Urbana University in western Ohio will be a subsidiary of Franklin University in central Ohio under a partnership agreement announced by both schools.
The private universities announced the merger in statements and postings on their websites Tuesday. A Franklin spokeswoman says the Columbus school's purchase of Urbana was effective Monday. Financial terms weren't released.
Franklin is a commuter and online school serving about 10,000 students annually. Urbana is a liberal arts school with dormitories, sports teams and about 1,800 students.
School representatives say the partnership will allow Franklin to become more diversified and move into a new market segment. Urbana gets the support of a financially stable institution to help with financial challenges, including long-term debt.
Urbana will be led by a president who reports to Franklin's administration.