What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)
Timothy Peck
5 School Rankings

10 Best Colleges in Ohio

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The Buckeye state has produced seven U.S. presidents—James A. Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, and William Howard Taft—second only to Virginia and earning the state the nickname the “Mother of Modern Presidents.” It’s no wonder Ohio has prodigiously pumped out great leaders; the state is home to numerous world-class institutions ranging from huge public universities like Ohio State to small liberal arts colleges like Kenyon College. 


Our Ranking Methodology


Our list of the 10 best colleges in Ohio was constructed with a focus on school quality, outcomes, and return on investment (ROI). It also considers a host of other factors such as retention rate, selectivity, endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, median earnings, and cost of attendance. You can find CollegeVine’s rankings in their entirety here.


10 Best Colleges in Ohio


1. Case Western Reserve University


Location: Cleveland, OH   

Acceptance Rate: 6%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1510-1560

Middle 50% ACT: 34-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,989


One of the most prestigious colleges in the country and best colleges in Ohio, Case Western Reserve University offers almost 100 majors in everything from accounting to world literature, but is perhaps best known for its Case School of Engineering. Case Western has produced a number of distinguished alumni, including the creator of Gmail, the founder of Craigslist, and 16 Nobel laureates. Case Western has also established a reputation for returning on investment—the university ranks 98 out of 1,978 schools on Payscale’s list of best value colleges


Learn more about Case Western Reserve University and what it takes to get accepted.


2. Kenyon College


Location: Gambier, OH   

Acceptance Rate: 37%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1280-1460

Middle 50% ACT: 30-33

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,617 


Kenyon College is a top-ranking liberal arts college located on a beautiful 1,000-acre rural campus about an hour outside of Columbus and two hours from Cleveland. Known for its tight-knit community, 100% of Kenyon students live on campus. Students also form strong bonds with Kenyon faculty; the college was the first institution in the U.S. where professors served as academic advisors. Looking for another reason to love Kenyon? It ranks eighth in the country—and ahead of every Ivy League institution—in the proportion of STEM grads to earn a doctorate in a STEM field.  


Learn more about Kenyon College and what it takes to get accepted.


3. Denison University


Location: Granville, OH   

Acceptance Rate: 28%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1280-1450

Middle 50% ACT: 29-33

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,300


Founded in 1831, Denison College is one of the earliest colleges established in the old “Northwest Territory,” the area west of the Allegheny Mountains and north of the Ohio River. Denison is located in the New England-style village of Granville, which is home to about 3,500 people and more than 100 homes and churches listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Almost all Denison students (99%) live on campus. A unique aspect of a Denison education is its seminars—team-taught, off-campus, four-credit classes open to sophomores and juniors that include a travel component.


Learn more about Denison University and what it takes to get accepted.


4. Oberlin College


Location: Oberlin, OH   

Acceptance Rate: 34%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1338-1460

Middle 50% ACT: 30-34

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,942 


Since its founding in 1833, Oberlin has been breaking collegiate conventions. As one historian stated, the college possesses a “peculiar mix of scholarly ambition and stubborn moral idealism.” Oberlin has the distinction of being the first coeducational college in the U.S., as well as the first college in the county to admit Black students, beginning in 1835. Oberlin is also notable for its prestigious Conservatory of Music, which is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the country. 


Learn more about Oberlin College and what it takes to get accepted.


5. Ohio State University | OSU


Location: Columbus, OH   

Acceptance Rate: 68%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1230-1390

Middle 50% ACT: 26-32

Undergrad Enrollment: 46,984


With over 46,000 undergraduates and 60,000 total students, Ohio State University is one of the largest schools in the country. Equaling its impressively large student body are OSU’s extensive offerings. OSU students can pursue over 200 majors in fields ranging from aerospace engineering to zoology. Outside of the classroom, Ohio State is known for its top-ranked football team and rabid fans. Bleacher Report ranked the Buckeyes as having the fourth-best fanbase in the nation and home games regularly draw more than 100,000 fans to the country’s third-largest stadium. 


Learn more about Ohio State University and what it takes to get accepted.


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6. College of Wooster


Location: Wooster, OH   

Acceptance Rate: 65%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1160-1350

Middle 50% ACT: 24-31

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,924 


The College of Wooster is a small, private liberal arts college known for its Scottish ties, thanks in part to its Presbyterian roots, “Fighting Scots” and “Scotties” athletic teams, pipe band, and Highland dancers. A Wooster education culminates with a capstone project—every undergrad participates in an Independent Study (known simply as I.S.) and works individually with a faculty mentor to produce a piece of original research, scholarship, or creative expression.


Learn more about the College of Wooster and what it takes to get accepted.


7. University of Dayton


Location: Dayton, OH   

Acceptance Rate: 80%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1130-1350

Middle 50% ACT: 22-29

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,637


The University of Dayton is one of the most prestigious Catholic universities in the nation. Despite the University of Dayton’s affiliation with the Marianists, a Catholic congregation, it welcomes students of all faiths. In fact, only a little over half of University of Dayton students identify as Catholic. In the spirit of the Marianist belief that students can use their education and faith to work for justice, serve others, and even change the world, the university established the nation’s first undergraduate human rights studies program. 


Learn more about the University of Dayton and what it takes to get accepted.


8. Miami University


Location: Oxford, OH   

Acceptance Rate: 93%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1160-1350

Middle 50% ACT: 24-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 16,522 


It’s common for people to mix Miami University up with the University of Miami, but Miami University was founded in 1809—decades before Florida even achieved statehood. Miami University students are particularly active abroad; the school consistently ranks among the best in the nation for undergraduate study abroad participation, with roughly half of all graduates studying abroad before graduating. It’s surprising that so many students are willing to leave what Robert Frost called “the most beautiful campus that ever there was.”


Learn more about Miami University and what it takes to get accepted.


9. University of Cincinnati


Location: Cincinnati, OH   

Acceptance Rate: 76%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1120-1310

Middle 50% ACT: 23-29

Undergrad Enrollment: 28,657


The University of Cincinnati has a rich history, the school celebrated its bicentennial in 2019. For many years, it was the second-oldest and second-largest municipal university in the country, though it relinquished that claim when it joined the University of Ohio system in the late 1970s. The University of Cincinnati is just one of a few public institutions with a co-op program, and in 2018-2019, the University of Cincinnati had 7,300 full-time co-op placements in 30 countries and 43 states, with earnings totaling more than $75 million.


Learn more about the University of Cincinnati and what it takes to get accepted.


10. Ohio Northern University | ONU


Location: Ada, OH  

Acceptance Rate: 65%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1110-1320

Middle 50% ACT: 22-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,814


Ohio Northern University is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Methodist Church, and is one of the best Christian colleges in the country. In recent years, ONU has made considerable strides to improve its sustainability. Wind and solar generate more than 20% of ONU’s annual electricity needs, electric vehicle charging stations have been installed on campus, and the school has been repeatedly named a Tree Campus by the Arbor Day Foundation for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship.


Learn more about Ohio Northern University and what it takes to get accepted.


What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?


Wondering what your odds of admission are at one of the best colleges in Ohio? CollegeVine can help. Our free chancing engine uses numerous factors—like grades, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities—to estimate your odds of acceptance at hundreds of schools in Ohio and across the country.


Our chancing engine can also help you build a balanced school list of colleges inside and outside of Ohio. By providing your odds of acceptance, you can strategically assign safety, target, and reach schools and put yourself in the best position to get into a college that fits your needs and meets your expectations. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.