OhioContinuing our series of best online college by state rankings, we have examined all online colleges in Ohio and chosen to showcase the top 20 schools, based on the methodology stated below.

For this top 20 online college ranking, we have searched far and wide to find each of the schools located in the state of Ohio offering distance-learning students a selection of online academic programs. Each of the schools that offered online degree programs were ranked based on our chosen ranking criteria, then scored based on a scale from 1 to 200 total points.

Out of 165 total schools, the state of Ohio has 103 different public and private colleges and universities that have a selection of online academic programs available. Ohio is the 34th largest state by area in the country, the 7th most populous state, and is the 10th most densely populated state in the nation. With more than 11.6 million people calling Ohio home, it is no surprise that many of the institutions of higher learning based there have made an effort to ensure that they each have various online college degree program offerings available.

Ohio, like many states, is home to a consortium of post-secondary educational institutes. Ohio’s academic consortium is called “The Five Colleges of Ohio”, and the five member institutions are Denison University; Kenyon College; Oberlin College and Conservatory; Ohio Wesleyan University and; The College of Wooster. The primary purpose of this consortium (which was originally established in 1995) is to promote the general educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions by sharing resources, knowledge, and research; allowing them to provide their students with a better education and a better overall environment. Many of these institutes have highly enviable scores based on our ranking criteria. Unfortunately, however, only one of them — Denison University — offers online academic programs to distance learning students.

Methodology

We have ranked each of the Ohio-based schools that have a selection of online educational programs available for distance-learning students to enroll in based on the following ranking criteria:

  • 50%: Freshman Retention Rates and;
  • 50%: Graduation Rates

We have utilized each school’s website whenever possible to get the two rates for which we were looking. In instances that this information was unavailable or incomplete directly from an individual school’s website, we used the databases of both U.S. News and World Report and of National Center for Education Statistics in order to get the information needed for this college ranking. In cases where two or more schools were tied for a spot throughout the article, we used the alphabetical ordering of their names as our designated tie-breaking criteria. A school’s Freshman Retention Rate and Graduation Rate are both reliable indicators that — upon successfully completing one of these school’s online degree programs — a student will have been provided with everything that they will need to have a successful career.

We also consulted our ranking of the 100 best online colleges when ranking these schools.

20: University of Findlay

University of Findlay

The University of Findlay is a private, not-for-profit Churches of God General Conference-affiliated (which is an Evangelical Christian denomination) liberal arts university which is located in Findlay, Ohio. The University of Findlay was originally established in 1882 by the city of Findlay and by the Churches of God General Conference and was originally known as Findlay College. In 1989, the name was changed to its present-day name of the University of Findlay. The University of Findlay offers more than 3,700 total enrolled students a selection of nearly 60 different undergraduate majors, nine Master’s degree-granting programs, a Doctor of Pharmacy degree program, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program. Many of these academic programs are also available in an online and asynchronous format, such as the university’s Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography Technology (PET/CT) degree program and their Master of Arts (M.A.) in Educational Administration among many others. UF–as the university is commonly referred–has been recognized as a ìBest in the Midwestî college by the Princeton Review. UF ranks consistently in the top tier group of U.S. News and World Reportís ìAmericaís Best Collegesî ranking in the Midwest regional section, which ranks colleges that located in the Midwest region of the United States. The University of Findlay has an institutional accreditation provided by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and many of the university’s programs have received programmatic accreditation from various national accrediting organizations for the areas of business; environmental health science and protection; occupational therapy; pharmacy; social work and teacher education among others. UF is home to a selection of Honor Societies and Greek Letter organizations: Alpha Psi Omega; Alpha Zeta Omega; Aristos Eklektos; Phi Alpha Honors Society; Kappa Psi; Pi Sigma Alpha; Phi Alpha Theta; Phi Kappa Phi; Pi Mu Epsilon; Phi Theta Epsilon; Psi Chi; Sigma Tau Delta; Sigma Xi. UF is also home to numerous other social, philanthropic and professional clubs, such as the Chemistry Club and the Technology and Gaming Club to name a very few.

