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Best Community Colleges in Ohio: Admission Requirements, Transfer Options, and Online Degrees

Sana Uqaili - June 26, 2022

Many students choose to start their college education at a community college because of the more affordable tuition and convenience these schools offer. The best community colleges in Ohio serve as an effective stepping stone into both new careers and higher education opportunities for students.

This article includes an overview of 10 of the best community colleges in Ohio, as well as the top programs they offer, their graduation rates, and other key details. In addition to reasonable tuition rates, these schools have strong ties with four-year universities, making transferring credits easy for students. For those who are interested in distance learning, we’ve also included a list of the best online community colleges in Ohio.

How Many Community Colleges Are in Ohio?

There are 23 community colleges in Ohio. These colleges provide two-year associate degrees and other short postsecondary education programs in online and on-campus formats. Some also provide four-year undergraduate degrees in various fields of study or make credit transfer to four-year universities easy for students.

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What Is the Biggest Community College in Ohio?

The biggest community college in Ohio is Eastern Gateway Community College, with over 25,000 students enrolled. Cuyahoga Community College and Columbus State Community College come in second and third respectively, with around 23,000 and 22,000 students.

What Are the Best Community Colleges in Ohio?

Ranking Community College Graduation Rate Student-to-Faculty Ratio
1 Rhodes State College 47% 9:1
2 Zane State College 44% 20:1
3 Northwest State Community College 39% 24:1
4 Edison State Community College 38% 24:1
5 Washington State Community College 32% 12:1
6 Columbus State Community College 28% 20:1
7 Sinclair Community College 27% 17:1
8 Lorain County Community College 27% 15:1
9 Cuyahoga Community College 24% 16:1
10 North Central State College 18% 16:1

The Best Community Colleges in Ohio: Explained

The following list of the best community colleges in Ohio was ranked according to each school’s graduation rate, which is a good indicator of the quality of education provided as well as the support offered by teachers and other faculty. In addition to its strong community college options, Ohio also offers numerous recreational and professional opportunities, making it a great place to live.


Rhodes State College

Grad Rate: 47%

Rhodes State College is an Ohio community college that offers degrees and certificates in the arts and sciences, business technology, public service, and nursing and other healthcare fields. Only its arts and sciences associate degrees qualify for credit transfer to a four-year school.

Rhodes State College Overview

  • Tuition: $180/credit hour (in district); $360/credit hour (out of district)
  • Student Population: 3,324
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 69%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Rhodes State College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Agricultural Technology. This program prepares students for a rapidly expanding industry through hands-on training The curriculum includes the basics of agronomy and agricultural business to help students succeed in the industry.
  • Associate Degree in Healthcare Technology. This program offers a well-rounded education that prepares students for the ever-evolving technology demands of the healthcare industry. Basic scientific principles are taught, as well as patient management and communication skills.
  • Associate Degree in Network Security. Students in this program learn about network architecture from planning and implementation to ongoing security monitoring and management. Various digital and network forensic procedures will also be covered, as well as VPNs, secure remote connections, and disaster recovery methods.
  • Liberal Arts Certificate. This program covers topics in the humanities, liberal arts, and related disciplines to help students improve their writing, speech, and analytical skills to lay the groundwork for a successful career in the liberal arts.
  • Cisco CCNA Certificate. Students will obtain the knowledge necessary to pass the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification test by completing the requirements for this certificate.


Zane State College

Grad Rate: 44%

Zane State College is a public institution with campuses in Zanesville and Cambridge, Ohio, established in 1969. It provides more than 40 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as one bachelor’s degree focused on regional workforce needs.

Zane State College Overview

  • Tuition and Fees: $189/credit hour (in state); $371/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 2,223
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 75%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Zane State College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Business Management. This two-year online or on-campus program provides technical knowledge in business management, software applications, economic principles, and other management-related practices.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Electrical/Electronics Engineering Technology. This is a two-year on-campus program with two degree tracks. One is for joining the workforce right after graduation, and the other is for students who want to go on to pursue Zane’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering Technology.
  • Associate Degree in Information Technology: Programming and Web Development. Students who complete the ITPD program will be prepared for a variety of high-paying IT careers, including web development, mobile app development and gaming, database administration, project management, and cyber security.
  • Associate Degree in Education. Students in this program can specialize in teaching K-12 students or reading in general or in working as intervention specialists. This program is ideal for those seeking a four-year degree next.
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant. This two-year on-campus program trains students in increasing patients’ freedom in work and life, affecting their lives in a positive way. The program’s graduation rate is 87 percent.


