Ohio State University – Acceptance Rate, GPA, Requirements, and More

Ohio State University—The Ohio State University—is one of the country’s most recognizable universities for a reason. 

For one thing, students interested in college athletics, and all of the community spirit and unforgettable memories it brings, will find few better college teams throughout the country than the Buckeyes. 

Ranked 9th in the country for college athletics by Niche, Buckeye athletics are sure to be an adventure for any student for whom athletics are a deciding factor. 

But beyond that, Ohio has been climbing in university academic rankings for several years. 

As one of the select few public Ivies in the nation—public universities with Ivy league affordances—it is no surprise that Ohio’s academic prestige seems to rise and rise every year. 

Combine all of that with the fact that Ohio State has one of the largest collections of student organizations in the country—with a staggering 1,400 clubs—and it becomes apparent that Ohio State has something to offer any prospective student. 

But before one has access to the many wonderful things Ohio State provides, they will have to be admitted, and that is the focus of this article.

This article outlines all of the necessary information hopeful Ohio State University students will need to know to start their journey in Columbus, OH.

By breaking down acceptance rates, GPA requirements, application tips and more, this article will provide a starting point for students hoping to become one of the many who are proud to call themselves Buckeyes. 

Ohio State University Acceptance Rate

Ohio State University
Minh Nguyen, University Hall, Ohio State University, CC BY-SA 4.0

The acceptance rate at OSU sits around 68% each year. 

That being said, one’s chances of admittance rise drastically if one takes advantage of the early application deadline. Students who submit their application by the early action deadline of November 1st have a 79% chance of admittance.

The deadline to submit an application to Ohio State University for non-early action applications is February 1st.

Early action applicants will hear back with an admissions decision in mid-January, whereas those who submit their application after the November 1st early action deadline will hear back sometime in mid-March. 

Related to the acceptance rate for general admissions is the acceptance rate for receiving financial aid, as financial aid can be a make-or-break deciding factor for so many students. 

Approximately 70% of freshmen receive some sort of scholarship from OSU, with the average financial aid award hovering around $9,000. 

On top of scholarships, 17% of students receive federal grants, with the average award from federal aid being about $4,700. 

Ohio State’s FAFSA deadline is February 15th

Ohio State University Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

The out-of-state acceptance rate at OSU hovers around 53%. In general, the out-of-state acceptance rate is about 10 to 20 percentage points lower than the in-state acceptance rate. 

Despite the slightly lower acceptance rate for out-of-state applicants, out-of-state students still compose roughly 30% of recent Ohio graduating classes. 

However, there is good news for students hoping to apply to OSU who are residents of another state. In 2018, the OSU announced a goal to have out-of-state students represent about 35% of each graduating class. 

As such, out-of-state students will not only have better chances of admittance in the upcoming years, but they will also be entering into a university community that has made a concerted effort to welcome those from other states.

GPA for Ohio State University

Ohio State University
Michael Barera, The Ohio State University (Ohio Union), CC BY-SA 4.0

Ohio State University does not have a minimum GPA requirement. However, when one looks at the average GPAs of admitted students, one learns the average high school GPA for admitted freshmen at OSU sits around a 3.7.

Although there is no minimum GPA for first-year applicants, such minimums do exist for transfer students. By looking at the minimum requirements of transfer students, one can learn who OSU may consider a competitive candidate for admission more generally. 

Transfer students must achieve a GPA in post-secondary coursework of 2.0. That being said, OSU’s website says that a GPA at or above 2.5 is generally competitive.  

Alongside one’s general GPA, OSU also considers grade trends and one’s scores in coursework that is particularly relevant for their field of study. 

As such, students can make themselves more competitive by demonstrating improvement from year-to-year in their high school GPA and by putting particular effort into coursework relevant to one’s hopeful major.

SAT & ACT Requirements for Ohio State University

There is no minimum SAT or ACT requirement for Ohio State University.

That being said, competitive candidates will typically average an SAT ranging from 1250-1460. The average ACT ranges from 28-32. 

