According to U.S. News and World Report, Ohio ranks as the most affordable state in the country. Not only does Ohio offer the most affordable housing in the country, it also maintains the 11th most affordable cost of living. The state’s tuition rates are close to the national average, making it an excellent location for students attending college.
Online colleges offer several benefits, including more flexibility and lower costs. Online programs typically include the same coursework as on–campus programs, and diplomas do not usually state whether a student earned their degree on campus or online. Online colleges in Ohio often allow students to create their own schedules, which can be helpful for learners who need to balance academics with job and family obligations. Distance learners also save money on housing, transportation, and other costs.
Ohio is a particularly rich state for online learning. Ohio’s Quality Matters Consortium, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring online course quality, is the largest system of its kind in the country. Ohio universities and colleges offer online degrees in diverse fields such as nursing, education, ministry, and psychology. With 14 online schools in Ohio, students interested in eLearning can find programs and coursework in nearly any field.
Four Reasons to Find an Online College in Your State
- Guaranteed in–state tuition saves you money
- Be a part of a university or college you know and love
- Get a degree from a school that employers know and trust
- Be close enough to easily visit when desired
Ranking Guidelines for the Best Online Colleges in Ohio
Note: In ranking the best online colleges in Ohio, giving attention to the variety of degree programs available at the institutions is of utmost importance. For this reason, a more prestigious school in Ohio may offer one, or a few online degrees, but that may not be enough for that school to rank highly among the best online colleges in the state. In this ranking, we are dedicated to showing who’s leading the way in delivering quality online degree programs in Ohio.
The Best Online Colleges in Ohio
1. University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati, founded in 1819, is a space–grant university with over 350 programs of study. The university invented cooperative education in 1906; the successful system became a graduation requirement in many of the university’s 14 academic departments. Over 40,000 students attend this university, roughly 3,000 of which come from outside of the United States.
The University of Cincinnati offers a substantial number of associate, bachelor’s, master and certificate programs via UC Online. Associate’s degrees include health information systems technology and fire service technology. Bachelor’s degree options include sign language interpretation and respiratory therapy. Master’s degree offerings include TESOL and criminal justice. Available certifications include behavioral analysis and animal audiology.
Online student resources include academic advising, online exam proctoring, online tutoring, an online writing lab, disability services, technical support and an extensive online library.
University of Cincinnati is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
2. Ohio State University
Ohio State University, a public university established in 1870, enrolls more than 66,000 students and has more than 500,000 living alumni. OSU’s first class was taught in 1873, and since then, they have granted nearly 750,000 degrees. Online degree programs are offered to students around the world through Ohio State Online.
Ohio State Online offers one online associate degree, three online bachelor’s degrees, thirteen online master’s degrees, and one online doctorate. Online students can choose from a variety of areas of studies, including engineering, education, nursing, and social work. Ohio State Online is even open to program suggestions from prospective online students who don’t see an online degree program that interests them.
Online courses have been designed specifically for working professionals, allowing students to study at their own pace and earn their degree on their own terms. Ohio State Online offers in–state tuition rates to all their students, no matter where they live.
Ohio State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
3. Ohio Christian University
Ohio Christian University, established in 1948, is a private university affiliated with the Churches of Christ in Christian Union. Over 3,000 students attend the university, with campuses located throughout the state and additional campuses in Georgia. The university boasts a very low student to faculty ratio, just 10 to 1.
Ohio Christian University offers associate, bachelor’s, master and certificate programs online through the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. Online associate’s degrees include business and human services. Online bachelor’s degree options include nursing and criminal justice. Online master’s degree offerings include management and business administration. Available certifications include agribusiness and counseling.
Online student resources include an online job board, technical support and an online library with access to over 65,000 books, 3,700 audio and video recordings, 81,000 eBooks, 100 electronic databases as well as several librarians available via email or over the phone.
Ohio Christian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
4. Ohio University
Ohio University, established in 1804 and opened to students in 1809, is among the oldest universities in America. It’s the first university established by congressional order. The school has more than 40,000 students in attendance at all its campuses, 5,900 of whom attend the university’s classes online. Students have over 250 programs of study to choose from at the undergraduate level.
Ohio University offers associate, bachelor’s and master degrees entirely online through OHIO Online. Associate’s degrees include science and business management. Bachelor’s degree options include criminal justice and nursing. Master’s degree offerings include civil engineering and sports administration.