School’s Website: https://www.findlay.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 78.0%
Graduation Rate: 56.0%
Final Score: 134.0/200

19: Bowling Green State University — Main Campus

Bowling Green State University

With online academic offerings which include: a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health (BSAH) degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree program, a Master of Education in Criminal Justice degree program, a Master of Education in Reading degree program and a K-12 Online Teaching and Learning certification program and many more, Bowling Green State University provides its nearly 18,000 total enrolled students with a lot of opportunity when it comes to when, where, and how they obtain a higher education. Bowling Green State University has more than 200 undergraduate programs as well as many Masters and Doctoral degrees from which students can choose. These academic programs are offered through the eight different academic colleges into which the university is organized: the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Business Administration; the College of Education and Human Development; Firelands College; the Graduate College; the College of Health and Human Services; the College of Musical Arts and; the College of Technology. Bowling Green State University (which is commonly referred to simply as BGSU) is a public research university which is located in Bowling Green Ohio. BGSU was originally established in 1910 and was known as the Bowling Green State Normal School. The Bowling Green State Normal School was housed in two temporary locations initially; at the Bowling Green Armory and a branch school in Toledo for the 1914 to 1915 academic year. The school achieved the status of a college in 1929 when the Emmons-Hanna Bill–which was a bill that was sponsored by Myrna Belle Reece Hanna, the first woman to represent Wood County in the Ohio General Assembly–granted the school the ability to confer undergraduate degrees to eligible students. This change caused the Bowling Green State Normal School to be renamed to Bowling Green State College. Later, in 1935, the college was granted university status and changed its name a final time to its present-day name: Bowling Green State University. BGSU offered the nation’s first Ph.D. program in Photochemical Science and also the first Ph.D. program in the country for Applied Philosophy. According to U.S. News and World Report, BGSU consistently offers one of the top four programs in the United States for the program area of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

School’s Website: https://www.bgsu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 78.0%
Graduation Rate: 57.0%
Final Score: 135.0/200

18: Kent State University — Main Campus

Kent State University

Kent State University is a public research university which is based in Kent, Ohio. In addition to its main campus, Kent State University also operates satellite locations in Ashtabula, Burton, East Liverpool, Jackson Township, New Philadelphia, Salem, Warren; as well as centers in Cleveland, Independence, and Twinsburg, Ohio; New York City, New York, and one additional center located in Florence, Italy. KSU, as the school is commonly called, was originally established in 1910 and was formerly operated as a teacher’s instructional institute. Kent State University—across eight regional satellite campuses and its main campus—enrolls nearly 41,000 total students, in one of the school’s leading academic programs, both undergraduate and graduate. The school’s main campus alone instructs more than 30,000 students across a variety of different programs spanning across various areas-of-study. Many of these academic programs are also available in an online and asynchronous format, such as KSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing for Registered Nurses (RN to BSN) degree program, and their Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care degree program, among many others. These distance learning programs are taught by the same dedicated academic faculty as their on-campus counterparts, ensuring each of Kent State University’s students receives the same high-quality education. KSU is organized into twelve academic divisions: the School of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology; the School of Architecture and Environmental Design; the School of the Arts and Sciences; the School of Business Administration; the School of Communication and Information; the School of Education Health, and Human Services; the School of Nursing; the School of Podiatric Medicine; the School of Public Health; the School of School of Digital Sciences and; the Honors College. During the late 1960’s and the in the early 1970’s, KSU garnered national and international attention for its students” activism, sit-in protesting and marching to show their opposition to the United State’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

School’s Website: http://www.kent.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 81.0%
Graduation Rate: 56.0%
Final Score: 137.0/200

17: Walsh University

Walsh University

Walsh University is a private, not-for-profit and Roman Catholic-affiliated liberal arts university which is located in North Canton, Ohio. Walsh University was originally established in 1951 as the LaMennais College in Alfred, Maine by the Brothers of Christian Instruction–a Catholic educational organization–on an idea by “The Great Imposter” Ferdinand Waldo Demara, during his time spent impersonating Brother John Payne of the Christian Brothers of Instruction. Walsh University moved to its current location in 1959 at which time the school’s name was changed to Walsh University after Emmet Michael Walsh, an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church that served as the Bishop of Youngstown, Ohio from 1952 to 1968. The university offers more than 2,500 enrolled students a selection of 70 majors, seven graduate programs and various accelerated degrees designed for working adults that are available on-campus. Additionally, Walsh University has many online academic programs available for distance learning students to choose from, such as the school’s Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) degree program, their Master’s in Nursing degree program or their Master of Arts in Education (MAED). Each of the university’s online academic programs is offered in an asynchronous format, affording students another level of flexibility in their academic careers as they will be able to complete their coursework not only wherever they wish but whenever is the most convenient time for them as well. Walsh University is the owner of Hoover Park which is also located in North Canton and was formerly owned by the Hoover Company. The Hoover Historical Center is located at this location, and the Center houses collections of antique vacuum cleaners, vintage vacuum ads, products produced by Hoover for America’s World War II efforts, personal Hoover family furnishings and various examples of ladies’ fashion items. Walsh has institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; the Council for the Association of Educator Preparation; the Ohio Board of Counseling & Social Work; The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education and; the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

