Indiana Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2014

The state of Indiana contains 158 accredited colleges and universities, ranking 16th in the nation for total number of schools and 13th for student population, serving more than 630,000 students every year. These students seek degrees on the undergraduate, graduate and certificate levels, from any one of Indiana’s four-year universities, community colleges or online schools. Indiana's collection of institutions breaks down like so:

College Type Number in Indiana
Private not-for-profit (religious affiliation) 33
Private for-profit 20
Public 17
Private not-for-profit (no religious affiliation) 7

Top Cities in Indiana for College Education

Indiana’s urban and semi-urban areas harbor the majority of the colleges and consequently the largest portion of the student population. Take a peek at Indiana’s college and student numbers by city:

Highest Student Populations (Total)

  • Indianapolis (254,000)
  • Bloomington (34,700)
  • West Lafayette (34,000)
  • Fort Wayne (30,100)
  • Vincennes (24,100)

Cities with the Most Colleges (Total)

  • Indianapolis (36)
  • Fort Wayne (14)
  • Merrillville (8)
  • Evansville (7)
  • Richmond (6)

City Focus: Colleges in Indianapolis

The capital and most populous city in Indiana hosts an impressive collection of colleges and universities in addition to its famous sporting events and range of industries. With nationally ranked schools and public, religious and vocational schools, Indianapolis has something for everyone interested in a higher education. For example, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) – ranked by the U.S. News & World Report as the 5th best Up-and-Coming School – combines the advantages of two of Indiana’s best schools. Offering more than 250 degree programs, IUPUI has the largest population of graduate and professional students than any other university in the state. Additionally, the school is consistently acclaimed for being minority-friendly, military-friendly, and for its excellent student-teacher ratio (nearly 75 percent of its classes have 25 or fewer students).

Ivy Tech Community College, which has a higher enrollment than even Indiana University, is another higher education option in Indianapolis. Religious students may be interested in Marion University, a private Catholic school, or the University of Indianapolis, a private school affiliated with the United Methodist Church that has satellite campuses in Jerusalem, Cypress, and Athens (Greece).

Indianapolis Online Colleges and Schools

Indianapolis also offers plenty of quality online schools for an off-campus education. For example, Ivy Tech, the acclaimed Indiana community college, offers approximately 350 different online classes and enrolls more than 32,000 students in their online programs. Students can work online towards one of 12 different degrees, including computer information systems, general studies, information security, criminal justice, and manufacturing production and operations (MPRO). Ivy Tech also offers hybrid programs (online and on-campus) for computer science, early childhood education, human services, and paralegal studies. Alternatively, Fortis Online offers online associate’s degrees in business management and Internet marketing. Furthermore, Harrison College, which has a strong presence in Indianapolis, offers online degrees in business, criminal justice, IT, health sciences, and more.

Online Colleges in Indiana

All across the nation, traditional colleges are adopting online studies in their existing programs. In Indiana, distance learning modes are redefining the degree requirements, making it easier for college students to learn on a personal schedule with more flexible options for course work. Indiana University's IU Online, for instance, offers hundreds of online classes and more than 100 full degree programs to students at multiple academic levels, including associate, bachelor's, master's and doctorate. IU's inclusion of two-year degree programs online makes it a stand-out online college in Indiana. Although on a slightly smaller scale, Indiana State University's online collection includes more than 50 programs across business, education, management and more.

Tuition, Fees and Where You Live

Depending on the college, its location and in-state residency, students are faced with numerous and varying costs associated with degree plans. Tuition is the largest of the costs and should be considered before any of the others. In 2012, the average Indiana undergrad student paid $14,719 per year for resident tuition.

Colleges and universities often charge fees in addition to tuition, and in 2012, Indiana students paid around $1,000 in fees per year, increasing total college costs to just over $15,700 per student. These fees cover things like parking, laboratory materials, technology and admittance to recreation facilities. Fees vary by school and should be considered in any final cost budgeting.

