TOP_schools_Indiana

Continuing our series of best online college by state rankings, we have examined all online colleges in Indiana and chosen to showcase the top 20 schools, based on the methodology stated below.

To create this Top 20 Best Online College ranking, we scored each of the colleges and universities that are located in the State of Indiana to discover which ones can provide distance learning students with the highest-quality education possible. For a college to be considered for this list, it had to be both located in the State of Indiana and have a selection of online academic programs available in which students can enroll.

Best online colleges in Indiana

Methodology

We have judged each online college that is located in the State of Indiana, and also has a selection of online and asynchronous academic programs available for distance learning students based on the following ranking criteria:

  • 50%: Freshmen Retention Rates and;
  • 50%: Graduation Rates

After obtaining the two rates, we then added them together to give each school a Final Score which has a maximum of 200 total points. To gather the information that we required to rank each Indiana-based school based on this criteria, we used each of the school’s websites whenever possible to obtain their two different rates. In cases where a school does not provide this information, we utilized the databases of both:

Additionally, in the case where multiple schools had the same Final Score based on the combination of the two scoring rates for this Top 20, we utilized the alphabetical ordering of their names as our designated tie-breaker.

How we scored each of these schools was based on a straightforward formula: we took each of the school’s two rates (Freshman Retention Rate percentage and Graduation Rate percentage) and added them together. The total we are left with is the school’s Final Score. The higher a school’s Final Score, the better they placed in the ranking.

We also referred to our ranking of the top 100 best online colleges when ranking these schools.

SchoolOverall Score
Vincennes University60
Indiana University – East92
Indiana University – Northwest96
Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne97
Bethel University – Indiana97
Indiana State University106
Indiana Institute of Technology106
Indiana University – Kokomo107
University of Southern Indiana120
Oakland City University124
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis125
Anderson University – Indiana133
Trine University137
Goshen College139
Ball State University142
Huntington University147
Valparaiso University149
Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion151
Indiana University – Bloomington170
University of Notre Dame195

20: Vincennes University

Vincennes University is a public land-grant research university located in Vincennes, Indiana. Vincennes University–which is commonly referred to just as VU–was originally established in 1801 as the Jefferson Academy. It is the oldest public institution of higher learning in the Northwest Territory and the State of Indiana. Vincennes University was founded by William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States. This makes VU one of only two colleges located in the US that was founded by a President. For more than 200 years, VU was the only two-year university that was located in Indiana.

Today, Vincennes offers its more than 4,500 total enrolled students a selection of online and asynchronous academic programs, including:

School’s Website: https://www.vinu.edu/home

Freshman Retention Rate: 32.0%

Graduation Rate: 28.0%

Final Score: 60.0/200

19: Indiana University – East

Indiana University – East is a provider of highly flexible and comprehensive academic programs. Commonly referred to simply as IU East or IUE, is a a regional campus in the Indiana University school system that is located in Richmond, Indiana.

The school offers a huge range of online programs through the IU online system (around 180 in all), some of which include:

The school was originally established in 1971 and has a total student enrollment of more than 4,500 students. It is organized into seven academic divisions and students can choose from a myriad of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certificate programs. These seven divisions are the School of Business and Economics; the School of Education; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; the School of Natural Science and Mathematics; the School of Nursing; the School of Social Work; the School of General Studies and; the School of Informatics.

School’s Website: https://www.iue.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 64.0%

Graduation Rate: 28.0%

Final Score: 92.0/200

18: Indiana University – Northwest

Indiana University – Northwest (which is commonly referred to as IU Northwest or simply as IUN) is a regional public university that is located in Gary, Indiana. IU Northwest was initially established in 1963 and is organized into six academic divisions through which the university’s more than 6,000 students can choose from a myriad of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs. 

Many of these academic programs are available for distance learning students to choose from as they are offered in an online and fully asynchronous format. Further, there are more than 175 online degree programs available through Indiana University online. These online programs are taught by the same academic faculty members as the on-campus counterparts, ensuring students will receive the same quality education regardless of which form they choose to obtain their education.