Resources online students have access to include technical support, academic advising, accessibility services, career services, an online writing lab, online tutoring and multiple online libraries with librarians available via live chat, via email or over the phone.
Ohio University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
5. Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio
Bowling Green State University, established in 1910, has a long history in teacher education. Originally, a normal school, the university opened in Bowling Green because it was “dry,” meaning it did not have any establishments which served alcohol at the time of its inception. The university consists of eight academic colleges and offers more than 200 degree programs in the arts, science, business, human development, music, technology and, education.
Bowling Green State University offers several online bachelor’s, master, doctoral, specialist and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degrees include fire administration and quality systems. Online master’s degrees include English teaching and criminal justice. Online doctoral degrees include technology management, while online specialist degrees include education administration. Available online certifications include assistive technology and women’s studies.
Online student resources include online writing consultations, disability services, career services and an online library with access to several academic databases in all subject areas and librarians available via live chat.
Bowling Green State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
6. University of Toledo
Founded in 1872, the University of Toledo grew out of a modest vocational school founded by Jesup Scott, a local newspaper editor. After operating for 30 years, the school shut down due to financial shortcomings. It later reopened thanks to the City of Toledo buying it out, which also prompted a change in the school’s academic direction. Its 813–acre main campus is comprised of 18 academic colleges which offer majors in the arts, business, criminal justice, communications and much more.
The University of Toledo offers online associate, bachelor’s, master, doctoral, specialist and certificate programs. Online associate’s degrees include accounting and intermodal transportation. Online bachelor’s degrees include criminal justice and marketing. Online master’s degrees include engineering and education. Doctoral degree offerings include nursing, while specialist degree offerings include early childhood education. Available certifications include virtual education and gerontology.
Online student resources include live online technical support, online tutoring and an online library.
University of Toledo is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
7. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Mount Vernon, Ohio
Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a coeducational liberal arts institution with its teachings rooted in the evangelical Christian faith. Established in 1968 and located in central Ohio, MVNU has a student body of approximately 2,300 individuals. The school offers both graduate and undergraduate programs that enrollees can complete entirely online. From finance, marketing, and management to ministry leadership and human resource management, distance learners can pursue an evangelical education without ever needing to visit the school’s main campus. Depending on their selected major, students can earn a degree from this online school in Ohio in as little as 15 months.
All applicants must submit official transcripts and highlight any prior learning experiences, including professional training or military experience. Prospective graduate students need not submit GRE or GMAT scores.
Mount Vernon Nazarene University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
8. Kent State University
Established in 1910, Kent State University operates several satellite campuses throughout the state. It’s among the largest universities in Ohio with more than 40,000 students in attendance and over 300 programs of study.
Kent State University offers associate, bachelor’s, master, doctoral and certificate programs via Kent State Online. Associate’s degrees include computer technology and allied health management. Bachelor’s degrees include insurance studies and public health. Master’s degree options include criminology and health informatics. Doctoral degree programs include nursing, while available certificates include library science and college teaching.
Online student resources include 24/7 technical support, online test proctoring, disability services, career services and an online library with librarians available via live chat, email or over the phone.
Kent State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
9. Union Institute and University
Union Institute and University, established in 1964, operates campuses in Ohio, California, Florida and Vermont and has over 2,000 students in attendance. The university’s existence came about with the combined efforts of nine colleges and universities and would expand to as many as 22 partner institutions in 1972. Their purpose was to promote socially relevant interdisciplinary research and create a “university without walls.”
Union Institute and University offers online bachelor’s, master and doctoral programs. Bachelor’s degrees include business management and maternal child health. Master’s degree options include literature and organizational leadership. Doctoral degree offerings include humanities and public policy. All Doctoral programs require brief residencies at the university’s Cincinnati campus.
Resources available to online students include online math tutoring, 24/7 technical support over the phone, an online job board and an online library with librarians available via live chat, email, text message or over the phone.
Union Institute and University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
10. Tiffin University
Founded in 1888, Tiffin University offers degree programs in the arts, science, business, criminal justice, social science and much more. More than 4,000 students attend the university, a respectable number of whom hail from outside the United States.
