Love the Buckeye State? Here Are the Top 5 Online Colleges in Ohio

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Updated April 25, 2023

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Attending an online school in Ohio is a great way to learn. We rank the best online colleges in Ohio based on academics, affordability, and more.

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Ohio is the seventh most populous state in the country, with nearly 12 million residents in 2022. It's almost impossible not to also think of colleges and universities in Ohio. The Ohio State University in Columbus is one of the biggest schools in the U.S. — and has the school pride to match.

But not everybody wants the traditional campus experience. Applying to online schools in Ohio is a convenient and inexpensive way to prepare for jobs in the state's biggest industries, including manufacturing, financial activities, healthcare, and education.

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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5 Best Online Colleges in Ohio

Read About Our Methodology Here

#1 Best Online Colleges in Ohio

Youngstown State University

  • Youngstown, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Enrollees at Youngstown State University can study on campus or through online academic programs. Regardless of geographic location, learners can enroll in any of the school's 16 online programs. Busy students often benefit from the flexibility of online learning.

Enrollees can connect with peers and instructors through group projects, virtual office hours, and online discussion boards. Experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, allow degree-seekers to gain practical skills in their field. The institution provides resources including career services and academic advising, which help students reach their academic and professional goals. Learners can access resume assistance and mock interviews to ensure they put their best foot forward when approaching employers after graduation.

Students should expect to pay varying fees and costs based on their program and course selections. Applicants can contact an admissions counselor for details about program costs. Enrollees can reduce the financial burden of higher education by applying for scholarships and grants.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,705
Out-of-state
$9,065
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,058
Out-of-state
$9,058
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
12,110
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online Colleges in Ohio

University of Cincinnati

  • Cincinnati, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Online learners at the University of Cincinnati participate in high-quality programs that provide important academic preparation. The 19,270 online students attending the public institution can choose from 66 online programs. While completing their studies, online learners can live anywhere in the world.

Remote enrollees benefit from a supportive online learning community. Experiential learning opportunities, such as research collaborations and internships, help participants develop practical and professional skills. Learners can benefit from consulting departmental advisors to ensure they are on track to meet their academic goals.

To pay for their education, degree-seekers can consider institutional aid and external funding, such as federal loans and private scholarship programs. Students can consult financial aid officers for information about institutional and outside funding options. Financial aid reduces the overall cost of earning a degree for 75% of the school's enrollees.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,476
Out-of-state
$24,810
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$12,790
Out-of-state
$24,532
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
39,263
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Colleges in Ohio

Franciscan University of Steubenville

  • Steubenville, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Online learners at Franciscan University of Steubenville access high-quality educational programming. Along with providing in-person programs, the private institution offers 13 online options. Online learners often save money by living in areas with lower costs of living while attending school.

Online enrollees can participate in forum discussions and group projects. Academic opportunities often include research projects, internships, and independent studies. Learners can benefit from online advising sessions and career services, such as mock interviews.

Many degree-seekers pursue external funding from sources such as nonprofit organizations and professional associations to cover the cost of their degree. Financial aid officers provide information about options students can use to fund their education, such as scholarships and fellowships. Of the school's enrollees, 100% receive financial aid, which can help make higher education more accessible.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$28,420
Out-of-state
$28,420
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$12,600
Out-of-state
$12,600
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
3,039
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Colleges in Ohio

Ohio University

  • Athens, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The academic programs at Ohio University meet the highest standards for online learning. Students located anywhere in the world can take advantage of the public institution's 48 online programs. Online learners can study a variety of subjects and complete coursework from any location, at convenient times.

Online enrollees can communicate with peers and professors remotely. Program participants can conduct original research and pursue internships to gain practical experience. Learners can benefit from online advising sessions and career services, such as mock interviews.

Degree-seekers can apply for institutional funding and external scholarships. Students can discuss their financial aid options with the institution's financial aid officers. Of the school's enrollees, 94% receive financial aid, which can help make higher education more accessible.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$12,612
Out-of-state
$22,406
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,444
Out-of-state
$17,436
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
27,367
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Online Colleges in Ohio

University of Akron

  • Akron, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Akron offers high-quality online academic programs for enrollees studying various fields. The school's offerings include seven online programs, through which 6,530 learners pursue their degree. Students from all walks of life will find the college’s flexible remote learning programs to be attractive, accessible options.

The virtual classroom environment provides opportunities for enrollees to develop lasting connections and receive individual assistance. The supportive online community enables participants to collaborate with peers and faculty on subject-specific research projects or pursue other experiential learning opportunities, such as internships. Career services prepare students to obtain a job in their field after graduation.

Students can access help choosing the best professional path. The school organizes job fairs and hosts career workshops to help learners understand their professional options.

Each program features unique costs and expenses. An admissions counselor can help applicants calculate their exact program cost. Enrollees can apply for scholarships reserved for individuals in their field, along with federal aid.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,371
Out-of-state
$15,500
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,306
Out-of-state
$13,812
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
17,600
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Reasons to Apply to Online Schools in Ohio

  • Some Ohio online schools may offer in-state tuition discounts to online students.
  • Several prestigious Ohio universities offer online programs, including Ohio State.
  • Online degrees provide lots of flexibility, so you can work while you learn.
  • Ohio boasts a low cost of living compared to other states, making it a great choice for students on a budget.

