Online Schools and Colleges in Ohio

Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools

Online programs in Ohio offer the flexibility to continue working while learning. Some schools, such as Ohio State University, offer completely online programs, even in health occupations, while others offer a hybrid mix of online and in-person learning. Even if you’re not sure if earning an online degree is the right choice for you, this page walks you through some of the important questions online students in Ohio should get the answers to before making a college decision, including which colleges and universities offer the best online education in the state.

Best Online Colleges in Ohio 2020

Ohio students can choose from academic options including fully online programs and hybrid programs that combine virtual and in-person learning. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Ohio is one of the most expensive states in which to attend school, for learners at both public and private institutions.

Top 10 Online Bachelor Schools in Ohio

Rank School Location
1 Ohio State University Columbus, OH
2 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH
3 Ohio University Athens, OH
4 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
5 Xavier University Cincinnati, OH
6 Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH
7 University of Toledo Toledo, OH
8 Baldwin Wallace University Berea, OH
9 Ashland University Ashland, OH
10 The University of Findlay Findlay, OH
Advertisement 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.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

  1. Ohio State University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Best known by many for their athletic programs, Ohio State University is also home to some of the top academic programs in the nation. Academically, their health and science departments get the most attention, often considered to be among the best in the nation. Students that don't want to study in a traditional manner can still study toward health and sciences through their online school. Ohio State Online currently offers 3 undergraduate programs: a bachelor's in dental hygiene, health science and nursing. These programs are technically degree completion, so students will need to have previous credit before applying, making these programs ideal for transfer students. To help keep costs low, any students that do enroll 100 percent in distance education will be given Ohio resident tuition. Students looking to get this tuition will need to be sure that the program they're starting is entirely online, or that they already qualify for in-state tuition.

  2. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
    Location

    Mount Vernon, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Mount Vernon Nazarene University is one of the top private, Christian schools in Ohio. While many of the students choose degrees related to ministry, MVNU also offers a wide variety of degrees popular at other institutions. There are 5 online undergraduate degrees offered by Mount Vernon, and their bachelor's of business administration can be further focused in 1 of 4 categories. After, students can pick from 1 of their master's degree programs, some of which can be fast-tracked or dual majored. MVNU designed the majority of their online degree programs with adult learners and full-time workers in mind. Even with a busy schedule, MVNU estimates that students should be able to complete some programs in as little as 15-21 months, and potentially even less if they have already completed some of the required foundational courses. The costs for their online school vary depending on the specific program.

  3. Ohio University
    Location

    Athens, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Best known by many for their athletic programs, Ohio State University is also home to some of the top academic programs in the nation. Academically, their health and science departments get the most attention, often considered to be among the best in the nation. Students that don't want to study in a traditional manner can still study toward health and sciences through their online school. Ohio State Online currently offers 3 undergraduate programs: a bachelor's in dental hygiene, health science and nursing. These programs are technically degree completion, so students will need to have previous credit before applying, making these programs ideal for transfer students. To help keep costs low, any students that do enroll 100 percent in distance education will be given Ohio resident tuition. Students looking to get this tuition will need to be sure that the program they're starting is entirely online, or that they already qualify for in-state tuition.

  4. University of Cincinnati
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Mount Vernon Nazarene University is one of the top private, Christian schools in Ohio. While many of the students choose degrees related to ministry, MVNU also offers a wide variety of degrees popular at other institutions. There are 5 online undergraduate degrees offered by Mount Vernon, and their bachelor's of business administration can be further focused in 1 of 4 categories. After, students can pick from 1 of their master's degree programs, some of which can be fast-tracked or dual majored. MVNU designed the majority of their online degree programs with adult learners and full-time workers in mind. Even with a busy schedule, MVNU estimates that students should be able to complete some programs in as little as 15-21 months, and potentially even less if they have already completed some of the required foundational courses. The costs for their online school vary depending on the specific program.

  5. Xavier University
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Not only does Ohio University have a large on-campus student body, but they also have one of the largest e-learning student bodies in the nation. There are currently over 8,000 students studying through Ohio's undergraduate and graduate programs online, and that number is steadily increasing. So many students enroll in the online school because of its quality - all 10 of their undergraduate degree programs are held to the same standards as their on-campus counterparts. While out-of-state students will be required to pay more than in-state students, they will not see their tuition or fees increase in the first 12 consecutive semesters of study. Since their online degrees are designed to be completed in 8 semesters or less, most online students shouldn't see an increase in what they pay while they attend Ohio.

