College of Distinction graphic using Ohio Northern University outdoor sign.

Ohio Northern University has been named a College of Distinction for the 2023-2024 academic year, marking its commitment to providing a high-quality undergraduate education that focuses on hands-on learning, strong student-teacher relationships, a vibrant campus life, and successful outcomes.

Colleges of Distinction is a resource guide and consortium that honors colleges and universities throughout the United States for educational excellence.

“It is always gratifying to have outside affirmation of the excellence of an ONU education,” said ONU President Melissa J. Baumann, Ph.D. “The criteria to be recognized as a College of Distinction mirrors what we do best. Thanks to the passion and dedication of our faculty and staff, an ONU degree continues to provide an outstanding return on investment at a great value.”

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process comprises a sequence of in-depth research and detailed interviews with the schools, accepting only those that adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes. As a College of Distinction, ONU has shown excellence in each of these areas, providing its students with a well-rounded, practical education that prepares them for successful careers and lives, the organization explained.

To be named a College of Distinction, ONU demonstrated excellence in undergraduate education in such factors as student engagement, teaching excellence, outcomes-based learning, and community involvement. This evaluation process differs from those of popular college rankings publications, whose formulas grade institutions based on things like faculty salaries, endowment size, and peer opinion.
“We believe that engaged students are successful students,” said Tyson Schritter, chief operating officer at Colleges of Distinction, “and dedication to experiential learning shows us that each of its students has the opportunity to play an active role in their education.”

“We don’t rank our schools,” said Schritter. “Every student has individual needs and flourishes in a specific environment. We prefer to focus on the innovative ways that colleges all around the country are providing an enriching undergraduate experience. ONU’s inclusion as a College of Distinction is a testament to the way it caters to its own students’ potential and goals, helping them achieve success in unique ways that cannot be ranked against others.”

Schritter continued, "We are deeply inspired by how Ohio Northern University immerses students in their academic pursuits, fostering a welcoming community that provides unwavering support throughout their college years and beyond."

About Colleges of Distinction: Since 2000, Colleges of Distinction has been committed to honoring schools with a dedicated focus on the undergraduate experience. Its website provides dynamic college profiles, customized tools, and resources for students, parents, and high school counselors. For more information, and to learn how to become a College of Distinction, visit