By BVS Staff
Welcome to our best value ranking of online colleges in Ohio.
Incredibly, there are nearly 100 different institutions of higher education in Ohio, but only about 30% of them enroll a decent portion of students in online courses. Of those online-accessible schools, we’re bringing you the 15 “best value.” These top 15 colleges all earned at least 55 points (out of 100) in our ranking. Also see our ranking of best overall colleges: Top Cheap Colleges Online.
Interested in our methodology? Click here.
15. University of Findlay
The University of Findlay’s online program is a one-of-a-kind resource for convenient specialized programs in business administration. With four unique business concentrations (Health Care Management, Business Management, Environmental Safety and Health, and Emergency Operations) at the bachelor level, online students at Findlay have a selection of targeted professional programs they wont find at any other affordable online school in Ohio. As a result of this pragmatic focus (as well as the overall quality of the programs), Findlay’s online sector enjoys a 56% graduation rate—well above the state average.
In-State Tuition: $31,508/yr
14. Ashland University
Of course, Findlay’s graduation rate is hardly unique in a list of the best online colleges in Ohio; Ashland University’s graduate rate is 2% higher! This is all the more impressive when you consider Ashland’s ample online degree offerings at the undergraduate level. With programs represented from departments across business, nursing, criminal justice, and interdisciplinary studies, it’s clear that this statistic has as much to do with Ashland’s commitment to student success as the desirability of the programs themselves. Ashland’s motto, “Accent on the individual,” is indicative—if not proof—of this commitment.
In-State Tuition: $20,242/yr
13. Miami University
Like Ashland, Miami University offers a diverse range of online bachelor’s degree programs that cater to students of all backgrounds. Those interested in the science and arts can pursue their diverse interests through a B.A. in Liberal Studies; the business-minded can study economics and finance in the Commerce program; and registered nurses can supplement their credentials with an accelerated RN to BSN degree. In-state students can take advantage of all these online options to the tune of just $14,000 a year, making Miami one of the most affordable colleges in Ohio!
In-State Tuition: $14,287/yr
12. Tiffin University
With online and on-campus enrollment split half and half, Tiffin University is a good model for the digital university of the future. Tiffin accommodates the growing sector of students who want greater flexibility for any number of reasons— work, distance, convenience — by offering a substantial portion of its total degree offerings online: everything from BA’s in Psychology to BBA’s in Accounting to BS’s in Information Technology. Since they utilize the same faculty for distance education as well as on-campus courses and both afford the same credentials, there’s no reason not to get an online degree in Ohio from Tiffin University.
In-State Tuition: $22,165/yr
11. University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati’s online degree programs are studded with awards from U.S. News, earning six top Ohio online degree rankings in 2016. Those 6 programs alone would easily dwarf the online offerings of comparable institutions, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Cincinnati online. Online bachelor programs at Cincinnati include nursing, business, education, and engineering—and that’s before even counting the specific degrees contained within each department! But while students may choose this school for its diverse educational opportunities, only the quality of the faculty and curriculum could account for Cincinnati’s 62% graduation rate.
In-State Tuition: $11,000/yr
10. Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University may stand out among top online schools in Ohio for its relatively low enrollment of online students (just 15% of the total student body), but it’s neither for lack of exposure nor quality. In fact, YSU’s numerous accolades from Accredited Schools Online, FinEcon Rankings, and Affordable Colleges Online will likely boost that number in the years to come. And in the meantime, it’s indisputable that YSU boasts superior online programs in Allied Health, Public Health, Nursing, and Respiratory Science that should appeal to any professional seeking to build their credentials in these highly specialized and competitive fields.
In-State Tuition: $8,317/yr
9. Ohio Christian University
For many Christians, the importance of raising and/or supporting a family can overshadow even the most promising educational opportunities. That’s why Ohio Christian University developed its faith-based distance learning initiative. With no required on-site visits; asynchronous coursework; and flexible, low-commitment, part-time scheduling, it’s never been easier for students of faith to build their credentials at an institution that supports their values as well as their life choices. OCU possesses accreditation from the Association for Biblical Higher Education as well as the Higher Learning Commission to guarantee a caliber of biblical and academic education to rival any of the best online colleges in Ohio.
