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Online Colleges in Ohio

Most Affordable Online Colleges

COLLEGE FINDER

Article Sources

Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer at least one degree or certificate in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2014-15

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on six criteria, using the weights specified:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded by the school in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  5.  Related subjects, based on the number of similar programs that the school offers at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  6. Variety of degree levels, based on the number of degree and certificate levels out of a possible nine that the school offers in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources:

  1. About Us, Belmont College, http://www.belmontcollege.edu/about-us/
  2. Accreditation, The Ohio State University, https://www.osu.edu/osutoday/stuinfo.php#accred
  3. American Factfinder, U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml
  4. Center for Instructional Technology Innovation, Central State University, http://www.centralstate.edu/elearning1/welcome.php
  5. Cincinnati metropolican area, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cincinnati_metropolitan_area
  6. Class Schedule, Clark State Community College, https://www.clarkstate.edu/academics/class-schedule/
  7. College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
  8. Columbus metropolitan area, Ohio, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_metropolitan_area,_Ohio
  9. Distance Learning and Outreach, University of Cincinnati, https://www.uc.edu/distance/courses_programs/degrees.html
  10. eCampus, Ohio University, http://www.ohio.edu/ecampus/
  11. eStarkState, Stark State College, https://www.starkstate.edu/estarkstate/
  12. eStudent Services, OhioLearns, https://www.estudentservices.org/catalog/degrees/search?page=1&subjects=all&institutions=CLRK&distance_pct=0&sort_first=0&sort_second=0&paging=5&form_build_id=form-FxK8zFGAIa7AoWIJVumPFF1v69pHsc_quB6J6CcsfaM&form_id=ohiolearns_catalog_degree_form&op=Submit
  13. Greater Cleveland, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Cleveland
  14. May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Ohio, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_oh.htm
  15. Millie Rodriguez, interview with the author, December 2014
  16. North Central State College, http://www.ncstatecollege.edu/cms/distance-learning.html
  17. Ohio Job Outlook to 2020: Employment Projections, Ohio Job and Family Services, http://ohiolmi.com/proj/OhioJobOutlook.htm
  18. Ohio's campuses, Ohio Department of Higher Education, https://www.ohiohighered.org/campuses
  19. Online Programs, Miami University Regional E-Learning, http://miamioh.edu/regionals/academics/elearning/online-programs/academic-programs/index.html
  20. Online Programs, Sinclair Community College, https://www.sinclair.edu/academics/online/
  21. Talent and Education, JobsOhio, http://jobs-ohio.com/why-ohio/workforce-education/
  22. Wendy Lampner, interview with the author, December 2014
  23. State Grants & Scholarships, Ohio Higher Ed, Accessed August 2016, https://www.ohiohighered.org/sgs
  24. Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program, Ohio Higher Ed, Accessed August 2016, https://www.ohiohighered.org/cof
  25. The Ohio War Orphans Scholarship Program, Ohio Higher Ed, Accessed August 2016, https://www.ohiohighered.org/ohio-war-orphans
  26. Ohio EPA Scholarship, The Ohio Academy of Science, Accessed August 2016, http://www.ohiosci.org/oeef-scholarship
  27. Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG), Ohio Higher Ed, Accessed August 2016, https://www.ohiohighered.org/ocog
  28. NEALP HEI Documentation, Ohio Higher Ed, Accessed August 2016, https://www.ohiohighered.org/node/1787
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The state of Ohio and the institute of Ohio University have grown up together almost from inception. The university was founded in 1804, just one year after Ohio was made a state, and opened its doors in 1808. In 2017, there were 250 different colleges and universities in the state, many overflowing with support for distance learners. And to think that it all started with one building, three students and one professor, bravely striking out in the middle of a glorious autumnal frontier much coveted by individuals and states alike.

The University System of Ohio comprises 14 universities, 24 regional branches and an enrollment of nearly 600,000 students. The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio is made up of 52 institutes located in every region of the state.

Online students throughout the state can take classes and pursue degrees through OhioLearns, a division of the Ohio Technology Consortium. Through OhioLearns, students can find all available online degree programs offered in the state, be they from community colleges or four-year schools. Distance learners also can use OhioLearns for a wide range of eTutoring services to help them on their educational journey.

