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Updated: May 23, 2017

Home to the first university in the Northwest Territory—chartered before it was even a state—Ohio can lay claim to a rich heritage of learning and education. To this day, while it’s the seventh most populous state, Ohio places in the top five nationally for largest state university system, which serves over 400,000 students.

Of course, the public universities aren’t the only options for prospective college students. Ohio also has dozens of private universities and colleges, with some of the best liberal arts schools anywhere. So it should come as no surprise that Ohio’s public library system has been ranked the best in the country. This is a state of readers and lifelong learners.

Its fantastic educational system isn’t the only reason to consider going to college in Ohio, however. Economically, The Buckeye State remains a great place to be when looking for a job, that slightly scary post-graduation moment that you should still keep in mind, not only when deciding what to major in, but also where to go for college. Ohio consistently ranks very highly in a number of business-related rankings.

There’s plenty of cultural richness to be enjoyed in Ohio as well. The Cleveland Indians are coming off a World Series appearance, and the Cavaliers won the NBA Finals last year. The state is also home to the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Columbus Crew, and even the Ohio Machine, a Major League Lacrosse team. Ohio’s cities are home to world-class museums, and the craft beer scene is really taking off. There’s definitely something for everyone in the state.

What are the best colleges in Ohio?

So whatever draws you to Ohio, take some time to peruse our list of the state’s best colleges. We’ve put together this list to aid you in assessing not only which schools are relevant to your interests, but also which ones are feasible financially for you and your family. We want you to learn a lot, thrive on campus, and succeed once you’re done. To that end, we’ve examined data on academic reputation, student body diversity, and return on investment – how much you’ll pay versus how much you can expect to earn after the fact. Our data all comes from IPEDS, a data set courtesy of the National Center for Education Statistics.

1

Case Western Reserve University

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $29,140

School Website

Case_Western_Reserve_University

Overview

Although lots of people claim that Cleveland, OH is boring, the city is home to Case Western Reserve University, a school that is as far from boring as a person can get. This private, co-educational university has it all — leading-edge research, arts, athletics, student organizations, and exciting events. Almost 12,000 students attend CWRU and slightly more than half are graduate students. The student/faculty ratio is 11:1. Founded in 1826, CWRU has a history that includes being the first college to ever exist in northern Ohio.

Features

Advanced, state-of-the-art research is the top priority at Case Western Reserve University. More than 1,400 research projects were funded by $360 million in annual funding. Students can conduct research across 95 undergraduate and 135 graduate programs. The most popular degrees are:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Computer Science
  • Biology

Notables

In the nation, Case Western Reserve University is ranked #37, and in Ohio, CWRU is ranked #1, according to U.S. News & World Report. CWRU has also developed a strong reputation in several niche categories, including Biomedical Engineering, Health Law, International Law, and Nurse Midwifery. In all these categories, CWRU is rated in the top 15 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

2

Kenyon College

College Choice Score: 99.17

Average Net Price: $26,734

School Website

Kenyon College

Overview

With an average class size of 15 and a very low 10:1 student/faculty ratio, Kenyon College promises students that its outstanding faculty will get to know each one of them as an individual. This private, liberal arts school has 1,600 students in attendance at its Gambier, OH campus. Kenyon was founded in 1824, making it the first private college in the state of Ohio.

Features

Teaching and academic excellence are the trademarks of a Kenyon College education. There’s a strong sense of academic community, open-mindedness, and exploration. Kenyon offers 33 undergraduate majors, with the flexibility to allow students to find their own path. The most popular degrees include:

  • English Language and Literature
  • Economics
  • International and Global Studies
  • Molecular Biology
  • Political Science

Notables

Because Kenyon puts a strong emphasis on learning, all classes are taught by faculty members. Not a single class is taught by a teaching assistant. Nationwide Kenyon is ranked at #27 of all liberal arts colleges and is considered #42 for best value, according to U.S. News & World Report. Interestingly, there are no cable hookups within the freshman dorms, and lastly, the English program at Kenyon is world-renowned.

3

The Ohio State University

College Choice Score: 87.56

Average Net Price: $18,215

School Website

Ohio_State_University

Overview

The Ohio State University was established as a land-grant university in 1870 and since then has awarded over 730,400 degrees. With more than 45,000 students at its main campus, and almost 64,000 students in total, Ohio State is one of the biggest schools in the country. The student/faculty ratio is 19:1, and nearly 80% of students are from Ohio. The main campus of this public, co-educational university is located in Columbus, OH.

