In 2012, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) released a plan to have 60% of working-age adults in the state hold postsecondary credentials, such as an associate or bachelor’s degree or even a professional certificate. The arguable linchpin to the project was the state’s online degree programs, due to their convenience and quick time to completion.
The ICHE reached out to colleges and universities, asking them to support the initiative by offering more online programs and more distance services. Today, 34 schools throughout the state participate in the program, a testament to how lockstep the state and its schools are in their commitment to online learning.
Before we look at the best online colleges in Indiana for 2016, let’s consider how both higher education and online education are faring in the state today.
A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Indiana
In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that Indiana had 85 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 16 public schools, 40 nonprofits and 29 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 30,873 at public schools, 14,732 at private nonprofits and 946 at private for-profits.
- 16 public
- 40 non-profit
- 29 for-profit
Tuition-wise, the College Board found that, in the ’15-’16 school year, the average in-state tuition and fees for four-year public schools was $9,120, increasing by only 4% over the last five years, while the out-of-state average was $27,590, only increasing by 4% over the same time.
As for the state’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that Indiana awarded $269.3 million in need-based grants and $6.1 million in nonneed grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Grants make up 16.2% of the state’s total fiscal support for higher education.
With such stable tuition prices and a clear commitment to need-based grants, it is clear Indiana has a healthy relationship with its systems of higher education.
The State of Online Higher Education in Indiana
The NCES estimates that, as of fall 2012, 11.2% of students enrolled in Indiana’s Title IV institutions were in fully online programs. Of those, 77.8% were undergraduates and 67.5% were living in Indiana, suggesting a strong following with distance students nationwide ― it may also be a credit to the strength of the ICHE initiative.
The Indiana College Network (ICN) is at the forefront of distance learning support for the state. The network consists of 35 public and private Indian schools, all of which offer varying degrees of online courses and programs. ICN describes itself as a “match-making” service, pairing students to the many distance learning opportunities the state has to offer. In addition, the site has a host of resources introducing students to the basics of online education and tools they can use once they begin their coursework.
Indiana is also one of twelve states to honor the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC). Through this Compact, students enrolled at public colleges in member states can take advantage of non-resident tuition breaks, a greater selection of courses and a simplified transfer process. This agreement, which opens so many doors for its in-state distance student, captures the support of online colleges in IN.
Best Online Colleges in Indiana
Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Indiana. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing the best online schools in Indiana, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Indiana or our index of popular in-state scholarships.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||Ball State University||Muncie||$$$$$||2000 University Ave|
Muncie, IN 47306
Located in Muncie, Ball State University is an established leader among online colleges in Indiana. For example, the school was an early adopter of online coursework in the 1990s and the school's first wholly online degree launched in 1999. Today BSU offers learners over 70 online degrees, certificates, and licenses.
BSU's online degrees are tailored to the needs of learners seeking to complete their college education from all careers and backgrounds. For example, an online criminal justice bachelor's degree may not be required by employers in the field but earning a relevant degree often proves to be a boon for any sector. Indiana probation officers, for example, must hold a bachelor’s degree.
Degrees also make all the difference in competitive markets: for example, BSU's online nursing RN to bachelor’s in nursing is particularly desirable in a field where 80% of nurses now hold a bachelor’s degree.
Learners enrolled in the school's online programs engage with instructors and classmates through email, phone, instant messaging programs, discussion boards, wikis, blogs, and journals, and frequent group projects encourage networking. Courses are never conducted by graduate students—BSU instructors are always nationally recognized leaders in their respective fields.
|2||Indiana Wesleyan University||Marion||$$$$$||4201 S Washington St|
Marion, IN 46953-4974
Affiliated with the Wesleyan Church and headquartered in Marion, Indiana Wesleyan University provides its students with a liberal arts education aimed at both beginning students and experienced learners seeking advanced degrees. The school offers distance learners of all varieties accelerated degree completion programs online and on-campus at locations throughout Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.
IWU was founded in 1920 and, measured by enrollment, today the school is the largest private college in Indiana. 80 different Christian denominations and 10 countries are represented among its student body. Additionally, IWU is conveniently located just an hour’s drive from the cities of Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.
The school stands out from other online colleges in Indiana due to its range of comprehensive, cross-discipline offerings—all told, the school administers over 90 programs. At IWU, online students earn the same degree as their on-campus classmates and students enjoy the interactive environment provided by limited online class sizes.
|3||Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College||West Terre Haute||$$$$$||1 St Mary of Woods Coll|
West Terre Haute, IN 47876-1099
Founded in 1840 as a small women’s college before transforming into a widely revered coeducational institution in 2005, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is a Catholic liberal arts college located in the small Indiana community of the same name, just five miles from Terre Haute. Saint Mary has pioneered distance learning since 1973 and today the school offers its 800 students over 25 majors, including bachelor’s degrees in marketing, paralegal studies, and professional writing, and minors in women’s studies, pre-law, and political science.
