Best Online Colleges in Ohio

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Badge (Online) with 2-Line TitleBest Collegesin Ohio2017
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Many colleges in Ohio are committed to providing an excellent online education to students. As one of the first states in the nation to adopt the Quality Matters assessment that attests to the quality of distance learning programs, Ohio is dedicated to ensuring that distance learners receive a robust online education.

The Ohio System of Universities, the state’s private colleges, and community and technical colleges all offer online degrees. The state also awards significant grant money to students to help defray the costs of a college education. Additionally, Ohio is a member of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact Initiative (MHEC). The MHEC works to ensure that students have affordable online education options, along with increased opportunities for academic success by allowing them to participate in member-university classes in schools from across the Midwest.

It may be difficult for some students to obtain an on-campus college education. For working professionals, or people who cannot afford a traditional campus-based education, a distance program may be a palatable alternative. The online colleges in Ohio offer excellent academic opportunities, available to a wider spectrum of students.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Ohio State University 81.10 82% Cincinnati, OH

Ohio State, located in Columbus, has been providing quality education for 144 years. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as 16th in the nation among public universities, and number one in the state. The school has six campuses throughout Ohio in Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark, and Stone Lab; Ohio’s Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster offers associate degrees in programs including environmental science. Ohio State offers bachelor’s programs in actuarial science, aeronautical and astronautical engineering, agricultural communication, and many others. The school has a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Ohio State is the sixth highest U.S. Fulbright Scholar producer and the fourth highest producer of Peace Corp volunteers. Students can watch OSU’s top-ranked sports teams compete in football, baseball, and gymnastics. Learners can participate in sport clubs, outdoor recreation events, intramural sports, and more. Sport clubs include Aikido, archery, and badminton. Famous Ohio State alumni includes actor Patricia Heaton, golfer Jack Nicklaus, and retired football player Cris Carter.

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2 University of Cincinnati-Main Campus 74.90 62% Cincinnati, OH

UC is a public research university that touts a student population of over 44,000 and one of the best online colleges in Ohio. As a public research institution, Cincinnati’s mission is to ready students for the workforce through education, real-world experience, and research. The university offers 74 online programs and certificates in graduate and undergraduate studies. Undergraduate certificates include Substance Abuse Counseling, Fire Investigation and Building Construction, and Medical Biller. Over 260 faculty members teach online in addition to their on-campus classes, and students have the option to attend full-time or part-time. Online students have full access to resources like academic advising, career placement, library resources, and technical support. The institution’s One Stop resource is a virtual hub where students can find answers to academic, financial aid, and scheduling questions they may have. One Stop includes school announcements and student records so students have access to anything they might need to help them succeed.

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3 Bowling Green State University-Main Campus 72.30 58% Bowling Green, OH

Bowling Green State, located in Bowling Green, Ohio, awards approximately $25 million in scholarships every year and boasts a diverse student population. The institution offers accelerated, fully-accredited online colleges in Ohio with a rolling enrollment so students can start whenever they are ready. eCampus students are assigned to an advisor who is tasked with ensuring they have what they need to complete an online degree. Their new, accelerated 8-week programs are designed for the student with a busy schedule who’s trying to complete a degree. These 8-week programs allow students to finish sooner, which makes the program more affordable. BGU bachelor’s programs include Allied Health, Business Administration, and Learning Design and Technology. Bowling Green has an online resource library dedicated to distance learners, which serves as a one-stop location for FAQs, research assistance, online articles, journals, books, and other library services. Bowling Green’s programs are taught 100% online.

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4 Ohio Christian University 69.30 36% Circleville, OH

Accredited and affordable is the motto Ohio Christian follows. The institution, located in Circleville, OH, focuses on developing their students in three areas: intellectual, professional, and spiritual. The institution has a variety of options to choose from for online learners. Its online associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees are all available as accelerated programs designed for adult learners. Bachelor’s programs include Criminal Justice, Accounting, and Information Technology. Learners can choose evening or weekend classes if online learning doesn’t suit them. The Ohio online programs are flexible and affordable at $250 per credit hour, making them a viable option for the adult learner on a budget. The online degree programs are eligible for financial aid, and 85 percent of students receive financial aid to cover tuition costs. Ohio Christian accepts military benefits and employer reimbursement for tuition costs. Many of Ohio’s programs can be completed in two-years.

