Colleges in Columbus: All 15 Schools

Interested in attending college in Columbus, Ohio? Ohio's state capital has schools that can meet any student's academic and career goals.
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James Mielke
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James Mielke writes education and career-focused guides for BestColleges. Beyond higher education topics, his writing has been featured in Golfweek and Eaten Magazine. James has a history degree from Belmont University and is an unapologetic Grateful...
Updated on October 20, 2023
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Tyler Epps is an editor for BestColleges. He writes and edits content about higher education, specializing in degree planning and college rankings. He is passionate about helping students prepare for college and navigate their educational journey. He...
Learn more about our editorial process 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.

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The Columbus area is home to some of the best colleges in Ohio. Whether you're looking for a large state university experience, a smaller Christian school, or a flexible online program, there are many academic institutions for you to choose from.

With institutions like Ohio State University and Cedarville University, Columbus offers an array of programs at every level, catering to just about any academic interest or career goal.

Throughout this page, we dive into the colleges in Columbus and highlight what they can offer you. Additionally, we spotlight some scholarships and answer some of your most pressing questions. Keep reading to see why Columbus might be the college city for you.

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3 Popular Colleges in the Columbus Area

Given the many different types of academic institutions in the Columbus area — big, small, public, and private — you are bound to find a school that aligns with your needs. Read on to learn more about the schools in and around Ohio's capital. Here are some known for their academic prestige and variety of programs.

1. Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is the Buckeye State's flagship public institution with a rich history and diverse academic options at all levels. Notable for quality programs in diverse fields like STEM, healthcare, and creative writing, Ohio State ranks among the top public universities in the United States.

Along with its student community and tradition of top athletics, Ohio State's vibrant campus plays a significant part in Columbus's broader culture. In-state tuition averages about $12,485, while nonresidents pay over $36,000 per year.

2. Franklin University

Another top Columbus institution, Franklin University is a private institution that dates back to 1902. Largely an online school, Franklin is a popular option for working professionals and nontraditional students. Some of the school's most popular majors include areas like business management, marketing, human resources, and accounting.

Thanks to its various online academic programs, Franklin allows you to earn your degree while keeping up with personal and professional obligations. And with an annual net price of about $19,000, Franklin is one of the most affordable private schools in Columbus.

3. Cedarville University

Located in suburban Columbus, Cedarville University is a private Christian institution serving more than 4,500 students each year. Ideal for students seeking a smaller school prioritizing their faith, some of the school's most popular majors include nursing, engineering, and early childhood education.

With a relatively small student-to-faculty ratio, you can receive a personalized education while also benefiting from the school's commitment to student success through ample student services. The average annual net price for this private school is currently $25,462.

List of All Colleges in Columbus

We've created a complete list of all four-year nonprofit colleges in Columbus and the surrounding area. You can use the table below to compare data on student population and the average net cost.

The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). All data is from 2022. Note that colleges with a total undergrad enrollment of fewer than 500 were not considered for this list.

All 15 Colleges in Columbus
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate
Capital University 2,617 $24,439 72%
Cedarville University 4,960 $25,462 65%
Columbus College of Art and Design 972 $29,238 91%
Denison University 2,416 $38,267 22%
Franklin University 8,044 $18,989 100%
Kenyon College 1,885 $43,044 34%
Mount Carmel College of Nursing 766 $15,006 63%
Mount Vernon Nazarene University 1,941 $23,391 85%
Ohio Christian University 1,600 $20,490 100%
Ohio Dominican University 1,276 $21,881 52%
Ohio State University 60,540 $19,582 53%
Ohio State University at Marion 900 $13,377 100%
Ohio Wesleyan University 1,410 $27,311 52%
Otterbein University 2,458 $22,661 84%
Wittenberg University 1,299 $22,912 94%
Source: NCES

How Much Is College in Columbus?

Cost of College in Columbus (2022)
Institution Type Average Annual Net Price
Public (4-Year) $16,480
Private (4-Year) $25,622
Source: NCES

College often comes with a hefty price tag — thankfully Columbus, Ohio, is home to a diverse catalog of private and public schools with tuition rates that reflect an equally diverse list of options. As a result, higher education in Columbus is accessible to a relatively broad spectrum of students.

While the cost of college can vary dramatically between public and private colleges, Ohio's lower-than-average cost of living helps make Columbus a relatively affordable place to live and attend school. Ohio has the 12th-lowest cost of living in the United States, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

Scholarships for Columbus Students

Finding scholarships is a practical way to help cut the cost of your college education. We spotlight three Ohio-based scholarship awards below.

Ohio College Opportunity Grant

The Ohio College Opportunity Grant is a need-based scholarship for Ohio residents pursuing an associate degree, bachelor's degree, or nursing diploma program.

This award is available to students pursuing their degrees at both public and private institutions, and applicants must demonstrate financial need. Funding varies by school but can exceed $4,000 per year.

Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship for Ohio Residents

The Ohio State University Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship is a merit-based award that's available to those who are Pell Grant-eligible and enrolling as first-year students at the school.

Typically covering full tuition and fees, this generous scholarship is exclusively for Ohio residents. Students who apply for admission and file the FAFSA by February 1 are considered for this scholarship.

The Morrill Scholarship Program

Ohio State University's Morrill Scholarship Program is a merit-based award designed to fund the education of talented students dedicated to social justice causes while pursuing their undergraduate degree.

This award covers full tuition and is open to and is open to recent high school graduates pursuing their degree at the school's Columbus campus.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Colleges in Columbus

What is the cheapest college in Columbus?

In the Columbus area, the cheapest public institution is Ohio State University at Marion, with an annual net price of about $13,000 for resident students. The cheapest private school in the area is Franklin University, with an annual tuition of under $19,000.

How many colleges are in Columbus?

Columbus is home to a wide array of academic institutions with 15 four-year nonprofit colleges and universities. From an elite and sizable public institution like Ohio State University to flexible online options from the private Franklin University, opportunities abound.

What is the biggest college in Columbus?

The biggest college in Columbus is Ohio State University, clocking in at over 60,000 students. While dwarfed by Ohio's flagship institution, Franklin University is the city's largest private school, with an enrollment of more than 8,000 students. 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.

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