Saint Mary requires all undergraduates to complete three courses focused on sustainability, women's studies, and social justice. And unlike most online colleges in Indiana, the school serves students through a nonconventional term format consisting of five eight-week terms. This allows students to achieve full-time status without the risk of becoming overloaded, yielding speedier program completion times and superior financial aid options.
Students enrolled in Woods Online, the school's online division, benefit from year-round start dates and access to online tutoring, an academic support team, and peer mentors. The school's new sports center features gyms, training and fitness rooms, and seating for 1,000 spectators. School athletics include volleyball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, and equestrian teams.
|4||Indiana University - Bloomington||Bloomington||$$$$$||107 South Indiana Ave.|
Bloomington, IN 47405-7000
Indiana University Bloomington offers learners over 100 online academic programs, including two associate degree programs, 18 bachelor’s degree programs, 26 master’s degree programs, and five doctoral degrees. Additionally, IUB also offers students 25 undergraduate certificates and 30 graduate certificates, from business and law to library and museum studies.
The school makes nine degree completion programs and hundreds of individual classes available online, including summer classes open to current students and the general public alike. Online students use the Canvas learning management system to access course content, such as assignments and exams. Semesters have specified start and finish dates and include the same credit as on-campus classes. Online students may be required to take exams in the presence of a proctor.
Like other online colleges in Indiana, Indiana University Bloomington holds great appeal for distance learners. Over one quarter of IUB students take at least one online course during their enrollment. At last count, there were 4,192 undergraduate students and 3,254 graduate students all attending courses 100% online. Nearly 63% of these distance students came from Indiana. IUB's MBA program attracts the majority of its online learners.
|5||Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis||Indianapolis||$$$$$||425 University Blvd|
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5143
A result of a program merger between two major institutions in the city of Indianapolis—Indiana University and Purdue University—in 1969, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis today allows students to earn degrees from both Indiana University and Purdue University.
The school has no shortage of resources at its disposal and, in turn, the school is achieving big things. IUPUI is an urban public research university that attracted over $428 million in research awards in 2016. World-class research is conducted in many different fields at 100 research centers.
Over 29,000 students attend IUPUI’s 18 schools and learners considering online colleges in Indiana should note that the school offers its students more than 100 online academic programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. Hundreds of individual classes are also available online, including summer classes that are open to current students and the general public.
IUPUI encourages students to align their career interests with community involvement through internships, research programs and volunteer opportunities—and over 15,000 students do so. Faculty-supervised research gives students hands-on experience and the seeds of a professional network.aduation Guarantee ensures students will earn their bachelor’s degree within four years, or they may take remaining courses tuition-free. The Career Center advises students on resume composition, stages mock phone interviews, facilitates internship opportunities, and helps with job searches.
Online programs are not available in Massachusetts or outside the United States except for military personnel. Certain programs aren’t available in all states, and prospective students should check the school’s website for exceptions.
|6||Indiana State University||Terre Haute||$$$$$||210 N 7th St|
Terre Haute, IN 47809
Since its founding in 1865, Terre Haute's Indiana State University has sought to instill the values of inclusiveness, community and public service among its students. While the school originally trained comparatively small classes of high school and elementary school teachers, today Indiana State has a student body over 13,500.
The school offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels, as well as numerous online minors, certificates and licensure programs. ISU's seven colleges offer over 60 online programs, all of which may be finished completely online or with minimal time on campus.
Online learners also have the option turn to the Student Services Concierge, which interacts with academic departments and administrative offices and keep students abreast of program requirements.
ISU's Sycamore Graduation Guarantee ensures students will earn their bachelor’s degree within four years, or they may take remaining courses tuition-free. The Career Center advises students on resume composition, stages mock phone interviews, facilitates internship opportunities, and helps with job searches.
Online programs are not available in Massachusetts or outside the United States except for military personnel. Certain programs aren’t available in all states, and prospective students should check the school’s website for exceptions.
|7||Indiana University - East||Richmond||$$$$$||2325 Chester Blvd|
Richmond, IN 47374-1289
Located in Richmond, Indiana University East became a regional campus of Indiana University in 1971. The school prides itself on combining the resources of a large university with the benefits of a small college.