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5 Ohio University-Main Campus 65.20 63% Athens, OH

Ohio offers five associate’s degrees and seven bachelor’s degrees to students seeking an online degree. Bachelor’s degree options include Applied Communication, Criminal Justice, Customer Service, and RN to BSN. Students can complete the degree completely online and may have the option to attend classes at their local community college for credit toward a bachelor’s degree. The Athens, Ohio, campus boasts 17, 965 undergraduate students and an e-Learning enrollment of 5,978 students. Ohio’s online students are offered manys resources including academic advising, technological support through their email resource called CatMail, and learning support services including library access and the Academic Advancement Center. The eCampus Success Center provides distance learners with access to coaches that provide answers to questions regarding academic needs. Online learning at the school makes one of the best online colleges in Ohio. The school’s online courses are taught through OHIO Online.

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6 Kent State University at Kent 64.70 52% Kent, OH

Kent State, located in Kent, OH, originally opened as a teacher-training school in 1910. Kent has become a popular Ohio institution with over 30,000 students and 2,600 faculty. Kent State focuses on the student experience and strives to keep its class sizes small so students stay engaged in the learning process. The university has several campuses, 8 of which are in Ohio. The institution offers a total of 30 degree and certificate programs to distance learners, and they’ve provided online education for the past 15 years. The school’s large, international community is an enticing element for online students to consider when choosing a school. Distance learners are provided access to Blackboard, the school’s chosen online platform where all coursework is completed. Online students have access to amenities like career services, a school-specific email account, library access and tutorials, and a 24/7 helpdesk.

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7 Mount Vernon Nazarene University 63.00 54% Mount Vernon, OH

Mount Vernon Nazarene is a private, Christian-based institution located in Mount Vernon, OH. The institution offers online liberal arts degrees, professional certificates, and graduate degrees. Students can attend classes on the main campus, at one of the institution’s several regional campuses, or online. Nazarene offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, management, and education. Mount Vernon Nazarene offers two Masters of Ministry: the base masters program, and a Master’s of Ministry plus an MBA. The school accepts particular work experience, military experience, prior attendance at seminars, and other personal/professional experiences as class credit. Doing so allows students to obtain their degree faster and with less educational expenses. An Associate of Arts in General Education is available and a base MBA program. Nazarene’s MBA program is a 12-course curriculum that covers areas of study in accounting, leadership, finance, and other business subjects.

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8 Malone University 63.10 62% Canton, OH

Malone, a private Christian college in Canton, Ohio, offers 41 majors and 11 graduate degree programs along with many minors programs. The institution believes in a well-rounded, liberal arts education. Each degree path includes Bible-focused study, engagement, and conversation. The Northeast Ohio institution is situated on 96 acres and touts a student population of just under 2000. Affordability is important to Malone University, and 100 percent of students who are able to meet the minimum requirements for enrollment receive some form of financial assistance. The institution offers three online degree programs: bachelor’s level studies in business management and master’s level studies in business administration and organizational leadership. All Ohio online college offerings at this institution are available in an accelerated format so students can earn their degrees sooner, and at a lower cost. Distance learners will receive access to Malone’s online library databases and catalogs.

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9 The University of Findlay 63.20 52% Findlay, OH

Findlay offers nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to 4,000 plus students in a Christian-principle based setting. The campus, located in Findlay, Ohio, sits on 338 acres of space. The school has NCAA ranked teams in basketball, lacrosse, volleyball, swimming, and others. Findlay offers a selection of online programs for the distance learner. The online Ohio college programs are flexible, but still interactive and student focused. Each program promotes discussion and engagement among the student’s peers and professors. Students wanting to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business have the option to choose between four different program tracks: business management, emergency operations, environmental, safety and health, and health care management. There are several master’s degree options in the fields of business (including an MBA), education, health and technology. Included in Findlay’s online college is a Doctor of Education and Associate Degree in Positron Emission Tomography/ Computer Tomography. Findlays courses are offered 100% online.

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10 University of Toledo 62.20 46% Toledo, OH

Toledo, one of 14 state universities in Ohio, is a student-centered, research institution, home to 23,000 students. The institution offers over 300 degree and certificate programs. Students can enroll full-time or part-time; The school accommodates student’s needs with day, evening, and online classes. Toledo has a Health Science Campus, which is home to the UT Medical Center. At UT Medical Center, graduate students in the medical concentration can learn in a classroom or residency setting and have access to the latest technology in the health field. UT has been offering one of Ohio’s best online colleges since 1998. Students have a choice between a host of degree programs at the associate, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Educators can earn endorsements for reading, preschool special needs, and transition to work. Online students have full access to library and tech support services, including access to scholarship and other financial aid that’s available.

