Online College Courses in Ohio
Prospective college students consider numerous factors when researching schools, including tuition and location. Public Ohio online colleges offer in-state degree-seekers the most competitive tuition rate. Ohio high school graduates and those with 12 months of Ohio residency qualify for in-state tuition.
Factors besides tuition that influence education decisions include schools’ academic and career resources. The best colleges in Ohio offer online learners the same quality services as on-campus students. Some students prefer a program with a hybrid curriculum, as these degrees blend academic flexibility with in-person instruction.
The best online colleges in Ohio offer a quality education at affordable prices. Our ranking of online colleges considers factors such as tuition costs, student-to-teacher ratios, and graduation rates. Availability of financial support, career counseling services, and job placement support also affect rankings because those factors contribute to the program’s overall accessibility and value.
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Factors to Consider When Attending Online College in Ohio
Q. Do online credits cost more or less in Ohio?
Some Ohio online colleges provide prospective students with a calculator that estimates tuition costs. Individuals should speak with schools’ financial aid advisors to determine exact tuition and fees.
Q. What is the most affordable college in Ohio?
Youngstown State University is the most affordable college in Ohio. Prospective students should review how grants and scholarships affect different schools’ affordability.
Q. How long do you have to live in Ohio to get in-state tuition?
Ohio public colleges and universities extend in-state tuition to students who live in the state for 12 consecutive months before enrollment.
Best Online Colleges in Ohio 2021
See Our Rankings Methodology
Youngstown State University
Based in Youngstown, YSU Online offers both graduate and undergraduate programs for students needing a flexible education.
Bachelor's options include programs in allied health and general studies, as well as a registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing program. Students can move on to graduate options, including several programs in nursing, healthcare, education, and financial economics. Certification choices help students hone and focus their careers, with options including a family nurse practitioner or a teacher leader endorsement.
First-year applicants need a minimum GPA of 2.0 and a minimum composite ACT score of 17 (SAT 950). Transfer students also need a minimum 2.0 GPA for eligibility. Graduate admissions requirements vary, so students must check with individual departments.
YSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
Based in Cincinnati, UC Online offers a variety of associate, bachelor's, and master's programs. Students can also take advantage of certificate programs to hone their career goals further.
Associate degree options include programs in applied business, health information systems, or fire service technology. Bachelor's options include radiation technology, criminal justice, social work, and various healthcare options. Students can also go beyond undergraduate work with master's degrees and doctoral degrees in fields such as nursing, healthcare, and education-related specialties. Certificates allow students to specialize in certain fields suitable for professional growth or licensure.
Undergraduate students generally need a 2.5 minimum GPA to apply to UC's online programs. Graduate students need a 3.0 GPA for most programs. Dedicated admissions counselors help students work through the process of enrollment.
UC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Based in Toledo, UT Online offers around 50 undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as online endorsements and certificates.
The school offers nine online associate degrees, including options in technical studies and business administration. Bachelor's programs include fields like nursing, accounting, health care administration, and marketing. Master's options include business administration, special education, and transplantation and donation sciences. The school also offers two doctoral programs: a doctor of nursing practice and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction in special education.
First-year applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 2.5 and a minimum ACT score of 15 (SAT 830-870) for unconditional admission. Students with a 3.0 minimum GPA do not need to send standardized test scores. Graduate applicants must follow their chosen department's admission criteria, including any necessary prerequisites or licensure requirements.
UT is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Kent State University at Kent
Located in Kent, Kent State Online offers more than 60 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs.
Students can choose undergraduate degrees in fields such as aeronautics, communication, education, and criminology. Master's options include programs in art education, geographical information science, hospitality and tourism management, and business. Students can also choose from certificate options that hone degree paths and offer professional development.
Admitted first-year applicants typically possess an average GPA of 3.1-3.7. Transfer students need a minimum GPA of 2.0 on at least 12 credits of previous coursework. Graduate applicants must follow individual criteria for their chosen department. Some departments require GRE or GMAT scores, prerequisites, or prior work experience, depending on the field. Students can speak with an admissions counselor to sort out what specifics they need for admission.
Kent State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Ohio University-Main Campus
Based in Athens, OHIO Online offers over 60 different undergraduate and graduate programs.
Associate degree options include programs in applied science, such as equine studies or business management technology. Bachelor's programs include applied management, criminal justice, or technical and applied studies. Nursing students can also choose a registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing track.
