In today’s world, the pursuit of higher education is often seen as a gateway to personal growth and career opportunities. However, the rising costs associated with college can be a daunting barrier for many aspiring students. Fortunately, Ohio, known for its diverse educational landscape, is home to several institutions that offer quality education without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll embark on a journey through the Buckeye State to explore some of the most affordable and accessible colleges and universities it has to offer.
Cheapest Colleges In Ohio (Top List)
1. Central State University
Central State University, located in Wilberforce, Ohio, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1887. Initially founded as a two-year program focused on teacher and industrial training, it was situated within Wilberforce University, a renowned institution dedicated to classical academic education. Originally named the Combined Normal and Industrial Department, Central State University has undergone significant transformations over the years.
In 1941, the university expanded its curriculum to offer a four-year program with a strong emphasis on teacher education. By 1947, it had gained independence from Wilberforce University and was officially renamed Central State College in 1951. A major milestone was achieved in 1965 when Central State University attained full university status. In 2014, it received recognition as a land-grant university, marking its commitment to education and community development.
Central State University offers a diverse range of 38 bachelor’s degree programs and maintains a student-faculty ratio of 19:1. Despite its affordability, with in-state tuition and fees at $4,306 and out-of-state tuition and fees at $6,306, it faces the challenge of a relatively low average graduation rate of 28%. Nevertheless, its history, academic offerings, and dedication to providing accessible education make it one of the more affordable options among Ohio’s colleges and universities. For further details, you can visit their website at www.centralstate.edu.
2. University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College
The University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, originally known as Raymond Walters College, stands as a prominent regional campus of the University of Cincinnati, situated in Blue Ash, Ohio. Its inception in 1967 marked a significant development in higher education accessibility, thanks to the federal Higher Education Act of 1965. This legislation aimed to enhance higher education access for low- and middle-income students by channeling resources into existing public universities to establish open-access regional colleges with affordable tuition.
Since its establishment, UC Blue Ash College has grown to enroll approximately 5,000 students, solidifying its position as one of Ohio’s largest regional colleges. The campus, sprawled over 135 acres in Blue Ash, boasts six academic buildings acquired by the University of Cincinnati in 1965 from the City of Cincinnati. Importantly, the college holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and offers a diverse array of over 50 academic degree and certificate programs, including the distinction of hosting the region’s sole dental hygiene program and offering two bachelor’s degree programs.
Notably, UC Blue Ash College’s affordability stands out, with tuition fees approximately half the cost of most colleges and universities. In-state students pay $6,992 per year, while out-of-state students are charged $15,790 annually for the 2022–23 intake. This affordability, combined with its academic offerings, positions UC Blue Ash College as an appealing choice for those seeking quality education at a reasonable cost, whether they plan to continue their education at the UC Uptown campus or launch their careers after earning an associate degree.
3. Allegheny Wesleyan College
Allegheny Wesleyan College (AWC) stands as one of the most affordable colleges in Ohio, offering students a private four-year liberal arts education at a reasonable cost. Its origins trace back to 1943, when it began as a private Methodist school in Salem, Ohio. As enrollment grew, AWC acquired the Satterthwaite Farm, spanning forty-three acres, and constructed essential facilities such as dormitories, classrooms, and a dining hall. In its earlier years, it was known as the Salem Bible Institute or Salem Bible College.
In 1973, AWC sought religious affiliation with the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection (AWMC), a partnership that continues to this day. It was also during this period that the Rev. James Beers assumed the role of president and the institution adopted its current name, Allegheny Wesleyan College.
AWC maintains an open admissions policy, ensuring accessibility to a wide range of students. What truly distinguishes Allegheny Wesleyan College is its remarkably affordable tuition rate. Full-time students pay just $3,840 USD, making it an attractive option for those seeking quality higher education without the burden of exorbitant costs.
The college offers a selection of academic programs, including Bachelor of Arts and Associate of Arts degrees in fields such as Elementary Education, Cross-Cultural Missions, Music Education, and Religious Studies. Furthermore, AWC’s commitment to affordability extends beyond tuition, with credit hours costing $200 and various fees for specific services and amenities. Allegheny Wesleyan College’s inclusive approach to admissions and its exceptionally low tuition fees of $6,400 for both in-state and out-of-state students firmly establish it as one of Ohio’s most economical higher education options.
4. Wright State University-Lake Campus
Wright State University–Lake Campus, located in Jefferson Township between Celina and St. Marys, Ohio, is a branch campus of Wright State University. Established in 1962 through the Western Ohio Educational Foundation’s efforts to support higher education in Mercer and Auglaize counties, it initially had affiliations with Ohio Northern University before becoming a branch campus of Wright State University in 1969. This institution, situated near Dayton, is part of Ohio’s University System.
