Online colleges in Indiana are abundant as the state is highly committed to establishing one of the best higher education systems in the country.
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE), a public body created to coordinate and define missions for the state’s colleges and universities, released a plan to help improve schools over the next decade and beyond.
Specifically, schools are challenged to double the number of degrees and certificates awarded and increase higher education attainment for adults to 60% by 2025.
The ICHE continues to facilitate the state’s progress by providing actionable and meaningful statistics on postsecondary education outcomes.
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It is very clear just how committed Indiana is to the success of its higher education system.
Online Colleges in Indiana
Indiana has long been at the forefront of online education. The Indiana College Network (ICN) was launched to help create and sustain “a single coordinated system of distance learning for Indiana’s citizens.”
At that time of establishment, the nation already saw Indiana colleges going online and jumping ahead of the rest of the country when it came to distance education. Indiana’s colleges and universities were already offering 15 distance degree programs and well over 100 distance courses per year.
The ICN provides access to degree programs and courses at the state’s public and private institutions, as well as a host of resources to help with enrollment, financial aid, and career placement. ICN’s online catalog currently includes more than 200 distance certificate and degree programs, and 3,000 distance college courses.
According to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 25% of students in Indiana were enrolled in degree programs at accredited online colleges. An additional 24% were enrolled in one or more online courses. Numbers continue to rise as students recognize the value and flexibility that distance learning affords.
Common Online Degrees in Indiana
Online universities in Indiana offer an array of different degrees. These are some of the most popular programs:
- Computer networking: This degree focuses on topics like programming languages and cybersecurity. It helps prepare students for careers as network administrators, computer systems analysts, and network support specialists.
- Nursing: Nursing degrees teach students how to provide care to patients in different healthcare settings. Depending on the degree level, a nursing student might go on to become a vocational or registered nurse or a nurse practitioner.
- Psychology: A psychology degree program involves the study of human behavior, including mental health disorders. This degree serves as good preparation for a career as a counselor, therapist, or psychologist.
- Business administration and management: Leaders in business need skills in critical thinking, analysis, and communication. A business administration and management program teaches students how to navigate complex situations and meet organizational goals.
- Accounting: During an accounting program, students learn how to gather, interpret, and analyze financial data. A graduate with an accounting degree might become an accountant, budget analyst, or financial manager.
These degrees represent only a few of the options available to students pursuing their academic dreams through the best online colleges in Indiana.
Overview of Higher Education in Indiana
In Indiana, there are 75 degree-granting institutions, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Of those, 16 are public schools, while 43 are private non-profit and 16 are private for-profit.
The state is home to several high-ranking, world-renowned schools. To attend one of the state’s public 4-year schools, NCES reports that tuition and fees will run an average of $9,225 for Indiana residents, which is very close to the national average. Non-residents will pay around $29,092.
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The out-of-state costs may be lower for residents of nearby Midwestern states, however. Indiana is a member of the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP), which allows students to enroll at public universities within the 9 participating states for no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate. This opens the door to a greater selection of degree programs and courses, particularly for online students.
Employment Outlook for College Graduates in Indiana
Indiana offers career opportunities to college graduates in many different fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 2.9 million people work in Indiana, particularly in industries like production, transportation, and sales.
Although careers in these areas often don’t require college degrees, if you hope to advance to a supervisory or management position, a degree may strengthen your qualifications. Other growing industries in Indiana include healthcare, education, finance, and management.
Indiana’s unemployment rate tends to be low, generally ranging between 3 and 3.2%. This rate is slightly below the national average, which suggests that the job market in the state is currently strong.
The median annual wage in Indiana is $38,330, which is lower than the national median wage of $45,760. Some professions, such as human resources specialists, have higher median wages in Indiana than in the rest of the country.
Careers & Salaries in Indiana
College graduates in Indiana work in a variety of industries, including healthcare, business, law enforcement, and education. Many of the positions in these areas require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Organizations often pay larger salaries to candidates who have higher education than those who hold a high school diploma.
A college degree may also give you a broader pool of options in terms of employers. After earning your degree, you may be better positioned to seek employment with a private business, government agency, healthcare facility, financial institution, or school.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some of the most common career paths in Indiana.
Annual Median Salaries
|Medical and Health Services Managers||
|Accountants and Auditors||
|Human Resources Specialists||
|Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers||
|Secondary School Teachers||
|Elementary School Teachers||
|Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses||
|Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks||
How to Know if an Online Degree is Right for Me
Online degrees are a great fit for many students, but they’re not right for everyone. When considering an online degree, consider these factors:
- Level of difficulty: Online courses are generally equally as difficult as in-person classes, but they also require self-discipline and time management skills.
