2024 Most Affordable Colleges in Indiana

Scroll down to see our top choice colleges in Indiana, loans and scholarships for Indiana students, and advice on how to save money going to college in Indiana.

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Indiana has a strong network of public colleges designed to make higher education affordable for residents. Attending private college? Don’t worry — most of Indiana’s financial aid initiatives apply to both public and private schools in the state. Students in certain majors can do particularly well: Aspiring educators may qualify for student teaching stipends, while mental health professionals and civic-minded lawyers can benefit from loan repayment programs. If it’s not tuition that has you worried, but all the other costs that go along with attending college, we’ve scoured the state for services that can lower costs and improve quality of life. Read on and start learning about how to make college in Indiana cheaper.

School Selections

Bethel University-Indiana

An accredited evangelical Christian college of the arts and sciences, Bethel University Indiana was founded in 1947 and offers more than 50 areas of study. Bethel University merit-based scholarships have award amounts ranging from $2,000 to $16,000. The Bethel University Scholarship and the Bethel University Award consider both full-time freshmen as well as transfer students with excellent academic records. Incoming freshman minority students from the Midwest region are considered for the Dr. Billy Kirk Leadership Award. International students can apply for the International Students Scholarships. The Lilly Endowment Recognition program covers room and board for four-years for qualified students.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

  • Advanced Placement Credit

1,300 Students

University of Southern Indiana

As a public college, University of Southern Indiana charges a low rate to state residents - as well as to Kentucky students from Daviess, Hancock, Henderson and Union counties. The university charges by the credit, so part-time students don't get penalized. USI participates in the 21st Century Scholars program, through which forward-thinking middle-schoolers with financial need can get four years of free tuition once they enroll in college. The school supplements this amount from sophomore to senior years with $200 annually toward textbooks. The USI Foundation also maintains a healthy reserve of award money. The largest is the Harlaxton Study Abroad Scholarship, a $5,000 award earmarked for three international explorers with financial need and solid GPAs.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

  • Advanced Placement Credit

10,671 Students

Goshen College

With fewer than 1,000 students, Mennonite Church-affiliated Goshen College has one of the most active study-abroad programs in the U.S. About 80 percent of students take part in the Study-Service Team program where students go abroad for a semester to study culture and language and help with a volunteer service project. Almost all students receive some financial aid, with the average package of grants and scholarships exceeding $24,500 each year. Over the summer, Goshen hosts the Maple Scholars program, where students work on research with a faculty member and receive on-campus housing and a stipend. Goshen has 40 undergraduate majors and four graduate programs.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

  • Advanced Placement Credit

839 Students

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis was born from a merger between Indiana University and Purdue University that took place in 1968. Incoming freshmen who ranked first or second in their high school class are eligible for the Valedictorian and Salutatorian Scholarship, which provides a renewable award of $5,000 per year to in-state students and $10,000 per year to out-of-state students. Incoming freshmen who are Indiana residents can also apply for the $6,000 IUPUI Distinguished Scholarship and the $3,000 IUPUI Academic Excellence Scholarship. Incoming freshmen from other states are eligible for several scholarships as well, including the $15,000 Outstanding Scholar Award, the $11,000 Dean's Recognition Scholarship and the $7,000 IUPUI Service Award.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

  • Advanced Placement Credit

30,105 Students

Ball State University

Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana is a public research university with notable entertainment industry alums like Late Show host David Letterman and Three's Company star Joyce DeWitt. More than 75% of Ball State students receive some sort of financial aid, with 46% of full-time beginning undergraduate students receiving institutional grants or scholarships. More than 500 institutional scholarships are awarded each year to students who excel in academics, creative arts, or athletics, or have outstanding leadership abilities. Ball State also offers tuition waivers to Ball State employees and their immediate families, graduate assistants and resident hall assistants.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

  • Advanced Placement Credit

21,196 Students

Franklin College

Located in a small town near Indianapolis, Franklin College offers about 50 undergraduate majors. More than 40 percent of students participate in varsity sports, represented by a grizzly bear mascot. Franklin administers more than $29 million in financial aid annually, including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. Students with a qualifying GPA and high test scores are eligible for academic scholarships of up to $18,000. Students from underrepresented populations may be eligible for Aspire Scholarships, with awards of up to $10,000. Music, art, and theater students can apply for talent awards. The college has been designated military friendly, accepts GI Bill benefits, and participates in the Yellow Ribbon program that grants additional funding to veterans.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

