Indiana Online Schools
Indiana colleges are finding ways to draw more students in a time when national enrollment numbers are trending down. Some universities reported record-setting numbers of incoming freshmen, attributing the increase in part to reaching out to more students living in other states. Offering classes online makes that possible; both students living in Indiana and those from across its borders are taking advantage with up to a third of the student body at the University of Indiana taking at least one class online. Learn how you can take advantage of the online degree options at colleges and universities in Indiana below, with answers to important questions on how to compare schools, pay for online credits and more.
Online schools and colleges in Indiana provide alternatives to on-campus learning. Distance programs offer flexible scheduling options and multiple delivery methods, and many online programs are more affordable than on-campus options.
This guide includes resources for prospective students, links to scholarships and grants, and information about average tuition prices and typical earning potential for graduates.
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How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I'm Looking for in Indiana?
Many public and private universities and community colleges in Indiana offer online programs. Prospective students should search for schools that suit their academic and financial needs. Resources such as the Indiana Commission for Higher Education website can aid this search. Click the link below for more information about Indiana universities.Search All Accredited Schools in Indiana
How Much More Do College Grads in Indiana Make?
A postsecondary degree often leads to higher earning potential. A 2018 report from CHE found that Indiana graduates' increased earnings surpassed the cost of college within a few years.
While no degree guarantees a specific career or salary, data shows that higher degree levels correspond with greater earnings. The table below illustrates that trend nationwide.
|Less Than a High School Diploma||High School Diploma||Associate Degree|
|Bachelor's Degree||Master's Degree||Doctoral Degree|
Paying for Online College in Indiana: Tuition and Financial Aid
Prospective students should carefully consider how they intend to fund their college education. Learners can reduce the overall cost of earning a degree by applying for financial aid from independent organizations and the government. At least one-third of graduates from Indiana public institutions benefitted from state-sponsored aid between 2008 and 2015, according to a 2018 CHE report.
The cost of college depends on the type of institution and whether the student qualifies for in-state tuition. The table below compares average Indiana tuition rates to the national averages.
|In-State Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||National Average|
|$7,924||$20,061||$9,037 (In-State) $25,657 (Out-of-State)|
|Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||National Average|
Cost Considerations for Online Students in Indiana
The figures above only account for tuition and fees. However, students must often pay other education-related expenses. The list below highlights potential fees for distance learners.
- Technology Fees
- Some online programs charge online students a flat or annual technology fee. This fee often funds IT assistance and personal learning tools.
- Required Travel
- Many degree programs require an internship or practicum, which may include costs associated with travel to the site location.
- Residency Costs
- Some distance education programs require online students to complete on-campus residency requirements, which can result in housing and transportation costs.
- Evening and Weekend Tuition
- Tuition rates may be higher for evening and weekend classes. Students should check tuition costs before signing up for classes.
- Textbooks and Learning Resources
- Online learners typically need to pay for physical or digital textbooks and other learning resources.
Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Indiana
In-state learners often pay lower tuition rates than out-of-state students. Some schools charge in-state tuition rates to all online learners, regardless of residency status. Students should check with each prospective school's admissions office or financial aid office for tuition information.
State exchanges and reciprocity agreements can also qualify out-of-state students for discounted tuition rates. Indiana participates in the Midwest Student Exchange Program which offers lower tuition rates for students in participating states who attend participating Indiana schools. CHE provides additional information about interstate reciprocity agreements, including details on State Authorization for Reciprocity Agreements.
Paying for College in Indiana: Scholarships and Financial Aid
Students can apply for scholarships and grants to help offset the cost of an education. Unlike student loans, scholarships and grants do not require repayment. Below are some scholarship and grant programs open to learners at online schools and colleges in Indiana.
Scholarships for Indiana College Students
Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports students from public Indiana high schools who graduate at least one year early. Applicants must enroll as full-time students
at an eligible institution.
Who Can Apply: Applicants must be pursuing a four-year degree in a qualifying academic subject, such as agriculture, journalism, public relations, finance, engineering,
technology, public service, or sales.
Who Can Apply: Applicants for this scholarship must live in Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey, Gibson, or Pike County. Applicants must be pursuing a degree in marketing, public
relations, advertising, or graphic design.