Students considering Indiana University – Northwest can access the entire catalog of online offerings here. A few of the available programs include:

School’s Website: https://www.iun.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 64.0%

Graduation Rate: 320%

Final Score: 96.0/200

17: Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne

Commonly referred to simply as IPFW, Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne is a coeducational public university located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The school was originally established in 1964. IPFW is a cooperatively-managed regional campus of two different state university systems: Indiana University and Purdue University. 

IPFW is organized into nine academic divisions: the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Education and Public Policy; the College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science; the College of Health and Human Services; the College of Visual and Performing Arts; the Division of Continuing Studies; the Indiana University School of Medicine–Fort Wayne; the Indiana University School of Social Work and; the Richard T. Doermer School of Business.

It is through these nine academic divisions that IPFW students–both traditional on-campus students and distance learning students–can choose from a myriad of degree-granting programs and professional certification programs, including:

The undergraduate online programs at IPFW include:

A few of the online graduate programs at IPFW include:

School’s Website: Purdue University Fort Wayne Homepage (pfw.edu)

Freshman Retention Rate: 57.0%

Graduation Rate: 40.0%

Final Score: 97.0/200

16: Bethel University – Indiana

Bethel University is a Christian liberal arts college that is located in Mishawaka, Indiana. It was originally established in 1947 and is affiliated with the Evangelical Christian Missionary Church. Bethel is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges and is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which is a United States Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation approved regional accrediting body.

Bethel College also has specialized programmatic accreditation from The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission; the National Association of Schools of Music and; the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. The school is organized into three academic divisions. These are: the Division of Arts and Sciences; the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences and; the School of Nursing. It is through these academic divisions that the more than 1,600 total enrolled Bethel College students can choose from numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certificate programs.

Many of the academic programs taught at Bethel College are available in an online and fully asynchronous format. These online programs are taught by the same academic faculty members as the on-campus counterparts. Programs include:

Undergraduate Programs

Graduate Programs

School’s Website: https://online.betheluniversity.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 62.0%

Graduation Rate: 35.0%

Final Score: 97.0/200

15: Indiana State University

Indiana State University is a public research university that is located in Terre Haute, Indiana. The school was originally established in 1865 by the Indiana General Assembly as the Indiana State Normal School. The Indiana State Normal School would later be renamed to the Indiana State Teachers College in 1929 and would later be renamed again, this time to Indiana State College, in 1961. It wouldn’t be until 1965–100 years after its initial founding–that the school would become Indiana State University.

Indiana State University is organized into six different academic divisions: the Bayh College of Education; the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Graduate and Professional Studies; the College of Health and Human Services; the College of Technology and; the Donald W. Scott College of Business.

It is through these six academic divisions that the more than 12,500 total enrolled students are able to enroll into a wide variety of available undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certificate programs. Distance learners can choose from huge range of options through Indiana State University Online. A sampling of these programs includes:

Undergraduate:

Graduate:

School’s Website: https://www.indstate.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 65.0%

Graduation Rate: 41.0%

Final Score: 106.0/200

14: Indiana Institute of Technology

Indiana Institute of Technology, which is commonly referred to simply as Indiana Tech, is a private, not-for-profit and Ph.D-granting University located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Indiana Tech was originally established in 1930 as the Indiana Technical College and was founded by John A. Kalbfleisch, who also served as the school’s first president. 

Today, the university is organized into four academic colleges: the College of Business; the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences; the College of General Studies and; the College of Professional Studies. It is through these four colleges that Indiana Tech offers to its nearly 10,000 total enrolled students a broad selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree granting programs and professional certification programs.

Many of the school’s available academic programs are offered in an online and fully asynchronous format, and are taught by the same dedicated faculty members as the on-campus counterparts. 

Hybrid and online undergraduate degree programs at Indiana Tech include:

The online and flexible degree programs for graduate students at Indiana Tech include:

School’s Website: https://www.indianatech.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 68.0%

Graduation Rate: 38.0%

Final Score: 106.0/200

13: Indiana University – Kokomo

Indiana University – Kokomo, which is commonly referred to as IU Kokomo or simply as IUK, is a regional campus in the Indiana University school system and is located in Kokomo, Indiana. IU Kokomo is organized into six academic divisions. It is through these six academic divisions that the more than 4,000 total enrolled students can enroll into one of the many available undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certificate programs.

