If you want to pursue cheaper post-secondary education, the cheapest colleges in Ohio might be what you’re looking for. The national average in-state tuition at public schools is around $10,300, according to US News & World Report. However, many Ohio universities offer undergraduate education with cheaper tuition rates.
In this article, we’ve gathered everything you must know about the most affordable colleges in Ohio. We also cover the cheapest online colleges in Ohio for students who want to study at a low-tuition college online. The cheapest universities in Ohio provide quality programs and student services, so read on to learn more.
How Much Does College Cost in Ohio?
College in Ohio costs between $7,000 and $11,000 per year. According to the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the average yearly tuition cost for undergraduate students is $7,123 on regional campuses. Meanwhile, the annual cost of tuition for public universities’ main campuses is $11,584 on average for in-state students.
In addition to tuition and fees, prospective students must also take into consideration other expenses when choosing between low-tuition colleges in Ohio. These expenses are the cost of books and supplies, housing, meals, transportation, and additional personal expenses.
Most Affordable Colleges in Ohio: The Basics
|School||Location||Undergraduate Tuition||Graduate Tuition|
|University of Cincinnati Clermont College||Batavia||$266/credit (in state), $567/credit (out of state)||$746/credit (in state), $1,333/credit (out of state)|
|University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College||Blue Ash||$283/credit (in state), $649/credit (out of state)||$746/credit (in state), $1,333/credit (out of state)|
|Miami University at Hamilton||Hamilton||$295/credit (in state), $758/credit (out of state)||$652/credit (in state), $1,456/credit (out of state)|
|Central State University||Wilberforce||$301/credit (in state), $415/credit (out of state)||N/A|
|Ohio State University||Columbus, Lima, Mansfield, Marion and Newark, and Wooster||$382/credit (in state), $1,344/credit (out of state)||$722/credit (in state), $2,344/credit (out of state)|
|Shawnee State University||Portsmouth||$389/credit (in state), $653/credit (out of state)||$548/credit (in state), $1,020/credit (out of state)|
|Wright State University||Dayton and Celina||$486/credit hour (in state), $920/credit hour (out of state)||$660/credit hour (in state), $1,125/credit hour (out of state)|
|Ohio University||Athens||$527/credit hour (in state), $1,001/credit hour (out of state)||$583/credit hour (in state), $1,079/credit hour (out of state)|
|Kent State University||Kent, Stark, Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Salem, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas||$566/credit (in state), $939/credit (out of state)||$481/credit (in state), $860/credit (out of state)|
|Youngstown State University||Youngstown||$975/credit (in state), $1,005/credit (out of state)||$1,150/credit (in state), $1,180/credit (out of state)|
Cheapest Universities in Ohio: A Closer Look
Some of the cheapest universities in Ohio are UC Clermont, Wright State University, Ohio University, Kent State University, and Youngstown State University. We’ve chosen the cheapest schools below based on their undergraduate and graduate tuition rates and program offering.
Cheapest Online Colleges in Ohio
|School||Online Tuition||Programs Available Online|
|University of Cincinnati||$288 – $564/credit hour||Associate, Bachelor’s, Certificate|
|Shawnee State University Online Campus||$291 – $600/credit||Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Certificate, PhD|
|Cleveland State University||$401 – $537/credit||Bachelor’s, Master’s Certificate|
|Youngstown State University||$415 – $527/credit||Bachelor’s, Master’s Certificate|
|University of Toledo||$457/credit hour||Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Certificate, PhD|
Cheapest Colleges in Ohio by In-State Tuition
- University of Cincinnati Clermont College | $266/credit
- University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College | $283/credit
- Miami University at Hamilton | $295/credit
- Central State University | $301/credit
- Ohio State University | $382/credit
Cheapest Colleges in Ohio by Out-of-State Tuition
- Central State University | $415/credit
- University of Cincinnati Clermont College | $567/credit
- University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College | $649/credit
- Shawnee State University | $653/credit
- Miami University at Hamilton | $758/credit
Why Is College So Expensive?
College is expensive because of tuition, housing and food, books, and transportation costs. According to the College Institute of Access and Success, Ohio college graduates have an average debt of $30,605. Keep reading to learn how you can save money while attending the most affordable colleges in Ohio.
Tuition and fees
Tuition is the price you pay for classes. The cost of tuition and fees has increased significantly in the past decades. Today, tuition at the cheapest colleges in Ohio ranges from $7,123 to $11,584 in 2022 alone, according to the Ohio Department of Higher Education. A great way to afford the tuition up front is by applying for financial aid.
If you’re planning to attend college out of state, you’ll have to pay for housing. The cost of room and board at four-year institutions ranges from $9,395 to $12,540 per year, according to Education Data Initiative. Living off-campus in Ohio can be cheaper, however you’ll have to budget to pay for rent, food, gas, and utility bills.
According to The Institute for College Access and Success, transportation costs for college students can exceed $1,100 per year. To save on these expenses, you can try to choose cheaper transportation, such as taking the bus or carpooling, as much as possible.
Best Universities by State
How to Save Money in College
- Get used textbooks. According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost for books and supplies is $1,240 per year. Buying used books can reduce these expenses significantly.
- Choose cheaper transportation whenever it’s possible. On average, college students spend between $1,060 and $1,840 on transportation yearly, according to CollegeBoard. Choosing cheaper transportation options can reduce your primary transport expenses.
