The Best Online Colleges in Indiana

| TBS Staff


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The Hoosier State offers a wide variety of degree programs for online college students.

The future success of the workforce in Indiana largely depends on higher education. Students can choose from more than 60 colleges and universities in the state, including some of the top-ranked schools in the nation, but educational attainment still lags behind the national average.

In response, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education developed an initiative to have 60% of its working-age adults earn higher education credentials by 2025. The state committed to improving access to both on-campus and online colleges in Indiana, enhancing practical program offerings, and increasing support for schools and students.

Indiana students now attend state colleges at higher rates and receive more financial aid than ever before, while also experiencing some of the country's lowest tuition increases. Prospective learners benefit from this renewed support for higher education, but they still need to research the best schools and programs to make informed educational decisions. To help, we put together this ranking of and guide to the best colleges in Indiana.

Top 10 Online Colleges in Indiana 2021
#1 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
#2 Ball State University Muncie, IN
#3 Huntington University Huntington, IN
#4 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
#5 Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN
#6 Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
#7 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
#8 Indiana Institute of Technology Fort Wayne, IN
#9 Trine University Angola, IN
#10 Indiana University East Richmond, IN

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The Best Online Colleges in Indiana

Indiana University - Bloomington View School Profile $$ Bloomington, IN 75% Indiana University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Indiana University, a multi-campus public university system, has more than 110,000 students.

Indiana University offers an impressive variety of associate’s, baccalaureate, master, doctoral and certificate programs through IU Online. The Indiana University Office of Online Education administers IU Online.

Available associate’s degrees include histotechnology and labor studies. Bachelor’s degrees online include psychology and criminal justice. Master’s degree options include finance and music therapy. Doctoral degree offerings include nursing, while certifications include business analytics and clinical informatics.

Resources online students can benefit from include technical support and a massive online library with online databases in a plethora of subjects and librarian live chat.

Ball State University View School Profile $$$ Muncie, IN 57% Ball State University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Ball State University’s alumni span 48 states and 43 countries around the world, a major step up from its modest founding in 1876. The university gets its present name from the Ball Brothers, a pair of businessmen who saved the school from foreclosure. The university contains 7 academic colleges, over 20,000 students and 300+ degree programs.

Ball State University offers many associate, baccalaureate, master, doctoral and certificate programs online. Undergraduate degrees include associate’s degrees in general arts and baccalaureate degrees in criminal justice and education. Graduate-level offerings include master’s degrees in journalism and interior design and doctoral degrees in nursing. Certificate programs include information technology and apartment management.

Resources for online students include online tutoring, an online writing center, live online technical support, online job boards, disability services and an online library with librarian live chat and extensive scholarly databases, including a collection on the Civil War.

Huntington University View School Profile $$$ Huntington, IN 59% Huntington University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Huntington University, a Christian university has an affiliation with the United Brethren in Christ. It first opened its doors over a century ago in 1897 as Central College. In 2005, the college grew into a full-fledged university. The school offers more than 70 academic programs in total.

Huntington University requires all students to attend chapel services, bible studies and other religious activities at one of the 30 chapels on campus as part of their curriculum.

Huntington University provides a variety of available master’s degrees. The university offers master’s degrees primarily in education, including elementary, adolescent and TESOL education.

The university provides several online resources, including technical support over the phone and an online library with scholarly article databases.

Indiana Wesleyan University View School Profile $$$$ Marion, IN 70% Indiana Wesleyan University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Indiana Wesleyan University is among the largest private universities in the state and is one of the largest members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. The school has over 15,000 students in attendance and offers more than 80 undergraduate degree programs. The strong enrollment numbers led to the establishment of the university’s nursing school in 2009.

Indiana Wesleyan University offers numerous online degrees. Associate’s degrees include criminal justice and education. Bachelor’s degrees available include healthcare administration and addiction counseling. Master’s degree options include athletic training and nursing. Doctoral degree offerings include organizational leadership and occupational therapy. Certifications include human services and financial planning.

The university provides technical support over the phone and access to several scholarly article and ebook databases through its library.

Indiana State University View School Profile $$ Terre Haute, IN 43% Indiana State University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Indiana State University, a public university offers more than 100 degree programs and teaches over 10,000 students. This university is a College Consortium of Western Indiana member.

Indiana State University has an excellent variety of baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs available online. Baccalaureate degrees include technology and psychology. Master’s degree options include criminology and nursing. Doctoral degree offerings include educational administration and athletic training. Certifications available include genomic advocacy and public administration.

The university also gives students access to many online resources, including an online student employment program, technical support over the phone and various services offered through the online library, including math and writing assistance as well as access to journal, video and government databases.

Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis View School Profile $$ Indianapolis, IN 38% IUPUI is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

IUPUI formed as the result of a partnership between Indiana's two largest public universities. Indiana University and Purdue University operated separate Indianapolis locations until 1969, when they combined forces in 1969 to create one campus. Today, nearly 30,000 students attend the urban research institution; 8,111 of whom are pursuing a degree entirely online.

IUPUI offers hundreds of individual online courses and, through Indiana University, 120 online degree and certificate programs. Students may pursue associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in subjects ranging from business and labor studies to music therapy. Courses are presented asynchronously, allowing distance learners to complete coursework when and where it is most convenient, without the hassle of mandatory login times or proctored exams. IUPUI offers resources exclusively for online students, including career services, success coaching, and digital math and writing support.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College View School Profile $$$ Saint Mary of the Woods, IN 62% Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, an originally all-female Roman Catholic college founded in 1840, is renowned for its School of Equine Studies. It keeps more than 50 horses on campus as part of its veterinary program and is one of a few universities in America that offers a baccalaureate degree in equine studies. Pope Benedict canonized the college’s founder, Mother Theodore Guerin, as a saint in 2006, making her Indiana’s first saint.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College taught correspondence courses in the 1970s and began offering online programs in 2010 through Woods Online. Among other subjects, it currently offers associate’s degrees in accounting and education, baccalaureate degrees in professional writing and psychology and certificates in paralegal studies and music therapy.

Resources for online students include online technical support, career services, math tutoring, writing assistance and an online library with librarian assistance over the phone, online or via text messages.

Indiana Institute of Technology View School Profile $$$$ Fort Wayne, IN 31% Indiana Tech is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Originally founded in 1930 as an engineering college for men, Indiana Tech has evolved to become a private coeducational institution known for its rigorous business and engineering programs. Based in Fort Wayne, the university maintains campus locations throughout Indiana and Kentucky, as well as enrollment centers in Chicago and Detroit. The school is known is one of the largest online colleges in Indiana, with distance learners making up more than 80% of the university's 10,300-student population.

Indiana Tech's College of Professional Studies offers nearly 30 online programs in business, arts and sciences, criminal justice, and computer science. Undergraduate students can earn an AS, BA, or BS online. The school also offers online MBA programs that feature several different concentrations, as well as MS degrees in engineering management, organizational leadership, psychology, and management. Tuition is based on course load, rather than residence.

Trine University View School Profile $$$$ Angola, IN 53% Trine University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Trine University, founded in 1884, was originally Tri-State University due to its location at the crossroads of Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. The university changed its name in 2008 to honor Dr. Ralph Trine, a university alumnus and contributor. The university is home to the Zollner Golf Course, which has been the site of the National Collegiate Golf Championships and multiple PGA tournaments.

Trine University has several associate, baccalaureate and master’s degrees available online. Associate’s degrees include accounting and engineering. Bachelor’s degree options include psychology and criminal justice. Master’s degree offerings include sport management and public administration.

Resources for online students include an online job board, technical support over the phone and an online library with scholarly article, video and ebook databases.

Indiana University East View School Profile $$ Richmond, IN 25% Indiana University East is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Indiana University East, founded in 1971, is a public university and part of the Indiana University system. The school teaches over 4,000 students, offers over 50 degree programs and is comprised of the following academic schools: business and economics, education, humanities and social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, nursing, social work, informatics and general studies.

Indiana University East provides a variety of baccalaureate degrees and graduate certificates through its online platform. Bachelor’s degree offerings include natural science and technical communication, while certifications include mathematics and composition studies.

