Best Colleges in Indiana

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Choosing an Indiana college or university is a decision that will influence the rest of your life. Many things should be considered, including whether the school is recognized for the major you wish to pursue, the size and location of the campus, student-to-teacher ratio, housing options, scholarships, financial aid and available extracurriculars. This choice should be based on a thoughtful examination of what you wish to achieve and where and how you prefer to live. The Hoosier State offers a choice of 83 four-year and 46 two-year colleges. With so many options, narrowing the choice to one institution that will check every box on your list may seem impossible.

Fortunately, we have applied our rigorous methodology to the latest education data to rank the best colleges in Indiana, including the top four-year and two-year schools. Because no two colleges are exactly alike, we understand no ranking system will be accepted by everyone, but BestColleges.com has made a concerted effort to evaluate the most relevant data point so our rankings are truly useful to students looking for a college home.

The Indiana Postsecondary Education Coalition, a consulting organization created to keep an eye on state education policies and make suggestions for improvement, is focused on the number of Indiana college students who fail to complete their degree program. They foresee more and more jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree in the next ten years, and the low completion statistics at Indiana colleges and universities creates concern that there will not be enough workers to cover the state’s workforce needs in the future.

According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education “2015 Indiana College Completion Report,” only 36.1% of the students who begin a four-year degree complete their degree program on time, and only 64.8% complete within six years of the date they enrolled. The Commission is attempting to identify the reason for the state’s low academic completion rates in order to turn this trend around.

With 36,291 square miles, Indiana geographically ranks 38th among the 50 U.S. states. Despite its size, the Indiana Career Outlook places Indiana as the 15th largest labor force in the United States. Career areas anticipated to be growing at a rapid rate over the next ten years include medical assistant (56%) and physician’s assistant (51%). Other healthcare jobs, IT analysts and social service assistants round out the top fields for prospective students to consider. These figures emphasize the need to improve graduation rates.

Review our own take on the best 4-year programs in Indiana below.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 University of Notre Dame 85.53 4/5 95% Notre Dame, IN

Founded in 1842, the University of Notre Dame boasts a reputation for robust scholarship and innovative research. Perennially ranked among the top American colleges, the university is the birthplace of synthetic rubber and the transmission of wireless messages. While its nearly 9,000 undergraduate students enjoy its NCAA Division I athletics, notable alumni include Nobel Prize recipient Eric Wieschaus and television personality Regis Philbin.

Located in South Bend, Notre Dame is home to five colleges that offer studies in architecture, arts and letters, business, engineering, and science as well as in first year of studies, which serves all incoming students. Undergraduates can choose from approximately 75 programs that include accounting, gender studies, and theology in addition to self-designed majors. A standout among Indiana colleges, about half of those admitted in 2016 were in the top 1% of their class. Academic advisors help ensure their continued success, resulting in a 95% graduation rate.

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2 Purdue University-Main Campus 75.96 3/5 70% West Lafayette, IN

Named after businessman John Purdue, who donated land and money to establish it, Purdue University dates back to 1869. One of the best colleges in Indiana, Purdue takes its place among the country's top public universities. The institution is also home to stellar athletes, including its winning football team, the Boilermakers.

While undergraduates must complete 30 hours of core courses to ensure foundational learning outcomes, they may pursue degree studies in a range of majors. These include environmental health science, marketing, and pharmaceutical sciences. In addition, students may combine programs to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree. Opportunities for hands-on learning through internships complement classroom learning while various organizations permit socializing, civic engagement and leadership development. In fact, Purdue provides students a co-curricular transcript that they can use for career purposes and graduate school applications. The transcript communicates the well-rounded education they receive at the university.

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3 Indiana University-Bloomington 70.68 3/5 75% Bloomington, IN

With more than 550 academic programs and over 200 undergraduate majors, Indiana University - Bloomington (IU Bloomington) is the flagship campus among Indiana University's eight campuses statewide. Dating back to 1820, the institution is among the top Indiana colleges thanks to its dedication to robust academics, appreciation for diversity, and commitment to civic engagement. Moreover, its hundreds of student organizations and award-winning athletic teams make for outstanding Hoosier life.