IU East offers learners 50 academic programs leading to bachelor’s degrees, and some master’s degrees and certificates, both online and on campus. Over 800 courses are also available. There are over 4,500 undergraduate students and 62% of them are full-time.
The school's student body primarily hails from eastern Indiana and western Ohio. However, online colleges in Indiana such as IU East offer a range of options for working adults and others who benefit from the flexibility of a distance learning format. IU East offers 12 online degrees and four online graduate certificates to its students.
Classes are typically made up of about 20 students. Enrolled learners embark on independent research projects or work with faculty to gain real-world experiences that enhance their marketability as graduates. Students also benefit from activities and networking through over 40 student groups that meet regularly on campus. IU East’s newest campus infrastructure includes its campus art gallery which opened in 2006.
|8||Marian University - Indiana||Indianapolis||$$$$$||3200 Cold Spring Rd|
Indianapolis, IN 46222-1997
Marian University is a Catholic university founded in 1851 and located minutes from the bustle of downtown Indianapolis. Launched in 2000, Marian’s online offerings are aimed primarily at working adults.
The school's dedication to a first-rate eLearning experience has made it one of the best online colleges in Indiana. Marian's offerings include a customizable bachelor’s degree in business administration and an online bachelor’s in health and human services designed to prepare students for careers as health educators, case managers, child welfare specialists, and elder care service workers.
Marian's online bachelor of science in nursing offers accelerated courses that help students finish their nursing prerequisites sooner. The course can be completed in five to eight weeks. The school's online paralegal studies program (certificate, associate’s degree) employs attorneys and established paralegals as adjunct faculty.
Marian's Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab is used by students and faculty for undergraduate research, science programs, and internships in ecological restoration. The school also operates the Marian University Theatre, a multi-use facility and a venue for musical, dance, and theater performances.
|9||University of Southern Indiana||Evansville||$$$$$||8600 University Blvd|
Evansville, IN 47712
Evansville-based University of Southern Indiana is the school of choice for nearly 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Founded in 1965, USI offers its students a range of degree programs in business, liberal arts, health professions, science, engineering, and education. In total, USI administers 70 undergraduate academic majors and 10 advanced degrees.
USI emphasizes experiential learning opportunities through internships, study abroad programs, and community involvement. Non-traditional students make up nearly a quarter of USI's student body. Distance learning degree programs include the school's bachelor of science in nursing, a bachelor’s in health services, and a bachelor’s in radiologic technology. Additionally, USI will soon offer an online bachelor’s in professional studies and an online core completion program.
Distance learning student services include walk-in technology support, off-site exam proctoring services, online Blackboard exam support, an online bookstore and help desk, a writing lab, and math tutoring.
As is the case with some other online colleges in Indiana, distance learning through USI's College of Nursing and Health Professions may not be available in every state. Prospective students should check the school's website or contact USI directly for more information.
|10||Bethel College - Indiana||Mishawaka||$$$$$||1001 Bethel Circle|
Mishawaka, IN 46545-5591
Indiana's Bethel College is an evangelical four-year Christian college of the arts and sciences. Founded in 1947 and located in Mishawaka, its 1,650 students are enrolled in over 50 areas of study.
Affiliated with the Missionary Church, Bethel’s accelerated online learning program offers undergraduate degrees in business, behavioral, and social science, and interdisciplinary studies along with five master’s degrees. Online classes consist of 15-hour weekly sessions where dialogue and discussion make up an integral component of classwork. As is generally the case among online colleges in Indiana, lessons and assignments are delivered through the school’s website as text, video, audio and PowerPoint. Bethel's average student-faculty ratio is 12:1.
In 2016, Bethel introduced its Hispanic Initiative, believed to be the only one of its kind in the nation, which offers bilingual adults—specifically, those who have not sought a college degree due to language barriers—a new way to obtain a college degree. The same year, Bethel formed a record label, HCM Records, and a music publishing company, Bethel College Publishing, to support students recording projects.
|11||Oakland City University||Oakland City||$$$$$||138 N Lucretia St|
Oakland City, IN 47660-1099
Affiliated with the General Association of General Baptists and headquartered in the school's namesake small town, Oakland City University opened its doors in 1891. Today the school is expanding like ever before.
At OCU, academic programs are organized into five schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business (which includes Adult and Extended Learning), the School of Education, and Chapman School of Religious Studies. Undergraduate and advanced degrees are offered online, including bachelor’s degrees in Operations Management, Business Administration, and Criminal Justice. Open enrollment online courses are also available.