Northwest State Community College

Grad Rate: 39%

Northwest State Community College offers five academic divisions with more than 60 certificates and degrees for traditional and accelerated students. The school also makes credit transfer easy for students who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Northwest State Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $187/credit hour (in state); $369/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 3,736
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 86%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 24:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Northwest State Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Business Management. Graduates of this program are well-versed in management, human resources management, accounting, marketing, and sales. In addition to daytime and evening classes, the program also offers classes on the weekend.
  • Associate Degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Through knowledge gained in sourcing and acquisition, conversion, and logistics, students of this program can help organizations form robust supply chains.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. Students will gain the skills necessary for entry-level positions in law enforcement while also laying the groundwork for further education and training. The curriculum covers the criminal justice system’s components and processes, including aspects of the law, the prison system, and prosecution.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology. Students who graduate from this program will be prepared for entry-level jobs in various mechanical and manufacturing engineering fields. They will be able to support engineers and other professionals in plant and facilities maintenance and other functions.
  • Registered Nursing. This program equips students to work as registered nurses in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals and clinics. The four-semester curriculum combines face-to-face classes, online classes, labs, and clinical practice to prepare students to work in the healthcare industry.


Edison State Community College

Grad Rate: 38%

A community college in Piqua, Ohio, Edison State Community College is a state-supported institution. In 1973, it became the state's first two-year college, with a general education component and technical training component.

Edison State Community College Overview

  • Tuition and Fees: $176.62/credit hour (in state); $326.94/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 4,202
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 96%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 24:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Edison State Community College Programs

  • Criminal Justice/Computer Forensics | AAS. Network and computer security are the main components of this two-year Associate of Applied Science program. Students will learn how to identify illegal network activity and gather and prepare evidence for criminal prosecution.
  • Business Management | AAB. Students in this Associate of Applied Business degree program will learn how to manage businesses of all sizes. The program features case studies, group projects, and real-world scenarios to teach students analytical, decision-making, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills.
  • Electro-Mechanical Engineering | AAS. This program features courses in electro-mechanical systems and electronics, as well as mechanical systems integration and control. Students learn how to design, install, and troubleshoot electrical systems.
  • Network Administration | AAB. Students in this program gain fundamental knowledge in data communications as well as cutting-edge technology skills. Cisco courses can be applied toward this Associate of Applied Business degree.
  • Physical Therapist Assistant | AAS. This program trains students to offer rehabilitation services under the instruction of physiotherapists in a variety of settings. Athletes, amputees, and individuals recuperating from injury, surgery, or illness are just some of those served by physical therapy assistants.


Washington State Community College

Grad Rate: 32%

Washington State Community College is a public community college in Marietta, Ohio, that was founded in 1971 and relocated to its current campus in 1991. The school offers over 45 degrees and certificates across six academic disciplines, including health, engineering, and public service.

Washington State Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $170/credit hour (in state); $171/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 1,809
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 83%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Washington State Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Business Management Technology. This program will assist you in taking the initiative toward starting your own business or becoming a supervisor. Courses cover management and marketing topics, but also technology and database management.
  • Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. Learn the electrical engineering fundamentals that will open up a world of possibilities for you. Upon graduation, you have the option of starting your career right away or continuing your education by enrolling in a four-year university to acquire your bachelor's degree.
  • Associate Degree in Nursing. This two-year nursing program allows you to take the same licensing test to become a registered nurse that bachelor’s degree holders do. This makes it a very cost-effective program.
  • Health Information Management Technology. This five-semester, entirely online program includes certificates that you can acquire throughout the course of your studies. Within the first three semesters, you can acquire a certificate in medical billing and coding, which can help you get a job while you finish your degree.
  • Criminal Justice Technology. This program prepares students for careers in law enforcement, private security, and other related criminal justice roles, or for transfer to a four-year college or university. You will get a foundational education in criminal justice, which includes the court system and law enforcement.


Columbus State Community College

Grad Rate: 31%

Columbus State Community College was founded in 1963. In addition to traditional associate degree programs, it also offers Associate of Technical Studies (ATS) degrees. ATS degree-seekers engage with an advisor to develop a personalized major that they can use upon graduation to enter the job market right away or transfer to a four-year college or university.