Grants for Indiana College Students
Who Can Apply: This grant assists professionals enrolled in postsecondary certificate courses for workforce training. The organization pays full tuition and fees for qualifying
certificates, such as advanced manufacturing and quality assurance credentials.
Amount: Up to 100% coverage of tuition
Who Can Apply: This grant supports professionals returning to college to finish a degree or enrolling in a postsecondary program for the first time. Applicants must be Indiana residents
working toward their first associate or bachelor's degree.
Who Can Apply: This need-based grant is available to U.S. citizens who plan to attend an eligible Indiana postsecondary institution. Applicants must be full-time students and must submit
the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Amount: Based on financial need
Who Can Apply: The federal government awards Pell Grants based on financial need. Applicants must be undergraduate students and must submit the FAFSA form. Recipients can renew their
application for up to six years.
Who Can Apply: The government administers this grant through the financial aid office of qualifying schools. Students apply through their financial aid office and receive grants based
on financial need, which is determined by their FAFSA form.
Amount: $100 to $4,000 per year
The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Indiana
To receive accreditation, institutions and programs must meet set standards of academic and professional quality. Online schools and colleges in Indiana can carry several types of accreditation.
National accrediting agencies typically evaluate technical colleges and vocational schools, while public degree-granting institutions generally receive regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is the oldest and most prestigious type of institutional accreditation.
Subject-specific accreditation applies to individual programs. These specialized accrediting bodies typically comprise experts in the field. Both the ED and CHEA databases include information about recognized programmatic accrediting agencies. Online and on-campus programs can receive programmatic accreditation.
Most schools feature their accreditation status on their official website, and program and department pages typically show specialized accreditation. Students can also search for accredited schools and programs through the ED database and the CHEA database.
Online College and Adult Education in Indiana
State and federal initiatives support online learners pursuing a degree. Below are statistics about online education and information about three initiatives that assist adult learners in Indiana.
By the Numbers: Adult Education in Indiana
The average Indiana college tuition rate increased less than the national average from 2006 to 2016.
About 15.7% of all college students nationwide enrolled exclusively in online courses in 2017.
In 2016, nearly 13% of college students who were taking exclusively online programs also held a job.
Adult Education Programs for Indiana Students
- EARN Indiana
- This statewide work-study program helps low-income students access paid internships. The program matches 50% of internship funds for employers. Applicants must be Indiana residents and enrolled in an Indiana college.
- Career Pathways Initiative
- A joint effort by the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, this program helps adults advance their current careers and transition into new jobs.
Online College Resources for Indiana Students
Students planning to attend online schools and colleges in Indiana should carefully research academic and financial options before applying. Below are some resources to help prospective online students learn about institutions, locate financial aid options, and keep track of applications.
- Indiana Commission for Higher Education
- This government website provides information about the state's higher education institutions. CHE also provides links to resources related to tuition assistance, internships, and college planning.
- Learn More Indiana
- This resource helps learners search for schools and budget for their education. This planning tool helps students understand the application process.
- College Success Guide
- This guide provides information to help new college students take full advantage of their postsecondary education. The guide includes scholarship resources, goal-setting advice, and notes on academic support.
- This resource from Learn More Indiana compiles financial aid information for Indiana students. Users can apply for state financial aid, track federal financial aid, and submit scholarship and grant renewals.
- Federal Student Aid
- This government website provides information about all federal financial aid opportunities. Students can explore loan, scholarship, and grant options. Through this website, students can complete the FAFSA form to apply for aid.
Best Online Colleges in Indiana 2020
Earning a postsecondary degree in Indiana can lead to more advanced career opportunities and higher earning potential. According to a 2018 report by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE), Indiana residents with no college degree were more than twice as likely to file for unemployment.
Located in the city of Bloomington, Indiana University is the flagship post-secondary institution of the Indiana public university system.UI Online, the university's distance-learning portal, is home to more than 120 online degree programs offered in 16 major fields of study. The vast majority of degree and certificate programs can be completed fully online. Students are typically required to complete course assignments within a given timeframe, but in most cases, classes are presented in an asynchronous format, meaning that students can access and complete their coursework at any time of the day or night.
