Ball State University Review

Ball State University is a public, state institution located in Muncie, Indiana, that offers entirely online bachelor's and graduate degrees. Ball State's online bachelor's programs rank well, while their graduate programs are catching up.

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The Good

14 years of online education experience:

Online education is nothing new to Ball State University since they have been offering online degree programs since 1999. With 14 years of online education experience and roughly 5,000 online-only students enrolled, Ball State’s online and distance education programs are well established and well organized. Many other online schools have been around for only 10 years or less, which makes Ball State a veteran in the field. The longevity of Ball State’s program proves they have worked out the early kinks and can provide a quality online education experience to a large body of students.

Top 30 overall ranked online bachelor's program:

Ball State University currently holds the number 29 spot in the U.S. News & World Report online bachelor’s degree rankings, and currently offers three different options for an online bachelor’s degree. Ball State University offers business administration, and liberal arts bachelor’s degrees which can be completed entirely online. An RN to BSN is also available completely online, though some clinical hours with a nursing professional in your community will be required. Several online graduate level programs are also ranked by U.S. News & World Report, though not nearly as high, but if the bachelor’s programs are any indication of the school’s capabilities, the graduate programs should be catching up shortly.

Easy online access to key information:

Ball State has a well-organized website and inclusive web services which are crucial to have access to as an online student. For a prospective student, admissions and degree information is easy to locate. The online application explains clearly to you what type of student you should apply as, plus you can even attend an online webinar information session. Enrolled students have access to online services, such as 24/7 live tech support and online tutoring. Certain degree programs occasionally stream live, synchronous classes from the Muncie main campus, which may make some online students feel more integrated with the larger university.

The Bad

Not a notable school:

A lackluster reputation and few national recognitions can be considered a dark spot for Ball State University. While Ball State earns a decent ranking for its online bachelor’s programs, it does not boast any other notable rankings or recognitions comparable to those received by other universities of the same size and caliber. Ball State does not make an appearance anywhere on the The Princeton Review list of the Best 378 Colleges of 2014 or on the Forbes list of America’s top 100 colleges. Name and recognition are not everything, but if that is important to you there are many other online schools with stronger overall reputations.

Lacking top graduate programs:

While Ball State University does offer about a dozen different online graduate degrees, none of them are recognized as a top rated program by any authority on education rankings. Not one of Ball State’s graduate programs in business, education, or nursing has appeared in the top 25 of the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Graduate Degree rankings. It is unusual that Ball State’s online bachelor’s programs are ranked so well, while not a single graduate level program ranks nearly anywhere as well.

Higher out-of-state tuition rates:

Some online schools offer one flat tuition rate for all online students, but Ball State University charges a higher tuition rate to students who are not Indiana residents. Higher out-of-state tuition rates are not uncommon for state schools, but the higher cost can seem unfair as an online student. If you do happen to live in Indiana, or may become an Indiana resident sometime during your online studies, the lower tuition rates for both bachelor’s and graduate level credits may be an enticing factor.

The Details

General Information

  • Application Fee: $50 - $55
  • Location: IN
  • Region: Midwest
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Other

Number of Programs

  • Online Bachelor's: 4
  • Online Graduate Business: 1
  • Online Graduate Education: 9
  • Online Graduate Engineering: None
  • Online Graduate IT: None
  • Online Graduate Nursing: 5

Tuition Rates (per credit)

  • Online Bachelor's (In-State): $277
  • Online Bachelor's (Out-of-State): $488
  • Online Doctorate (In-State): $307
  • Online Doctorate (Out-of-State): $518
  • Online Master's (In-State): $307
  • Online Master's (Out-of-State): $518
  • Online MBA (In-State): $398
  • Online MBA (Out-of-State): $773

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