Tiffin University offers several bachelor’s degrees via Tiffin Online. These degrees include national security, psychology, accounting, organizational management, corrections, justice administration, healthcare administration and information technology.
Resources available to online students include technical support and an online library with librarians available via Twitter, email, text message or over the phone.
Tiffin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
11. Malone University
Located in northeast Ohio in the city of Canton, Malone University is less than two hours away from Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh. This liberal arts school was founded in 1892 as an evangelical Christian institution. Students at Malone can pursue graduate and undergraduate degrees online. Distance learners choose from several majors, including bachelor’s degrees in organizational management and social work or master’s tracks in educational leadership, clinical mental health counseling, and business administration. Faculty deliver courses asynchronously and synchronously depending on the class. In both cases, learners at this online school in Ohio participate by interacting with their instructors and classmates through email, chat rooms, and whiteboard discussions.
More than 90% of students at Malone receive some sort of financial aid, and aid packages may include institutional grants and scholarships for full–time students. The school also offers specific awards to students interested in pursuing careers within the evangelical church.
Malone University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
See some of Malone University’s top rankings on TBS
12. Franklin University
Founded in 1902, Franklin University has campuses throughout Ohio and Indiana. Since its inception, its focus has been on working adult learners. The university created the Community College Alliance, a program created to make transition from a community college to the university simpler in all aspects. The university has over 7,900 students in attendance and offers degrees in business, technology, teaching and much more.
Franklin University offers a wide variety of online bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Online Bachelor’s degree options include psychology, information technology and nursing. Online master’s degree offerings include public administration, human resource management and computer science.
Resources online students have access to include academic advising, technical support, online tutoring, online test proctoring, an online job board and an online library with one–on–one research consultation and librarians available via instant message, email or over the phone.
Franklin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
13. Youngstown State University
The local YMCA founded Youngstown State University in 1908, which started as a law school within the Youngstown Association School. It became a state university in 1967 shortly after going public. The university offers its 14,000 students a wide variety of majors from seven academic colleges. These majors include topics in liberal arts, education, business, communication and science.
Youngstown State University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees online through its eYSU platform. Online bachelor’s degree options include public health, nursing and respiratory care. Online master’s degree offerings include financial economics, criminal justice and engineering.
Resources available to online students include an online job board and an online library with reference librarians available via email or over the phone.
Youngstown State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
14. Cleveland State University
Located in the heart of downtown Cleveland, CSU offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees online. From programs in nursing, business administration, and organizational leadership to community health, special education, and adult development, CSU boasts flexible, asynchronous programming that may be especially appealing to professionals who want to continue working while earning a degree. The school delivers course content through the Blackboard learning management system, and many of its programs require no on–campus commitments.
Distance learners attending this online school in Ohio can access several online resources, including Blackboard technical support, the university’s digital library, e–tutoring, and writing coaching. Applicants to undergraduate programs should have a high school GPA of 2.3 or higher and submit their ACT or SAT scores. Graduate applicants must have a bachelor’s degree earned with a minimum GPA of 2.75. Additional admissions requirements may apply depending on the program.
Cleveland State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
15. God’s Bible School and College
Located in Cincinnati, God’s Bible School and College is a Christian school that specializes in two– and four–year degrees. Established in 1900, this small, non–denominational college has only a few hundred students. Available online associate and bachelor’s degrees include ministerial education, intercultural studies and world missions, biblical and theological studies, and church and family ministry.
GBSC also offers two online master’s degrees in ministry and biblical studies. These graduate degrees typically take two years to complete and prepare distance learners to enter the ministry or pursue a master’s or Ph.D. in divinity. Language proficiency in Greek and Hebrew is not required for the master’s in ministry program but is mandatory to pursue a master’s in biblical studies. Each of the seven distance–based undergraduate degrees offered by this online college in Ohio introduce degree seekers to biblical studies, systematic theology, church history, and pastoral theology disciplines.
God’s Bible School and College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
16. Notre Dame College
Located in a suburb of Cleveland, Notre Dame College was established in 1922 and is affiliated with the Catholic Church. NDC offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees online. Students may also obtain education licensure or continue their education by enrolling in professional development courses. Online degree offerings include business, criminal justice, education, nursing, and psychology. Depending on the program, faculty deliver courses in a hybrid or fully online format. Transfer students may qualify for academic credit for courses completed within the last five years at a regionally accredited college or university.