According to OhioLearns, there are:

  • 146 institutes that offer online associate degrees
  • 102 colleges and universities that offer bachelor's degrees
  • 186 institutes that offer graduate degrees

Best Online Colleges in Ohio for 2018

Students interested in distance learning can use our ranking of the best online universities in Ohio to help them find the right school for their needs. To make this list, we analyzed data gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). You can read more about the methodology we used to generate this list at the bottom of this page, and use our Top Colleges Tool to create similar rankings based on your own preferences.

1

University of Cincinnati - Main Campus

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,000
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
38.82%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
57
School Type
4-year

University of Cincinnati is a public research university that offers more than 30 online degree programs — not even counting the 40 available online certificate programs — in subjects such as fire service, taxation, substance abuse counseling, respiratory therapy and radiation science technology. Students in these programs have a wealth of resources at their fingertips, including:

  • Academic advising and coaching
  • One-on-one learning assistance
  • Exam proctoring services
  • Access to the Academic Writing Center
  • Math and science support

The majority of the online programs offered through UC are 100 percent online and offered asynchronously. In contrast to "synchronous" courses, "asynchronous" courses are not held at specific times of the day, allowing students to review their lectures and study materials whenever is most convenient to them.

 
2

Ohio University-Main Campus, Athens

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,298
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
37.14%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
23
School Type
4-year

Ohio University served a student body of over 18,000 in the 2016-2017 academic year — and more than 8,200 of those students were enrolled in e-learning courses. Ohio University's eCampus offers five associate degree programs, seven online bachelor degree completion programs, and 18 master's programs — a few of these have on-campus requirements, but most are 100 percent self-paced distance learning.

Ohio University's Student Knowledge Center strives to help distance learners succeed by providing a variety of tools to help them excel: Blackboard help, a career and development center, free online writing and tutoring services, counseling and psychological services, and language assistance. Other school resources include:

  • Academic advising
  • Testing center
  • Success center
  • Access to MBS Direct, the university's online bookstore

Ohio University also has partnerships with many Ohio community colleges, helping students of those colleges to easily transfer into a bachelor's program Ohio University.

 
3

University of Toledo

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$9,547
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
35.66%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
45
School Type
4-year

The University of Toledo is a school that you just can't keep down. Founded in 1872 as the Toledo University of Arts and Trades, it was forced to move to the basement of a church when the city stopped funding it two years later. In 1878, the school finally closed due to lack of funds… only to reopen six years later, in two rooms of a high school! When a formal building was finally built for the tenacious university in 1914, it took on the name we know it by: the University of Toledo.

UT's online platform, UT Online, offers distance learning programs at all degree levels: associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral. There are also three degree-completion programs:

  • RN to BSN in nursing
  • B.S. degree in health information administration
  • Bachelor of Applied Organizational Technology

Students who reside in California, Florida or Massachusetts should check with the university for any restrictions prior to enrolling in UT Online programs.

 
4

Columbus State Community College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$3,808
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
45.83%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
34
School Type
2-year

Students who attend Columbus State Community College are served from campuses in Columbus and Delaware, six regional learning centers and, of course, multiple online courses for online or out-of-state learners. These courses cover 17 different areas of study, from business administration to digital design to sport and exercise studies. Certain courses may require proctored exams at an approved CSCC testing site.

All distance learners at Columbus State Community College are eligible to receive free tutoring through a partnership with NetTutor. They can also receive writing assistance at in-person writing centers or through regional learning campuses. Lastly, they can access additional learning resources through the college's Supplemental Instruction Program, which pairs students with peers who have already completed the coursework.

 
5

Bowling Green State University - Main Campus

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,057
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
19.13%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
28
School Type
4-year

Bowling Green State University serves more than 19,000 students each year from its main campus south of Toledo. The degree programs available through the school's eCampus are conveyed through classes that run in an eight-week format. There are six start dates each year for BGSU, making it easy for students to start their courses whenever is most convenient for them.