Graduate programs include a master of arts in English, a master of business administration, or several master's degrees in education specializations. Students can also choose from several health sciences programs.
First-year applicants must submit SAT or ACT scores, but the school does not specify a minimum score requirement. Transfer students need at least a 2.0 GPA on all previously attempted college credits. Graduate applicants must follow the admissions requirements for their chosen department, including meeting any standardized test score or prerequisite requirements.
OHIO Online is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Akron Main Campus
Providing students flexibility with the same professors as on-campus courses, UAkron Online offers both graduate and undergraduate courses without residency requirements.
Students can choose one of four associate degrees: technical studies, general science, fire protection technology, or general arts. Bachelor's options include programs in sociology, emergency management, communications, or healthcare. The school also offers a registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing track with an end-of-life palliative care component. Motivated students may move on to master's degree choices in taxation, speech-language pathology, business administration, or communication.
First-year applicants must submit SAT or ACT scores (waived through 2021). Transfer students must possess a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all attempted college credits for eligibility. Graduate applicants must hold an undergraduate degree and must follow any additional admissions requirements outlined by the program of their choice.
UAkron Online is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Based in Ashland, AU's College of Online and Adult Studies offers several associate, bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs online.
The school offers three associate degree programs: general studies, business, or criminal justice. Bachelor's choices cover a variety of fields, including criminal justice, multidisciplinary studies, or an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing option. For graduate students, master's degrees include programs in nursing, applied exercise science, and education. Students going into ministry can take advantage of Ashland's online seminary options.
The school currently follows a test-optional admissions process. Undergraduate applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 2.7 for unconditional admission. Transfer students need a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.25 on any undergraduate work completed. Graduate applicants must check the admissions requirements listed for their chosen program, which may include standardized test scores or previous work and licensure requirements.
AU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Franciscan University of Steubenville
A private Catholic university located in Steubenville, Franciscan Online offers several undergraduate and graduate programs. Students can choose from secular and ministry-related degree fields.
Associate degree programs include philosophy and theology, but students may also jump right into a four-year degree. Bachelor's degree options include management and psychology, as well as theology-related offerings, including philosophy, theology, and catechetics and evangelism. Graduate applicants can begin a secular master of business administration or master of education. Students can also study Catholic traditions with a master of Catholic leadership, Catholic studies, or theology and Christian ministry.
First-year applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 2.4 to qualify for admission but can submit an essay instead of SAT or ACT scores through fall 2021. Transfer students need a minimum 2.2 cumulative GPA on all previously attempted college credits. Graduate applicants must first check with their chosen department for admissions requirements. The school accepts applications on a rolling basis.
Franciscan is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
North Canton, OH
Based in North Canton, Walsh Online offers accelerated programs designed to help adult students complete undergraduate or graduate degrees while working and handling life's responsibilities.
The school's undergraduate degree completion programs include several options in business, communication, computer science, and healthcare. Notable programs include eSports and gaming management, data analytics, and an interdisciplinary major allowing you to customize your final degree.
Students can choose from master's programs such as business administration, counseling, education, and nursing. The school also offers one doctoral degree online: a doctor of nursing practice with several available concentrations. Students can also pursue professional certificates and licensure programs.
First-year applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 2.5 to apply as test-optional applicants. Students without that minimum must submit SAT or ACT scores, but all students may submit test scores to bolster an application. Graduate applicants must apply through the graduate school and follow individual department criteria.
Walsh is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Mount Vernon, OH
Based in Mount Vernon, MVNU Online offers both undergraduate and graduate programs for those needing flexible scheduling.
The school offers one associate degree program in general studies. Students begin bachelor's programs with general education core coursework before moving on to majors such as elementary education, leadership, public administration, or Christian ministry.
Graduate programs include a master of business administration, a master of science in management, and a master of ministry. Students may also pursue a master of ministry and MBA dual-degree program.
First-year applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores (waived through 2021). Transfer students must possess a minimum GPA of 2.0 on all transferrable college credits. Graduate applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Graduate students must also check individual programs for additional admissions requirements.
MVNU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Why Choose Ohio for Online Higher Education?
The best colleges in Ohio provide online programs, allowing students to learn while working full time or raising children. Degree-seekers use content management systems to view course materials, turn in assignments, and interact with professors and peers.
