Our Research

This list features some of the best online schools in Ohio. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

Regional accreditation is important when choosing an online bachelor’s degree program. Credits from an accredited college can be transferred and are typically professionally recognized. The Higher Learning Commission accredits schools in Ohio and 18 other states using five standards of excellence, which include integrity and institutional effectiveness.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Ohio

Best Online Colleges in Ohio Badge
Intelligent Pick
University of Cincinnati
Best Student Support Services
Ohio University
Most Distinguished Faculty
The Ohio State University
Most Affordable
Kent State University
Best Christian Institution
Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Best Public School
Bowling Green State University
Best Private School
Ashland University
Best Healthcare Degrees
Mercy College of Ohio
Most Customizable
Youngstown State University
Best Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Kettering College

Mount Carmel College of Nursing

University of Toledo

The Christ College of Nursing & Health Sciences

University of Dayton

University of Findlay

Cleveland State University

Xavier University

Miami University

Malone University

Union Institute & University

Mount St. Joseph University

Walsh University

Wright State University

Ohio Christian University

Franklin University

Tiffin University

Muskingum University

Notre Dame College

The University of Akron

Hiram College

Shawnee State University

God's Bible School & College

Ursuline College

University of Northwestern Ohio

Defiance College

Franciscan University of Steubenville

Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Ohio

Does Ohio have good online colleges and universities?

Yes. The state offers a wealth of online educational opportunities, such as Ohio State University’s Online Associate in Early Childhood Development and Education and the University of Cincinnati’s Online Bachelor’s in Communication. After you graduate, you may want to consider staying in Ohio to complete a master’s degree while you work in one of the state’s many growing fields. Ohio is rich in graduate school options, like Case Western Reserve University’s Online Master’s in Engineering and the University of Akron’s Online Master’s in Business Administration.

Do online college credits in Ohio cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some schools offer discounted rates for online courses, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. Ohio became a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) in 2015. This means that out-of-state students who live in a SARA-participating state can take online courses from Ohio schools without incurring additional fees.

Why should you choose Ohio for online higher education?

From affordable community colleges to top public research universities, Ohio offers something for every type of online college student. One option that stands out as particularly appealing is Ashland University, which offers a flat rate of $550 per undergraduate credit for all online students regardless of state residency.

The Cost of Online College in Ohio

How much does an online degree in Ohio cost?

The cost of an online degree in Ohio depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you decide to pursue. For example, undergraduate degrees are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you’ll probably find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save money on indirect expenses like transportation, parking, and housing by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the lowest and highest rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Ohio below:

  • Most affordable online college in Ohio: Ohio University, $240 per credit (in-state); $243 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Most expensive online college in Ohio: University of Findlay, $607 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

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

Typically, you will be eligible for in-state tuition rates after you have lived in Ohio for 12 consecutive months. Some groups, such as military veterans, tribal members, and graduate fellows, are entitled to in-state tuition rates without meeting this one-year requirement. Ohio also offers a unique initiative called Forever Buckeye, which extends in-state tuition rates to Ohio high school graduates who leave the state but return to attend an undergraduate or graduate program at an Ohio college.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Ohio?

The Ohio Department of Higher Education started the Ohio College Opportunity Grant in 2007 to provide money to Ohio residents who demonstrate the highest levels of financial need (as determined by the results of the FAFSA). Ohio residents enrolled in an associate degree, first bachelor’s degree, or nurse diploma program at an eligible Ohio or Pennsylvania institution are eligible. You must also have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $2,190 or less and a maximum household income of $96,000.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Ohio

If you don’t qualify for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant, there are many other sources of financial support available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are based on income, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent scholarship options for you below:

Beat the Odds

Biennially, the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio awards scholarships and a laptop to five outstanding high school students who have overcome major adversity and demonstrated academic commitment. Recipients must also have a strong record of giving back to their communities.

Who’s eligible? Any high school senior in Ohio who has overcome major adversity, demonstrated academic commitment, and given back to their community.

Contact information: [email protected] | 614-221-2244

Learn more

Horatio Alger State Scholarship

This scholarship program, named after American author Horatio Alger, is offered to students who exhibit integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity. Recipients may begin their studies at a two-year institution and later transfer to a four-year institution.