School’s Website: https://www.walsh.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 78.0%
Graduation Rate: 60.0%
Final Score: 138.0/200

16: Marietta College

Marietta College

Located in Marietta, Ohio, Marietta College is a private, not-for-profit coeducational liberal arts college. Marietta College was originally chartered in 1835 and was historically preceded by the local community’s Muskingum Academy, which itself was established in 1797 and operated as a teacher’s instructional institute. Marietta, Ohio was the first permanent settlement of the Northwest Territory and was set up in 1788, meaning the town and what is now Marietta College has had a long and storied history with each other. Marietta College offers more than 1,200 total enrolled students a selection of 45 undergraduate majors and many undergraduate minors to choose from, many of which are available in an online and asynchronous format in order to serve the school’s distance learning students. Marietta College has garnered a lot of attention for its excellent Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering degree program which is offered to on-campus students and can be read about in the school’s course catalog. At the center of a Marietta, College education is the school’s “Seven Core Values” that form the foundation for everything that the College does. These Seven Core Values are: Providing a Liberal Arts Foundation; delivering In-Depth Programs of Study; providing a Global Perspective and Diversity; World of Work; Community; Leadership and; Service. Due to these core values, the academic foundation that is provided to Marietta College student’s is solid enough to easily build a fruitful and dynamic career upon, allowing students to enact positive changes in their communities and the world as a whole. In 2013 U.S. News and World Report ranked Marietta College as the 3rd Best College in the Baccalaureate Colleges in the Midwest category and, in 2014, the same publication ranked Marietta College in the same category as placing as the 4th best. In 2015 U.S. News and World Report regarded the school as being tied with two other schools for the 6th place for the same category.

School’s Website: http://www.marietta.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 73.0%
Graduation Rate: 66.0%
Final Score: 139.0/200

15: University of Mount Union

University of Mount Union

The University of Mount Union is a private, not-for-profit and United Methodist-affiliated four-year liberal arts university which is located in Alliance, Ohio and was originally established in 1846. Orville Nelson Hartshorn was the person that created the University of Mount Union–formerly called Mount Union College. He founded the school as “a place where both men and women could be educated with equal opportunity; science would parallel the humanities, and there would be no distinction due to race, color or to gender.” The school’s name was changed to its present-day name of the University of Mount Union in 2010. Mount Union offers more than 2,200 enrolled students a selection of 60 majors and 53 minors from which to choose from and are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. These undergraduate academic programs span across varying areas-of-study and many of which are available in an online and fully asynchronous format. The University of Mount Union has an institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Furthermore, it has numerous programmatic accreditations, from a myriad of accrediting institutions. These are the University Senate of the United Methodist Church; Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc.; the Ohio Board of Nursing; the Ohio Department of Higher Education; the National Association of Schools of Music; the National Collegiate Athletic Association; the National Association of Sport and Physical Education-North American Society for Sport Management; the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and; the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, among many others.

School’s Website: https://www.mountunion.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 78.0%
Graduation Rate: 61.0%
Final Score: 139.0/200

14: Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Mount Vernon Nazarene University–which is commonly referred to simply as MVNU for simplicity sake–is a private, not-for-profit and Church of the Nazarene-affiliated liberal arts university which is located in Mount Vernon, Ohio and operates many satellite campuses around the surrounding area. Mount Vernon Nazarene University was originally established in 1964 as the Zone A College of the Church of the Nazarene by the church’s General Assembly. A site in the town of Mount Vernon was finally chosen for the school’s campus site in 1966 for its proximity to a concentrated Nazarene population in the community. Mount Vernon Nazarene College (which was commonly referred to as MVNC) opened in 1968 on the old Lakeholm Farm property that had belonged to The Ohio State University (OSU). MVNU offers its more than 2,200 total enrolled students a broad range of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs from which to choose from and cover a variety of different areas-of-study. Many of these academic programs are also available in an online and asynchronous format to better serve to distance-learning students. Some of the available online programs include an Associate of Arts in General Studies degree program, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program, a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education degree program and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) among others. MVNU is one of only eight liberal arts colleges that are located in the United States and are affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. MVNU is the college for the Nazarene East Central Region of the United States, which comprises the entire state of Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia North and West Virginia South districts.

