Best Online Colleges in Ohio for 2020

Ohio is one of the most purely American of states, settled and developed free of British influence, with a clearly-stated intention to make the frontier represent the very best of American values. George Washington himself called Ohio’s founding careful and deliberate. That careful deliberation extends to Ohio’s higher education system, as the needs of Ohio’s diverse regions and many economic bases requires a full command of the humanities, sciences, technology, and healthcare. With rural, agricultural regions, major metropolitan populations, and heavily industrial, Rust Belt cities, Ohio is many places, all going through their own demographic changes, economic shifts, and educational development. And for many of Ohio’s working adults, career-changing professionals, and 21st century students, online education is the most logical choice.

Ohio’s colleges and universities – from its private religious colleges to its major public research institutions – have taken on online education to meet a multitude of needs, from the demand for marketable, profitable credentials to the desire for freedom, flexibility, and convenience. Whether students are in Ohio or across the ocean, online education can help.

Ranking the Best Online Colleges in Ohio 

The programs featured in Value Colleges’ Best Online Colleges in Ohio have found the best balance between affordability, accessibility, and quality, and they deserve to be celebrated. Value Colleges features only accredited, reputable institutions ranked based on the number of available online programs; all stats are gathered directly from the institution’s published catalog for complete accuracy.

1. University of Toledo

The University of Toledo offers more than 20 online degree programs through the school’s distance learning platform. The University of Toledo is considered among the best online colleges in Ohio. UT’s online degree programs are provided for students studying at associates, bachelor’s, masters, and doctorate programs. As one of the top online colleges in Ohio, The University of Toledo offers distance learning degrees in accounting, business, management computers, information services, and programming, to name a few.

The University of Toledo was established in 1872. UT’s urban campuses (the main and health campus) cover nearly 1,500 acres and serve more than 23,000 students. Including the online platform, the University of Toledo operates with fifteen colleges/schools. The University of Toledo has a student to faculty ratio of 20 to 1. Highlight – The University of Toledo has more than 100,000 living alumni across the world. 

Number of Online Programs: 22

2. Ohio Christian University

Ohio Christian University is one of the top online colleges in Ohio, offering seventeen-degree programs that can be completed entirely online. Ohio Christian University’s distance learning platform provides degree opportunities in accounting, business, marketing, English, history, psychology, criminal justice, and technology. The best online colleges in Ohio, like Ohio Christian University, provide graduate degrees in leadership, ministry, and business administration, among others. The majority of baccalaureate degrees offered by OCU required the completion of 120 credit units to graduate.

Ohio Christian University was established in 1947 as a bible college. Ohio Christian University is affiliated with the Churches of Christ in Christian Union. Ohio Christian University’s rural campus and online platform administration are situated on the fringes of Circleville and serve more than 2,900 students. Highlight – Ohio Christian University offers associates, baccalaureate, and master’s degree programs, plus adult and continuing education online.

Number of Online Programs: 17

3. Ohio University

Ohio University is one of the best online colleges in Ohio. OU Athens offers more than fifteen online degree programs (associates-level and baccalaureate-level) that allow students to set up a study plan based on their scheduling requirements. The bachelor level degree programs offered by one of the top online colleges in Ohio include communication, leadership, criminal justice, RN to BSN, psychology, technical operations, to name a few. Students can opt for two-year degree programs in Equine Studies/Applied Science, Humanities, Science, Business, and Social Science, among others.

Ohio University was established in 1804. The student enrollment for Ohio University on the Athens campus alone exceeds 20,000. OU Athens is a space-grant institution of higher learning and recognized as the 8th oldest institution of higher education in the nation. Highlight – Ohio University holds the distinction of being the first institution of higher education chartered by the United Congress and the oldest university in the state.

Number of Online Programs: 16

4. Walsh University

Walsh University, as one of the top online colleges in Ohio, offers eleven online programs through its digital campus, distance learning platform. The best online colleges in Ohio, like Walsh University, even provide accelerated degree programs designed for working learners with limited time. Available undergraduate programs are available in communications, healthcare, management, cybersecurity, accounting, and marketing, to name a few. Graduate programs that can be completed online 100% include business, computer science, education, and nursing.

Walsh University was established in 1960 and is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. This private school began as the Brothers of Christian Instruction but became a university 33 years later. Walsh University serves nearly 3,000 students (from more than 40 countries & 40 States) studying for more than 68 major degree programs, plus an international campus in Italy. Highlight – The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College endorses Walsh University.