  6. Bowling Green State University
    Location

    Bowling Green, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    With over 44,000 students and roughly 250,000 alumni, the University of Cincinnati can give future graduates a network to find the right job, particularly in the busy Cincinnati area. Because not all students are able to commute to campus, UC offers 15 entirely online bachelor's degree programs. It's worth noting that 5 of these programs are degree completion, meaning students will need transfer credit or prior school credit - but these degrees can be earned in less than 4 years. With affordability being an important factor for many incoming college students, the University of Cincinnati has created a structured tuition cost for each individual program through their online school. Students will need to check their desired program to find out how much the tuition will be. Regardless of the cost, Cincinnati also offers financial aid, and the majority of their online students receive some form of financial aid.

  7. University of Toledo
    Location

    Toledo, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded on the Jesuit method, Xavier University has found success in placing students after graduation, boasting that 98% of their student body is employed or furthering their education after earning a degree. Xavier has found the same success with their online program as 98% of those graduates end up in the same position. A big reason their online program is so effective is their network of mentors. Every online student has access to a professional mentor, many of which have their own professional network to help connect graduates with opportunities. It's worth noting that the online school at Xavier currently does not offer any undergraduate programs - however, all 8 of their master's degree programs are considered among the best in the state. Students that are earning a bachelor's degree soon and want to continue their education will want to see what Xavier has to offer.

  8. Baldwin Wallace University
    Location

    Berea, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in northwest Ohio, Bowling Green State University is home to over 19,000 students. Their success is largely due to their effort to maximize the first year of all their programs, giving students more exposure to their field early on. This method extends to their online campus where students can complete one of four entirely online bachelor's degrees, each designed to give students early exposure to their field. The majority of the courses offered in their online programs last 7 weeks, helping students get more flexibility with their online studies while still pacing themselves to graduate in 4 years. Along with these entirely online courses, there is also one blended program - a bachelor's in liberal arts - that is 50% online and 50% on campus. Courses through this program last the traditional 16 weeks. The time it takes to complete any of these programs can be reduced with transfer credit.

  9. Ashland University
    Location

    Ashland, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of the largest and top funded schools in Ohio, the University of Toledo is constantly looking for ways to improve education for their students. With the growth of distance education, Toledo has made their presence in online education known. They currently offer 25 different undergraduate programs through the online school, all of which can be completed entirely online. This is one of the largest assortments of entirely online undergraduate programs offered by a single institution. Students are also able to take some of the courses on-campus and may be required to spend time earning in-person experience if they are looking to get certification. Transfer students looking for a place to complete their undergraduate education can benefit from Toledo's transfer and adult student scholarships and awards. To be eligible, transfer students must have already completed 12 or more credit hours at an accredited institution.

  10. The University of Findlay
    Location

    Findlay, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Although the school has been around since 1845, Baldwin Wallace University has been going through a lot of change recently. Along with expanding the number of academic programs offered and introducing new ways for students to study, Baldwin Wallace officially changed from a college to a university just 6 years ago. The name change was meant to reflect the growth of the school, both in terms of size and prestige. The online programs offered through BW are a reflection of this growth as they're constantly adding more online options while maintaining their high standards for education. There are currently 4 programs offered entirely online through BW as well as one hybrid program. The cost of earning an education can be easily reduced with the vast majority of Baldwin Wallace University students receiving financial aid. Of those, 96% of transfer students earned some form of aid.

Top 10 Online Associate Bachelor Schools in Ohio

Rank School Location
1 Eastern Gateway Community College Steubenville, OH
2 Sinclair Community College Dayton, OH
3 Columbus State Community College Columbus, OH
4 Cuyahoga Community College Cleveland, OH
5 Stark State College North Canton, OH
6 Cincinnati State Cincinnati, OH
7 Clark State Community College Springfield, OH
8 Lakeland Community College Kirtland, OH
9 Rhodes State College Lima, OH
10 Marion Technical College Marion, OH
Advertisement 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.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

  1. Eastern Gateway Community College
    Location

    Steubenville, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  2. Sinclair Community College
    Location

    Dayton, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  3. Columbus State Community College
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  4. Cuyahoga Community College
    Location

    Cleveland, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  5. Stark State College
    Location

    North Canton, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  6. Cincinnati State
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  7. Clark State Community College
    Location

    Springfield, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  8. Lakeland Community College
    Location

    Kirtland, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  9. Rhodes State College
    Location

    Lima, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  10. Marion Technical College
    Location

    Marion, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

View a City From Ohio

How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I’m Looking for in Ohio?