In-State Tuition: $18,840/yr
8. Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University may not have the highest graduation rate or the highest percentage of online students, but it certainly provides one of the best educational values for the working student. With in-state tuition costs still hovering below $10k, CSU’s price is competitive even with some of the most affordable schools in Ohio—whether they offer bachelor’s degrees or not. And this is coming not from a community college, but one of the largest and most prolific research universities in the state of Ohio. For that price, students can select from a range of professional degree programs that span Nursing, Business Administration, Organizational Leadership, and more.
In-State Tuition: $9,696/yr
7. University of Toledo
The University of Toledo is another top competitor in the pool of affordable online degrees in Ohio, and it is clearly out to master the balance of high-stakes, low-price academics. Toledo narrowly beats Cleveland when it comes to in-state tuition prices, but it earns a clear victory when it comes to academic breadth, sporting more than double the degree options. With everything from degree completion programs in Nursing and Early Childhood Education to majors in Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies, Toledo’s online offerings appeal to a wide swath of students while maintaining a price point that leaves a narrow window of competition.
In-State Tuition: $9,547/yr
6. Franklin University
Franklin University is the opposite of most of the top online schools in Ohio: where the bulk of the colleges featured on this list are traditional, brick-and-mortar institutions with a distance learning component, Franklin is a primarily online school with a meager 16% on-campus enrollment rate. As a result, Franklin offers a comprehensive range of bachelor’s degrees online—eclipsing the rosters of competing programs with a grand total of 36 academic options. Whether students are looking for a degree in Marketing, Supply Chain Management, or Web Development, they’ll find it online at Franklin.
In-State Tuition: $11,641/yr
5. Kent State University at Kent
With nearly 14,000 students enrolled in some form of online coursework, Kent State University at Kent may very well be Ohio’s top purveyor of distance education in terms of volume. And Kent State is no slouch by any other metric, either; in terms of both graduation rate and price, KSU sits comfortably at the high and low end of the respective spectrums. Kent State is also home to a number of unique degree programs that are hard to find at other affordable online colleges in Ohio; specialized offerings like Insurance Studies and Environment Management are just another way that Kent State has established itself as a leader in distance learning.
In-State Tuition: $10,012/yr
4. Ohio University
Up to this point on the list, price point and graduation rate were the primary benchmarks that distinguished the best online colleges in Ohio—but numbers alone wont cut it in the top five. Ohio University raises the bar with a range of compelling (and free) student support services that include online tutoring for eCampus students, educational benefits for veterans, and a list of consortium agreements with local community colleges. Ohio also takes a page out of Kent State’s book with distinctive degree programs such as Customer Service and Technical Operations Management.
In-State Tuition: $11,548/yr
3. Harrison College
Grove City, OH
Harrison College has a lot of strengths—including a robust distance-learning contingent, elite graduation rate, and competitive tuition—but what stands out most is its ample selection of online college courses in Ohio. At this remarkable school, students aren’t limited to an abridged selection of cookie-cutter pre-professional bachelor’s degrees, as is common at many other affordable universities catering to online students. With 15 specialized and general degree tracks to choose from at the undergraduate level alone, there’s no compromise of quality for price or convenience with Harrison’s Online Studies program.
In-State Tuition: $17,100/yr
2. Mercy College of Ohio
With a virtual campus available to students around the globe, Mercy College of Ohio is not only one of the best online schools in Ohio, it’s also one of the best in the country. Mercy’s Learning Management System, Desire2Learn (D2L), is the cornerstone of the pivotal educational program, which allows the school to provide practically identical learning experiences to traditional and online students alike. This initiative makes Mercy’s prodigious range of online healthcare specialization and completion programs all the more capable of augmenting the professional skillsets of medical practitioners nationwide.
In-State Tuition: $12,530/yr
1. Union Institute & University
Eschewing the traditional classroom structure entirely to focus on online education, it’s not hard to see how Union Institute & University is able to keep their costs down. But it’s also unquestionable that Union provides the most cost-effective career-building education in the state. Union’s top Ohio online colleges ranking is not just a result of its unbeatable pricing – after all, the absolute cheapest option (at least in the short term) for the financially fearful would be no degree at all. Rather, it’s a reflection of the fact that Union offers more degree programs than all but a scant handful of its competitors and still manages to undercut even the least impressive among them.
In-State Tuition: $12,144/yr
What did you think of these top online degrees in Ohio?
Related Ranking: 30 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Ohio 2015