Indiana Online Colleges & Universities: Top Schools for 2017-2018

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Best Online Colleges In Indiana

Fully online colleges and universities in Indiana bring higher education to students who cannot relocate or commute to class. Distance learners pursue degrees and certificates at their convenience, completing the same curriculum track as those on campus. Providers of online programs in the Hoosier State include four-year universities as well as smaller colleges and schools with a spiritual focus. Out of the many quality institutions in the state, some rank higher than their peers. The colleges cited below excel in the online classroom and in student support, meriting special attention as the Best Online Colleges in Indiana for 2016-2017.

Rank University Location #of Online Program Acceptance Rate Financial Aid %Annual Tuition score Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services Description
1 Indiana State University Terre Haute, Indiana 45 83% 75%$8,416 99.78 20:1 40% Yes Yes Yes

Indiana State University provides fully online undergraduate and graduate programs. The courses are run through the learning management system Blackboard. Through Blackboard students have complete access to all learning materials. Students who have questions about Blackboard or need any computer support can get assistance at the office of information technology. Distance learning students have the responsibility of managing independent research with library assistance. The library provides research methods for students through library tutorials, chat services, and individual instruction sessions. Student services like the career center are designed to prepare students for the future. The career center offers programs for students who are interested in gaining new skills.

2 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, Indiana 51 95% 50%$24,102 99.53 16:1 63% Yes Yes Yes

Indiana Wesleyan University is a private school in Marion, Indiana that was founded in 1920. It has national and regional accreditations with organizations like the Higher Learning Commission. Annual enrollment at Indiana Wesleyan is about 14,730. The main campus is on 320 acres. In addition to being the largest private higher education institution in Indiana, the Christian university is the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities largest institution. Over 140 credentials are awarded at the university, including more than 80 undergraduate degrees. Several of its master’s degree programs are offered in the Carnegie class.

3 Huntington University Huntington, Indiana 12 97% 97%$24,771 98.98 12:1 59% No Yes Yes

Huntington University is a Huntington County, Indiana institution of higher learning. Much of the 160 acre main campus is surrounded by trees. Situated near a lake, the university started in 1897. Its founders were the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. The university has an extended campus in Peoria, Arizona. Classes and campus activities are conducted in a Christian atmosphere. Law, counseling, education, ministry and medicine are areas that adults can pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in at Huntington University. Students at the university are very active in the community, volunteering an average of 11,000 hours a year.

4 Oakland City University Oakland City, Indiana 6 55% 94%$19,800 98.88 12:1 60% Yes Yes Yes

Oakland City University is a four-year postsecondary school located in Oakland City, Indiana. It has been offering advanced education to qualifying students since 1885. At its beginning, the university owned 10 acres. Today, its main campus is set on 34 acres. Adults also take classes at the university in person at one of four learning centers located in Indiana. The Christian school administers its credit and non-credit classes through five colleges and schools. Heads of these schools have oversight for programs in business, arts and sciences, education, adult and professional studies and religious studies.

5 Indiana University-Southeast New Albany, Indiana 3 80% 66%$6,827 98.38 14:1 32% No Yes Yes

Indiana University-Southeast is located in New Albany, Indiana. It’s a regional school that is part of the larger and nationally recognized Indiana University. The school dates back to 1941. A combination of 50 degree programs are offered at the university. Specific areas that majors and minors are available in include technology, environmental science, business administration, education, gender studies, computer science, humanities and digital media. Information sessions, job fairs, athletics and student organizations enrich classroom and online learning. Students must register for orientation. Online applications are accepted.

6 Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis, Indiana 15 70% 44%$8,909 98.37 19:1 44% No Yes Yes

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis is located in Indiana’s capital city. Known as the home of the Jaguars, the university’s graduate nursing program is among the top nursing programs in the country. Over 30,000 part-time and full-time students attend the school, with 80 percent of undergraduates carrying a full-time course load. Nearly 100 research centers are on the main campus. Within the university’s 17 schools there are over 255 academic programs. The school is committed to improving the local community. In 2014, Indiana University-Purdue students recorded 365,206 hours of community engagement work.

7 Ball State University Muncie, Indiana 6 60% 47%$9,344 98.32 15:1 59% No Yes Yes

Ball State University is a leader in the healthcare, education and business fields. At its main campus is in Muncie, Indiana and via its extended learning centers, the university educates about 22,000 students. Undergraduates have 190 majors to choose from. For graduates, there are over 25 academic programs, many of them online. Ball State recently opened its Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Mentorship. Students who participate in the program get to work with leaders who are starting a new business and learn the ins and outs of operating a business from the ground up.

8 University of Southern Indiana Evansville, Indiana 9 71% 41%$6,957 98.18 17:1 41% Yes Yes Yes

The University of Southern Indiana sits in Evansville, Indiana, the third biggest city in the state. Nearby cities are Indianapolis, Louisville and St. Louis. The campus itself spreads across more than 1,400 acres. Over 75 majors are taught at the public university that was founded in 1965. Degrees cover fields like business, nursing, health professions and engineering. Nearly 85 percent of the school’s 10,001 students are in-state. Academic programs are segmented as undergraduate, graduate and international. The school’s Center for International Studies has forums, communication and overseas development programs that are designed to assist students from other countries acclimate to the school.