School’s Website: http://www.mvnu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 80.0%
Graduation Rate: 60.0%
Final Score: 140.0/200

13: Ohio University — Main Campus

Ohio University

With online offerings that include: a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Technical Operations Management degree program (which is the first of its kind in Ohio) and an Associate in Applied Business (A.A.B.) in Business Management Technology degree program, Ohio University’s Main Campus in Athens, Ohio offers more than 29,000 total students an impressive variety of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certificate-granting programs to choose from; both traditional on-campus courses and online and asynchronous courses. Ohio University was originally established in 1787, it is one of the oldest universities in the United States and is the second-oldest university located in the State of Ohio. The “Father of Ohio University” Manasseh Cutler was a clergyman involved in the American Revolutionary War, and also a member of the United States House of Representatives. The “Father of the Northwest Territory” Rufus Putnam was a colonial military officer during the French and Indian War, and a general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. These are the two men credited with being the founders of Ohio University. Ohio University’s main campus is home to the Vernon R. Alden Library–which is one of the top 100 largest libraries in the United States. This library houses a collection of more than 2.3 million units of microfilm material, 13,500 periodical subscriptions, and 3 million printed volumes. The Charles J. Ping Recreation Center is also part of the campus, which is one of the largest recreational facilities in the nation; covering more than 168,000-square feet and finally, the campus is also home to the Athena Cinema, a more than 100-year old cinema which shows 35mm film movie presentations. Ohio University also owns and operates the Gordon K. Bush Airport, which is a public-use airport and is located in Albany, Ohio. The Lausche Heating Plant is also owned and operated by the school. This on-campus heating plant provides all of the school’s main campus buildings with heat in the winter.

School’s Website: https://www.ohio.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 79.0%
Graduation Rate: 67.0%
Final Score: 146.0/200

12: Baldwin Wallace University

Baldwin Wallace University

Baldwin Wallace University is a private, not-for-profit four-year liberal arts university which maintains a United Methodist Church affiliation and is located in Berea, Ohio. Originally established in 1845 by John Baldwin (who also founded Baker University in 1858 and Baldwin City, Kansas also in 1858 and who contributed money to start schools in Bangalore, India: the Baldwin Boys High School; the Baldwin Girls High School and the Baldwin Co-Education Extension High School). The school was formerly known as the Baldwin Institute. In 1863, a resolution established a separate school from the Baldwin Institute to serve the booming local German population. This independent school was named the German Wallace College. As a result of financial hardships, the schools merged again in 1913. This merger caused the school’s name to be changed to Baldwin-Wallace College. In 2010, several buildings on the school’s campus were added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2012, Baldwin-Wallace College would finally be renamed to its present-day name of Baldwin Wallace University. The Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music is home to the Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival, which is the oldest collegiate Bach Festival in the United States and is the second-oldest Bach Festival–collegiate or otherwise–in the nation which honors Johann Sebastian Bach, a famous German composer, and musician of the Baroque period. Baldwin Wallace University (or BW as it is commonly referred to as) provides its more than 3,000 total enrolled students a selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs, which span across a myriad of different areas-of-study, allowing for a significant amount of academic flexibility. Many of these programs are even available in an online and asynchronous format, further increasing the offered academic flexibility.

School’s Website: https://www.bw.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 83.0%
Graduation Rate: 67.0%
Final Score: 150.0/200

11: University of Cincinnati — Main Campus

University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati–which is commonly referred to simply as UC–is a public space-grant research university that is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The University of Cincinnati was originally established in 1819 as the Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio. In 1893, the school needed to move to a different location due to how quickly it was expanding. That year saw the school move to its present-day location to Clifton Avenue in the Heights neighborhood of Cincinnati from its original location in Cincinnati. Today, UC maintains a partnership with the National Security Agency (NSA) through the school’s nationally and internationally renowned research center Cyber Operations Centers of Academic Excellence (COCAE). UC also owns and operates these other research centers: the Center Hill Research Facility; the UC Reading Campus and UC Metabolic Diseases Institute; the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies; the Institute for Policy Research and; the Cincinnati Observatory. In addition to these research centers, the University of Cincinnati also operates an Uptown Campus which is located in Athens, Ohio and three regional campuses. These three schools are the Blue Ash College (UCBA) which is located in Blue Ash, Ohio; the Clermont College (CLER) which is located in Batavia, Ohio; and the UC East campus which serves as an extension of the Clermont College which is also located in Batavia, Ohio. Not including Clermont College and Blue Ash College, UC is organized into 12 academic divisions, through which the school’s more than 44,000 total students can choose from a variety of undergraduate, graduate and certification programs. These divisions are: the College of Allied Health Sciences; the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences; the Carl H. Lindner College of Business; the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning; the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services; the College of Engineering and Applied Science; The Graduate School; the College of Law; the College of Medicine; the College of Nursing and; the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy.

