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2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio

62 Colleges
$27,265 Avg Cost*
4.3 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

There are lots of options to chooose from today when trying to decide which college to attend. College Factual has developed its Best Value Ohio Schools ranking as one tool you can use to help make this decision.

We analyzed 62 colleges and universities to determine which were the best for overall value in Ohio. This ranking doesn't just identify the colleges with the lowest costs. Rather, it highlights those institutions that offer excellent educational experiences for a lower cost than other schools of roughly the same caliber. So it is possible that College A may rank better than College B, while College B is less expensive to attend.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

Our average cost calculation adds up all expenses, such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses, and then subtracts the average financial aid awarded to a student. This gives a rough estimation of how much money you can expect to pay out-of-pocket or through loans each year.

Custom Rankings

We've developed a number of other tools and rankings to help you make your college decision. Start by filtering this list by location or field of study and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges for the Money in Ohio

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

Ohio State University - Main Campus tops this year’s ranking as the best school for overall value in Ohio. Located in Columbus, Ohio, the large public school handed out 11,596 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.3 years for the average student at Ohio State to complete their degree, and it costs about $21,419 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State is about $92,744. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

With a freshman retention rate of 94%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Ohio State excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Ohio list.

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Miami University - Oxford. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio list. Located in Oxford, Ohio, the fairly large public school handed out 5,139 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Miami of Ohio about 4.2 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $26,341. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Miami of Ohio is $109,842. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 91%. Miami of Ohio also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges in Ohio list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Cincinnati - Main Campus. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio list. Cincinnati is a public institution located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The school has a large population, and it awarded 6,175 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Cincinnati graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $23,714. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Cincinnati is $107,899. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 86%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year.

Full University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Report

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#4

Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Mount Vernon, Ohio

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Mount Vernon Nazarene University. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio list. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and it awarded 371 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At MVNU, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $20,207. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from MVNU be around $85,071. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one.

Full Mount Vernon Nazarene University Report

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Franciscan University of Steubenville. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio list. Steubenville, Ohio is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 509 students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Franciscan U is 4.1 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $30,052. This means that the average student pays around $123,213 to get a bachelor’s degree from Franciscan U. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.2%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. In addition to its great value ranking, Franciscan U is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Ohio list.

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Bowling Green State University - Main Campus did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio ranking, coming in at #6. Located in Bowling Green, Ohio, the fairly large public school handed out 3,167 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at BGSU is 4.4 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $19,861. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from BGSU is $86,594. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#6

Cedarville University

Cedarville, Ohio

With a ranking of #6, Cedarville University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio list. Located in Cedarville, Ohio, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 759 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Cedarville about 4.2 years to graduate, and it costs about $29,133 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Cedarville is $121,776. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.1%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. In addition to its great value ranking, Cedarville is in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Ohio list.

Full Cedarville University Report

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Ohio Northern University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio ranking, coming in at #8. ONU is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Ada, Ohio. It awarded 415 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at ONU about 4.2 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $30,355. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from ONU is about $128,402. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The low student loan default rate of 3.7% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. ONU also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges in Ohio list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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With a ranking of #9, Ohio University - Main Campus did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio list. Ohio University - Main Campus is a large public school located in Athens, Ohio that handed out 7,349 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Ohio U about 4.3 years to graduate, and it costs about $26,268 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Ohio U be around $114,266. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Full Ohio University - Main Campus Report

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#10

University of Toledo

Toledo, Ohio

University of Toledo did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio ranking, coming in at #10. University of Toledo is a public institution located in Toledo, Ohio. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 3,077 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At University of Toledo, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.6 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $21,748. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from University of Toledo is $99,606. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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Kent State University at Kent came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio ranking. Kent State University at Kent is a large public school located in Kent, Ohio that handed out 5,465 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Kent State, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $21,693. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Kent State is $96,317. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Full Kent State University at Kent Report

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#12

Kettering College

Kettering, Ohio

Kettering College ranked #12 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio list. Kettering, Ohio is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 144 students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Kettering College about 4.2 years to graduate, and it costs about $23,680 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $98,272 to get a bachelor’s degree from Kettering College. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one.