9 Indiana University-South Bend South Bend, Indiana 6 73% 40%$6,905 98.15 13:1 26% No Yes Yes

Indiana University-South Bend recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, having launched in 1916. About 7,574 students are enrolled at Indiana University-South Bend. These students have over 100 academic fields to choose from when selecting a major. Faculty population is at nearly 300, most teaching full-time. Arts, business and economics, education, liberal arts and sciences, health sciences, social work and Purdue Polytechnic are the seven colleges at the university. Also located in South Bend, the Purdue Polytechnic part of the university awards technical associate and bachelor’s degrees in areas like engineering technology, organizational leadership and supply chain management technology. Online classes are offered at the university at the undergraduate and graduate level.

10 Indiana University-Northwest Gary, Indiana 6 77% 18%$6,854 98.04 15:1 28% No Yes Yes

Indiana University Northwest has a variety of online and hybrid programs and certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels. All courses are designed by the university’s own on-campus faculty and staff, so the degree quality remains the same no matter where the student attends. Online faculty members receive additional support and professional development so they can be more effective in an online environment. Students turn in assignments weekly to the online learning management system, where they also participate in class discussions and access lectures and other materials. An online readiness questionnaire can help prospective students decide if an online program is right for them.

11 Calumet College of Saint Joseph Whiting, Indiana 3 34% 82%$16,405 97.91 11:1 24% Yes Yes Yes

Distance learning at Calumet College of Saint Joseph is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. Some courses and programs are delivered completely online, while many traditional, on-campus courses are supplemented with some online learning through Blackboard. Distance learners can use Blackboard to view their syllabus, review classroom lectures, check their grades and take exams. The system can also be used to communicate with instructors and classmates. Distance learners can log onto the Virtual Classroom through the college's website. All degrees, both graduate and undergraduate, are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

12 Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, Indiana 9 91% 16%$7,949 97.86 17:1 26% No Yes Yes

Distance learners can pursue three undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree, as well as several minors, certificates and general education classes completely online. Some courses are offered in the hybrid format, which blends online learning with some on-campus instruction. IPFW's distance degrees are accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools’ Higher Learning Commission. Most courses are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. Online students have access to the school's Helmke Library services. The school offers a self-evaluation quiz for potential students who are unsure if distance learning is right for them.

13 Indiana University-Kokomo Kokomo, Indiana 3 67% 25%$6,811 97.66 16:1 28% No Yes Yes

Undergraduate students can pursue a bachelor of applied science degree or a bachelor of general studies degree completely online. For working nurses who want to earn a full bachelor's degree, there is also an online RN to BSN program. Through the Online Learning Consortium students can connect with more than a hundred other online programs from other Indiana University campuses. Students learn through the Canvas learning system, and have access to 24/7 tech support live chat and the IU Kokomo Library. Indiana University is a member of the North Central Association and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

14 Vincennes University Vincennes, Indiana 3 N/A 18%$5,174 97.56 17:1 23% Yes Yes Yes

Distance learners can begin new degree programs at Vincennes University, or they may complete lower degrees through degree-completion programs. Students will have access to tutoring services online, or they can choose to meet at a local public library with a Learning Unlimited coach. Learning Unlimited also helps students with research and library services. Individual online classes are also available. Most coursework is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, and students will use the MyVU web portal as a central hub. All programs are accredited through the Higher Learning Commission of Colleges and Schools.

15 Purdue University-Calumet Campus Hammond, Indiana 3 60% 24%$6,830 97.48 19:1 31% No Yes Yes

Part of the Purdue University system, Purdue University-Calumet (Purdue Northwest) offers an online RN to BSN degree. The larger Purdue online program offers many more programs, including several graduate degrees at the master's level, as well as associate degrees and graduate certificates. Upon graduation, online students will have access to Purdue's vast alumni network. Distance learners receive access to technical support, and each student is assigned an academic coach. All academic coaches have at least a master's degree and many have doctoral degrees. Distance learners can access the school's web portal 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

16 Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington, Indiana 3 76% 46%$10,388 97.43 17:1 78% Yes Yes Yes
17 Grace College and Theological Seminary Winona Lake, Indiana 3 80% 90%$24,670 97.37 26:1 65% Yes Yes Yes
18 Trine University Fort Wayne, Indiana 39 67% N/A$10,080 93.85 10:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
19 Indiana University-East Richmond, Indiana 31 64% 47%$6,787 93.58 15:1 27% No No Yes
20 Indiana Institute of Technology Fort Wayne, Indiana 23 71% 63%$24,860 91.63 36:1 31% Yes No Yes
21 Ottawa University-Jeffersonville Jeffersonville, Indiana 23 N/A N/A$11,670 86.79 3:1 N/A Yes No Yes
22 Crossroads Bible College Indianapolis, Indiana 3 N/A 6%$12,400 86.00 13:1 35% Yes No Yes