Prospective online students should consider Ohio’s largest and fastest-growing industries before selecting a major. As of 2019, the state’s transportation and trade, business services, and government sectors employed the largest number of residents.
Common Online Bachelor’s Programs in Ohio
The best colleges in Ohio offer numerous degrees leading to a fulfilling career. Those described below help students prepare for a job in a growing field.
Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities
- A biology degree emphasizes life and natural sciences. Potential concentrations include neuroscience, medical laboratory science, and evolutionary biology. Some graduates go on to a career as a biological technician. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the need for these professionals should grow 5% between 2019-2029, faster than average for all U.S. careers.
- A bachelor’s in business features coursework in business communications, the principles of management, and ethical and legal topics in business. Students customize the educational experience with business electives or a concentration. Popular careers for business degree-holders include operations manager and administrative services manager.
- All private companies and government agencies throughout Ohio need effective writers, editors, and public speakers. Communication students analyze cross-cultural communication, internet privacy, and the growth of online journalism. Degree-seekers increase their employability by taking industry-specific electives.
- Private industry comprises 89% of Ohio’s gross domestic product. These companies and organizations hire marketing experts to advertise goods and services to consumers throughout the state and nation. Major coursework includes advertising and promotion, marketing research, and integrated marketing. Learners prepare for a career by taking upper-division marketing electives, such as social media marketing and search engine marketing.
- Ohio features many nonmetropolitan areas where registered nurses (RNs) earn a salary exceeding the state’s cost of living. Ohio online colleges offer RN-to-BSN programs wherein RNs advance their education without pausing their career. Typical coursework includes gerontologic nursing care, leadership in nursing, and health assessment and promotion. Students who need additional general education courses learn in a hybrid format.
Cost of Attending an Online College in Ohio
The cost of attending an Ohio online college depends primarily on whether students choose a public or private school. In-state students save approximately 66% on tuition by attending a public four-year college rather than a private four-year institution.
Prospective students unsure about their major or career should research public two-year colleges. These schools cost significantly less while allowing learners to complete the general education courses needed for most bachelor’s degrees.
Online learners enrolling in one of the best colleges in Ohio also accumulate cost savings not reflected in tuition or fees. Schools do not charge online learners for a meal plan or on-campus housing. Also, degree-seekers need not pay for gasoline or other commuting expenses.
Average Undergraduate Tuition in Ohio
||Public Four-Year College
||Private Four-Year College
||Public Two-Year College
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Career and Salary Outlook for Students in Ohio
The best colleges in Ohio offer online students dozens of majors and minors. Many of these programs prepare learners for a successful and fulfilling career. Bachelor’s degree-holders with some professional experience possess the knowledge and skills necessary to attain one of the jobs below.
Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral
Ohio Scholarships and Grants
Although public Ohio online colleges offer a competitive tuition rate, many students struggle to pay for school without going into debt. These degree-seekers should explore the many scholarships reserved for Ohio residents. These and national awards accept applications one or more times annually. Some scholarships renew as long as recipients remain in good academic standing.
$2,000 'No Essay' College Scholarship
Who Can Apply: High school, undergraduate, and graduate students apply to the $2,000 “No Essay” College Scholarship. The scholarship does not require official transcripts or teacher recommendations. Instead, applicants fill out a comprehensive survey.
American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio Scholarships
Who Can Apply: The American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio scholarships award funding to children of honorably discharged veterans, women, and nontraditional degree-seekers. Each scholarship opportunity uses different application requirements. Prospective applicants access additional scholarships by becoming an American Legion Auxiliary junior member.
Charlotte Alexander Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Cleveland Foundation awards the Charlotte Alexander Scholarship to graduating high school seniors and college students who live in and around Cleveland. Applicants must take courses full time and demonstrate financial need by submitting their FAFSA results.
Innovation in Education Scholarship
Who Can Apply: LA Tutors 123 awards the Innovation in Education Scholarship monthly. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA, a recommendation letter, and an innovative project proposal that meets the scholarship committee’s guidelines.
Ohio College Opportunity Grant
Who Can Apply: The Ohio Department of Higher Education administers the grant to Ohio residents with the highest levels of financial need. Students enrolled in associate, first bachelor’s, and nurse diploma programs at many Ohio and some Pennsylvania schools qualify.
Thomas Broderick is a freelance writer and the owner of Broderick Writer LLC. He creates study guides, informational websites, and blog posts for clients in the education field. Thomas is also a published author of over 20 short stories and a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.