How to Get Into Ohio State University: Acceptance Rate + Requirements

Ohio skyline
September 8, 2023
7 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 9/8/23

Hoping to join a university that creates experiences and brings together expertise, ideas, and resources to improve communities locally and abroad? Read on to learn how to get into Ohio State University!

Two students writing

The future is not only what you dream about; it’s what you create. This is Ohio State’s slogan and promise to its students – to make even their most ambitious dreams a reality! While this may sound too good to be true, OSU is one of the largest schools in the nation, meaning it can offer students unparalleled resources to reach their goals.

OSU offers over 200 majors and over 500 specializations to ensure its students can explore their academic interests. This university also ranks first for sending out Fulbright Scholars who make significant contributions to their communities and beyond. 

If those statistics didn’t convince you that OSU upholds its promises, it ranks sixth nationwide for its research programs and creates 360 new research inventions yearly! At OSU, ground-breaking findings, innovative solutions, and life-changing discoveries are the norm.

If you’d like to learn more about how to join this university known for its excellence, this guide has got you covered!

Ohio State University Acceptance Rate

At 57%, the Ohio State acceptance rate is relatively high. While this statistic can ease some of your hesitations to apply to this school, you must still submit a competitive application to ensure you make it into this majority!

How Hard Is It to Get Into Ohio State University?

While Ohio State University has a higher acceptance rate than many of the nation’s top colleges, you should strive to be a competitive applicant to maximize your 

chances. For example, this table shows that most Ohio State students performed in the top 25% of their graduating class: 

Applicant Category Statistics
Ranked in the top quarter of their high school class 98%
Ranked in the top 10% of their high school class 72%
ACT range 28-33
SAT range 1330-1460
Exceeded foreign language requirements 86%
Exceeded math requirements 99%
Exceeded natural science requirements 88%

While getting into Ohio State University isn’t as hard as other top schools, performing your best in class and exceeding course requirements will bolster your application!

Ohio State Admissions Requirements

Since Ohio State has such rigorous academic programs, the admissions committee aims to admit students who can handle challenging academic curriculums. To assess students’ academic performance, the committee reviews students’ GPAs and standardized test scores.

GPA Requirements

Ohio State University does not have minimum requirements for their GPA. However, the majority of admitted students graduated in the top 25% of their high school class, which is what you should aim for.

SAT/ACT Requirements

OSU also does not have minimum requirements for the ACT or SAT. It has also adopted a test-optional policy until at least the 2024-2025 admissions cycle. However, submitting these scores can further substantiate your academic potential or compensate for a lower GPA.

Past candidates offered admission to OSU had median SAT scores of 1330-1460 and ACT scores between 28 and 33. To achieve these SAT/ACT scores, students should rely on useful prep resources, prioritize consistent practice, and establish a study schedule they can commit to!

The admissions committee seeks students who demonstrate that they are prepared for the academic rigor of the Ohio State classroom, showcase leadership, appreciate diversity, seek collaboration, and use opportunities to figure out what kind of impact they want to have.

To assess all of these factors, OSU requires the following application materials

High School Transcripts

Using your transcripts, OSU will evaluate your GPA and the rigor of the courses you took. You are urged to participate in accelerated programs like Honors, AP, or IB to demonstrate your academic talent.

Students must take the following courses to be eligible for consideration:

  • English: at least four units
  • Math: at least three units, but four are recommended
  • Natural Science (with significant lab experience): at least three units
  • Social science: at least two units, but three are recommended
  • Foreign language: at least two units, but three are recommended
  • Visual or performing arts: at least one unit

Most successful OSU applicants exceed these minimum course expectations.

Letters of Recommendation

A professor writing on a whiteboard

Students may submit up to two letters of recommendation from a teacher or counselor. This application step is optional but can offer the admissions committee insight into your character, skills, and achievements. These opinions can strengthen your application and prove you’re ready to join OSU!

A Personal Statement

Common Personal Statement Mistakes to Avoid + Tips and Tricks to Elevate Your Personal Statement

As part of the Common Application, you will be required to answer one of the following prompts in the form of a personal statement:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

This is the only essay you must write to get into Ohio State, so make it count! Your personal statement should demonstrate your writing skills, how well you can articulate your ideas, and share more about your background, passions, and aspirations. Consider checking out personal statement examples for inspiration!

