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2021 Best Colleges in Indiana

44 Colleges
$47,300 Avg Salary*
56% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

There are lots of options to chooose from today when trying to decide which college to attend. Our mission at College Factual is to arm you with as much information as we can to help you make that decision. Our Top in Indiana Colleges and Universities ranking is one tool we have developed to help in this regard.

We analyzed 44 colleges and universities across Indiana to determine which were the best in terms of overall quality. To come up with this ranking, we look at more than 20 factors that are all objective measurements. These factors include freshman retention, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and post graduate earnings, among other things.

Get more details on our ranking methodology.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location and field of study. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as value or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another!

Top Colleges in Indiana

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana

Our analysis found University of Notre Dame to be the best school for overall quality in Indiana in this year’s ranking. Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit institution located in Notre Dame, Indiana. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,642 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 98%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame is $78,400 during the early years of their career.

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#2

DePauw University

Greencastle, Indiana

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend DePauw University. The school came in at #2 in Indiana on this year’s overall quality ranking. DePauw University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Greencastle, Indiana that handed out 595 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 2.0% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from DePauw go into careers with an average salary of $54,000 during the early years of their career.

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A rank of #3 on our Best Colleges in Indiana list means Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Terre Haute, Indiana. It awarded 574 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 1.6% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $80,900 during the early years of their career..

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#4

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, Indiana

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Purdue University - Main Campus helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in Indiana. Purdue is located in West Lafayette, Indiana and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 7,568 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.3%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Purdue make an average of $55,100 a year.

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#5

Indiana University - Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Indiana University - Bloomington. The school came in at #5 in Indiana on this year’s overall quality ranking. Located in Bloomington, Indiana, the large public school handed out 7,952 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 91%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from IU Bloomington make an average of $47,700 per year during the early years of their career.

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#6

Saint Mary's College

Notre Dame, Indiana

Saint Mary’s College ranked #6 on this year’s Best Colleges in Indiana list. St. Mary’s College is located in Notre Dame, Indiana and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 384 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

With a student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $46,200 during the early years of their career..

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#7

Wabash College

Crawfordsville, Indiana

Wabash College landed the #7 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana ranking. Wabash College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Crawfordsville, Indiana that handed out 220 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.1%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Wabash make an average of $56,300 per year during the early years of their career.

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#8

Taylor University

Upland, Indiana

Taylor University landed the #8 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana ranking. Located in Upland, Indiana, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 487 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

With a freshman retention rate of 90%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Taylor U make an average of $38,000 per year during the early years of their career.

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#9

Butler University

Indianapolis, Indiana

With a ranking of #9, Butler University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana list. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school awarded 1,065 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 89%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Butler make an average of $56,600 per year during the early years of their career.

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#10

University of Evansville

Evansville, Indiana

University of Evansville ranked #10 on this year’s Best Colleges in Indiana list. University of Evansville is a small private not-for-profit school located in Evansville, Indiana that handed out 504 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.3%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% During the early years of their career, graduates from UE make an average of $41,800 a year.

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#11

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso, Indiana

With a ranking of #11, Valparaiso University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana list. Valpo is located in Valparaiso, Indiana and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 893 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The low student loan default rate of 3.1% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $48,500 during the early years of their career..

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#12

Hanover College

Hanover, Indiana

Hanover College ranked #12 on this year’s Best Colleges in Indiana list. Located in Hanover, Indiana, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 247 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.6%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Hanover is $46,400 during the early years of their career.

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#13

Earlham College

Richmond, Indiana

Earlham College ranked #13 on this year’s Best Colleges in Indiana list. Earlham is located in Richmond, Indiana and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 229 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 86%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $35,000 during the early years of their career..

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#14

Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Ball State University ranked #14 on this year’s Best Colleges in Indiana list. Located in Muncie, Indiana, the large public school awarded 3,621 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Ball State go into careers with an average salary of $41,100 during the early years of their career.

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#15

Goshen College

Goshen, Indiana

Goshen College landed the #15 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana ranking. Goshen College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Goshen, Indiana that handed out 232 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The student loan default rate at the school is 2.4%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Goshen is $37,700 during the early years of their career.

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#16

Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion, Indiana

Indiana Wesleyan University landed the #16 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana ranking. Indiana Wesleyan University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Marion, Indiana that handed out 778 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from IWU is $49,900 during the early years of their career.

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#17

Franklin College

Franklin, Indiana

Franklin College landed the #17 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana ranking. Located in Franklin, Indiana, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 265 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $44,100 during the early years of their career..

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#18

Marian University

Indianapolis, Indiana

With a ranking of #18, Marian University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana list.Indianapolis, Indiana is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 609 students in 2018-2019.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.9%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Marian go into careers with an average salary of $43,300 during the early years of their career.

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#19

Trine University

Angola, Indiana

Trine University landed the #19 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Angola, Indiana, and it awarded 406 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Trine make an average of $43,300 per year during the early years of their career.

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Trine University-Regional/Non-Traditional Campuses did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana ranking, coming in at #20. Located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 108 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Trine is $43,300 during the early years of their career.

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With a ranking of #21, Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana list. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, the large public school handed out 4,420 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from IUPUI make an average of $42,500 per year during the early years of their career.

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#22

University of Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Indiana

University of Indianapolis did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana ranking, coming in at #22. This medium-sized private not-for-profit school is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and it awarded 1,020 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from UIndy is $40,600 during the early years of their career.

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#23

Huntington University

Huntington, Indiana

Huntington University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana ranking, coming in at #23. Huntington is a private not-for-profit institution located in Huntington, Indiana. The school has a small population, and it awarded 234 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.2%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Huntington is $36,200 during the early years of their career.

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#24

Manchester University

North Manchester, Indiana

Manchester University landed the #24 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana ranking. Located in North Manchester, Indiana, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 325 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $40,700 during the early years of their career..

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#25

Grace College and Theological Seminary

Winona Lake, Indiana

Grace College and Theological Seminary landed the #25 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Indiana ranking. Grace College and Theological Seminary is a small private not-for-profit school located in Winona Lake, Indiana that handed out 401 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.6%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Grace College is $34,900 during the early years of their career.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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