BGSU's eCampus offers four bachelor's programs, 10 master's programs and a healthy pool of certificate and endorsement programs to its online students. Some of these programs are in intriguing subjects such as autism spectrum disorders or a Master of Music Education with an online teaching artistry specialization. Students enrolled in one of BGSU's distance-learning programs have access to all the same resources as the school's on-campus students, such as:

  • Online writing consultations
  • Academic advising
  • Free e-books
  • Access to the BGSU Library
  • Counseling center
 
6

Miami University - Oxford

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$14,400
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
12.70%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
2
School Type
4-year

Founded in 1809, Miami University-Oxford is the second-oldest university in Ohio. The university has a main campus in Oxford, as well as regional locations in Hamilton, Middletown and West Chester. On- and off-campus students alike can take undergraduate courses online through eLearning Miami (ELM), which offers undergraduate courses for both students of Miami University and students at other institutes. ELM also offers a handful of master's degree programs, including:

  • Instructional design and technology
  • Educational technology
  • Biology or biological sciences
  • Creative writing

Online students can engage with faculty through email and online office hours, and even schedule one-on-one videoconferencing for more extensive feedback on assignments and test scores. Student services, such as the Miami University library, the IT help desk, and online writing help through the Howe Writing Center, are also available.

 
7

Kent State University at Kent

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$10,012
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
45.74%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
19
School Type
4-year

Tens of thousands of students, hailing from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, are served by Kent State University each academic year, taking advantage of the school's wide variety of excellent education options. Kent State Online offers many different online undergraduate and graduate programs, including public health, respiratory care, insurance studies, user experience design and more. Of particular note is the university's RN to BSN program, which was designed in an accelerated online format to help working nurses with associate's degrees quickly complete the requirements for bachelor's degrees. Kent State Online also offers a number of online certificate programs focused on education curriculum and specialized knowledge.

All students at Kent State Online can access a variety of student services, including:

  • University helpdesk
  • Career services
  • Proctored testing
  • Library instruction
  • Veteran's services
 
8

Ohio State University - Main Campus, Columbus

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$10,037
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
20.02%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
9
School Type
4-year

The oldest institute for higher education in the state of Ohio, Ohio State University has campus locations in Columbus, Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark and Wooster. All classes offered through Ohio State Online are taught by Ohio State University faculty from these campuses. The university offers multiple distance learning programs — mostly at the master's level — in specialty areas such as:

  • Plant health management
  • Clinical and pre-clinical research
  • Bioethics
  • Global engineering leadership
  • Welding engineering
  • Healthcare innovation

Online students at Ohio State University can access many student services, including academic advising, the Dennis Learning Center, the testing center, the math and statistics learning center, library services and more. The university encourages prospective students to inquire with its admissions department prior to registration to ensure the university is authorized to offer online programs in the student's home state.

 
9

Ashland University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$20,392
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
36.57%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
11
School Type
4-year

Ashland University is a small private Christian college with a focus on liberal arts and sciences, and it offers online programs at the associate, bachelor's and master's level. Taking their motto, "Accent on the Individual," to heart, Ashland goes out of its way to create a supportive environment for all of its students, including the ones who never set foot on campus. Students enrolled at Ashland University can access the Ohio eTutoring Collaborative, which provides free online tutoring support in writing, physics, statistics, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, accounting, and math from developmental levels through calculus II.

Several programs are offered for each degree level at Ashland University, ranging from an associate program in general studies to a master's in corporate and strategic communications. Students pursuing baccalaureate degrees at Ashland University should be aware that approved core credits can be transferred into your program to accelerate the completion of your degree.

 
10

Tiffin University, Tiffin

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$22,825
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
41.10%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
55
School Type
4-year

Founded in 1888, Tiffin University serves more than 3,500 students each academic year. The university offers 12 online bachelor's programs and 21 online master's programs, among them:

  • Government and national security
  • Homeland security
  • Justice administration
  • Crime analysis

All first-year and transfer students at Tiffin University — online or otherwise — are matched with professional academic advisers to ensure they choose the correct classes and establish clear scholastic goals. Meanwhile, online students at Tiffin University can access the Murphy Academic Support Center, which provides tutoring and learning assistance. The university's Career Services Office helps online students with career planning, while the IT services department is available to assist students with technical issues.