Flexible online programs are offered in convenient five- or eight-week rotations. OCU, like many online colleges in Indiana, provides multiple start dates that make it easy for students to adjust classwork to their schedules. In addition to online and on-campus class options, students can choose to study at learning center locations in Bedford, Evansville, Rockport, and Plainfield.
|12||Indiana Institute of Technology||Fort Wayne||$$$$$||1600 E Washington Blvd|
Fort Wayne, IN 46803-1228
The Indiana Institute of Technology offers undergraduate and advanced degrees throughout Indiana and Kentucky.
Known as Indiana Technical College when it was founded as a small engineering school for men in 1930, the Fort Wayne-based institution awarded its first female student a degree in chemistry in 1958. Two years later, the school transitioned to a four-year degree program.
Of the school’s 7,500 students, the majority—nearly 5,500—are nontraditional undergraduate students completing their studies nights, weekends, or online. Today Indiana Tech offers 36 online degree programs. Most students major in engineering, business, computer science, or criminal justice.
Benefiting from a low student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1, the school's close-knit online classes encourage meaningful dialogue in an environment of student-driven collaboration and independent study. Most accelerated undergraduate courses are just five weeks long.
Online programs adhere to the same high standards as on-campus coursework, following a relationship-based model where instructors get to know students on an individual basis. While faculty may be involved in academic research, teaching—not publication—is their primary focus.
The school offers a weeklong engineering summer camp that allows high school students to work with professors on hands-on projects in one of four concentrations.
|13||Huntington University||Huntington||$$$$$||2303 College Ave|
Huntington, IN 46750
A liberal arts college affiliated with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University offers students over 70 areas of study. Chartered in 1897, students are attracted to the school's adult degree programs for its convenience, accelerated pace, relevance and real-life, practical applications.
Adult learners can attend classes at school locations in Huntington, Fort Wayne, and Columbia City, as well as online. Classes follow a five-week format. Nine online bachelor’s degrees are offered, along with online graduate courses in a hybrid format and online summer courses.
Class sizes are small, with a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. Over 80% of faculty carry PhD credentials. Adult learners can gain credit toward their degree for various life experiences including prior coursework, training, and military service.
The school has funneled more than $30 million into its facilities in the past 25 years, producing structures such as Huntington's state-of-the-art science building, a variety of athletic complexes, and an arts center.
Nearly all students receive financial assistance. Typically, HU’s financial aid package covers half of the cost of attendance.
|14||Indiana University - Kokomo||Kokomo||$$$$$||2300 S Washington St|
Kokomo, IN 46904-9003
Over 4,000 students attend Indiana University Kokomo to make the most out of its 36 undergraduate degree and 10 graduate degree and certificate programs. The school primarily serves residents of north central Indiana.
IUK offers three completely online bachelor’s degrees. The school's bachelor in applied science is an interdisciplinary degree-completion program for former students with an associate’s degree. Students enrolled in the program can design their own programs of study, working closely with their academic adviser to create a one-of-a-kind curriculum.
IUK's online bachelor in general studies degree focuses on liberal arts and sciences with three areas of emphasis. This program is geared toward transfer students and former students who have yet to earn a degree. The school's online bachelor of science in nursing degree program combines sciences and liberal arts with the nursing profession. The program offers two tracks of study that fit the needs of new students or experienced nurses returning for their degree.
Support services include tutoring in math, technology, writing, Spanish, and English as a second language (ESL) plus academic advising, test prep, and library support.
IUK takes its sports seriously. The school houses seven varsity teams and provides 21,500 square feet of exercise space, group classes, cardio equipment, and an indoor track. Hunt Hall, a cutting edge science facility, opened in 2001.
|15||Indiana University - Northwest||Gary||$$$$$||3400 Broadway|
Gary, IN 46408-1197
Part of the Indiana University system, Indiana University Northwest provides residents of northwest Indiana undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines.
Online programs include 11 certificate or degree programs and six bachelor degrees. Introduced in 2017, the school also offers an online degree in informatics, a bachelor’s degree program co-administered by six Indiana University system campuses.
The school also offers a variety of web-based, non-credit, instructor-led courses that can be taken to prepare for work or advance one’s career. These highly interactive courses are taught by experienced—and in many cases, published—instructors. Most courses occur over a six-week duration.
IU Northwest also offers 276 online open enrollment programs leading to certification in many professions. These self-paced programs are developed by the school’s own faculty and include certificate programs for paralegals, arbitrators, technical writers, indoor air quality managers, and wedding planners, to name a few. Most programs take between six and nine months to complete.
