Indiana’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities of 2021

Liberal arts colleges are a great option for students seeking a well-rounded education in an intimate campus setting. The best liberal arts colleges in Indiana offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

Indiana’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Indiana

Among Indiana’s schools are some well-known colleges and universities, including the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University, and Butler University. While tuition and student population vary greatly among these schools, each boasts a high graduation rate. The state’s largest public university, Indiana University Bloomington, also notes a high graduation rate for its roughly 40,000 students and offers tuition just above the national average at $11,000.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Additionally, students hoping to attend a school with a religious affiliation have nearly 30 options to choose from. Students at these schools can study areas like engineering, business, philosophy, religious studies, and law. Indiana offers loan forgiveness programs for health care workers who work in areas with labor shortages as well as for lawyers providing public legal aid. Additionally, graduates of Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law pursuing public interest law can apply for a special grant program that will help cover the cost of preparing and sitting for the bar exam.

With town names like Popcorn and Santa Claus, it is clear Indiana is no stranger to a good time. Along with these unique towns, Indiana also hosts the Indianapolis 500, a long-distance auto race; boasts a thriving art scene; and has been home to iconic celebrities, including Larry Bird, James Dean, and David Letterman. Students wanting to experience all Indiana has to offer while studying have the option of attending one of Indiana’s more than 50 higher education institutes.

Explore Indiana’s more than 50 colleges and universities to find a program and future career path that’s right for you.

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What are Indiana’s Colleges & Universities?

Indiana’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

A liberal arts college is a school that puts a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree. We’ve identified a total of 33 liberal arts colleges and universities in Illinois, 20 of which meet our criteria. The list below of the 15 best liberal arts schools in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 50%.

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How do we determine Illinois's best colleges and universities?

The best colleges pound for pound!

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call Concentrated Influence. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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15 Best Liberal Arts Colleges & Universities in Indiana

  1. #1

    DePauw University

    #364 institution's historical influence
    #716 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1245/26

    Greencastle, IN

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    What is DePauw University known for?

    DePauw University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Literature
    • History
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Anthropology
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    Earlham College

    #786 institution's historical influence
    #963 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/26

    Richmond, IN

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    What is Earlham College known for?

    Earlham College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Engineering
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Hanover College

    #1458 institution's historical influence
    #258 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

    Hanover, IN

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    What is Hanover College known for?

    Hanover College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • History
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
  4. #4

    Goshen College

    #1634 institution's historical influence
    #1329 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1108/25

    Goshen, IN

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    What is Goshen College known for?

    Goshen College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Wabash College

    #948 institution's historical influence
    #1280 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1220/26

    Crawfordsville, IN

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    What is Wabash College known for?

    Wabash College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Biology
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    University of Evansville

    #1404 institution's historical influence
    #421 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1189/26

    Evansville, IN

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    What is University of Evansville known for?

    University of Evansville’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • History
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    Butler University

    #899 institution's historical influence
    #436 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/27

    Indianapolis, IN

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    What is Butler University known for?

    Butler University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Indiana Wesleyan University

    #1886 institution's historical influence
    #1088 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    Marion, IN

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    What is Indiana Wesleyan University known for?

    Indiana Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. #9

    Saint Mary's College

    #1644 institution's historical influence
    #1006 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/25

    Notre Dame, IN

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    What is Saint Mary's College known for?

    Saint Mary's College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    REQUEST INFO
  10. #10

    Taylor University

    #2068 institution's historical influence
    #1228 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    78%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Upland, IN

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    What is Taylor University known for?

    Taylor University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Philosophy
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Manchester University

    #917 institution's historical influence
    #245 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    1K

    North Manchester, IN

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    What is Manchester University known for?

    Manchester University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Education
  12. #12

    Franklin College

    #2123 institution's historical influence
    #409 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    Franklin, IN

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    What is Franklin College known for?

    Franklin College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    Grace College & Seminary

    #3261 institution's historical influence
    #885 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $24K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    2K

    Winona Lake, IN

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    What is Grace College & Seminary known for?

    Grace College & Seminary’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  14. #14

    Huntington University

    #5432 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1057/21

    Huntington, IN

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    What is Huntington University known for?

    Huntington University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    Trine University

    #2526 institution's historical influence
    #440 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/24

    Angola, IN

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    What is Trine University known for?

    Trine University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Literature
    REQUEST INFO

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