Columbus State Community College Overview

  • Tuition and Fees: $168/credit hour (in state); $343/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 27,621
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 82%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Columbus State Community College Programs

  • AAS in Architecture. This program includes courses in manual and computer-aided drafting (CAD), building information modeling (BIM), architectural history, and code evaluation to give students a firm foundation of technical skills and an appreciation for the importance of teamwork in the construction sector.
  • AAS in Computer Science: Management Information Systems. This degree program teaches students the fundamentals of computer science and introduces them to project and information management.
  • AAS in Computer Science: Information Technology Support Technician. This curriculum is intended to equip students with a solid foundation in the technical skills necessary for employment in the field of information technology support.
  • Associate of Science in Computer and Information Science. Advanced math or science majors can complete the first two years of their bachelor's degree through this program. Programming logic and software development basics are among the more specialized topics covered.
  • Associate of Arts in Political Science. This program is intended to satisfy the first two years of a bachelor's degree for non-math and non-science majors. Courses are in topics such as political systems, principles, methods of government, public policy making, and political conduct.


Sinclair Community College

Grad Rate: 27%

Sinclair Community College has transfer agreements with more than 100 colleges and universities, making it an ideal option for students who plan to also pursue a bachelor's degree. More than 300 degree and certificate programs are available through SCC, including more than 20 completely online programs.

Sinclair Community College Overview

  • Tuition and Fees: $136/credit hour (in district); $183/credit hour (out of district); $339/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 18,687
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 80%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Sinclair Community College Programs

  • Associate of Arts: Liberal Arts. This program is developed for students who wish to go on to pursue a four-year degree in a variety of fields, including education. Several four-year colleges’ and institutions' general education requirements can be met by this program.
  • Business Administration BUS.S.AS. This program prepares students for entry-level positions as managers of a wide variety of small and medium-sized businesses. It also makes transferring to a four-year university easy, through the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM), which guarantees the transfer of specific courses to any four-year public institution in Ohio.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology MEGT.S.AAS. Students who complete this program will be prepared to work as engineering technicians. Courses are non-calculus based and taught through the use of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment.
  • Veterinary Technology VET.S.AAS. This 65-credit program is divided into general education and division-specific courses with open enrollment and program-specific courses with limited enrollment. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam.
  • Nursing NUR.S.AAS. Students will learn how to meet the health needs of a varied demographic in a number of different community settings through this program. Nursing theory, clinical nursing practice, general education, and science make up the majority of the course content.


Lorain County Community College

Grad Rate: 27%

Lorain County Community College has four campuses in Ohio. The school partners with 14 universities to offer over 100 bachelor’s and master’s degrees. LCCC’s associate degrees and certificates are in popular fields like computer and information technology, the culinary arts, and the liberal arts and humanities, with some programs offered fully online.

Lorain County Community College Overview

  • Tuition and Fees: $154/credit hour (in district); $179/credit hour (out of district)

$331/credit hour (out of state)

  • Student Population: 10,138
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 93%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Lorain County Community College Programs

  • Human Resources Management Associate of Applied Business. Labor legislation as well as human resource management and labor relations are the emphasis of this program, which prepares graduates for careers as recruitment or HR specialists.
  • Associate of Applied Business in Web Development. This degree prepares students for lucrative tech jobs creating, managing, and maintaining internet sites and applications.
  • Associate of Applied Business in Hospitality & Tourism Management: Travel Industry Major. This program combines classroom learning with real-world experience gained through a cooperative-education or work-study program. An emphasis on customer service and marketing as well as international diversity prepares students for jobs in this quickly evolving field.
  • Associate Degree in Nursing. This program teaches students to work alongside doctors to help treat diseases, observe, assess, and document patient symptoms and progress, and assist in recovery and rehab.
  • Associate of Arts Degree. This program is specifically for students who want to pursue their bachelor’s degree in the arts, business studies, music, psychology, and other fields related to the liberal arts.


Cuyahoga Community College

Grad Rate: 24%

Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) is Ohio’s largest and oldest public community college. Tri-C offers over 1,000 associate degree courses in traditional classroom settings or via distance learning. Its transfer articulation agreements boost academic advancement at the university level.