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11 University of Dayton 64.10 78% Dayton, OH

The University of Dayton is the largest private university in Ohio. The institution is located in southwest Ohio. University of Dayton’s philosophy is learning by doing, which is exemplified by their commitment to reducing their communities carbon footprint, staying active in the global community by opening campuses across the world, and conducting groundbreaking research. Dayton’s school of education and health sciences department offer a variety of online degrees geared toward education professionals. Students from the education career field looking to gain advanced skills have the option to complete a master of science degree in education leadership. Distance learners looking for certificate or degree programs for non-licensure teaching positions have many options. Students are able to complete their degrees entirely online at this online Ohio college, but it is not required. Students have the option to choose a blended format, where they attend some classes on campus.

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12 Cleveland State University 57.00 34% Cleveland, OH

Cleveland State, located in the heart of Cleveland, OH, serves 17,000 students and offers over 200 programs of study. The institution follows a philosophy of engaged learning, which is cultivated in the classroom and out in the community. CSU offers five undergraduate and 12 graduate degrees online through their Ohio online college. The institution’s eLearning center has been providing online education to distance learners for more than 10 years and offers around 250 courses each semester, giving students a wide range to choose from. Distance learners are provided with the same resources as on-campus students with access to 24-hour technical support and academic success resources such as tutoring, advising, and online library access. Undergraduate programs include RN to BSN, business administration, and Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant. The online college has an accelerated MBA and a Bioethics Certificate (also offered to undergraduates).

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13 Miami University 57.21 80% Oxford, OH

Miami welcomed it first students in 1824. It now has a student body of nearly 19,000. This public institution is located in Oxford, Ohio, and offers more than 120 bachelor’s, over 60 master’s, and 13 doctoral programs. Miami’s distance program features a 25:1 student-faculty ratio. Undergraduate programs at Miami include art and architecture history, information systems, journalism, and early childhood education. The school offers an array of minors to complement its bachelor’s programs. While many courses are available entirely online, some classes are offered in a hybrid format. Most are taught asynchronously, though some professors may include synchronous participation requirements in certain classes. The campus features the Women’s Center which focuses on women’s development, leadership, and empowerment. This includes educating the campus on women’s and gender issues and advocating for gender equality within the university. Miami athletics include club, intramural, and recreation sports. This includes arena football, indoor volleyball, and indoor soccer.

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14 Wright State University-Main Campus 56.60 40% Dayton, OH

Wright State, located in Celina, Ohio, was named for aviation extraordinaires, the Wright brothers. The institution is home to almost 18,000 students and offers over 230 degree programs. Wright State University has historically been a popular campaign stop for presidential candidates. Among several online master’s offerings, Wright State University offers an online bachelor’s degree, the RN-BSN Nursing Degree Completion. The program is designed for nurses who would like to further their career and are seeking to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The program requires 30 credit hours and can be completed in just 15 months if the student attends full-time. A doctoral and master’s program in nursing is available online. Distance learners can tailor the program hours around their busy schedules and are not required to attend full time. The program is not approved in multiple states, including California, New York, and Florida.

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15 Tiffin University 56.50 33% Tiffin, OH

Tiffin, located in northern Ohio, is home to a small but vibrant community that is continuously growing. The institution offers a variety of degree programs, which can be completed on campus, online, or through a hybrid format. The school is home to over 4.200 students and 400 faculty. Students have access to the library on campus, which is a member of OhioLink, giving students access to 90 other libraries across the region. Students have access to four online bachelor’s degree concentrations: a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Criminology, and a Bachelor of Science. Students can choose a specific track like professional studies or accounting. This online college in Ohio can be completed exclusively online, or students can choose to attend classes on campus one day per week. The school offers a certificate program in Arabic studies. The program teaches students the language and culture; it commonly leads to jobs in the government.

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16 Youngstown State University 53.60 32% Youngstown, OH

Youngstown State is situated halfway between Cleveland, OH and Pittsburgh, PA, giving students access to two well-known cities. The institution is home to over 12,000 students and boasts a 16:1 student-faculty ratio. Youngstown is one of the best online colleges in Ohio with four bachelor’s degrees and six master’s. All of the online bachelor’s program offerings are geared toward the medical field. Distance learners have a choice between public health, nursing, and respiratory care as majors. Nearly 1,500 adult learners choose Youngstown for distance learning every year. Master’s program include Respiratory Care, Health and Human Services, and multiple criminal justice options. Distance learners have access to an array of student support services like writing and math tutoring, disability services, and degree progress support. Students who qualify can get the GMAT/GRE requirement waived prior to entering the school’s MBA program.