This online college in Ohio has different admissions requirements depending on the specific degree program. Prospective students should contact their desired department before submitting an application. Additionally, NDC Online belongs to the Quality Matters consortium, which helps ensure the quality of online courses and online components at institutions of higher education.
Notre Dame College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
17. Ashland University
Founded in 1878, Ashland University is a private institution with a non–denominational Christian heritage. Distance learners can pursue associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees through this online school in Ohio. Degree candidates interested in criminal justice, communications studies, nursing, and education can find several degree options at Ashland. Ashland offers some degrees in a hybrid format, including courses hosted by its theological seminary. Students enrolled in hybrid courses take a combination of online classes and face–to–face courses at the university’s Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, or Ashland campuses.
Ashland offers special online guides for adult and online undergraduate students applying for financial aid. In most cases, Ashland help these learners secure need–based federal funding and/or private education loans.
Ashland University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
See some of Ashland University’s top rankings on TBS
18. Mount Carmel College of Nursing
Located in Columbus, Mount Carmel College of Nursing is a Catholic school that was formed in 1903. With approximately 1,100 full–time students, MCCN hosts one of the largest bachelor’s nursing programs in the state. Learners can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees online. The school’s online RN–BSN completion program, which represents the only undergraduate option for distance learners, is designed for licensed professional nurses who want to earn a bachelor of science in nursing. Graduate degree offerings include a master of science in nursing education, and learners can also pursue an accelerated adult–gerontology acute care nurse practitioner post–master’s certification.
Admissions requirements vary depending on the specific program, and degree seekers interested in applying to this online college in Ohio should carefully evaluate admission requirements for their desired major before submitting an application.
Mount Carmel College of Nursing is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
19. University of Northwestern Ohio
The University of Northwestern Ohio is a private university located in the city of Lima. Distance learners can earn several associate and bachelor’s degrees, as well as one master’s degree, entirely online. This online school in Ohio offers many traditional programs, such as marketing, accounting, and business administration. Additionally, distance learners can pursue less traditional degrees, including tracks in sports marketing and management, travel and hotel management, and forensic accounting. Faculty deliver courses in an asynchronous format. Individuals interested in pursuing a graduate–level degree online can enroll in UNOH’s MBA track.
Prospective undergraduate students must submit their ACT or SAT scores and official transcripts. Applicants to the MBA program must have earned an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher; however, students need not submit their GRE or GMAT scores.
University of Northwestern Ohio is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
See some of University of Northwestern Ohio’s top rankings on TBS
20. University of Findlay
Founded in 1882, the University of Findlay is a private school in northwest Ohio. UF educates a student population of approximately 3,800 individuals, many of whom pursue online degrees at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Master’s degrees in business administration, professional communication, education, environmental safety and health management, and health informatics can be completed entirely online with no on–campus commitments.
UF also offers a doctorate of education, a principal licensure program, and a post–bachelor’s intervention specialist license. Distance learners may complete a bachelor’s in business management or the school’s positron emission tomography program. Resources for learners at this online school in Ohio include tutoring, library access, and tech support. More than 90% of UF students receive financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, and/or loans. Awards may be need–based or awarded based on academic performance.
University of Findlay is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
21. Mercy College of Ohio
Located in Toledo, Mercy College of Ohio offers several online degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. Programs include a certificate in medical coding, bachelor’s tracks in healthcare administration and medical imaging, and a master of science track in nursing. Additionally, Mercy offers an RN–BSN degree–completion program that presents students with opportunities to participate in internships and clinicals, service learning, and community building with their peers and teachers. Faculty deliver online coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Mercy also hosts online information sessions for each of its programs; these live, online streaming events allow prospective students to learn more about degree tracks and talk with program representatives.
Financial aid, in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and work–study programs, is available to all learners at this online college in Ohio. Students should contact a financial aid counselor to find the best funding options for their education.
Mercy College of Ohio is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
See some of Mercy College of Ohio’s top rankings on TBS
22. University of Dayton
Established in 1850, the University of Dayton is a private coeducational school with a Roman Catholic religious affiliation. The university offers several online degrees related to teacher education. For example, UD’s department of teacher education, department of educational administration, and Ph.D. program in educational leadership offer programs for distance learners, awarding certificates, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees.