Ohio State University Deadlines

As you gather your application materials and get ready to submit your application, ensure you keep track of the following dates:

Deadline What’s Due
Early August Applications open
Early November Early action applications are due
By the end of January Early action application notifications are sent out
Early February Financial aid application priority deadline
Early February Regular application due
By the end of March Regular application notifications are sent out

Source: Ohio State University

Early action applications are non-binding, meaning you do not have to attend Ohio State University if you’re offered admission. This application type allows you to receive a decision about your application sooner than regular applicants. 

You will also be considered for OSU’s most competitive programs earlier than other applicants, meaning you’ll compete with fewer students and may have a higher chance of admission!

Ohio State University Tuition, Expenses, and Scholarships

A notepad, money and calculator

Ohio State University costs between $9,167-$12,859 in tuition for resident students, depending on the campus they join. Non-residents can expect to pay $38,365 a year for tuition, regardless of their campus.

Ohio State University Scholarships

Fortunately, OSU offers several forms of financial aid to help make their tuition more affordable for their students. Most notably and extensively, they offer merit-based scholarships that cover the full or partial cost of tuition. These scholarships include: 

  • Stamps Eminence Scholarship Program 
  • Morill Scholarship Program 
  • Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship for Ohio Residents 
  • National Buckeye Scholarship for non-Ohio Residents 
  • Maximus, Provost, and Trustee Scholarships 

Early action applicants are automatically considered for most merit awards, although some scholarships require extra steps.

Tips for Getting Into Ohio State University

Now that you know the basics of how to get into Ohio State University, here are some more specific tips to implement in your application to ensure it stands out:

Get Involved With Your Community

OSU values community engagement and seeks it in all of its candidates. To ensure you demonstrate your parallel values, gain significant volunteer experience in and/or outside of your community.

Take Challenging Courses

Despite OSU’s high acceptance rate, you should still enroll in rigorous courses in high school, especially in subjects that align with your intended major. This shows your willingness to challenge yourself academically and that you’re prepared for the rigor of college-level coursework.

Be Yourself

Throughout the application, let your unique story and experiences shine through. Showcase your genuine interests, passions, and goals, and illustrate how you can contribute to OSU’s diversity! OSU aims to admit the most diverse applicants each year, so share your distinct insights and perspectives!

FAQs: Getting Into Ohio State University

Below, you’ll find the answers to frequently asked questions about how to get into Ohio State University.

1. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Ohio State University?

While OSU does not have a minimum GPA, the majority of admitted applicants have GPAs of 3.5 or higher, which is what you should aim for.

2. Does Ohio State Accept a 2.5 GPA?

A 2.5 GPA will fall below OSU’s admission standards. Considering their median GPA is above 3.5, a 2.5 will not be considered competitive. 

3. Is Ohio State a Good University?

Yes, Ohio State University is widely regarded as a reputable institution. It is consistently ranked among the top public universities in the United States and is known as a Public Ivy

The university is known for its strong faculty, rigorous academic curriculum, and research opportunities. Ohio State boasts state-of-the-art facilities, extensive libraries, and resources to support student learning and development. It also has a vibrant campus life with numerous student organizations, sports teams, and cultural events.

Ohio State also has an extensive and influential alumni network, with graduates making notable contributions in various fields!

4. Do I Need to Submit SAT/ACT Scores to Get Into OSU?

Until the 2024-2025 admissions cycle, students are not required to submit ACT or SAT scores. OSU has adopted a test-optional policy that allows students to choose whether or not to write a standardized test. 

Students hoping to make up for a low GPA should strongly consider still writing the ACT/SAT, but those with otherwise strong academic records can certainly forgo this test. 

5. Where’s Ohio State University Located? 

Ohio State University is located in Columbus, Ohio. 

6. What Is Ohio State University Known for Academically?

OSU is known for being a top public university with a “top-rated academic medical center and a premier cancer hospital and research center.” 

7. What Is the Graduation Rate at Ohio State University? 

Recent data shows that Ohio State University’s six-year graduation rate is 88%. 

Final Thoughts

Getting into Ohio State University can be a lengthy process, but with careful preparation and a strong application, it is definitely within reach. To increase your chances of admission, it's important to stand out from the crowd. 

Showcase your unique qualities, experiences, and accomplishments in your application materials, and be authentic throughout the process!

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