These academic divisions are the Division of Allied Health Sciences; the School of Business; the School of Education; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; the School of Nursing and; the School of Sciences. Many of the university’s available academic programs are offered in an online format to serve the many distance learning students that enroll at IU Kokomo each year.

The programs that are available to distance learning students are:

Additionally, the school offers several online graduate certificates:

School’s Website: https://iuk.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 64.0%

Graduation Rate: 43.0%

Final Score: 107.0/200

12: University of Southern Indiana

The University of Southern Indiana is a public research university that is located in Vanderburgh County, Indiana. USI, as the University of Southern Indiana, is commonly referred to as was originally established in 1965. The University of Southern Indiana originally started as a regional campus of Indiana State University.

Today, USI offers to its more than 11,000 total enrolled students a selection of over 70 undergraduate degree-granting programs, 10 Master’s degree programs, and one Doctoral degree program. These academic programs are offered through the six academic divisions into which the school is organized. These academic divisions are the Romain College of Business; the College of Liberal Arts, College of Nursing and Health Professions; the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education; the University Division and; the Division of Outreach and Engagement.

A selection of the school’s academic programs are available in an online and asynchronous format, all of which are taught by the same dedicated faculty members as the on-campus counterparts. These online degree-granting programs are:

All of these online programs are fully accredited and highly comprehensive in addition to being incredibly flexible.

School’s Website: https://www.usi.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 67.0%

Graduation Rate: 53.0%

Final Score: 120.0/200

11: Oakland City University

Oakland City University is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts university that is located in Oakland City, Indiana. Oakland City University, which is commonly referred to as OCU, was originally established in 1885. Oakland City University is the only General Baptist Church-affiliated college in the United States. In addition to the institution’s Oakland City Main Campus, the university also operates numerous satellite campuses in Indianapolis, Evansville, Rockport and Bedford where they hold classes for busy adult students. These satellite sites utilize the Adult Learning Model that emphasizes experiential application to various objectives and theory. Courses provided at these adult teaching centers are taught at an accelerated pace and in a condensed format.

Oakland City University provides its distance learning students with a selection of high-quality and comprehensive academic programs that are incredibly flexible and will ultimately be the catalyst for a career-defining change in each and every Oakland City University alumni’s professional life. Available programs include:

Associates

Bachelors

Masters

School’s Website: https://www.oak.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 67.0%

Graduation Rate: 57.0%

Final Score: 124.0/200

10: Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis

Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, which is commonly referred to simply as IUPUI, is a public research university that is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Belonging to the school systems of both Indiana University and of Purdue University, IUPUI is the result of a merger that occurred in 1969. IUPUI has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC).

The school offers hundreds of online classes in subjects ranging from film studies to computer science. Students can choose from fully remote degree options of hybrid programs that combine an online and campus-based experience. Degree programs are available in the following disciplines:

School’s Website: https://www.iupui.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 73.0%

Graduation Rate: 52.0%

Final Score: 125.0/200

9: Anderson University – Indiana

Anderson University is a fully accredited, private and not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university that is located in Anderson, Indiana. Anderson University was originally established in 1917 as the Anderson Bible Training School by the Church of God movement. The school was renamed to Anderson College in 1929 and again to its present-day name of Anderson University in 1987. The college is affiliated with the Church of God, which is a Holiness Christian denomination with historical roots in Wesleyan pietism and also in the restorationist Christian traditions and that was established in 1881.

Anderson University is additionally a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and a member of the Independent Colleges of Indiana society. Today, the university offers more than 50 undergraduate degree-granting majors, as well as graduate programs in business and theological studies.

Anderson University offers its distance learning students an online and asynchronous format Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program. This Master of Business Administration program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), which is a United States Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) approved programmatic accrediting body. This online MBA program was first launched in the Fall semester in 2016 and is taught by the same experienced and dedicated academic faculty members as the on-campus counterpart is. The MBA program will not only teach students the core foundations of business administration but will provide them with a solid understanding of the more nuanced aspects of business management and will do so while placing great emphasis on the Christian worldview.