Best 2-Year Online Colleges In Indiana

Rank University Location #of Online Program Acceptance Rate Financial Aid %Annual Tuition score Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services Description
1 Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, Indiana 43 N/A 9%$4,055 92.51 19:1 9% Yes Yes Yes

Ivy Tech Community College boasts campuses all over the state of Indiana, with degree programs separated into health, technology, business and public service, and university transfer. While a student may request information or look at the FAQ, only phone numbers beginning with Indiana codes may access the chat line. Activities are organized through the Campus Activities Board, and vary depending on campus. Child care is offered in addition to the usual student services at Fort Wayne and Terre Haute campuses. Online courses are available, but only under distance education services, and students are expected to be on campus for some amount of time.

A Guide to Online Colleges in Indiana

Across the nation, traditional colleges are expanding online programs. In Indiana, distance learning formats are making it easier for students to complete courses on their own personal schedule. 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 stand out. Indiana State University also offers a vast online collection with more than 50 programs across business, education, management and more.

To get a lay of the land regarding higher education in Indiana, let’s examine the state’s largest city, Indianapolis, with an eye on colleges with a substantial online presence. This bustling state capital draws college, university and technical school students from across the state and well beyond to attend campus-based and online programs.

City Focus: Colleges in Indianapolis

Indianapolis hosts an impressive collection of colleges and universities in addition to famous sporting events and a 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 number five Up-and-Coming School – combines the advantages of two strong schools. Offering more than 250 degree programs, IUPUI has the largest population of graduate and professional students in the state. Additionally, IUPUI is consistently acclaimed for promoting diversity and for its favorable 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 educational option in Indianapolis. Religious students may be interested in Marion University, a private Catholic school, or the University of Indianapolis, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and 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 Community College has approximately 350 different online classes and enrolls more than 32,000 students in web-centered 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. 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 degrees in business management and Internet marketing. Harrison College, which has a strong presence in Indianapolis, awards online degrees in business, criminal justice, IT, health sciences and more subjects.

Indiana Tuition, College Costs and Living Expenses

Depending on the college, its location and in-state residency, students are faced with 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%

Accreditation Standards in Indiana

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 evaluate the state’s public and private non-profit schools to make sure they meet quality standards. Colleges also seek accreditation for specialized programs and 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).

Search Indiana Colleges Online

With more than 150 college programs in Indiana, finding the right accredited online school can be a challenge. Web-based programs often offer a powerful solution for students with jobs and family obligations who need a flexible schedule to complete their studies. The custom search tool that follows helps cut through the many options to sort schools by cost, type of degree, accreditation and other key considerations.

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Best Online Colleges in Indiana for 2015-2016

RANK COLLEGE ScoreStudent-Teacher RatioFinancial AidCostMORE INFO
1 Vincennes University 98.9116:189%

Vincennes University, Indiana first college and one of the oldest in America, offers undergraduate students both two- and four-year degree programs. Bachelor degrees are offered in over 200 majors including education, design, healthcare, journalism and nursing. Students choosing to earn their degree through the distance education program have over 400 courses and 27 degrees that can be earned entirely online, including Associate of Arts, Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science, as well as Bachelor of Science in homeland security and public safety, and Bachelor of Science in education.

2 University of Southern Indiana 95.4516:188%

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.

3 Ball State University 95.2316:187%

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.

4 Indiana State University 95.0720:192%

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.

5 Indiana Wesleyan University 94.4115:180%

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.

6 Grace College 92.3124:1100%

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.

7 Indiana University-East 91.5715:191%

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.

8 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College 91.388:1100%

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.

9 Indiana University 90.9718:185%

Indiana University has a wide range of online programs and certificates available to students, with more than 100 degrees including Bachelor of Science in business administration, math, communications studies, health studies and RN to BSN in nursing. Both degree completion programs and full degree programs are available online, depending on the needs of the student. Students should be self-directedlearners who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills. Online learners communicate with instructors and other students in the school's online course management system and have access to library resources at their chosen home campus as well as University Information Technology Services.

10 Bethel College-Indiana 89.7113:1100%

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.

11 Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne 89.6017:187%

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.

12 Purdue University-Calumet Campus 88.5820:166%

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.

13 Indiana Tech 86.7233:199%

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.

Talking With Insiders at Indiana’s Online Schools

Indiana is among the most affordable states for online education, but we wanted to get some inside details on the quality of distance learning options in the state. We asked the online departments from some of Indiana’s top schools to tell us what makes their programs unique. Read their responses:

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.

Resources for Students of Indiana Online Colleges

Students enrolling in online classes for the first time can access a wealth of information about the college system, financial aid and educational benefits for veterans. Resources like the following are 100 percent free and can be accessed from PCs, tablets or smartphones.

Major Indiana Educational Resources: