Since 2012, Indiana has had the goal to have at least 60 percent of adults to have some sort of higher learning degree. They felt one of the most efficient ways to ensure this statistic was by improving online colleges in Indiana. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has made sure colleges and universities have taken steps to improve online programs. Now, 34 schools are dedicated to the cause.
In 2013, Indiana had 85 higher learning institutions. Of these schools, there were 16 public schools, 40 non-profits, and 29 for-profits. A total of 30,873 bachelor’s degrees were awarded to students at public schools. 14,732 bachelor’s degrees were awarded to students at private nonprofit schools, and 946 bachelor’s degrees were awarded to students at private for-profit colleges.
The Indiana College Network, which is a “match-making” service for students and online colleges, is made up of 35 public and private schools in Indiana. This network helps students by giving them the basic resources they need to be successful in their online coursework. The bottom line is that Indiana is a top-tier state when it comes to distance learning as well as traditional, on-campus programs.
|1||University of Southern Indiana||Evansville, Indiana|
|2||Vincennes University||Vincennes, Indiana|
|3||Indiana University-Southeast||New Albany, Indiana|
|4||Indiana University-Kokomo||Kokomo, Indiana|
|5||Indiana University-East||Richmond, Indiana|
Here are the Best Colleges in Indiana
University of Southern Indiana
The University of Southern Indiana was founded in 1965 and currently has almost 11,000 students. Several of these students have either chosen to pursue a degree online or at least take some courses online. In fact, distance learners are about 25 percent of USI’s total student population. Programs include nursing, health services, and radiologic technology. In the near future, the university will offer a bachelor’s in professional studies. Also, students will soon be able to complete all of their core classes in their programs. Online learners have access to technology support, off-site exam proctoring services, an online bookstore, a writing lab, math tutoring, and exam support.
Vincennes University is Indiana’s oldest college (it was founded in 1801). That doesn’t mean this university has held onto traditional educational methods and have not progressed. In fact, Vincennes offers 500 online courses and 20 fully online degrees. This is amongst the most option out of all the online colleges in Indiana. Some of the most popular fully online programs are homeland security, public safety, and agribusiness. Vincennes provides reliable tutoring and proctoring services. Students can meet with coaches at local public libraries or online.
During the 2019-20 academic year, Indiana University-Southeast offered 1,400+ online classes. Prospective students can register for any of the 100% online programs promoted on their site. Most of these are graduate programs, but they also offer several undergrad online programs. One of their biggest key differentiators is that they have a small campus feel on an 180 acre campus with 5 residence halls and located less than 10 minutes away to Louisville, KY.
The school is part of the Indiana University System, and because of that, students can choose from many online degrees. Students can take courses in any order they want, and they have access to technical support and academic services. The school offers many services to online students such as tutoring, academic advising, test preparation, and library support.
Indiana University-Kokomo offers many services to online students that will help them throughout their distance learning experience. These services include tutoring, academic advising, test preparation, and library support. There are three bachelor’s degrees students can take fully online: applied science, general studies, and nursing.
Indiana University-East has a small college environment and the resources of a large university. There are 12 online degrees and four online graduate certificates available to students. If you do not want to take a program completely online, but think an online class or two will help during your college career, then you can choose from over 800 online courses. Classes are small (usually a class is up to 20 students), which allows good interaction between classmates and professors.
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Ball State University
Ball State University is a pioneer amongst online colleges in Indiana. People began developing online programs at BSU in the 1990s, and the first fully online degree was offered in 1999. Now, there are more than 70 online degree, certificates, and licenses at this university. Students do not have to worry about lack of communication with their professors. Students can keep in touch with their teachers via email, phone, discussion boards, blogs, journals, group projects, instant messaging programs, and wikis. BSU has a highly qualified faculty that will patiently guide students every step of the way.
Students can choose from 11 certificate or degree programs and six bachelor’s degrees from Indiana University-Northwest. If you want to take a few individual courses, then there are 276 different choices in that department. One option that IUN offers sets it apart from other online colleges in Indiana is that students can take courses solely meant to further their career. These courses do not count for credit. Most of these courses can be completed in six weeks.