  • Advanced Placement Credit

1,087 Students

Marian University

Marian University in Indianapolis is a private, Catholic institution that offers 41 undergraduate majors, including nursing, and is also home to a college of osteopathic medicine and other graduate programs. It was rated No. 30 in the 2018 U.S. News rankings of Best Value Schools among Midwestern universities. Essentially all full-time freshmen receive scholarships or grants, and the college annually administers more than $32 million in financial aid - including merit and need-based grants, scholarships, and work-study programs - whether the money comes from the university or from federal or state sources. Four-fifths of all students receive need-based grants. Available scholarships include academic, athletic, faith, and talent.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

  • Advanced Placement Credit

2,897 Students

How to Transfer College Credits in Indiana

College students in Indiana benefit from a clear, easy-to-use college credit transfer system. Students can take advantage of a statewide common curriculum, common numbering system and transferable general education core. Additionally, Indiana students are guaranteed transfer of associate degrees.

The Indiana Commission on Higher Education has developed a statewide common curriculum and numbering system that clarifies the application of college credit between public educational institutions in Indiana. This is what’s known as the Indiana Core Transfer Library. In this library of courses, you’ll find credits that transfer among all Indiana public colleges. The courses meet general education or free elective requirements of undergraduate degree programs, and perhaps most importantly, most Core Transfer Library courses count as equivalents to courses at other public colleges and universities in Indiana.

Students who have completed an associate degree can take advantage of statewide guaranteed transfer. That means if you hold an associate degree, you will be considered to have met at least 30 credit hours of the general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Further, all 60 hours of your completed associate degree will be applied as credit to your bachelor’s degree.

Even if you haven’t completed an associate degree, your undergraduate general education courses can be applied to a degree. Any student who has completed the statewide transfer general education core will not be required to complete additional courses upon transfer to a new institution; this block of 30 credit hours will count toward general education core requirements. Dual credit and AP examination credits will apply.

Some colleges and universities in Indiana offer pathway programs. In these programs, students begin their studies at a community college or technical school and complete semesters there until they are considered “program ready,” at which point they can enroll in courses at a four-year institution. However, they must maintain continued eligibility by attending school full time, meeting with academic advisors from both schools, participating in community-building activities, and maintaining certain grade standards.

Students who want to project how courses will transfer in the future can use Transferology, Indiana’s tool for transfer planning. This resource shares course equivalencies, program requirements and evaluations of transfer work across programs. You can also enter and store coursework for future reference and planning.

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State Financial Aid for Indiana Students

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education, which oversees funds to students attending public and private colleges in the state, is the agency responsible for making college affordable. From its website, you’ll be able to apply for scholarships, check on application deadlines and appeal financial aid decisions that don’t go your way. The state also gives grants to secondary schools and organizations that help low-income students prepare for college for cheap. Schools and organizations can use these funds for many purposes, such as SAT prep, FAFSA assistance and college visits.

Indiana Student Grants

Adult Student Grant

Summary: As part of the You Can. Go Back. campaign, adults with college credits but without a college degree can receive a $1,000 grant to continue their education.

Eligibility: Financially independent Hoosiers with an expected family contribution (EFC) of $1,500 or less according to their FAFSA are eligible for a grant to enroll in a certificate, associate or bachelor’s program.

How to Apply: Submit the FAFSA and the Adult Student Grant Application as soon after January 1st as possible, as the awards are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Frank O’Bannon Grant

Summary: Full-time public college students can earn up to $3,700 per year for tuition and fees — and private college students twice that — through this need-based grant that rewards students for staying on track with graduation timelines.

Eligibility: Indiana residents attending — or intending to enroll in — a certificate, associate or bachelor’s program full time within Indiana are automatically eligible.

How to Apply: Submit the FAFSA by March 10th.

Indiana Student Scholarships

21st Century Scholarship

Summary: Junior high school students can get a head start on college by registering for the Scholar Success Program. If they stick to it, they’ll earn up to the full cost of tuition for all four years of college, depending upon their financial need.