- Technology access: To succeed in an online degree program, you will need consistent access to a computer and a reliable internet connection.
- Social interactions: If you are interested in extracurricular activities or in-person meetings with your classmates and instructors, an online course may not be the best fit.
- Flexibility: Students pursuing online degrees can study wherever and whenever works best for them, which makes these programs ideal if you have a full-time job or family obligations that conflict with in-person course schedules.
No matter whether you decide to study online or on-campus, make use of available resources to get the most from your experience.
Pros and Cons of Online Degrees
Indiana online degrees offer benefits and drawbacks to students, and it’s important to understand them before deciding on a program. These are some of the most important pros and cons of studying online.
|Students can study from any location if they have a working computer and internet connection.||Online degree programs don’t allow students to engage with one another and with instructors in the same ways as in-person classes.|
|Scheduling is generally much more flexible than in-person options.||Some majors, especially those with lab components, are not available online.|
|Students can earn their preferred degrees without having to relocate.||Students in online courses are more responsible for their own learning, with fewer reminders about assignment deadlines.|
|Online degree programs are often more affordable because students don’t have to pay for parking, transportation, or housing.||When taking a class online, students might be more easily distracted by nearby activities.|
|Online courses are very accessible, with content provided in both audio and visual formats.||Online learning platforms have technology requirements that might not be immediately available to all students.|
When weighing the advantages and disadvantages of an online degree, think realistically about your learning style and ability to remain focused.
How to Choose an Online IN College Program
Choosing between online college programs can feel overwhelming because there are so many different factors involved. When comparing online degrees, take note of these points:
- Cost: Private colleges usually cost significantly more than public schools, and two-year institutions are often the most affordable options available. Consider not only the cost of tuition but also fees and supplies.
- Accreditation: Attending an accredited program is essential to ensuring that you get the best possible education. If a school does not list its accreditation status, it’s best to move on to the next option.
- Program availability: Some degrees are only available through certain colleges and universities. If you have a very specific career goal, it’s also beneficial to look into specializations and concentrations.
- Format: Asynchronous courses use prerecorded lectures that you can view at any time, while synchronous classes meet at specific times each week. Determine if one format better aligns with your needs and schedule.
- Student outcomes: Most schools provide data about student outcomes, including graduation, retention, and employment rates, which provides a clearer picture of whether students within the program have successfully met their goals. A low rate on one of these outcomes may be a red flag.
School websites provide much of the information that you need to make your decision, but admissions and financial aid specialists are also great resources.
Online Indiana Colleges Admissions Requirements
When applying to an online college in Indiana, you will be required to complete an official application. Other common criteria include:
- Transcripts: Provide official transcripts from any previous academic institutions you have attended.
- Test scores: Some schools ask for scores from standardized tests like the ACT or SAT.
- Personal statement: Write a brief essay or statement explaining why you are interested in the program.
- Recommendations: Former instructors and supervisors have detailed knowledge of your skills.
Some virtual programs also request video or phone interviews to get to know you better.
IN Online Colleges Accreditation
Accreditation is one of the most critical factors when investigating Indiana universities and colleges online. Academic institutions with national or regional accreditation status have met a high bar of academic quality.
Although either accreditation status is acceptable, regional accreditation is especially desirable because the standards used to award it are so strict. Many employers and graduate-level schools look more favorably at degrees from regionally accredited programs.
Regional accreditation is also important if you need to change schools before graduating. It is generally easier to transfer credits from these programs, which helps you avoid repeating classes.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Anyone interested in pursuing a degree from an online university in Indiana should start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA helps to determine the amount of federal, state, and private financial aid you are eligible for.
The ideal types of financial aid are grants and scholarships, which do not have to be paid back.
When attending online IN colleges, there are two primary grant programs:
- Frank O’Bannon Grant: Two types of awards: the Higher Education Award and the Freedom of Choice Award; Need-based; Dollar amount varies each year
- The 21st Century Scholars: Sign up in middle school; Must pledge to achieve certain academic goals, avoid using drugs or being involved in illegal activities, and apply to an eligible institution; Need-based
Additionally, the state of Indiana offers financial aid programs to assist students in unique situations, including The Mitch Daniels Early Graduation Scholarship, Adult Student Grant, Workforce Ready Grant, and programs for military and public safety officers and future teachers.
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Scholarships are the other type of financial assistance that does not have to be repaid. Scholarships may be offered for academic success, location, the field of study, or other unique factors.
Here are a few examples of scholarships available to Indiana residents:
- Indiana CPA Society Scholars Program: Year-long mentorship; Business clothing, meals, limo rides to firms and businesses employing CPAs, academic gift of $500, a CPA mentor and a college or scholarship letter of recommendation
- Indiana Engineering Scholarships: $1000 per year
- Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Midwest Section Scholarships: Varies
Also, it can be helpful to consult the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend. They can tell you about financial aid resources you may not find elsewhere!