Features

The large size of The Ohio State University affords students an unparalleled array of opportunities. Ohio State has more than 200 majors and over 1,000 student organizations. From advanced research to community service activities to Division I athletics, Ohio State has something for everyone. Their most popular majors among students are:

  • Psychology
  • Finance
  • Biology
  • Marketing
  • Management

Notables

Of all the public institutions in Ohio, The Ohio State University is ranked #1. Across the nation, Ohio State is named #16 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report. Complementing Ohio State’s top-rated College of Medicine is the university’s Wexner Medical Center, which is comprised of 20 institutes and 6 hospitals, is a leader in medical research, and is the only academic medical center in central Ohio.

4

Oberlin College

College Choice Score: 87.19

Average Net Price: $38,887

School Website

Oberlin College

Overview

What sets Oberlin College apart from other private, liberal arts schools is its world-class conservatory of music which is fully integrated into student life at Oberlin. Founded in 1833, Oberlin’s history includes being the first school in the U.S. to enroll African American students. Today, around 2,900 students attend Oberlin. Located in Oberlin, OH, this university has an 11:1 student/faculty ratio in the college and 6:1 in the conservatory.

Features

Oberlin College has always held the pursuit of social justice, environmental advocacy, and big dreams in high regard. Renowned throughout the world for its musical curriculum, Oberlin offers a dual degree program leading to a Bachelor’s of Arts and a Bachelor’s of Music. There are 55 majors that can be studied. The most popular ones are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Education
  • Economics
  • English Language and Literature

Notables

Oberlin College’s Conservatory of Music is the oldest conservatory in the country that has operated continuously since its inception in 1865. Oberlin hosts almost 550 events related to art and music every year, including 2 operas. Nationally, Oberlin is placed as #24 among liberal arts colleges and #4 in most innovative schools by U.S. News & World Report. Oberlin also ranks #13 for best teaching in undergraduate programs.

5

The College of Wooster

College Choice Score: 82.81

Average Net Price: $28,016

School Website

The College of Wooster

Overview

The College of Wooster in Wooster, OH considers itself as the leading college for “mentored undergraduate research” with 15 years of recognition as one of the best schools for undergraduate research and capstone projects by U.S. News & World Report. Wooster enrolls almost 2,100 students and 99% of attendees live on campus. With a student/faculty ratio of 11:1, this private liberal arts college was founded in 1866 by a reverend who was inspired by the area surrounding Wooster.

Features

The College of Wooster requires every student to complete an original research project with a faculty mentor. This one-on-one mentorship promotes independent thinking, critical analysis, project organization, and presentation skills. Wooster offers around 40 undergraduate majors for students. The most popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Philosophy and Religion
  • History
  • Physical Sciences

Notables

An impressive 92% of graduates from the College of Wooster either go on to graduate school or are employed within a year after graduation. Graduates credit their success to the critical thinking and complex research skills they learned while attending Wooster. U.S News & World Report ranked Wooster as #62 out of all liberal arts colleges in the country and as #22 for best undergraduate teaching.

6

University of Dayton

College Choice Score: 79.06

Average Net Price: $32,965

School Website

University_of_Dayton

Overview

As the largest private university in Ohio, the University of Dayton enrolls almost 10,000 students with a 16:1 student/faculty ratio. Located only a couple miles outside of Dayton, OH, this Catholic university was founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary. Today, UD is the top Catholic institution for sponsored engineering in the country.

Features

The University of Dayton follows a traditional Marianist education that addresses the whole person (mind, body, and spirit) and conveys the importance of becoming servant leaders. Teaching the principles of justice, peace, and service are key elements of UD’s mission. UD provides students with a choice of more than 130 undergraduate and graduate programs. The most popular majors include:

  • Business & Management
  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Health Studies

Notables

For 11 years running, Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine have named the University of Dayton’s entrepreneurship program as a top 20 program in the U.S. Also, Princeton Review, Kiplinger’s, and Money magazine all ranked UD as a best value. To foster a sense of community and service, UD owns hundreds of houses with front porches in surrounding neighborhoods that it uses for student housing. Lastly, UD’s undergraduate program in human rights studies was the first of its kind in the country.