Who’s eligible? High school seniors who have at least a 2.0 GPA, financial need, and Ohio residency.

Contact information: [email protected] | 844-422-4200

Learn more

Jane Edna Hunter Scholarship

This scholarship is named after the late Jane Edna Hunter, an African American social worker from South Carolina who established what’s now known as the Phillis Wheatley Association of Cleveland. It’s open to full-time undergraduate women who are residents of Ohio or South Carolina.

Who’s eligible? Applicants must be under the age of 30 and cannot be employees or dependents of employees of KeyBank National Association or any of its affiliates. You must have a GPA of at least 2.5.

Contact information:  [email protected] | 216-241-5587

Learn more

Cleveland Foundation Scholarships

The Cleveland Foundation, in partnership with College Now Greater Cleveland, offers more than 60 scholarships per year to Ohio students. These scholarships vary in criteria and scope, but only one application is needed.

Who’s eligible? Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be enrolled in an accredited nonprofit educational institution.

Contact information: [email protected] | 216-241-5587

Learn more

5 Fastest Growing Careers in Ohio

If you still don’t know where you’ll attend college, it’s possible you also don’t know your major yet. In that case, one of the most important factors that you should consider is which industries are growing the fastest in Ohio — this will make it easier to find a job, and more demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By examining the state’s official Ohio Job Outlook 2020 to 2026, we’ve determined that the following five industries will have the highest growth rates in Ohio in the four years to come.

Healthcare Support

Driving the demand for healthcare support workers in Ohio is the state’s aging population, especially as more baby boomers reach retirement age. Within this sector, the most common occupations are home health and personal care aides, nursing assistants, and medical assistants. Other occupations include psychiatric aides, physical therapy assistants, veterinary assistants, massage therapists, and pharmacy aides. The average statewide salary for all jobs in this industry is $30,890.

  • Growth: 21.7%
  • Degree options: Associate in Veterinary Technology, Associate in Nursing, Associate in Dental Assisting, Associate in Clinical Laboratory Technician, Bachelor’s in Health Administration, Bachelor’s in Health and Human Services, Bachelor’s in Pre-Occupational Therapy

Personal Care and Service

The personal care and service industry is a broad sector that mostly focuses on consumer quality-of-life services throughout the lifespan. In Ohio, the most common occupations in this sector are child care workers, hairdressers, and recreation workers. Other occupations include funeral attendants, makeup artists, animal trainers, and gambling service workers. All jobs in this industry have an average salary of $28,870 in Ohio.

  • Growth: 13.8%
  • Degree options: Associate in Cosmetology, Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor’s in Recreation and Leisure, Bachelor’s in Funeral Service Management, Bachelor’s in Animal Behavior, Master’s in Leadership, Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

With state student loan repayment programs for medical professionals, Ohio is an attractive state for healthcare providers. Within this sector, the most common occupations are registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and physicians. Other occupations include dental hygienists, pharmacy technicians, speech-language pathologists, and athletic trainers. The average statewide salary for all jobs in this industry is $78,670.

  • Growth: 12.4%
  • Degree options: Associate in Veterinary Medicine, Bachelor’s in Nursing, Bachelor’s in Recreational Therapy, Bachelor’s in Audiology, Master’s in Genetic Counseling, Master’s in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Doctor of Medicine

Community and Social Service

There are many job openings in Ohio for professionals in the mental health, behavioral health, and substance use disorder fields. Within this sector, the average salary in Ohio is $48,110, with the most common occupations being social service assistants, educational counselors, and social workers. Many occupations in this sector do not require a graduate degree, such as community health workers and career counselors.

Life, Physical, and Social Science Organizations

Ohio is rich in natural resources, with 74 state parks, 21 state forests, 136 state nature preserves, and 117 wildlife areas. It also has several research institutions, including Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University, so it’s no surprise this industry is one of the strongest in the state. Jobs include soil and plant scientists, foresters, chemists, biological technicians, and epidemiologists. In Ohio, the average salary for jobs in this sector is $72,530.