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

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March 11, 2024
7 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 2/14/24

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!

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.

Founded in 1870 and located in Columbus, Ohio, OSU 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: 53%

The Ohio State acceptance rate is relatively high at 53%. While this statistic can ease some of your hesitations about applying to this school, you must still submit a competitive application to ensure you make it into this majority!

The current acceptance rate is consistent with Ohio State’s acceptance rate trends in the past few years. They tend to accept roughly half of the applicants who apply, so you can expect around a 50% acceptance rate for the next admissions cycle!

Ohio State University Early Action Acceptance Rate

Ohio State University’s early action acceptance rate is 59.3%. This is slightly higher than their overall acceptance rate, meaning that you can maximize your chances of getting in by applying through early action!

How Hard Is It to Get Into Ohio State University?

With a 53% acceptance rate, Ohio State University is only moderately selective. However, you should still strive to be a competitive applicant to maximize your 

chances. Over half of successful Ohio State applicants consistently rank in the top 10% of their graduating classes! 

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! 

Take our interactive quiz below to find out how likely you are to get into Ohio State.

Ohio State University Admissions Statistics

Ohio State Average GPA: 3.8

It’s estimated that the Ohio State average GPA is around 3.8. Despite their moderately high acceptance rate, this is a very competitive average GPA! 

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. You should always strive to get as close to a 4.0 GPA as possible. 

Ohio State Average SAT: 1410

The average SAT score of successful OSU applicants is 1410. Past candidates offered admission to OSU had median SAT scores of 1340-1480.

OSU also does not have minimum requirements for the SAT or the ACT. 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.

To achieve competitive SAT scores, students should rely on useful prep resources, prioritize consistent practice, and establish a study schedule they can commit to. Aim to score 1410 or higher to enhance your application.  

Ohio State Average ACT: 31

Ohio State’s average ACT score is 31. 50% of admitted students scored between 28 and 33, bringing the average score to 31. 

Like the SAT, submitting your ACT score is also optional at OSU. If you take the ACT and get a score equal to or higher than the average score of 31, you should consider submitting it. However, if your score is significantly lower than the average, you may choose to leave it out of your application. 

What is Ohio State Looking For In Applicants? 

The admissions committee at OSU 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.

Here’s some more info about how OSU evaluates applications, taken from a recent Common Data Set

Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Rigor of secondary school record X
Class rank X
Academic GPA X
Standardized test scores X
Application essay X
Recommendation X

Non-Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Interview X
Extracurricular activities X
Talent/ability X
Character/personal qualities X
First generation X
Alumni/ae relation X
Geographical residence X
State residency X
Religious affiliation/commitment X
Volunteer work X
Work experience X
Level of applicant’s interest X

Ohio State Admissions Requirements

Setting your target SAT score at 1410 or higher or your ACT score at 31 or above will significantly boost your chances of admission. Since Ohio State admits 53% of its applicants, these above-average scores will almost guarantee you admission! Successful applicants typically also have GPAs close to 4.0.

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.

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

  • Completed Common Application 
  • Official high school transcripts
  • SAT/ACT scores (optional)
  • Recommendation letter(s) (optional)
  • English language tests (if applicable)

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.

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:

Application Step Deadline
Early action applications due November 1
Early action notification date 1 December 8
Early action notification date 2 January 19
Regular decision applications due February 1
Regular decision notification date 1 February 16
Priority date for financial aid March 15
Regular decision notification date 2 March 22
Acceptance fee deadline/reply date May 15

Source: Ohio State University

Ohio State Regular Decision Deadline

The regular decision application deadline at Ohio State is February 1. Regular decision admissions notifications will be released on February 16 and March 22. 

Regular decision is the most common application pathway at most universities, mainly because it allows students more time to put together a competitive application. 

If you choose to apply to OSU through regular decision, be sure to use your time wisely to put together a stellar application, especially since the regular decision acceptance rate is lower than the early action rate!

Ohio State Early Action Deadline

OSU early action applicants need to submit their applications by November 1. You’ll receive an admissions decision on either December 8 or January 19 and will have until May 15 to respond. 

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! 

How to Improve Your Chances of 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!

Ohio State University Essay Prompts

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! 

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 3.8 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 3.8, 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 Is 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%. 

8. How Much Is Tuition At Ohio State University?

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

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, you’ll need 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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