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Colleges in Ohio

Why Go to College in Ohio?

Ohio is home to over 130 colleges and universities, including Kenyon and Oberlin College. Students enrolled in Ohio colleges have access to academic resources such as funding and research opportunities. There are also several online colleges in the state. Whether you attend class on-campus or online, Ohio has an array of opportunities for many different students.


Ohio’s population is over 11.6 million, with the highest concentration of residents in Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. Ohio State University, the largest school in the state, is home to over 62,000 students.


Ohio has a temperate climate, with warm summers and rainy springs. Fall is often the sunniest time of year. Ohio’s average annual accumulated snowfall is between 20 and 70 inches.

Number of Higher Learning Institutions

The state is home to around 386 institutions of higher education. The state’s largest colleges include Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati, Kent State University, and Ohio University. The state also has several small, private colleges and many community and technical colleges.

Sporting Events

Ohio has several professional and college sports teams. The state’s major league baseball teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians. Its National Football League teams are the Bengals and the Browns. Ohio’s most popular college football team is the Ohio State Buckeyes, named after the state’s native buckeye tree.


Especially in the larger cities—Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus—college students enjoy a bustling food and entertainment scene. This includes bars, concert venues, and restaurants. In Cincinnati, 16-Bit Arcade + Bar is a popular nighttime attraction that offers vintage arcade games and drinks named after famous celebrities, like Bill Nye, Kevin Bacon, and Cyndi Lauper. LakeWood Park, based just outside of Cleveland, is also a popular location that hosts many concerts and festivals. Cedar Point Amusement Park, located between the University of Toledo and Oberlin College, is open from May through October and is open late on Fridays and Saturdays. The park includes roller coasters and other forms of entertainment.

What are the Options for Campus Programs and Online Colleges in Ohio?


Students enrolling in traditional, on-campus classes in Ohio will find schools in urban and rural settings. Oberlin College is located in the small town of Oberlin, while the University of Cincinnati is located just north of the downtown area. Students looking to experience school athletics, clubs, Greek life, and the dormitory lifestyle should attend in person. An on-campus education provides hands-on experience and access to labs, studios, and other experiential spaces.

Online Programs

Online programs are taught through educational platforms like Blackboard and Canvas. Students usually take programs in a self-paced or cohort format. In cohort learning, students begin and complete their program along with a group of peers, and in self-paced programs, students can start and complete coursework on their own schedule. Many online schools in Ohio still offer tutoring, internships, extracurricular activities, and other academic resources. Online programs are ideal for students who can manage their own schedules and are independent.

Hybrid Programs

Most online colleges in Ohio offer the opportunity to complete programs in a hybrid format, which includes on-campus and online requirements. Weekly assignments are usually completed online; students come to campus to complete labs and exams. In some hybrid programs, there might be classes offered only online or only on-campus. The exact structure of a hybrid program depends on which online school in Ohio you choose. This learning format offers more hands-on learning opportunities than a completely online program.

Popular Degree Programs in Ohio

Ohio is known for its steel, agriculture, manufacturing, and aerospace industries. The state is home to General Electric, General Motors, and Ford. Ohio State University, which began as an agricultural and mechanical institution, is known for its STEM research in biomedical sciences, aeronautical and astronomical research, and bioengineering. The school reflects the state’s commitment to these thriving industries by offering related programs. Below are two of the most popular programs in the state.

  • Biomedical Engineering

    This interdisciplinary degree integrates medicine, engineering, science, and technology. Students learn how to apply the latest technology to complex medical care issues.

  • Business Management and Administration

    Ohio’s steel, agriculture, and automotive industries offer many career opportunities in management and administration. A business management and administration student studies accounting, marketing, finance, and economics. Graduates are prepared for business leadership positions.

What are the Best Online Colleges in Ohio?

Ohio schools include private universities, public universities, and community and vocational colleges; most of these schools offer online programs. It’s important to research which online colleges in Ohio fit your academic goals, learning style, financial needs, and work and family commitments. It’s also important to check how a program is taught, as some programs are only taught in a specific format.

Below you will find a list of the best online colleges in Ohio, with information about what each school offers. This convenient resource will help you get started researching online colleges in Ohio.