School’s Website: http://www.uc.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 88.0%
Graduation Rate: 62.0%
Final Score: 150.0/200

10: Ohio Northern University

Ohio Northern University

Commonly referred to simply as ONU for simplicity sake, Ohio Northern University is a private, not-for-profit United Methodist Church-affiliated four-year liberal arts university which is located in Ada, Ohio. ONU was originally established in 1871 and today is composed of five colleges: the Getty College of Arts and Sciences; the James F. Dicke College of Business Administration; the T.J. Smull College of Engineering; the Rudolph H. Raabe College of Pharmacy and; the Claude W. Pettit College of Law. It is through these five colleges that ONU provides its more than 4,000 total enrolled students a selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certification program; both to traditional on-campus students and to distance learning students. The online and asynchronous academic programs which are offered are taught by the same academic faculty that teaches the program’s on-campus counterparts. ONU’s first online program that was offered was their courses for the school’s pharmacy undergraduate program. Today, that same program is still arguably one of the university’s most popular and comprehensive programs offered. U.S. News and World Report ranked Ohio Northern University as being the second-best Regional University for the Midwest Region in their regional rankings for the years of years of 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013. Over the years, ONU has produced many nationally- and internationally-celebrated alumni, including: George Crile (the founder of the Cleveland Clinic and inventor of the system which is used for blood transfusions), Clay Mathile (the former owner of Iams pet food), Joseph Banks Rhine (the founder of the parapsychology lab at Duke University), Bob Peterson (an animator and voice actor, best known for voicing Mr. Ray in the Pixar films Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, and for voicing Roz in Monsters, Inc.), and Carla F. Kim (the Associate Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and the Principal Investigator at the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children’s Hospital) among many others.

School’s Website: http://www.onu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 86.0%
Graduation Rate: 69.0%
Final Score: 155.0/200

9: Pontifical College Josephinum

Pontifical College Josephinum

The Pontifical College Josephinum is a private, not-for-profit Roman Catholic-affiliated four-year pontifical college and graduate school of theology. It was originally founded by Monsignor Joseph Jessing–a German-American immigrant, that would eventually become a Catholic priest in the United States later in his life; Monsignor Jessing was also a pioneer in the areas of Catholic orphanage work and Catholic education–in 1888 and is located in Columbus, Ohio. The college has obtained an institutional accreditation from the United States Department of Education and Center for Higher Education Accreditation approved regional accrediting body the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Additionally, since 1970, the college has been one of the 270 member institutions that are a part of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). ATS is an organization of seminaries and other graduate schools for theological study that was created in 1918 “to promote the improvement and the enhancement of theological schools to the benefit of communities of faith and the broader public.” ATS is also recognized by both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the United States Department of Education as an approved accrediting body. The college was initially known as the Collegium Josephinum. It was granted pontifical college status in 1892 by Pope Leo XIII, and it was renamed to its current name in that year to reflect this change. Due to this, Pontifical College Josephinum became the first–and after that, the only remaining–pontifical seminary located in the Western Hemisphere. A pontifical college is one that trains and instructs priests for the international Catholic Church. The term pontiff is formed from the root word of “pontifex” which is Latin for “bridge builder.” A pontiff was also, in Roman antiquity, a member of the most illustrious of the colleges of priests of the Roman religion. The College of Pontiffs, which consisted of the Pontifex Maximus (the Greatest Bridge-Builder), the other pontifices, the Rex Sacrorum (which translates to “King of the Sacred”), the fifteen flamens (priests assigned to one of fifteen deities with official cults) and the Vestal Virgins (priestesses of Vesta, goddess of the hearth). The College of Pontiffs was one of the four major priestly colleges, the others being of the augurs (made up of those who read omens), the quindecimviri sacris faciundis (which means “fifteen men who carry out the rites”) and the Epulones (who were the ones that set -up feasts at festivals). Despite not offering any liberal arts courses–either on-campus or online–the Pontifical College Josephinum provides a variety of on-campus theologically-related courses and a selection of online for-credit theological course programs to distance learning students.

