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Comparing Ohio Tuition Costs

Apr 13, 2020

What's tuition going to cost you, Ohioan, if you're interested in taking your career to new heights? There are nearly 200 colleges and universities in Ohio, so finding the right school—and figuring out how to pay for it—involves a variety of factors.

Investing in your postsecondary education requires some research, especially if you want the best bang for your buck in the Buckeye State. Let's compare the types of college institutions in Ohio to get a better breakdown of Ohio tuition costs.

Breaking down the numbers.

The cost of tuition in Ohio varies widely, depending on the type of school you're attending. According to CollegeCalc, which compiles the most recent school data from the U.S. Department of Education, Ohio's average annual in-state college tuition for four-year institutions was $19,795 for the 2018–2019 academic year, though the higher cost of private institutions inflates the average.

Tuition rates vary based on whether the institution is public or private, the size of the university, and other factors. Here's how those numbers shake out.

Four-year public institutions.

Though the average in-state tuition at Ohio's 59 public colleges and universities is below the state's overall average, tuition costs at public schools are rising. The average tuition for the 2018–2019 academic year was $7,260, according to CollegeCalc—a 6 percent annual increase from the 2015–2016 academic year.

Not all public institutions are equal, either. Tuition rates tend to go up when you're looking only at the state's largest institutions. CollegeCalc notes that the average tuition for all of Ohio’s public schools is $7,260, but tuition at its largest schools ranges from $9,852 all the way up to $12,348.

Four-year private institutions.

It's probably not a surprise that Ohio's private colleges cost more, on average, than its public schools. According to the CollegeBoard's 2018 Trends in College Pricing Report, the average at private nonprofit four-year schools nationwide was $35,830 during the 2018–2019 school year. In Ohio, the average tuition, according to CollegeCalc, was less costly—$27,740 for Ohio's 131 private institutions—but it's still a significant jump from the state's public institutions.

Still, even within private institutions, there's a huge variety in tuition costs. The priciest private school costs north of $54,000 per academic year; several others cost at least $45,000 per year.

Online institutions.

If you're interested in enrolling in college in Ohio, there are alternatives to relatively expensive schools. Online degree programs, like the ones offered at WGU Ohio, offer quality and outcomes on par with brick-and-mortar options. Depending on the program you're interested in, you could pay a fraction of the cost for one of WGU Ohio’s online degree programs. For a six-month undergraduate term, you'd pay a flat-rate tuition cost of $3,225 for programs in the Teachers College, the College of Business, or the College of Health Professions, or $3,550 for programs in the College of Information Technology.

These competitive numbers are even more appealing when combined with WGU's flat-rate tuition that's charged per term (rather than per course or per credit) and its competency-based education model, which allows you to complete courses as fast as you master the material. Being able to complete coursework as you master material saves money on your educational investment.

When you consider the rising cost of traditional four-year institutions, the cost savings offered by WGU will continue to be attractive. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition rose 31 percent at public schools and 24 percent at private schools between the 2006–2007 and 2016–2017 school years. With competitive pricing and flexible programs, WGU Ohio offers students in the state an affordable option.

Finding the right fit.

Online schooling offers many benefits to Ohioans looking for an affordable educational option and the flexibility to earn a degree while working full-time and raising a family. Preparing for college involves more than just picking your major. Before you enroll in a program, review the various Ohio tuition costs and choose one that most closely matches your financial needs.

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