Best Colleges in Ohio

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As of May 2018, some of Ohio's top employment fields include healthcare, education, and business operations. Ohio residents enjoy a low 4.2% unemployment rate, which falls within the range economists call full employment, a time when the number of job seekers matches the number of open positions. In this economic environment, job seekers can find a lucrative and fulfilling career much faster than in times of high unemployment. To take advantage of Ohio's growing economy, consider earning a bachelor's or master's degree at one of the state's excellent colleges or universities.

Top 10 Colleges in Ohio

  1. Ohio State University - Columbus, OH
  2. Kenyon College - Gambier, OH
  3. Oberlin College - Oberlin, OH
  4. Denison University - Granville, OH
  5. Cedarville University - Cedarville, OH
  6. Case Western Reserve University - Cleveland, OH
  7. The College of Wooster - Wooster, OH
  8. Ohio Northern University - Ada, OH
  9. Franciscan University of Steubenville - Steubenville, OH
  10. Miami University-Oxford - Oxford, OH

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The following ranking highlights the 25 best colleges and universities in Ohio. The descriptions include essential information regarding each school's academic programs, student support services, and scholarship opportunities, among other details that will help you choose an excellent college or university. You can use the embedded links to learn more about a school or contact a school directly if you have additional questions.

Each institution possesses accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and many schools boast additional programmatic accreditation.

Best Accredited Colleges in Ohio

Best Colleges in Ohio

  1. Ohio State University

    Columbus, OH



    The best public university on this ranking, the Ohio State University provides its 65,000 students with more than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs. Undergraduate majors at this Ohio university cover a wide range of fields, including African American and African studies, arts management, and engineering physics. The university also boasts nearly three dozen entirely online bachelor's programs.

    The University Honors Program at OSU provides academically gifted students with small class sizes, rigorous courses, and multiple study abroad experiences. Admission to the program requires an essay. Unlike in other honors programs, the student experience varies depending on which OSU college they attend.

    The school requires applicants to submit GED scores or high school transcripts, as well as ACT or SAT scores. All incoming students select an intended major when enrolling. Competitive merit-based scholarships include the Eminence Fellows Program and Scholarship, which awards full tuition and a stipend to eligible freshmen.

  2. Kenyon College

    Gambier, OH



    A private college affiliated with the Anglican Church, Kenyon College educates approximately 1,700 students on its Gambier campus. All undergraduates at this Ohio college complete an in-depth liberal arts curriculum that includes courses in the humanities and social sciences. Kenyon also requires one year of a foreign language. Popular majors include music, anthropology, and political science.

    Outside of class, learners can select from dozens of student clubs and organizations. Hillel, Canterbury Kenyon, and other religious organizations on campus allow students to reaffirm their faith and socialize with like-minded peers. As degree-seekers approach graduation, they can visit the Career Development Office to receive resume-writing assistance and network with alumni.

    Application requirements include high school transcripts, a recommendation letter from a teacher, and standardized test scores. The college recommends that applicants to arts programs submit a portfolio. Kenyon provides need-based aid to qualified students, and incoming degree-seekers do not need to submit a separate application to apply for the college's merit-based scholarship opportunities.

  3. Oberlin College

    Oberlin, OH



    With over 50 undergraduate academic programs, Oberlin College attracts prospective students interested in biology, history, and political science, among other popular majors. The college's Conservatory of Music trains the next generation of classical and contemporary musicians. Additionally, both the conservatory and the College of Arts and Sciences provide degree-seekers with valuable support services, including tutoring workshops.

    OC's dozens of student groups fall under eight broad categories, including politics, publications, and special interests. One of the college's most famous traditions is the art rental program, wherein students can rent pieces by famous artists, including Picasso, to display in a dorm room or common area on campus.

    Prospective students can apply for the fall semester. OC prefers applicants who possess a high school diploma, and other application requirements include two teacher recommendations and standardized test scores. OC awards multiple merit-based scholarships to freshmen and transfer students, and veterans and active-duty military personnel benefit from the Yellow Ribbon Program.

  4. Denison University

    Granville, OH



    Founded in 1831, Denison University is one of the oldest institutions on this ranking. This former Baptist institution awards BA, BS, and BFA degrees in nearly 50 areas, including biology, cinema, and religion. Denison also offers minors and areas of concentration in Japanese, Chinese, and financial economics, among other subjects.

    Degree-seekers at Denison can enhance their academic experience by studying abroad, including through three-week trips to countries like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Other exciting extracurricular activities at this Ohio university include fraternities and sororities, club sports, and the Student Government Association. Also, five service groups allow learners to give back to the local community.

    Denison accepts the Common Application and admits prospective students who possess GED scores. The university recommends, but does not require, standardized test scores or an interview. Incoming degree-seekers with an excellent high school GPA may qualify for a full-tuition scholarship. Merit-based scholarships do not require a separate application.

  5. Cedarville University

    Cedarville, OH



    A Baptist college, Cedarville University boasts more than 130 academic programs, including graduate degrees and online learning options. Some undergraduate majors, including biology, marketing, and music, offer a three-year option wherein students take courses in an accelerated format. Additionally, graduate programs in business and nursing provide multiple concentration areas.

