Ohio State University Admissions Statistics

Learn About OSU and the GPA, SAT and ACT Scores You'll Need to Get In

Ohio State University
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

The Ohio State University is a selective university. The acceptance rate was 48% in 2017, and the great majority of admitted students have grades and standardized test scores that are well above average. Those interested in applying to OSU will need to submit an application, high school transcripts, and scores from the SAT or ACT.

Why You Might Choose The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University (OSU) has the distinction of being one of the largest universities in the U.S. The attractive OSU campus features open green spaces and mix of architectural styles. Founded in 1870, OSU consistently ranks among the top 20 public universities in the country, and the university also made our list of top Ohio colleges and universities. It has strong schools of business and law, and its political science department is particularly well respected. The university's Music School also tends to do extremely well in the national rankings.

OSU has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its many strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, and its strong research programs earned it membership in the American Association of Universities. The OSU Buckeyes compete in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference. Seating over 102,000, Ohio Stadium is one of the largest in the world.

Ohio State GPA, SAT and ACT Graph

Ohio State University GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Admission
The Ohio State University GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission. See the real-time graph and calculate your chances of getting in at Cappex.com.

​Discussion of Ohio State's Admissions Standards:

About half of all students who apply to The Ohio State University get rejected. In the graph above, the blue and green data points represent accepted students. You can see that the majority of students who got in had "B+" or higher averages, SAT scores (RW+M) of about 1000 or higher, and ACT composite scores of 20 or above. Higher numbers clearly improve your chances of getting an acceptance letter, and your chances will be best with an ACT composite score above 25 and combined SAT of 1200 or better.

It's important to note that there is quite a bit of red (rejected students) hidden behind the blue and green in the graph (see the graph below that features just the rejection data). This means that even students with strong "A" averages and above average standardized test scores still get rejected from The Ohio State University. Note also that quite a few students were accepted with test scores and grades a bit below the norm. The admissions folks take into consideration the rigor of your high school courses, not just your grades. AP, IB and Honors courses all carry extra weight. Ohio State is also interested in your leadership experiences, extracurricular activities, and work experience. Finally, if you are a first-generation college student or part of an underrepresented group, you may get additional consideration.

At a minimum, OSU wants to see applicants who have taken four years of English, three years of math (four recommended), three years of natural science including significant lab work, two years of social science, one year of art, and two years of a foreign language (three years recommended).

Admissions Data (2017)

  • Ohio State University Acceptance Rate: 48%
  • Test Scores -- 25th / 75th Percentile
    • SAT Critical Reading: 610 / 700
    • SAT Math: 650 / 750
    • ACT Composite: 27 / 31
    • ACT English: 27 / 33
    • ACT Math: 27 / 32

While there are a few schools such as Kenyon College, Oberlin College, and Case Western Reserve University that are more selective than OSU, if you compare SAT scores and ACT scores for Ohio colleges, you'll find that Ohio State is one of the most selective in the state.

The Ohio State University: Admissions Data for Rejected Students

The Ohio State University GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Rejected Students
The Ohio State University GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Rejected Students. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The Ohio State University rejects as many students as it accepts. Strong ACT and SAT scores combined with high grades in high school will be the most important pieces of your application for being admitted, but keep in mind that they are not a guarantee of admission. In the graph above, We've removed all of the data points for accepted and waitlisted students to make the range of data for rejected students more visible. You can see that quite a few students with "A" averages and above average ACT and SAT scores were rejected. 

The reasons why an academically strong student would be rejected could be many: failure to complete enough college preparatory classes in high school, lack of leadership experience or co-curricular engagement, failure to meet minimum scores for English proficiency if a non-native speaker, a problematic application essay, or something as simple as an incomplete application.

More Ohio State Information

Numerical measures such as GPA and ACT scores, of course, are just one piece of the equation as you try to figure out if The Ohio State University is a good match for you. As you'll see below, the university tuition is a bargain for in-state students, and the great majority of students receive some form of grant aid. 

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 59,837 (45,946 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 52% Male / 48% Female
  • 91% Full-time

Costs (2017 - 18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $10,592 (in-state); $29,696 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,168
  • Room and Board: $12,292
  • Other Expenses: $2,985
  • Total Cost: $27,037 (in-state); $46,141 (out-of-state)

Ohio State University Financial Aid (2016 - 17)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 80%
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 70%
    • Loans: 38%
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $9,730
    • Loans: $7,479

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Biology, Communication Studies, English, Family Resource Management, Finance, Human Development, International Relations, Marketing, Political Science, Psychology
  • What major is right for you? Sign up to take the free "My Careers and Majors Quiz" at Cappex.

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 94%
  • Transfer-out Rate: 9%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 59%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 84%

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Wrestling, Hockey, Football, Rifle, Soccer, Basketball, Gymnastics, Golf
  • Women's Sports: Rowing, Softball, Volleyball, Cross Country, Basketball, Fencing

If You Like The Ohio State University, You May Also Like These Schools

Applicants to OSU tend to be attracted to large public universities with NCAA Division I athletic programs. Some of the schools that tend to be considered by applicants include Miami University, Penn State, Purdue University, Ohio University, and the University of Cincinnati

If you're also considering private universities, be sure to check out Case Western Reserve University, the University of Dayton, the University of Pittsburgh, and Xavier University. Case Western is the most selective of all the options.