School’s Website: http://www.pcj.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 89.0%
Graduation Rate: 67.0%
Final Score: 156.0/200

8: Xavier University

Xavier University

Xavier University is a private, not-for-profit Roman Catholic Jesuit-affiliated four-year liberal arts university which is located in Cincinnati, Ohio and was originally established in 1831 as The Athenaeum of Ohio. The Athenaeum was dedicated to the patronage of Saint Francis Xavier by Bishop Edward Fenwick, an American member of the Dominican Order of Preachers. Upon Bishop John Baptist Purcell’s request, the Society of Jesus took control of The Athenaeum in 1840. The Society of Jesus then changed the Athenaeum’s name to Saint Xavier College in honor of the 16th century Jesuit missionary Saint Francis Xavier. Saint Francis Xavier, like Saint Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits–was a Spanish Basque. In 1912, Saint Xavier College moved to its current North Avondale location after purchasing 26-acres from the Avondale Athletic Club. The school’s name was changed a second time to its present-day name, Xavier University, in 1930. And, today, the first Athenaeum is now the seminary of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Xavier University offers its nearly 7,000 total students a selection of 81 majors, several minors, certification programs and pre-professional programs within the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Social Sciences, Health and Education and the Williams College of Business. The Core Curriculum at Xavier University is a confluence of Jesuit ideals and Great Books rigors known as Ratio Studiorum. All students must complete courses in the areas of Theology, Philosophy, Mathematics, Fine Arts, History, Physical Science, Literature, Foreign Language and the Social Sciences. Additionally, all graduates–upon successful completion of a bachelor’s degree program–must have read The Republic, Discourse on Method and various, carefully selected sections of the Bible among other original texts that hold varying degrees of importance for the Jesuit faith.

School’s Website: http://www.xavier.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 83.0%
Graduation Rate: 74.0%
Final Score: 157.0/200

7: Cedarville University

Cedarville University

Cedarville University is a private, not-for-profit Baptist-affiliated four-year liberal arts university which is located in Cedarville, Ohio. Cedarville University was originally chartered in 1887 by the New Light Reformed Presbyterian Church, which was a denomination that came about due to a split amongst the Reformed Presbyterians–or Covenanters–which existed between 1833 and 1965. The college’s first classes were held in 1892, even though the college did not officially open until 1894; seven years after it was initially chartered. Cedarville University offers more than 3,700 total enrolled students with a choice of various undergraduate degrees which span across 111 different areas-of-study and with a choice of 40 different minors. The 40 minors available at Cedarville University includes a Bible minor, which is a required academic program for all students, both on-campus and online. Many of the university’s offered academic programs are available in an online and asynchronous format for distance learning students, such as: a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree program, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program, a Graduate Certificate in Global Public Health Nursing certification program and a Graduate Certificate in Reading Endorsement for Educators certification program among many others. Cedarville University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and, additionally, Cedarville University is a member of the following organizations: the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio; the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences; the Council of Independent Colleges; the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities; the Ohio College Association; the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges; the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education and; the National Association of Schools of Music.

School’s Website: https://www.cedarville.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 86.0%
Graduation Rate: 72.0%
Final Score: 158.0/200

6: Franciscan University of Steubenville

Franciscan University of Steubenville

The Franciscan University of Steubenville is a private, not-for-profit Roman Catholic-affiliated four-year liberal arts university which was originally established in 1946. The Franciscan University of Steubenville is located in the city of Steubenville, Ohio, which is the county seat of Jefferson County and is located along the banks of the Ohio River. Today, the university offers more than 2,700 total enrolled students–undergraduate and graduate–a choice from the 41 offered majors (which includes seven pre-professional programs) and a selection from one of the 34 extended minors. The Franciscan University of Steubenville also provides its students a choice of 6 special minor programs (which are not available as majors) and seven graduate degree programs. These academic programs together all span across a wide variety of different areas-of-study, allowing students to have a greater amount of academic and career path flexibility than they might otherwise obtain elsewhere. A portion of these offered educational programs are also available in an online and fully asynchronous format, such as the university’s comprehensive Master of Arts in Catechetics and Evangelization degree program and their ever popular Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program among others. The Franciscan University of Steubenville participates in Internationas, a program offered in conjunction with the International Baccalaureate (IB) that allows students to take part in one of four educational programs: the IB Diploma Program and the IB Career-Related Program, which are both for students aged 16 to 19; the IB Middle Years Program, which was designed for students aged 11 to 16; and the IB Primary Years Program, which is for children aged 3 to 12. These four International Baccalaureate Diploma Programs (IBDP) are two-year educational programs which provide an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education and is recognized by many universities worldwide. The Franciscan University of Steubenville strives to maintain a solid 15:1 student-faculty ratio to ensure that each student receives the personalized attention that they need and deserve.