Cuyahoga Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $125/credit hour (in district); $154/credit hour (out of district); $291/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 18,754
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 73%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Cuyahoga Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Business in Business Technology. This program offers a mix of business and tech studies that enables you to become a business analyst, tech specialist, or coordinator who manages both business and tech-related professionals in the office space.
  • Associate of Applied Business in Information Technology: Business Solutions. The students in this program learn how to incorporate IT solutions to run a business and specific aspects pertaining to business in a smooth way.
  • Associate of Applied Business in Cybersecurity. Students will learn the basics of networks and system management, with a major focus on securing systems and networks through modern mechanisms.
  • Associate of Applied Business in Business Management. This program helps you become a better project and personnel manager and grow as a contributor to your business’ aims and objectives.
  • Associate of Applied Business in Accounting. This program is a good starting point for a career as a tax and accounting paraprofessional, with the goal of eventually working your way up to management roles.


North Central State College

Grad Rate: 18%

North Central State College is located in Mansfield, Ohio. It offers associate degrees and certificates in business, engineering, health science, public service, technology, and workforce development. It also provides nine fully online programs and 13 transferable degree majors.

North Central State College Overview

  • Tuition: $1867/credit hour (in state); $373/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 2,729
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 94%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best North Central State College Programs

  • Nursing AAS. This nursing program enables students to become registered or practical nurses and provide care for sick or injured patients and others needing assistance with their health.
  • Health Information Technology AAS. This program focuses on the upgrading, analyzing, and secure preservation of patient records and other health data in the management of patient care.
  • Liberal Arts Focus AA. Students of this program gain knowledge in a wide range of liberal arts subjects while honing their critical thinking and writing skills. All of the program’s courses are eligible for transfer to four-year schools.
  • Integrated Engineering Technology AAS. The curriculum for this program covers electrical and mechanical engineering basics. Students will learn how to inspect and repair industrial equipment employing electrical and mechanical skills.
  • Business Administration: Business Management AAB. Designed to be a highly practical and instantly useful course of study, this program helps graduates succeed in today's business world by providing them with a wide range of fundamental business abilities.

Best Online Community Colleges in Ohio

  1. Cuyahoga Community College. Over 30 online degree, certificate, and professional development programs offered by Tri-C make it one of the best online community colleges in Ohio. Hybrid programs are also an option for students.
  2. Columbus State Community College. This community college offers a wide range of online certificates, many of which are unique to Columbus State. It also has online associate degree programs in a wide range of fields, such as accounting, criminal justice, advertising, and logistics.
  3. Stark State College. There are a variety of online associate degrees available from Stark State College, including in business, finance, IT, and the liberal arts. Online certificates are also available in a variety of study areas.

Best Online Associate Degrees

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Other Ohio Community College Rankings

The best overall community colleges in Ohio and the best online community colleges in Ohio aren’t the only high-ranking community colleges in the state. Here are some others that excel in areas like bachelor’s degrees offered and ease of transferability. Because nursing is such a popular field of study, we also included the best Ohio community colleges offering nursing programs.

Best Community Colleges in Ohio for Transfer

  1. Sinclair Community College. More than 100 colleges and universities have signed agreements with Sinclair to allow students to transfer their courses to apply to their bachelor’s degree. Areas of study include the liberal arts, business and public service, STEM, and health sciences.
  2. Cuyahoga Community College. This community college provides students with associate degrees that offer transferable credits to partnering four-year universities.
  3. Columbus State Community College. Through coordination with nearly 40 different universities and colleges both in state and out of state, CSCC allows students of all of its programs to easily transfer credits toward the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

Best Community Colleges for Nursing in Ohio

  1. Lakeland Community College. Lakeland’s associate degree program for nursing students is highly regarded and reputed in Ohio. In 2021, the college had an NCLEX-RN licensure exam pass rate of almost 90 percent , while producing an average of 117 graduates in nursing every year.
  2. Owens Community College. Owens provides a variety of degree and certificate programs in nursing. Its nursing associate degree holders have an NCLEX pass rate of 91.8 percent , and the school produces nearly 190 nursing graduates annually.
  3. Mercy College of Ohio. Mercy’s program for registered nurses can be completed in five semesters. Its graduates have an NCLEX pass rate of 88.3 percent . More than 130 nursing students graduate from the program every year.