Indiana Online Education Resources
Prospective students can more successfully make the transition into college when they have access to valuable resources, including:
- Learn More Indiana: This site offers extensive financial aid information, including the Scholar Track portal, and guidance for choosing a college in Indiana.
- Indiana Commission for Higher Education: The state higher education commission website allows students to learn more about state-supported financial aid programs.
- Indiana Gear Up: Students can learn more about bridge programs, tutoring, and support for math and science courses.
These sites help simplify the search for online Indiana colleges and financial aid programs.
How Much Does It Cost to Go to an Online College in Indiana?
The cost of a college degree differs depending on how many credit hours the program requires, whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student, and what type of school you are attending.
For example, a four-year public university in Indiana might charge approximately $9,000 a year in tuition, while a private school might cost more than $46,000. Students who are not residents of Indiana also have to pay additional charges on top of this base rate tuition.
Part-time students attending online courses often pay per credit hour rather than a set amount of tuition.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
Students who are not Indiana residents usually have to pay substantially higher tuition to attend online Indiana colleges, but there are opportunities for reduced tuition.
The Midwest Student Exchange Program is comprised of eight states including Indiana. Participating schools charge lower tuition rates, up to 150% of in-state tuition, for students from partner states.
In addition to Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin are currently a part of the Midwest Student Exchange Program, but not all schools choose to participate in the reciprocity program.
Some colleges waive out-of-state tuition entirely, particularly for online programs, and instead charge the same rate for all students regardless of their residential status.
Although you may receive a discounted tuition rate, remember that students who take online courses are sometimes required to pay additional technology or connection fees.
How Long Does it Take to Get an Online Bachelors Degree in Indiana?
The amount of time it takes to complete online education programs in Indiana depends on several factors. If you are attending full-time and the college has a traditional, 16-week semester, you can most likely graduate within four years.
It’s sometimes possible to graduate more quickly. Some colleges offer condensed or accelerated online programs that you can complete in three years. Dual enrollment credits and summer classes also often shorten the degree completion time.
Attending college part-time will extend your graduation timeline, potentially by two years or longer.
What Are the High Demand Jobs in Indiana?
Certain careers for college graduates in Indiana are growing at accelerated rates. According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, these are some of the most in-demand jobs:
- Registered nurses
- Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers
- General and operations managers
- Nurse practitioners
- Medical assistants
These positions correspond with some of the most popular online degrees, including business, nursing, and computer networking. Pursuing one of these degrees may place you in a strong position to take on a position in a growing field after you graduate.
What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Indiana?
Many college students also look for career paths that will pay competitive salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these jobs have the highest median annual wages in Indiana:
- Pediatricians: $195,540
- Chief executives: $175,860
- Nurse anesthetists: $168,440
- Dentists: $161,800
- Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates: $155,270
Your potential earnings ultimately depend on your location, professional experience, and employer. For example, you may earn significantly more as a chief executive in a large city rather than one at a small local company in a rural town.
List of Online Colleges in Indiana
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
American College of Education is a fully online college designed for students who want to work in the field of education. All courses are asynchronous and either 5 or 10 weeks long. Programs have multiple start dates throughout the year. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in fields like special education, literacy, and STEM education.
The American College of Education is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
Ball State University offers over 100 online programs for students looking to further their education and careers. Students can choose between online or blended programs. The program offers undergraduate, graduate, graduate certificate, and licensing programs. Fields of study offered include applied behavior analysis, economics, data science, interior design, and adult and community education.
Ball State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Bethel University—Indiana’s online degree programs aim to provide students with a career-oriented education backed by the Christian faith. Classes are asynchronous, and most are fully online. Some require fieldwork. There are six start dates throughout the year. Classes are either 7 or 15 weeks long. Students can choose from 18 programs, including fields like Christian leadership and cyber security.
Bethel University – Indiana is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Goshen College offers online degree programs for working adults who are ready to take their careers to the next level. Online students receive the same quality of education as their on-campus counterparts. Goshen currently offers three online degree programs: an RN to BSN in Nursing, a Master of Business Administration, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
Goshen College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Huntington University offers online undergraduate degree programs for adult learners and nontraditional students.
Students can earn an entire degree or complete a degree they’ve already started. The school offers online programs for an Associate in Organizational Management and a Certificate in TESOL and EL. HU offers online bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, marketing, psychology, and not-for-profit leadership.