School’s Website: https://www.franciscan.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 86.0%
Graduation Rate: 79.0%
Final Score: 165.0/200

5: Denison University

Denison University

Denison University is a private, not-for-profit four-year liberal arts university which is located in Granville, Ohio. Denison University historically maintained a Southern Baptist affiliation, but today the university is nonsectarian. Denison University was originally established in 1831, making it the State of Ohio’s second-oldest liberal arts college. Denison was formerly known as the Granville Literary and Theological Institution. After going through a few more name changes over the years (Granville College; Denison College and; the Shepardson College for Women), the Institute underwent a final name change to its present-day name of Denison University in 1853. Denison University has had a long and rich history, from being one of the original pioneers of coeducation in the United States to being a source of many anti-slavery movements and groups in the years leading up to the American Civil War. It is also one of the 131 colleges and universities nationally during World War II that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission. Denison University’s campus landscaping was designed by nationally and internationally celebrated architectural firm Frederick Law Olmsted & Sons, which was founded by brothers John Charles Olmsted (architectural designer of various park systems and green spaces in cities such as Portland, Maine; Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Spokane, Washington; Dayton, Ohio and Charleston, South Carolina among many others) and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. (architectural designer of the National Mall, Jefferson Memorial, the White House grounds, Central Park in New York City, New York and the Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. among many others). The Olmsted brothers designed many of the nation’s most beautiful and noteworthy campuses of higher education, which means Denison University is counted among these other institutions. Denison University’s campus landscaping was designed and planned to not only strategically preserve the area’s natural topography but to also allow for the symmetrical and logical arrangement of planned expansions and buildings to be built within each of the campus’ various quadrangles. Denison University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and offers its students a selection of various undergraduate degree programs and graduate degree programs; which are available both to on-campus students through a traditional and experiential teaching format and to distance learning students via an online and asynchronous format.

School’s Website: http://denison.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 87.0%
Graduation Rate: 80.0%
Final Score: 167.0/200

4: Miami University at Oxford

Miami University at Oxford

Miami University at Oxford is a public research university which is located in Oxford, Ohio. Miami University at Oxford is known by a couple of different names to the school’s students, faculty, and the surrounding communities. These are: Miami of Ohio, Miami, or MU of O. Miami of Ohio was originally established in 1809, making it the tenth-oldest public university in the United States and 32nd oldest higher education institution–either public or private universities and colleges–in the United States. The Carnegie Foundation classifies Miami of Ohio as being a Research University with a High Research Activity rating, and the university is accredited by the regional accrediting body the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). U.S. News and World Report ranked the university’s undergraduate program as being the 79th best among national universities in the ranking that they published for the 2017 school year. In addition to the school’s main campus, Miami University at Oxford also operates satellite locations in Hamilton, Middletown and West Chester, Ohio as well as running the Miami University Dolibois European Center (MUDEC) in Differdange, Luxembourg. The center is named after John E. Dolibois–a native Luxembourger; a Miami University alumni; a Miami University Vice President; and the United States Ambassador to Luxembourg from 1981 to 1985–and the center was originally founded in 1968 and is housed in Differdange Castle, which itself was built in 1577. MU of O offers its student body, which is more than 24,000 total enrolled students, a selection of over 120 different undergraduate degree-granting programs and more than 60 graduate degree-granting programs within its eight schools and colleges. These academic programs span the areas-of-study of architecture, business, engineering, the humanities and of the sciences. Two of the more popular online programs is their comprehensive Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Prekindergarten Education degree program and their dynamic Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program. Miami University at Oxford is strongly renowned for the sheer beauty of its campus grounds and architecture, having once been called “…the most beautiful campus that ever there was” by the nationally- and internationally-celebrated Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Frost. Miami University has a long and storied tradition of Greek life; five Social Greek-Letter organizations were originally founded at the university, which eventually earned Miami of Ohio the moniker of being the ìMother of Fraternities.î Today, Miami University is home to more than 50 different active fraternity and sorority chapters which will appeal to diverse social, philanthropic and professional interests.

School’s Website: https://www.miamioh.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 90.0%
Graduation Rate: 80.0%
Final Score: 170.0/200

3: University of Dayton

University of Dayton

With online courses offered through the university’s School of Education and Health Sciences, the University of Dayton makes a perfect choice for distance learning students that are seeking a degree in Education but need the flexibility that an online and asynchronous program affords them. Some of the available online degree programs are: a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Interdisciplinary Education Studies degree program, a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Literacy Education degree program, a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Technology Enhanced Learning degree program, a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Transdisciplinary Early Childhood Education degree program, a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Educational Leadership degree program, a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Educational Leadership with a Catholic School Leadership Concentration degree program, a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Leadership in Educational Systems degree program and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Education in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy degree program. The University of Dayton also provides a couple of online certification programs, such as their Principal Licensure certification program and their Computer Technology Teaching Education Endorsement certification program among others. The University of Dayton–which is commonly referred to as the U of Dayton or UD–is a private, not-for-profit Roman Catholic-affiliated research university in Dayton, Ohio. UD was originally established in 1850 by the Reverend Leo Meyer along with three Marianist brothers: teacher Maximin Zehler, cook Charles Schultz and gardener Andrew Edel during an attempted effort by Reverend Leo Meyer to establish a presence for the Society of Mary in America. In 1988, UD became the first university in the country to offer to its students (of which there are now more than 10,000 students total in attendance) an undergraduate degree program in Human Rights. This is just one of the many highly comprehensive and groundbreaking academic programs that one can find being offered through one of the various schools and colleges into which the University of Dayton is organized.

School’s Website: https://udayton.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 91.0%
Graduation Rate: 79.0%
Final Score: 170.0/200

2: Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University

The Case Western Reserve University (which is commonly referred to by a variety of nicknames: Case Western Reserve, Case Western, Case and simply CWRU) is a private, not-for-profit doctoral research university which is located in Cleveland, Ohio. CWRU was originally established in 1967. The university was created by a merger that happened between the Case Institute of Technology (formerly known as the Case School of Applied Science that was founded in 1881 by Leonard Case Jr.) and the Western Reserve University (established in 1826 and located in the area that was once the Connecticut Western Reserve). After the merger had happened, Time magazine described the merger as the creation of “Cleveland’s Big-Leaguer” university in one of their articles about the newly created Case Western Reserve University. In the U.S. News and World Report‘s 2015 rankings, Case Western Reserve’s undergraduate program was ranked as the 37th-best undergraduate program among all national universities. And, in 2016, the inaugural edition of The Wall Street Journal‘s Times Higher Education publication ranked Case Western Reserve as being the 32nd-best among all universities in the United States and as the 29th-best among private institutions operating within the nation. CWRU offers its student body which is more than 10,000 total enrolled students a variety of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs which span across many areas-of-study. Many of these offered programs are not only available on-campus, but are also taught in an online and asynchronous format to provide distance learning students with the ability to obtain a comprehensive education from a highly respected institution of higher education. One such online program is the university’s very popular and nationally-renowned Master of Science (M.S.) in Engineering degree program, which includes an additional four specialized programs which are available for students to obtain an even more flexible education. Not including the non-specialized degree option, the engineering disciplines which are available are a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering degree; a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree; a Master of Science in Civil Engineering degree and; a Master of Science in Systems and Control Engineering degree program.

School’s Website: https://case.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 94.0%
Graduation Rate: 81.0%
Final Score: 175.0/200

1: Ohio State University — Main Campus

Ohio State University

Ohio State University is our best-ranked school due to the university’s outstanding Freshman Retention Rates (with 94.0% of the university’s freshmen returning for their sophomore year) and the enviable Graduation Rate (with 83.0% of all students enrolled in a degree-granting program completing their program within an acceptable time-frame). By shining some light on Ohio State University’s past and present, we hope to obtain some insight into how the university has received and maintained such a solid score (having got a Final Score of 177.0 points out of 200 possible points). Ohio State University (which is commonly referred to simply as OSU) is a public land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant research university which is located in Columbus, Ohio and was originally established in 1870 by the Morrill Land Act of 1862. The newly created Institute was formerly known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The name would later be changed to Ohio State University in 1878. Today, Ohio State University’s campus system is the third-largest in the United States. The size of the school system is partly due to the fact that, in addition to the university’s main campus, OSU operates satellite campuses throughout the State of Ohio. These satellite campuses are located in Marion (OSU Marion), Lima (OSU Lima), Mansfield (OSU Mansfield) and Newark (OSU Newark). OSU also operates the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (Ohio State ATI), both of which are located in Wooster, Ohio. Additionally, the university is home to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum; Blackwell Inn; the Drake Performance and Event Center; the Hilandar Research Library; the John A. Prior Health Sciences Library; the Ohio State University Airport; the South Bass Island Light; the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library; the Wexner Center for the Arts and; the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. There are nearly 59,000 students enrolled in an academic program at OSU Columbus, and there are approximately an additional 42,000 students enrolled at one of the other OSU campuses. These more than 101,000 students are enrolled into one of the many undergraduate degree programs, graduate degree programs and professional certification programs which are offered across the multiple campuses spanning across varying areas-of-study. Many of these academic programs are also available in an online and asynchronous format, such as the university’s degree program and their degree program among many others.

School’s Website: https://www.osu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 94.0%
Graduation Rate: 83.0%
Final Score: 177.0/200