IU Bloomington welcomes freshmen, transfer students, and individuals returning to complete a bachelor's degree. In addition, the university offers special support for military and veteran applicants. Undergraduates can opt to major in, for example, animal behavior, east Asian languages and culture, health management and policy, and musical theatre in classes with an average student-to -faculty ratio of 17:1. Furthermore, study abroad opportunities in one of IU Bloomington's more than 300 overseas programs can enrich undergraduates' experience in their choice of 50-plus countries, generally with the help of financial aid.

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4 DePauw University 69.40 4/5 78% Greencastle, IN

Located in Greencastle, DePauw University dates back more than 175 years and is committed to the kind of intellectual rigor that prepares students for lifelong success. Founded in 1837 by the Methodist Church, the university encourages students to be both academically curious and socially engaged. No class enrolls more than 35 students, permitting an average student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1 and leading to a four-year graduation rate of 81%.

One of the best colleges in Indiana, DePauw's academic departments include art and art history, computer science, education studies, and political science, to name only a few. In addition, first-year seminars encourage student discourse and intensive writing to promote critical thinking. The university's libraries house 413,000 physical items, providing students access to resources necessary for their coursework. Following graduation, many enter careers with companies like JPMorgan Chase and Eli Lily and Company, both of which are among the top employers of DePauw graduates.

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5 Goshen College 69.19 3/5 71% Goshen, IN

Goshen College is a leader among colleges in Indiana thanks to its ability to inspire students through learning and service. Set on 135 acres in the city with which it shares its name, the institution promotes faith supported by knowledge while encouraging servant leadership and global citizenship.

Founded by the Mennonite Church in 1894, Goshen's 800 undergraduates represent 31 states and 26 countries as well as diverse faiths. The average GPA of incoming 2016-17 students was 3.52. Its myriad of degree programs includes biology, journalism, and sign language interpreting. Students may also opt to minor in studies like accounting, piano pedagogy, and recreation and sport. Moreover, the Maple Scholars Summer Internship Program pairs undergraduates with faculty over eight weeks for in-depth research while participation in a Study-Service Term promotes giving back and cultural immersion. In fact, Goshen is well known among U.S. colleges for its number of students who study abroad.

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6 Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 65.91 5/5 76% Terre Haute, IN

Reputed for its undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Rose-Hulman Institute for Technology prepares students to solve the world's most complex challenges. It maintains its standing as one of the best colleges in Indiana because of its record of accomplishment and stellar faculty, 13 of whom have been named Fulbright Scholars since 1975. Moreover, attention to arts and culture complement the institution's STEM focus through coursework as well as permanent arts collections and ongoing exhibits.

Rose-Hulman offers an array of degree programs in subjects such as biomathematics, engineering physics, international computer science, and software engineering. In addition, it offers Air Force and Army ROTC, in which students can enroll concurrent with their undergraduate coursework. Fraternities and sororities as well as varsity and intramural sports teach important lessons outside classroom walls as do community service opportunities. Rose-Hulman students, in fact, have donated over 10,000 hours in service and more than $54,000 to charitable causes.

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7 Earlham College 64.60 3/5 72% Richmond, IN

With nearly 1,100 undergraduate students, Earlham College sits amid woods, streams and ponds on 800 acres that create a scenic backdrop for teaching and learning in Richmond. Founded in 1859 with its roots in the Great Migration of Quakers from the eastern U.S., today Earlham's students represent 47 states and 60 countries thanks to its outstanding reputation among colleges in Indiana.

The majority (71%) of students admitted in 2015 ranked in the top 25% of their high school class. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1, Earlham offers degrees in African and African-American studies, film studies, Japanese language and linguistics, and mathematics, to name only a few. The Academic Enrichment Center offers support to strengthen students' skills and to ensure their success as do resources like peer tutoring and the writing center. As a result, companies like Proctor & Gamble, cultural institutions like the Guggenheim Museum, and even the White House employ Earlham graduates.