University of DaytonDayton, OH

Admissions Rate 58%
Default Rate 3%
Retention Rate 91%
Graduation Rate 79%
Online Enrollment 4%

Plenty of online colleges in Ohio offer web-based teaching degrees, but the University of Dayton’s online early childhood leadership program is among the most innovative and comprehensive. Rooted in the Marianist Catholic teaching tradition, the university takes a holistic approach to education that includes community service and an in-depth examination of the natural and social sciences. This online program is intended for professionals currently employed in early childhood education. Graduates will be prepared to teach children aged three to eight. Coursework provides students with a solid foundation in teaching methodology and the psychology of learning. Students are able to pursue the concentration of their choice. Applicants must transfer in at least 76 credit hours from another institution before completing the remaining 30 credit hours at the University of Dayton. Completion times vary according to number of transfer credits.


Ohio University-Main CampusAthens, OH

Admissions Rate 74%
Default Rate 13%
Retention Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 67%
Online Enrollment 27%

Based in Athens, Ohio University offers nine fully online undergraduate degrees to individuals who have completed a two year associate program. Available majors include customer service and technical operations management. Some programs only require 35 credit hours of core coursework. Students may receive additional credit for life and work experience by submitting a portfolio or completing competency exams. The university’s eCampus feature lets distance learners access the Blackboard elearning platform, standardized tests, virtual tutors, and technical support. Tuition rates are significantly lower than that of many online colleges in Ohio, although out-of-state students pay slightly more.


University of Cincinnati-Main CampusCincinnati, OH

Admissions Rate 86%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 62%
Online Enrollment 17%

The University of CinCinnati has a reputation for being one of the top research universities in the country -- its scientists can be credited with developing everything from Benadryl to the first electronic organ. The spirit of innovation and intellectual curiosity is just as strong in the university’s online bachelor’s degrees and completion programs. These online programs combine maximum flexibility with the same world class instruction expected from UC. Most students finish their degrees in around four years, although completion programs are considerably shorter. All courses are identical in content to those taught on campus and are led by the same faculty. Because many of UC’s undergraduate programs may lead to additional licensure, tuition rates and graduation requirements differ between majors. The majority of online students apply for and receive federal financial aid.


Muskingum UniversityNew Concord, OH

Admissions Rate 74%
Default Rate 6%
Retention Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 52%
Online Enrollment 22%

One of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio, this New Concord institution made the news when it drastically lowered its tuition in 1996. In addition to its exceptional value, the university is best known as the alma mater of astronaut John Glenn. The Muskingum Adult Program (MAP) was created as a convenient, flexible way for adult transfer students to earn a bachelor’s degree in a variety of fields. Taught through the Blackboard virtual classroom, these web-based programs can be completed in roughly 30-50 credit hours, depending on number of credits transferred and any minors or concentrations chosen. Students have the option of taking up to four courses each term. Program advisors are always available to help distance learners create study plans that align with their goals.


The University of FindlayFindlay, OH

Admissions Rate 76%
Default Rate 5%
Retention Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 56%
Online Enrollment 10%

Founded in 1882, Findlay’s first graduating class consisted of one man and one woman. Today, this Christian university holds the distinction of being one of the first online schools in Ohio. Its undergraduate programs in business management and PET/CT are designed for working professionals who desire to improve their job performance and career prospects. Business management majors can choose from four academic tracks, including emergency operations and healthcare management, and are often able to complete the program in six semesters. The school also offers online master’s degrees in business administration, education, healthcare, communication, environmental management, and health informatics. All applicants must be in good financial and academic standing with their former institutions. Individuals pursuing the highly competitive PET/CT degree must come from a relevant background. Like their on campus counterparts, online students at Findlay have access to resources from the university library and can request academic assistance through the virtual tutoring program.


Malone UniversityCanton, OH

Admissions Rate 69%
Default Rate 5%
Retention Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 57%
Online Enrollment 12%

Located in Canton, Malone got its start in 1892 as the Christian Workers’ Training School. The university has maintained its Christ-based vision throughout the last century, even as it has grown and adapted to the needs of modern day students. Like many online schools in Ohio, Malone has prioritized flexibility; its asynchronous, web-based programs are accessible to even the busiest individuals. Its adult degree completion plan allows working professionals with some college experience to earn a degree in business management or nursing in approximately one year. Students with or without college credit can also earn a bachelor’s degree in social work through a fully online, two year program. All course materials are accessible around the clock through the online campus portal and students are not required to log in at specified times.


