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Brittany Sawyer
6 How to Get Into

How to Get Into Ohio State: Admissions Stats + Tips

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What’s Covered:


Ohio State University (Columbus Campus) is a public land-grant research university located in Columbus, Ohio. The university is continually ranked as one of the top public universities in the country and is considered a Public Ivy.


Ohio State is known for its academic medical center and cancer hospital and research center. The university offers over 200 undergraduate majors and is well-known for its football team, the “Ohio State Buckeyes.”


Since Ohio State is a popular school, you need to have a solid academic profile for your application to be considered by the admissions committee. In this post, we’ll review the average academic profile of Ohio State students, list the essential factors the admissions committee will consider, and share some tips for improving your chances.


How Hard Is It to Get Into Ohio State?


Compared to other universities, Ohio State has a relatively high admissions rate. Last year, out of the 49,087 students who applied, 33,619 were accepted, giving the school a 68% admissions rate.


Your chances of acceptance at Ohio State may be higher or lower depending on the strength of your academic profile. To gain an understanding of your chances of acceptance at Ohio State, use our free admissions calculator. Our admissions calculator collects your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and more to calculate your odds of acceptance at top schools, like Ohio State, and will also give you tips on how to improve your academic profile.


Average Academic Profile of Accepted Ohio State University Students




Ohio State University did not disclose the GPA of incoming first-year students for the 2020-2021 school year. However, from the students who submitted their class rank, 55% graduated within the top ten percent of their high school class, and 90% graduated within the top quarter of their class.




The middle 50% SAT scores for admitted Ohio State students were 1230-1390. The median 50% for ACT scores is 26-32.


36% of students submitted SAT scores, while 80% of students submitted ACT scores. Ohio State does not require students to submit ACT and SAT scores, but the admissions committee will consider test scores if they are given.


What is Ohio State Looking For?


Ohio State says they are looking for students “whose application demonstrates that they are prepared for the academic rigor of the Ohio State classroom; who are willing to lead; who see strength in diversity of people and ideas; who seek collaboration when solving problems; and who make use of all opportunities to figure out what kind of impact they want to have in the world.”


This means that Ohio State is looking for more than just a solid academic profile—they are looking for individuals who value leadership, diversity, collaboration, and volunteerism.


How Ohio State Evaluates Applications


According to their 2020-2021 Common Data Set, Ohio State University considers the following factors “very important”:


  • Course rigor
  • Class rank
  • Academic GPA
  • Standardized test scores


These factors are “important”:


  • Application essay
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Talent/ability
  • First-generation
  • Volunteer work
  • Work experience


These are “considered”:


  • Recommendation(s)
  • Character/personal qualities
  • Geographical residence
  • State residency
  • Racial/ethnic status


And these are “not considered”:


  • Interview
  • Alumni relation
  • Religious affiliation/commitment
  • Level of applicant’s interest


Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Ohio State


1. Aim for all A’s while taking the most challenging classes available


One of the best ways to create a strong academic profile is to maintain all “A’s” in your classes while you’re in high school. Ohio State considers your class rank and academic GPA very important, so it’s essential to submit competitive statistics!


The Academic Index is another reason it’s vital to maintain all “A’s” in your classes. The Academic Index is used by esteemed schools, like Ohio State, to determine if applicants have the necessary academic qualifications to move on to the next step in the admissions process. If your GPA, class rank, and test scores aren’t high enough, you won’t move on to the next step in the admissions process.


Aside from keeping your GPA high, it’s also essential to challenge yourself with rigorous courses. If you’re still a freshman, sophomore, or junior, consider taking as many AP classes or honors classes as possible to make your transcript more competitive.


If your GPA is lower, and you’re earlier on in your high school career, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior in high school, it will be harder to improve your GPA, so the easiest way to increase your Academic Index is to get a higher test score.