Online student resources include an online job board, online writing and math tutoring and an online library with scholarly article databases.

University of Southern Indiana View School Profile $$ Evansville, IN 36% The University of Southern Indiana is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Located in Evansville, on the Indiana-Kentucky border, USI is a public university with a student body of around 11,000. As a Carnegie Foundation Community Engaged University, USI is committed to making higher education accessible to all, offering flexible online programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

USI presents a variety of opportunities for those seeking career-focused online schools in Indiana. Undergraduates may choose from several options, including bachelor's degree completion programs in respiratory therapy, radiologic technology, and health informatics and information management. Distance learners without prior college experience may earn bachelor's degree in professional studies, while registered nurses can pursue a web-based BS in nursing. Graduate students may earn a master's of sports management, business administration, nursing, or health administration. USI also offers a hybrid doctor of nursing practice program, which requires two three-day on-campus intensive sessions.

University of Saint Francis - Fort Wayne View School Profile $$$ Fort Wayne, IN 50% The University of Saint Francis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

This private, Catholic university was founded in 1890 as a teacher training school for nuns. Today, USF is a Franciscan-sponsored liberal arts institution with a student body of around 2,300. The university offers prospective graduate students seeking an online college in Indiana have numerous web-based options, including master's programs in teaching, business administration, healthcare administration, organizational leadership, and environmental health. USF also sponsors an online BS in nursing program for registered nurses.

Each program is presented in an asynchronous format, and all coursework is self-paced. Full-time students may earn their degree in as few as 12 months. All distance learners pay the same per-course tuition rate, regardless of their state of residence. While admission requirements vary slightly between programs, every applicant should provide official undergraduate transcripts, a letter of intent, and a current resume.

Grace College and Theological Seminary View School Profile $$$ Winona Lake, IN 58% Grace College Online is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Grace College Online is a Christian school which grew out of the Grace Theological Seminary, which established Grace College in 1948. The college offers almost 10 programs of study completely online and offers three-year accelerated degrees in every one of its majors. For especially dedicated students, the university also offers a four-year program which simultaneously awards a baccalaureate and master’s degree.

Grace College Online offers a number of baccalaureate and master’s degrees online. Online bachelor’s degree options include human services and business administration, while online master’s degree offerings include counseling and nonprofit management.

Online student resources include a writing lab via email evaluation and an online library with librarian live chat and various scholarly journals, videos and music databases.

Oakland City University View School Profile $$$$ Oakland City, IN 57% Oakland City University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Oakland City University, a Baptist university founded in 1885, did not begin classes until 1891 due to difficulties obtaining funds to complete initial construction. The university almost shut its doors multiple times throughout its history due to the Great Depression and the Vietnam War and did not become a university until the 1990s. Today the university contains 6 academic colleges, offers over 45 degree programs and teaches more than 2,000 students.

Oakland City University continues to grow as an online university, offering a number of associate’s, baccalaureate, master and doctoral programs fully online. Online associate’s degrees include general studies and religious studies. Online bachelor’s degrees available include business administration and criminal justice. Online master’s degree options include strategic management, while online doctoral degree offerings include education.

Online student resources include an extensive online library with access to a number of research databases including JSTOR and LitFinder.

Marian University View School Profile $$$ Indianapolis, IN 59% Marian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

A private liberal arts institution located just 10 minutes from downtown Indianapolis, Marian University prides itself on its Catholic roots and small class sizes. Marian's student body includes around 1,000 graduate students and less than 2,400 undergraduates, many of whom are enrolled in the university's adult programs division.

Marian's adult programs include online associate and bachelor's degree options in business administration, health and human services, paralegal studies, and nursing. Distance learners may also prepare for nursing school through Marian's non-degree online nursing prerequisites program. Accelerated classes begin multiple times throughout the year and last either five or eight weeks. Online students receive access to the same resources as their on-campus counterparts, including peer mentoring and tutoring, counseling and health services, and networking events. Admission requirements differ slightly from program to program, and nursing students are encouraged to contact an admissions counselor before applying.

