Best Small Colleges in Ohio 2023

Best Small Colleges in Ohio 2023

Small colleges in Ohio are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

10 Best Small Colleges in Ohio 2022

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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.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

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

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The following list of the best small colleges and universities in Ohio is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 52 small colleges in Ohio. The list below of the 25 best small colleges in Ohio. To be included schools must fully accredited, and must have student body populations below 5,000 students.

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Ohio: Small Colleges, Big Student Outcomes

Ohio has a wide range of higher education learning environments like small colleges, large schools, and world-class research institutions. The major cities both have large and medium-sized schools, while others have a mix of public and private universities with some liberal arts institution and research university options.

With a handful of large universities in Ohio, is enrolling in a small college worth it? What are the best small colleges in Ohio that deliver the same quality of education as the bigger ones? And why should you attend a small college?

Why Attending a Small College is a Wise Choice

Most of the time, the first college of choice for many students is the bigger and larger universities, because these schools are known to deliver the best quality education. But did you know that smaller colleges are great choices as well?

There are so many advantages to attending small colleges in Ohio. These schools are more personalized, and they offer the chance to get more one-on-one attention. Below are a few of the compelling reasons for attending a smaller college.

Smaller Class Sizes: Smaller colleges have smaller class sizes. Therefore, they encourage greater participation in class. Most of the time, students get more out of their classes in small colleges than they can get jotting down notes in big lecture halls at large public universities.

In terms of classroom and small group discussions, students have a better grasp of concepts, develop critical thinking skills, and get to meet and keep new friends.

Better Interaction with Professors: In large colleges and universities, students often do not get much personal interaction with their professors. There are even cases where classes are taught by adjunct professors or graduate students. This is not typical in a small college.

Professors in small colleges are normally available during office hours. Students have the chance to get to know their professors on a more personal level. This can be especially advantageous when asking for letters of reference later. The same applies to college administrators and other school personnel.

Less Competition for Scholarships and Financial Aid: Fewer students means less competition for scholarships and financial aid. As a result, students in smaller schools often get more financial support.

Students also have better chances of obtaining a work-study program. Students are likely to land a position at a smaller school because the competition for campus jobs is more manageable.

Stronger Sense of Community: Small colleges typically have a strong sense of community. Because of the small size of the student body, students have an easier time making friends not only within their program, but in other departments as well.

And another added benefit is that a close community makes it less likely for students to feel alone or homesick.

Better Curriculum Flexibility: Small colleges provide their students with more flexibility in terms of creating and developing their curricula. Students get to follow different procedures and work with the relevant departments in forming their own major or self-study programs. This is something that may be more difficult in a larger schools.

Student Performance is Evaluated More Carefully: In larger universities, professors and advisers may be overwhelmed by the stacks of exams to grade and papers to read. This makes it very difficult for them to provide meaningful feedback or give individual attention to their students.

In smaller schools, professors have more time to give feedback and guidance. Some students may find this intimidating, but it is one of the most efficient ways to grow and learn intellectually.

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Best Small Colleges in Ohio 2022

  1. #1

    Oberlin College

    Oberlin , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    34%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1315/30

  2. Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1057/22

  3. #13

    Marietta College

    Marietta , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/22

  4. #15

    Central State University

    Wilberforce , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    4K

  5. Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    <1K

    Union Institute & University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Management
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business Administration
    • Human Resources Management
    • Organizational Leadership
    • Applied Technology & Business Leadership
    • Healthcare Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Emergency Services Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Social Work
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Child & Adolescent Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #19

    Hiram College

    Hiram , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/20

    Hiram College’s Online Degrees

    BS in Accounting And Financial Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #21

    Walsh University

    North Canton , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1074/22

  8. #22

    Notre Dame College

    Cleveland , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Notre Dame College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    Notre Dame College’s Online Degrees

    BA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 82
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 103-107
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Education
    Degree Concentrations
    • Mild/Moderate Intervention Specialist
    • Early Childhood
    • Required Credits: 119
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #23

    Muskingum University

    New Concord , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Muskingum University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Accounting
    Degree Concentrations
    • Public
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Management
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Resource Management
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Marketing
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Occupational Science
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Intervention Specialist
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Communication
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accelerated
    • Required Credits: 71
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Community Health And Wellness
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Science
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Healthcare Management
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Medical Laboratory Studies
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sport And Fitness Science
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #24

    Shawnee State University

    Portsmouth , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Shawnee State University known for?

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

  11. Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/24

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Ohio’s Best Small 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 utilized 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. Kenyon College
  3. Denison University
  4. College of Wooster
  5. Ohio Wesleyan University
  6. John Carroll University
  7. Hiram College
  8. Wittenberg University
  9. Malone University
  10. University of Mount Union
  11. Marietta College
  12. Otterbein University
  13. Ohio Northern University
  14. Franciscan University of Steubenville
  15. Ursuline College
  16. Antioch University Midwest
  17. Ashland University
  18. Capital University
  19. Muskingum University
  20. Baldwin Wallace University
  21. Cedarville University
  22. University of Findlay
  23. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
  24. Walsh University
  25. Mount St. Joseph University