Cheapest Colleges in Ohio (Save Money)


Money is definitely a big deciding factor when it comes to choosing a college or university that you’re going to be attending. Although it sucks that it must be that way, the financial aspect of college is one of the greatest things you must consider. We show you below the cheapest colleges in Ohio.

Many families don’t have college savings or don’t have high enough income to be able to tackle the large cost of tuition nowadays. This means that students tend to be taking out several thousand dollars in loans and putting themselves into a lot of debt before they are even 25 years old.

I first want to remind you that the initial amount of money that colleges tell you you’re going to owe for tuition and room and board is without any sort of scholarships or financial aid.

It is likely that each person will receive at least one scholarship no matter how big or small, whether it is from the University, their hometown, or their high school.

Most colleges at least give a little amount of financial aid to students whose parents don’t have a super-high income.

Smaller schools also have something called the presidential scholarship which means that any student who has a certain score on your ACT in a certain GPA automatically gets a certain amount of money off tuition.

The amount of money for the presidential scholarship is usually a pretty high amount.

When you’re looking at the cost of universities, make sure that you were also looking up how much financial aid they usually give to each individual person. This really makes a big overall difference.

One school could be a lot cheaper than the other, however, the first one may offer way more financial aid making it eventually cheaper.

Another little tip to remember is that private schools are always more expensive than public schools. Sometimes the private schools offer more scholarships which makes them around the same price as the public schools.

I applied to over 20 colleges and universities when I was a senior in high school, and I received financial aid or scholarships from every single one of them. This means that the original cost that I thought I would be paying to go there wasn’t even correct in the first place.

If you are down to your top couple schools and you are relying on which school will be the cheapest for you, then make sure that you are doing your research on the financial aid packets and how much money you will actually be paying.

I compiled a list of some different colleges and universities in Ohio that have cheaper tuition. This is simply just the tuition, not the room and board that you may be required to pay for your first one or two years.

Branch Campuses

The first thing that you want to think about if you are talking about saving money at college, is attending a branch campus. A branch campus is basically a smaller version of a bigger college or university that has cheaper tuition.

Many schools in Ohio have several branch campuses spread out throughout all of Ohio. Some examples would be you can’t see:

  • Ohio State
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Ohio University
  • Miami University

Basically, what happens when you go to these campuses that you will receive a degree saying that you went to the Ohio State University etc. However, you don’t go to the main campus and you continue to pay cheaper tuition. There are pros and cons of going to a branch campus.

The pros are that you were going to save a lot of money and you were still going to have the same degree as anyone that went to the main campus. You can usually also transfer to the main campus any time after your first year of attending.

The cons are you’re at a smaller school with fewer opportunities, fewer buildings, and fewer resources. The other bad thing is that they usually don’t have dorms or if they do, they’re not very many. This is because usually people to go to branch campuses live with their parents so they can just commute.

If you were not going to be a commuter student, then you’re going to need to rent an apartment or condo your first year of attending. It really is just up to what is more important to you and what you think that you need to receive the best education.

I have many friends you are going to different branch campuses of these universities and they are still doing very well. It definitely is not a bad decision and there’s nothing wrong with it.

You can find more information about commuting to college pros and cons of commuting to college.

Youngstown State University

The first thing that I want to clarify is that when I’m talking about tuition, I’m talking tuition for everyone who is an in-state student.

If you are an out-of-state student; the cost of college is always going to be higher at universities that are not in the state, you live in.

Youngstown State University is a public university.

At Youngstown State University

  • In-State tuition is around $7,847 per year. Once again, this is simply just for the tuition and not for room and board if you were going to be having to pay for room and board as well.
  • Out-of-state student tuition is only $8,207 which isn’t that large of a difference and is one of the best out-of-state tuition costs in Ohio.
  • Additional fees of around $600 which brings the total of the tuition and fees for an in-state student to be around $8,451 and around $8,807 for out of state students.
  • The housing cost for room and board are usually around $9,000 per year.

Youngstown State University is in Youngstown Ohio.

Youngstown does not have very high living expenses, so this means that when you are in upperclassman and must pay for housing in Youngstown you should not be spending too much.

University of Toledo

  • In-state tuition for The University of Toledo is a public university that costs around $8,052 per year. They are ranked 27th in Ohio I’m on this for your colleges for being the most affordable.
  • Out-of-state student, the tuition is going to be around $17,390 per year. Obviously at the school being out of state student cost a lot more.
  • Additional fees of around $1,495 which would make the overall tuition and fees for an in-state student around $9,557.
  • Room and board are normally around $11,000 per year.

The University of Toledo is in Toledo, Ohio which also does not have a high cost of living. If you stay off-campus as an upperclassman your cost should go down compared to living in the dorm.

Wright State University

Wright state university is a public university located in Dayton Ohio.

  • In-state tuition per year is normally around $8,730 for in-state students.
  • Out of state tuition for Wright is going to be around $17,000 a year which is once again a very large difference.
  • The housing costs are usually around $11,400 per year when you were living on campus. That amount is including the room and board.

Wright state is a little bit outside of Dayton, the living expenses are not going to be that much once you are an upperclassman.

University of Akron

The University of Akron is a public university located in Akron, Ohio.

  • In-state yearly tuition tends to be around $8600 for students.
  • Out of state tuition is around $17,100 for students.
  • The University of Akron usually charges additional fees for undergraduates at around $1652. This would mean the total in-state tuition would be around $10,270 per academic year. The on-campus room and board are going to be around $12,300 per year.

This is a little bit higher than the other schools on the list but is still cheap compared to other schools. Once again, the surrounding location is not going to be a very high living expense once you need to get an apartment.

Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green University is a public university located in Bowling Green, Ohio near Toledo.

  • I state tuition is around $9000 per year for students.
  • Out of state tuition is $16,600 per year.
  • Additional fees at the school are around $2,000 which normally makes the in-state tuition around $11,100.

Bowling Green is the nicer part near Toledo so the living expenses might be slightly higher than other places once you are in an upperclassman.

Once you start living in apartments or off-campus, however, it is not going to be any more expensive than living in the dorms. The room and board costs are around $9,000 for the academic year.

Cleveland State University

Cleveland State Univ is a public university located in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • In-state yearly tuition is around $9600 for students.
  • Out-of-state students the tuition is going to be around $13,700.
  • Additional fees are only around $142.
  • Room and board are normally around $12,500 per year.

Living in Cleveland is not a very high living expense, so when you must live off-campus you should be fine and possibly even be paying lower than the amount you were paying when you were in the dorms.

The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is a public university located in Columbus, Ohio. It is the largest university in Ohio.

  • In-state yearly tuition for students is around $9718.
  • Out-of-state students, the tuition is around $28,822 per year.
  • Additional fees are normally around $874 which makes the in-state tuition around $10,592. The housing has around $13,000 per academic year.

You must live on campus for the first two years of attending Ohio State, however, living off-campus will end up being a lot cheaper than living in the dorms.


Overall, you can really make any college affordable if you apply for as many scholarships as you can and fill out your FAFSA. Try not to let money get in the way of following your dreams.

Understandably, it can be a deciding factor, but try to figure it out. Don’t forget once again, to look up what the financial aid packets will be like at these schools, because it may really decrease the overall price.

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