 

Affordable Online Colleges in Ohio for 2018

The following is a list of schools in Ohio that offer programs at a low tuition cost. This list was made by comparing the in-state, campus-based tuition each school reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

If you are interesting in seeing a ranking of Ohio schools based on quality, adjusted to account for many other factors of your choosing, check out the Top Colleges Tool.

Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in Ohio

Community colleges in Ohio offer students the chance to earn an associate degree or complete credits that can be transferred to a university to count toward a bachelor’s degree. Whatever degree you’re aiming for, a two-year college may be a way to work toward graduation while keeping your net costs lower. Here are five of the most affordable two-year online colleges in the state of Ohio.

College NameTuition & Fees/Year
Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Distance Education Participation
Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Number of Online Programs Offered
Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
School Type
Clark State Community College$3,35940.90%122-year
Belmont College$3,54112.57%12-year
North Central State College$3,591N/A22-year
Eastern Gateway Community College$3,60536.08%312-year
Sinclair Community College$3,61131.46%322-year

Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in Ohio

Below are five of the most affordable four-year degree-granting universities in Ohio. These schools can be a great place for students to earn a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree while keeping the cost of tuition manageable. Read on to learn more.

College NameTuition & Fees/Year
Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Distance Education Participation
Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Number of Online Programs Offered
Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
School Type
Ohio University-Eastern Campus$4,872N/A24-year
Ohio University-Southern Campus$4,872N/A24-year
Ohio University-Chillicothe Campus$5,060N/A24-year
Ohio University-Lancaster Campus$5,060N/A34-year
Ohio University-Zanesville Campus$5,076N/A34-year

College Accreditation in Ohio

Students who work for countless hours studying and taking tests to get through college want to know their degree is from a valid institute. Accreditation from an organization recognized by the Department of Education ensures that a school’s academic programs meet common educational standards and are valid.

In Ohio, one organization is responsible for accrediting the state's major college systems, as well as community and technical colleges:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

The HLC is one of six regional accrediting bodies in the U.S. and accredits colleges and universities in 19 different states. Students who are concerned about accreditation can check with the Department of Education's website to see how their institute is accredited.

School Interviews

Colleges and universities around the country are adding new online programs and improving their current offerings. To find out what Ohio educators are doing to better deliver education to their students, we interviewed several educators from different online colleges in Ohio.

Wendy Lampner
I expect online learning will continue to evolve to be much more flexible and personalized as technology continues to rapidly advance.

Wendy Lampner

Manager of Design & Development Services

University of Akron

 
 

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at The University of Akron?

We offer Master's degrees in Public Health, Applied Politics, and Taxation as well as three Master's degrees and five certificates in education. Our online programs deliver the same quality content as our traditional courses. Our programs are taught by highly qualified faculty who use advanced technologies such as Brightspace, Panopto, Cisco WebEx, and Articulate Storyline to provide a high level of interaction with fellow students and with the instructor.

Online students at The University of Akron have access to all of the support services that are available to all students, including academic advising, career services, our library's vast online assets, e-tutoring, financial aid and help-desk support.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

Students interested in pursuing an online degree should be sure that they are prepared. This includes having the time to commit, being self-disciplined and being willing to interact regularly with your classmates and the instructor.

Students must also have access to a computer with reliable internet access and should be capable of using computers for basic activities such as creating files, completing online research, and communicating online.

Completing an online degree does offer flexibility to complete assignments at different times of the day, however, most students do report that the time commitment is equal to or even greater than the time it would take to complete the degree in a face-to-face setting.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

I expect online learning will continue to evolve to be much more flexible and personalized as technology continues to rapidly advance. This includes increasing hybridization of learning, such that face-to-face classes include significant online learning components, and conversely many online courses include key synchronous learning opportunities.

I believe we are already entering the early stages of significant advances such as the ability to link many learning platforms and resources, including open courseware, social media, and other innovative technologies, to enable students to select or design their own learning pathways with timelines that meet their unique learning styles and circumstances. I anticipate we will soon offer adaptive learning models in which students continuously test their comprehension or skills and receive immediate feedback, making it easier for students to customize their learning pathways so they can more quickly achieve learning goals. I believe we will soon be able to track students' progress in real-time and present an always up-to-date transcript of their learning progress.