Many prospective students find the process of researching individual schools difficult and cumbersome. Tools that compile facts and information about online schools and colleges in Ohio simplify the process of locating, researching, and applying to programs.

How Much More Do College Grads in Ohio Make?

Earning potential tends to increase with additional education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary for Ohio professionals in 2018 was $48,220 per year. The salary for a bachelor’s degree-holder is about 30% higher than that of the typical Ohio worker.

The table below illustrates the nationwide correlation between educational attainment and earning potential.

LESS THAN A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAHIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAASSOCIATE DEGREE
$28,756$37,960$44,824
Source: BLS
BACHELOR’S DEGREEMASTER’S DEGREEDOCTORAL DEGREE
$62,296$74,568$94,900
Source: BLS

Paying for Online College in Ohio: Tuition and Financial Aid

A 2017 Vanderbilt University study ranked Ohio as the 45th most affordable state for college students. However, Ohio is home to many high-quality institutions, and online learning is often more affordable. Prospective students should develop a financial plan for covering educational costs. As the tables below show, average tuition rates at four-year public and private institutions in Ohio are slightly higher than the national averages.

IN-STATE TUITIONOUT-OF-STATE TUITIONNATIONAL AVERAGE
$10,026$24,098$9,037 (In-State)

$25,657 (Out-of-State)
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
TUITIONOUT-OF-STATE TUITIONNATIONAL AVERAGE
$31,242N/A$30,731
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost Considerations for Online Students in Ohio

The figures above do not include expenses such as room and board. Online learning typically includes unique cost considerations, which learners should factor into their financial plan. Below are some examples of additional costs for students at online schools and colleges in Ohio.

  • Recurring Technology Costs: Online students need high-speed internet connections with generous or unlimited monthly data allowances to stream lectures and access course content.
  • Equipment Costs: Online schools and colleges in Ohio use advanced digital learning platforms. Students with older computers or operating systems may need to upgrade.
  • Travel Requirements: Learners in hybrid programs or online programs with some on-campus requirements should budget for travel and accommodations.
  • Mandatory Fees: Most online schools and colleges in Ohio apply technology fees to online classes each semester, term, or quarter.
  • Program-Specific Tiered Tuition: Many institutions charge higher tuition rates for certain professional programs. Learners should consider the cost of their specific program when comparing tuition rates.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Ohio

Qualifying for in-state tuition results in significant savings at online schools and colleges in Ohio. Institutions must adhere to eligibility requirements set by the state government. However, schools may impose additional policies or requirements.

Learners can use Ohio State University’s residency questionnaire as a guideline for determining their eligibility for in-state tuition rates. Typically, to qualify for residency, students must have lived in Ohio for at least one year prior to applying. Ohio maintains reciprocity agreements with Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and West Virginia, enabling residents of those states to qualify for in-state tuition rates at Ohio institutions.

Paying for College in Ohio: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarships and grants are among the most appealing financial aid options, since they do not require repayment. To minimize student debt, learners should apply to all scholarship and grant programs for which they meet eligibility requirements. The funding options below are available to students attending online schools and colleges in Ohio.

Scholarships for Ohio College Students

  • Ohio War Orphan and Severely Disabled Veterans' Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports the children of individuals who died or became severely disabled while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during a declared war or conflict. Applicants must qualify as state residents and attend an Ohio college full time.

    Amount: Varies

    APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP

  • Lloyd A. Chacey, PE Memorial Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Engineering students at Ohio colleges can qualify for this scholarship. Applicants must have an immediate family member in the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers.

    Amount: At least $2,000

    APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP

  • Rosa Hartsook Endowed Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Applicants must be graduate students at an Ohio university and must be pursuing a field of study related to occupational therapy. Candidates must be Ohio residents.

    Amount: Varies

    APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP

  • MGMA Midwest Section Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports bachelor’s and master’s students studying medical management at an Ohio institution.

