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 in 2018, 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.
In their sixth annual report of online college students, researchers at Learning House found that a community feel is very important when choosing an online degree, but ultimately, each student has a different list of priorities when it comes to choosing the perfect online program. Being said, there are some school qualities that should not be ignored—we’ve provided a list of the online colleges and universities in Indiana that are providing the best combination of online student support and breadth & depth of high-quality distance learning opportunities
Because online programs are constantly changing, adapting and being added, the best place to look for up-to-date information on degree and major options is a college’s Online Program Directory. On these pages, colleges such as Purdue University list their traditional degree programs as well as professional development programs offered via distance learning.
Indiana University’s online portal even has a search tool to help you sift through more than 120 online programs based on your education goals. Learn More Indiana has an interactive test to help you align your interests with a career. Many online colleges in Indiana, like Indiana Wesleyan University, offer course listings categorized by degree type.
Before you commit to an online program in Indiana, you should confirm the transfer policy at the school you plan to attend—policies will differ, sometimes greatly, between schools. Know who to call at Indiana colleges and universities to discuss your credits and be prepared to request copies of your transcript. Credits from another accredited Indiana college are likely to transfer.
According to the 2018 State of Higher Education Address from the Indiana Commission on Higher Education, colleges in the state are creating easier routes for students to earn and transfer college credits. For example credit assessments including portfolio analysis, test evaluations, prior certifications and military experience are all valid transfer credit possibilities at the University of Indiana.
The state of Indiana will have nearly one-million job openings by 2025, is one of the top ten states when it comes to job opportunities that require a postsecondary degree with close to 200,000 available jobs. While the future demands higher education, how does the job market look today in terms of return on investment for an online degree in Indiana? Take a look at the average pay for positions requiring each of the following degree levels below:
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017
According to a 2018 Gallup Poll for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, 79 percent said their education was worth the cost, and 72 percent said their college prepared them well for professional life. Based on the above table, people working in jobs that require a master’s degree in Indiana only make slightly more than those in bachelor’s degree level fields in the state. But the wage gap becomes significant as you compare positions that require more advanced degrees against jobs requiring an associate degree or less.
According to the Indiana Department of Labor, the leading industries in Indiana include aerospace and aviation, cybersecurity, energy, transportation and life sciences, among other innovative fields that require higher education for entry-level positions.
Obtaining an online education in Indiana carries more weight and value if the institution you attend is accredited. In the age of online college degree scams, accreditation guarantees you’re getting a quality education, and shows employers your skills were learned from a reputable source. Types of accreditation to look for in Indiana include:
Regional Accreditation Educational standards for the state of Indiana are regulated regionally by the Higher Learning Commission. Other colleges that fall under the HLC’s jurisdiction are located in the following 19 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
National and Specialized Accreditation As a bonus, some schools also apply for additional, subject-specific accreditation in specialized fields. This assures individual programs meets industry standards, such as Ball State University’s additional accreditation in the Miller College of Business by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or Indiana State University’s Clinical Psychology program accreditation from the American Psychological Association.
Tuition rates for online colleges in Indiana vary by institution. It’s also important to consider additional costs, like books, lab or technology fees, time to degree, and the difference in cost for in-state versus out-of-state students when thinking about the complete cost of earning an online degree in Indiana. Here are some of the different ways online colleges charge students for tuition in Indiana:
Flat-Rate Tuition: Some universities charge flat-rate tuition while others charge per credit hour, such as WGU Indiana, where six-month terms are billed as flat-rate tuition, so students pay per term rather than per credit hour.
Resident and Non-Resident Rates: Much like on-campus tuition rates, some of Indiana’s online college charge different rates based on residency status, such as the Indiana University East.
Rates Varied by Subject: At Indiana Tech, online tuition rates are different based on the subject you choose to study.
Indiana is one of 12 states that is part of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. If you live in one of those states, you may qualify for a tuition break and have an easier time transferring credits.
Purdue University details resident classification for tuition purposes. At Indiana University-Bloomington, total direct costs for Indiana residents is approximately $21,000 while non-residents pay $45,000. If you live in Indiana for 183 days, you qualify as a resident. However, if you register to vote in Indiana, you qualify as a resident after a 27-day wait.
Nearly 30 percent of Indiana students are enrolled in at least one online course. The cost of online credits varies by school, but on average, in-state tuition for schools in Indiana are around the national average. Since online education is accessible anywhere, how do Indiana schools compare with the rest of the nation when it comes to online tuition rates? The answer is: pretty similar. Take a look at some differences below, based on undergraduate tuition costs per credit for the 2018-2019 school year:
According to a 2018 study by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, nearly one-third of Indiana public graduates received financial aid from the state’s aid program. Check which schools are eligible to receive state aid for students through this database, courtesy of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
It is never too late to learn something new or pivot in your professional endeavors, but many people are discouraged from attending college because they have been away from school for a long time, or may not have had success with school in the past. Statewide, there is a significant investment being made into professional development and education from industries fueling economic growth. Adult education programs may be able to provide the support and starter education you need to jump-start a college career.
Some examples of adult education programs helping Indiana residents move on to college:
College and Career Planning The adult education portal provides a free college and career research tool on the Indiana state website.
High School Equivalency – If the first step towards college is earning a high school certificate, Indiana’s HSE programs for adults can help.
Language Programs – For students from other countries, English as a Second Language programs are a part of adult education in Indiana.