Data collected by the Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce indicates that postsecondary education is an important factor in employment outcomes. In fact, 34% of employers look for candidates with at least some college or vocational school experience, while 20% require a bachelor's degree.
Still, at least 8% of employers seek applicants who hold advanced degrees in their field, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that some of the fastest growing occupations require postsecondary education. Therefore, students should consider college programs in Indiana, which can lead to more employment opportunities. This page includes information and resources regarding affordable online universities in Indiana for both residents and out-of-state students.
To ensure the best return on investment, students must consider multiple factors when selecting an online program. Our selection considers the scope of distance programs, student-teacher ratios, student resources, and job availability for graduates. However, this ranking places particular emphasis on affordability, which includes average financial aid awards, the percentage of students who receive scholarships from their school, and average tuition for full-time students. Aspiring Indiana college students can find detailed information in the list below.
Accredited public or private not-for-profit institution
At least 3 online associate degrees or certificate programs (2-year schools)
At least 3 online bachelor’s or master’s degrees (4-year schools)
Annual in-state tuition below $5,000 (2-year schools)
Annual in-state tuition below $25,000 (4-year schools)
Colleges receive a total score based on performance in the following categories:
Average in-state net price for first-time/full-time undergraduates
Count and breadth of online programs available
6-year graduation rate (4-year schools only)
% of beginning, full-time undergrads receiving scholarship/grant aid from the college
Average $ of financial aid students receive directly from the college
Availability of academic/career counseling services
Availability of job placement services for students and graduates
3-year loan default rate
AC Online Peer-Based Value (PBV)*
*PBV is a proprietary metric that compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or similar) cost. In short, the PBV calculation denotes the overall value – or 'bang for your buck' – of an online degree.
Our college rankings are backed by data collected and analyzed from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a program managed by the National Center for Education Statistics. Surveying over 7,500 colleges annually, it is among the most longstanding and trusted providers of U.S. postsecondary information.
Most recent “Final Release” data available as of October 2017
|number||University||Score||Location||Annual Tuition||# of Online Programs||Financial Aid %||Student-Teacher Ratio||Grad Rate||Credit for Experience||Placement Services||Counseling Services||University Information|
|1.||Ivy Tech Community College||100.00||Indianapolis, IN||$3,935||38||11%||18:1||N/A||yes||yes||yes|
Higher education institutions in Indiana strive to recognize the diverse needs of their student population. The state serves a variety of learners, including single parents, professionals with full-time jobs, and underserved populations. Therefore, while on-campus enrollment remains prevalent, students can also choose from accredited and affordable online universities in Indiana that provide an equal education as their on-site counterparts. The table below indicates that over 32,000 students attend one of 108 Indiana programs offering coursework completely online.
Number of Programs offered Completely Online in Indiana 108
Undergraduate Students enrolled Exclusively Online in Indiana 17,772
Graduate Students enrolled Exclusively Online in Indiana 13,959
Total International Students enrolled Exclusively Online in Indiana582
Students who choose to attend schools in their state of residence typically pay less than those from out of state. For instance, the data below reveals that out-of-state students attending four-year public institutions in Indiana often pay over $9,600 more than residents. Meanwhile, out-of-state students attending two-year public schools pay nearly $4,000 more than residents.
Online programs offered at brick-and-mortar schools may apply out-of-state tuition rates, while 100% online schools often offer a flat rate for all students. Additionally, some programs maintain regional exchange agreements with other states that reduce tuition rates. Students can also establish residency within 12 months to qualify for in-state tuition.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2017
Current in-state tuition throughout Indiana nearly mirrors the national average at four-year institutions, while out-of-state fees exceed the national average by almost $4,000.
Whether attending school online or in person, students should understand the factors influencing tuition. On-campus tuition typically includes additional fees that do not apply to online students, including housing, meal plans, and lab fees. However, online students may receive additional fees for digital resources needed for online coursework. The list below includes base tuition costs in Indiana
Indiana currently provides distance education to over 12,000 nonresident students enrolled in bachelor's and master's degree programs. While some universities charge out-of-state tuition, students should check to see if their home state qualifies for reduced rates. Indiana participates in both regional and individual state reciprocity agreements. However, details vary, so students need to visit the Indiana Commission for Higher Education website to identify specific requirements.