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#13

Ohio Wesleyan University

Delaware, Ohio

With a ranking of #13, Ohio Wesleyan University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio list. Ohio Wesleyan University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Delaware, Ohio that handed out 395 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at OWU about 4.1 years to graduate, and it costs about $32,186 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from OWU is $131,963. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. In addition to its great value ranking, OWU is in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Ohio list.

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#14

Denison University

Granville, Ohio

Denison University ranked #14 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio list. Granville, Ohio is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 643 students in 2018-2019.

At Denison, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.0 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $38,232. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Denison is $154,075. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

With a student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Denison is ranked #3 for overall quality in Ohio.

Full Denison University Report

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#15

Gods Bible School and College

Cincinnati, Ohio

With a ranking of #15, Gods Bible School and College did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio list. Gods Bible School and College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The school has a small population, and it awarded 24 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Gods Bible School and College about 5.0 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $12,588. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Gods Bible School and College is about $62,940. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 96%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year.

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#16

Otterbein University

Westerville, Ohio

Otterbein University ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio list. Otterbein is a private not-for-profit institution located in Westerville, Ohio. The school has a small population, and it awarded 579 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Otterbein is 4.2 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $30,736. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Otterbein is $128,784. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.0%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

Full Otterbein University Report

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Ohio State University - Mansfield Campus did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio ranking, coming in at #17. Ohio State University - Mansfield Campus is a small public school situated in Mansfield, Ohio. It awarded 69 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at Ohio State University - Mansfield Campus to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $19,369. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Ohio State University - Mansfield Campus is $88,129. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The low student loan default rate of 4.5% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

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#18

Cleveland Institute of Music

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland Institute of Music came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio ranking. Cleveland Institute of Music is a private not-for-profit institution located in Cleveland, Ohio. The school has a small population, and it awarded 50 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Cleveland Institute of Music, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.1 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $35,777. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Cleveland Institute of Music is about $146,328. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.0%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Cleveland Institute of Music also is in the top 15% of our Best Colleges in Ohio ranking.

Full Cleveland Institute of Music Report

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Wright State University - Lake Campus landed the #19 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio ranking. Wright State University - Lake Campus is located in Celina, Ohio and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 136 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.3 years for the average student at Wright State University - Lake Campus to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $19,109. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Wright State University - Lake Campus is $83,124. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Full Wright State University - Lake Campus Report

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#20

The College of Wooster

Wooster, Ohio

With a ranking of #20, The College of Wooster did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio list. Wooster College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Wooster, Ohio. The school has a small population, and it awarded 522 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.0 years for the average student at Wooster College to complete their degree, and it costs about $37,087 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Wooster College is $149,831. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 2.7%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Wooster College also is in the top 15% of our Best Colleges in Ohio ranking.

Full The College of Wooster Report

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#21

Wittenberg University

Springfield, Ohio

Wittenberg University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio ranking, coming in at #21. Wittenberg University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Springfield, Ohio that handed out 434 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Wittenberg to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $29,642. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg be around $121,829. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#22

University of Mount Union

Alliance, Ohio

University of Mount Union came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Ohio ranking. Located in Alliance, Ohio, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 511 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Mount Union, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $27,717. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Mount Union be around $115,857. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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Mount Carmel College of Nursing did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio ranking, coming in at #23. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Columbus, Ohio, and it awarded 333 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Mount Carmel College of Nursing graduates in less than 4.2 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $27,822. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Mount Carmel College of Nursing be around $116,852. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.7%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%.

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#24

University of Dayton

Dayton, Ohio

University of Dayton landed the #24 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio ranking. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Dayton, Ohio, and it awarded 2,167 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At U of Dayton, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.3 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $40,465. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from U of Dayton is $172,381. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 90%. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, U of Dayton is ranked #5 for overall quality in Ohio.

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#25

John Carroll University

University Heights, Ohio

John Carroll University landed the #25 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Ohio ranking. John Carroll is located in University Heights, Ohio and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 831 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at John Carroll to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $36,435. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll is $150,477. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.8%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. John Carroll excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Ohio list.

Full John Carroll University Report

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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