Best Ohio Community Colleges That Offer Bachelor’s Degrees

  1. Eastern Gateway Community College. At EGCC you can earn online bachelor’s degrees in three different majors in association with Kent State University. These include the Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, and Bachelor of Science in Insurance Studies.
  2. Sinclair Community College. Sinclair provides two bachelor’s degrees to accommodate the workforce in its locality. The areas of study are Aviation Technology/Professional Pilot (AVTP.S.BAS) and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS.S.BAS).
  3. Lorain County Community College. This college has been named one of the most affordable community colleges in Ohio for associate and bachelor’s degrees. It was the first school in Ohio to offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Micro Electromechanical Systems.

Best Associate Degrees

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Best Community College Programs in Ohio

A view of downtown Columbus, the capital of Ohio
Opting for certificate programs from the best community colleges in Ohio can give you a good student-life experience.

The best community college programs in Ohio offer an education that leads to in-demand jobs with good pay. This includes programs in the fields of information technology and engineering, the liberal arts, nursing, criminal justice and law, and business administration and management.


Almost all of the community colleges on our list of best community colleges in Ohio offer programs in nursing. It is among the most popular majors pursued at public colleges in Ohio and across the US. There are a variety of programs available for prospective students in the form of bachelor’s and associate degrees, certificates, and transfer programs.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a registered nurse in Ohio is $71,640. This makes getting a college education in nursing a smart and lucrative move for those looking for employment in the ever-booming healthcare industry.

Business Administration and Management

Associate Degrees in Business Administration and Management are widely offered by community colleges in Ohio. These are often Associate of Science, Associate of Arts, and Associate of Business degrees. Associates of Applied Science degrees are also prevalent.

Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration

A healthy percentage of students who attend a community college enroll in programs related to criminal law and criminal justice . Popular associate degrees in this field are in computer forensics, law enforcement, and criminal justice technology.

Liberal Arts

Liberal arts degrees encompass many areas of study and provide a broad college education. This makes it the most popular degree option for community college students. Almost all of the Ohio community colleges on our list offer degrees and certificates in majors related to liberal arts.

Information Technology and Engineering

Programs like web development, cyber security, and network administration are in high demand all over the world because jobs in these fields are booming. Programs related to IT and engineering can be found at most community colleges and, due to their technological nature, are typically offered both online and on campus.

Ohio Community College Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for community colleges in Ohio include a high school transcript, entrance exam scores, letters of recommendation, an application form, a personal statement, and an interview.

Ohio Community College GPA Requirements

Most community colleges in Ohio don’t have a specific GPA requirement for incoming students, as evident from the list of colleges given above. However, students enrolled in their programs do have to maintain a minimum GPA in order to graduate and be awarded their certificate or degree.

Residency Requirements for Community Colleges in Ohio

The residency requirements for community colleges in Ohio are fairly consistent across the board. You must provide proof of having lived in the US or in the state of Ohio for the 12 months preceding the starting date of the degree program. If students want to change their residency to Ohio, they should also update all relevant legal items, like their driver’s license and voter ID.

Residency status is crucial to be eligible for lower tuition rates and other community college costs. For example, at Sinclair college, the tuition for in-district students is $136 per credit hour, for out-of-district students is $183 per credit hour, and for out-of-state students is $339 per credit hour.

Ohio Community College Age Requirements

Many Ohio community colleges require that students be at least 18 years of age to enroll. For example, Cuyahoga Community College’s general admission requirements state clearly that candidates should be a minimum of 18 years of age. However, there are colleges on our list that do not specifically mention an age requirement for admission.

Ohio Community College Admission Requirements: A Summary

  • Application form
  • High school transcripts
  • Entrance exam scores (SAT or ACT)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

Why Study in Ohio?

You should consider studying in Ohio because it has more than 120 public and private institutions of higher education that offer affordable degree programs. Look to Ohio schools for particularly strong programs in IT, engineering, nursing, business, and liberal arts. In addition to solid education options, Ohio offers a vibrant, urban, wealthy environment for students to enjoy.

It is one of the most business-focused states in the US, which makes it a good place for entrepreneurs and other business professionals. From its award-winning libraries to its renowned vacation destinations, Ohio can be a great place to get your college education and experience life in general. A lower cost of living than other US states helps ensure that you can experience all Ohio has to offer.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Ohio is lower than the national average and is also lower than the cost of living in neighboring states such as Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. Costs associated with housing, healthcare, and transportation all score lower than the average for the nation as well.