The school's library maintains a collection of almost 500,000 books and periodical volumes, and 200,000 government publications. The building includes ergonomic seating, study and research spaces, and a café.
|16||Vincennes University||Vincennes||$$$$$||1002 N First St|
Vincennes, IN 47591
Founded in 1801, Vincennes University was Indiana’s first college. In fact, the school was founded by a U.S. President, William Henry Harrison, when the region was still a territory rather than a state. Today, still located in its namesake city of Vincennes, the university offers two- and four-year academic programs applicable to over 200 different majors, leading to one-year certificates as well as associate and bachelor's degrees.
Providing some of the most options out of all online colleges in Indiana, Vincennes University offers students a robust lineup of programs and courses tailored to the needs of nontraditional students. With more than 500 distance learning courses and over 20 wholly online degrees, such as the school's bachelor of science in homeland security and public safety or agribusiness.
Vincennes’s personable coaches provide tutoring and proctoring services, and meet with online students at local public libraries—or virtually—in the greater Indianapolis area.
|17||Indiana University-Purdue University - Fort Wayne||Fort Wayne||$$$$$||2101 E Coliseum Blvd|
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499
Established in 1964, Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne is the largest university in northeast Indiana. Its roughly 350 full-time faculty teach over 8,300 students on its 700-acre campus in Fort Wayne and online.
The school makes a variety of undergraduate and graduate-level programs available online, as well as certificates such as its bachelor’s degrees in applied science, general studies, and information systems. For nurses, the school also offers an RN to BSN program.
IUPUFW offers over 200 online courses every semester. Online students can build extra credentials into their degrees with minors and certificates. Courses may be hybrid, meaning some on-campus time will be required, and proctored courses require student presence at an approved testing site. Most online courses at IUPUFW use Blackboard Learn.
In 2009, IUPUFW’s library was connected to a new $42 million student services complex that includes a sports center and student union. Further renovations to the library were completed in 2017.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in Indiana
Below you’ll find another listing of the top online schools in Indiana, sorted by their tuition rate.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||School Link||Cost|
|1||Vincennes University||Vincennes||School profile||$$$$$|
|2||Purdue University - Calumet Campus||Hammond||School profile||$$$$$|
|3||Indiana University - East||Richmond||School profile||$$$$$|
|4||Indiana University - Kokomo||Kokomo||School profile||$$$$$|
|5||University of Southern Indiana||Evansville||School profile||$$$$$|
|6||Indiana University - Southeast||New Albany||School profile||$$$$$|
|7||Indiana University - Northwest||Gary||School profile||$$$$$|
|8||Indiana University - South Bend||South Bend||School profile||$$$$$|
|9||Indiana University-Purdue University - Fort Wayne||Fort Wayne||School profile||$$$$$|
|10||Indiana State University||Terre Haute||School profile||$$$$$|
|11||Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis||Indianapolis||School profile||$$$$$|
|12||Ball State University||Muncie||School profile||$$$$$|
|13||Indiana Institute of Technology||Fort Wayne||School profile||$$$$$|
|14||Trine University||Fort Wayne||School profile||$$$$$|
|15||Indiana University - Bloomington||Bloomington||School profile||$$$$$|
|16||Ottawa University - Jeffersonville||Jeffersonville||School profile||$$$$$|
|17||Indiana Wesleyan University||Marion||School profile||$$$$$|
|18||Grace College and Theological Seminary||Winona Lake||School profile||$$$$$|
|19||Huntington University||Huntington||School profile||$$$$$|
|20||Bethel College - Indiana||Mishawaka||School profile||$$$$$|
|21||University of Saint Francis||Fort Wayne||School profile||$$$$$|
|22||Anderson University - Indiana||Anderson||School profile||$$$$$|
|23||Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College||West Terre Haute||School profile||$$$$$|
|24||Taylor University||Upland||School profile||$$$$$|
|25||Marian University - Indiana||Indianapolis||School profile||$$$$$|
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Indiana
Hutton Honors College Scholarship
For freshmen entering Indiana University’s Honors College with a GPA of 3.4+. Award amount ranges from $1,000 to $6,000 per year, and is renewable for 3 years.
The Incentive Scholarship is for freshmen entering Indiana State University with a GPA of 3.0+. The award amount is $5,000 per year for 4 years. This scholarship is open to non-Indiana residents only.
Indiana University at Fort Wayne Alumni Association Scholarship
Indiana University’s Alumni Association Scholarship is awarded to several full-time junior and senior students each year. The award amount is $1,000, and may be renewed for consecutive school years. An application interview may be required.
Summer Honors Scholarship
The Summer Honors Scholarship is open to students to participated in the Summer Honors Program at Indiana State University. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0+. The award amount is $1,000, renewable for 3 years.
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