Private Colleges in Ohio: A Complete List

Private colleges in Ohio come with prestigious reputations and vibrant campus communities. Discover the top private colleges in the heart of the Midwest.
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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 6, 2023
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Danika Miller is a senior writer at BestColleges and Accredited Schools Online. Her writing has also appeared in Grad School Hub, Best Value Schools, Affordable Colleges Online, and Her Campus. Her financial expertise has been featured in The Simple ...
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If you're considering earning a private higher education in the Midwest, Ohio's vibrant academic landscape might be the perfect fit for you. Private colleges in Ohio offer specialized programs, close-knit communities, and personalized educational experiences.

Additionally, the best private colleges in Ohio are known for fostering critical thinking and preparing graduates for successful careers.

Whether you're seeking a liberal arts education or research-centric STEM training, the Buckeye State has a private college to meet your academic and career goals.

5 Popular Ohio Private Colleges

Ohio is home to multiple standout private institutions. We've highlighted five popular colleges for you to consider based on factors like number of applicants and overall academic reputation.

The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and is updated for 2022.

1. Oberlin College

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $62,024
  • Acceptance Rate: 35%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 2,992

Oberlin College is one of Ohio's premier private institutions with a rich history of progressive education and cultural diversity.

In addition to being the first college to admit both women and Black students, the school boasts a top-ranked music conservatory while leaning on an interdisciplinary liberal arts education.

Oberlin is a top option in Ohio if you're seeking an institution dedicated to social justice while providing a well-rounded education.

2. Case Western Reserve University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $61,584
  • Acceptance Rate: 27%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 12,201

Established in 1896 in Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University ranks among Ohio's top private colleges for its strong focus on research and innovation.

Renowned for its standout medical and engineering programs, this private research university emphasizes hands-on learning and cutting-edge research. Case Western attracts students passionate about everything from STEM to medicine.

3. Kenyon College

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $66,490
  • Acceptance Rate: 34%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 1,885

Founded in 1824, Kenyon College is recognized for its strong liberal arts tradition. Based in rural Ohio, Kenyon boasts a close-knit community, emphasizes critical thinking and writing, and often appeals to students seeking a small, intellectually engaging environment.

This small private college is known as a haven for aspiring artists, writers, and scholars — counting three former Supreme Court Justices and a U.S. President among its alums.

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4. University of Dayton

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $46,170
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 11,674

The University of Dayton is a top-tier Catholic private college in Ohio with a commitment to experiential learning and service.

UD is consistently recognized for its engineering and business programs and emphasis on hands-on training and community engagement. The university's Marianist values promote social responsibility, attracting students who seek a comprehensive education while positively impacting society.

5. Denison University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $60,000
  • Acceptance Rate: 22%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 2,416

Established in 1831 in rural Granville, Denison University is a private liberal arts school known for its strong academics and dedication to intellectual exploration.

Denison's emphasis on global engagement, diverse perspectives, and close faculty mentorship appeals to students seeking a well-rounded education and a supportive community. Some of the school's most popular majors include economics, biology, and communications.

List of All Private Colleges in Ohio

Here is a complete list of all four-year private universities in Ohio. Use the table below to compare data on student population, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants.

All data comes from NCES.