Oakland City University
Oakland City University was established in 1891 and has come a long way in over 100 years. Students can enroll in undergraduate and advanced degree programs. These programs include operations management, business administration, and criminal justice. Online programs are open to anyone (not just OCU students). Programs are offered in five to eight-week rotations.
Indiana University-South Bend
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program is the online program at Indiana University-South Bend. Unfortunately, there are no plans to offer more online programs. So, you may be wondering why this school is on the list. Well, the nursing program is excellent. Courses can be taken in any order, and all exams can be taken online. This is extremely convenient for nurses who want to continue working and receive a higher education to further their careers.
Indiana Wesleyan University
Indiana Wesleyan University was founded in 1920 and is the largest private college in Indiana. This university is considered one of the best online colleges in Indiana in part due to the many cross-discipline offerings. The school also offers several accelerated degree completion programs online as well as at on-campus locations in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. In total, students can choose from over 90 programs at IWU. Class sizes are small to allow a close-knit relationship amongst professors and students.
Indiana State University
Students can choose from over 60 online programs at Indiana State University. These programs can be completed fully online or through hybrid programs (meaning students can complete courses online and on-campus). Distance learners are a part of the culture of ISU, which includes inclusiveness, community, and public service. The Student Services Concierge helps students stay on track in their programs by keeping them up-to-date with the requirements they must follow. This is especially helpful for students who are concerned about managing their work from afar. Students should be aware that online programs are not offered in all states. In fact, there are no online programs offered in Massachusetts unless you serve in the military. If ISU’s online programs are offered in your state, you should take advantage of that opportunity. ISU guarantees that students will complete their degree in four years or the courses that are taken after four years are tuition-free.
Huntington University offers classes in Huntington, Fort Wayne, Columbia City, and online. Classes are five weeks long, and there are nine online bachelor’s degree students can choose from. The classes are a good size thanks to a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. The faculty is top-notch (over 80 percent of them have a Ph.D.). Credits are very easy to transfer to Huntington, including credits for experiences like military service. Most students receive some financial aid.
Indiana University-Bloomington has several degree options the will make distance learners salivate. These include two associate degree programs, 18 bachelor’s degree programs, 26 master’s degree programs, five doctoral degrees, 25 undergraduate certificates, and 30 graduate certificates. Courses are open to students and the community. Students can complete assignments and take exams on Canvas (a learning management system). However, some exams must be taken in the presence of a proctor. Online courses at the university or very popular. More than 25 percent of students take at least one online course during their college careers. 4,192 undergraduate students and 3,254 graduate students take courses fully online. About 63 percent of these students are Indiana natives.
Grace College and Theological Seminary
Grace College and Theological Seminary was established in 1948. There are 10 fully online programs students enroll in, and each program can be completed in three years. On top of that, students can take a four-year program and earn a baccalaureate and master’s degree. Programs at this school include human service, business administration, counseling, and nonprofit management. Distance learners have access to a writing lab and an online library.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne
Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne is the largest university in northeast Indiana. There are several programs students can take online, such as applied science, general studies, information systems, and RN to BSN. There are over 200 online courses offered every semester. Programs can be completed fully online or through hybrid options. Students use Blackboard Learn to complete online courses for the most part.
Founded in 1937 as an extension of DePaul University by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, Ancilla College is a two-year private liberal-arts college. Their online course formats include fully online classes, web-assisted classes, and hybrid classes. Fully online classes never meet face-to-face and everything is done via the internet, including exams. Web-assisted classes meet on-campus in a traditional college setting, but also use online materials and tools to enhance their classes. The school also offers the “Jump Ahead Online Program for High School Students” which may count for both college and high school credits.
