes No Yes
Wright State University-Main Campus$8,354 Dayton Yes No Yes
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus$8,914 Bowling Green Yes No Yes
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus$9,124 Cincinnati Yes No Yes
Cleveland State University$9,264 Cleveland Yes No Yes
Kent State University at Kent$9,672 Kent Yes No Yes
Ohio University-Main Campus$10,282 Athens Yes No Yes
Wilberforce University$12,020 Wilberforce Yes No Yes
Mount Carmel College of Nursing$16,403 Columbus Yes No Yes
Lourdes University$16,950 Sylvania Yes No Yes
Tiffin University$19,890 Tiffin Yes No Yes

Best Online Schools in Ohio Serving Up Small Classes

Ohio is made up of big cities and small towns with excellent colleges and four-year degree programs. Not everyone is cut out for overflowing class sizes and heavy competition for attention from faculty. The following non-profit schools each have 5,000 students, but they maintain an average student/faculty ratio less than 20:1.

Ohio Mid-Western College 20 to 1 135$10,044 Private not-for-profit Cincinnati
Ohio State University-Lima Campus 20 to 1 1,482$6,912 Public Lima
Ohio State University-Mansfield Campus 20 to 1 1,556$6,912 Public Mansfield
Kent State University at Tuscarawas 20 to 1 3,286$5,472 Public New Philadelphia
Kent State University at Geauga 20 to 1 4,752$5,472 Public Burton
Shawnee State University 20 to 1 5,393$5,918 Public Portsmouth
Ohio University-Main Campus 20 to 1 26,412$10,282 Public Athens
Miami University-Hamilton 19 to 1 4,792$4,562 Public Hamilton
Youngstown State University 19 to 1 15,675$7,483 Public Youngstown
University of Toledo 19 to 1 19,898$7,864 Public Toledo
Ohio State University-Main Campus 19 to 1 48,411$9,168 Public Columbus
Kent State University at East Liverpool 18 to 1 2,373$5,472 Public East Liverpool
Kent State University at Ashtabula 18 to 1 3,677$5,472 Public Ashtabula
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus 18 to 1 16,601$8,914 Public Bowling Green
Urbana University 17 to 1 2,077$20,896 Private not-for-profit Urbana
Miami University-Middletown 17 to 1 2,890$4,562 Public Middletown
Kent State University at Salem 17 to 1 3,022$5,472 Public Salem
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus 17 to 1 26,026$9,124 Public Cincinnati
Gods Bible School and College 16 to 1 363$5,800 Private not-for-profit Cincinnati
Central State University 16 to 1 2,786$3,550 Public Wilberforce
University of Rio Grande 16 to 1 2,907$19,720 Private not-for-profit Rio Grande
University of Cincinnati-Clermont College 16 to 1 5,220$4,490 Public Batavia
University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College 16 to 1 6,794$5,170 Public Blue Ash
Franklin University 16 to 1 8,794$9,960 Private not-for-profit Columbus
Miami University-Oxford 16 to 1 15,892$11,270 Public Oxford
Wilmington College 15 to 1 1,631$27,370 Private not-for-profit Wilmington
Franciscan University of Steubenville 15 to 1 2,380$21,740 Private not-for-profit Steubenville
Baldwin Wallace University 15 to 1 3,886$27,060 Private not-for-profit Berea
University of Dayton 15 to 1 8,246$32,000 Private not-for-profit Dayton
Cleveland State University 15 to 1 13,983$9,264 Public Cleveland
Cincinnati Christian University 14 to 1 794$14,766 Private not-for-profit Cincinnati
Lake Erie College 14 to 1 1,054$25,976 Private not-for-profit Painesville
Heidelberg University 14 to 1 1,224$24,000 Private not-for-profit Tiffin