Private Colleges in Ohio
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
Ashland University 4,174 $20,342 72% 4,565
Baldwin Wallace University 3,220 $28,705 77% 4,229
Bluffton University 745 $21,247 96% 1,105
Capital University 2,617 $24,439 72% 4,370
Case Western Reserve University 12,201 $38,279 27% 38,701
Cedarville University 4,960 $25,462 65% 5,435
Cleveland Institute of Art 584 $33,395 70% 693
Columbus College of Art and Design 972 $29,238 91% 776
Denison University 2,416 $38,267 22% 12,220
Franciscan University of Steubenville 3,656 $25,310 67% 2,456
Franklin University 8,044 $18,989 100% NA
Heidelberg University 1,086 $20,053 71% 1,801
Hiram College 1,018 $19,384 93% 1,896
John Carroll University 2,922 $30,496 82% 4,310
Kenyon College 1,885 $43,044 34% 8,116
Kettering College 832 $16,398 34% 587
Lake Erie College 906 $22,678 54% 1,085
Lourdes University 1,136 $22,634 60% 1,082
Malone University 1,199 $21,571 78% 1,395
Marietta College 1,198 $22,895 83% 2,467
Mount Carmel College of Nursing 766 $15,006 63% 82
Mount St. Joseph University 2,027 $17,506 54% 2,127
Mount Vernon Nazarene University 1,941 $23,391 85% 1,070
Muskingum University 2,117 $19,682 86% 2,690
Notre Dame College 1,444 $20,151 79% 3,116
Oberlin College 2,992 $46,462 35% 11,066
Ohio Christian University 1,600 $20,490 100% NA
Ohio Dominican University 1,276 $21,881 52% 2,186
Ohio Northern University 3,015 $27,398 54% 6,625
Ohio Wesleyan University 1,410 $27,311 52% 5,324
Otterbein University 2,458 $22,661 84% 3,762
The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences 866 $18,370 71% 380
The College of Wooster 1,967 $28,976 56% 7,251
Tiffin University 3,044 $25,636 83% 4,195
University of Dayton 11,674 $30,590 74% 18,864
University of Findlay 4,869 $24,069 86% 3,609
University of Mount Union 2,130 $23,259 76% 3,521
Ursuline College 950 $14,502 85% 610
Walsh University 2,309 $20,032 73% 2,659
Wilberforce University 656 $14,070 45% 4,100
Wilmington College 1,046 $24,528 88% 1,963
Wittenberg University 1,299 $22,912 94% 2,998
Xavier University 6,114 $31,619 85% 14,836
Source: NCES

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How Much Do Private Colleges in Ohio Cost?

The cost of attending a private college in Ohio varies, with institutions offering tuition more or less affordable than the national average for private schools.

According to recent NCES data, the average tuition and fees from private colleges in Ohio are about $35,000, while the national average is approximately $33,000.

When seeking the best private college in Ohio for you, be sure to consider cost alongside other factors. Though private colleges tend to carry a hefty price tag, they also tend to offer generous financial aid packages.

Cost of College in Ohio 2020-2021
Institution Type Average Tuition & Required Fees
Public 4-Year (in-state) $10,049
Public 4-Year (out-of-state) $26,213
Private 4-Year $35,352
Public 2-Year (in-state) $4,416
Public 2-Year (out-of-state) $7,888
Source: NCES

10 Highest-Paying Jobs in Ohio

Ohio is home to many high-earning job opportunities across numerous industries.

Some of the highest-earning professions in the Buckeye State include healthcare roles such as psychiatrists, general practitioners, and nurse anesthetists. Additionally, various tech and business roles fill out the list of high-paying jobs in Ohio.

Attending a private college can equip students with rigorous academic training, critical thinking skills, and practical experiences vital for success in top-paying fields.

10 High-Paying Jobs in Ohio 2022
Job Median Annual Salary
Psychiatrists $204,000
Family and General Practitioners $178,000
Nurse Anesthetists $175,000
Pediatricians $162,000
Architectural and Engineering Managers $134,000
Computer and Information Systems Managers $133,000
Marketing Managers $133,000
Financial Managers $124,000
Sales Managers $122,000
Natural Sciences Managers $120,000
Source: Ohio's Top Jobs List, 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges in Ohio

How many private universities are in Ohio?

Ohio is home to 43 private four-year nonprofit institutions offering diverse academic programs and student services.

Dozens of private schools dot the state map, and these colleges play a significant role in the state's higher education landscape, ensuring a broad spectrum of learning opportunities and enriching educational experiences.

What is the No. 1 private university in Ohio?

Owing to its rich history and dedication to STEM and healthcare research, Case Western Reserve University is a top-ranked private school in Ohio.

Case Western serves over 12,000 students and emphasizes cutting-edge research and hands-on learning opportunities.

What is the cheapest private university in Ohio?

The cost of your private school education in Ohio can vary dramatically between schools. That said, private colleges in Ohio, like Wilberforce University and Ursuline College, have a low average annual net price of $14,070 and $14,502, respectively, according to the latest NCES data.

Pursuing scholarships can help cover the cost of your education.

What is the biggest private university in Ohio?

With more than 10,000 students, the University of Dayton and Case Western Reserve University are two of the largest private universities in the Buckeye State.

If you're interested in schools with larger student populations, be sure to check out Ohio public colleges like Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati. 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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