Tuition and fees create the bulk of college expenses, but prospective students should not forget the cost of living (COL) index for a certain area: food, housing, utilities, etc. Against the national COL average, Indiana's is an estimated 7 percent lower, making it an attractive option for students who may need to watch costs. Consider Indiana’s major cities to see how the COL compares to the national average (100%):

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Indianapolis -12.8% -26.6% -8.6% -13.3% 0.5% -6.4% -6.9%
Richmond -9.2% -15.4% -16.7% 6.4% -1.6% -4.9% -8.3%
Muncie -9.0% -19.7% -9.0% -1.5% -5.5% -12.6% -2.4%
South Bend -8.1% -15.8% -8.7% -7.7% -4.6% -3.7% -2.7%
Elkhart-Goshen -6.0% -7.3% -8.6% -15.5% -0.3% -7.2% -2.5%
Fort Wayne-Allen Country -5.6% -10.7% -6.7% -12.7% 6.9% -6.6% -2.0%
Evansville -3.8% -13.7% -2.1% 20.0% -2.9% -2.6% -3.6%
Lafayette -1.8% -17.6% -4.4% 16.5% 6.2% 16.3% 2.7%

For students, the cost of college may seem the most important financial decision. However, it’s important to examine the value of a degree after graduation, also known as the return on investment (ROI). The following Indiana colleges have the highest ROI (lifetime salaries of graduates minus total cost of attendance):

  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Indiana Institute of Technology
  • Purdue University – Main Campus
  • DePauw University

Scholarships, Federal Aid and Other Funding

The major setback for potential college students is the crater that college leaves in a bank account. Students in Indiana have a number of options for funding their college degrees, the two prominent possibilities being federal aid and private scholarships. Federal funding for college comes from the U.S. government and begins with filing the proper FAFSA forms. The state ranked 14th in the nation with 71 percent of students receiving federal financing for degrees.

Another option: private companies and philanthropic organizations in Indiana seek to aid students who desire college degrees. These scholarships can be used in place of federal assistance or can be combined with it. These merit-based scholarships can come from the colleges and universities themselves or from some of Indiana’s major benefactors, found below:

  • Indiana General Assembly
  • Indiana Sheriffs Association
  • Carson Scholars Fund, Inc.
  • Indiana Quarter Horse Association
  • Cecil Armstrong Foundation
  • Indiana CPA Society
  • International Association of Administrative Professionals: Evansville Chapter
  • Indiana Society of Professional Engineers
  • Selma McKrill Brown
  • Fifth Third Bank, Indiana, Inc.
  • Lilly Endowment, Inc.
  • Alpha Tau Omega
  • Shannon O'Daniel Memorial
  • Indiana Mortgage Bankers Association

Accreditation and Indiana Colleges

Potential Indiana students should research a college or university’s accreditation before applying. The accreditation status of a school dictates whether or not students can receive federal financial aid (and perhaps aid of other types). Regional organizations such as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (http://www.northcentralassociation.org) evaluate the state's public and private non-profit schools to make sure they meet quality standards for online and campus education. Colleges may seek additional accreditation for specialized programs or for their distance learning options. The art education program at Purdue University, for instance, has been accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Conclusion

The final decision to attend college in Indiana can be a complex one, riddled with complicated variables. Students must consider budgetary needs, online learning vs. campus-based, and most importantly, which college to attend. This guide helps provide general information on the decision-making process, but it needs to be paired with specific data from Indiana colleges and universities. Check below to find school profiles and discover a good match:

We know that Indiana is one of the most affordable states for online education, but we wanted to get some inside details on distance learning options in the state. We asked the online departments from three of Indiana's top schools to tell us what makes their online programs unique. Read on, the interviews are below:

Online Departments in Indiana
  • Huntington University +

    How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

    Huntington University provides online programs that fit the needs of the job market as well as the schedule and flexibility that our students seek, blending the needs of both audiences to offer high-quality programs.

    What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

    At Huntington University, we highlight our employment of full-time and adjunct faculty, which results in a strong combination of institutional ideals and real-life application, always with the foundation of a Christian worldview. We help our students discover real ways to live out faith. Our commitment to faith also introduces a higher level of care and concern for our students from our faculty. Our students are not just a number, meaning that we are interested in their success as professionals but also as people.

    Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

    We see the online programs continuing to develop and grow in response to the changing market needs in addition to the needs of our employers and students. Our programs will continue to develop. We're always listening to what our students say they need -- whether that means additional bachelor's degrees or new advanced degrees. As the market expresses needs, we will continue to respond and grow.

  • Oakland City University +

    How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

    OCU offers all of its online courses in asynchronous format. Each course is 5 to 8 weeks long. Being asynchronous makes it possible for students to access their online classroom any time 24/7 to complete the current week of study. Not requiring students to be online at the same time also increases the flexibility and accessibility of academic studies for the student who must study around other life and work commitments.

    What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

    OCU’s courses are built around current best practices in the field of study. Instructors are practitioners in their respective fields, providing students with insights into real life applications of course principles. The Christian worldview of the university is also reflected in the course objectives and courseware concepts.

    Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

    OCU’s online course and program offerings continue to expand. Additional fully online degree programs are under development, including certificate options that bundle together toward a full academic degree. The university is also exploring additional subject areas to offer online. The university sees the dynamic nature of online learning as an opportunity to upgrade and expand how online course materials are made accessible to students. Advancements in technology over the next five and ten years will allow for more interactive learning activities in the online classrooms.

  • Purdue University-Calumet Campus +

    How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

    Strategically, Purdue University Calumet has approached online degree offerings from a narrow focus, targeting very specific market areas with demonstrated demand. Purdue Calumet online programs are offered in nursing (RN to BSN completion and a Master of Science degree with two areas of specialization: Family Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist). We also offer online master’s degree programs in Education and Technology.

    What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

    Our programs are designed for motivated individuals with busy lives who value the opportunity and convenience to advance their education and earn a degree by building their academic schedule around demanding job, home and other responsibilities.

    Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

    Purdue University Calumet plans to continue to assess underserved markets in order to satisfy the needs of those individuals who are committed to earning a degree, but are unable to do so via traditional, on-campus programs.

Nestled in the Great Lakes region of the country, Indiana also boasts great four-year online degree programs. Fully online, these accredited schools in Indiana bring higher education to distance-learning students. And with degrees and certification programs that follow the same curriculum track as those on campus, online students can earn the same diplomas. Not only are the degrees equivalent, but the esteem of professors, admissions requirements, and often tuition assistance are as well. If an online college in Indiana is what you are searching for, we have information to help you in your search. Enjoy the ease in which you can find the very best four-year Indiana online colleges.

Click here to see our methodology.
1
University of Southern Indiana
Tuition and fees: $6,325 Enrollment: 12,934 Accredited: YES Website: University of Southern Indiana

The University of Southern Indiana offers a limited selection of online course options for students, all of which related to the field of health care. Students can earn either their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorates in one of a small number of fields. The college provides several online options, including the Blackboard course management system, as well as additional tools.

2
Purdue University-Calumet Campus
Tuition and fees: $6,494 Enrollment: 11,082 Accredited: YES Website: Purdue University-Calumet Campus

Purdue University-Calumet Campus is one of the few online colleges in Indiana that focuses almost exclusively on nursing and the field of health care. Students can earn their master’s degree in one of several nursing related fields of study, and the college offers a wide variety of tools and resources to help towards that.

3
Indiana University-East
Tuition and fees: $6,496 Enrollment: 4,659 Accredited: YES Website: Indiana University-East

Indiana University-East offers a number of online degree programs that give potential students the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s degree in a number of traditional fields of study. Students can choose from political science, mathematics, business administration, and several more areas, and the college offers a comprehensive support system with numerous education resources.

4
Indiana University-Kokomo
Tuition and fees: $6,541 Enrollment: 3,952 Accredited: YES Website: Indiana University-Kokomo

Indiana University-Kokomo is one of the very few online colleges in Indiana that focuses exclusively on nursing, and the online degree programs reflect that. The only online option available is a transition program designed for current registered nurses who wish to further their education. The courses are taught by experts in the field, and a large amount of interaction between students and staff is provided.

