Public Universities in Ohio: A Complete List

The Buckeye State attracts students from across the world to its renowned public universities. We've compiled a list of all Ohio public colleges.
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Updated on October 6, 2023
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Ohio has been home to some of history's greatest aviation innovators, two dozen NASA astronauts, and seven U.S. presidents. Many students chasing similar success stories choose to attend college in Ohio.

Ohio students can go to college in one of the state's bustling cities, like Cincinnati or Columbus, or opt for one of Ohio's charming college towns, like Oxford or Athens.

The public universities in Ohio are some of the best in the Midwest. We've compiled a list of all public colleges in Ohio and highlighted the most popular options.

5 Popular Public Colleges in Ohio

Ohio's public colleges are some of the Midwest's best. Below, we spotlight five popular Ohio public universities to consider. We chose these based on factors like overall reputation, academic rigor, and number of applicants.

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

1. The Ohio State University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $12,485 (in-state) | $36,722 (out-of-state)
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 60,540

OSU may be most recognized for its marching band, which has produced viral performances featuring impressive animated formations.

Located in Columbus, OSU is Ohio's most popular public university. However, despite its size, OSU manages to keep the majority of first-year classes to 50 or fewer students.

OSU is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university — a significant indicator of its research investment and impact.

2. University of Cincinnati

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $13,176 (in-state) | $28,540 (out-of-state)
  • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 41,155

UC is home to famous alums like William Howard Taft, Neil Armstrong, and Mike Ulman. The school maintains a solid track record for success: 94% of 2021 grads who earned a bachelor's degree are employed or continuing their education.

The UC campus features many new buildings and student recreation areas. And the campus rec center even has a lazy river pool.

3. Ohio University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $13,352 (in-state) | $23,720 (out-of-state)
  • Acceptance Rate: 87%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 24,145

Ohio University is the oldest public university in Ohio. It's located in Athens — a college town nestled in the Appalachian foothills. The campus is connected to 21 miles of bike paths, which lead around Athens County.

The university has an impressive student life, with over 550 student organizations. Many students are attracted to Ohio University for its communication and media programs, whose alums have won 55 Pulitzer Prizes.

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4. Kent State University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $12,464 (in-state) | $21,570 (out-of-state)
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 25,854

The most popular major at KSU is nursing, closely followed by psychology, business, fashion merchandising, and fashion design. KSU's school of fashion is one of the best in the country.

The university's main campus is 866 acres, and it is surrounded by spring-fed lakes. The campus boasts a 12-story library, its own 18-hole golf course, and even an airport!

5. Miami University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $15,555 (in-state) | $35,667 (out-of-state)
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 19,107

Located in Oxford, Miami University got its name from the Myaamia people — a tribe that lived in Ohio's Miami Valley and continues to partner with the college today.

Miami University has its fair share of historic traditions. The most well-known may be Miami Mergers, a nickname for married Miami students. About 14% of Miami alumni are married to fellow alums — the school even sends annual Valentine's cards to each merger couple.

List of All Public Universities in Ohio

Here is a complete list of all four-year public universities in Ohio. Use the table below to compare data on student populations, average net costs, acceptance rates, and number of applicants.

All data comes from NCES. Schools with fewer than 500 undergraduates were not included in this list.

Public Colleges in Ohio
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
Bowling Green State University 16,920 $20,485 79% 17,447
Central State University 5,434 $10,194 89% 3,814
Cleveland State University 14,385 $15,719 85% 11,570
Kent State University 25,854 $19,046 88% 20,369
Miami University - Hamilton 2,268 $10,580 100% N/A
Miami University - Middletown 1,269 $13,405 100% N/A
Miami University - Oxford 19,107 $23,031 88% 30,367
The Ohio State University 60,540 $19,582 53% 65,189
The Ohio State University - Lima Campus 818 $13,086 100% N/A
The Ohio State University - Marion Campus 900 $13,377 100% N/A
Ohio University 24,145 $20,207 87% 24,978
Shawnee State University 3,297 $13,313 100% N/A
University of Akron 13,465 $14,667 83% 12,282
University of Cincinnati 41,155 $20,149 86% 29,025
University of Toledo 15,545 $17,654 92% 12,575
Wright State University 9,678 $15,650 95% 7,162
Wright State University - Lake Campus 1,294 $11,585 100% 660
Youngstown State University 11,071 $11,900 81% 7,481
Source: NCES

How Much Do Public Colleges in Ohio Cost?

The average cost for tuition and fees at four-year public colleges in Ohio is $10,049 for in-state students, according to the latest NCES data. Out-of-state students pay an average of $26,213 annually.

The cost to attend public colleges in Ohio is slightly higher than the national average. The in-state average across the U.S. is $9,375.

In-state students also pay slightly more in tuition at public two-year colleges compared to the national average: $4,416 versus $3,501.

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
Public 2-Year (in-state) $4,416
Public 2-Year (out-of-state) $7,888
Source: NCES

Ohio's Most In-Demand Jobs

According to Ohio's 2022 list of top jobs, healthcare, tech, and manual labor careers are on the rise.

Home health aides are projected to see the highest annual growth in Ohio, closely followed by registered nurses.Other fast-growing jobs in Ohio include software developers, construction laborers, and truck drivers. The highest-paid job on the in-demand list is farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers, who earn a median annual salary of $69,000.

10 In-Demand Jobs in Ohio
Job Projected Annual Growth (2021-2031) Median Annual Salary (2021)
Home Health Aids 1,725 $23,000
Personal and Home Care Aids 1,487 $23,000
Registered Nurses 1,225 $68,000
Software Developers 696 $91,000
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers 600 $31,000
Construction Laborers 489 $43,000
Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer 444 $46,000
Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Managers 438 $69,000
Medical Assistants 432 $34,000
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 425 $61,000
Source: Ohio's Top Jobs List, 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges in Ohio

How many public universities are in Ohio?

There are nearly 20 four-year public universities in Ohio. If you count two-year and community colleges, the number of public schools in Ohio jumps to 50.

Ohio also has nearly 50 private universities for students to consider.

What is the No. 1 public university in Ohio?

The Ohio State University often ranks as the No. 1 public university in Ohio. The university is known for its rigorous honors program, active student life, and large international study body.

The Ohio State football team is also frequently ranked among the nation's best.

What is the most expensive public university in Ohio?

According to NCES data, Miami University in Oxford has the highest average annual net price of all public universities in Ohio at $23,031. However, 92% of undergraduates at Miami receive grant or scholarship aid.

Out-of-state tuition at Miami is about double what it costs for in-state students.

How can I go to college for free in Ohio?

The most surefire way to attend college for free in Ohio is by earning scholarships. There are many full-ride and tuition-gap scholarships available based on need and merit. The state of Ohio has several scholarships you can apply for, as will the university you choose to attend.

What is the largest university in Ohio?

With a total student enrollment of just over 60,500 learners, The Ohio State University is the largest college in Ohio. About 46,000 of its attendees are undergraduates, and about 14,400 are graduate students.

Despite its large size, the university manages to maintain a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. 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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