2021 Best Community Colleges in Ohio
Published on August 19, 2021 · Updated on January 21, 2022
BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Ready to start your journey?
Ohio ranks fourth among all states for business climate for 2021, according to the annual rankings in Site Selection magazine. Community colleges in Ohio can help prepare students to work in the state's fast-growing industries, such as healthcare and healthcare support, education, and business services.
Ohio has a low unemployment rate and a relatively low cost of living, even in some of its more populated cities like Cleveland and Columbus.
A college education can help graduates pursue a career in Ohio. Community college can be a more affordable way to do that.
Students can complete a certificate program to learn specialized skills in a high-demand field or get further training, and potentially a raise, for a current job. Some get an associate degree at a community college in Ohio before going on to pursue a bachelor's degree. Others choose to enter the workforce right away.
Why Study in Ohio?
Centrally located in the Midwest, Ohio offers plenty of recreational and professional opportunities for students interested in attending community college.
Ohio offers many choices for those pursuing a higher education in the state. Options include: 23 two-year community and technical colleges, 14 four-year public universities with 24 branch campuses, and 50 four-year private universities. Also, attending an in-state community college can make it easier to transfer credits toward a four-year degree for those who want to further their education.
Despite some of the economic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio is experiencing economic growth. In 2019, Ohio launched the Office of Workforce Transformation to connect businesses and education. The goal is to prepare students with the right skills for the jobs in demand today, and in the future.
The state has many initiatives to encourage healthcare innovation, support minority-owned businesses, and help entrepreneurs thrive with startups. Ohio also has a large manufacturing sector. In 2020, the Department of Defense designated the state as a Defense Manufacturing Community to strengthen national security innovation.
Cost of Living
Ohio's cost of living ranks below the national average and below nearby states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. Along with healthcare and transportation costs, housing costs also rank below the national average. This makes Ohio an affordable place for a college student to live and study.
Cultural and Community Offerings
The cultural opportunities in Ohio are as diverse as the communities that make up the state. It's home to the world-famous Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The state has many renowned museums and cultural sites, as well as more than 174,000 acres of state and national parks filled with Ohio history. Ohio also hosts dozens of annual festivals, and it has a winemaking history that dates back more than 170 years.
The state has four distinct seasons — rainy and mild spring, warm and humid summer, crisp autumn weather with beautiful fall foliage, and cold winters. Ohio's proximity to Lake Erie usually means plenty of rain and lake-effect snow in the winter months for the northernmost parts of the state. Temperatures in the winter can dip below freezing when colder air comes down from Canada. So for those who like to experience the different seasons, Ohio offers wide-ranging weather.
Top Degree Programs in Ohio
- Best Online Associate in Education Programs
- Best Online Associate in Early Childhood Education Programs
- Best Online Associate in Marketing Programs
- Best Online Associate in Healthcare Administration Programs
- Best Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs
- Best Online Associate in Web Development Programs
Ohio Employment Outlook
One benefit of getting an education at a community college in Ohio is the strong economic outlook for the state. As of October 2021, the unemployment rate was 5.1%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ranking Ohio 30th among U.S. states. The real gross domestic product, a measure of economic strength, grew by 6.4% in the first part of 2021, matching the U.S. average. Median household income in 2019 (the most recent year that data is available from the U.S. Census Bureau) was over $56,600.
Ohio's workforce of more than 5.6 million people is larger than the entire population of 30 other U.S. states. These workers primarily work in:
- Trade, transportation, and utilities (18%)
- Education and healthcare (17%)
- Government (14%)
- Professional and business services (13%)
- Manufacturing (12%)
The fastest-growing sector in the Ohio economy is healthcare. Four of the state's top 10 employers are healthcare companies.
5 Ohio Jobs in Demand for 2021
U.S. Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $86,850
U.S. Job Growth Projection (2020-2030): 9%
Radiation therapists help oncologists provide care for patients undergoing radiation therapy as part of their cancer treatment. They can work in hospitals, outpatient centers, or physician offices. Radiation therapy jobs require an associate degree and state licensing in Ohio. Most radiation therapy jobs in the state are located near the major metropolitan areas of Cleveland and Columbus.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
U.S. Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $79,590
U.S. Job Growth Projection (2020-2030): 8%
Nuclear medicine technologists work with radioactive materials to prepare them for use by radiologists. Most people work in a hospital, but there are also openings available in imaging clinics and diagnostic labs. Ohio requires nuclear medicine technologists to have an associate degree and a valid radiologic license to work in this field.
U.S. Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $77,200
U.S. Job Growth Projection (2020-2030): 13%
Web developers help companies design and implement websites, apps, and database interfaces. These jobs are available in a wide variety of industries, including marketing and advertising, management consulting, business, and finance. Some entry-level web designer positions are available with an associate degree, while others require a bachelor's-level education.
U.S. Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $77,090
U.S. Job Growth Projection (2020-2030): 11%
Dental hygienists play an important role in providing dental care to patients. They work with dentists to offer preventive care, improve oral hygiene, and look for signs of disease. A dental hygiene program takes two years to complete. Ohio requires dental hygiene graduates to take a state test to get a license.
Computer and Information Technology (IT) Network Support Specialist
U.S. Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $55,510
U.S. Job Growth Projection (2020-2030): 9%
Computer and IT network support specialists provide support to maintain computer networks. The job includes troubleshooting issues in IT, maintaining local area and cloud networks, and keeping computer servers up and running. Like many IT jobs, this is an area of significant growth for people with the right skills.
Popular Career Paths in Ohio
- Business Administration
- Healthcare Administration
- Political Science
- Mechanical Engineering
- Organizational Psychology
2021 Best Accredited Community Colleges in Ohio
How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
Frequently Asked Questions About Community Colleges in Ohio
Attending a community college costs less than a four-year university. So this can make community colleges a great choice to get a degree or certificate to start a career while saving money. At a community college, students can pursue many different associate degrees or certificates — in high-demand fields. Community colleges also offer financial aid to help students pay for a degree. Many offer flexible options. These include online classes and outreach education in communities throughout the state so students can attend classes near where they live.
There are 23 community colleges in Ohio, with campus locations throughout the state. Students can find convenient options to attend class in person. Many also offer online classes to help students get an education that is convenient for work and family schedules. The schools are often in areas with a lower cost of living than many large states and cities. Students can afford to live and go to school as they prepare for an exciting new career or to continue their education. The best community colleges in Ohio also have strong workforce training and adult education partnerships to help nontraditional students get an education.
The average annual tuition for in-state students to attend community college in Ohio is $3,780, as of 2021. For out-of-state students, the cost is $7,680. The Ohio Department of Higher Education also has links to each of the state's community colleges. Prospective students can find detailed information on the price to attend and calculators to help determine the total costs and student loan repayment.
A number of factors can determine your tuition costs. Are you a full-time or part-time student? Are you an in-state or out-of-state student? On-campus or distance learner? Any of Ohio's community colleges can offer a path to a certificate or degree, at a more affordable cost. However, the cost of college includes more than just the tuition. You'll need to also calculate costs for housing or rent, food, books and supplies, transportation, and any other fees. Some colleges offer net price calculators to help you calculate your estimated cost to attend school.
Ohio is a great place to live. It offers both urban and rural communities and has a lower-than-average cost of living compared to many other places in the U.S. Students who live in Ohio and qualify for in-state tuition can get a high-quality education at a lower cost. This can prepare them for jobs in high-demand industries like healthcare and computer science. Ohio also has a strong support network for entrepreneurs and small businesses for students interested in starting their own venture after graduation.
Compare your school options.
View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.