Eligibility: Only Indiana residents in the seventh or eighth grade at a public or private high school in the state can apply, and they must come from low-income families. Once they must earn a 2.5 overall GPA on their way to a Core 40 diploma.

How to Apply: Apply online here.

Mitch Daniels Early Graduation Scholarship

Summary: This $4,000 scholarship goes to students who graduated from an Indiana public high school early.

Eligibility: Indiana residents who attended public high school for the final year before graduation and earned a Core 40 high school diploma by the end of grade 11 are eligible if they start college classes within five months.

How to Apply: Submit the FAFSA by March 10th and the Mitch Daniels Early Graduation Scholarship Application by September 4th.

Unlimited Horizons Scholarship

Summary: This is a full scholarship specifically for African-American students to attend Vincennes University. Funded in part by the state, the scholarship covers tuition, fees, room and board, and books for all four years.

Eligibility: Students must earn a 2.25 GPA in high school to be eligible.

How to Apply: Submit the FAFSA and an Unlimited Horizons Scholarship application by April 1st.

William A. Crawford Minority Teacher Scholarship

Summary: Black and Hispanic students who agree to teach in Indiana for three years after becoming certified can receive a renewable scholarship to use toward tuition.

Eligibility: Indiana residents studying full time as undergrads at a school of education in Indiana are eligible.

How to Apply: Submit the FAFSA at any point prior to submitting the William A. Crawford Minority Teacher Scholarship Application, which is due by September 4th.

Indiana Student Loans & Repayment Programs

Mental Health and Addiction Services Loan Repayment Assistance Program

Summary: Mental and behavioral health professionals — psychiatrists, psychologists, addiction counselors, social workers, therapists or mental health counselors — who are licensed (or on a licensure track) and establishing their careers in Indiana can get up to 25 percent of their student loan debt paid off.

Eligibility: Indiana residents who recently graduated from college (not necessarily in Indiana) and are setting up shop in the state to work full time in their field are eligible, provided they are not defaulting on any federal loans.

How to Apply: Apply online by February 15th. Give yourself adequate time to fill out the multiple application components, which include an employer verification form, loan verification forms, transcripts and a signed service agreement.

Richard M. Givan Loan Repayment Assistance Program

Summary: The Indiana Bar Foundation gives up to $5,000 in loan relief to law school graduates who work at nonprofits that help low-income Indianans with civil legal troubles.

Eligibility: Licensed attorneys who are active in the Indiana State Bar Association can apply if they make under $50,000 working at an office that provides civil legal aid.

How to Apply: Submit an application, along with lender and employment verification forms, by September 30th.

Education Assistance for Indiana Military & Veterans

Children and Spouse of Indiana National Guard Supplemental Grant

Summary: This award pays the difference between other grants awarded and full tuition so that dependents and partners of Indiana National Guard members who died while serving can attend any school in the state.

Eligibility:Spouses and biological and adopted children who are Indiana residents can apply after being accepted to a college in Indiana.

How to Apply: Submit the FAFSA by March 10th. File the Children and Spouse of Indiana National Guard Application along with supporting documents to the Military Department of Indiana at least one month before the semester begins.

Children and Spouse of Public Safety Officer Supplemental Grant

Summary: This award guarantees full tuition to dependents and partners of Indiana public safety officers who were disabled or killed while serving.

Eligibility: Biological and adopted children are eligible, as are officers’ spouses, once they are accepted to a higher education program in Indiana. There is some fine print.

How to Apply: File the FAFSA, and submit the application and supporting documents to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education at least one month before the semester begins.

Indiana Purple Heart Recipient Supplemental Grant

Summary: The state guarantees full tuition for 124 credit hours to any resident veteran who earned a Purple Heart.

Eligibility: Those who began active duty service as Indiana residents and have maintained their state residency qualify, as long as they have kept up with any existing student loan payments.

How to Apply: File the FAFSA, and submit the Indiana Purple Heart Recipient Application and supporting documents to the Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs at least one month before the semester begins.

National Guard Extension Scholarship

Summary: Indiana National Guard members who were honorably discharged after May 3, 2007, with eligible years remaining on their National Guard Supplemental Grant (see below) can go back to school to finish their degree.

Eligibility: There are many stipulations, including that applicants must have served overseas. It’s best to review the details on the application.