    Academic support and assistance at Cedarville take many forms. Academic advisors help students select courses, declare a major, and stay on track for graduation. At the Cove, learners can participate in peer tutoring and receive disability resources, if necessary. Also, the university's writing center provides one-on-one assistance.

    All prospective students should submit a statement affirming their faith in Jesus Christ. Other application requirements at this Ohio university include a Christian leader recommendation and standardized test scores. Incoming degree-seekers with a minimum 34 ACT score and 4.0 high school GPA may qualify for the President's Society Fellows Scholarship, which awards $20,000 per year.

  6. Case Western Reserve University

    Cleveland, OH



    Founded in 1967, Case Western Reserve University now serves nearly 12,000 students through 10 colleges and schools. The School of Engineering enrolls the largest number of degree-seekers and features undergraduate majors in computer science, mechanical engineering, and polymer science.

    Student organizations at this Ohio university include multiple honor societies and career-oriented professional groups. CWRU also hosts more than 40 fraternities and sororities. Annual on-campus events include homecoming, senior week, and graduate student appreciation week. Nearly 40% of CWRU undergraduates study abroad for periods ranging from one month to one calendar year.

    CWRU admits new degree-seekers in the fall semester and accepts the Common Application. Applicants to undergraduate programs should submit a counselor recommendation and two teacher recommendations. Incoming undergraduate and graduate students do not submit a separate application to apply for merit-based scholarships, some of which award up to $20,000 per year.

  7. The College of Wooster

    Wooster, OH



    At the College of Wooster, undergraduates can earn a bachelor of arts, music, or music education. This Ohio college emphasizes undergraduate research, allowing even first-year students to assist professors with research projects. The school also provides funding for sophomores performing research in a foreign county. In their junior and senior years, degree-seekers work with a faculty advisor to develop and implement an independent research project. Many learners use this project as part of a graduate school application portfolio.

    Outside of class, learners can explore more than 100 student clubs and organizations, as well as over a dozen fraternities and sororities. Faith-based organizations include Hillel and the Wooster Christian Fellowship. Additionally, when degree-seekers need academic support, they can visit APEX, a center that provides valuable academic and career-planning assistance.

    Prospective students applying for the fall semester must submit high school transcripts, two teacher evaluations, and standardized test scores. Wooster's early application deadline is generally in early November. Merit-based scholarships at this Ohio college award up to $35,000 per year.

  8. Ohio Northern University

    Ada, OH



    Ohio Northern University is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and educates approximately 3,100 students, the vast majority of whom pursue an undergraduate degree. The university's College of Arts and Sciences boasts more than 50 majors, including art education, construction management, and nursing. ONU's four graduate programs train the next generation of accountants, lawyers, and pharmacists.

    The Student Success Center at ONU coordinates the university's advising and tutoring programs, as well as study abroad opportunities. Learners who visit the center can also receive career advice and hone their writing skills. Other support services at this Ohio university include first-year seminars, which instill valuable analytical, writing, and research skills.

    Prospective undergraduates submit the Common Application, high school transcripts, and ACT or SAT scores. Applicants to graduate programs submit additional materials. The average ONU degree-seeker receives over $23,000 per year in financial aid. The university features a unique financial aid program wherein high school students planning to attend ONU can accumulate scholarships by earning good grades, taking a campus tour, or working a part-time job.

  9. Franciscan University of Steubenville

    Steubenville, OH



    A Catholic college, Franciscan University of Steubenville offers 41 undergraduate majors and seven graduate programs. Popular undergraduate majors include British and American literature, humanities and Catholic culture, and sacred music. With a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, this Ohio university provides all students with individualized attention. Additionally, Franciscan offers two undergraduate and five undergraduate programs that degree-seekers can complete entirely online.

    Chapel ministries at Franciscan play a vital role in student life. The university hosts three on-campus religious services each day, as well as special events throughout the week. The university also takes learners and faculty on pilgrimages to Austria, Rome, and Israel, among other locations important to the Christian faith.

    Prospective students should possess a minimum 2.4 high school GPA and 21 ACT or 1000 SAT score. To earn transfer credit, students must have achieved a minimum 2.2 undergraduate GPA. Merit-based scholarships for incoming freshmen award $6,000-$12,000 per year and renew automatically as long as degree-seekers earn good grades. Transfer students may qualify for up to $6,000 per year in financial aid.

  10. Miami University-Oxford

    Oxford, OH



    Nearly 20,000 students choose Miami University for the school's excellent undergraduate and graduate programs. Bachelor's programs include analytics, art therapy, and family science. The university's Graduate School awards master's and doctoral degrees in more than 50 subjects, including biology and social gerontology.

    Academically accomplished undergraduates can enhance their degree by applying to the Presidential Fellows Program. Fellows receive a full-tuition scholarship, as well as a $5,000 stipend to support original research. This honors program uses a cohort learning model wherein a small group of students moves through the program together. However, fellowship participants can still study abroad and participate in other academic opportunities outside of the cohort.

    MU generally sets an early February application deadline for the fall semester. Applicants must submit the Common Application, one recommendation letter, and ACT or SAT scores. Graduate school application requirements vary by program and may include an essay, GMAT or GRE scores, and a resume. Incoming learners with an excellent high school GPA can receive up to $32,000 per year in merit-based scholarships.

Click here to see the best community colleges in Ohio.