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8 Ball State University 62.77 3/5 57% Muncie, IN

With notable alumni like Jim Davis, creator of the iconic Garfield comic strip, Ball State University ranks among the best colleges in Indiana for its commitment to robust academics. The university encourages students to engage in research, special projects with community partners, and capstone activities to complement their coursework. This approach, which Ball State describes as “immersive learning,” is why more than 40% of students graduate with a bachelor's degree within four years.

Founded in 1918 and located in Muncie, the university offers bachelor's degrees in 178 programs of study. Its eight colleges focus on subject matter like applied sciences, education, fine arts, and humanities. The average class size of on-campus courses is 26 students; the student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1. In addition, the university's dual credit program allows high school students to earn credit toward their undergraduate degree before they complete their senior year, an experience that prepares them for the rigors of college coursework.

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9 Taylor University 59.79 4/5 77% Upland, IN

Founded in 1846, Taylor University is a Christian, liberal arts institution located in Upland. Its rural surroundings spark students' creativity and allow them to foster relationships with one another and the community. Furthermore, Taylor's outstanding athletic teams excel in sports like basketball, tennis, and track and field. In fact, the institution boasts 12 Capital One All-American athletes yet prides itself most on students' sportsmanship, humility, and respect for fellow players.

Students can select among an array of academic programs in which to major, including accounting, Biblical literature, chemistry, exercise science, and professional writing. They may also opt to minor in many of these programs as well as in others like Biblical languages and political science. In addition, university centers like the Spencer Centre for Global Engagement and Center for Ethics make Taylor stand out as one of the best colleges in Indiana by providing opportunities to help students become true servant leaders.

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10 Purdue University Northwest 59.74 3/5 27% Hammond, IN

Unified in 2016 following the merger of Purdue University's two northwest campuses -- Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central -- Purdue University Northwest (PNW) reflects more than 140 years' of rich heritage and proud traditions. Bringing two of the best colleges in Indiana together to create PNW means a plethora of academic resources are now available to students, including two libraries, numerous scholarships, and various education abroad opportunities.

PNW offers 50 bachelor's degrees in programs such as business analytics, computer information technology, history, marketing, physics, and secondary education. Expert faculty coupled with the university's resources and partnerships with the surrounding community prepare learners to meet workforce demands in a global society. Moreover, qualified high school students can begin earning undergraduate credit by enrolling in PNW's dual credit/concurrent enrollment programs. This allows them to satisfy high school graduation requirements while gaining exposure to the rigors of college studies, all during their regular school day.

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11 Saint Mary's College 59.32 4/5 78% Notre Dame, IN

With a student population of just 1,500 and an average class size of 15, Saint Mary's College fosters meaningful relationships between students and faculty while remaining committed to its core values of learning, faith, and community. Founded by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1844 to develop women academically and spiritually, one in two alumnae enter careers in business, education, and health/medical services while 30% continue their higher education immediately after graduating by enrolling in either graduate or professional school.

Located in Notre Dame, Saint Mary's stands out among colleges in Indiana as a top Catholic women's liberal arts college. It boasts six nationally accredited programs and offers more than 30 majors, including art, economics, gender and women's studies, nursing, sociology, and theatre. Moreover, students can opt to follow professional tracks in either pre-law or pre-med and health. Study abroad and senior comprehensive projects also complement classroom studies and strengthen critical thinking skills.

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12 Butler University 58.81 4/5 73% Indianapolis, IN

Founded in 1855 by attorney and abolitionist Ovid Butler on the premise that all people deserve an excellent education regardless of race and gender, Butler University is committed to nurturing an intellectual community of faculty and students. Located just five miles from downtown Indianapolis on a 295-acre campus, Butler boasts six academic colleges and offers more than 65 programs of study. Its 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio promotes meaningful, stimulating dialogue that inspires academic excellence even as internship and practicum opportunities permit experiential learning.