How to Apply: Submit the FAFSA by March 10th. Then, file an application and supporting documents with the Indiana Army National Guard.

National Guard Supplemental Grant

Summary: Indiana Air and Army National Guard members can get all of their tuition and fees paid at a state college.

Eligibility: Active Indiana National Guard members who want to earn their first associate or bachelor’s degree are eligible, provided they have exhausted other financial aid from the federal and state government.

How to Apply: Submit the FAFSA by March 10th. Contact your unit commander for certification. (This award must be renewed each semester.)

Soldier’s and Sailor’s Children’s Home Supplemental Grant

Summary: The state guarantees that former Morton Memorial High School students will have all of their college tuition and fees paid.

Eligibility: Former students who were admitted to the home because they were related to a military member and have retained their Indiana residence are eligible, assuming they have not defaulted on a student loan.

How to Apply: Submit the FAFSA, and file the Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home Application and supporting documents to the Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs office at least one month before the semester begins.

Tuition and Fee Exemption for Child of a Disabled Indiana Veteran, Child of an Indiana Purple Heart Recipient or Child of a Former Indiana POW/MIA

Summary: Dependents of veterans who were killed, disabled, captured or declared missing in the line of duty can get their tuition and fees paid for at a state school.

Eligibility: The basics for eligibility are simple — be the biological or adopted child of an Indiana military veteran who was killed, wounded, captured or declared missing in action — but the specifics depend on the circumstances, including date of service, age and past residency status.

How to Apply:Submit the FAFSA by March 10. Submit the Child of Disabled Veteran Application and supporting documents to the Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs at least one month before the semester begins.

Contact the Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs for more info.

Additional Support for Indiana Students

Earline S. Rogers Student Teaching Stipend for Minorities

Summary: Black and Hispanic students enrolled in education degree programs can receive a stipend to offset the costs of a student teaching placement or school administration internship. In return, they agree to work as a teacher in the state for three years.

Eligibility: Students must meet minimum GPA requirements at an undergraduate or school administration program at an Indiana college. The placement or internship must be at an approved school within the state.

How to Apply: There are two deadlines: fall and spring. For the fall, submit the FAFSA by June 30th and the Earline S. Rogers Student Teaching Stipend for Minorities Application by October 4th. For the spring, submit the two components by December 31st and January 31st, respectively.

EARN Indiana

Summary: EARN, which stands for Employment Aid Readiness Network, is a work-study program that places students with an EFC below $7,500 into paid internships relevant to their career interests.

Eligibility: State citizens who are full-time undergraduates at Indiana schools are eligible.

How to Apply: Submit the FAFSA, check your eligibility on Indiana INTERNnet, set up a profile and apply for positions.

Student Teaching Stipend for High-Needs Fields

Summary: Students who want to teach math, science or special education to middle schoolers or high schoolers receive a stipend if they agree to teach for three years in Indiana after becoming certified.

Eligibility: Undergraduates at Indiana schools are eligible, provided they are doing student teaching as part of a program leading to certification.

How to Apply: There are two deadlines: fall and spring. For the fall, submit the FAFSA by June 30th and the online application by October 4th. For the spring, submit the two components by December 31st and January 31st, respectively.

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Cheaper College Living in Indiana

The state of Indiana has made going to college cheap for many students, especially veterans and their dependents, as well as teachers. For everyone else, don’t fret: Going to college in the Hoosier State can still be affordable. If you don’t know how you could possibly get through college, even with financial aid, it’s worth looking at the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, which runs state and federal benefit programs, including the Child Care Development Fund, which lowers the cost of preschool and day care so parents can go to school; the Healthy Indiana Plan, which pays healthcare costs for low-income adults; and SNAP, which is more commonly known as food stamps.

For services related to housing, visit the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. It’s responsible for the Energy Assistance Program, which pays a portion of low-income homeowners’ utility bills in the winter; the Weatherization Assistance Program, which pays for home repairs that reduce utility bills; and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers to help families pay the rent.

One more site to try is the Indiana State Department of Health, which has information on WIC, the federal program that gives nutritious food to women who are pregnant or have small children.

On-Campus Housing

Most schools have the traditional assortment of residence halls, apartments and, sometimes, Greek houses. Having these options alone can be enough to provide students with real freedom over their spending budgets. At Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis’s residence halls, for example, students can pay low rental rates for a shared room without air conditioning or much more for a single room with their own bathroom.