Kent State University at KentKent, OH

Admissions Rate 85%
Default Rate 12%
Retention Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 56%
Online Enrollment 13%

One of the largest university systems in the United States, Kent State is known for its renowned flight and fashion design programs and state-of-the-art research facilities. Its online undergraduate degrees are shaped by a tradition of excellence and academic rigor that sets Kent State apart among online colleges in Ohio. While each program differs in length and application requirements, many offer specialized learning tracks that let students develop a specialty in their field. Local students may also receive credit for attending one of the many workshops held on campus and at nearby facilities. Tuition is charged according to major and state of residence, although some out-of-state applicants may be eligible for a reduced nonresident fee. Additional financial aid benefits are available for military personnel and veterans.


Mount Vernon Nazarene UniversityMount Vernon, OH

Admissions Rate 78%
Default Rate 6%
Retention Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 60%
Online Enrollment 4%

A relatively new institution, Mount Vernon Nazarene University was established in 1968 by the Church of the Nazarene. Today, MVNU invites students from all Christian denominations to receive a high quality, affordable education with an emphasis on professional development. The university’s online undergraduate programs are designed to give students a fast track to career advancement. These degrees can be completed in just over a year. Many classes consist of only one session a week and most business courses are entirely self-paced. Additionally, some professional credentials can be translated into general education credit, making it even easier to earn a degree quickly. MVNU accepts transfer credits earned at any regionally accredited institution. Military and veterans can earn up to 40 hours of credits by presenting their training transcripts.


Bowling Green State University-Main CampusBowling Green, OH

Admissions Rate 73%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 57%
Online Enrollment 5%

Counting actor Tim Conway and bestselling author Anthony Doerr among its distinguished alumni, Bowling Green State University is home to state-of-the-art research and unique, innovative academic programs. The university’s online criminal justice master’s degree has received national acclaim, and its web-based undergraduate completion programs are praised just as highly. Students with some college credit can earn a BS in allied health, business, quality systems, or management in as little as four semesters. Business administration students can select from two additional fields of specialization. The majority of online courses are offered in eight-week sessions six times a year. Classes are taught in an asynchronous format by the same faculty who teach on campus. BGSU is respected for its military-friendly policies, which include flexible course plans accessible to active duty personnel stationed around the world.


Notre Dame CollegeCleveland, OH

Admissions Rate 91%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 39%
Online Enrollment 27%

Notre Dame College maintains an entire academic center dedicated to the needs of distance and adult learners. The Finn Center for Adult, Graduate, Online and Professional Programs offers one-on-one assistance with scheduling, academics, technology, and financial aid. Students pursuing one of five web-based undergraduate degrees can take full advantage of these resources. Self-paced coursework and accelerated programs make NDC’s online degrees even more convenient. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, although admission requirements are different for each program. Tuition rates also vary slightly, depending on the degree chosen. Ohio residents and nonresidents pay the same tuition and fees. Active duty military members and veterans receive significant discounts on all online degrees, regardless of major.


Ohio Christian UniversityCircleville, OH

Default Rate 12% Retention Rate 67% Graduation Rate 33% Online Enrollment 57%

Ohio Christian University got its start in 1948, when it was a ministry center known as Circleville Bible College. 70 years later, the university has stayed true to its Christian vision while adapting to the needs of modern students. No longer simply a Bible college, OCU offers more web-based undergraduate programs than many online colleges in Ohio. Applicants have their choice of 13 fully online degrees in a diverse range of majors, including English, data analytics, history, and substance abuse counseling. Students seeking a BA in business can select from 11 additional concentrations, including criminal justice administration and logistics management. Leadership and ministry majors may also choose from four concentrations. Most programs consist of 120 credit hours, and some can be completed in only two years. Coursework in Biblical principles is required for all students, regardless of their major.


Kettering CollegeKettering, OH

Admissions Rate 100%
Default Rate 6%
Retention Rate 57%
Graduation Rate 43%
Online Enrollment 19%

While plenty of online schools in Ohio offer completion programs in nursing and healthcare, Kettering College’s health science BS program is exceptional in its scope. Healthcare professionals who have previously earned an associate degree can expand their career options by completing a specialty in management, sonography, advanced imaging, education, or respiratory care. A convenient, self-paced format allows students to study full or part time, with full time students finishing in around five semesters. No residencies or clinical hours are required for graduation. Upon acceptance, applicants are assigned an individual advisor who will help them to create a degree plan based on concentration, work schedule, and number of credits transferred. Distance learners may take advantage of Kettering’s online tutoring program, as well as interlibrary loan and digital library database services.