Butler students earn BA and BS degrees in fields like actuarial science, criminology, journalism, peace and conflict studies, and software engineering. Its more than 110 study abroad programs in over 70 countries spur students' global citizenship and develop their leadership abilities. Similarly, student organizations, service and volunteerism opportunities, and student government activities encourage civic engagement and social responsibility, further distinguishing Butler among Indiana colleges.

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13 Anderson University 58.38 4/5 57% Anderson, IN

Located in the city with which it shares its name, Anderson University traces its origins to 1917 when the Church of God founded this private, Christian institution. Today more than 2,300 students are enrolled in what is indisputably one of the best colleges in Indiana thanks to its myriad of academic programs and rich campus life.

Students can major in a range of disciplines such as biochemistry, cinema and media arts, dance performance, education, music theatre, and social work. In addition, they can opt to minor in many of these fields to further enhance their learning experience. Anderson encourages them to balance their studies through involvement in student activities, organizations, and athletics, including its Encore event that allows wannabe pop stars five minutes of legendary fame. Moreover, the university's Tri-S program, which began in 1964, allows students to visit countries around the world to both learn and serve in cross-cultural settings.

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14 Marian University 57.83 3/5 59% Indianapolis, IN

Committed to the Catholic Franciscan values of dignity, peace and justice, reconciliation, and stewardship, Marian University encourages lifelong learning rooted in human interactions and relationships. The university dates back to 1936 since its founding in Oldenburg before its relocation to Indianapolis, which it now calls home. Its staunch dedication to excellent teaching and learning are why so many students choose Marian among colleges in Indiana.

Small class size, personalized attention, and experiential learning that includes fieldwork and study abroad opportunities are also why Marian ranks as one of the best colleges in Indiana. CMajor programs of study range from accounting and applied educational studies to sport performance and theology. In addition, the university offers special programs for nontraditional students, including its Advanced Study program that permits dual high and college credit as well as its Marian's Adult Program, which affords adults the necessary flexibility to complete their bachelor's degree at an accelerated pace.

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15 Calumet College of Saint Joseph 56.38 3/5 29% Whiting, IN

A small, liberal arts college serving northwest Indiana and northeast Illinois, Calumet College of St. Joseph (CCSJ) traces its beginnings to 1951 when the Missionaries of the Precious Blood established it to educate the community's hardworking people. The institution values individual dignity and believes in changing lives through teaching and learning. This includes a rich heritage of social justice and giving back, like providing books for those affected by Hurricane Katrina and adopting a Guatemalan village.

One of Indiana's best colleges, CCSJ undergraduate degree programs include accounting, criminal justice, human services, and theology. Students can earn up to 45 semester hours of credit through the College Level Examination Program, Life Experience Assessment Program, and the New York University foreign languages proficiency tests. Furthermore, CCSJ recognizes that many of its students both work and maintain families, so it offers full-time and part-time study options as well as day and evening classes.

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16 Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis 56.13 3/5 38% Indianapolis, IN

Comprised of 18 schools that award degrees in engineering, health sciences, liberal arts, and more, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is one of the best colleges in Indiana. Its recognition as a premier research institution reflects its abiding commitment to the highest academic standards and transforms both the lives of students and the world. Originally two universities -- Indiana University and Purdue University -- that merged in 1969, the marriage of these schools' Indianapolis campuses means IUPUI is now home to nearly 22,000 undergraduate students.

In general, those looking to enroll at IUPUI maintain a 3.45 high school grade point average and earn an SAT score of 1039. The university's more than 350 academic programs include actuarial science, cytotechnology, informatics, nursing, and public relations. Its RISE initiative offers hands-on learning opportunities so students can practically apply lessons learned in real-world scenarios even while study abroad programs expose them to foreign cultures and global experiences.

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17 Hanover College 55.91 3/5 65% Hanover, IN

Situated along the stunningly beautiful Ohio River, Hanover College provides students a private, liberal arts education through interdisciplinary studies that offer 33 degree programs as well as the opportunity for a design-your-own major. Founded in 1827, it boasts the reputation of both the oldest private college in the state and a top choice among Indiana colleges.

