Best Colleges in Indiana of 2022

Looking to attend a college in Indiana? Find out which colleges are the best ones in Indiana when you're applying to school this fall.

Best Colleges in Indiana of 2022
Cole Parsons

A big factor when choosing colleges to apply to is geography. Do you want to attend a college that’s in the same state you live in — which is a big money-saver if you apply to a public college in terms of in-state tuition — or do you want to go out of state? 

In this BrokeScholar study, we focused on identifying the best colleges in Indiana. In order to do this, we analyzed every four-year public and four-year private nonprofit college and university in Indiana that awards bachelor’s degrees. The methodology for determining the best colleges in Indiana is based on a combination of factors, including graduation rate, admission rate, number of bachelor’s degrees awarded, the ratio of bachelor’s degrees awarded to undergraduate population (done in order to avert larger schools that give out large quantities of degrees from automatically ranking highest), in-state tuition costs, and out-of-state tuition costs. All data was sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), for the academic year 2021-2022.

Read on to find out the best colleges in Indiana of 2022.

Best Colleges in Indiana

The top colleges in Indiana combine strong academic records and academic programs, typically with high graduation rates, as well as competitive rates of admissions. The result of this study is an intriguing mix of private nonprofit and public universities and colleges in Indiana, which means future college students have a large number of options to choose from. Here’s a look at the 15 best colleges in Indiana:

Rank

College/University

In-state tuition

Out-of-state tuition

Bachelor's Degrees Awarded

Bachelor's Degrees Awarded to Undergraduate Ratio

Graduation Rate

Admission Rate

1

University of Notre Dame

$58,843

$58,843

2,209

24.9%

97%

15%

2

Purdue University-Main Campus

$9,992

$28,794

8,130

22.8%

83%

69%

3

Indiana University-Bloomington

$11,333

$38,352

7,738

23.5%

80%

85%

4

DePauw University

$53,896

$53,896

497

28.4%

87%

65%

5

Ball State University

$10,290

$27,524

3,408

21.6%

67%

68%

6

Wabash College

$45,850

$45,850

178

20.5%

75%

62%

7

Earlham College

$49,323

$49,323

230

31.3%

67%

69%

8

Taylor University

$36,570

$36,570

398

19.2%

78%

73%

9

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

$53,019

$53,019

444

22.5%

83%

77%

10

Anderson University

$32,950

$32,950

236

19.6%

64%

62%

11

Butler University

$43,400

$43,400

891

19.8%

82%

81%

12

Hanover College

$40,250

$40,250

218

21.2%

72%

73%

13

Saint Mary's College

$48,010

$48,010

309

21.5%

81%

83%

14

Marian University

$36,600

$36,600

645

25.1%

60%

73%

15

University of Evansville

$39,806

$39,806

391

19.2%

67%

75%

 

1. University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame, or simple Notre Dame, is well-known to most Americans for its perennially competitive and famous football program. But Notre Dame is also academically a very strong school and thus ranks No. 1 in our study of the best colleges in Indiana. Notre Dame is a private nonprofit university that boasts the highest graduation rate in our study, 97%, far superior to the average graduation rate for the colleges in Indiana in the study as a whole — 55%.

Notre Dame is also highly selective when it comes to who it offers admission to. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the admission rate was 15%, the most selective in the study. Of the 50 private and public colleges and universities in Indiana that were analyzed in the study, the average admission rate was 82%. With an undergraduate population of 8,874 in the 2021-2022 academic year, Notre Dame awarded 2,209 bachelor’s degrees that year, for a ratio of 24.9% of bachelor’s degrees conferred to undergraduate population, an excellent rate and better than the 19.5% average for the study as a whole.

2. Purdue University - Main Campus

Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, is one of the best colleges in Indiana, ranking No. 2 behind only Notre Dame. U.S. News ranked Purdue University as the No. 8 Most Innovative School in the country, tied for the 10th Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs. Purdue has an excellent graduation rate of 83% for the 2021-2022 academic year, much better than the 55% average for the whole study. Its admission rate of 69% for the 2021-2022 academic year is more selective than the study’s average of 82%. Purdue also offers affordability along with its solid academic record and competitive admission rate. In-state tuition is $9,992 for the 2021-2022 academic year, one of the most affordable tuition rates in the study. Its out-of-state tuition for the same academic year was $28,794, which is cheaper than the study’s average of $29,404 for out-of-state tuition and fees.

3. Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University in Bloomington came in as the No.3 best college in Indiana. Indiana University Bloomington ranks very highly among U.S. News’s college rankings: It is tied for the No. 8 best Business Programs, tied for No. 26 in the Top Public Schools category, and No. 68 in its National Universities category. With a graduation rate of 80%, Indiana University Bloomington beats most colleges and universities in Indiana. With an undergraduate population of 32,986 in the 2021-2022 academic year, Indiana University conferred 7,738 bachelor’s degrees; that works out to a ratio of 23.5% bachelor’s degrees awarded to undergraduate students, better than the study’s average of 19.5%. Indiana University Bloomington also has an affordable price tag for in-state students: The in-state tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year was $11,333, cheaper than the vast majority of the colleges and universities in Indiana analyzed in our study.