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17 Union Institute & University 52.50 27% Cincinnati, OH

Union Institute is committed to meeting the needs of adult learners, which is done through its on-campus and online colleges in Ohio. The school has over its 50 years of history and has continuously evaluated and refined its practices to ensure it meets the needs of its students. In addition to its Cincinnati location, Union Institute has campuses in Florida, California, and Vermont. The institution focuses on six core values: academic excellence, creative and critical thinking, theory and practice, social justice, diversity, and integrity. Union Institute offers online bachelor’s degrees in four majors: business, education, health, and civil service; 13 programs are offered from elementary education to psychology. Each major is flexible in schedule to accommodate the distance learner’s busy lifestyle, and students have full faculty support and collaboration through every step. Classes are offered every eight weeks so students can enroll at throughout the year. Online students are eligible for financial aid through scholarships and loans.

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18 Kettering College 51.60 22% Kettering, OH

Owned by the Kettering Medical Center, Kettering College offers an array of certificates and degrees in the medical sciences in a technologically advanced medical setting. The school is chartered by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is home to 700 students. Kettering offers online completion programs in five medical areas: Respiratory Care, Management, Education, Sonography, and Advanced Imaging. To be qualified for admission, students must possess an associate’s degree, be enrolled in their second year of a health sciences major, and be in good standing at their current institution. The degree programs can be taken entirely online or in a hybrid format. Students can choose full-time or part-time status. More traditional liberal arts programs include business management, business administration, and social work. Students have up to seven years to complete their degrees and have full access to textbooks and tutoring services.

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19 Mount Saint Joseph University 51.50 58% Cincinnati, OH

Mount Saint Joseph, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a small, vibrant private university dedicated to student success. The institution is focused on high-quality academics in a setting where students have access to hands-on learning experiences. The institution is also dedicated to service; students on-campus participate in some kind of service learning experience. With an 11:1 student to faculty ratio, students are assured one-on-one attention, which provides a personalized learning experience. The personalized attention translates to their online programs, which are taught by full-time faculty members. The institution offers an online RN to BSN, several certificate programs, and a Master of Arts in Reading Science. The online programs are designed with adult learners in mind, and provide flexible schedules at an affordable rate. Certificate programs include Gerontology, Chemical Dependency Counseling, and Dyslexia. Mount Saint Joseph’s online programs are not authorized in all states.

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20 Franklin University 50.80 13% Columbus, OH

Franklin, located in Columbus, Ohio, was founded in 1902 and caters its educational experience toward the busy lives of adult students. Students have the option to complete their degrees on campus or online. Students have access to one-night-per-week classes, which are offered at many university campuses in the mid-west region. The institution offers several online degree options, all of which are tailored to workforce readiness. Programs include Allied Healthcare Management, Emergency management and Homeland Security, and Operations and Supply Chain Management. Franklin offers online master’s and doctoral programs in Healthcare and business administration. Franklin University accepts more transfer credits than many other institutions, which makes it easier to graduate in a timely manner and makes the degree more affordable. The programs are student-focused and distance learners are eligible for financial aid. Students have access to advisors to help them determine the best route for their online education.

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21 Muskingum University 48.10 50% New Concord, OH

Muskingum’s Presbyterian roots lend to an education centered in the Christian tradition, which is mirrored in the school’s mission to develop a student’s academic and spiritual lives. The institution’s online and night programs are tailored to adult students who are looking to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The online adult program, called MAP, is specifically designed for students who seek degree completion. Students receive the full support of advisors and faculty to make sure they can complete their degrees online. Muskingum offers master’s programs in education and teaching. Students can obtain an accounting certificate online. Courses are offered on an eight-week schedule; students can attend full-time but will only take two classes at once. This format gives students access to more financial aid and allows them to finish their degrees faster than they would attending 16-week classes. Courses are taught through Blackboard.

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22 Notre Dame College 48.70 36% Cleveland, OH

Notre Dame is immersed in its South Euclid community and works closely with individuals and businesses in the community to ensure its students are able to find internships, places to live, and jobs. The institution is home to the Books that Change the World Seminar, where students and community members are invited to discuss ideas and people who have, and will, change the course of the world through written work. The college offers several online degree plans including criminal justice, business management, and psychology. Students who complete an undergraduate in criminal justice can hone their skills with a Graduate Certificate in Security Policy Studies. This four course program can be completed and two-semesters. Master’s programs include Education, National Security and Intelligence Studies, and Nursing. The school has an innovative approach to teaching, where faculty members are hands-on and students receive individualized attention. A 4th and 5th grade teaching endorsement is offered.

