An Introduction to Colleges & Universities in Cleveland

by Doug Schmitt
An Introduction to Colleges & Universities in Cleveland

Cleveland is the 33rd largest city in the United States and is the center of the Cleveland-Akron-Elyria metropolitan area, boasting an overall population of 2,945,831. With a history dating back to prehistoric times, the most recent inhabitants of Cleveland prior to European occupation were Native Americans of Iroquoian descent. On July 22, 1796, one month after settlers signed a treaty with the Native Americans to acquire the land, a surveying party led by General Moses Cleaveland came and laid out plans for the town. It was named “Cleaveland” after the General and was incorporated on December 23rd, 1814. In 1831, its name was changed to “Cleveland” when the first "a" was removed so the name could fit on a newspaper header.

Situated on the shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland's northern location presents a temperate climate with the change of seasons during the year. Lake Erie, one of the “great lakes”, is infamous for scattering its “lake effect snow” over Cleveland, which sometimes sees seasonal totals of 100 inches. Average temperatures vary from 25°F during they city's snowy winters to over 75°F during pleasant summers. Cleveland has 14 metroparks and when combined with Cuyahoga Valley National Park, offers 52,000 acres for recreation. The parks and pleasant weather in Cleveland support outdoor activities including fly-fishing, sport fishing, boating, swimming, jet skiing, parasailing, scuba diving, and canoeing. Let's not forget the winter months when ice-skating, tobogganing, skiing, sledding, and snowboarding can be enjoyed as well.

Cleveland's resident population of nearly 478,403 enjoys local attractions for entertainment, dining, and the arts. Several attractions and world-class museums including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the abundant cultural jewels of University Circle provide exciting sights and sounds for everyone's pleasure. For those who seek the nightlife, live music venues and nightclubs including the House of Blues Cleveland are sure to entertain. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and amusement parks including Cedar Point and Geauga Lake offer fun for the whole family. From baseball to football to basketball, Cleveland is home for many sports fans, offering the NFL's Cleveland Browns; MLB's Cleveland Indians; and the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

Due to its location on Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland was formerly a manufacturing center with a robust steel industry. When the manufacturing industry in the U.S. declined, the city became more focused on service-based industries. Today, several companies including Sherwin Williams, National City Corporation, KeyCorp, and Forest City Enterprises have their corporate headquarters in Cleveland. As well, the city is a world leader in the healthcare industry, having the renowned Cleveland Clinic, which is the city's largest employer.

Going to School in Cleveland

The city of Cleveland has several institutions of higher education. These include private, public, and technical/professional schools. The following are examples of some of these institutions:

Private Universities/Colleges

Public Universities/Colleges

Technical/Professional Schools

Selecting a school and program in Cleveland can be a difficult task, as quite a variety of programs are offered to students. The following are a sampling of areas of study available:

Accounting, Anthropology, Art, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Classical and Medieval Studies, Communication , Computer and Information Science, Dramatic Arts, Early Childhood Education, Economics, Electrical Engineering, English, Environmental Science, Film and Digital Media, Finance, French, German, Geological Science, Health Science, History, Industrial Engineering, Information Systems, International Relations, Journalism and Promotional Communication, Liberal Studies, Linguistics, Management and Labor Relations, Marketing, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Safety Management, Religious Studies, Social Science, Social Studies, Social Work, Sociology, Spanish, Special Education, Speech and Hearing, Urban Services Administration, Visual Art, and Women's Studies.

With so many choices, how can a student pick one?

First, a student should consider his or her own strengths, interests, and values. Embark on a voyage of self-assessment. A good place to start would be to ask one's self questions such as ‘what am I good at?' and ‘what do I like to do?'

Students are more likely to be successful if they like what they're doing. Aside from examination of ones own strengths, interests, and values, students should also investigate careers that they are considering, looking at the type of work required, the hours worked, and the environment in which it takes place. Since people normally spend more at work than at home, an issue significant to one's quality of life is enjoying the work that they do.