Educational Opportunities

With 120 higher education institutions, including 23 community and technical colleges, Ohio likely has your educational needs covered. Students who want to begin their postsecondary education at a community college with the intention of transferring credits to a four-year university later should have no problem finding one that makes this easy for them.

Job Opportunities

A total of 5.7 million civilians make up Ohio’s growing workforce . Jobs in all sectors, excluding the farming industry, have grown steadily over the past several months, with a 2.2 percent overall jump year-over-year in April 2022.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, there has been an unprecedented increase in the availability of jobs within the state. As more job vacancies are created and fewer workers are available to fill them, students graduating from the best community colleges in Ohio get more bargaining power in terms of their starting salary.

Ohio Employment Outlook for Community College Students

With a gross domestic product (GDP) of almost $676 billion in 2018, Ohio’s economy ranked seventh in the United States and 36th globally. On the other hand, the state lags behind several other states in terms of production. For example, its GDP per capita is lower than that of the US overall. In a 2019 analysis of 121 of the largest metropolitan areas of the US , Ohio areas rated above average in terms of occupation opportunities and employment outlook.

5 In-Demand Ohio Jobs

The top five most in-demand jobs in Ohio that usually require an associate degree are related to the medical, information technology, engineering, business management, and therapy fields. Let’s look at the best Ohio jobs in these industries.


Occupational Therapy Assistant

Average Salary: $61,730

Occupational therapy assistants help patients maintain daily living and functioning abilities. They work in clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. Most of their time is spent maintaining therapy equipment and assisting patients with different therapy methods.

This occupation could very well be the best-kept secret of the healthcare industry. Occupational therapists dedicate their time and energy to helping people of different ages overcome illnesses, injuries, and disabilities. But they are given much less recognition compared to the better-known physical therapists.

  • Average Salary in Ohio: $61,760
  • Employment in Ohio: 3,410
  • Overall Job Growth: 34%
  • Best Ohio Community College Program: Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate Degree Program at Zane State College


Radiation Therapist

Average Salary: $82,790

Radiation therapists assist oncologists in the treatment of cancer patients who are undergoing radiation therapy. Hospitals, outpatient clinics, and doctor's offices all employ radiation therapists. These professionals work with X-rays, CT scans, and cone beam computed tomography. These technologies allow them to position cancer patients accurately before the radiation is administered.

Radiation therapists also use immobilization devices in order to replicate each patient’s position for bringing more accuracy to the treatment. They are experts in using computer technologies and are sometimes referred to as medical technologists . In Ohio, an associate degree and state licensing are required for a career in radiation therapy.

  • Average Salary in Ohio: $83,720
  • Employment in Ohio: 350
  • Overall Job Growth: 9 %
  • Best Ohio Community College Program: Physical Therapist Assistant AAS at Edison State Community College


Computer Network Support Specialist

Average Salary: $62,760

Computer network support specialists’ main job is to provide technical support to computer users and maintain the computer networks. They mainly work full-time because most companies need constant assistance with computer-based services.

They analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate the existing network systems. They also perform network maintenance to ensure minimal interruption in all networks.Computer network support technicians spend most of their time backing up network data and configuring security settings or access permissions. They also analyze and report any computer network security breaches.

  • Average Salary in Ohio: $63,930
  • Employment in Ohio: 7,740
  • Overall Job Growth: 9%
  • Best Ohio Community College Program: AAS in Computer Science: Management Information Systems at Columbus State Community College


Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Average Salary: $78,760

Radiologists employ radioactive materials prepared by nuclear medicine technologists. This is a highly specialized profession with its main focus on looking into how the human body functions. The job of a nuclear medicine technologist is mainly about helping in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of diseases and medical conditions.

They also prepare radioactive drugs to be administered to patients for treatment. In addition to jobs in hospitals, imaging centers and diagnostic labs are also good places for these professionals to work. A radiologic license and an associate degree are both required in Ohio for becoming a nuclear medicine technologist.

  • Average Salary in Ohio: $75,270
  • Employment in Ohio: 920
  • Overall Job Growth: 8%
  • Best Ohio Community College Program: Healthcare Technology at James A Rhodes State College


Mechanical Engineering Technologist

Average Salary: $60,460

Mechanical engineering technologists work as assistants to mechanical engineers in the design and development of different kinds of machinery. In other words, they build and install equipment in accordance with the specifications provided by mechanical engineers.