Bethel College is another Christian college on this list. This college is affiliated with the Missionary Church. There are many online programs offered by Bethel, including business, behavioral, social science, and interdisciplinary studies. There are also five master’s degrees offered online. The student-to-faculty ratio at Bethel is 12:1, which provides an intimate environment at the college, even for distance learners.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
In 1969, two of Indiana’s best universities merged to create Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis. The merger meant students could earn degrees from both Indiana University and Purdue University. Now, students can earn a degree from these universities from almost anywhere in the USA. Distance learners can choose from over 100 undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and certificates. You don’t have to be a student to take an online course. Students should complete their degrees in fours years, but if they don’t, they may complete their degree tuition-free after fours years.
Anderson University is nationally recognized as one of the best in the Midwest by the Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. Online courses are offered for graduate programs in business, music education, and theology. Programs that can be completed entirely online include the Master of Business Administration, Master of Divinity, and Master of Arts in Christian Ministry.
Since 1846, Taylor University—a Christian liberal arts college—has stood by its belief that education and living should be built on faith. Online graduate studies include Transition to Teaching and Mild Intervention licensure programs. Undergraduate options include associate degrees and self-paced online classes that are available to the public.
University of Saint Francis
Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. The University of Saint Francis campus experience includes 16 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships, and is recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution. Approximately 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.
University of Indianapolis
The University of Indianapolis is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is one of the best universities in the Midwest, according to U.S. News and World Report. One of the primary reasons the school is nationally recognized is its online program in nursing. This is the only program offered, but the school may offer more programs in the future. Online courses are affordable, and students have access to services like online tutoring, an online library, and an online support services staff.
Indiana Institute of Technology
A majority of the students enrolled at the Indiana Institute of Technology are nontraditional undergraduate students. 5,500 of the school’s 7,500 students take classes online, during the evening, or on weekends. There are 36 online programs offered at the school. There are many 5-week courses to choose from, and class sizes are typically small thanks to a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Teaching is the first priority of the professors, and they are held to a high standard. They must get to know their students individually.
Valparaiso University is the biggest independent Lutheran university in the USA. Valpo is unique amongst online colleges in Indiana because it only offers one graduate degree online. While undergraduate students can take courses online, they cannot enroll in online programs for the time being. However, there will be more online programs available in the future. Professors are the best of the best when it comes to online teaching. Students can complete courses in any order. Many technological services will help students succeed online.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College started out as a women’s college in 1840 and welcomed men and women in 2005. In 1973, this college started developing its distance learning program. So, distance learning predates men at Saint Mary. Students may enroll in online courses any time during the year. One of the things that set this school apart as one of the best online colleges in Indiana is the services it provides. Students have access to online tutoring, peer mentors, and an academic support team.
Trine University is an engaging, residential private college that prepares students in more than 30 majors to impact the world. Over 99 percent of Trine graduates over the past four years were employed or in graduate school within six months. Millions in scholarships are given annually and 96 percent of students receive financial aid. Trine University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and has been recognized by Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report in categories such as top Midwestern baccalaureate colleges, America’s Best Colleges, Best Value School, Amount of Least Debt & Highest Amount of Need-Based Aid Awarded, and Highest in Ethnic Diversity.
Trine University has a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of 19. It’s only 40 miles from Indiana’s second-largest city and a few hours from big cities like Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Toledo, allowing students easy access to metropolitan areas while having the comfort of living in a small-town community.
Trine University offers associate’s degrees as well as undergraduate and graduate programs. Applications are free and open throughout the year.
Marian University is right outside the heart of Indianapolis, or in the comfort of a student’s home just about anywhere in the country. Since 2000, Marian has worked hard to build up its online options. Online programs at Marian include business administration, health and human services, and nursing. Students can complete the bachelor’s in nursing through accelerated courses of five to eight weeks.
The Ranking Process
There are many different factors to consider when ranking these colleges. There isn’t one statistic that determines everything. We researched the graduation rate, cost of attendance, and accreditation, among other value-identifying qualities, to figure out where to rank each school. See our methodology page for more information. All the schools are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
If you find your school on this list and believe that the information needs to be updated or edited, then feel free to contact us. If your school isn’t on this list, then you can also contact us for consideration for future lists.