Another consideration could be the economic demands of industries in the city where they'll be attending class. Certain industries may have a higher demand for different types of skilled workers, leading to more job opportunities and higher salaries for job seekers.

The Cleveland economy is very flexible and tends to adapt to economic change as a whole. “Cleveland has a very diverse economy,” says Danny Williams, Director of Education and Workforce Development at the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.

“We have government jobs along with manufacturing, banking, and education. Healthcare is huge here as well. The Cleveland Clinic is our city's largest employer,” Williams continues. “We're flexible. If one industry goes into decline, the others will still remain strong.”


Depending on where a student chooses to attend classes, tuition rates vary. Under normal circumstance, public institutions are generally less expensive than private or technical/professions ones. The following are some examples of annual tuition rates:

Private Universities

  • Myers University - $ 9,840.00 annually

Public Universities

  • Cleveland State University - $ 306.00 per credit, resident; $ 413.60 per credit, non-resident


  • The Cleveland Institute of Art - $ 12,458.50 per semester

The examples provided are basic tuition fees. They do not include additional costs that may be applied by institutions. Examples of a few additional costs are book fees, lab fees, meal plan & housing fees, and numerous others that vary from institution to institution. It's strongly suggested that students research these fees as well.

Financial Aid

Education can be made affordable, even though it may seem to be an impossible task at first glance. Traditional financial aid programs that almost every institution of higher education offers can assist students with tuition. Information on these programs can be obtained via school websites and/or through the admissions or financial aid departments.

Beyond financial aid and tuition assistance are state and federal loans and grants available to students. Grants including the Federal Pell grant are given based on financial need and do not need to be repaid. Loans must be repaid starting six months after a student concludes his or her studies. Examples of such loans are the Perkins, the Federal Stafford, and the Federal Plus loans. While 10 million students apply for loans and grants annually, around 9 million students will actually receive them.

Lastly are scholarships, which are awards that do not need repaid. Some scholarships are competitions, where individuals may have to write essays or something comparable. Other scholarships have specific eligibility criteria that must be met that may include gender, area of residence, age, area of study, race, and creed.

Examples of scholarships available to Cleveland students are listed as follows:

These and several other scholarships are available to all students. For more information on Cleveland specific programs, visit the Cleveland Scholarships Program website.


When a job seeker submits a resume to an employer, more than a degree must be mentioned. Employers look to see that there has been some kind of related, practical work experience. A great way to gain practical experience is by doing an internship. An internship is not merely a job. It is an opportunity for a student to learn, to develop skills, to contribute to the employment community, and to develop proper on the job behavior. More so, an internship can aid a student in determining if they have chosen the right career.

An internship provides work experience with college credit and as well, some may provide compensation. They can help a student by providing first-hand occupational information. In addition, internships can provide valuable networking contacts and references, thus improving students' post-graduation job prospects.

The Cleveland Indians baseball team provides an excellent example of an internship in Cleveland. The internship will cover areas of expertise including Corporate Sales & Marketing, Community Relations, and Media Relations to name a few. Aimed at college seniors wanting to pursue a sports related career, the internship compensates $7.00 hourly plus overtime if applicable.

For more information, please visit the Cleveland Intern.

Employment in Cleveland

Institutions of higher education in Cleveland offer career development to aid with job placement, offering career fairs regularly to students as a means provide job opportunities. Along with career fairs comes on-campus recruitment, usually initiated by employers.

Cleveland State University provides an excellent example of this. “We help to meets students needs in regards to career development,” says Ben Morrison, Coordinator for the Career Services Center at CSU. “We do workshops that are for career preparation. Others are networking tools for students.”

Several career fairs provide opportunities for students, with employers taking an active role as well. “We have two career fairs per year, with over 100 employers at each,” Morrison says. “During our career weeks, half of the workshops are presented by the employers themselves!”


Due to its abundant educational resources, a flourishing economy, a culturally diverse atmosphere, and numerous recreational attractions to enjoy, it's a great idea to pursue a higher education in Cleveland.

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