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Online Colleges in Indiana

Most Affordable Online Colleges
Top Indiana Cities
School Interviews
Philip T. Powell
- Chair of the Kelley Direct Online MBA program, Indiana University Kelley School of Business
"Our MBA program is completely asynchronous. We have class every week, but students do not have to attend."
See entire interview

Introduction

Colleges and universities in Indiana faced dramatic challenges over the last decade. According to a 2011 report from Indiana Economic Digest, tuition rates nearly doubled, while the state's seven public institutions of higher learning dealt with declining government support. The combination of these unfortunate circumstances has resulted in a scarcity of degree holders in the state. In fact, the Lumina Foundation found that only about 33 percent of adults in Indiana aged 25 to 64 held a college degree in 2010, ranking the state 40th in college attainment. But the future could be bright for higher education in Indiana, and much of that positive horizon is due to the rise of online education in the state. When it comes to online learning, Indiana scored an "A" from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's "Leaders and Laggards" survey of public postsecondary education. As the state strives to create an environment where more students graduate with a degree in hand, online education has become an increasingly important consideration.

Many public and private schools in Indiana offer online classes, credential programs and degrees. The Indiana College Network (ICN) is a great place to begin the search for higher education courses in the state. Each member school of ICN is accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and many colleges in the state, including Ball State University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Purdue University and the University of Indianapolis have course listings through the site.

In addition to state schools, many national online colleges offer degree programs to students in Indiana. Most of these schools boast a wider range of degree concentrations and have been offering online programs for many years. Several, such as ITT Technical Institute, even have physical campuses in the state, giving students the opportunity to earn a degree through hybrid programs that combine online courses with traditional classroom learning.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates from 2013, there are over 2.8 million employed people in the state who earn an annual mean wage of $40,780. This is slightly below the average salary for Bachelor's degree holders in Indiana, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau: they make an average of $45,106, while those with a graduate or professional degree make $60,350.

These statistics and others make it abundantly clear that a college degree is an excellent investment for those who call Indiana home. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that there are 68 schools where students can earn Bachelor's degrees in the state of Indiana.

Most Affordable Colleges in Indiana

The following list ranks the 10 schools in Indiana that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs. This ranking is based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students such as the actual degree programs that are taught online, and information on tuition fees, accreditation and notable alumni. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students. See our Methodology section for more details on the ranking methodology.

1

Western Governors University

Tuition/Year
$6,070
Graduation Rate
17%
# of Online Degrees
50+
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

WGU-Indiana has the fourth largest online degree program in the state, offering more than 50 accredited bachelor's and master's degrees in high-demand areas of study. The programs are aimed at helping adult learners, who despite other life responsibilities, seek access to advanced learning to attain their educational and career goals. WGU uses a competency-based model in which students get credit for demonstrating the skills they learn, not the number of hours of study they complete. Programs are available via the Teacher's College, College of Business, College of Information Technology, and College of Health Professions.
School Website: 
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2

University of Southern Indiana

Tuition/Year
$6,698
Graduation Rate
40%
# of Online Degrees
10
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

The University of Southern Indiana enrolls nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Those students can choose from any one of the school's 80 diverse majors, and many choose to pursue their studies online. Currently, the University of Southern Indiana offers online Bachelor's degrees in Nursing; Health Services; Radiologic Technology; Social Work; and General Studies. Master's degrees are offered in Nursing; Health Administration; and Business Administration. An online Doctoral degree in Nursing Practice is also offered, as are several online certificate programs.
School Website: 
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3

Ball State University

Tuition/Year
$9,160
Graduation Rate
59%
# of Online Degrees
8
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Founded in 1918, Ball State University enrolls approximately 21,000 students each year in any one of their diverse academic programs, both on-campus and online. The school currently offers several degree programs that can be completed entirely online, including Bachelor's degrees in Business Administration; Childhood Education; General Studies; and RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Online Master's degrees offered by Ball State University include Educational Administration and Supervision; Elementary Education; Public Relations; and Special Education. Online certificates in Charter School Leadership; and Gifted and Talented Education are also offered.
School Website: 
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4