Vincennes University View School Profile $$ Vincennes, IN Vincennes University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1801, Vincennes University is Indiana's oldest college. In addition to the main residential campus, which is located on the banks of the Wabash River, VU maintains a second location in Jasper, and a robust distance education program that boasts more than 20 online degree options. In addition to associate programs in the behavioral sciences, law enforcement, and information technology, VU offers bachelor's degrees in technology, homeland security and public safety, and nursing. All courses are semester-based, and are between 16 and eight weeks long.

In keeping with its mission is to provide affordable and accessible education, VU features an open admissions policy that guarantees acceptance for students with a high school diploma or equivalent. Illinois residents receive in-state tuition rates. Credit for professional or prior learning experience is available through a portfolio option.

Best Online Programs

Online Colleges in Indiana Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Employment in Indiana

The employment outlook for Indiana appears quite strong, particularly when compared to the rest of the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the state's 4.2% unemployment rate is January 2021 was 2% lower than the average rate for the nation. The state also attracts new and future workers with its cost of living index, which is nearly 20 points lower than the national average.

Individuals seeking employment in the state's major industries enjoy an even better career outlook. Indiana ranks in the top 10 employment states for agricultural product sales, has one of the fastest-growing technology sectors, and is a national leader in life sciences jobs and exports.

Targeting a growing field with your degree can improve employment chances significantly. Students should consider how their strengths and interests align with state trends and choose a discipline that satisfies both.

The following section highlights the highest-paying and most common jobs in Indiana, including a few of the highest-paying roles employing more than 1,000 individuals in the state. Salary information refers specifically to Indiana, while job growth data pertains to the entire United States.

Highest-Paying Careers
Career Annual Mean Salary (2019) Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) Education Required
Dentists $178,750 3% Doctoral degree
Chief Executives $161,410 4% Bachelor's degree
Sales Managers $127,140 4% Bachelor's degree
Architectural and Engineering Managers $126,150 3% Bachelor's degree
Computer and Information Systems Managers $126,030 10% Bachelor's degree
Source: BLS

The following data reflects the highest-paying roles that employ more than 7,500 professionals in Indiana. Salary figures apply specifically to Indiana, while job growth data refers to the United States as a whole.

Highest-Paying Careers
Career Annual Mean Salary (2019) Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) Education Required
Physicians $244,980 4% Doctoral degree
Financial Managers $118,370 15% Bachelor's degree
Lawyers $111,790 4% Doctoral degree
General and Operations Managers $110,480 6% Bachelor's degree
Medical and Health Services Managers $102,300 32% Bachelor's degree
Source: BLS

Online Associate and Graduate Degrees

Online degrees provide schedule flexibility and accessibility for many students. Online training allows learners to combine work and study in ways that on-campus programs may not. As the COVID-19 situation halted the vast majority of campus programs across the country, online learning allowed schools and students to continue with their studies from a safe distance.

Online training has expanded substantially amid the pandemic, with schools increasing their program quantity, quality, and support resources. In Indiana, this trend holds true: The Indiana University systems increased entirely online programs 46% in 2020.

Indiana students have access to hundreds of online programs across education levels, including more than 170 degrees at Indiana University alone. Learners can complete individual online courses or earn an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree entirely online. Some available online disciplines include health sciences, business, and computer science. These degrees provide the same training and credentials as their on-campus counterparts.

Online programs feature asynchronous or synchronous classes, allowing students to complete coursework on their own time or through a set schedule. Online programs may also offer more accessible support resources, innovative assignments, and unique collaborative efforts through modern technologies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Online College Cheaper in Indiana?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition rates in Indiana are slightly higher than the national average. Online colleges in Indiana may offer reduced rates, but prices vary by school.

What Is the Hardest College To Get Into in Indiana?

Admission requirements for online colleges in Indiana vary by the program, but Purdue University, Notre Dame University, and Indiana University Bloomington all offer competitive programs and high academic standards.

What Ivy League School Is in Indiana?

The state does not host an ivy league school, but many consider Indiana University Bloomington to be a public ivy league institution and rank it among the best colleges in Indiana.

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