However, one is advised to look through any ACT/SAT requirements for their specific program. For example, the College of Nursing requires students to receive an ACT of at least 25, and/or an SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing + Math score of 1200.

OSU specifies on their website that these admissions requirements are subject to change, and as such, students are advised to check back often regarding whether the specific college which houses their intended major has begun requiring a minimum standardized test score.

That being said, major-specific ACT/SAT requirements only come into effect once a student has already been granted general admission. 

Therefore, if one does not meet a requirement for their specific major, they would likely not be rejected from admittance at Ohio State generally,  but rather only not be admitted into that specific major. 

Other Requirements and Admission Tips

Ohio State University
Kevin Payravi, RPAC and Scarlet Skyway, CC BY-SA 4.0

Besides standardized test scores and one’s GPA, OSU also assures that students have completed the standard required coursework for the state of Ohio generally. 

This coursework includes a specified number of units in English, math, natural science, social science, foreign languages, and visual arts. 

Importantly, although there is a minimum amount of coursework for these three credits, OSU also specifies that a student can make themselves more competitive by taking the recommended number of courses instead of the minimum. 

For the recommended number of units, students would take one extra year of math, social sciences, and a foreign language. 

If a student achieves the recommended number of coursework as opposed to the minimum, they officially receive the designation of an applicant who will receive “additional consideration” by OSU admissions.

Furthermore, OSU looks at the highest composite score for one single SAT/ACT test. As such, taking the ACT/SAT multiple times is highly encouraged. 

Finally, as previously mentioned, students who apply by the early action deadline tend to have a much higher chance of being admitted compared to regular decision applications.

Therefore, for a student to maximize their chances, it is recommended they take 3 years of math, social sciences, and a foreign language to receive an “additional consideration” status. Next, take the ACT/SAT multiple times. 

And once the application is complete, turning it in prior to November 1st is likely to increase an applicant’s chances significantly.

Essays for Ohio State

Ohio State uses the Common Application system. As such, the essay questions for each particular year can be found on the Common Application website. 

An example of a common application question from this year is “Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?”

Besides the Common Application essay, no additional essay is required of applicants. 

Although it can be difficult to determine what in particular OSU looks for in Common Application essays, some insight regarding the preferred tone of one’s essay can be found on OSU’s honors website.

Although this website explicitly addresses the honors program, it might help illuminate the criteria with which OSU might judge application essays. 

The OSU honors department says that, in Common Application essays, they look for one’s ability to demonstrate analytical, critical thinking, and creative skills. 

Furthermore, OSU wants the Common Application essay to prompt the reader of the essay to think about a particular subject more deeply. 

Finally, OSU honors says that they analyze each essay with an attention towards whether or not a student has proven their ability to organize and structure their thoughts. 

As such, by looking at these criteria with which the OSU honors program judges Common Application essays, applicants can have a better idea of what aspects of their Common Application essay might be best to highlight for the best chance of admittance possible. 

Is Ohio State University Right for You?

But even after the application is turned in, and all of the best practices for increasing one’s chances of acceptance were followed to a tee, the question still remains of whether Ohio State University is the right choice. 

Although the answer to this question will vary from person to person, some crucial factors will play an essential role in the decision-making of most applicants. 

For example, one shouldn’t be swayed by the stereotype that there are no large cities in Ohio. In fact, Columbus—the city in which OSU is located—is larger than San Francisco

Columbus offers ample opportunities for exploration and adventure. From beautiful locations such as an entire section of the city which is considered the “Art District” due to the density of art-based businesses there, to one of the largest farmer’s markets in the country, Columbus is a beautiful city to call home.

Furthermore, for those particularly drawn to the idea of a large university, few are larger than OSU. Ohio State University is the 4th largest university in the US.

As such, with its staggering 1,400 clubs, there truly is a home on campus for every kind of university student. 

Considering this, it truly is no wonder that Ohio State University is ranked as the #13 university in the country for the quality of student life. 

Whether the appeal is its one-of-a-kind athletics, the beautiful city of Columbus, or the fact that this large university has millions of niches to explore, The Ohio State University is sure to be the right fit for a wide variety of students.