Hiram CollegeHiram, OH

Admissions Rate 58%
Default Rate 9%
Retention Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 60%
Online Enrollment 1%

Hiram College’s commitment to flexibility sets it apart from other online schools in Ohio. Its self-paced accounting and management degrees are presented entirely online through the Moodle platform, giving students round-the-clock access to lectures and assignments. Accounting majors pursuing a public accounting track must sit for the Certified Public Accountant examination to complete their degree. Individuals majoring in management can choose between concentrations in marketing and organizational leadership. Offering some of the lowest tuition rates for online colleges in Ohio, Hiram also awards merit scholarships to up to 60% of its student body every year.


Cleveland State UniversityCleveland, OH

Admissions Rate 64%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 39%
Online Enrollment 5%

For more than 10 years, Cleveland State University’s Center for eLearning has provided convenient options and rigorous academic programs for working professionals seeking higher education. Quality Matters, CSU’s peer review method for assessing distance learning curricula, has been adopted by online schools in Ohio and other states in the US. The school offers three online undergraduate degrees in organizational leadership, business administration, and nursing. CSU also offers an undergraduate certificate in bioethics and a program in chemical dependency counseling. Classes are delivered in an asynchronous format. Both Ohio residents and out-of-state students pay the same tuition, with the exception of those enrolled in the RN to BSN program. Online students are eligible to receive scholarships through the university. All three programs have different requirements for admission, and prospective students are encouraged to contact an admissions counselor with questions regarding degree prerequisites.


Tiffin UniversityTiffin, OH

Admissions Rate 93%
Default Rate 12%
Retention Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 38%
Online Enrollment 29%

Located just 90 miles from both Cleveland and Columbus, Tiffin University is taking a whole new approach to higher education. Over the last several decades, TU has successfully integrated web-based learning into the traditional college experience, bringing its highly esteemed, regionally accredited courses to students around the world. TU’s online undergraduate degree offerings include unique majors such as homeland security and terrorism. Classes are typically presented in two seven-week terms each semester. Self-paced courses and a generous credit transfer policy make it easy for working individuals to earn a degree, even those employed full-time. Multiple start dates are available for each program. While many online schools in Ohio offer only completion programs, first-time college students are welcome to apply to TU’s undergraduate programs.


University of ToledoToledo, OH

Admissions Rate 93%
Default Rate 12%
Retention Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 41%
Online Enrollment 9%

Along with nine other undergraduate degrees, the University of Toledo offers the unique option of creating your own major through its interdisciplinary studies program. Students on this track collaborate with an advisor to design a customized curriculum. While each degree is presented in a fully online format, certain majors may include a hands-on learning component such as an internship or fieldwork. All courses in every program are taught by the same tenured faculty members employed on campus. UT also offers numerous stackable scholarships intended specifically for adult and transfer students, including one awarded to out-of-state students.


Union Institute & UniversityCincinnati, OH

Default Rate 6% Graduation Rate 29% Online Enrollment 60%

Maintaining five campuses around the country, including one in Cincinnati, Union Institute & University has built a reputation nationwide for its online programs designed exclusively to meet the needs of working professionals. In addition to 13 degrees including criminal justice management and social work, Union offers something that most online schools in Ohio don’t -- a pre-mortuary transfer program. This 60 semester hour major is presented entirely online, with graduates transferring to the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science upon completion. For all other programs, students may transfer up to 90 credits, receiving additional credit for relevant workplace training or certification. Most degrees are a minimum of 120 credit hours, with a capstone course required for graduation. Part-time study options are available for interested students. Overall completion time differs significantly between majors.