7

Miami University-Oxford

College Choice Score: 78.07

Average Net Price: $21,775

School Website

Miami University

Overview

More than 19,000 students study at the Oxford, OH campus of Miami University. Named for the Miami Valley region in Ohio and the Native Americans who once lived there, Miami was founded in 1809. The school opened its doors to its first students in 1824. Miami is a public, co-educational university with a student/faculty ratio of 17:1.

Features

Miami University, Oxford builds its core education upon liberal arts and student engagement. The school prides itself on extending a personalized, academic experience and the attention typically found at a private institution to all its students – but with the opportunities of a big university setting. Miami has more than 120 undergraduate majors and 73 graduate and doctoral programs. The most popular majors include:

  • Business & Management
  • Education
  • Social Sciences
  • Recreation & Fitness Studies

Notables

Miami University, Oxford is the #1 public school across the country for Best Undergraduate Teaching, according to U.S. News & World Report. Echoing that sentiment, Fiske described the faculty as committed to student success at a public institution with the “true look and feel of a private”. Named a best value of public universities by Kiplinger’s, Miami students are involved in more than 500 organizations, including a strong tradition of Greek fraternities and sororities.

8

University of Cincinnati

College Choice Score: 74.13

Average Net Price: $19,739

School Website

University of Cincinnati

Overview

The University of Cincinnati was established in 1819. Today this public, co-educational university has around 44,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The student/faculty ratio is 17:1. Located in Cincinnati, OH, the school provides a first-class education through experience-based learning. Scholarship and research go hand-in-hand as UC focuses on meeting the needs of its city, state, country, and world.

Features

In 1906, the University of Cincinnati invented the concept of co-op education, and UC’s current curriculum is still underpinned by real-world learning more than 100 years later. Every UC student engages in some type of hands-on experience during their academic study. UC undergraduates can pick from over 250 undergraduate programs that lead to a degree. The most popular majors include:

  • Business & Management
  • Health Programs
  • Engineering
  • Visual & Performing Arts

Notables

The University of Cincinnati is the largest employer within the region and claims a $4 billion impact upon the city of Cincinnati. Additionally, the National Science Foundation ranked UC among the top 25 public research universities. U.S. News & World Report named UC as a top tier public university within the country. And Forbes magazine recognized UC’s campus as one of the most beautiful in the world.

9

Ohio Northern University

College Choice Score: 73.89

Average Net Price: $23,906

School Website

ohio-northern-university

Overview

Ohio Northern University is a small, private university located in Ada, OH, about 80 from Columbus. Originally established in 1871 by Henry S. Lehr, ONU has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1899. With almost 3,300 students currently enrolled, ONU has an 11:1 student/faculty ratio and small class sizes throughout its 5 colleges.

Features

Offering more than 70 areas of study, Ohio Northern University guides its students to find truth, beauty, and goodness in everything they do. Continuous growth is the overarching goal of an ONU education. Preparing students for life after ONU has resulted in 95% of students being employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. ONU’s popular majors are:

  • Business & Management
  • Engineering
  • Health Studies
  • Biology
  • Visual & Performing Arts

Notables

Ohio Northern University has received multiple accolades, including being named #6 of the best regional colleges in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Wall Street Journal placed ONU in the top 10 of best small colleges in the Midwest. As a best value for the money, ONU ranked #1 in Ohio and #2 in the country by College Factual. Even though the university is small, there are more than 150 clubs available for student participation.

10

Denison University

College Choice Score: 73.22

Average Net Price: $29,412

School Website

denison college

Overview

Denison University has an ultra-low 9:1 student/faculty ratio which ensures that its students will become active learners and collaborate closely with top-notch professors. At its Granville, OH campus, Denison enrolls approximately 2,200 students. Initially established in 1831, Denison was one of the first colleges in the original Northwest Territory in the U.S. This private, liberal arts institution is only a half hour from Columbus.

Features

Denison University encourages its students to become independent thinkers that can lead with integrity. Advanced reasoning and academic scholarship are some of the values that Denison emphasizes as part of its educational foundation. Denison offers around 50 areas of study and 11 pre-professional programs. New coursework was recently added in data analytics, global commerce, and narrative nonfiction writing. Denison’s popular majors are:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Visual & Performing Arts

Notables

The Wall Street Journal ranked Denison University among the 30 best liberal arts colleges in the country, and Kiplinger’s named Denison as a best value. In addition, Forbes listed Denison among top entrepreneurial colleges. Five years after graduation, 99% of alumni are either employed or pursuing graduate education and 93% of those are doing what they love.

