Ohio’s Best Private Colleges & Universities of 2021

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Ohio.

Ohio’s Best Private Colleges & Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Ohio

Ohio offers over 120 colleges and universities for students to earn their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. The largest school in the state, Ohio State University, a public institution, serves almost 55,000 students. This university has five regional campuses, which have graduated alumni like writer Harlan Ellison and Wikipedia cofounder Larry Sanger. The majority of Ohio’s schools, however, are private.

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Tuition at these schools varies greatly, with costs as low as $7,000 at God’s Bible School and College, and as high as $56,000 at Kenyon University. The state is also home to nearly 40 higher education institutes with religious affiliations, offering plenty of options for students aiming to blend their faith with higher education. Although tuition costs in Ohio are higher than the national average, Ohio provides several loan forgiveness programs to those pursuing careers as public defenders and prosecutors, dentists, nurses, primary care physicians, and mental health providers. Many of these programs require individuals to work in shortage areas around the state for a certain time period in order to qualify.

If you’re someone with a wide variety of interests, Ohio might just be the place for you. In The Buckeye State, individuals can visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, take a trip through Amish Country, attend a professional sporting event, and hike waterfalls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It seems this state has something for everyone, including those pursuing a higher education degree.

Learn more about the numerous excellent degree paths and career prospects available in Ohio.


What are Ohio’s Colleges & Universities?

Ohio’s Best Overall

What is a public college? And what is the difference between a private and public college?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models — one is a private company with private funding; the other is owned by the state and receives both state and federal funding to operate. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of private vs. public college, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a four-year degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a four-year public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually.

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How do we determine Ohio's best private colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees. We’ve identified 42 private universities in Ohio, 28 of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best private universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a private, non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 50%.

Best Private Colleges & Universities in Ohio

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    30%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1425/32

    What is Case Western Reserve University known for?

    Case Western Reserve University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #4

    Denison University

    Granville , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    28%

    Graduation

    80%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1305/29

    What is Denison University known for?

    Denison University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Law
    • Economics
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Biology
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    REQUEST INFO
  3. #5

    College of Wooster

    Wooster , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1265/27

    What is College of Wooster known for?

    College of Wooster’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Ohio Wesleyan University known for?

    Ohio Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Law
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #7

    John Carroll University

    University Heights , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1180/25

    What is John Carroll University known for?

    John Carroll University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    REQUEST INFO
  6. #8

    Xavier University

    Cincinnati , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/25

    What is Xavier University known for?

    Xavier University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #9

    Hiram College

    Hiram , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1006/21

    What is Hiram College known for?

    Hiram College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Religious Studies

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #10

    Wittenberg University

    Springfield , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1112/23

    What is Wittenberg University known for?

    Wittenberg University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. #11

    Malone University

    Canton , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1054/22

    What is Malone University known for?

    Malone University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. #12

    University of Dayton

    Dayton , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1220/26

    What is University of Dayton known for?

    University of Dayton’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Law
    • Mathematics
    REQUEST INFO
  11. Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/22

    What is University of Mount Union known for?

    University of Mount Union’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    REQUEST INFO
  12. #14

    Marietta College

    Marietta , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/22

    What is Marietta College known for?

    Marietta College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Communications
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  13. #15

    Otterbein University

    Westerville , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1152/23

    What is Otterbein University known for?

    Otterbein University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  14. Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    76%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1204/25

    What is Ohio Northern University known for?

    Ohio Northern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Law
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • History
    REQUEST INFO
  15. Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    What is Franciscan University of Steubenville known for?

    Franciscan University of Steubenville’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Economics
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  16. #18

    Ursuline College

    Pepper Pike , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1029/20

    What is Ursuline College known for?

    Ursuline College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    REQUEST INFO
  17. #19

    Antioch University Midwest

    Yellow Springs , OH

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Antioch University Midwest known for?

    Antioch University Midwest’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  18. #20

    Ashland University

    Ashland , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/21

    What is Ashland University known for?

    Ashland University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Economics
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  19. #21

    Capital University

    Columbus , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/23

    What is Capital University known for?

    Capital University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Law
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    REQUEST INFO
  20. #22

    Muskingum University

    New Concord , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/20

    What is Muskingum University known for?

    Muskingum University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    REQUEST INFO
  21. Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1146/24

    What is Baldwin Wallace University known for?

    Baldwin Wallace University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  22. #24

    Cedarville University

    Cedarville , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/26

    What is Cedarville University known for?

    Cedarville University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Business
    • Law
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Computer Science
    REQUEST INFO
  23. #25

    University of Findlay

    Findlay , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1151/23

    What is University of Findlay known for?

    University of Findlay’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Literature
    • Law
    REQUEST INFO
  24. Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/22

    What is Mount Vernon Nazarene University known for?

    Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • History
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  25. #27

    Walsh University

    North Canton , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1082/22

    What is Walsh University known for?

    Walsh University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Law
    • Philosophy
    REQUEST INFO
  26. #28

    Mount St. Joseph University

    Cincinnati , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    What is Mount St. Joseph University known for?

    Mount St. Joseph University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Law
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

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