Best Private Colleges in Ohio 2022

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.

Best Private Colleges in Ohio 2022

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 the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, 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 bachelor’s 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. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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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! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 41 private universities in Ohio. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in Ohio, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in Ohio

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    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
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    Oberlin College

    Oberlin , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1380/31

    What is Oberlin College known for?

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

    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Economics
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Denison University

    Granville , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    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
    • Economics
    • Physics
    • Philosophy
    • Law
    • Anthropology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #5

    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:

    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Law
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #6

    Ashland University

    Ashland , OH
    Other Rankings

    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:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Social Work
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #7

    John Carroll University

    University Heights , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    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
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #8

    Ohio Wesleyan University

    Delaware , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    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:

    • Law
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Literature
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #9

    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:

    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #10

    Wittenberg University

    Springfield , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    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:

    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #11

    College of Wooster

    Wooster , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    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:

    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Chemistry
    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Literature
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. Tuition + fees

    $35K

    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
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. 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
    • Anthropology
    • Economics
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Communications
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #14

    University of Mount Union

    Alliance , OH

    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:

    • Economics
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #15

    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
    • Nursing
    • Law
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  15. #16

    Marietta College

    Marietta , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    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:

    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • History
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #17

    Tiffin University

    Tiffin , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Tiffin University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #18

    Capital University

    Columbus , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    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:

    • Religious Studies
    • Law
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #19

    Wilberforce University

    Wilberforce , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    788/17

    What is Wilberforce University known for?

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

    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #20

    Union Institute & University

    Cincinnati , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Union Institute & University known for?

    Union Institute & University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #21

    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
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  21. #22

    Malone University

    Canton , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    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:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Business
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #23

    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:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. #24

    Notre Dame College

    Cleveland , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1000/18

    What is Notre Dame College known for?

    Notre Dame College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #25

    Muskingum University

    New Concord , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    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:

    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

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Ohio’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Oberlin College
  2. Case Western Reserve University
  3. Kenyon College
  4. Denison University
  5. College of Wooster
  6. Ohio Wesleyan University
  7. John Carroll University
  8. Xavier University
  9. Hiram College
  10. Wittenberg University
  11. Malone University
  12. University of Dayton
  13. University of Mount Union
  14. Marietta College
  15. Otterbein University
  16. Ohio Northern University
  17. Franciscan University of Steubenville
  18. Ursuline College
  19. Antioch University Midwest
  20. Ashland University
  21. Capital University
  22. Muskingum University
  23. Baldwin Wallace University
  24. Cedarville University
  25. University of Findlay
  26. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
  27. Walsh University
  28. Mount St. Joseph University