5
Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne
Tuition and fees: $6,876 Enrollment: 15,966 Accredited: YES Website: Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne

Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne offers a small selection of online degree programs, including one option for earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, as well as a larger selection of fields to minor in. The college uses the Blackboard Learn course management system to assign course work, hold lectures, and facilitate interaction between staff and students.

6
Indiana State University
Tuition and fees: $8,098 Enrollment: 12,204 Accredited: YES Website: Indiana State University

Indiana State University offers a greater range and variety of online degree programs than many online colleges in Indiana, providing opportunities for students to earn their bachelor’s or master’s degree in a huge range of fields. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and uses a variety of online tools to enhance the learning experience.

7
Ball State University
Tuition and fees: $8,980 Enrollment: 18,936 Accredited: YES Website: Ball State University

Primarily geared for existing teachers who wish to further their own education, Ball State University only offers two online master’s degree options. Students can pursue their master’s in either technology education or career and technical education. The college provides a large amount of individual attention to each student and utilizes a variety of resources to facilitate the learning experience.

8
Non-Traditional Campuses
Tuition and fees: $9,480 Enrollment: 663 Accredited: YES Website: Non-Traditional Campuses

Trine University is one of the many online colleges in Indiana. Trine's Virtual Campus offers a wide variety of online degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Online students can choose from three associate's, nine bachelor's and three master's degree programs in fields like criminal justice, computer science and engineering.

9
Purdue University-Main Campus
Tuition and fees: $9,900 Enrollment: 33,955 Accredited: YES Website: Purdue University-Main Campus

Purdue University-Main Campus offers a huge number of online degree programs ranging from engineering and education to agricultural economics and aviation and aerospace management. The college offers only a single choice for bachelor’s degree, but also provides a huge number of opportunities for students to earn their master’s degree online. A variety of graduate certificates are also available, as well.

10
Indiana University-Bloomington
Tuition and fees: $10,033 Enrollment: 34,639 Accredited: YES Website: Indiana University-Bloomington

Indiana University-Bloomington offers more online degree programs than many online colleges in Indiana. The college offers over 100 associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree options, as well as many more graduate certificate programs, and it utilizes a variety of online resources to give students every advantage.

11
Crossroads Bible College
Tuition and fees: $12,350 Enrollment: 310 Accredited: YES Website: Crossroads Bible College

Crossroads Bible College is one of the online colleges in Indiana offering undergraduate degree programs. Crossroads Online offers two Bachelor of Science programs in urban leadership and biblical counseling. Both programs are fully accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). The college also offers other online courses that are not a part of either program.

12
Calumet College of Saint Joseph
Tuition and fees: $14,880 Enrollment: 1,163 Accredited: YES Website: Calumet College of Saint Joseph

Calumet College of Saint Joseph provides a small selection of degree programs for students to earn their master’s degree online. Students can choose between master of science in management or art in management. Because of this limited selection, students enjoy a large amount of personalized and individual attention and interaction between themselves and their professors.

13
Oakland City University
Tuition and fees: $18,600 Enrollment: 2,936 Accredited: YES Website: Oakland City University

Oakland City University has limited offerings for online degree programs, providing students the chance to earn their associate’s degree in religious studies; their bachelor’s degree in either business administration or criminal justice; or their master’s degree in business administration. Despite the small selection, however, the college provides a thorough system of resources and support for aspiring students.

14
Indiana Wesleyan University
Tuition and fees: $23,164 Enrollment: 16,657 Accredited: YES Website: Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University, one of many online colleges in Indiana, provides several options for students to pursue their associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in a variety of fields. The college offers online degree programs in such fields as education, criminal justice, business, and many others, and is accredited by the The Higher Learning Commission.

15
Grace College and Theological Seminary
Tuition and fees: $23,290 Enrollment: 1,414 Accredited: YES Website: Grace College and Theological Seminary

Grace College and Theological Seminary is an online college in Indiana that provides a number of online degree programs in various fields of study, all of which are influenced by the school’s religious roots. Students can primarily earn their master’s degrees in a range of fields, and they will enjoy a strong support system with personal attention and interaction throughout.

