Ohio Northern University's Klondike with a student on move-in day.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Ohio Northern University third in Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest and No. 4 in the Midwest for Best Value. Ohio Northern was also placed at No. 6 in Washington Monthly’s Best Bachelor’s Colleges category and captured Niche.com’s No. 8 spot out of 45 Top Private Universities in Ohio.

These recognitions reflect just a few of many recent high rankings from leading higher education evaluators that continue to consider ONU as a premier learning institution throughout the region and nation. The annual rankings examine various criteria ranging from student-to-teacher ratios to socioeconomic elevation. Collectively, they continue to emphasize ONU’s academic virtues and service-focused values to students and graduates.

U.S. News & World Report

In U.S. News & World Report’s ’22 Best Colleges ranking, ONU ranked third in Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest. This is the second year the University has received this ranking and the sixth consecutive year it has been ranked as one of the top six institutions in this category. The best Midwest colleges and universities list highlights schools that offer an exceptional undergraduate experience and a broad range of programs in the liberal arts and professional fields.

Also, for the second year in a row, Ohio Northern is ranked No. 4 in the Midwest for Best Value. This ranking takes into account academic quality and the net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

The T.J. Smull College of Engineering held its No. 29 ranking on the national list for undergraduate engineering, and picked up a ranking of No. 19 in the nation for its mechanical engineering program. This fall semester marks the third year of operation for the James Lehr Kennedy Engineering building, which has earned accolades for its green design and technology and for its innovative academic space offerings.

Another noteworthy U.S. News & World Report ranking includes No. 10 regionally for best undergraduate teaching program.

Princeton Review

The Princeton Review included Ohio Northern in its 2022 edition of “The Best 387 Colleges” annual college guide. This service ranks colleges and universities largely on the responses of students regarding their college experience. The publication notes that “many students are attracted to the ‘prestigious’ Raabe College of Pharmacy” and ONU’s “other outstanding academic options,” such as the highly-ranked accounting program, political science program and engineering school.

“Students are also drawn to ONU’s ‘good financial aid’ and ‘varsity sports,’” the Princeton Review stated, “with one athlete adding that ONU ‘was my most affordable option of Division III schools where I could play soccer and receive a quality education.’”

Students also told the publication about Ohio Northern’s “renowned faculty” who are “outstanding and all influential in their field.” Professors are “friendly,” “down to earth,” available for help and consultation, and “care about the student’s well-being and future endeavors.”

“As a whole, students call ONU ‘a top-notch education with a family-like atmosphere that is very conducive for learning and excelling in many disciplines,’” the publication states.

Washington Monthly

Washington Monthly ranked Ohio Northern No. 6 in the Bachelor’s Colleges category of its 2021 college rankings, and also named ONU No. 16 in the Best Bang for the Buck Rankings: Midwest category. This rankings service addresses the ability of financially challenged students to attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.


In regard to the success and earning potential of ONU alumni, Payscale.com ranked Ohio Northern 10th in its “Best Colleges in Ohio by Salary Potential” list for 2021. According to Payscale’s stats, the average base salary of an ONU alumni is $72,000 annually while mid-career pay averages $108,900.

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education

Ohio Northern was ranked nationally in The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings for 2022. Nearly 800 colleges and universities were included, with ONU placing 250th. The rankings are based on 15 perfromance indicators and are "designed to answer the questions that matter most to students and their families," the publication states. 

Almost 20% of the WSJ/THE College Rankings rely on a student survey database, which "captures key milstones in a student's educational journey with their institution, covering motivation, engagement and learning, career impact, and satisfaction and value," The Wall Street Journal explains. The rankings also include data from various sources including the Integrated Postsecondary Educaiton and Data System, College Scorecard, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.


ONU ranked 219 on the Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges 2021 list. Forbes’ uses federal databases, Carnegie Classification information, and other entities such as Payscale.com. Along with academic success levels, Forbes examines factors such as graduation rates and return on investment. The finance-focused publication specifically recognized the unorthodox learning atmosphere wrought by COVID-19. “We took a pandemic year to re-evaluate (we suspended the list in 2020). As we watched Covid turn higher ed upside down, we realized we needed to upend the way we measure the best colleges in America,” it states.

“We only rank a slice of American’s colleges and universities, just 600 four-year schools drawn from the nearly 2,700 such degree-granting institutions in the U.S.” Forbes notes. Ohio Northern was one of only 15 Ohio higher education institutions listed this year.

College Factual

College Factual characterizes itself as “the largest source of higher education data and analytics in the country.” The online resource helps students and families find the best higher education fit for them by using objective survey data to highlight the best outcomes-focused institutions. Here are some of its 2022 Best Quality rankings for ONU:

• #10 out of 73 in Best Bachelor's Degree Schools in Ohio.

• #1 out of 12 in Best Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication Bachelor's Degree Schools in the Great Lakes Region.

• #1 out of 11 in Best Journalism Bachelor's Degree Schools in Ohio.

• #1 out of 19 in Best English and Language Arts Education Bachelor's Degree Schools in Ohio.

• #2 out of 21 in Best Pharmacy Doctor's Degree Schools in the Great Lakes Region.


Niche.com’s 2022 Best Colleges list is “based on analysis of key statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and millions of reviews,” the site states. It is also known for reviewing K-12 schools, graduate schools and places to live.

Some of its Ohio rankings for ONU include:

• Best Christian Colleges: No. 1 of 17

• Best Value Colleges: No. 3 of 75

• Best Colleges for Business: No. 8 of 49

• Education: No. 9 of 38

• Best Colleges in Ohio: No. 11 of 79

• College with the Best Academics: No. 11 of 79