Out-of-State Undergraduate Students studying exclusively online in Indiana 5,592
Out-of-State Graduate Students studying exclusively online in Indiana 6,699
Indiana belongs to the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), an organization that manages reciprocity agreements between multiple states. Through the MHEC, public and nonprofit schools charge out-of-state students no more than 150% of what residents pay, while private schools reduce fees by 10%. Therefore, the amount of savings varies from school to school, but between 2017-2018, Indiana reported that their students saved about $5,987,890 collectively. MHEC member states include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. While the MHEC recognizes all public, private, and nonprofit schools in each state, students should note that schools retain the right to limit participation.
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) strives to make education more accessible to students. Furthermore, schools affiliated with SARA have more uniform standards and allow students to avoid unnecessary tuition costs. While a state may hold active membership, schools can choose not to participate. Over 50 schools in Indiana hold SARA approval. Students should also note that SARA covers individual classes as well as entire programs. Therefore, students may need to verify that their program has full coverage.
Tuition rates are ultimately program- and institution-based. Ask someone from a prospective program about what rates apply to you specifically as a potential member of a specific program.
The section below contains commonly asked questions regarding online education in Indiana. While we offer a cursory view of Indiana's online programs, make sure to explore the details of any specific schools of interest.
The cost of online tuition varies from school to school as each institution identifies their own rates based on their specific courses and components. Therefore, students should outline basic the traits of their ideal program. For instance, if students wish to attend private institutions, they should anticipate higher tuition than rates at a public or nonprofit university. Online students do not need to factor expenses such as housing, meal plans, or commute costs when into their overall tuition rates, which makes distance learning more affordable in the long run. However, online schools often embed technology fees to pay for their learning management system and other software required for distance learning courses.
Affordable online programs in Indiana may not maintain a physical location, which can often lower tuition rates. However, as online learning continues to grow in popularity, inexpensive programs often emerge that may lack credibility. Students should only consider programs that hold a valid regional or national accreditation.
Residents of states affiliated with MHEC or SARA may transfer their credits by sending their official transcripts to the school's registrar's office, as long as they meet the school's standards and GPA requirements. Similarly, Indiana schools often welcome students applying from schools that hold regional accreditation. Coursework from nationally accredited programs may only transfer to other nationally accredited schools.
In general, schools accept a maximum of 60 credits from two-year institutions, while some accept up to 90 credits from four-year schools. Some programs encourage students to transfer by streamlining the application process, including Ivy Tech Community College, which offers over 100 transfer programs for resident and out-of-state students.
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education provides detailed information about coursework accepted by colleges and universities in Indiana on their website. Indiana offers their Statewide Transfer General Education Core program, which ensures that 30 hours of general education credits can transfer between public colleges and universities. Students must also hold a 2.0 GPA or higher to qualify. Make sure to browse the Core Transfer Library to identify commonly accepted courses and the universities currently participating in the program.
According to the General Educational Development (GED) Testing Service, 98% of colleges and universities accept the GED as a valid credential. For instance, Purdue University Global accepts students with a GED or state equivalency certificate, and data provided by the American Council on Education states that over 18 million people have earned a GED since the exam emerged during the 1940s, while 800,000 took the exam last year alone.
The GED exam assesses language arts, reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. This test must have a proctor and applicants cannot complete the exam online. The exam possesses the same rigor as a high school diploma, and GED Testing Service data indicates that only 60% of graduating high school seniors could pass the test on their first attempt. The GED also partners with Canadian provinces. While 145 remains the standard passing score, states can raise the base standard if they choose.
Traditionally, colleges and universities offer limited enrollment dates, as the screening process requires much time and effort from the admission department. Additionally, many schools feel that limited start dates encourage selectivity, increasing opportunities to admit only the best candidates. However, many schools have adopted an inclusive model to accommodate as many students as possible, and the best online programs in Indiana offer multiple enrollment periods to assist underserved populations, such as students with disabilities or learners working full time. Some students struggle to achieve acceptable test scores on the SAT and ACT. Therefore, flexible start dates avoid penalizing struggling applicants who want to earn a degree.