2. Aim for a 1390 SAT and 32 ACT


Last year, the middle 50% SAT scores for Ohio State incoming freshmen was 1230-1390, and the median 50% for ACT scores was 26-32. Remember, 36% of students submitted SAT scores, while 80% of students submitted ACT scores.


Ohio State University is test-optional for the 2021-2022 school year, meaning the university does not require students to submit their SAT or ACT scores. Still, they do consider them in the admissions process if they are offered. According to this year’s Common Data Set, we recommend submitting your SAT score of 1230 or above and your ACT score of 26 or above to Ohio State. You can use our free chancing engine to help you determine whether or not you should use your test scores in your application.


To improve your SAT or ACT scores, check out these free CollegeVine resources:



3. Cultivate at least one or two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars


Each of your extracurricular activities gives colleges an understanding of your interests and achievements. However, certain types of extracurriculars, awards, leadership positions, and volunteer work can help your application stand out to the Ohio State admissions committee.


Since extracurriculars, work experience, and volunteerism are all ranked “important” by the OSU admissions committee, it’s imperative to spend extra time developing your list of extracurriculars.


We created a rating system called the Four Tiers of Extracurriculars to help you understand how an admissions committee views each activity. When you’re applying to a highly-ranked school like Ohio State, we recommend becoming involved in one to two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars.


  • Tier 1 extracurriculars are rare, and they typically demonstrate exceptional leadership or achievement. Examples of Tier 1 activities include winning prestigious national academic awards or participating in a nationally recognized summer program.


  • Tier 2 extracurriculars are most common, but they still demonstrate leadership and excellence. Holding a leadership position in a well-respected club or making all-state for football or band are examples of Tier 2 extracurriculars.


It’s also ideal if many of your extracurriculars are related (a highly-developed interest known as a “spike“). For example, teaching art lessons and winning the National Art Honor Society award are two extracurriculars that demonstrate an interest in the arts.


4. Write engaging essays


Although your grades, test scores, and extracurriculars are important, they don’t reveal much about your personality, passions, or abilities. Fortunately, your essays are a great way to stand out to the admissions committee and showcase all the ways you are unique!


While it’s always critical to demonstrate your alignment with the school’s values and offerings in your essays, Ohio State considers your talents, abilities, volunteer work, and work experience as “important” parts of the admissions process. Try to weave these into your essays when they are applicable. Additionally, Ohio State considers whether or not you are a first-generation college student to be an essential part of the admissions process, so if this applies to you, it would be helpful to find a skillful and creative way to mention why being a first-generation college student is meaningful to you in one of your essays.


Read our tips for writing the Ohio State University essays for the 2021-2022 school year!


5. Apply early action


Ohio State has a nonbinding early action plan that does not inhibit students from applying to other school’s early action plans. Students who participate in the early action plan are notified of admission decisions before the other applicants.


Typically, students who apply early action are more likely to be accepted than students who apply by the regular decision deadline. Generally speaking, early action students are 4-6% more likely to be accepted than regular decision students.


Additionally, Ohio State University recommends that students who wish to be considered for university merit scholarships, the College of Engineering, the Morrill Scholarship Program, and the Honors and Scholars Program submit their application by the early action deadline.


How to Apply to Ohio State University




Application Timeline


Early Action

November 1st

Regular Decision

February 1st


Application Requirements


Students can apply to Ohio State University using the Common Application. You’ll also need the following:


  • Official high school transcripts
  • Official SAT or ACT scores (optional)
  • Verification (if home-schooled)
  • Recommendation from a teacher or counselor (optional)
  • TOEFL, IELTS, ACT, SAT, or Duolingo test scores (if English is not your native language)
  • $60 application fee


Learn more about Ohio State

Short Bio
Brittany Sawyer is a graduate of Grand Canyon University, where she majored in Marketing and minored in Professional Writing. She works as a freelance copywriter and lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and her golden retriever, Sedona. When Brittany isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, trying new coffee shops, and traveling.