Most incoming students rank in the top 20% of their high school class and demonstrate a well-rounded background in academics, service, and even sports. Once enrolled, they can major in fields like anthropology, business, education, pre-law, pre-med/pre-health, and theological studies. Those with special interests can even design a major of their choice since Hanover permits the freedom to follow one's passion. Examples of majors students have designed include comparative religion and neuroscience. Moreover, Hanover's summer academy allows high school students to enroll in thematic institutes to explore subjects like the Civil War and graphic art as they familiarize them with college coursework and campus life.

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18 Indiana University-Kokomo 54.98 3/5 22% Kokomo, IN

Indiana University - Kokomo (IUK) dates back to 1932, when it first opened as a community college that later partnered with Indiana University in 1945. Today, the IUK stands out among colleges in Indiana for offering rigorous academics, one-on-one support, and gateway to the workforce. Equally compelling is its commitment to offer an outstanding education without a high price tag.

IUK encourages students to explore their interests as they determine the best program of study to achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals. Undergraduate degrees and majors include applied science, humanities, nuclear medicine technology, and psychology, to name only a few. In addition, degree studies in biochemistry, biological and physical sciences, and biology help students navigate IUK's pre-professional programs like pre-dentistry, pre-optometry, and pre-veterinary medicine. Certificate programs are also an option and allow undergraduates to explore subject matter like correctional management and supervision as well as public safety in-depth.

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19 University of Evansville 54.09 3/5 68% Evansville, IN

University of Evansville (UE) not only prides itself for being one of the best colleges in Indiana, but also for offering an outstanding education at an affordable cost. Students engage in rigorous academic discourse, learn about the world through challenging coursework, and enjoy experiential learning opportunities that allow them to practically apply their classroom studies. In fact, the UE Guarantee states every student will either graduate in four year or receive the fifth for free; receive a freshman scholarship if enrolled full-time; enjoy faculty mentoring; and have access to both internship and study abroad opportunities.

UE's undergraduate programs include, for example, accounting, English, neuroscience, political science, and theatre. Its libraries' collections include 70 electronic databases, 150,000 eBooks, and 240,000 books and bound volumes. When they need to take a break from studying, students can enjoy either cheering for the university's 18 Division I winning athletic teams or playing as a member of them.

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20 Huntington University 53.57 3/5 59% Huntington, IN

With more than 70 majors from which to choose and a proud heritage rooted in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is a Christian, liberal arts college founded in 1897. A top institution in the country and among the best colleges in Indiana, students appreciate Huntington's spiritual environment, high-quality instruction, commitment to teaching and learning, and stellar reputation. Furthermore, nearly 100% of graduates are employed within six months, another testament to the outstanding education they receive.

Huntington classifies its undergraduate degree programs in disciplines such as agricultural studies, criminal justice, history and political science, language, and worship leadership. Students can decide on their specific major within these and other disciplines to best meet their academic and long-term goals. In addition, the Huntington Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports as students cheer them to victory while additional student life activities can be found in the university's weekly Coffee Break.

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21 Indiana University-East 53.53 3/5 25% Richmond, IN

Part of the Indiana University system, Indiana University East (IU East) is the region's leader in number of baccalaureate degrees awarded. With more than 50 academic programs taught by expert faculty as well as experiential learning opportunities such as independent research and creative projects, students receive an outstanding education at what is renowned as one of the best colleges in Indiana.

With its small campus feel thanks to just over 4,500 students and an average class size of 20, IU East offers intellectually challenging curricula in a scholarly environment. Programs of study include applied science, business and economics, education, and natural science and mathematics. IU East also proudly serves military students and veterans, further supporting them on-campus through its Student Veterans Organization. In addition, the university's Pathways program allows Ivy Tech Community College students an affordable bridge from community college to baccalaureate studies for those who wish to continue their education.

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22 Valparaiso University 53.28 3/5 74% Valparaiso, IN

Just an hour's drive from Chicago, Valparaiso University (Valpo) is an independent, Lutheran institution founded in 1859. Self-described as where passion meets purpose, students' personal, professional, and spiritual growth are central to its mission. The university calls the city with which it shares its name home.