They are also responsible for testing the equipment once it is installed. These professionals can work in different manufacturing sectors as well as in R&D labs as full-time engineering technicians. They can provide technical support and services to a specific firm under full-time employment or work as an independent contractor in mechanical engineering fields.

  • Average Salary in Ohio: $59,050
  • Employment in Ohio: 1,990
  • Overall Job Growth: 6%
  • Best Ohio Community College Program: Mechanical Engineering Technology MEGT.S.AAS at Sinclair Community College

What Community Colleges in Ohio Have Dorms?

None of the community colleges in Ohio on our list has dorms. However, many junior colleges and technical institutes in the state do offer students on-campus housing. These schools include Hocking College, Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, Rosedale Bible College, and Bradford School. Living on campus tends to cost more than living off campus.

Ohio Community Colleges With Dorms

  1. Bradford School
  2. Hocking College
  3. Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute
  4. Rosedale Bible College

What Community Colleges Offer Winter Intersession in Ohio?

A winter intersession is a fast-tracked session of just a few weeks offered by schools between the fall and spring semesters. Instead of taking this time off or working, some students prefer to enroll in the winter intersession so that they can complete their degree faster or take fewer credit hours during the regular semesters.

In Ohio, Washington State Community College provides a winter intersession, and Columbus State Community College provides flexible five-week classes for specific majors during the winter break.

Ohio Community Colleges With Winter Intersession

  1. Washington State Community College
  2. Columbus State Community College

What Community Colleges in Ohio Have Summer Classes?

Some of the best community colleges in Ohio that offer summer classes are Columbus State Community College, Stark State College, and Lorain County Community College. Summer courses provide the same opportunity that winter intersessions do. They can help students complete their study programs quicker or spread out their credits over the year if they have other responsibilities in addition to school.

Ohio Community Colleges With Summer Classes

  1. Columbus State Community College
  2. Cuyahoga Community College
  3. Stark State College
  4. Lorain County Community College

How to Apply to Community College in Ohio

Although each community college in Ohio will have its own specific admissions process, there are a few requirements that they generally all have in common. This includes completing an online application, paying the associated fee, and providing all the required documents, such as academic transcripts, standardized test scores, and letters of recommendation.

Ohio Community College Application Steps

  1. Select the appropriate online application for your program and complete it.
  2. Submit all required documents, such as high school or college transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, a personal statement, etc.
  3. Pay any associated application fee.
  4. Apply for financial aid.
  5. Schedule an appointment with an advisor and attend orientation.

Cost of Community Colleges in Ohio

The cost of tuition for community colleges in Ohio averages $4,330 per year for an in-state student, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and $7,528 for an out-of-state student. The data we obtained from the schools on our lists shows that their tuition for in-state students ranges from $119 to $189 per credit.

Are Community Colleges Ever Free in Ohio?

No, there are no free community colleges in Ohio. However, there are ways to get some free, or almost-free, credits. Ohio students in grades seven to 12 can take advantage of Ohio’s College Credit Plus program, which enables them to take courses at local community colleges before graduating high school.

Which Community Colleges Are Free in Ohio?

There aren’t any colleges that provide free programs to students, with maybe one exception for Columbus City School’s graduating seniors. Based on the Columbus Promise program, these students are now able to enroll in Columbus State Community College and receive free tuition for up to six terms, allowing them to complete two-year degrees and shorter certificates for free.

Who Qualifies for Free Community College in Ohio?

According to the Ohio Department of Higher Education, any person age 60 or over can take courses for free at two-year community colleges and four-year universities in the state. This policy was adopted to make education opportunities more inclusive to all age groups and to develop the culture of learning irrespective of age.

Scholarships for Community Colleges in Ohio

There are many options for scholarships for community colleges in Ohio. According to the Ohio Department of Higher Education, these scholarships include the Choose Ohio First Scholarship, the Ohio College Opportunity Grant, the Ohio War Orphans & Severely Disabled Veterans’ Children Scholarship, and many others.

How to Get a Scholarship for Community Colleges in Ohio

  1. Make sure that you meet all of the scholarship’s requirements, such as a minimum GPA.
  2. Complete the scholarship application, which is usually available online.
  3. Submit all of the required documents.
  4. Check your application status for notification of any award received.