    Amount: $1,000 to $5,000

    APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP

  • American Legion Auxiliary Department of Ohio President's Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Honorably discharged veterans and their children can apply for this scholarship prior to entering their freshman year of college.

    Amount: $1,000 to $1,500

    APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP

Grants for Ohio College Students

  • Ohio College Opportunity Grant

    Who Can Apply: This grant is open to Ohio residents pursuing a degree or diploma in nursing. Applicants must come from a household with an annual income of less than $75,000 and must attend classes at the main campus of a private college or public university in Ohio.

    Amount: $800

    APPLY FOR GRANT

  • Geologic Survey Grant Program

    Who Can Apply: This grant supports graduate students at Ohio universities conducting geologic research within the state.

    Amount: $1,200

    APPLY FOR GRANT

  • Ohio Instructional Grant

    Who Can Apply: The Ohio Department of Higher Education offers this grant for students who come from households in lower income brackets.

    Amount: Up to $5,000 per year

    APPLY FOR GRANT

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

    Who Can Apply: Learners can apply for this grant through their school’s financial aid office. Applicants must be undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree.

    Amount: Up to $4,000

    APPLY FOR GRANT

  • Pell Grant

    Who Can Apply: Students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form are automatically considered for this need-based federal grant.

    Amount: Up to $6,195

    APPLY FOR GRANT

Financial Aid for Online Schools

The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Ohio

Prospective students should only consider accredited online schools and colleges in Ohio. Accreditation demonstrates that an institution meets set standards of academic quality, as determined by a third-party agency. Many employers and higher education institutions only recognize degrees earned from accredited institutions. The following sections cover various types of accreditation and methods for determining the accreditation status of online schools and colleges in Ohio.

Regional and National Accreditation

The two main types of institutional accreditation in the U.S. are national and regional accreditation. National accreditation usually applies to private, for-profit schools and vocational institutions. Academically oriented, nonprofit schools typically earn regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is the more prestigious type of institutional accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission awards regional accreditation to Ohio schools.

Subject-Specific Accreditation

Subject-specific accreditation applies to departments and programs in a certain field. For example, the Ohio University College of Business holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Students in some fields should attend an accredited program to ensure that they qualify to obtain licensure after graduation.

How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

Most accredited institutions display their accreditation status on their website. Prospective students should avoid online schools and colleges in Ohio that lack physical addresses or maintain lax program requirements. These schools often do not hold proper accreditation. Learners can use the directory from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to identify the accreditation status of any school or program.

Online College and Adult Education in Ohio

Ohio residents benefit from state initiatives that support distance learners and returning students. The sections below include information and statistics about online education in Ohio, along with resources and programs for adult learners.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in Ohio

About 37% of all students enrolled at U.S. colleges in the fall of 2019 were 25 or older.

According to a 2017 report, 54% of online students study part time and 68% have significant professional experience.

Ohio experienced a 60% increase in the number of online learners between 2010 and 2013.

Source: National Center for Education StatisticsBestColleges.comRAND Corporation

Adult Education Programs for Ohio Students

  • Aspire: This free program offers basic skills training for adults who plan to pursue a postsecondary education. Participants gain language, mathematics, and reading skills.
  • Ohio Technical Centers Programs: These programs provide career counseling, financial aid assistance, short-term training, and referral programs for individuals preparing for careers in technical fields.
  • Ohio High School Equivalence: The Ohio Department of Education offers resources and programs for individuals without high school diplomas who want to improve their credentials and qualify for postsecondary programs.

Online College Resources for Ohio Students

Students at online schools and colleges in Ohio can take advantage of free resources that improve college access and affordability. The tools below help students manage education-related costs and provide information for online learners.


  • INFOhio This network offers advanced instructional and technical support for Ohio students. To access the network, learners need a valid Ohio public library card.

  • College Access Information Hotline Students and parents can call this hotline for personalized assistance and answers to questions about attending online schools and colleges in Ohio.

  • College 101 Magazine This publication offers firsthand accounts of the college experience and advice for college-bound individuals. The magazine provides information for both on-campus and online learners.

  • Ohio Means Jobs This free career-planning and financial aid tool can help students choose a major and make career decisions based on labor market projections.

  • Resources for Adult Learners The Ohio Department of Higher Education provides resources and programs for nontraditional students and for adults planning to re-enroll in college after an extended absence.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.


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Advertisement 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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