School’s Website: https://www.anderson.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 69.0%

Graduation Rate: 64.0%

Final Score: 133.0/200

8: Trine University

Trine University is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts university that is located in Angola, Indiana. The school was originally founded in 1884 as the Tri-State Normal College. The college would later undergo a name change to Tri-State College in 1906 and again–this time to its present-day name of Trine University–in 1975. Trine University today is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Trine University operates several satellite campuses across northern and central Indiana. Additionally, Trine University maintains a campus that is located in Centreville, Michigan. Trine University’s more than 5,000 total enrolled students can choose from numerous online undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certification programs, all of which are taught by the same dedicated faculty members as the on-campus counterparts, ensuring that each of Trine University’s students will receive the same high-quality and comprehensive education regardless of what learning format they choose.

The online degree-granting programs that are available through Trine University include:

Bachelor’s Degrees

Master’s Degrees

School’s Website: https://www.trine.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 76.0%

Graduation Rate: 61.0%

Final Score: 137.0/200

7: Goshen College

Goshen College is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that is located in Goshen, Indiana. Goshen College was originally established in 1894 as the Elkhart Institute of Science, Industry and the Arts. Goshen College is affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA, and the college has obtained full accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which is a United States Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation approved regional accrediting body.

Goshen College is home to the Mennonite Historical Library, which is a research library that has compiled one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Anabaptist and Mennonite primary source materials. In 2007, Goshen College President Jim Brenneman became a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. He joined with leaders of 175 other higher education institutions that have agreed to make an effort to neutralize the greenhouse gas emissions on their respective campuses.

Currently, Goshen College offers distance learning students three online academic programs. These include a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program, a Master of Business Administration degree program, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. They are all taught by the same esteemed academic faculty members as the on-campus counterpart.

School’s Website: https://www.goshen.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 76.0%

Graduation Rate: 63.0%

Final Score: 139.0/200

6: Ball State University

Ball State University, which is commonly referred to as Ball State or simply as BSU, is a public research university that is located in Muncie, Indiana, and that operates two satellite facilities in Fishers and Indianapolis. Ball State University was originally established in 1876 as the Eastern Indiana Normal School. The school’s name would change numerous times over the years before settling on its present-day name of Ball State University. The previous names that the school operated under were: Ball Teachers College, Ball State Teachers College, and Ball State College. Ball State University is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Doctoral University with a Higher Research Activity rating. The university is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

The university is organized into eight different academic divisions: the College of Applied Sciences and Technology; the College of Architecture and Planning; the College of Communication, Information, and Media; the Miller College of Business; the College of Fine Arts, College of Health; the College of Sciences and Humanities and; the Teachers College. It is through these eight divisions that the university’s more than 22,000 total enrolled students can choose from over 100 online undergraduate and graduate programs. We won’t list every one of those programs here, but some of the most sought-after degree choices include:

Bachelors

Masters

School’s Website: https://cms.bsu.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 75.0%

Graduation Rate: 67.0%

Final Score: 142.0/200

5: Huntington University

Huntington University is a liberal arts university that is located in Huntington, Indiana. The college is affiliated with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, and is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Originally established in 1897 as Central College, the school’s name would later be changed to Huntington College in 1917 and again to its present-day name of Huntington University in 2005. There are more than 30 student-ran organizations that are available to students at Huntington University, ranging from academic groups and honors societies to special interest groups and social clubs.

The online academic programs that are offered to distance learning students by Huntington University are:

These highly flexible degree-granting academic programs are taught by the same experienced, caring and dedicated faculty members as the on-campus counterparts. This ensures that each of Huntington University’s students will receive the same high-quality education regardless of whether they are a traditional on-campus student or they are a distance learning student.

School’s Website: https://www.huntington.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 82.0%

Graduation Rate: 650%

Final Score: 147.0/200

4: Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University is a private, not-for-profit university that is located in Valparaiso, Indiana. Valparaiso University, which is commonly referred to simply as Valpo, was originally established in 1859 as the Valparaiso Male and Female College. Valparaiso Male and Female College was the first coeducational institution in the United States of America. The college’s name was changed to Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute in 1873.