University of Northwestern OhioLima, OH

Default Rate 16% Retention Rate 65% Graduation Rate 54% Online Enrollment 9%

Part of this Lima institution’s mission is to prepare students for professional positions in business and technology. Nowhere is that mission reflected more strongly than in its online degree offerings. Presented through UNOH’s Virtual College platform, every aspect of the school’s 10 undergraduate programs is web-based, from purchasing textbooks to completing exams. Most degree plans are similar in structure to their traditional counterparts, and typically take four years to complete. However, a shorter, specialized study track is available to students who have previously earned an associate degree. The specialized study program allows students to design their own 90 credit, cross-disciplinary curriculum. Other unique majors include agribusiness management, forensic accounting, and sport marketing. UNOH’s online programs are not available to applicants in Maryland.


University of Akron Main CampusAkron, OH

Admissions Rate 97%
Default Rate 13%
Retention Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 41%
Online Enrollment 3%

Many online schools in Ohio offer a web-based RN to BSN degree, but the University of Akron is among the very few that have an entire school dedicated to nursing. Spanning a wide range of levels and certifications, both its traditional and online programs are taught by medical professionals from a variety of academic and clinical backgrounds. Licensed nurses can expect to complete the academically demanding program in one to two years. Three annual start dates and part time options make it ideal for working nurses who want to enhance their knowledge and career opportunities. Newly admitted students will participate in a one-on-one advising session to create a study plan optimal for their schedule and lifestyle.


Youngstown State UniversityYoungstown, OH

Admissions Rate 71%
Default Rate 18%
Retention Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 30%
Online Enrollment 4%

Since its establishment by the YMCA in 1908, Youngstown State University has offered an expansive range of majors on its campus in northern Ohio. 110 years later, its distance education programs have made it one of the better-known online colleges in Ohio. In addition to five completion programs, YSU offers a fully online BS in public health that can be completed by full time students in eight semesters. Required courses for this cutting-edge program cover contemporary issues such as terrorism and crisis management. Applicants to all completion programs must hold an associate degree with an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher. The cost of a degree is major-dependent. Like most other online colleges in Ohio, in-state residents pay slighter lower tuition. Some out-of-state students may qualify for the university’s Affordable Tuition Advantage plan.

What are the Best Online Community Colleges in Ohio?

In general, universities offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, while community colleges offer associate degrees and certifications. Community colleges are nonresidential, while universities usually offer students on-campus residence options.

Many students earn their associate degree then transfer to a four-year school, completing the general education requirements at a lower cost. By doing this, they are allowed to quickly enter their bachelor’s program after being accepted. To help you decide which educational path is right for you, below you will find more information about the best online community colleges in the state.


Lorain County Community CollegeElyria, OH

Default Rate 17% Retention Rate 67% Graduation Rate 15% Online Enrollment 14%

LCCC has a national reputation for excellence in two-year education, and hosted former President Barack Obama in both 2010 and 2012. The school also opened the first permanent campus among community colleges in the state. LCCC has become one of the best online community colleges in Ohio, offering an online associate of arts degree that does not include any in-person requirements. The college also offers online courses for individual programs in addition to blended learning options.

LCCC delivers coursework in both asynchronous and synchronous formats. Most of the students enrolled in LCCC’s online courses are working professionals with significant familial or professional obligations. As a result, many distance learners opt primarily for asynchronous coursework, which the college distinguishes in the course catalog with a “W” prefix.


Columbus State Community CollegeColumbus, OH

Default Rate 21% Retention Rate 59% Graduation Rate 15% Online Enrollment 20%

CSCC currently enrolls more than 27,000 students through its 11 physical campuses and learning centers as well as its distance learning department. The college offers online programs in fields like accounting, business, criminal justice, architecture, digital design, marketing, and finance. The college offers courses both asynchronously through Blackboard and through a blended learning format that requires some coursework to be completed on campus or in a workplace. Some online programs also include occasional synchronous requirements, such as project collaboration with other program students.

Like other online community colleges in Ohio, CSCC does not list any admissions requirements beyond filling out an online application form and having a high school diploma or GED. CSCC’s membership in NC-SARA allows the school to offer its online programs to students in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


Terra State Community CollegeFremont, OH

Default Rate 24% Retention Rate 58% Graduation Rate 10% Online Enrollment 16%

Based in the city of Fremont, Terra State primarily serves Seneca, Sandusky, and Ottawa counties. The college has roots as a technical and vocational school and has long served the needs of working professionals. The school offers a variety of online programs, which deliver coursework asynchronously to allow professionals to continue to work full-time while attending school.