16
Huntington University
Tuition and fees: $23,780 Enrollment: 1,263 Accredited: YES Website: Huntington University

One of the top rated online colleges in Indiana, Huntington University offers a variety of online degree programs. Students can earn their bachelor’s or master’s degree in one of several business or education related areas of study. Huntington is a Christian college and offers a number of courses related to religious studies and similar areas, as well.

17
Bethel College-Mishawaka
Tuition and fees: $24,280 Enrollment: 2,136 Accredited: YES Website: Bethel College-Mishawaka

Bethel College-Mishawaka is a Christian college that offers a limited selection of online course options. Students can earn either their associate degree or bachelor’s degree in business. Despite the small selection, the college supplies a wide array of resources and tools for online students to take advantage of, including virtual classrooms and interactive chat sessions.

18
Indiana Institute of Technology
Tuition and fees: $24,370 Enrollment: 6,465 Accredited: YES Website: Indiana Institute of Technology

The Indiana Institute of Technology offers a range of options for students to earn either their associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree online. The college offers a variety of online degree programs, many of which fall under business administration, and they utilize a comprehensive course management system to provide a high quality, interactive education.

19
University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne
Tuition and fees: $24,440 Enrollment: 2,219 Accredited: YES Website: University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne

University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne focuses primarily on offering master’s degrees in their online degree programs, although a single option for earning both a bachelor’s and associate degree are available, as well. The college offers such fields of study as environmental health, business administration, and several others, and provides a comprehensive course management system to aid students in their education.

20
Anderson University
Tuition and fees: $25,560 Enrollment: 2,232 Accredited: YES Website: Anderson University

Anderson University is a unique online college in Indiana in that it offers a large number of online degree programs in traditional fields such as criminal justice and business administration, but they also provide several religiously themed course options such as Christian studies and ministry. Students can earn either their bachelor’s or master’s degree in one of the many available fields.

21
Franklin College
Tuition and fees: $26,895 Enrollment: 1,149 Accredited: YES Website: Franklin College

Franklin University offers online degree programs and classes that are accredited, flexible and affordable. The curriculum for online classes is the same as on-campus classes. Students can choose from a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in psychology, accounting, healthcare management, internet marketing and other popular fields.

22
Saint Josephs College
Tuition and fees: $27,350 Enrollment: 1,169 Accredited: YES Website: Saint Josephs College

Saint Joseph's College Online offers online associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in fields like accounting, business, education and criminal justice. All online programs are designed to be flexible enough for working professionals. Online courses utilize the ANGEL online learning portal. Some courses may require students to completed a proctored final examination or project.

23
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Tuition and fees: $27,672 Enrollment: 1,210 Accredited: YES Website: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College provides students with a variety of courses and online degree programs through which they can earn either their associate or bachelor’s degree. The college offers a number of fields to focus on, as well as an array of minors to choose from, as well. College professors and staff provide a large amount of assistance and personalized interaction with students.

24
Trine University
Tuition and fees: $27,790 Enrollment: 1,935 Accredited: YES Website: Trine University

Trine University is one of the many online colleges in Indiana. Trine's Virtual Campus offers a wide variety of online degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Online students can choose from three associate's, nine bachelor's and three master's degree programs in fields like criminal justice, computer science and engineering.

25
Taylor University
Tuition and fees: $28,088 Enrollment: 2,772 Accredited: YES Website: Taylor University

Taylor University is a Christian college that offers only three options for online course studies. Students can earn both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration, and their associate’s of arts degree in a variety of specific fields. Due to the religious nature, a large number of the course offerings are geared towards Biblical study and religious pursuits.

26
Valparaiso University
Tuition and fees: $32,250 Enrollment: 3,102 Accredited: YES Website: Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University offers a small number of online degree programs that allow students to earn their master’s degree online. The online course offerings focus on education and health care, and it places a larger emphasis on international studies than most online colleges in Indiana. The college is rated one of the best in the country and is fully accredited.