Ohio Community College Scholarships List

  • American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio’s Department President’s Scholarship | Amount: $1,000-$1,500. This scholarship is granted to college freshmen who are descendants of a veteran.
  • Ohio College Opportunity Grant | Amount: $800. This is awarded to students with a high need for financial support, as determined through their FAFSA application.
  • American Chemical Society Rubber Division’s Undergraduate Scholarship | Amount: $5,000. These scholarships are awarded to students who show an interest in technical disciplines relevant to the rubber industry.

Other Ohio Community College Financial Aid Options

Besides scholarships, there are plenty of other Ohio community college financial aid options, including college or government grants and federal student aid programs. You can also look into forms of financial aid related to your specific field of study, such as scholarships and grants for engineering students.

Federal Student Aid Programs

There is a wide range of federal aid available to community college students. Some of it is the type that needs to be paid back, such as federal loans, while other types do not. For example, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants provide funding that doesn’t need to be repaid. For students who want to work to help pay for their education, the Federal Work-Study Program helps with part-time job placement.

College Student Aid Programs

Many community colleges offer their own funding options. For example, the emergency aid provided by Lorain County Community College is for students who need immediate financial assistance. Support is in the form of a loan that must be paid back. However, community colleges also typically offer scholarships and grants that don’t require repayment.

State Student Aid Programs

The Ohio Department of Higher Education offers several funding opportunities for community college students. The Choose Ohio First Scholarship is for students pursuing education in eligible STEM fields, such as aerospace, medicine, and information technology. There are also aid programs specifically for students in other fields, veterans, and others.

Student Loans

Most of the money that students borrow in the form of loans to pay for school comes from the federal government. However, there are also loans available from state agencies and private organizations like banks. This money and any accrued interest will need to be paid back. Before accepting a loan, be sure that you understand the full amount of the loan and the payment plan.

The Best Financial Aid for Your Situation

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What Are the Financial Aid Requirements for Community Colleges in Ohio?

The financial aid requirements for community colleges in Ohio start with submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Once your application is approved, you are then eligible for multiple financial aid options through state, federal, or private sponsored funding.

Ohio Financial Aid Requirements: Overview

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Enrollment in any college-level degree or certificate program
  • Valid social security number
  • Maintain a good academic record throughout the degree program

Should You Attend Community College in Ohio?

Yes, you should consider attending a community college in Ohio for a number of reasons. First, a community college education can be more affordable in Ohio than in other states. Lorain County Community College, for example, has the most affordable bachelor’s degree program in the state and the 17th most affordable one in the nation. Ohio also has a lower cost of living than the nation’s average.

With solid job growth happening in most sectors, Ohio offers strong job prospects for college graduates. Even though the state has a lower cost of living than its neighboring states and the nation as a whole, its salaries match and sometimes beat the national average, making your money go farther.

Ohio Community College Rankings: Methodology

Our ranking of Ohio community colleges is based mainly on graduation rate. If graduation rate statistics were not available, we used data on student-to-faculty ratios to rank the remaining schools. These figures, sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), best reflect a student’s chances of getting the education and help they need to succeed.

Best Accelerated Degrees

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Best Ohio Community Colleges FAQ

Are community colleges good for higher education?

Yes, community colleges are a good option for higher education. They charge less per credit hour than four-year universities do, and many of their programs qualify graduates for the same entry-level jobs as bachelor’s degrees do. You can also likely transfer at least some of your credits earned at a community college toward a bachelor’s degree, reducing its cost to you.

What is the cheapest community college in Ohio?

Cuyahoga Community College is the cheapest community college in Ohio, charging just $119 per credit for an in-state student. Keep in mind that the total cost of your education includes more than just tuition. Fees, housing, books, and other costs must also be considered.

Does Ohio have a promise scholarship?

Ohio currently does not offer a College Promise program. The Ohio College Community Grant is Ohio’s only needs-based grant, and it is currently underfunded. The state plans to expand its needs-based aid to be able to better serve its long-term education and workforce development goals in the near future.

How are Ohio community colleges funded?

Ohio community colleges are funded mostly by the state’s taxpayer money, which is regulated by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Sana Uqaili

About the author: Sana is a content writer who wants to use her work to spread knowledge and help others. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Binary University of Management & Entrepreneurship.

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