11

Bowling Green State University

College Choice Score: 72.45

Average Net Price: $17,042

School Website

Bowling Green State University

Overview

Bowling Green State University’s initial purpose was to educate teachers. Founded in 1910, the school held its first classes in 1914 to provide instruction for 304 aspiring educators. Since then BGSU has grown to over 19,100 students with a student/faculty ratio of 20:1. BGSU is a public, co-educational institution and makes its home in Bowling Green, OH which is 30 minutes outside of Toledo.

Features

Bowling Green State University is composed of 8 colleges which include more than 200 majors and 50 graduate programs. Some of the popular majors at BGSU are listed:

  • Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Preschool Education

Bowling Green State University promotes a community of collaboration in which the success of many students will be paid forward to better the lives of people in Ohio and beyond.

Notables

The Hatch is similar in concept to the television show Shark Tank – and as the only university program of its kind, The Hatch has granted $350,000 to student entrepreneurs at Bowling Green State University. As part of its commitment to student success, BGSU organizes interested students into residential learning communities, which earned BGSU recognition from U.S. News & World Report. Also considered to be among the best in the nation is BSGU’s online master’s program in education.

12

Hiram College

College Choice Score: 71.89

Average Net Price: $22,194

School Website

Hiram College

Overview

Hiram College is approximately 35 miles from Cleveland, OH in the town of Hiram. The location was chosen in 1850 because it was “free of distractions” according to college founders. In fact, the 20th U.S. president James A. Garfield was a student, teacher, and principal at the institution in its early days. At present, Hiram College is a private, liberal arts school with nearly 1,100 students. Only 13 students make up an average class size and the college has a 10:1 student/faculty ratio.

Features

Hiram College categorizes itself as different and distinct with a distraction-free environment equipped for intellectual growth. The uniqueness of each person is celebrated and welcomed at Hiram, where students can study one or more of 32 majors with the option to devise a customized program. The most popular majors include:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Business Administration
  • Registered Nursing
  • Biology

Notables

Washington Monthly described Hiram College as among the top liberal arts schools in the U.S. as well as a best value in the Midwest. The Princeton Review ranked Hiram as one of the best Midwest colleges. Almost half of the student body chooses to study abroad. Others prefer the accelerated 3 year degree program. For adult learners, Hiram provides a Weekend School with classes held every other weekend.

13

Ohio University

College Choice Score: 71.87

Average Net Price: $19,613

School Website

OhioUniversity

Overview

Ohio University is a public, co-educational institution with roots that began in the year 1804. As such, OHIO lays claim to being the oldest public university in the state as well as in the historic Northwest Territory of the U.S. The university is located in Athens, OH and enrolls almost 24,000 students at its main campus. With a student/faculty ratio of 18:1, OHIO holds its average class size steady at 33 students.

Features

A culture of transformation across intellect, leadership, and research is the mission of Ohio University. Students can realize the best version of themselves while getting involved in some of the 450 student clubs and pursuing a degree within the 250 programs of study offered by OHIO. Popular majors include:

  • Registered Nursing
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Business Administration

Notables

Ohio University was named as the #74 school out of all public universities in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fiske labeled the university as a best buy, and Bloomberg Businessweek rated OHIO as among the top universities in the country for its undergraduate business degree. Also, OHIO’s graduate program for sports administration scored high marks from SportBusiness International.

14

John Carroll University

College Choice Score: 71.56

Average Net Price: $23,140

School Website

John_Carroll_University

Overview

In the U.S., there are only 28 Jesuit Catholic universities, and John Carroll University is one of them. Since its founding in 1886, JCU has a proud history of applying the Jesuit Catholic character to academics, service, and faith. Slightly more than 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students attend JCU. There are 20 students on average per class and the university’s student/faculty ratio is 14:1. Minutes from Cleveland, JCU is a private institution located in the suburbs of University Heights, OH.

Features

The academic curriculum at John Carroll University incorporates the Jesuit values of cura personalis, or care and respect for each person and the point of view that he or she can contribute. JCU allows students to pick from almost 70 programs in their academic field of interest. Popular majors are the following:

  • Business & Management
  • Social Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Biomedical Sciences

Notables

John Carroll University is highly ranked among universities in the Midwest and has earned a top 10 spot for 28 straight years. JCU placed #7 within regional universities, #2 for best undergraduate teaching, #7 among best colleges for veterans, and #20 for best value, according to U.S. News & World Report in its regional rankings. Additionally, JUC was included as a top 100 school by Money magazine.