Online students at Terra State can earn a general associate of arts or science degree -- which primarily caters to transfer students -- and associate of arts degrees in criminal justice and healthcare administration. Unlike some other online community colleges in Ohio, Terra State offers all distance learners the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Applicants must pass a distance learning readiness assessment and complete an online orientation assessment to be considered.


Cuyahoga Community College DistrictCleveland, OH

Default Rate 22% Retention Rate 54% Graduation Rate 9% Online Enrollment 18%

Known as “Tri-C,” Cuyahoga Community College is the oldest and largest public college in the state. Based in Cleveland, Tri-C also offers one of the most diverse catalogs of distance learning offerings out of all the online community colleges in Ohio. The school offers associate degrees in applied business and general areas that students can complete without ever having to visit campus. Tri-C also offers several blended learning associate degrees in applied business and science that require some on-campus coursework.

Tri-C primarily delivers online coursework synchronously through video conferencing. All online students at Tri-C can access a variety of student resources, including technology support, academic advising, an online library, and tutoring.


James A Rhodes State CollegeLima, OH

Default Rate 17% Retention Rate 52% Graduation Rate 21% Online Enrollment 8%

Based in the city of Lima, Rhodes State shares a campus with the local branch of the Ohio State University. Originally founded as a technical college, the school changed its name in the early 21st century to honor the former governor of Ohio, a man who greatly expanded the state’s community college system.

Rhodes State is one of the most forward-thinking online community colleges in Ohio, operating a center for distance and innovative learning that offers fully online programs in corrections, human resources, business administration, accounting, operations, and executive administrative assistance. Students are never required to visit campus for any reason throughout these programs. The school offers degrees in fields such as human services, marketing, and digital media technology. Rhodes State delivers all online coursework asynchronously.


Sinclair Community CollegeDayton, OH

Default Rate 25% Retention Rate 56% Graduation Rate 10% Online Enrollment 15%

Unlike many of the other online community colleges in Ohio, Sinclair operates an urban campus based out of downtown Dayton. Sinclair has earned widespread acclaim for its pre-professional focus and its ability to help its students get jobs in a difficult economy, even garnering attention from The New York Times. That pre-professional focus extends to the school’s online programs, which include associate degrees in career-focused fields such as business administration, computer information systems, and criminal justice. The college also offers programs in history and psychology.

Sinclair delivers coursework asynchronously, and most students in the school’s online programs never need to visit campus for any reason. Out-of-state online students should check the school’s state authorizations page to make sure that Sinclair is authorized to operate in their home state.


Clark State Community CollegeSpringfield, OH

Default Rate 22% Retention Rate 49% Graduation Rate 13% Online Enrollment 15%

Clark State is located in Springfield and also operates satellite campuses in Bellefontaine and Beavercreek in addition to a collection of 22 online programs. The school is one of the best online community colleges in Ohio and offers degrees in a variety of business and technology-related fields, such as accounting, management, and judicial court reporting. Additionally, transfer students can pursue a general studies or communications associate degree online at Clark State.

Clark State delivers all online program coursework asynchronously, which is ideal for working professionals. Students who want to complete at least some on-campus coursework have the option of earning credits through co-op or internship experiences.


Washington State Community CollegeMarietta, OH

Default Rate 22% Retention Rate 40% Graduation Rate 26% Online Enrollment 9%

Based out of the city of Marietta, WSCC offers a wide variety of online degrees that do not include any on-campus requirements. The school has expanded rapidly over the past few decades, adding arts and science and business and technology buildings, a new library, and a child development center.

Unlike some other online colleges in Ohio, WSCC offers a narrow and focused portfolio of distance learning offerings. Online students can earn associate degrees in business management, chemical operator, process technician, or liberal arts. Liberal arts majors can choose a concentration in one of many fields, including art, literature, history, business, and mathematics. WSCC delivers online courses asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace.


Edison State Community CollegePiqua, OH

Default Rate 19% Retention Rate 44% Graduation Rate 21% Online Enrollment 9%

Edison State is a public community college that was founded in 1973 in Piqua. The school currently offers two entirely online programs: an associate of applied business in accounting and an associate of arts transfer degree.

Similarly to many other online community colleges in Ohio, Edison State also offers individual online courses from nearly all of the college’s academic departments. These courses include studies in biology, composition, sociology, and supply chain management. Edison State delivers all online courses asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. All distance learners must first pass two introductory courses about online education before enrolling in online courses.