Five undergraduate colleges offer more than 70 majors in arts and sciences, business, engineering, nursing and health professions, and Valpo's honors college. Moreover, the Valpo Core cultivates students' skills, attitudes, and work habits through a two-semester course in which all students enroll called “The Human Experience.” This kind of emphasis on critical thinking and intellectual rigor is why 95% of graduates are employed within six months. In addition, the university's reputation as one of the best colleges in Indiana is known worldwide as Valpo study centers can be found in China, Costa Rica, England, and Germany while students can participate in international programs on four continents.

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23 Wabash College 53.11 4/5 73% Crawfordsville, IN

Wabash Colleges is known not only as one of the best colleges in Indiana, but also as an institution dedicated to the liberal arts education of young men since 1832. One of three all-male liberal arts colleges in the U.S., it counts Rhodes Scholars and Academic All-Americans among its alumni, but is most proud of developing men of character who are prepared to make a difference in the world.

With a population of just 900 students representing 32 states and 12 countries, Wabash offers 25 majors, including art, financial economics, mathematics, and political science. Students can also choose to minor in programs such as film and digital media. Its 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows intellectual engagement and dialogue. Moreover, Lilly Library holds more than 434,000 book and periodical bound volumes in addition to access to an online catalog of the 2.7 million volumes thanks to Wabash's affiliation with the Private Academic Library Network.

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24 Oakland City University 53.06 4/5 57% Oakland City, IN

Committed to academically rigorous curricula rooted in the Christian faith, Oakland City University develops students' intellectual, spiritual, and social well-being to help them become true leaders. Founded by General Baptists as a nondenominational institution in 1885, it promotes exploration of the liberal arts and career-oriented studies, both of which it firmly establishes on the foundations of God's love and the basic goodness of mankind.

Oakland City University offers degree programs through its schools of arts and sciences, business, education, and religious studies. All students enroll in a Foundational Core curriculum, which includes coursework in communication, critical thinking and decision making, analytical knowledge, and Christian influenced values. As a leader among colleges in Indiana, Oakland City University also boasts competitive sports teams. The university holds dual membership affiliation with the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division II level and the National Christian College Athletic Association at the Division I level.

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25 University of Southern Indiana 52.30 3/5 36% Evansville, IN

Located in Evansville on a sprawling 1,800-acre campus, the University of Southern Indiana (USI) was founded in 1965 in response to the need for public higher education in the state. It strives to shape the future through learning and innovation, a mission reflected in its impressive record as one of the best choices among Indiana colleges.

USI's four academic colleges -- Romain College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Nursing and Health Professions, and Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education -- allow students to select among 70 undergraduate degree programs, including business administration, kinesiology and sport, and performing arts. The $28 million David L. Rice Library offers resources in multiple formats and is one of the largest buildings on campus. In addition, USI's College Achievement Program enrolls high school students in college courses at their school for a reduced rate, allowing them to both earn college credit and experience college coursework.

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With 213,372 students on 46 campuses (28 public and 18 private), Indiana is home to one of the largest two-year college systems in the U.S. In order to achieve its purpose of providing students with work skills and a foundation to transfer to a four-year institution, Indiana’s two-year campuses are constantly on the leading edge of flexibility and innovation.

Students choose two-year colleges for the lower tuition, to save on room and board by living at home and to continue their education on a part-time basis while they work and raise a family. The many online or distance learning classes now offered by two-year colleges provide even greater opportunities for both working students and students enrolled at four-year colleges who need a class that isn’t on the schedule. The number of students enrolling in dual credit courses has led to a new class of students who choose to continue their first two years at the same college.

Of the students enrolled in the Ivy Tech Community College System in Indiana, 81% attend part-time and 30% take at least one of the more than 350 online courses offered on My Tech Blackboard every semester. Many take all of their classes online.