Ball State University is a public research university located in the central eastern Indiana city of Muncie. Over 70 degrees (associate to doctoral), certificates and educator licenses can be earned through Ball State Online, the university's distance-learning program. While many degrees and certificates can be completed fully online, others require some level of on-site attendance on the university's main campus in Muncie or at Ball State's Indianapolis Center. Ball State Online students have access to an extensive array of student support services, including academic advising, peer mentoring, technology support and career planning.
Grace College & Seminary is a private evangelical Christian institution located in Winona Lakes, Indiana. Grace College Online offers a variety of distance-learning degree opportunities on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its GOAL (Grace Opportunities for Adult Learners) program was developed for students balancing work and personal commitments while pursuing college degrees. GOAL students can choose from among bachelor's degree programs in management, quality management, human services and business administration. In addition to GOAL degrees, Grace College offers hybrid-format bachelor's degree completion programs in psychology and ministry leadership, as well as 6 master's degrees in a variety of study fields. An Associate of Science in liberal arts is also available.
An educational powerhouse with a worldwide reputation, Purdue University is home to two major distance-learning programs: Purdue University Online and Purdue Global. Through Purdue University Online, students can choose from more than 20 master's degrees and several graduate certificate and professional development programs that can be completed either fully or partially online. A single associate degree is also available through the Veterinary Technology Distance Learning Program. Purdue University Online does not offer bachelor's degrees. The mission of Purdue Global is to deliver "personalized online education tailored to the unique needs of adults who have work or life experience beyond the classroom." Students throughout the world can choose from dozens of degree options - from associate to doctorate - in a wide range of subject areas. Along with its online presence, Purdue Global operates on physical campuses in 7 states.
Located in the northwest Indiana community of Mishawaka, Bethel College is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Christian Missionary Church. Bethel College offers a limited number of degrees that can be earned 100% online, including bachelor's degrees in business, nursing RN to BSN and Christian leadership, as well as an interdisciplinary studies program that allows the student to customize a curriculum based on his/her interests. Master's degrees in business administration, counseling, education, ministry and teaching, along with a school administration licensure, are also available in a fully online format. A BS in behavioral and social science, and a Master of Arts in counseling are offered in an online/on-site hybrid format.
Oakland City University is a private, coeducational institution located in Gibson County in southwest Indiana. It is the only college in the U.S. affiliated with the General Baptist Church. OCU Online, Oakland City's distance-learning program, offers a small number of online undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of criminal justice, education and, most prominently, business administration and management. An online Associate of Arts in Christian studies is also available and is designed to be completed in as little as 24 months.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is a private, 4-year, Catholic college located north of Terra Haute in eastern Indiana. The College's Woods Online program offers over 20 associate, bachelor's and master's degrees that can be completed totally or partially online. Among the major fields of study offered are accounting, business administration, criminology, art and music therapy, theology and many others. SMWC additionally offers alternate programs in specific education topics that can be earned via distance learning.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is a public research university located in Downtown Indianapolis that offers degrees from both Indiana University and Purdue University. IUPUI's distance-learning program sponsors and extensive line of degrees and certificates, the vast majority of which can be earned entirely online, with others presented in an online/on-site hybrid format. Bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees are available in a broad range of fields across the entire arts and sciences spectrum, and 2 associate degrees in the subjects of histotechnology and labor studies are also available in fully online formats.
Through Indiana State Online, ISU's distance-learning portal, students can choose from among more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree, minor and certificate programs that can be completed 100% online or with minimal on-campus attendance. Programs are available in a variety of study fields, including business and marketing, criminology and criminal justice, education, engineering, nursing and many others. All online programs are available in Indiana, but program availability may be limited in other states or outside of the U.S. Out-of-state students can check program availability and review important licensure and certification information for their locations here.
The University of Southern Indiana's Online Learning program offers a number of undergraduate and graduate degrees that can be completed either fully or partially online. Areas of study include nursing and health services, sports management and business administration (with 5 available MBA concentrations). All bachelor's degrees are offered in a degree-completion format, allowing full-time students to finish their major coursework in 1 to 2 years. Non-degree programs are available in advanced studies in addiction science and certification/continuing education for health professionals.