Number of Online Programs: 11

5. Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College is recognized among the best online colleges in Ohio. Notre Dame College offers fifteen distance-learning degree programs that have been developed for business working professionals (or stay at home parents, etc.) who need flexibility and convenience to complete their college-level academic degree. NDC’s online programs are available for an associate degree (2 programs), bachelor’s degree (8 programs) and graduate degrees (5 programs). As one of the top online colleges in Ohio, Notre Dame College provides students an opportunity to increase earnings potential and to reach career objectives while they study at their own pace. 

Notre Dame College was originally founded in the early 1920s as a women’s catholic liberal arts institution of higher education that remains affiliated with the Catholic Church. Notre Dame College’s urban campus covers nearly 50 acres and serves more than 2,000 students studying for degrees from the school’s five divisions of academia. Highlight – NDC was once a residential school, but that changes when NDC began to offer WECO – an additional education delivery method with classes exclusively held on the weekend.

Number of Online Programs: 9

6. Youngstown State University

Youngstown State University, viewed as one of top online colleges in Ohio, offers eight-degree programs through their cutting-edge distance learning platform to about 1,500 students annually. Undergraduate programs offered by one of the best online colleges in Ohio include public health, allied health, respiratory care, criminal justice, nursing, and general studies. Graduate online programs include criminal justice, education/special education, engineering, business administration, health/human services, and educational administration, among others.

Youngstown State University was established in 1908 but joined the University System of Ohio in 1967 as a member school. Youngstown State University’s urban campus is located just to the north of Youngstown’s downtown area cover more than 100 acres. It serves more than 12,500 students studying for degrees through the doctorate level. Highlight – The downtown campus of Youngstown State University is home to buildings built before the Great Depression. 

Number of Online Programs: 8

7. Franklin University

Franklin University is one of the top online colleges in Ohio offering eight distance learning degree programs designed for working learners or parents busy with family obligations. Franklin University, as one of the best online colleges in Ohio, includes degree programs in accounting/finance, business, healthcare, management, social sciences, communications, and technology. Franklin University’s online academic degrees offer affordability and convenience for students with time limitations or budgetary concerns. Franklin University’s curriculum is consistently recognized among the top online programs in the state.

Franklin University was established in 1902. This private institution of higher learning was created to serve the educational needs of adult learners. Distance learners of Franklin University’s degree programs hail from more than 70 nations across the globe. Highlight – Franklin University operates more than 20 locations throughout the Midwest of the country; however, Franklin University’s student population is mostly online learners.

Number of Online Programs: 8

8. Kent State University

Kent State University is recognized as one of the best online colleges in Ohio, with seven quality degree programs available to students who cannot attend classes on-campus or need the convenience that a distance learning platform offers. As one of the top online colleges in Ohio, KSU Online provides online associate degrees in accounting technology, criminal justice, environmental management, and information technology/office technology.  Baccalaureate degrees include an RN to BSN program, an insurance studies program, and information technology.

Kent State University was established in 1910. The university hit the headlines when student activists protested the Viet Nam war. The combined student enrollment total for all campuses exceeds 39,000, making Kent State University one Ohio’s largest institution of higher learning. Highlight – Kent State University operates from its Kent, OH main campus, plus a distance learning extension and seven satellite facilities across the state.  

Number of Online Programs: 7

9. Miami University

Miami University’s ecampus offers six distance learning academic degrees which can be completed entirely online. As one of the top online colleges in Ohio, Miami of Ohio offers the same rigorous coursework as an on-campus student. The best online colleges in Ohio, like Miami University, offer associate and undergraduate degree programs in health information, pre-kindergarten education, business management, English, health communication, and business. These online programs offer flexibility and convenience to busy working learners or those with family obligations.

Miami University was established in 1809 and is a member school of the University System of Ohio. Miami of Ohio operates from the main campus in Oxford plus several regional satellite branches in Ohio. The school’s college-town campus (including all campuses) serves nearly 25,000 students Highlight – Miami of Ohio operates a boarding campus in Luxembourg. 

