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Best Value Online Schools in Ohio 2021

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Online options for colleges in Ohio continue to increase as schools respond to student demand for affordability and flexibility. The average salary in Ohio is around $50,000, with employees in fields like management, IT, and health services earning between $100,000 and $140,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As job growth in Ohio remains steady, or even declines, affordable online programs are increasingly desirable options for prospective students.

Typically, online programs feature the same requirements as face-to-face programs. Prospective students must complete an online application and submit copies of their official transcripts. They may also need to include a personal statement, recommendation letters, and test scores.

Advertisement BestValueSchools.com 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.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Our list ranks the best value online colleges in Ohio to help prospective students find an option that suits their professional goals. The article also discusses Ohio certification and licensure requirements, scholarships for Ohio students, and professional organizations that can benefit prospective students.

Accreditation for Online Schools in Ohio



When researching online colleges in Ohio, prospective learners should investigate each school’s accreditation status. Institutions typically hold regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation involves a review of all of an institution’s programs. According to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), 98% of regionally accredited schools are degree-granting and nonprofit.

National accreditation, which is less prestigious than regional accreditation, also reflects a review of a college’s total offerings. Nationally accredited institutions are usually for-profit colleges with less stringent admission requirements.

As prospective learners review colleges in Ohio, they should determine whether schools hold accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the CHEA oversee accrediting bodies. The ED operates a database of accredited schools that includes specific information about college accreditation in Ohio.

Some programs, like nursing and business, require additional accreditation in order to meet state and federal guidelines.

FAQ

Question Answer
How long do you have to live in Ohio to get in-state tuition? To qualify for in-state tuition, prospective students must live in Ohio for 12 months prior to enrollment, according to Ohio law.
How fast can you earn a bachelor’s degree online? Full-time enrollees can typically earn an online bachelor’s degree in 2-4 years. Some programs offer accelerated courses that enable students to finish their degrees sooner.
How many colleges and universities are located in Ohio? Ohio hosts 14 public universities with 24 regional branch campuses, 23 community colleges, and 50 independent colleges.
Can you get your master’s online? Many online colleges in Ohio offer master’s degrees. Popular online programs include the master of business administration, the master of science in education, and the master of science in engineering.

What Are the Requirements for an Online School in Ohio?



Ohio online programs generally require applicants to submit an online application and copies of transcripts. Other application items include recommendation letters, scores from tests such as the ACT, and a personal statement. Some online programs require additional documentation such as a portfolio or writing sample.

Prospective students should carefully review an online program’s admission requirements before submitting an application. This ensures that they can assemble the required materials by the due date.

Online colleges in Ohio list various requirements for degree completion. Students in professional programs like business often complete internships before graduating. Programs in the humanities and social sciences typically require enrollees to complete a capstone experience.

Certifications and Licensure for Students in Ohio



Some fields, like education and nursing, require graduates to obtain licenses in order to practice their profession in Ohio. Licensing requirements include specific coursework, clinical training, and state-sponsored exams. The list below includes three examples of licences that Ohio requires for graduates in education, social work, and nursing.

Ohio Teacher License


The Ohio Department of Education issues licenses for teachers and other educational professionals. To qualify for the typical four-year teaching license, students must complete an approved program at an accredited college or university and pass a licensure exam. Applicants must also complete a background check.

Ohio Social Work License


Ohio requires social workers to obtain licensure to practice within the state. Applicants for the license must complete an approved bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in social work. The license also requires an online application and background check.

Ohio Registered Nurse License


The Ohio Board of Nursing administers licenses for registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Besides completing an approved nursing program, RNs must take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) before applying for an Ohio license. The RN license also requires a background check.

Professional Organizations for Students in Ohio



Professional organizations provide access to networking and mentoring, which can help students build a successful career. In fields like business and IT, professional organizations also provide access to field-specific certifications. Online college graduates in Ohio can explore some of the professional organizations below.


  • The Ohio Society of CPAs This group supports its 85,000 members through advocacy, professional guidance, and relevant programming. Aimed at graduates in accounting and business, the organization provides access to networking opportunities, career counseling, and continuing education. Other benefits include access to field-specific content and credentialing.

  • Ohio Information Technology Association This nonprofit advocates for Ohio's IT industry and provides IT professionals and graduates with opportunities to grow their careers. Members gain access to a robust community of professionals, opportunities for continuing education, and resume and portfolio reviews. The organization also hosts annual conferences and networking events.

  • Ohio Education Association Representing more than 120,000 education professionals across Ohio, OEA advances the profession through advocacy and support. Members benefit from the organization's extensive professional network, access to leadership training, and other professional development programs. OEA also provides members with discounts on everything from further education to vacations and movie tickets.