Mount Vernon Nazarene University 14 to 1 2,100$17,574 Private not-for-profit Mount Vernon
Muskingum University 14 to 1 2,154$22,000 Private not-for-profit New Concord
Walsh University 14 to 1 2,647$23,550 Private not-for-profit North Canton
Ohio Dominican University 14 to 1 2,674$27,574 Private not-for-profit Columbus
The University of Findlay 14 to 1 4,413$28,080 Private not-for-profit Findlay
Mount Carmel College of Nursing 13 to 1 968$16,403 Private not-for-profit Columbus
Bluffton University 13 to 1 1,217$26,976 Private not-for-profit Bluffton
Notre Dame College 13 to 1 1,902$24,864 Private not-for-profit Cleveland
University of Mount Union 13 to 1 2,240$26,350 Private not-for-profit Alliance
Malone University 13 to 1 2,314$23,860 Private not-for-profit Canton
John Carroll University 13 to 1 3,124$32,130 Private not-for-profit University Heights
Cedarville University 13 to 1 3,435$25,496 Private not-for-profit Cedarville
Wilberforce University 12 to 1 608$12,020 Private not-for-profit Wilberforce
Defiance College 12 to 1 1,097$26,740 Private not-for-profit Defiance
Hiram College 12 to 1 1,446$27,615 Private not-for-profit Hiram
Columbus College of Art and Design 12 to 1 1,529$27,504 Private not-for-profit Columbus
Marietta College 12 to 1 1,635$30,090 Private not-for-profit Marietta
Ohio Northern University 12 to 1 2,591$35,438 Private not-for-profit Ada
Lourdes University 12 to 1 2,709$16,950 Private not-for-profit Sylvania
Xavier University 12 to 1 5,039$31,140 Private not-for-profit Cincinnati
Kettering College 11 to 1 1,003$9,576 Private not-for-profit Kettering
Ohio Wesleyan University 11 to 1 1,861$38,890 Private not-for-profit Delaware
Wittenberg University 11 to 1 1,994$37,230 Private not-for-profit Springfield
College of Mount St. Joseph 11 to 1 2,014$24,200 Private not-for-profit Cincinnati
The College of Wooster 11 to 1 2,086$39,500 Private not-for-profit Wooster
Otterbein University 11 to 1 2,804$30,658 Private not-for-profit Westerville
Capital University 11 to 1 3,226$31,364 Private not-for-profit Columbus
Allegheny Wesleyan College 10 to 1 52$4,800 Private not-for-profit Salem
Denison University 10 to 1 2,320$41,380 Private not-for-profit Granville
Rabbinical College Telshe 9 to 1 57$8,000 Private not-for-profit Wickliffe
Union Institute & University 9 to 1 1,666$11,544 Private not-for-profit Cincinnati
Kenyon College 9 to 1 1,758$42,780 Private not-for-profit Gambier
Oberlin College 9 to 1 3,087$44,512 Private not-for-profit Oberlin
Ohio Christian University 9 to 1 3,190$16,100 Private not-for-profit Circleville
Ashland University 9 to 1 3,672$27,930 Private not-for-profit Ashland
Case Western Reserve University 9 to 1 4,167$40,120 Private not-for-profit Cleveland
Antioch University-Midwest 8 to 1 204$25,296 Private not-for-profit Yellow Springs
Cleveland Institute of Art 8 to 1 549$32,960 Private not-for-profit Cleveland
Ursuline College 8 to 1 1,107$25,530 Private not-for-profit Pepper Pike
Tri-State Bible College 7 to 1 57$7,200 Private not-for-profit South Point
Cleveland Institute of Music 7 to 1 252$40,300 Private not-for-profit Cleveland
Good Samaritan College of Nursing & Health Science 7 to 1 393$15,611 Private not-for-profit Cincinnati
Mercy College of Ohio 7 to 1 1,342$10,260 Private not-for-profit Toledo
Athenaeum of Ohio 6 to 1 123$20,400 Private not-for-profit Cincinnati
Pontifical College Josephinum 6 to 1 132$19,415 Private not-for-profit Columbus
Art Academy of Cincinnati 5 to 1 234$23,950 Private not-for-profit Cincinnati