Wright State University–Lake Campus provides a diverse array of educational opportunities, including general education courses, certificate programs, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and even a Master of Business Administration degree. It actively participates in the Ohio Transfer Module, simplifying credit transfers among Ohio’s public colleges and universities. Additionally, the Lake Campus collaborates with the main Wright State University campus in Fairborn, Ohio, offering nine joint degree programs.
In terms of costs, the estimated expenses for undergraduate students at Wright State University–Lake Campus vary based on residency and housing choices. For Ohio residents commuting to campus, the total cost for two semesters (fall and spring) is approximately $8,854 under the Wright Guarantee for the 2023–24 academic year. If residing on campus, Ohio residents should expect an estimated cost of $14,290. Non-Ohio residents face higher costs, with an estimated total of $23,708 under the Wright Guarantee. For undergraduate non-guarantee students, costs are slightly lower, with Ohio residents commuting paying around $7,720, while those living on campus should budget around $13,080. Non-Ohio residents, under this category, have an estimated total cost of $22,498. Wright State University–Lake Campus thus provides a range of cost-effective educational options for students seeking quality higher education in Ohio.
5. Ohio State University-Mansfield Campus
The Ohio State University at Mansfield stands as one of the most cost-effective higher education options in Ohio. Established in 1958 as a land-grant college, this satellite campus of Ohio State University is located in Mansfield, Ohio, and shares a sprawling 644-acre campus with North Central State College. The Mansfield campus offers a diverse array of ten bachelor’s degree programs and also provides graduate-level coursework in education. Notably, it maintains an open admissions policy, welcoming a wide range of students.
One of its key advantages is its seamless pathway for students to start their education at Mansfield and later complete their degrees at the main Ohio State University campus in Columbus, which boasts over 200 majors. Additionally, students at the Ohio State Mansfield campus have access to the extensive resources of Ohio State University and Ohio Link through the Bromfield Library.
In terms of affordability, it stands out. For in-state Ohio residents, the total tuition and living expense budget for the 2021/2022 academic year was $23,468, making it an attractive option for local students. Out-of-state students who do not have Ohio residency can expect a one-year cost of $46,551, which, while higher, remains competitive compared to many other institutions.
6. Kent State University at Stark
Kent State University at Stark, a regional campus of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, offers students a cost-effective path to higher education. Kent State University, with its seven regional campuses in Northeast Ohio and additional facilities across the region and internationally, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1910 as a normal school. Over the years, it has evolved into a comprehensive institution with a vast array of baccalaureate and graduate programs, research opportunities, and a sprawling campus.
As of 2022, Kent State University was the third-largest university in Ohio, reflecting its commitment to providing accessible education. Kent State offers over 300 degree programs, including notable fields such as nursing, business, history, library science, aeronautics, journalism, architecture, and fashion design. It has earned recognition for its high research activity, classified as “R1: Doctoral Universities – very high research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
What makes Kent State University at Stark particularly attractive is its affordability. For undergraduate students, the 2023-2024 academic year tuition and fees are $12,674 per year for Ohio residents, $22,144 per year for non-Ohio residents, and $22,144 per year for international students. Graduate students enjoy similarly competitive rates, with tuition for Ohio residents at $10,294 per year and $19,186 per year for non-Ohio residents and international students. This affordability, combined with its diverse academic offerings and strong research culture, solidifies Kent State University at Stark as one of Ohio’s most economical and valuable higher education institutions.
7. University of Cincinnati Clermont College
The University of Cincinnati Clermont College (UC Clermont) in Batavia, Ohio, offers accessible higher education through its open admissions policy, welcoming individuals with a high school diploma or equivalency. UC Clermont is part of the University of Cincinnati’s educational network, with a satellite campus known as UC East that operated until 2020, mainly due to increased online enrollment.
One of the notable aspects of UC Clermont is its flexibility in enrollment, allowing students to begin their academic journey in any semester: autumn, spring, or summer. The campus also actively supports the fine arts, hosting the Calico Children’s Theatre, the Park National Bank Art Gallery, and housing the Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra in the UC Clermont College Krueger Auditorium.
What sets UC Clermont apart as an economical choice for higher education is its tuition structure. For Ohio residents, the 2023–2024 academic year costs $6,785 per semester for full-time enrollment (12–18 credit hours) and $565 per credit hour for part-time students (1–11 credit hours). Indiana/Kentucky Metropolitan residents can expect fees of $7,085 per semester for full-time study and $584 per credit hour for part-time enrollment. Non-resident (out-of-state) students pay $14,452 per semester for full-time study and $1,204 per credit hour for part-time courses. These competitive rates, coupled with UC Clermont’s accessibility and cultural offerings, make it an excellent choice for students looking for affordable higher education in Ohio. More information can be found at ucclermont.edu.
The information contained herein is derived from data obtained from sources believed by the author to be reliable and in good faith, but no guarantees are made regarding the accuracy, completeness, or suitability of the content, and the post may be updated from time to time without notice.