Individuals pursuing graduate degrees at this online school in Ohio may qualify for graduate assistantships. Faculty award these competitive research– and teacher–based positions based on academic performance. Graduate assistants receive tuition remission and a stipend over the course of the nine–month academic year calendar. UD also offers the Upward Bound program, wherein the university helps Dayton–area high school students prepare for college. This year–round program includes weekly tutoring, college preparation courses, and application assistance at no cost.
University of Dayton is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
23. Wright State University
Wright State University, located in Dayton, is a public research university with a student body of approximately 18,000 individuals. Originally, a branch of Ohio State University and Miami University, Wright State became an independent institution in 1967. Distance learners at Wright State can earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees online.
With emphases in nursing and education, Wright State offers an online RN–BSN nursing degree, a doctor of nursing practice degree (DNP), and master’s programs in advanced curriculum and instruction, education technology, principalship, and superintendency. Degree seekers at this online school in Ohio can also pursue more traditional graduate programs in business administration and information systems. Furthermore, the university offers certificates in instructional design for students preparing to work as course developers or online instructors.
Wright State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
24. University of Akron
Located in northeast Ohio and founded in 1870, distance learners at the University of Akron can earn certificates in education, a bachelor’s degree in nursing, or master’s degrees in business, education, and health professions. The school’s online RN–to–BSN degree–completion program can be completed in a little as one year by full–time students. Certificates in education assessment and evaluation may be earned by completing only 18 course credits. The certificate in e–learning is designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree and want to better understand and utilize distance learning technologies.
Prospective freshmen at UA must submit their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores; however, they need not provide any letters of recommendation. Furthermore, all new applicants to this online school in Ohio receive automatic consideration for UA scholarships.
University of Akron is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
25. Walsh University
North Canton, Ohio
Walsh University is a coeducational Catholic school in the city of North Canton. The university is home to nearly 3,000 students who hail from 40 states and 40 countries. Founded in 1960, Walsh offers six online degree programs, including a bachelor’s degree in business administration with concentrations in accounting, marketing, and management.
Additionally, learners can pursue a master’s degree in education through tracks in reading literacy or leadership with principal licensure. Online graduate studies also include a traditional master of business administration with specialties in healthcare management, management, and marketing. Faculty deliver most online courses in an accelerated format, with two eight–week sessions offered each semester. Distance learners pursuing a degree at this online school in Ohio can take all classes asynchronously.
Walsh University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
The Most Affordable Colleges in Ohio
Ohio’s four–year colleges provide learners with a respectable education they can afford. Institutions like Kent State and Ohio State University offer in–demand degrees in fields like healthcare, criminal justice, and information technology. When choosing an online college to pursue one of these degrees, learners should never sacrifice quality for value. The following ranking lists 10 colleges in Ohio that offer both accredited online programs and competitive tuition rates.
1. Kent State University at Geauga
The Kent State University system comprises eight campuses spread throughout Ohio. KSU–Geauga, located in a predominantly rural county, offers one associate degree and four bachelor’s degrees online, including:
- Applied Business in Office Technology (Associate)
- Insurance Studies
- Nursing for Registered Nurses
- Public Health
- Respiratory Care
KSU–Geauga’s RN–to–BSN gives RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing the flexibility to earn a bachelor’s degree on a full– or part–time basis. The 120–credit program advances nurses’ proficiencies in areas like health promotion, population–based nursing for professional nursing practice, complementary and integrative health, and leadership and management for professional nursing practice.
The school offers two more healthcare programs: a BS in respiratory care and BS in public health with concentrations in allied health, clinical trials research, health promotion, and education, and health services administration.
The 120–credit BS in insurance studies gives students a strong foundation for careers in the insurance industry. The major delves into various topics, including insurance operations, commercial insurance, life and health insurance, and insurance and risk. Students supplement the required courses with electives that cultivate useful business skills in areas like desktop publishing and public speaking.
KSU–Geauga maintains a Tuition Guarantee Plan for undergraduate and transfer students that ensures they pay the same tuition during continuous enrollment. Admission to KSU–Geauga, one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio, requires the SAT or ACT scores for incoming freshmen and all school transcripts for transfers.
