Best Public Colleges in Ohio 2022

Best Public Colleges in Ohio 2022

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Ohio provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

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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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 25 public universities in Ohio. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Ohio, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

How do we determine Ohio's best public 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.

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Best Public Colleges in Ohio 2022

  1. #2

    University of Cincinnati

    Cincinnati , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    33K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/26

    What is University of Cincinnati known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Law
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #4

    Ohio University

    Athens , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/23

    What is Ohio University known for?

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

    • Communications
    • Education
    • History
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Earth Sciences
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #5

    Kent State University

    Kent , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

    What is Kent State University known for?

    Kent State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Anthropology
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #6

    Bowling Green State University

    Bowling Green , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    990/21

    What is Bowling Green State University known for?

    Bowling Green State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • History
    • Education
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #7

    University of Akron

    Akron , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/22

    What is University of Akron known for?

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

    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Law
    • Medical
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #8

    Cleveland State University

    Cleveland , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/22

    What is Cleveland State University known for?

    Cleveland State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #9

    University of Toledo

    Toledo , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/23

    What is University of Toledo known for?

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

    • Medical
    • History
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Law

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #10

    Wright State University

    Dayton , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1104/21

    What is Wright State University known for?

    Wright State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #11

    Youngstown State University

    Youngstown , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    What is Youngstown State University known for?

    Youngstown State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Earth Sciences
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Anthropology
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #12

    Central State University

    Wilberforce , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    810/15

    What is Central State University known for?

    Central State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #13

    Shawnee State University

    Portsmouth , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Shawnee State University known for?

    Shawnee State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Biology
  12. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    3K

    What is University of Cincinnati Clermont College known for?

    University of Cincinnati Clermont College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Chemistry
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Sociology
  13. #15

    Miami University Middletown

    Middletown , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Miami University Middletown known for?

    Miami University Middletown’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Medical
  14. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Kent State University at Stark known for?

    Kent State University at Stark’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Medical
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Kent State University at Ashtabula known for?

    Kent State University at Ashtabula’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Business
  16. #18

    Miami University Hamilton

    Hamilton , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    16%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Miami University Hamilton known for?

    Miami University Hamilton’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Literature
  17. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Ohio University Southern Campus known for?

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

    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
  18. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Kent State University at Salem known for?

    Kent State University at Salem’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Business
  19. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Ohio State University at Newark known for?

    Ohio State University at Newark’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • History
    • Business
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Literature
  20. #22

    Ohio University – Chillicothe

    Chillicothe , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Ohio University – Chillicothe known for?

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

    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Earth Sciences
  21. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Ohio State University at Mansfield known for?

    Ohio State University at Mansfield’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Business
    • Education
  22. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    13%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Ohio State University at Marion known for?

    Ohio State University at Marion’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • History
    • Education
  23. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Ohio State University at Lima known for?

    Ohio State University at Lima’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Business
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Ohio’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

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. University of Cincinnati
  2. Ohio State University
  3. Ohio University
  4. Bowling Green State University
  5. Miami University
  6. Cleveland State University
  7. Kent State University
  8. University of Toledo
  9. University of Akron
  10. Ohio State University at Mansfield

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