Huntington University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Indiana Tech offers online undergraduate and graduate degree programs for nontraditional students. The school has been recognized for its support of military students. There are eight start dates throughout the year. Undergraduate students can earn degrees in child development and graphic design. Graduate programs include studies in data analytics and global health leadership.
Indiana Tech is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Online students at Indiana State University can start or finish a bachelor’s degree or enter a graduate program. Indiana State offers tutoring services to help online students succeed. Students can earn online bachelor’s degrees in fields of study like construction management or nursing. Graduate programs include biology and sport management.
Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Indiana University—Bloomington’s business, education, and bachelor’s programs among the best in the nation. Some programs are fully online, while others require some time on campus. Students can choose from over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs. Areas of study include sustainability studies, chemistry, human-computer interaction, and music therapy.
Indiana University – Bloomington is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Newsweek named Indiana Wesleyan University one of America’s Top Online Colleges. The school offers over 160 online programs. Online students are provided with the same quality education as those attending on-campus. Courses are asynchronous and completely online, and each one is 5 to 8 weeks long. Students can earn associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degrees in fields like counseling, accounting, or ministry.
Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Marian University’s Adult Program (MAP) offers a Christian-centered online education for working adults. Courses are offered entirely online, with opportunities for internships and community work. Students can earn associate or bachelor’s degrees. Courses are 5 to 8 weeks long, and there are nine start dates throughout the year. Programs include an accelerated RN-to-BSN and paralegal studies.
Marian University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
Students at Oakland City University can earn associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees online. Students can apply for free and do not need GRE scores to apply. Classes meet online once a week in the evenings. Each class is 5 to 8 weeks long. Fields of study offered include marketing and leadership.
Oakland City University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Purdue University’s online learning system offers over 200 programs to help nontraditional learners earn degrees and advance in their careers.
Students can choose between completely online or hybrid format programs. Some courses have synchronous components. The school offers programs for associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. Students can choose from fields of study like sociology, engineering, and nursing.
Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has been providing students with distance learning options for over 40 years. The school offers completely online programs and hybrid programs. It’s free to apply. Students may be able to transfer credits or earn credits through a Prior Learning Assessment. Associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees are available in fields like criminology and art therapy.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Trine University supports online students to help them be successful. It helps students figure out transfer credits, provides scheduling advice, and offers tutoring. New classes start every 8 weeks, and many textbooks are free. Students can earn associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees in over 20 programs. Fields of study offered include engineering, healthcare, leadership, business, and justice.
Trine University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Indianapolis offers online degrees for nontraditional students and working adults looking to further their careers. Most courses are fully online, while some are in a hybrid format. Some require local field work. Undergraduate students can earn an accelerated BSN. Graduate students can choose between seven masters and three doctorates, including aging studies and management.
The University of Indianapolis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Notre Dame offers one online degree, an MS in Data Science. The program is taught by teachers from the mathematics and business departments and industry leaders. The program is fully online and offers the chance for collaboration. There are multiple start dates each year. The curriculum consists of courses like Big Data and Linear Models.
The University of Notre Dame is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Saint Francis offers career-driven online degree programs, many of which can potentially be completed in just 1 year. Small online classes and a dedicated success coach help to ensure success. Students can choose between 11 online programs. Most are for master’s degrees along with a few certificates. Fields of study include healthcare administration, online teaching, and management science.
The University of Saint Francis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Southern Indiana’s online learning program provides flexible scheduling and many asynchronous programs for nontraditional and adult learners. Programs are 100% online. Most programs have several start dates and offer 7 week classes. Students can earn bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degrees in fields like sport management, liberal studies, education, and radiologic technology.
The University of Southern Indiana is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Valparaiso University offers a limited number of online programs for students. Some programs are almost entirely online, while a few are in a hybrid format. Students can earn an MS in Cyber Security, an OTD in Occupational Therapy, or a BS, an MS, or a DNP in Nursing. Nursing programs require on-campus time along with online work.
Valparaiso University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Students at Vincennes University can earn a degree through several online programs. While some programs are fully online, others require time on campus or a practicum experience. Classes are 8 to 12 weeks long and have several start dates throughout the year. Students can earn associate or bachelor’s degrees in fields like technology or behavioral sciences.
Vincennes University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Online Degree in Indiana
Indiana is extremely dedicated to providing a quality higher education system in the country. The state continues to challenge its top-notch colleges and universities to improve including offering more and more Indiana online universities.
It supports students by offering numerous grant and scholarship opportunities. And, it has a long history of being at the forefront when it comes to distance and online learning.
To jump-start your journey, you can begin researching Indiana online colleges and make a list of those that offer your chosen degree path.
You can also view our Online Colleges in Illinois and Online Colleges in Iowa guides for more options.