Kent State University at Geauga is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
2. Ohio State University
Ohio State maintains a presence across the state with six campuses. Ohio State’s main campus, located in Columbus, serves as a hub of academic learning, research, and innovation. The school accommodates the evolving needs of students with online programs administered by Ohio State Online. U.S. News & World Report recognizes the school’s online programs as the third best in the nation, with three bachelor’s–level healthcare programs that include:
- Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
- Bachelor of Science – Dental Hygiene
- RN to BSN
The degree completion BS in health sciences introduces learners to the healthcare field and provides them with foundational knowledge of domains like health promotion and disease prevention, pathophysiology, healthcare delivery, and individual differences in client population. Students must complete program prerequisites before admission into this degree.
The RN to BSN equips RNs with the expertise needed for advanced professional competence as a generalist. RNs build on their nursing diploma or associate degree with a curriculum that examines contemporary issues, such as healthcare informatics, community health nursing, and evidence–based practice.
The BS in dental hygiene enrolls licensed dental hygienists with an associate degree or certificate from an accredited program. The curriculum requires coursework focused on periodontal therapy, practice management, oral health behavior management, and research methods and interpretation.
These programs require general education that students transfer to accelerate degree completion and save on tuition. With in–state tuition for all residents in the U.S., Ohio State ranks as one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio. Admission requires a minimum cumulative 2.5–2.75 GPA on prior college credit, depending on the program.
Ohio State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
See some of Ohio State University’s top rankings on TBS
3. Kent State University at East Liverpool and Salem
East Liverpool, Ohio
Kent State University at East Liverpool and Salem enrolls about 2,800 students on a 100–acre campus in East Liverpool. The school offers 28 bachelor’s and associate degrees. Through Kent State Online, undergraduates can complete online degrees in a variety of fields, including:
- Environment Management – Associate of Technical Study
- Information Technology – Associate of Applied Business
- RN to BSN
- Public Health – Bachelor of Science in Public Health
- Respiratory Care – Bachelor of Science
RNs build on their nursing credentials with a 120–credit RN to BSN they complete in as little as 12 months. The curriculum delivers advanced proficiencies in areas like evidence–based practice for RNs, health promotion, and leadership and management for professional nursing practice.
The BS in information technology teaches students how to write computer programs, web–based interfaces for data extraction, and code and deploy applications. Students customize the 120–credit degree with one of several concentrations, including application development, health information technology, and applied computer security and forensics.
Learners in the BS in public health receive training in the five main domains of public health: biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences. The program also offers concentrations online in allied health, clinical trials research, health services administration, and health promotion and education. At Kent State Online, students may also earn a bachelor’s degree in insurance studies, respiratory care, and technical and applied studies.
Online students pay the same tuition regardless of residency, making the school one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio. Admission requires SAT or ACT scores for incoming freshmen and all school transcripts for transfers.
Kent State University at East Liverpool and Salem is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
4. University of Cincinnati–Blue Ash College
Blue Ash, Ohio
Students receive a respected University of Cincinnati education at UC Blue Ash, a regional college within the system. At UC Blue Ash, students complete bachelor’s programs at about half the cost of comparable colleges, making the school one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio. Distance learners can also choose from 14 bachelor’s degrees, four associate degrees, and 30 graduate degrees through UC Online, including:
- Early Childhood Care and Education (AAS)
- Criminal Justice (BS)
- Health Sciences: Behavior and Occupation Studies (BS)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Among the most popular is the BS in criminal justice, a 120–credit curriculum that prepares learners for careers in law enforcement, crime prevention, and corrections. The degree plan requires general education and specialized courses that examine the courts, corrections, policing in America, and criminal punishment.
The school offers healthcare programs like the BS in health sciences: behavior and occupation studies, a 52–credit degree completion option that allows learners to transfer up to 68 credits of prior college coursework. Students acquire proficiency in medical terminology, psychology, healthcare ethics, biomechanics and kinesiology, and other areas. Prospective students may choose another healthcare path with the BS in radiation science technology or the BS in medical lab science, both of which prepare learners for professional certification.
Students may prefer other online bachelor’s degrees in fields as diverse as social work, interdisciplinary studies (a customizable curriculum), and fire science technology. At UC Blue Ash, nonresidents pay slightly more for tuition than Ohio residents. Admission generally requires a minimum 2.5 GPA for transfer students and SAT or ACT scores for incoming freshmen.
University of Cincinnati–Blue Ash College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
5. Kent State University at Ashtabula
Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Kent State University at Ashtabula is a small regional college with about 2,000 students. Students can choose nursing, technical and applied studies, and business as the top three areas of study. They learn in classrooms with a 15–to–1 student–to–faculty ratio. Distance learners can choose from a suite of degrees that provide asynchronous learning and affordability.
The 120–credit BS in insurance studies gives learners a repertoire of business skills and insurance expertise that covers areas like insurance risk, insurance operations, commercial insurance, and life and health and insurance. Students acquire hands–on experience during an internship that may include the completion of a project at an insurance firm.
The RN to BSN enrolls RNs with a diploma or nursing associate degree. Nurses advance their training with a 120–credit curriculum that includes coursework in health promotion, evidence–based practice for RNs, leadership and management for professional nurse practice, and information and patient care technology.
The 120–122–credit BS in public health introduces students to various disciplines within public health and allows them to specialize in one of several tracks. The public health major offers concentrations online in allied health, clinical trials research, health promotion and education, and health services administration. Distance learners may also earn a BS in respiratory care and a BS in radiologic and imaging sciences with CT or MRI program tracks.
Admission to KSU–Ashtabula, one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio, requires SAT or ACT scores for incoming freshmen and all school transcripts for transfer students.
Kent State University at Ashtabula is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
6. Youngstown State University
Located in Northeastern Ohio, YSU administers a catalog of 115 undergraduate programs. YSU enrolls 12,700 students in classrooms with a 12–to–1 student–to–faculty ratio. The school offers nontraditional learners the opportunity to choose from six bachelor’s degrees online, including:
- Allied Health
- Criminal Justice
- Public Health
- Respiratory Care
- RN to BSN
- General Studies
The 120–semester–hour bachelor of general studies enrolls learners with an associate degree who want a customizable curriculum. Students supplement general education requirements with two focus areas of their choosing, each comprising at least 18 credits.
The BS in applied science in allied health enrolls paramedical professionals with an associate degree in a healthcare field, such as dental hygiene, respiratory care, or emergency medical technology. This BSAS requires 30 semester credits that examine core topics like epidemiology, preventative public healthcare, healthcare information systems, and management skills for health professionals.
Students interested in a law enforcement career can transfer an associate degree in criminal justice into the BS in applied science in criminal justice. The 120–credit BSAS examines policing, corrections, crime and delinquency, criminal justice research, and other subjects. YSU also offers three degree completion programs in healthcare: public health, nursing, and respiratory care.
YSU, one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio, lauds comprehensive financial aid and scholarship opportunities that help students graduate with little debt. Admission to the degree completion programs requires at least 60 credits with a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.
Youngstown State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
See some of Youngstown State University’s top rankings on TBS
7. Miami University–Hamilton
One of the state’s public colleges, MU–Hamilton provides a liberal arts education to about 24,000 students. Learners study on the main campus in Oxford and at regional campuses in Middletown, Hamilton, and West Chester.
The eCampus offers six bachelor’s degrees, including:
- Small Business Management
- English Studies
- Health Information Technology
- Health Communication
- Prekindergarten Education
- Applied Business
The BS in commerce with a major in small business management is for budding entrepreneurs. In addition to general education, students also complete core business courses that examine business law, accounting, finance for managers, and computer–based business analysis. A suite of small business management courses equips learners with sales and promotions, leadership, marketing, and management skills.
The RN–to–BSN degree qualifies RNs for administrative and managerial roles. The 124–credit curriculum builds on an associate degree in nursing with coursework that examines advanced topics like nursing of childbearing family, nursing care of adult clients, and professional nurse leaders.
Another healthcare program, the BS in IT with a major in health information technology prepares professionals skilled in managing the flow of information within healthcare organizations. Students complete a 124–credit curriculum and acquire skills in areas like database design and development, medical terminology, and health information technology. MU also offers a BS in applied communication in health communication to cultivate a cadre of health professionals to serve in roles like community health worker or patient advocate.
Admission to MU, one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio, requires SAT or ACT scores for incoming freshmen and a minimum 2.0 GPA for transfer students.