15

Xavier University

College Choice Score: 71.53

Average Net Price: $28,111

School Website

Xavier_University

Overview

Xavier University was established in 1831 as the first Catholic college in Ohio and it wasn’t until 1840 that Jesuits undertook management of the school. Today, Xavier is a private, Jesuit Catholic university with around 4,600 undergraduate students. As one of 28 Jesuit Catholic universities, Xavier encourages its students to learn, lead, and serve as expressed by its Jesuit heritage. Class sizes at Xavier average around 20 students, and the student/faculty ratio is 11:1. Xavier is located in the city of Cincinnati, OH.

Features

Learning, integrity, and solidarity are the goals behind an Xavier University education and are echoed in the university mascot’s motto, “all for one, and one for all”. With more than 90 undergraduate majors, and 34 graduate programs, Xavier’s academics are all built upon a solid liberal arts tradition. Some of Xavier’s more popular majors include:

  • Business, Marketing, & Management
  • Liberal Arts
  • Humanities
  • Health Programs

Notables

Xavier University is the #4 university in the Midwest overall and also #4 in best colleges for veterans, says U.S. News & World Report. In fact, Xavier has garnered a top 10 ranking for best Midwest school every year for 22 years. Within 6 months of graduation, 97% of students have a job or enroll in graduate studies. Lastly, Xavier is well-known nationally for its men’s basketball team.

16

Ohio Dominican University

College Choice Score: 70.04

Average Net Price: $20,491

School Website

Ohio Dominican University

Overview

As its name implies, Ohio Dominican University is a Catholic Dominican university. Founded in 1911 in the Roman Catholic tradition, ODU was initially run as a school for women. This private, liberal arts institution is the only Catholic university in Central Ohio. Approximately 2,600 students are enrolled at the school’s Columbus, OH campus where the student/faculty ratio is 17:1.

Features

Ohio Dominican University brings together the passion and purpose of each student. ODU welcomes everyone who searches for truth and wants to share what has been learned. Continuous growth of the mind, of the spirit, and as a professional is the intention of academic education at ODU. Offering 40 undergraduate majors and 9 master’s programs, ODU’s popular majors include:

  • Business Management
  • Health Services
  • Sports & Fitness Administration

Notables

In the Midwest, Ohio Dominican University is #108 among regional universities as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. ODU is also considered a best school for military veterans as demonstrated through ODU’s PATRIOTS Program which was re-launched after 911 to help veterans earn a college degree. For adult learners, ODU’s continuing education curriculum ranked among top programs according to a survey in Columbus CEO magazine.

17

Ashland University

College Choice Score: 69.19

Average Net Price: $20,905

School Website

ashland_university

Overview

In total, nearly 6,000 students attend Ashland University with around 2,300 undergraduates at the main campus in Ashland, OH. There are 20 students in class on average and the student/faculty ratio is 16:1. At Ashland, each student is treated individually and receives support from faculty during class as well as outside of class. This private, liberal arts and sciences institution was founded by the Brethren Church in 1878.

Features

Christian beliefs and values form the basis of the educational philosophy at Ashland University. Individuals are nurtured and student character is developed during academic study. Leadership and service opportunities are part of the Ashland community. The university provides more than 70 majors and programs to students. The most popular majors are:

  • Nursing
  • Business Administration
  • Education of Students with Disabilities
  • Exercise Science

Notables

Ashland University is a regionally strong school with 93% of its graduates employed or pursuing further education within 6 months of graduation. According to Washington Monthly, Ashland is among the best institutions in Ohio – only 3 OH universities were recognized with a top ranking. In the region, Ashland has one of the largest numbers of graduate students. Ashland is also Ohio’s largest provider of continuing education credits required for teachers.

18

Capital University

College Choice Score: 67.92

Average Net Price: $22,044

School Website

Capital University

Overview

Capital University is surrounded by the historic neighborhood of Bexley in Columbus, OH. Slightly less than 3,600 students are enrolled at this private, liberal arts university. About 90% of students are from the state of OH. Founded in 1830 by the Lutherans, Capital is the oldest university in Central Ohio. The student/faculty ratio is 12:1 and most classes have less than 25 students.