Indiana University-Bloomington

Tuition/Year
$10,209
Graduation Rate
77%
# of Online Degrees
43
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

With campuses strategically placed all over the state, Indiana University provides the best of both worlds for both its on-campus and online students. Thanks to the school's dedication to online learning, they currently offer many degree programs that can be completely entirely online. Included in their offerings are Bachelor's degrees in everything from Health Sciences to Business Administration to Psychology, Associate's degrees in Histrotechnology and Labor Studies, and graduate degrees in topics such as Marketing; Nursing Education; Finance; and Strategic Management. Many online certificate programs are also offered.
School Website: 
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5

Oakland City University

Tuition/Year
$19,200
Graduation Rate
63%
# of Online Degrees
4
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Oakland City University is a Christian school that opens its doors to students of all faiths. The school offers several degree programs that can be completed in a flexible, online format, including an Associate degree in Religious Studies, Bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Criminal Justice, and a Master's degree in Business Administration.
School Website: 
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6

Indiana Wesleyan University

Tuition/Year
$23,628
Graduation Rate
65%
# of Online Degrees
62
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

As one of the fastest growing universities in Indiana, Indiana Wesleyan is proud to offer more than 80 majors to over 15,000 students. Part of the school's growth can be attributed to its focus on online learning and outreach to non-traditional students. Because of that focus, Indiana Wesleyan now offers many online Bachelor's degree, Associate's degree, and graduate programs in a variety of disciplines. Online degrees are currently offered in Business; Communications; Technology; Counseling; Criminal Justice; Education; Health Sciences; Liberal Arts; Leadership; Nursing; Psychology and Social Work; and Theology and Ministry.
School Website: 
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7

Grace College and Theological Seminary

Tuition/Year
$23,970
Graduation Rate
61%
# of Online Degrees
10
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Grace College and Seminary offers a wide array of online degree programs that can lead to promising careers in many fields. Currently, those selections include Bachelor's degrees in Management; General Studies; Business Administration; and Human Services, and Master's degrees in Ministry Studies; Business Administration; Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Higher Education; and Nonprofit Management.
School Website: 
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8

Huntington University

Tuition/Year
$24,040
Graduation Rate
62%
# of Online Degrees
11
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Huntington University currently offers over 70 programs of study to students, including some programs offered in online and hybrid formats. Fully-online programs currently offered include an Associate's degree in Organizational Management and Bachelor's degrees in Business Administration; Not-For-Profit Leadership; Human Resources Management; Marketing; Criminal Justice; Psychology; and Social Work. Also offered are online Master's degrees in Global Initiatives; Global Youth Leadership; and Pastoral Leadership. Hybrid-format Master's degrees are in Education; and Youth Ministry Leadership.
School Website: 
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9

Indiana Institute of Technology

Tuition/Year
$24,860
Graduation Rate
32%
# of Online Degrees
27
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

With regional campuses throughout Indiana and Kentucky, current enrollment at Indiana Tech sits at around 6,300 students. Currently, online offerings include Associate degrees in Accounting; Business Administration; Criminal Justice; General Studies; and Health Information Technology. Bachelor's degrees are offered in fields such as Human Services; Organizational Leadership; and Business Administration. Master's degrees are offered in such subjects as Accounting; Management; and Marketing.
School Website: 
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10

University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne

Tuition/Year
$25,180
Graduation Rate
54%
# of Online Degrees
8
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

As a small Catholic university, Saint Francis enrolls approximately 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in any given year. With a focus on small class sizes and personal attention, the University of Saint Francis offers several degrees that can be earned entirely online. These include an Associate degree in General Studies, Bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Nursing, and Master's degrees in Sustainability; Organizational Leadership; Healthcare Administration; Environmental Health; and Business Administration.
School Website: 
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11