4. DePauw University

DePauw University is one of the most renowned colleges and universities in Indiana. U.S. News ranked DePauw University No. 46 in its National Liberal Arts Colleges category, not to mention No. 49 in its Best Value Schools category. With 65% of applicants being granted admission in the academic year 2021-2022. DePauw University’s admission rate is more selective than the study’s overall average of 82%. Meanwhile, its graduation rate for the 2021-2022 academic year of 87% is far better than the 55% average graduation rate for the study as a whole. Though it has an undergraduate population on the smaller side (1,752), it still awarded 497 bachelor's degrees in 2022, making for an excellent ratio of degrees to undergraduate population of 28.4%, better than the study’s overall average of 19.5%. Though one of the best universities in Indiana, one of the main drawbacks of DePauw University is its cost. For both its in-state and out-of-state tuition, the cost in the 2021-2022 academic year was $53,896, which is definitely on the expensive side. 

5. Ball State University

Located in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University ranks highly in our study of the best colleges in Indiana. First off, the admission rate at Ball State University is quite selective, with an admission rate of 68% in the 2021-2022 academic year, more selective than the average for the study overall of 82%. With an undergraduate population of 15,780 in the 2021-2022 academic year, Ball State University awarded 3,408 bachelor's degrees, for a ratio of 21.6% of bachelor’s degrees awarded to undergraduate students, again better than the study’s overall average. U.S. News ranked Ball Stat University as the No. 70 Most Innovative School in the country. At the same time, Ball State is affordable, with an in-state tuition cost of $10,290 in the 2021-2022 academic year, and an out-of-state tuition cost of $27,524, which is lower than the study’s overall average of $29,404 for out-of-state tuition costs.

6. Wabash College

Wabash College ranks as the No. 6 school in our study of the best colleges in Indiana thanks to a number of key factors. The university’s graduation rate of 75% is solid, far higher than the 55% average for the whole study. Meanwhile, its admissions are more competitive than most colleges and universities in Indiana. Wabash College’s admission rate for the 2021-2022 academic year was 62%, in contrast to the 82% average admission rate for the study overall.

Though a small school with an undergraduate population of only 868 students in the 2021-2022 academic year, Wabash College awarded 178 bachelor’s degrees that year, for a ratio of 20.5% of bachelor’s degrees to undergraduate students, better than the study’s overall average. According to U.S. News, Wabash College is not just one of the top colleges in Indiana, but a national contender. U.S. News named it the No. 57 best school in its National Liberal Arts Colleges category, No. 29 nationally for Best Undergraduate Teaching, and No. 20 nationally in its Best Value Schools category.

7. Earlham College

Like Wabash College, Earlham College is a small private nonprofit college that ranked well in our study of the best colleges in Indiana. Earlham College stands out as one of the top colleges in Indiana for several reasons. Its admission rate of 69% for the 2021-2022 academic year, Earlham College is more selective than the 50 colleges and universities in Indiana’s combined average admission rate of 82%. Earlham College’s graduation rate of 67% is also better than the study’s overall average. What’s especially impressive is that, with an undergraduate population of 736, Earlham College awarded 230 bachelor’s degrees in the 2021-2022 academic year, for a ratio of 31.3% of bachelor’s degrees conferred to undergraduate students.

U.S. News ranks Earlham College as the No. 20 best school in its Study Abroad category, No. 16 Best Value for all national liberal arts colleges, and No. 92 in the country in its National Liberal Arts Colleges category. Affordability is a bit wanting, however. As a small private four-year college, its in-state and out-of-state tuition costs are the same, $49,323 for the 2021-2022 academic year, which is well above the study’s overall averages for both categories.

8. Taylor University

Taylor University ranked as the No. 8 best school in our list of the best colleges in Indiana. Firstly, U.S. News ranks Taylor University highly, ranking in No. 1 in its Regional Colleges Midwest category and No. 23 in its Best Value Schools category. With an admission rate of 73% in the 2021-2022 academic year, Taylor University is more selective than the study’s average of 82%. And Taylor University’s graduation rate of 78% is much better than the 55% average graduation rate for the study as a whole.

Some notably popular programs include Elementary Education and Teaching, which awarded 32 bachelor’s degrees out of 398 bachelor’s degrees total; Psychology, General, awarded 27 bachelor’s degrees; Business Administration and Management, General, awarded 25 bachelor’s degrees; and Biology/Biological Sciences, General, awarded 20 bachelor’s degrees.

9. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, is one of the top colleges in Indiana, boasting very strong undergraduate engineering programs. It boasts a very high graduation rate of 83%, well in excess of the 55% average graduation rate for the study overall. Its admission rate of 77% is also more selective than the average for the 50 Indiana schools analyzed in the study.