Did You Know…

The nonfarm sector with the highest employment in Ohio is trade, transportation, and utilities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Why Accreditation Matters for Online Schools in Ohio

When applying to Ohio online colleges, you'll want to ensure each school is accredited.

Accreditation shows that an outside agency has reviewed the school and confirmed its academic quality. In other words, accreditation is a stamp of approval indicating that the school meets certain standards.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is the primary institutional accreditor for schools in Ohio.

If you're applying to online programs in professional fields like nursing or law, check that your program is programmatically accredited. Often, you can't qualify for state licensure unless you attend an accredited program and school.

How Much Do Online Colleges in Ohio Cost?

The average tuition and fees for four-year private colleges in Ohio were $35,352 in 2020-2021, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

If you're an Ohio resident, you can save money by opting for a public university. Tuition and fees for in-state residents at public schools averaged $10,049 that same year.

You can further lower your college costs by applying for federal student aid each year you're in school.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education also offers many grants and scholarships to in-state students, with some specifically targeting nurses, veterans, and returning students.

4 Popular Cities for Online Colleges in Ohio

The four cities below are home to some of Ohio's biggest colleges and universities. They're also great places for online students to live and learn.

Columbus


Columbus is the largest city in Ohio, with a population of around 900,000. The city is home to Ohio State's main campus, which enrolls over 40,000 students. Local attractions include the Columbus Museum of Art, the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the Ohio Theatre.

Cleveland


After Columbus, Cleveland is the second largest city in Ohio, with a population of around 370,000. Cleveland is an exciting place for students of the arts and natural sciences. University Circle, which is located downtown, is home to landmarks like the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Cincinnati


Cincinnati is a mid-sized city with a population of just over 300,000. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College has four locations throughout the city and surrounding area. Cincinnati is also rife with fun things to do and see, such as the Cincinnati Zoo and Findlay Market.

Lima


Lima is a smaller city in northwest Ohio, with a population of just 36,000. A prominent regional medical center, the city is also home to PG's Tide and Downy facilities. Lima is home to three educational institutions: the University of Northwestern Ohio, Ohio State at Lima, and Rhodes State College.

Online Colleges in Popular Ohio Cities
School Location Type Accreditation
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland Private, 4-Year HLC
Cincinnati State Cincinnati Public, 4-Year HLC
Cleveland State University Cleveland Public, 4-Year HLC
Columbus State Community College Columbus Public, 2-Year HLC
Cuyahoga Community College Cleveland Public, 2-Year HLC
Franklin University Columbus Private, 4-Year HLC
Mount Carmel College of Nursing Columbus Private, 4-Year HLC
Notre Dame College Cleveland Private, 4-Year HLC
Ohio Dominican University Columbus Private, 4-Year HLC
Rhodes State College Lima Public, 2-Year HLC
The Ohio State University Columbus Public, 4-Year HLC
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Public, 4-Year HLC
University of Northwestern Ohio Lima Private, 4-Year HLC
Xavier University Cincinnati Private, 4-Year HLC

Did You Know…

Ohio State's Ohio Stadium in Columbus can fit 102,780 people!

What Are the Most In-Demand Jobs in Ohio?

The most in-demand jobs in Ohio vary widely in education requirements and salary expectations, with some asking for just a high school diploma and others requiring a graduate degree. These jobs also span many industries, from hospitality to healthcare.

Today, some of the fastest-growing jobs in Ohio include nurse practitioner, restaurant cook, and physician assistant.

10 Fast-Growing Jobs in Ohio
Job Median Annual Salary in OH (May 2021) Job Growth Rate in OH (2020-2030) Minimum Education Required
Nurse Practitioners $103,310 49% Master's
Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers $22,860 43% None
Restaurant Cooks $28,850 42% None
Statisticians $75,230 35% Master's
Occupational Therapy Assistants $61,390 31% Associate
Nonfarm Animal Caretakers $22,890 29% High school diploma
Medical and Health Services Managers $98,550 29% Bachelor's
Physician Assistants $102,510 29% Master's
Logisticians $77,030 28% Bachelor's
Physical Therapist Assistants $61,560 27% Associate

Sources: BLS, Projections Central

Frequently Asked Questions About Ohio Online Colleges

How many colleges and universities are there in Ohio?

Ohio is home to a total of 289 colleges and universities. Of these, 127 are four-year institutions and 112 are two-year institutions. Ohio has 108 public colleges and universities and 84 private nonprofit schools. You can earn a bachelor's degree at 111 of these schools.

What Ohio colleges are online?

Many well-known Ohio colleges and universities offer online programs. These include Ohio State, Ohio University, and Miami University.

Is online school free in Ohio?

Online school is generally not free in Ohio. Like other online schools, Ohio online schools charge learners tuition and fees. You can save money by submitting the FAFSA and applying for scholarships.

Note, too, that tuition is often lower at public universities than it is at private schools.

How long do you have to live in Ohio to get in-state tuition?

In general, you have to live in Ohio for at least 12 months to qualify for in-state tuition.

That said, the Forever Buckeyes provision allows any students who've graduated from a public or private Ohio high school to qualify for in-state tuition, even if they moved away after graduation. In this case, you don't have to establish residency for one year before qualifying for in-state tuition.

Can you attend Ohio State online?

Yes, you can attend Ohio State online. Ohio State Online offers 100% online certificates, undergraduate degrees, and graduate degrees. You can also enroll in individual online courses instead of entire programs.


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AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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