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Indiana (IN): Colleges and Universities

Indiana is home to nearly 120 colleges and universities. See rankings of the best and most affordable schools in Indiana to determine which schools might be right for you.

School Ranking Overview

With almost 120 post-secondary schools, students in Indiana will have plenty of choices when it come to higher education. Choices include public research universities, community colleges and small liberal arts schools. To help students narrow down their options, this article compares ten traditional schools, ranking the top three in the categories below:

  • Most Program Variety
  • Lowest Net Price
  • Highest Graduation Rate
  • Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Most Program Variety

Schools with a variety of programs allow students to explore a range of disciplines. The three Indiana schools below offer students the most programs from which to choose.

1 - Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis

Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis (IUPUI) is a large, public research university. With roughly 304 undergraduate and graduate programs, this school offers the most programs in the state. According to U.S. News & World Report, the most popular majors among 2011 graduates were in business administration, health professions and liberal arts and sciences. This source also ranked IUPUI seventh among Up-and-Coming Schools in the National Universities category in 2012. Some well-ranked graduate programs include nonprofit management, healthcare law and nursing.

2 - Vincennes University

Located in the town of Vincennes, this school offers about 189 academic programs leading to associate's and bachelor's degrees as well as certificates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the school granted 1,633 degrees and certificates in 2011-2012. Of these, 1,396 were associate's degrees. The most popular associate's degree programs during this school year were liberal arts and sciences, health professions and business.

3 - Indiana University - Bloomington

Coming in at third for most program variety is Indiana University - Bloomington, which offers approximately 164 undergraduate and graduate programs. U.S. News & World Report ranked this school 83rd among National Universities in its 2013 edition of Best Colleges. Several of the school's undergraduate business programs received high rankings, as well, including marketing, entrepreneurship and accounting. Its graduate business, public affairs, law and education schools are all ranked in the top 25.

Lowest Net Price

The average net price for a college or university is determined by subtracting the amount of government or institutional financial aid the average student receives from the total cost of attendance. Based on data from the NCES for the 2011-2012 academic year, the following three schools offer the lowest net prices among traditional colleges and universities in Indiana. The highest net price among traditional Indiana schools was a little over $30,000.

1 - Purdue University - North Central Campus

With a net price of $7,210, this Westville school is the most affordable option for students in Indiana. During the 2012-2013 school year, in-state students paid $7,045 in tuition and fees, while out-of-state students paid $16,769, according to the NCES. For the 2011-2012 school year, 80% of full-time, beginning undergraduate students received financial aid. Among all undergraduates, 37% received an average amount of $5,416 in grant or scholarship aid.

2 - Indiana University - East

Another affordable option is this Richmond school, which has a net price of $8,549. In-state students who enrolled during the 2012-2013 school year paid $6,496 in tuition and fees, while out-of-state students paid $17,426, per the NCES. For the 2011-2012 school year, 88% of full-time, beginning, undergraduate students were given financial aid to help pay for school. Of all undergraduate students, 54% received an average of $5,248 in grant or scholarship aid during the same school year.

3 - Ivy Tech Community College

This school has campuses in the Indianapolis area and throughout the state. A public community college, Ivy Tech offers the third lowest net price in the state at $8,915. The 2012-2013 tuition and fees reported by the NCES were $3,455 for in-state students and $7,302 for out-of-state students. During the 2011-2012 school year, 82% of full-time, beginning undergraduate students received financial aid. Fifty-nine percent of all undergraduates that year received an average of $3,973 in grant or scholarship aid.

Highest Graduation Rate

The overall graduation rate for a school includes the number of students who completed their studies in 150% of 'normal time' (for example, six years would be the 'normal time' for a bachelor's degree program). Based on NCES figures for full-time students, the following Indiana schools had the top graduation rates among students enrolling in 2005 at traditional schools.

1 - University of Notre Dame

Located in rural Notre Dame, this school's 96% overall graduation rate is the highest in the state among traditional schools. The school offers a resource center for students who need additional help with their studies. In addition to tutoring and help sessions, students can join small groups to work on projects together. The NCES found that 97% of full-time, first-time undergraduate students who enrolled in fall 2010 returned in fall 2011 to continue their bachelor's degree studies.

2 - DePauw University

Located in Greencastle, this school has a notable overall graduation rate of 85%. To help students succeed academically, the university has established an academic help center on campus. Students can gain support in their transitions from high school to college as well as learn time management and goal setting. Of full-time, first-year students who enrolled in fall 2010, 92% returned the following year to continue working on their bachelor's degrees, according to the NCES.

3 - Taylor University

This Upland school came in with the state's third-highest overall graduation rate, which is 80%. Much like the other two schools, university students can seek help from the academic center to better understand how to succeed in their classes and choose the best major. The NCES found that between fall 2010 and fall 2011, 85% of full-time, first-year undergraduates came back to resume work on their bachelor's degrees.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

At schools with lower ratios of students to faculty members, students may find it easier to connect with faculty members as well as peers. The range of student-faculty ratios among all Indiana schools falls between 4:1 and 33:1, according to the NCES. The three Indiana schools below have student-faculty ratios of 10:1 or less, making them the most outstanding among traditional schools in this category.

1 - Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

With a population of about 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students, this school in the rural town of Saint Mary of the Woods has a student-faculty ratio of 7:1. The school is a Roman Catholic institution for women, which offers primarily bachelor's degree programs. In fall 2012, the school employed 66 full-time and 111 part-time instructors.

2- University of Notre Dame

Several colleges and universities in Indiana have a student-faculty ratio of 10:1. With more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the University of Notre Dame is the largest school to offer this low student-faculty ratio. In fall 2012, the school had 1,013 full-time and 114 part-time instructional faculty on staff, according to the NCES. The school also employed 1,044 graduate teaching assistants.

2 - DePauw University

Tied for second position in this category is DePauw University, which also offers a student-faculty ratio of 10:1. The NCES reported that the student population was 2,352 in fall 2011; all of them were undergraduates. During fall 2012, the school had on staff 218 full-time and 47 part-time instructors. All classes here are taught by professors.

Indiana Schools At A Glance

School Name Location School Type Degrees Offered Area Ranking
DePauw University Greencastle 4-year; private not-for-profit Bachelor's degrees 2nd Highest Graduation Rate,
2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington 4-year; public 1- to <2-year certificates; associate, bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees; post-master's certificates 3rd Most Program Variety
Indiana University - East Richmond 4-year; public 1- to <2-year certificates; bachelor's and master's degrees; postbaccalaureate certificates 2nd Lowest Net Price
Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis Indianapolis 4-year; public 1- to <2-year certificates; associate, bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees; postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates Most Program Variety
Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis 2-year, public <1-year and 1- to <2-year certificates; associate degrees 3rd Lowest Net Price
Purdue University - North Central Campus Westville 4-year; public <1-year certificates; associate, bachelor's and master's degrees Lowest Net Price
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods 4-year; private not-for-profit <1-year certificates; associate, bachelor's and master's degrees; postbaccalaureate certificates Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Taylor University Upland 4-year; private not-for-profit Associate, bachelor's and master's degrees 3rd Highest Graduation Rate
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame 4-year; private not-for-profit Bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees Highest Graduation Rate,
2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Vincennes University Vincennes 4-year; public <1-year and 1-year to <2-year certificates; associate and bachelor's degrees 2nd Most Program Variety

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