Finally, I think the technology will even get smarter such that it will be able to analyze how well learners are doing on tests and will start to recommend content that is leading to more student success. I believe we will be able to capitalize on these advanced technologies to increase access, retention, learning, and success after graduation while also reducing the overall cost of education.

 

Millie J. Rodriguez
This is the direction education is moving. If you’re not on the train, you’d better get on or you’re going to be left behind because this is the future.

Millie J. Rodriguez

Director of Distance Education

Youngstown State University

 
 

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at Youngstown State University?

We have four Bachelor degree programs. Two of those are in Applied Science: one is Allied Health and one is Public Health. We have an RN to BSN completion program as well as a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care program which is also a completion program. For [the completion programs], we work with community colleges to bring [students’] credit in and get them that Bachelor’s degree.

Then, we also have Master’s degrees online. We have six right now with a couple others in the works. We have a Financial Econ degree, Business Administration, Respiratory Care, Criminal Justice, Engineering Management and one in Teacher Education/Early Childhood Education. So those are our current online offerings at Youngstown State.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

Probably the number one thing I share with prospective students is to really evaluate whether distance learning is right for you. It’s not something where you can be a passive learner. You have to be an active learner in the environment, or you won’t be successful in the program.

If you’re the type of learner who likes to sit in the back of the classroom and watch other people raise their hands, ask questions and then get answers that way, distance learning is probably not the right modality for you. But if you like to be an active learner – if you’re self-motivated – then distance learning is appropriate for you.

And certainly from a convenience perspective, online degrees have many benefits. If you work full-time, if you have a family or if you’re running the kids around after school, then this is probably a good modality for you. You can sit down once [the kids] are in bed and earn your degree in the evenings and on the weekends.

We don’t like to lead students into a path of online learning if it’s not right for them. We try to be candid and upfront and explain the process as well as the expectations. Certainly, our programs are very interactive. They’re not correspondence courses by any means.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

One of the things I see is that [online learning] is now a part of K-12. When students come out of K-12, they already know and expect a certain amount of online learning as part of their curriculum.

I really do think it’s going to be more mainstream than it is even now, and universities need to stay on top of it because students coming in are going to be more educated in the modality than, in some cases, even faculty. Training faculty is going to be huge in terms of keeping up in the coming years.

This is the direction education is moving. If you’re not on the train, you’d better get on or you’re going to be left behind because this is the future.

 

Financial Aid Resources in Ohio

If you're an Ohio resident who is considering going to college in your home state, you'll be pleased to know that there are a number of state-sponsored financial programs to help make college more affordable. This includes grants and scholarships, which are types of gift aid, meaning they do not have to be paid back.

In addition to the federal financial aid you could be eligible to receive, take some time to explore some of these state aid offerings from Ohio. If you qualify, you could significantly reduce the total out-of-pocket cost of your college education.

Ohio Scholarships

Although there aren't a lot of Ohio scholarships that apply to a broad range of students, there are some prominent awards that Ohio students should be aware of. For students who fit the criteria, these awards can help offset the sticker price of college. Here are a few to consider.

As Ohio's most prevalent scholarship program, more than 28,000 Choose Ohio First scholarships have been awarded to scholars enrolled in 49 Ohio public and private institutions. This award is geared toward students who are interested in studying science, technology, engineering, mathematics or medicine (STEMM).

  • Application deadline:  Varies by institution
  • Award amount:  Varies by institution, but usually $1,500 and up
  • Number of scholarships awarded:  Varies
  • Renewable: Yes
  • Minimum GPA:  Varies, but usually above 3.0
  • Merit vs. need-based: Merit
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status:  Must be pursuing an undergraduate degree in a STEMM major
  • Residency required: Yes

This program awards tuition assistance to the children of deceased or severely disabled Ohio veterans who served in the armed forces during a period of declared war or conflict.