Best Online Schools in Ohio that Welcome Women in Tech

Ohio leads the way in the best colleges for women in technology and engineering degree programs. These colleges in Ohio stay ahead of the curve by providing numerous programs to attract and retain female students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. Programs such as residence halls that are solely for female students, and numerous mentorships under the guidance of experienced tech degree-seeking women make this a female-friendly atmosphere in what is typically a degree track dominated by males. With these incentives, most of these Ohio colleges are able to retain a gender ratio in technology classrooms that are equivalent to the female to male ratio throughout the rest of the college. The list below highlights the premiere colleges in Ohio for women seeking tech-based degrees.

Ohio State University-Main Campus$10,037 Columbus 382 48,788 Public
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus$10,784 Cincinnati 276 25,412 Public
University of Akron Main Campus$9,863 Akron 137 20,349 Public
University of Dayton$33,400 Dayton 119 9,333 Private Not for Profit
Ohio University-Main Campus$10,282 Athens 113 20,053 Public
Wright State University-Main Campus$8,354 Dayton 91 14,554 Public
Case Western Reserve University$40,490 Cleveland 85 8,404 Private Not for Profit
University of Toledo$9,275 Toledo 78 17,680 Public
Cleveland State University$9,314 Cleveland 76 10,277 Public
Youngstown State University$7,712 Youngstown 44 10,901 Public
Miami University-Oxford$13,594 Oxford 42 15,621 Public
Kent State University at Kent$9,672 Kent 41 21,028 Public
Ohio Northern University$35,678 Ada 36 3,229 Private Not for Profit
Kent State University at Salem$5,472 Salem 33 846 Public
The University of Findlay$28,914 Findlay 30 3,035 Private Not for Profit
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus$10,514 Bowling Green 29 15,225 Public
Franciscan University of Steubenville$22,180 Steubenville 21 2,169 Private Not for Profit
Franklin University$9,985 Columbus 19 3,245 Private Not for Profit
Air Force Institute of Technology-Graduate School of Engineering & ManagementN/A Wright-Patterson AFB 17 570 Public
Cedarville University$25,496 Cedarville 14 3,034 Private Not for Profit
Denison University$42,280 Granville 10 2,264 Private Not for Profit
University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College$5,890 Blue Ash 6 2,981 Public
Notre Dame College$25,514 Cleveland 6 1,327 Private Not for Profit
Shawnee State University$6,988 Portsmouth 5 3,992 Public
Ashland University$28,858 Ashland 5 3,717 Private Not for Profit
Otterbein University$30,658 Westerville 5 2,431 Private Not for Profit
Marietta College$30,950 Marietta 5 1,489 Private Not for Profit

Best Online Schools in Ohio for Helping Families

Many of the nation’s best social work programs, designed around family assistance, are found in Ohio. These schools create ideal learning environments for those interested in a rewarding career helping children and families. Outstanding classes mixed with hands-on experience, and consistent field study is a winning combination found at these Ohio colleges. Incredible scholarship opportunities add to the reasons to pursue your social work degree at any of the programs below. Ranked based on awards, academic possibilities, reputation, and innovation, these are the Ohio colleges with the top programs in the state for family-focused social work. For prospective students looking to make a difference in families, any of these programs will exceed your educational needs.

Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus 576 451 125 $10,037 48,788
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati 233 186 47 $10,784 25,412
Cleveland State University Cleveland 230 176 54 $9,314 10,277
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland 203 171 32 $40,490 8,404
University of Akron Main Campus Akron 168 141 27 $9,863 20,349
Ohio University-Main Campus Athens 127 82 45 $10,282 20,053
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus Bowling Green 109 79 30 $10,514 15,225
Wright State University-Main Campus Dayton 102 70 32 $8,354 14,554
Youngstown State University Youngstown 99 86 13 $7,712 10,901
University of Toledo Toledo 98 84 14 $9,275 17,680
Miami University-Oxford Oxford 71 47 24 $13,594 15,621
Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon 62 51 11 $22,890 2,141
Capital University Columbus 48 32 16 $31,364 2,943
Kent State University at Kent Kent 39 29 10 $9,672 21,028
John Carroll University University Heights 34 27 7 $33,180 3,188
Ohio Wesleyan University Delaware 29 19 10 $39,150 1,815
University of Dayton Dayton 26 20 6 $33,400 9,333
Wittenberg University Springfield 25 18 7 $38,030 1,792
The University of Findlay Findlay 23 20 3 $28,914 3,035
Bluffton University Bluffton 22 18 4 $27,426 1,000
Oberlin College Oberlin 22 16 6 $44,905 2,926
Cedarville University Cedarville 21 19 2 $25,496 3,034
Denison University Granville 21 17 4 $42,280 2,264
Kenyon College Gambier 20 15 5 $44,420 1,648
Ohio Dominican University Columbus 17 15 2 $28,104 2,152
Shawnee State University Portsmouth 17 13 4 $6,988 3,992
Lourdes University Sylvania 16 12 4 $16,950 1,388
College of Mount St. Joseph Cincinnati 16 14 2 $25,100 1,461
Xavier University Cincinnati 16 14 2 $32,070 4,790
Ashland University Ashland 14 11 3 $28,858 3,717
Hiram College Hiram 14 9 5 $30,190 1,182
Walsh University North Canton 14 11 3 $24,690 2,088
The College of Wooster Wooster 14 9 5 $39,810 1,982
Malone University Canton 12 10 2 $24,536 1,774
Franciscan University of Steubenville Steubenville 12 10 2 $22,180 2,169
Union Institute & University Cincinnati 11 9 2 $11,664 948
Ursuline College Pepper Pike 11 9 2 $25,790 761
Wilberforce University Wilberforce 10 9 1 $13,250 589
Baldwin Wallace University Berea 9 7 2 $27,060 3,409
Central State University Wilberforce 9 5 4 $5,870 2,255
Otterbein University Westerville 8 4 4 $30,658 2,431
Defiance College Defiance 7 6 1 $27,360 821
University of Mount Union Alliance 7 5 2 $26,650 2,188
Muskingum University New Concord 7 4 3 $22,628 1,648
Wilmington College Wilmington 7 5 2 $27,720 1,103
Ohio Northern University Ada 5 4 1 $35,678 3,229