Southern State Community CollegeHillsboro, OH

Default Rate 27% Retention Rate 54% Graduation Rate 25% Online Enrollment 6%

In addition to a central campus in Hillsboro, SSCC operates satellite campuses in Mount Orab, Wilmington, and Washington Court House. The college also offers three online associate degrees. These degrees include general associate of arts and associate of science options in addition to an associate of applied business program in entrepreneurship. The school delivers online coursework asynchronously, and all online students at SSCC have access to dedicated academic and course selection advising.

SSCC offers a 36-credit online transfer module of general education courses that are ideal for those who want to earn an associate degree from one of the other online community colleges in Ohio. The school also holds many transfer agreements with other community colleges in Ohio.

Education Trends in Ohio

Ohio spends, on average, a little over $5,000 per year on each full-time student at the postsecondary level, which is less than the U.S. average of $6,954. For adults over the age of 25, 8.2% hold at least an associate degree, 16.4% have bachelor’s degrees, and 9.7% have a graduate degree or higher. The table below compares these statistics against the national averages.

  Ohio United States
Source: SHEEO and U.S. Census
Postsecondary Education Spending per Full-Time Student $5,078 $6,954
Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education 4.25% 5.8%
Percentage of adults over 25 with associate degree 8.2% 8.1%
Percentage of adults over 25 with bachelor’s degree 16.4% 18.5%
Percentage of adults over 25 with graduate degree or higher 9.7% 11.2%

Paying for College in Ohio

When choosing between online schools in Ohio, cost is an important factor to consider. The cost of a program will vary by length, degree type, and school. Below you can find more information about the average tuition and financial aid opportunities for colleges in Ohio.

Tuition Prices

The following table provides average prices for tuition and fees at public two- and four-year colleges in Ohio. These totals do not include costs such as textbooks, transportation, and rent.

Financial Aid

Students must complete the FAFSA to acquire financial aid; the U.S. Department of Education and its financial aid office is the largest source of student financial aid in the country. In addition to federal student loans, students can also apply for funding through their university or through other government agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services and Americorps.

Students can apply for scholarships, grants, and loans. Loans are borrowed money, which students are required to pay back along with interest. Learners are not required to repay money earned through grants and scholarships. Students can also apply to participate in work-study programs, in which they work a part-time job that is related to their field. The money earned is used as necessary. It’s smart to accept funding in the form of scholarships and grants before taking out loans.

Cost for Online Programs in Ohio

Online and on-campus students receive similar financial aid opportunities. Some online colleges in Ohio and higher education agencies offer funding opportunities specifically for distance learners and nontraditional students.

The tuition for online and on-campus programs is usually the same, although distance learners can save money on transportation, books, and child care. Most online students are not required to pay the same fees that on-campus learners do. Some schools offer special pricing for their online programs.

Cost of Living by Region

Cost of living includes rent, food, transportation, and other daily expenses; school location has an effect on these factors. How much you spend on living costs can affect how much student debt you accrue. Online colleges in Ohio offer students the opportunity to save on living expenses, as online students save on the cost of commuting and are not required to live near campus, allowing them to find more affordable housing.

Scholarships for Ohio College Students

Ohio College Opportunity Grant

$800; must be an Ohio resident enrolled in a degree or nurse diploma program at an eligible school in Ohio or Pennsylvania.

View Scholarship

Department President’s Scholarship

$1,500; must be a veteran or directly related to a war veteran and be preparing to enter your freshman year.

View Scholarship

Ohio War Orphans Scholarship

Amount varies; awarded to full-time undergraduate students who are Ohio residents and children of deceased or severely disabled war veterans.

View Scholarship

Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund

Amount varies; must be an Ohio resident and the child of a safety officer who was killed in the line of duty.

View Scholarship

Choose Ohio First

Amount varies; awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in STEM research programs.

View Scholarship

Lloyd A. Chacey, P.E. Memorial Scholarship

$2,000; must be enrolled full-time in an engineering program at an Ohio university, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and minimum SAT scores of 600 for math and 500 for reading.

View Scholarship

William W. Bolsen Memorial Scholarship

Amount varies; must be a graduate of the Ohio State School for the Blind.