  • Ohio Nurses Association This organization empowers its 170,000 members through leadership and career assistance. Member benefits include free access to continuing education for licensure, scholarship opportunities for professional development, and mentoring activities. ONA hosts an annual convention and schedules events throughout the year that facilitate community collaboration among members.

Scholarships for Students in Ohio

Students enrolled in online colleges in Ohio may qualify for several scholarships. These opportunities are available through individual colleges and universities, professional associations, service organizations, and state and local government agencies. Degree-seekers at online colleges in Ohio can also apply for federal financial aid.

Choose Ohio First Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Current Ohio residents or residents from Ohio returning to the state to attend graduate school may qualify. The scholarship caters to both full-time and part-time students. Applicants must major in a STEM field at one of the qualifying institutions.
Amount: Varies

Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Ohio residents who are the children or spouses of police officers, firefighters, and other safety officers may apply. Applicants may enroll either full time or part time at any participating institution. Applicants must provide documents that verify their relationship to a qualifying officer.
Amount: Full tuition remission for public universities; up to $8,451 per year for private colleges

Ohio College Opportunity Grant

Who Can Apply: Administered by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, this scholarship helps Ohio residents who demonstrate the highest levels of financial need. To qualify, applicants must file the FAFSA.
Amount: Up to $3,500

Department President’s Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio annually awards two scholarships to Ohio residents who are veterans or direct descendants of honorably discharged veterans. Applicants must submit a copy of a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Service to qualify. Applications need three recommendation letters, an essay, and a copy of the applicant’s high school transcript.
Amount: Up to $1,500

Community Foundation of Shelby County Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Community Foundation of Shelby County awards nearly $300,000 worth of scholarships each year to residents of Shelby County. To apply for one of the 170 general scholarships, applicants must submit their high school transcripts, recommendation letters, a list of school and community service activities, and information from their FAFSA.
Amount: Varies

Best Value Online Schools in Ohio 2021



  1. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
    Location

    Mount Vernon, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private university located in Mt. Vernon, MVNU offers online associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees aimed at working professionals. The school's flexible, accelerated course formats and per-credit, locked-in tuition rates make it one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio.

    MVNU's online programs aim to meet the needs of working students in industries like business, healthcare, and education. The school offers both fast-track and traditional online MBA programs. Options include a healthcare-focused program for individuals working toward leadership roles in the healthcare industry. MVNU offers 120-credit online bachelor's programs in fields like elementary education, ministry, social work, and business.

    MVNU allows students to transfer up to 90 credits from other accredited colleges and universities. Enrollees can complete many of the school's online programs in as little as one year. MVNU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  2. Malone University
    Location

    Canton, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Canton, Malone is a private university that offers online degrees for both undergraduate and graduate students. Students can pursue online programs in business, social work, and counseling. The school also offers field-specific specializations in areas such as marketing, accounting, and mental health counseling.

    Course lengths vary from 7-15 weeks to provide working students with maximum flexibility. Undergraduate programs typically require students to complete 124 credits. Malone's graduate programs generally require 36 credits. Students can finish some of Malone's online programs in 16 months.

    Applicants must submit an online application and copies of official transcripts. Graduate programs require recommendation letters. Individual programs may require students to submit additional documentation such as an autobiography or personal statement.

    Malone allows undergraduate students to transfer up to 90 credits. Graduate students may transfer up to 25% of previously completed coursework. Malone is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  3. Youngstown State University
    Location

    Youngstown, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    YSU is a Youngstown-based public university. The school offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields like business, criminal justice, education, and public health. Students can also pursue field-specific specializations in areas such as special education and financial administration.

    Applicants typically need a 2.7 GPA or higher. However, the school's flexible admission policy provides opportunities for students to enroll provisionally. YSU requires applicants to submit relevant test scores, copies of official transcripts, and recommendation letters.

    YSU's online graduate programs take 30 credits to complete. YSU's undergraduate programs generally require 120 credits. Students can complete some programs, like the online master of business administration, in one year. The school maintains a generous transfer credit policy and accepts any coursework that a student has completed at an accredited college or university prior to enrollment. YSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  4. Bowling Green State University-Main Campus
    Location

    Bowling Green, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Bowling Green, BGSU is a public research university that offers distance learning opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students. The school hosts more than 40 online programs in fields like business, education, nursing, and criminal justice. These programs feature both bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as graduate certificates.

    BGSU's online programs offer flexible start dates and accelerated, seven-week courses in business, public health, education, and other subjects. Distance Campus courses in subjects like English generally last 15 weeks. Degrees available through the e-campus and Distance Campus occur 100% online. Students can complete some degrees through hybrid coursework that include in-person instruction on BGSU's 1,338-acre main campus.