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23 Hiram College 48.80 63% Hiram, OH

Hiram strives to be known as an eclectic, energized liberal arts college. The small campus is designed to foster individuality and critical thinking through hands-on learning. The student body is small, at just 875 students, but 99 percent of those students receive some type of financial aid. The college touts 81 full-time faculty members, which makes it possible to offer a 10:1 student-teacher ratio. It offers one of Ohio’s online programs to accommodate adult learners. Hiram offers a bachelor’s degree in business management, accounting, and financial management. Programs offer the flexibility adult learners need and one-on-one attention from faculty and staff when necessary. Students can expect a high level education with an abundance of resources including a help desk, technical support, and research resources. Hiram offers six start times throughout the year and accepts 75 hours of eligible transfer credit.

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24 University of Akron Main Campus 46.20 40% Akron, OH

Akron, a well-known public research institution, offers over 300 programs of study and is home to over 23,000 students. It’s size is equal to its resources. The institution offers state-of-the-art technology, robust athletics programs, and extensive library resources. Online students receive access to tutoring, career services, UA Adult Focus, advising, and library access. The Adult Focus program helps learners, age 25 and up, with preadmission advising, finding scholarship opportunities, and teaches a special class that helps adult students learn valuable skills for success. For veterans there’s the Military Services Center, they’ll help apply for UA and find scholarships. Online students start with a computer-based orientation to get familiar with the layout. Among online bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs, Akron offers a RN to BSN bachelor’s program. To ensure the best educational experience possible, online students receive one-on-one attention from instructors and have an advisor to guide them through their educational journey.

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25 University of Northwestern Ohio 43.00 30% Lima, OH

Northwestern Ohio, situated on 200 acres, is known for its academic programs in automotive, diesel, and high performance. In addition to its 60 on-campus program offerings, Northwestern Ohio provides access to 10 online programs, including a 100 percent online MBA program. Northwestern’s online MBA does not require students to submit GMAT scoring, and the class size is capped at 20 students, ensuring attention from the professor. Other programs include accounting, office management, and health information technology. Distance learners can take classes at their pace and complete degrees in everything from marketing to business management and health information technology. Students have full access to 24/7 technical support, career services and advising as well as library resources, which are abundant as the university is a research institution. An accumulative GPA of 3.0 is recommended by the school for online students.

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More About Online Colleges in Ohio

There are 154 different schools in Ohio that offer online degrees. These schools encompass a variety of types and profiles: some schools feature several different programs entirely online, while others have one or two such programs. Some charge online students the same tuition as residential students; many offer a reduced price. You can find specialty programs, religious schools, master’s degrees and doctoral programs, all online through an Ohio-based college or university. About 10% of postsecondary students in Ohio are enrolled in exclusively online programs.

Browse our list of the best online colleges in Ohio for more insight into distance learning programs in this state.

NCES Report

According to a 2012 NCES report, 9.6% of students enrolled in Ohio’s Title IV institutions were in exclusively online programs. That accounts for just over 70,000 students total.

  • 81.3% of online students were undergraduates
  • 37.1% of online students attended a public university
  • 11.5% of students attending two-year schools are enrolled in online classes exclusively
  • 77.6% of online students live in Ohio

Schools in Ohio offer a few educational benefits that help students get the most out of school. The state government facilitates a collaborative eTutoring program, free for students and schools. Not every school participates, but students using the program have access to remote tutoring services. Using chat room software, document sharing and an online whiteboard, students can connect with tutors and share their homework, assignments and essays. Audio and video software enables students to speak with tutors in real time; students can also post questions in an online discussion box designated for topics that don’t require an immediate response.

Additionally, Ohio recently began a project called Program Share, which permits students within the Ohio University system to enroll in online classes offered at schools throughout the system. This provides students access to more courses than ever before and gives distance learners more flexibility to tailor their class schedules.

Best Online Colleges in Ohio of 2016
Rank School Location
1 Ohio University Athens, OH
2 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
3 Ohio State University Columbus, OH
4 Wright State University - Lake Campus Celina, OH
5 Kent State University Kent, OH
6 Tiffin University Tiffin, OH
7 Ohio Christian University Circleville, OH
8 University of Toledo Toldeo, Oh
9 Baldwin Wallace University Berea, OH
10 Cleveland State University Cleveland, OH
11 University of Cincinnati - Clermont College Batavia, OH
12 Union Institute & University Cincinnati, OH
13 Malone University Canton, OH
14 Franklin University Columbus, OH
15 Ashland University Ashland, OH
16 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH
17 Kettering College Kettering, OH
18 Kent State University at Stark Canton, OH
19 Notre Dame College Cleveland, OH
20 Miami University-Hamilton Hamilton, OH
21 Ohio University-Chillicothe Campus Chillicothe, OH
22 Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH
23 The University of Findlay Findlay, OH
24 Hiram College Hiram, OH
25 Miami University - Middletown Middletown, OH