Taylor University

Tuition/Year
$28,753
Graduation Rate
74%
# of Online Degrees
6
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Taylor University is a private, evangelic Christian college that offers several online degree programs that were tailored to fit any student's lifestyle. Currently offered online are a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Associate degrees in Biblical Studies; Justice Administration; Human Services; Liberal Arts; and Professional Writing. A certificate in Professional Writing is also offered online.
School Website: 
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School Interviews

Philip Powell

Philip T. Powell, Chair of the Kelley Direct Online MBA program, Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Q. Can you give us an overview of your top degree program(s)?

Our MBA program is completely asynchronous. We have class every week, but students do not have to attend. We emphasize flexibility, so a student can finish the program in two years or five years if they want. Learning is not just about the class every week. There is a 24/7 interaction with faculty members.

Instead of modeling on the past (the brick and mortar classroom) we model the program based on the virtual workplace. There are case discussions going on, teamwork, impromptu and scheduled chats. Students are always interacting with multiple people at multiple times, not about sitting at the screen watching the talking head of a faculty member.

There are about 1,000 students, and it's the first Top 20 program to be taught online. Most of our students are middle managers in Fortune 500 companies, with big clusters of students from California and the Northeast. Only 15 percent are from Indiana.

Our students want to get into the executive suite, so the whole curriculum is around executive development.

Q. What advice do you have for prospective students about choosing an online program?

A good online program is going to have a good face-to-face component and use action-based learning. Other questions to ask:

  • Does the school allow online MBAs to interview shoulder to shoulder with the residential MBAs?
  • Is the faculty comprised of scholar teachers or adjunct instructors?
  • Does the program outsource services? No business school would outsource their full-time MBA program, so they shouldn't do that with the online program.
  • Are online students treated the same way as residential MBAs?

Q. What are your thoughts on the future of online learning?

I predict online MBA programs will replace residential MBA programs as the default in the next three to five years. Anytime there is new technology, it displaces the old and defines the new normal.


Alison Barber

Dr. Allison Barber, Chancellor, Western Governors University Indiana

Q. Can you overview your top degree program(s)?

Nursing is our top degree program. WGU Indiana equips our registered nurses and other medical professionals with the comprehensive education they will need to succeed in a competitive field. The competency-based model works wonderfully within our healthcare college, encouraging students to combine their acquired knowledge with empathy to become effective professionals. Specifically, we offer a pre-licensure program for those looking to earn their RN to BSN, as well as a BSN to MSN program. WGU Indiana also offer bachelor's and master's degrees in IT, business and education.

Q. What advice do you have for prospective students about choosing an online program?

There are certainly a few essential items to consider when choosing an online degree program.

  1. Is the university accredited and does it have my best interests in mind?
  2. What is the return on investment (ROI)?
  3. Is the program flexible enough to fit my lifestyle?

Q. What are your thoughts on the future of online learning?

It's often our busy lifestyles that prevent Hoosiers from following a traditional four-year college degree track or from pursuing additional educational opportunities later in life. However, the statistics show that there is a need for a skilled workforce here in Indiana, both now and in the decade to come. Whether you are a young person who has attempted but never completed a college degree or a mid-career professional juggling family and work obligations, there are a wide variety of options with online universities to help you get the education and training you need for the jobs of the future.

Online education will continue to grow rapidly throughout the state of Indiana because of that level of flexibility and because there are excellent careers on the market in business, healthcare, education, and information technology that require a college degree.

Top Cities For Students In Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Mean Wage

$44,740

Average Cost of a House

$233,213

# of Employed People

900,000

Total Population

2,001,452

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$48,565

Economics

The biggest metropolitan region in Indiana includes the state's capital, Indianapolis, and surrounding areas, known as the Indianapolis-Carmel Metropolitan area. According to BLS data, the area is home to over 900,000 employed people who make an annual mean wage of $44,740. The Cost of Living index for this area is 94.5, with home prices averaging $233,213.