What’s interesting about Rose-Hulman is that it only awards bachelor’s and master’s degrees, no doctorates. But since it awards no doctorates, it was ranked by U.S. News as the No. 1 school in its Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs category where doctorates are not offered; it also ranked No. 1 in civil engineering, No. 1 in computer engineering, and No. 1 in mechanical engineering out of schools that don’t offer doctorate degrees. With an undergraduate population of 1,972 in the 2021-2022 academic year, Rose-Hulman awarded 444 bachelor’s degrees, for a ratio of 22.5% of bachelor's degrees to undergraduate students, better than the study’s overall average for that category. 

10. Anderson University

Anderson University is another small private nonprofit school to make our list of the best colleges in Indiana. Admissions to Anderson University are competitive, with an admission rate of 62% in the academic year 2021-2022, much more selective than the 82% average for the study overall. Anderson University’s graduation rate for the same academic year, 64%, was also better than the study’s overall average. Plus, U.S. News ranked Anderson University as the No. 46 best school in its Regional Universities Midwest category, as well as the No. 18 school in its Best Undergraduate Teaching category and No. 26 in its Best Value Schools category. 

11. Butler University

Located in Indianapolis, Butler University benefits from a wide variety of academic programs, combined with strong graduation rates, and quality of education. According to U.S. News, Butler University ranked as the No. 1 best school in its Regional Universities Midwest category, the No. 1 in Best Undergraduate Teaching in the Midwest, and No. 1 in its Most Innovative Schools category in the Midwest. Butler University’s graduation rate of 82% for the 2021-2022 academic year is much better than the 55% average for the study as a whole.

Another factor that makes Butler University rank among the best colleges in Indiana is its vast selection of academic programs. Finance is a big major at Butler University, with 83 bachelor's degrees awarded in Finance, General, out of 891 bachelor’s degrees awarded in the 2021-2022 academic year; there were 67 bachelor’s degrees awarded in Marketing/Marketing Management, General majors; there were 54 bachelor's degrees awarded for Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, Other, majors; and 45 degrees awarded for Biology/Biological Sciences, General majors.

12. Hanover College

Hanover College, appropriately located in Hanover, Indiana, makes our list of the best colleges in Indiana thanks to strong graduation and admission rate scores, as well as robust academic programs. Hanover College ranks as the 98th best school in its National Liberal Arts Colleges category by U.S. News. Its graduation rate of 72% for the 2021-2022 academic year is better than the study’s overall average. As is its admission rate for the same academic year, 73% versus the study’s overall average of 82%. With 218 bachelor’s degrees conferred in the 2021-2022 academic year against an undergraduate population of just 1,028, it boasts a ratio of 21.2% of bachelor’s degrees to undergraduate students, another score that beats the study’s overall average. Above-average tuition costs, however, keep Hanover College from ranking higher on our list. Both its in-state and out-of-state tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year were $40,250, much higher than the study’s overall average of $25,197 for in-state and $29,404 for out-of-state tuition.

13. Saint Mary's College

Saint Mary’s College ranks as the No. 13 best college in Indiana in our thanks to several good scores. Its graduation rate was 81% for the 2021-2022 academic year, which is far better than the 55% average for the study as a whole. With an undergraduate population of 1,438 in the 2021-2022 academic year, it awarded 309 bachelor’s degrees; that works out to a 21.5% ratio of bachelor’s degrees conferred to undergraduate population, which is better than the study’s overall average. According to U.S. News college rankings, Saint Mary’s College tied with Notre Dame as the No. 105 best school in its National Liberal Arts Colleges category. It also ranked No. 43 in its Best Value Schools category.

14. Marian University

Marian University comes in at No. 14 in our list of the best colleges in Indiana, sporting a better-than-average graduation rate of 60%, an admission rate of 73%, which is more selective than the study’s average overall of 82%. With an undergraduate population of 2,566 in the academic year 2021-2022, Marian University is on the smaller side. It also awarded 645 bachelor’s degrees in the same academic year, which works out to a ratio of degrees awarded to undergraduate population of 25.1%, much better than the average for the study as a whole.

Marian University has a lot going for it, with U.S. News ranking it as the second Most Innovative university in the Midwest, and No. 15 in its Best Undergraduate Teaching category. What holds Marian University from ranking higher is that its in-state and out-of-state tuition costs: $36,600 for the 2021-2022 academic year, which while cheaper than many colleges and universities in Indiana, is more expensive than the study’s overall averages for in-state and out-of-state tuition costs.

15. University of Evansville

And rounding out our study of the best colleges in Indiana is the University of Evansville. With a graduation rate of 67% in the 2021-2022 academic year, it beats the 55% average for the study as a whole. Its admission rate of 75% was also more selective than average. The University of Evansville has some top-quality marks for its academic record. According to U.S. News, it was named the No. 7 best school in its Regional Universities Midwest category; it was also named the No. 3 best school in its Best Colleges for Veterans in the Midwest category, in addition to the No. 12 Best Value Schools in the Midwest region.