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Geological Survey Grant Program

$1,200; awarded to graduate students who are conducting geological research in Ohio.

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Ohio EPA Scholarship

$2,500; must be an undergraduate student studying earth sciences or environmental engineering at an Ohio university.
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Adult Students in Scholastic Tradition

$2,000; must be a resident of central Ohio and a nontraditional student who is past high school age and starting college or trade school for the first time, or a student who is retraining to accommodate changes in the workplace.
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Beat the Odds Program

$5,000; must be an Ohio high school student who has overcome extreme adversity and who has demonstrated academic excellence with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
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Ohio Newspaper Association University Journalism Scholarships

$1,000; must be enrolled as a sophomore, junior, or senior at an Ohio university and pursuing a journalism-related degree.
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Ohio National Guard Scholarship Program

Amount varies; awarded to students who are enrolled at an Ohio university and who serve in the state’s national guard.
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Can All Scholarships Be Used for Online Programs?

Most scholarships, such as those listed above, can be used for any format of higher education learning, whether it is online or on-campus. To ensure eligibility, always check a scholarship’s requirements. Some scholarships require students to be in a specific program or enrolled in a specific Ohio university.

Employment Outlook in Ohio

Ohio is home to several large corporations. With 173 stores, five distribution centers, and 50,500 employees in the state, Walmart is currently the largest employer in Ohio. Other state employers include Kroger, which is headquartered in Cincinnati, and the Cleveland Clinic, which is a nonprofit academic medical center that specializes in research and education. Ohio is home to several automotive companies that specialize in manufacturing motor vehicle parts, including Ford. The automotive industry relies on the steel, fabricated metal, plastics, and rubber industries. Below, you will find more data about these industries and general employment in Ohio.

  Ohio United States
Source: BLS and BLS
Unemployment Rate, May 2017 5.4% 4.3%
Annual Mean Wage, May 2016 $45,930 $49,630

Top Employers and Industries in Ohio

Top Industries in Ohio

  • Manufacturing: Manufacturing produces 17% of Ohio’s gross domestic product, making it the largest industry in the state. Ohio’s largest manufacturing industries are transportation equipment, fabricated metal, plastics and rubber, and steel.
  • Transportation and Trade: Ohio’s main exports are motor vehicles and machinery. General Electric, General Motors, and Ford all have a presence in the state. Additionally, Ohio’s trucking industry is the fourth largest in the country.
  • Business Services: Ohio’s private sector is comprised of over 700,000 self-employed firms, nearly 200,000 employer firms, and nearly 4,000 firms with 500 or more employees. Cleveland Clinic is the largest employer in Ohio’s private business sector.

Top Employers in Ohio

  • Walmart: 50,500 employees
  • Cleveland Clinic Foundation: 49,050 employees
  • Kroger: 43,850 employees

Accreditation for Colleges in Ohio

Accreditation involves a rigorous, university-wide evaluation process that ensures that the college or university meets certain academic and professional standards. Both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation are responsible for recognizing the professional agencies that accredit universities.

The most common forms of accreditation are regional and national. Regional accreditation is seen as more prestigious. Regionally accredited schools are usually nonprofit institutions with an academic focus, such as Ohio State University and Bowling Green State University. Nationally accredited schools are often for-profit, career-based colleges. When researching online schools in Ohio, look for regionally accredited schools, because degrees and credits from these programs are more widely accepted. Often, regionally accredited universities do not accept transfer credits from nationally accredited schools. Look for online colleges in Ohio that are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Resources for Students in Ohio

  • OhioLearns: This resource is designed for students interested in online schools in Ohio. The site features a catalogue of Ohio’s two and four-year online programs, as well as certificate programs.
  • Ohio Means Internships: Ohio Means, part of the state’s Department of Higher Education, connects students with internship opportunities. Learners can use this site to search for positions, post resumés, and communicate with potential employers.
  • Ohio Transfer to Degree Guarantee: This resource helps Ohio students transfer credits between institutions. The site also helps students find the best pathways for completing their degrees and make sure that they meet the education requirements for their programs.
  • Ohio Department of Veteran Services: This agency partners with Ohio’s Department of Higher Education to help veterans enroll in college programs and succeed in the classroom. The department’s website provides links to several other education resources for veterans, such as financial aid, job opportunities, veteran services on Ohio campuses, and more.
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