  • Application deadline:  July 1
  • Award amount:  Up to 88% of tuition and general fees at public institutions, or an annual award amount of $5,112 for private colleges and universities
  • Number of scholarships awarded:  Varies
  • Renewable: Yes
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Merit vs. need-based: Merit
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status:  Must be enrolled in full-time undergraduate study at an eligible Ohio college or university
  • Residency required:  Yes

This scholarship is for undergraduate students who are admitted to a college or university in Ohio. Candidates must be committed to careers in environmental sciences or environmental engineering. The scholarship application includes recommendation letters as well as proof of inclination toward an environmental science or engineering career.

  • Application deadline:  Spring 2017
  • Award amount: $2,500 for students earning a bachelor’s; $1,250 for students earning an associate
  • Number of scholarships awarded: Not specified
  • Renewable:  No
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Merit vs. need-based:  Merit
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status:  Must be in final year of study in an Ohio undergraduate program
  • Residency required:  Yes

Learn more about how to research scholarships and make your applications shine by checking out the Ultimate Guide to Scholarships.

College Grants in Ohio

Although Ohio only has one major grant program, it is a significant one that helps those who have the most financial need in the state. This program, in combination with federal aid, makes it possible for many Ohio students to attend college who might otherwise have thought it impossible.

This grant awards money to Ohio residents who demonstrate the highest levels of financial need (as determined by the results of the FAFSA). No separate application is required.

 

  • Application deadline:  Varies, up to $2,832 for students in private, nonprofit institutions
  • Award amount:  October 1

Learn more about how grants work and how to qualify for them by reading the Ultimate Guide to Grants.

Ohio Loans

Ohio's financial aid focuses on scholarship and grant programs rather than state-specific student loans. However, there is a state-sponsored loan program for students in the field of nursing called the Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program. This loan program provides assistance to Ohio students enrolled for at least half-time study in an approved Ohio nurse education program. For most other students, if grants and scholarships aren't enough to cover your tuition, you can use federal or private student loans to bridge the gap. To qualify for federal student loans, you'll need to fill out a FAFSA.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Ohio

  • The Forever Buckeyes program offers in-state tuition to anyone who graduated from an Ohio high school and has returned to Ohio to establish residency. Because of the program, these college students are able to waive the year-long waiting period that would normally be required to regain residency.
 

Featured Cities in Ohio

Below are descriptions of some of the largest cities in Ohio. These places can be a great location for online students to live while working toward earning their degree. You will see relevant data points for online students on each city, such as average salaries, student population and average rent, as sourced from the 2015 American Community Survey (census.gov).

Columbus, OH Metro Area

Total Population

1,972,375

Median salary for high school grads

$28,897

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$51,514

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

29.4%

Median rent

$833

Fun Facts about Columbus

Named for Christopher Columbus, the city of Columbus has a reputation for discovery. For instance, it is home to the Battelle Memorial Institute, which is the world's largest private research and development foundation. Columbus has earned distinction not only because of its excellent business environment, but also for its quality of life, thanks to attractions such as the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Ohio State Fair (one of the largest state fairs in the country), and numerous arts and cultural festivals throughout the year.

Cleveland-Elyria, OH Metro Area

Total Population

2,064,483

Median salary for high school grads

$28,651

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$50,087

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

27.1%

Median rent

$744

Fun Facts about Cleveland

The "Cleveland Plus" region of Northeast Ohio has a diverse $170 billion economy. Cleveland is considered a city on the rise. For instance, the city was named by Forbes as one of the 15 U.S. cities with emerging downtowns. It is home to Playhouse Square, the second-largest performing arts center in the U.S.

Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Metro Area

Total Population

2,139,466

Median salary for high school grads

$29,985

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$52,116

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

26.7%

Median rent

$751

Fun Facts about Cincinnati

Because it was the first major city founded after the American Revolution, as well as the first major inland city in the country, Cincinnati prides itself on being the first purely American city. It retains its history in its city architecture, which includes one of the world's largest collections of Italianate architecture, as reflected in the Music Hall, Cincinnatian Hotel and the Shillito Department Store. Students attending Cincinnati's colleges find plenty to do here: There's the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, numerous festivals and open-air markets, and the Great American Ballpark.

 
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