- Budget your income. According to the Education Data Initiative, college students’ personal expenses range from $2,733 to $6,022 per year. To save money, you can create a budget considering your monthly income against your priorities and needs.
- Live with family. A great way to save money when attending college is by living with family. This will allow you to save on room and board fees, as well as on food expenses.
- Get your degree online. Online degree programs can help you save on expenses such as on-campus fees, transportation, and housing. Moreover, online students typically pay more affordable tuition rates.
How to Apply for Financial Aid in Ohio
- Create an FSA ID. With this account, you’ll be able to access the myStudentAid app and sign financial aid contracts.
- Gather the necessary documents to complete the FAFSA form. You’ll need your social security number, driver’s license, tax documents, income records, and bank information.
- Fill out and sign the FAFSA form. You can do this online, through the myStudentAid app, or by hand. To complete your application, you’ll have to answer a series of questions about you and your financial situation.
- You’ll receive a Student Aid Report that summarizes the information on your application. Make sure to review it and make the necessary corrections.
- Your school’s financial aid office will send you an offer, and you’ll have to choose the financial aid you want. It’s important to review your options before making a decision.
Scholarships for Students in Ohio
|Choose Ohio First||Ohio Department of Higher Education||$500 – $8,352/year||Must be pursuing a degree in STEM in any of the participating Ohio universities|
|Ohio College Opportunity Grant||Ohio Department of Higher Education||$6,495/year||Must be an Ohio resident with a maximum household income of $96,000|
|Forever Buckeyes||Ohio Department of Higher Education||Covers the tuition||Must be an Ohio resident returning to the state to pursue a college degree|
|Short Term Certificate Grant Program||Ohio Department of Higher Education||$2,000/
|Must be pursuing a certificate program that can be completed in a year or less|
|Believe in Ohio Scholarship||The Ohio Academy of Science||$1,000||Must be a high school student participating in Believe in Ohio’s state competition|
|Ohio EPA Scholarship||The Ohio Academy of Science||$2,500 or $5,000||Must be an undergraduate student pursuing careers in environmental sciences or environmental engineering|
|NIADA Foundation Regional Scholarship||National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Foundation||$3,500||Must be a high school senior pursuing a career in the automotive industry and submit a 1,200-word essay|
|Career Technical Education (CTE) Scholarship||Richland County Foundation||Covers the tuition and fees||Must be a Richland County resident or a Richland County high school graduate pursuing a degree at an accredited Technical Education institution|
|OHIO Excellence Scholarship||Ohio University||Up tp $6,500 per year||Must be a first-year student enrolled in Ohio University with a good academic record|
|Zinggia Ohio Art Scholarship||Zinggia!||$2,000 per year||Must be a high school senior pursuing a degree in visual arts and a GPA of at least 3.0|
How to Choose a Cheap College in Ohio
There are many low-tuition colleges in Ohio. To narrow down your school search, consider factors such as tuition, housing cost, and financial aid opportunities. Keep reading to learn how to choose a cheap college in Ohio.
Cost of Tuition
Tuition is the biggest part of college expenses. Attending one of the many low-tuition colleges in Ohio is a great way of reducing your education expenses. To help with your school search, consider the school’s yearly tuition and apply to the schools that better fit your budget.
In addition to tuition and fees, the cost of on-campus room and board can make college very expensive. Considering your options can help you choose the accommodation that suits your budget better. You save money by attending a college close to home or living with family.
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Consider Financial Aid Opportunities
A great way to save on college expenses is to apply for financial aid. The Ohio Department of Higher Education also offers a wide variety of scholarships and grants. Another option is to apply for federal scholarships and grants, or federal student loans.
Best Community Colleges by State
Highest-Paying Jobs for College Graduates in Ohio
|Job Title||Average Salary in Ohio||Minimum Education|
|Surgeon||$346,060||Medical Doctor degree|
|Orthodontist||$229,040||Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine degree|
|Chief Executive||$214,990||Bachelor’s degree|
|Physician||$201,930||Medical Doctor degree|
|Airline Pilot||$192,710||Bachelor’s degree|
|Nurse Anesthetist||$187,410||Master’s degree|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||$142,630||Bachelor’s degree|
Best Jobs for College Grads in Ohio: Explained
Accredited Online Colleges by State
Is a Cheap College in Ohio Worth It?
Yes, attending a cheap college is worth it because it’s an affordable way of getting a four-year degree. These schools have regional accreditation and are well-respected. They offer high-quality in-person and online degree programs in a wide range of fields.
Cheapest Colleges in Ohio FAQ
Some of the cheapest colleges in Ohio are the University of Cincinnati Clermont College, Miami University at Hamilton, Central State University, Ohio State University, and Shawnee State University. These schools offer high-quality and affordable education in a variety of sectors and fields.
Yes, you can go to college for free in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Higher Education offers plenty of financial aid programs to pay for your college education. There are also programs like the Ohio AFL-CIO Free College Benefit, that let you earn an online degree program for free.
No, Ohio does not have a college scholarship program. The only need-based aid grant in this state is the Ohio College Opportunity Grant. This scholarship is available to any Ohio student with a maximum annual household income of $96,000.
To apply to the cheapest colleges in Ohio you’ll have to fill out an application form, pay the application fee, and submit documents such as academic transcripts and standardized test scores. Other admission requirements are recommendation letters, essays, and interviews.
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