Number of Online Programs: 6

10. Malone University

Malone University is considered one of the best online colleges in Ohio, offering six-degree programs through the schools’ distance learning platform. The online degree programs offered by one of the top online colleges in Ohio include an associate degree in general studies or baccalaureate level degree programs in social work, organizational leadership, marketing, and business administration. Graduate-level degrees offered online by Malone University include RN to BSN, an MBA, or a graduate degree in educational leadership and an MA in Organizational Leadership.

Malone University is a private institution of higher education that was established in 1892. The schools’ urban campus consists of 25+ buildings on nearly 100 acres. Malone University is home to more than 1,600 students studying for degrees offered by four academic divisions – Business/Leadership, Health Sciences/Nursing, Theology, and Human Development/Education. Highlight – Malone University is closely affiliated with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Number of Online Programs: 6

What is the Value of Online Education in Ohio?

An education is so beneficial to a person’s life. However, for some, getting a higher education isn’t possible immediately proceeding high school. Once a person starts working, especially a full-time schedule, an adult isn’t able to adhere to a traditional schedule at a brick-and-mortar school. However, Ohio online colleges make it possible for these individuals to obtain the education they desire. An adult who’s going to college for the first time may fit a college education into his or her schedule by finishing classes before or after work. The same applies to adults looking to switch careers or advance in the field they’re in. 

In addition, Ohio online colleges give parents the ability to go back to school while still taking care of their kids. They can take care of their little ones while completing their homework, or they can complete their coursework when the kids are at school or sleeping. Rural citizens live far away from towns where schools are. The commute back and forth to school is a lot of wasted time and wear and tear on a person’s car. Additionally, in the winter, rural students may have to miss school. Accredited online colleges in Ohio alleviate all of these issues. A student never has to leave his or her house to get an education from accredited online colleges in Ohio, unless a course requires some on-campus classes. 

What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in Ohio?

Students who are looking into Ohio online degrees can benefit from the various types of programs available. For instance, a pupil may earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate in online degree programs in Ohio. 

The types of Ohio online degree programs students have to choose from range from majors like criminal justice, engineering, dental hygiene, psychology, business, nursing, and more. For instance, a student may choose one of the Ohio online degrees at an associate’s degree level in early childhood education, photography, accounting, marketing, or healthcare administration. At a bachelor’s degree level, students may earn degrees in these subjects, among others. For instance, online degree programs in Ohio like engineering and nursing become available.

Master’s degree Ohio online degree programs feature degrees in psychology, criminal justice, and more. Often, at a master’s degree level, a student gets to specialize. For instance, a person can earn a nurse practitioner degree in family medicine. A student can opt to earn a doctorate in business with a concentration in marketing, forensic psychology, or a nurse leadership degree from online degree programs in Ohio.  

How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in Ohio?

While commuting to school is a challenge for some students and so are scheduling issues, another problem that pupils face is the expense of school. A person can save money, however, by selecting cheap online colleges in Ohio. A person should compare the different schools and find which ones are the most cost efficient. Generally, the cheap online colleges in Ohio are public universities. They’re less expensive in many cases than private schools. When trying to save money, a pupil should opt for a regional public school as opposed to the main campuses. 

It’s possible for a student who finds the cheapest online colleges in Ohio to still struggle to afford school. However, a pupil may want to ask their employer about what types of programs the company offers in terms of tuition reimbursement. With this option, it doesn’t matter if a person doesn’t choose the most affordable online colleges in Ohio. This option can still help. With tuition reimbursement, a student agrees to complete a school program. Then, the employer will reimburse the student for part of the expense of tuition, even if he or she chooses one of the affordable online colleges in Ohio. The student must work for the employer for a certain length of time after graduation.

Why is it a Good Idea to Start in Community College?

Online community colleges in Ohio are much cheaper than a private university and even a majority of public educational institutions. Ohio online community colleges offer students an education that can help him or her enter into a career. However, some people would prefer to go to a more well-recognized and respected university. A person can start at one of the online community colleges in Ohio, though, and finish at a public or private university to earn his or her degree from that school, all while saving money in the process.  

A student may choose to earn credits, in particular general ones, at one of the Ohio online community colleges at a cheap rate. Then, he or she can transfer those credits to complete the rest of his or her degree at a public or private university.

Another option a student has is to finish an entire undergraduate degree program via one of the community colleges in Ohio with online classes. A student can earn an associate’s and/or bachelor’s through classes available through community colleges in Ohio with online classes and then complete a graduate degree program through a major educational institution.

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