One concern for the Indiana two-year colleges is their 20% completion rate. In an effort to overcome some of the challenges believed to be responsible for this statistic, the Ivy Tech Community College System is offering a one-year associate degree program. Students attend classes from 8-5 for 12 months and graduate with an Associate Degree. Full tuition scholarships are offered for qualified students.

Below you can review our rankings of the two-year programs below.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Ivy Tech Community College 72.00 2/5 26% Indianapolis, IN

With 32 campuses across the state, Ivy Tech is the largest public postsecondary educational institution in Indiana. It offers a broad range of degree and certificate programs within three targeted areas (healthcare, technology, and business/public service), including always-popular options such as nursing, computer science, or business administration, as well as more specialized fields of interest like nanotechnology and mortuary science. The school’s transfer agreements with seven universities mean that students who graduate with an associate degree can easily go on to places like Purdue, Ball State University or Indiana University to earn a bachelor’s degree if they choose. Ivy Tech is one of the best community colleges in Indiana for adults looking to return to school. If you’re over 18, you don’t need to have a high school diploma to enroll, but all students must take an assessment test to evaluate their ability to handle college-level courses, and if you’re well over 18, it’s possible your past work experience or military service may qualify for prior learning credit, giving you a head-start on a college degree.

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2 Saint Elizabeth School of Nursing 69.33 4/5 54% Lafayette, IN

Saint Elizabeth is one of the oldest community colleges in Indiana specifically for nursing students. It has been training registered nurses for clinical practice for more than a century and is the only diploma-granting school of nursing in Indiana. Affiliated with St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, their cooperative program allows students to earn a diploma in nursing and a BS in nursing at the same time. The 130-credit program is offered in three tracks: a traditional four-year program, a three-year program that includes classes during summer, and an accelerated program for students who already have a bachelor’s degree that can be completed in a little less than two years. In addition to core nursing classes and more than 1000 hours of clinical experience, the program also requires 19 credit hours in traditional science courses, such as anatomy and physiology, as well as 39 credit hours in liberal arts and humanities. It should be noted that, like many Indiana community colleges, Saint Elizabeth is a commuter campus, meaning it doesn’t have on-campus housing. However, with two campuses, it is a little more commuter than most: all freshman courses are held at St. Joseph’s College, about 45 minutes away from Saint Elizabeth.

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3 Ancilla College 58.67 3/5 51% Donaldson, IN

Ancilla College is a private, Catholic college located in the city of Donaldson. Among two-year colleges in Indiana, the school offers its students a decidedly four-year college experience. In addition to academic offerings that include 22 degree programs in a variety of career-oriented fields, including sports management and environmental technology, among others, it also has a robust athletics program. The roster of Ancilla Chargers sports teams include men’s and women’s cross country, golf, bowling teams, as well as co-ed cheerleading and dance teams. Adding to the full college experience is the on-campus housing and meal plans, which not many Indiana community colleges offer. Although no ACT or SAT scores are needed for admission, an overall high school GPA of 2.0 is required for acceptance, and it is recommended that incoming students have completed four years of English, three years of math, and two years each of science and social studies to be prepared for the college-level courses.

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If you’re thinking about applying to one of the best colleges in Indiana, continuing reading to learn more about living in the Hoosier State.

Indiana offers something for everyone. From Indianapolis, with a population of 844,000, to small rural farm towns, new residents can easily find a location that fits their lifestyle. Indiana’s northwest region borders on Lake Michigan, and the state’s southern border is the Ohio River. Its climate almost mirrors the nationwide averages with average highs of 85.7 and lows of 18.5 degrees. Its annual rainfall of 41″ is a little over the 37″ national average, perfect for crops in this largely agricultural state.

Although the state may be small, it features an amazing 24 state parks, including the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan City, Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City and Hoosier National Forest in Bedford. In addition, Indiana has nine man-made reservoirs and hundreds of lakes.

