Indiana’s Best Small Colleges of 2021

Small colleges in Indiana are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

Indiana’s Best Small Colleges 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


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The following list of the best small colleges and universities in Indiana is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). There are 32 small colleges in Indiana; 20 of which meet our criteria. The list below of the best small colleges in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. Its student body must consist of 5,000 or fewer students.
  4. Its graduation rate must be greater than 50%.

How do we determine Indiana's best small colleges and universities?

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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Best Colleges & Universities in Indiana

  1. #1

    DePauw University

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

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

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

    Most Influential Alumni

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  2. #2

    Earlham College

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

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    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
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Hanover College

    #1549 institution's historical influence
    #258 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    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:

    • Education
    • Biology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Goshen College

    #1645 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:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Wabash College

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

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    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:

    • Biology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
  6. #6

    Valparaiso University

    #784 institution's historical influence
    #832 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1180/25

    Valparaiso, IN

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    What is Valparaiso University known for?

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

    • Law
    • Business
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    University of Evansville

    #1394 institution's historical influence
    #421 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    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
    • Biology
    • History
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #8

    Butler University

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

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    6K

    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
    • Medical
    • Political Science
  9. #9

    Indiana Wesleyan University

    #1891 institution's historical influence
    #1088 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    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:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    REQUEST INFO
  10. #10

    Saint Mary's College

    #1674 institution's historical influence
    #1006 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    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
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    REQUEST INFO
  11. #11

    Taylor University

    #2097 institution's historical influence
    #1228 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    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
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Engineering
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    Manchester University

    #946 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
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Communications
  13. #13

    Franklin College

    #2531 institution's historical influence
    #409 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    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
    • Communications
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    Grace College & Seminary

    #3184 institution's historical influence
    #885 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    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
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  15. #15

    Huntington University

    #5529 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
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #16

    Trine University

    #2706 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
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    REQUEST INFO
  17. #17

    Marian University

    #4026 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    Indianapolis, IN

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    What is Marian University known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Business
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #18

    University of Saint Francis

    #9777 institution's historical influence
    #648 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1059/21

    Fort Wayne, IN

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    What is University of Saint Francis known for?

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

    • Education
    • History
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
  19. #19

    Anderson University

    #2865 institution's historical influence
    #736 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/22

    Anderson, IN

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    What is Anderson University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Physics
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #20

    Purdue University Global

    #3138 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    46K

    West Lafayette, IN

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    What is Purdue University Global known for?

    Purdue University Global’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Law
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Communications

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