In Indiana, the University of Southern Indiana and Marian University offer start dates throughout the year for both resident and out-of-state students who have a high school diploma or GED, while students enrolling into a graduate program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Purdue University Global allows students to start at the beginning of each month. Students must complete an informational interview, show proof of completion from a U.S. secondary school, and pass a criminal background check. Graduate students applying to Purdue Global should possess at least a 2.5 GPA from an accredited school and pass a background check, as well.
Federal Student Aid strives to ease financial students' financial burden, no matter their preferred learning environment. To qualify for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students should only consider online programs that hold a valid regional or national accreditation and note that enrollment status significantly impacts the amount of assistance awarded. Typically, part-time students only receive half of what full-time learners receive.
FAFSA offers both unsubsidized and subsidized Stafford loans, Perkins loans, grants, and work-study programs. Online schools often do not provide work-study, as many students do not live locally or the school does not have a physical location. Universities often choose work-study placements goals to help students gain experience while earning income, but many staff members teach from inconvenient locations, making in-person collaboration unlikely. However, some schools might offer work-study placements that would allow students and mentors to work remotely.
At Indiana University Online, students receive access to three online courses. Big data applications and analytics covers the value of using the cloud to operate data analytics, which can lead to solutions in the field. Students explore current case studies including the recommender systems at Netflix and genomic data.
As digital learning continues to grow, future educators need to understand how to engage with students. This course considers the backward design process, active learning, visual design, online presence, and multimedia. Students can also enroll in information visualization, which counts toward an online data science degree. This course introduces students to the process of effective visualization and explores data analysis algorithms to uncover trends to foster research and development.
Students may also want to consider some of Indiana's local community colleges for free classes. At Ivy Tech Community College, learners can enroll in introduction to design technology, where they explore the appropriate integration of design thinking with cutting-edge technology. Students also explore the history of design technology, consider structural logic, and sustainable components of design technology.
The Indiana Department of Education strives to create understandable pathways to success for students at any level. Through the Learn More Indiana website, students can explore what type of universities exist in the state. Students can also uncover the schools that suit their needs most by choosing what degree they wish to earn, level enrollment status, geographic location within the state, school type, school size, and learning environment. Learn More Indiana also helps students prepare critical materials needed for successful college admittance. Furthermore, Indiana provides access to application waivers for students with financial needs.
The site also helps students consider their career objectives to find the most suitable programs in Indiana. Learners receive access to personality tests, career path maps, and ScholarTrack, a system that provides access to students' financial resource needs.
While students often worry about how to fund their education, many learners qualify for financial aid. Pell Grants cover a large portion of tuition and require no repayment. Students earning an advanced degree or do not qualify for grants should explore the scholarships listed below.
The 21st Century Scholarship aims to remove the financial burden of attending school for qualified students. Additionally, awarded students also gain access to a personal success coach. Students enrolling into undergraduate programs at public universities in Indiana may apply. Candidates enrolling into private institutions receive public school rate coverage.
Scholarship Amount: Full TuitionView Details
Students earning a degree in the law enforcement field may qualify for this scholarship. Applicants must submit proof of good academic standing, maintain full-time enrollment and Indiana residency, and submit a brief essay about their professional goals. Students may renew this scholarship for a maximum of three years. Students should have.
Scholarship Amount: VariesView Details
INDOT provides scholarships to engineering students who wish to develop Indiana's infrastructure. Students may apply as an undergraduate or graduate student. Undergraduate students may renew this scholarship for up to five years, while graduate students can renew twice. Students also receive access to paid summer internships and preferential job placement.
Scholarship Amount: $6,250View Details
This scholarship seeks to improve educational achievement in Indiana. Each year, four students enrolling into public or private universities in Indiana receive full-tuition scholarships. Learners majoring in community development, education, religion, or philanthropy receive preference. Additionally, students receive $900 each year for books and other related equipment.
Scholarship Amount: Full TuitionView Details
African-American and Hispanic students who plan to teach in Indiana schools may apply for this scholarship. Students must commit to teaching in Indiana for three years at minimum and may reapply each year if they maintain a 2.0 GPA. Applicants should possess Indiana residency and maintain full-time enrollment.
Scholarship Amount: VariesView Details
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