Economically, Best Places to Live, a website that collects data on cities across the country, reports very strong employment statistics for Indiana. Its unemployment rate is 5.5% compared to a nationwide average of 6.3%. Indiana’s job growth averages out to 3.53%, while nationwide the average is only 1.18%. The future looks bright for state workers with a projected future jobs growth rate of 41.60% and nationwide projections of 36.10%. Indiana’s low cost of living is 86.40% overall, and its housing cost of living rate is even lower at 68%. The consumer price index in Indiana is down approximately 0.1% overall, and its tax rate is 3.4% compared to a national tax rate average of 4.72%. Commuters here enjoy an average 23.22 minute commute, just a little less than the nationwide average of 25.44 minutes.

Northern Indiana

  • Major Cities: South Bend, Fort Wayne, Hammond, Gary, Elkhardt
  • Attractions: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Chain O’Lakes, Conrad Savanna Nature Preserve, Hoosier Prairie State Nature Park, Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area
  • Cost of living: South Bend
  • Popular Schools: Indiana University Northwest, Purdue-Calumet, Purdue-North Central, Ivy Tech Community College Northwest, Calumet College of St. Joseph, College of Court Reporting, Inc., Kaplan College-Hammond, Kaplan College-Merrillville, Valparaiso University

Central Indiana

  • Major Cities: Indianapolis, Lafayette, Kokomo, Anderson, Muncie, Terre Haute
  • Attractions: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, John Dillinger Museum, President Benjamin Harrison Home, Indiana Transportation Museum, Potawatomi Zoo, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
  • Cost of Living: Indianapolis
  • Popular Schools: Indiana University, Anderson University, Butler University, Purdue-Indianapolis, University of Indianapolis

South Indiana

  • Major Cities: Evansville, Bedford, Bloomington, Columbus, Greensburg, Jasper
  • Attractions: Hoosier National Forest, Devonian fossil beds, Falls of the Ohio State Park, Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari, Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences, Howard Steamboat Museum, Santa Claus Museum, Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden
  • Cost of Living: 5.5%
  • Popular Schools: Hanover College, Indiana University, Oakland City University, University of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana, Vincennes University

Residency

  • Student and/or parents must be residents of Indiana for 12 consecutive months prior to enrollment.
  • Residency for unemancipated students under age 21 is based on their parents’ residency status.
  • If the parents of an unemancipated student under age 21 are divorced and one parent is a resident of Indiana, that student must reside with the resident parent for 12 consecutive months prior to enrollment.
  • If a student moves in with resident parent less than 12 months prior to enrollment, that student will be enrolled as an out-of-state student until 12 consecutive months of residence, at which time they will be changed to an in-state status at the beginning of the next term.
  • If parents move due to a job change or some reason other than school residency, that student will be treated as an in-state student immediately.
  • If student’s parents move out of state while that student is still enrolled, the student’s residency will change to out-of-state on the first day of the next term.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR INDIANA COLLEGE STUDENTS

College Savings

EDUCATION NONPROFITS

HIGHER EDUCATION NEWS

OFFICIAL STATE LINKS

Best Colleges in Indiana of 2016
Rank School Location
1 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
2 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
3 Goshen College Goshen, IN
4 DePauw University Greencastle, IN
5 Earlham College Richmond, IN
6 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
7 Saint Mary's College Notre Dame, IN
8 Butler University Indianapolis, IN
9 University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, IN
10 Ball State University Muncie, IN
11 Wabash College Crawfordsville, IN
12 Hanover College Hanover, IN
13 Anderson University - Indiana Anderson, IN
14 Franklin College Franklin, IN
15 Taylor University Upland, IN
16 Marian University Indianapolis, IN
17 Valparaiso University Valparaiso, IN
18 Huntington University Huntington, IN
19 Saint Joseph's College - Indiana Rensselaer, IN
20 Indiana University - East Richmond, IN
21 Calumet College of St. Joseph Whiting, IN
22 Indiana University-Purde University - Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
23 University of Southern Indiana Evansville, IN
24 University of Evansville Evansville, IN
25 Bethel College - Indiana Mishawaka, IN
Best Community Colleges
Rank School Location
1 Ancilla College Donaldson, IN
2 Vincennes University Vincennes, IN
3 Crossroads Bible College Indianapolis, IN
4 Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, IN