Features

Capital University’s roots are based in its Lutheran heritage and the concept of free inquiry. Capital aims to give students a transformational experience through its education in which critical thinking and open dialogue are key elements. Students can mature and become ready for lives of continuous learning, leadership, and civic responsibility. Capital has 60 majors within its undergraduate and graduate programs. The most popular majors are:

  • Health Studies
  • Business Management
  • Education
  • Visual & Performing Arts
  • Social Sciences

Notables

U.S. News & World Report named Capital University as a top 10 best value in the Midwest, and Capital was also recognized by Money magazine for its value. Capital earned the #25 spot for best colleges for veterans in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report. And, within 6 months of graduating, 92% of Capital graduates find employment or undertake advanced degrees.

19

The University of Findlay

College Choice Score: 67.86

Average Net Price: $22,001

School Website

The University of Findlay

Overview

In 1882, the town of Findlay, OH and the Churches of God, General Conference came together to establish a school where community members could discover their calling, and the University of Findlay was created. More than 4,100 students chose Findlay and the student/faculty ratio is 16:1. This private, co-educational university leverages science, art, and technology as its educational foundation.

Features

The University of Findlay is known for its niche offerings in animal science, particularly equestrian studies, arts education, and physical therapy. However, students can decide to study any of 60 undergraduate programs or 13 graduate programs offered by the university. Popular undergraduate majors include:

  • Animal Science
  • Pharmacy
  • Business
  • Equestrian Studies
  • Biology

Pursuit of a meaningful, productive life fostered by an attentive community is the goal of Findlay’s educational experience. In addition to academics, students can join some of the 100 organizations available on campus.

Notables

The University of Findlay enrolls almost 600 international students – one of the highest international student populations in the Midwest. Also, Findlay has been recognized for 11 years running by U.S. News & World Report for regional top honors as well as placing #34 among best colleges for veterans. The Princeton Review concurs, naming Findlay as one of the best universities in the Midwest.

20

Bluffton University

College Choice Score: 67.78

Average Net Price: $22,014

School Website

Bluffton_University

Overview

Approximately 1,100 students take classes at Bluffton University, located in the northwest Ohio city of Bluffton. Mennonites founded the school with an emphasis on peace and service in 1899, and currently Bluffton enrolls mostly non-Mennonites from 24 different religious faiths. Bluffton is a private, co-educational institution with an 11:1 student/faculty ratio. The majority of classes have 20 students or fewer.

Features

Four distinct values shape college life at Bluffton University: discovery, community, respect, and service. These key elements are woven into the curriculum, activities, and culture at Bluffton. Exploring faith and Christian beliefs are central to Bluffton’s identity. The university has 90 academic programs for undergraduates and graduates. Bluffton’s most popular majors are:

  • Organizational Behavior Studies
  • Social Work
  • Business Management
  • Sports/Fitness Administration

Notables

Bluffton University is among the best schools in the Midwest and scored the #29 spot regionally, according to U.S. News & World Report. Bluffton also earned top honors overall among Christian colleges and universities and specifically for its mission programs. On campus, students are held to high standards, including no drinking, no smoking, and no drugs. An honor code is place for research papers and exams – exams are administered without proctors.

21

Franciscan University of Steubenville

College Choice Score: 66.58

Average Net Price: $25,003

School Website

Franciscan University of Steubenville

Overview

Established in 1946 by the first bishop of Steubenville, OH, the Franciscan University of Steubenville has a passionate tradition of Catholicism. Today’s students number around 2,800 and there is a 15:1 student/faculty ratio. As a side note, Franciscan’s first students were WWII veterans who studied via the GI Bill. The university is a private, Catholic and Franciscan institution that promotes reason and truth alongside its vigorous religious commitment.

Features

The teachings of St. Francis of Assisi inspire the educational curriculum at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. There are 20 Franciscan Friars on campus to help guide students. Half of the student body participates in study abroad, and more than 320 students travel to Austria where students live and learn in a restored monastery near the Alps. More than 40 undergraduate majors are available. Franciscan’s most popular majors include:

  • Theological Studies
  • Accounting
  • Registered Nursing
  • Psychology

Notables

In the Midwest, the Franciscan University of Steubenville is considered #22 among best universities, as recognized by U.S. News & World Report. Franciscan ranked nationally in the top 10 of most conservative colleges by Young America’s Foundation. And, Kiplinger’s placed the university on its list of best value schools. Every year, over 400 students serve on Missions of Peace missionary outreach.

22

Otterbein University

College Choice Score: 65.52

Average Net Price: $26,200

School Website

otterbein-university

Overview

Westerville, OH is a pleasant suburb outside of Columbus where Otterbein University makes it home. Otterbein was established in 1847 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. Women and minority faculty and students were welcomed from day one – the country’s first university to do so. Today nearly 3,000 students attend Otterbein with an 11:1 student/faculty ratio. Otterbein is a private, co-educational institution with a typical class size of less than 20 students.

Features

Otterbein University gives students opportunity. Students of every background are afforded opportunities in higher education, university governance, experience-based learning, and employment. Improving the common good via community service is a big part of student life with over 70,000 hours logged yearly. Otterbein’s courses of study include undergraduate and graduate programs across over 70 majors. Popular majors at Otterbein are:

  • Health Studies
  • Business Management
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Notables

Otterbein University’s theatre and dance program is well-known throughout the country. Specifically in the Midwest, Otterbein is highly respected and sits at #11 for top universities and #11 for best schools for veterans, according to U.S. News & World Report. Nationally, Otterbein ranked #26. Also, Washington Monthly has recognized the school for its commitment to the public good through its student and faculty service projects.

23

Kent State University

College Choice Score: 65.51

Average Net Price: $18,106

School Website

kent-state-university-copy

Overview

Perhaps the most widely associated event with Kent State University is the 1970 shooting of 13 students (4 fatally injured) during anti-war protests. From this tragedy, Kent State has become a national proponent of non-violent civil dialogue and ideals of democracy. Today the university enrolls more than 30,000 students at its main campus in Kent, OH. This public, co-educational institution was founded in 1910 and around half of all classes have less than 20 students.

Features

Kent State University is among the largest universities in the U.S. with more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. State-of-the-art research, including the discovery of liquid crystals now found in LCDs, and expert faculty are part of the academic learning at Kent State.

Some of the more popular majors at Kent State are:

  • Business Administration
  • Nursing
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Notables

Kent State University is ranked nationally as a public institution with quality academics by U.S. News & World Report. Kent State comes in at #101 among top schools with notable success as having the #1 flight program in the state, having the #4 program for fashion design and merchandising in the U.S., and gaining national recognition for psychology research into stress disorders and trauma.

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Cleveland State University

College Choice Score: 65.43

Average Net Price: $15,377

School Website

Cleveland State University

Overview

Cleveland State University is located in the middle of downtown Cleveland, OH, and the school’s campus buzzes with the energy of the city and the students alike. Nearly 17,800 students attend CSU and the number grows each year. In fact, one third of the student population is comprised of graduate students. Almost 1,400 are international students. Established in 1964, CSU is a public, co-educational university looking to become the best urban, public institution in Ohio.

Features

Eight colleges make up the breadth of Cleveland State University, and more than 200 majors and courses of study are available to students. Popular academic programs include:

  • Engineering
  • Health Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • Education

CSU is all about “engaged learning” which emphasizes hands-on learning, lab research, partnerships with business and industry, and a unique interaction with the surrounding city of Cleveland and its residents.

Notables

Recent revitalization of both the campus and nearby city neighborhoods has greatly influenced the student population at Cleveland State University. There are fewer commuter students and a larger percentage of students living in dorms or off-campus housing. In the past few years, CSU has been recognized by Forbes and U.S. News & World Report as among the top schools in the country.

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Malone University

College Choice Score: 65.08

Average Net Price: $19,554

School Website

Malone University

Overview

The tight integration of Christian belief and education is what draws students to Malone University. Founded in 1892 by Friends, Malone grew from a small bible college into a private, liberal arts university. Malone is situated in the suburbs of Canton, OH where almost 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students attend classes. The student/faculty ratio is 13:1. Malone prepares students to hear the call of God and be active in their faith.

Features

The pillars of Malone University’s academic core are closely tied to tenets of the Evangelical Friends Church. Each semester, students are required to participate in 20 SFOs (spiritual formation opportunity) which range from worship to student-led discussion. Malone offers 53 undergraduate majors and 13 graduate programs, and some of the school’s popular majors are:

  • Nursing
  • Business Management
  • Physical and Exercise Science
  • Education
  • Journalism

Notables

The Templeton Foundation named Malone University as a top school for prioritizing the importance of good character among students. Malone scored #69 among Midwestern universities by U.S. News & World Report, #39 as a best college for veterans, and #12 in greatest value for the money. Across the country, Malone is highly rated for career success, financial aid, and affordability.

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