Miami University–Hamilton is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
8. Mount Carmel College of Nursing
For more than 115 years, MCCN has prepared adept professional nurses. Located in Columbus, the Catholic college enrolls about 1,000 students and offers small classes for personalized learning. MCCN maintains connections with the Mount Carmel Health System and Trinity Health to offer students local and national clinical experiences.
The school’s one online bachelor’s program enrolls licensed professional nurses who want to advance their credentials. The 128–credit RN to BSN allows for full– or part–time study. The curriculum cultivates nurses skilled in nursing informatics, transcultural nursing, evidence–based practice, and caring health practices within the community. Nurses also complete a course in religion and spirituality and a capstone experience in which they apply all the knowledge learned in a student project.
Students complete the program in two and a half semesters if they study on a full-time basis or in four or five semesters if they take one class per term. The school lauds a 95.6% pass rate on the NCLEX. Students pay the same tuition regardless of in- or out-of-state residency. Admission requires current, unencumbered state licensure, at least 32 credits in nursing and 52 credits in general education courses, and a minimum 2.0 GPA. MCCN, one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio, admits students into the RN to BSN in the fall, spring, or summer semester.
Mount Carmel College of Nursing is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
See some of Mount Carmel College of Nursing’s top rankings on TBS
9. Kent State University at Trumbull
KSU–Trumbull manages a suite of 30 programs and offers learners the opportunity to earn a degree from a much larger Kent State catalog. KSU–Trumbull, one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio, enrolls 2,200 students. Most of the school’s learners hail from Trumbull County, but students anywhere can choose from five bachelor’s degrees online, including:
- Bachelor of Science – Information Technology
- RN to BSN
- Bachelor of Science – Insurance Studies
- Bachelor of Science – Public Health
- Bachelor of Science – Respiratory Care
The BS in insurance studies gives learners the knowledge and training for entry–level careers in the industry. The 120–credit program explores insurance operations, commercial insurance, life and health insurance, and insurance and risk. During the third year, students participate in an internship to hone their competencies and acquire practical experience.
RNs can affordably upgrade their credentials with the 120–credit RN to BSN. The curriculum focuses on advanced training in areas like evidence–based practice for RNs, healthcare policy, and leadership and management for professional nursing practice.
The BS in public health provides foundational knowledge in the five disciplines of public health, including biostatistics, epidemiology, and environmental health. Students customize their degree with one of four online concentrations: allied health, health services administration, clinical trials research, and health promotion and education. Distance learners may also enroll in the school’s BS in respiratory care with an associate degree from an accredited program and respiratory therapist or registered respiratory therapist credentials.
Admission to KSU-Trumbull requires SAT or ACT scores for incoming freshmen and all school transcripts for transfer students.
Kent State University at Trumbull is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
10. Wright State University
Named after the aviation pioneers, the Wright brothers, Wright State University administers almost 300 programs through 11 schools and colleges. The public college enrolls about 15,000 students who study on two campuses in Dayton, Ohio.
Wright State offers a portfolio of online degrees students can complete fully online or in a hybrid format. The school offers one bachelor’s program online, a 120–credit RN to BSN that RNs can complete in as little as 15 months. Busy nurses can study at their own pace asynchronously, receive personalized attention from faculty, and advance their careers by building on existing knowledge.
The nursing curriculum, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, requires 30 credits that examine the transition to the role of professional nurse, research and evidence–based practice, nursing care in a genomics era, and advancing communities toward healthy outcomes. During a course focused on leadership and management in professional nursing, RNs explore leadership theories, skills, and decision–making in their practice. They also participate in an improvement/change project and fieldwork.
Unlike many similar nursing programs, Wright State boasts an honors program for high–achieving nursing students. Wright State notes the program offers great value and competitive tuition as one of the most affordable online colleges in Ohio. Admission to the RN to BSN requires an active RN license, prerequisite courses, and a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Wright State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
See some of Wright State University’s top rankings on TBS
Additional Online Colleges in Ohio Featured on TBS
Case Western Reserve University
Clark State Community College
Columbus State Community College
Cuyahoga Community College District
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Rhodes State College
Shawnee State University
Sinclair Community College
2017 Best Online Colleges and University in Ohio
- University of Cincinnati
- Ohio University
- Franklin University
- Bowling Green State University
- Kent State University
- University of Toledo
- Ohio Christian University
- Tiffin University
- Union Institute and University
- Youngstown State University