Today, Valparaiso is organized into five undergraduate colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Business; the College of Engineering; the College of Nursing and Health Professions and; the Christ College. Additionally, Valparaiso operates the two graduate schools: the Law School and the Graduate School. It is through these academic divisions that the more than 4,500 total enrolled Valpo students can choose from a variety of degree-granting and professional certificate programs.

Valparaiso University provides distance learning students with a variety of comprehensive and flexible academic programs. In fact, over 150 online courses are offered each year at Valpo, so students do have some flexibility when it comes to meeting their goals. The following programs can be completed almost entirely online. However, some do require students to complete some short in-person components:

School’s Website: https://www.valpo.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 84.0%

Graduation Rate: 65.0%

Final Score: 149.0/200

3: Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion

Indiana Wesleyan University, which is commonly referred to simply as IWU, is a private, not-for-profit evangelical Christian-affiliated, liberal arts university that is headquartered in Marion, Indiana. Indiana Wesleyan University is affiliated specifically with the Wesleyan Church denomination. IWU is the largest member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in addition to being the largest private university that is located in the State of Indiana. The school was originally established in 1920 as the Marion Normal College and would later have its name changed to the Marion Normal Institute in 1912 and again to Marion College in 1918. Finally, its name would become its present-day name of Indiana Wesleyan University in 1920.

Indiana Wesleyan University is organized into five academic divisions: the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Adult and Professional Studies; the Graduate School; the School of Nursing and; the Wesley Seminary.

Indiana Wesleyan University offers distance learning students a huge variety of online and fully asynchronous academic programs. A few of these online programs include:

School’s Website: https://www.indwes.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 79.0%

Graduation Rate: 72.0%

Final Score: 151.0/200

2: Indiana University – Bloomington

School Profile

Indiana University – Bloomington, which is commonly referred to as IU Bloomington or simply as IU, is a public research university located in Bloomington, Indiana. IU Bloomington–the flagship institution of the Indiana University school system–has more than 48,000 total enrolled students, which makes it the largest university in the Indiana University school system. IU Bloomington is one of America’s Public Ivy universities, which refers to the top public universities that are located in the United States and that are considered to provide a quality of education that is comparable to the Ivy League schools.

IU Bloomington is organized into seventeen academic divisions: the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Art + Design; the School of Global and International Studies; the Media School; the Hutton Honors College; the Jacobs School of Music; the Kelley School of Business; the Maurer School of Law; the School of Education; the School of Informatics and Computing; the School of Public and Environmental Affairs; the School of Public Health-Bloomington; the School of Social Work; the School of Medicine; the School of Nursing; the School of Optometry and; the University Graduate School.

Through these academic divisions, students–both traditional on-campus students and distance learning students–can choose from over 180 online certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree programs in the following areas:

School’s Website: https://www.indiana.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 90.0%

Graduation Rate: 80.0%

Final Score: 170.0/200

1: University of Notre Dame

With a Final Score of 195.0 total points, the University of Notre Dame is our top Indiana-based school that offers a variety of online academic programs. This excellent score came from Notre Dame’s stable Freshman Retention Rate (at 98.0%) and their enviable Graduation Rate (at 97.0%). We will try and shed some light on why the University of Notre Dame is such a great school by looking at its past and some of the programs that are offered.

The University of Notre Dame du Lac is a private, not-for-profit Catholic-affiliated research university that is located in South Bend, Indiana. The University was originally established in 1842 by Father Edward Sorin, CSC, a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross. In 2016–2017, the school ranked 7th in undergraduate teaching and 15th overall among “national universities” in the United States in U.S. News and World Report‘s Best Colleges 2016 rankings. The school has garnered much national and international recognition and praise for many years.

Surprisingly, the school does not offer any remote degree programs. However, the University of Notre Dame does offer its distance learning students a selection of online certification programs. These include:

School’s Website: https://www.nd.edu/

Freshman Retention Rate: 98.0%

Graduation Rate: 97.0%

Final Score: 195.0/200

Related Articles:

Indiana University Bloomington – Campus and Ranking

University of Indianapolis – Ranking, Majors and Athletics

Online Business Degrees