    BGSU allows students to transfer any coursework completed at an accredited institution. The school also enables students to earn up to 30 academic credits from prior work, volunteer work, or other non-academic experiences. BGSU's flexible curriculum and affordable tuition make it an excellent option among online colleges in Ohio. The school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  5. Franklin University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Franklin University is a Columbus-based private university. The school offers online degrees in business, information technology, communications, and public and social sciences. Franklin maintains an affordable, flexible curriculum that accommodates working professionals.

    The school's online programs feature 100% asynchronous instruction. Students can complete coursework toward bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as certificates. Franklin hosts specialty degrees in data, health, and business analytics. Online IT degrees in cybersecurity, web development, and instructional design meet the needs of working students.

    Online bachelor's degrees at Franklin typically require 124 credits. Students can finish many of the school's online master's degrees in two years or less. The school requires a 2.75 GPA for admission to its online graduate programs.

    Franklin allows undergraduate students to transfer up to 94 credits towards their degree. Prospective graduate students may transfer up to 12 credits. The school accepts transfer credits from formal instruction at accredited institutions, work experience, and industry certification training. Franklin is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  6. Union Institute & University
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Cincinnati, Union is a private institution that has offered distance learning opportunities since the 1960s. The school hosts online degrees in business, education, health services, and criminal justice. Students can pursue degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Union also features online certificate programs in fields like literature, health and wellness, and social justice.

    Courses at Union start every eight weeks, offering flexibility for working students. The school's bachelor's degrees generally require 120 credits. Master's degrees, like the master of business administration, require 36 credits. Union also offers an interdisciplinary doctoral program in four concentrations.

    Union allows students to transfer up to 90 credits from qualifying, accredited institutions. Enrollees can also earn credit for prior professional experience thanks to Union's partnerships with several business and civic organizations. The school's generous transfer policies make it one of the best value online colleges in Ohio. Union is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  7. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UC is a public research university located in Cincinnati. The school offers nearly 100 online degrees and certificate programs. UC features flexible course schedules that enable students to study anywhere and at any time, including during active military service. UC hosts online programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

    UC offers both seven-week and 14-week online courses. Classes run entirely asynchronously. Undergraduate students typically need 60-120 credits to graduate. Most master's degrees require students to complete at least 30 credits. Enrollees may take courses in UC's online programs either full time or part time.

    UC requires a 2.5 GPA for admission to undergraduate programs. Graduate programs require a 3.0 GPA. Applicants to UC's online programs must submit copies of official transcripts and recommendation letters. Additional requirements vary by subject. UC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  8. University of Toledo
    Location

    Toledo, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Toledo, UT is a public university that offers more than 50 online degrees and certificates. The school provides online students with an affordable experience through its locked-in tuition guarantee. Students can pursue bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.

    UT hosts online programs in fields like business, educational technology, nursing, and criminal justice. The school also features online degrees in the liberal arts. Undergraduate students generally complete 120 credits to graduate. The school's online master's degrees require students to complete around 30 credits.

    UT allows students to transfer up to 90 credits of previous coursework toward their degree. The school also enables students to earn up to 30 credits for prior work or volunteer experience. This makes the school one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio. UT requires at least a 2.0 GPA for admission. Most programs maintain additional GPA requirements. UT is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  9. Notre Dame College
    Location

    Cleveland, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    NDC is a private, Catholic college located in South Euclid. The school offers career-focused online programs in business, criminal justice, and education. NDC hosts fully online and hybrid degrees with in-person components. Students may pursue online degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels.

    NDC's online programs feature synchronous instruction. The school offers both eight-week and 16-week online courses. Undergraduate students generally need 65-85 credits to graduate. NDC's online master's degrees require students to complete 30 credits. Learners typically take 1-4 years to complete their online degrees.

    The school allows students to transfer coursework completed in the last 10 years to their NDC online degree. Some programs accept up to 90 transfer credits from accredited institutions. Most of NDC's online programs require at least a 2.5 GPA for admission. The school also asks applicants to submit copies of their official transcripts along with their application. NDC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  10. Tiffin University
    Location

    Tiffin, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Tiffin, TU is a private university that hosts online degrees created for working students. The school offers more than 40 online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Students in TU's online programs specialize in business, criminal justice, education, and health sciences. The school also offers online degrees in the humanities.

    TU offers fully online, asynchronous classes that provide flexibility for working students. The hybrid doctoral program in global leadership and change includes three in-person events. Online classes begin at six times throughout the year. Students can complete many of TU's online programs in 18 months.

    The school allows students to transfer up to 90 credits towards their degree. TU's online programs require at least a 2.5 GPA for admission. Applications to TU's online master's programs must include transcripts, a resume or CV, and a personal statement. The school remains one of the few online colleges in Ohio that does not require students to submit test scores for admission. TU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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