Demographics

Based on 2012 census estimates, this area boasts a total population of 2,001,452 people who represent 5.3 percent of the state's labor force.

Fun Facts

The Indianapolis area is home to beautiful scenery, affordable housing, and many opportunities for nightlife. Popular areas for young people include the eclectic Broadripple Village, Fountain Square, and the city's dynamic downtown recreational area.

Gary, Indiana

Mean Wage

$41,950

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

2,267,430

Total Population

80,294

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$52,546

Economics

Indiana's second biggest metropolitan area covers Gary, Indiana, and is part of the Chicago metropolitan area. BLS data shows that this region employs 2,267,430 people who earn a mean annual wage of $41,950.

Demographics

Based on 2010 census estimates, the city of Gary boasts a total population of 80,294 people.

Fun Facts

Gary, Indiana is close to many of the region's main attractions including the city of Chicago, Lake Michigan, and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Gary is also famous for being the birthplace of Michael Jackson and all of the Jackson 5.

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Mean Wage

$40,160

Average Cost of a House

$241,795

# of Employed People

202,400

Total Population

256,496

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$43,732

Economics

The Fort Wayne area has a workforce of approximately 202,400 people who earn an annual mean wage of $40,160. Fort Wayne house prices average $241,795; the total Cost of Living index is 89.2.

Demographics

Based on 2010 census estimates, the city of Fort Wayne was home to a total population of 256,496 people who made up 6 percent of the state's labor force.

Fun Facts

Fort Wayne is home to plenty of outdoor recreational areas, including 86 parks that are spread out over 2,805 acres. Plenty of beautiful landmarks can also be found in Fort Wayne, including its Botanical Conservatory, Lindenwood Nature Preserve, and Historic Old Fort.

 
Other Indiana Resources

As each college has different requirements for enrollment or credit transfer, it is important to speak with an admissions counselor before making any decisions. Most national online schools have a streamlined application process, with advisors available to answer questions via online chat rooms. There is plenty to learn before you decide on a degree program, so make sure to get started today.


  1. Ball State University, http://cms.bsu.edu/academics/collegesanddepartments/online
  2. Dr. Allison Barber, Chancellor, Western Governors University Indiana, interview with the author May 2015
  3. "Bureau of Labor Statistics", Economic News Release, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.t01.htm
  4. "C2ER," The Cost of Living Index, http://www.coli.org/
  5. Grace College, http://online.grace.edu/
  6. Huntington University, http://www.huntington.edu/online/
  7. Indiana University, http://online.iu.edu/programs/browse/index.php
  8. Indiana Tech, http://online.indianatech.edu/degrees/undergrad/)
  9. Indiana Wesleyan University, http://www.indwes.edu/Admissions/Adult-Graduate/Academic-Programs/
  10. The Lumina Foundation, 2012, luminafoundation.org
  11. "May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates," Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.htm
  12. "May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indianapolis-Carmel, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_26900.htm
  13. "May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Fort Wayne, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_23060.htm
  14. "The National Center for Education Statistics," College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=IN&l=93&ic=1
  15. Oakland City University, http://www.oak.edu/academics/ocu-online-programs.php
  16. Philip T. Powell, Chair of the Kelley Direct Online MBA program, Indiana University Kelley School of Business, interview with the author May 2015
  17. "State and County QuickFacts," U.S. Census, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/18000.html
  18. "State and County QuickFacts," U.S. Census, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/18/1825000.html
  19. Taylor University, http://online.taylor.edu/degrees/
  20. The University of Southern Indiana, https://www.usi.edu/distance/programs
  21. The University of Saint Francis, http://majors.sf.edu/
  22. "U.S. Census Bureau," American Fact Finder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_DP02&prodType=table
  23. WGU Indiana, http://indiana.wgu.edu/