A popular new addition to the on-campus housing world is living-learning communities (LLCs), which can take up a whole residence hall or a portion thereof. Ball State, for instance, has 15 LLCs that bring like-minded students together based on major (e.g., business) or interest (e.g., international/languages). Earlham College takes the concept a step further, operating “college houses” on campus that are also grouped by interest but are limited to five to 12 students who share a home.

To estimate the cost of living on campus, first try your college’s residence life website. If it’s anything like Purdue University’s, you’ll find a calculator that compares costs based on residency, program, housing location and enrollment. It gives quick estimates of what you’ll pay over the life of your degree for things like housing, food and transportation. To get a more accurate picture of your expected expenses, use this MappingYourFuture.org calculator, although you’ll have to fill out the details on your own.

Off-Campus Housing

Indiana University Kokomo is the rare college without campus housing. To make up for it, it posts an off-campus housing page on its website with some basic advice on where to look for apartments, moving assistance and furniture. There, you’ll find links to housing sites and nearby apartment complexes. Some colleges have something similar on their websites, but a few take it to the next level. Bethel University, for instance, employs a commuter coordinator who works with students living far from campus to make sure they feel like an integral part of the community.

If you’re not finding what you’re looking for, you can try independent sites like CampusRent.com. If you need something tonight, the Government of Indiana has a list of emergency and transitional shelters.


Living off campus means paying for utilities. Fortunately, utilities in Indiana cost considerably less than the national average. That does not necessarily mean everyone can afford to pay them, however. There are two statewide utility assistance programs, both run through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority: the Energy Assistance Program, which gives money to low-income families so they can keep the heat on throughout the winter, and the Weatherization Assistance Program, which funds free audits and upgrades of houses so low-income homeowners and renters can lower their utility usage, thereby reducing costs. Even if you don’t think you qualify, the latter is an excellent resource because it provides direct links to energy savings programs at the state’s utility companies, including bill credits from Vectren for turning off certain appliances in the summer and complimentary energy assessments by Indianapolis Power and Light. If you’re running into trouble with utilities, a good resource is the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s Consumer Affairs Division. Although it does not offer financial help directly, it does explain the steps you should take to apply for assistance with energy and telephone bills.

Medical & Dental

The Indiana University of Medicine has a presence throughout the state, with nine centers on IU campuses and relationships with affiliated hospitals. Although it runs one of the top hospitals in Indiana — IU Health University Hospital in Indianapolis — even students at IUPUI are more likely to access smaller campus-based clinics, which cover basic illnesses, mental health, OB/GYN visits, immunizations and family planning. IUPUI’s two clinics run programs providing free flu shots, wellness screenings and tests for STDs, pregnancy and strep throat. Some smaller schools may do things a bit differently. Huntington University, for instance, outsources student health services to a nearby clinic that students must have insurance to use.

Off campus, the choices widen. Butler University maintains a county-by-county directory of free and sliding scale clinics with everything from primary care to pediatric medicine. If you need family planning specifically, the 40 clinics under the Indiana Family Health Council all offer it on a sliding scale. And in terms of dental work, Oral Health Solutions, a program under the Indiana University School of Dentistry, produces a directory of “safety-net” dental clinics that have free and low-cost programs. It includes services available at the IUPUI-based school and state dental hygiene schools. Last, the Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers has a list of 25 mental health providers, though they are not necessarily cheap. For that, you are better off using NeedyMeds.org and doing a keyword search for “mental health.”

Child Care

Big schools have on-campus child care as a perk to attract students with families. For instance, there’s the Panther Cubs Child Care at Purdue University North Central and the IU Southeast Children’s Center, both of which offer discounts to students. Find more options off campus at Paths to QUALITY, a statewide ranking of child care providers. If you need help paying for one of these programs, apply for a subsidy with the Child Care and Development Fund.


Getting to and from classes — and being able to get off campus easily — is a major concern for college students. Indiana University’s main campus in Bloomington has its own campus bus service, which moves students and faculty around for free from 7:30 am to at least midnight on weekdays. Have to step off campus? IU students can also get around town for free on Bloomington Transit. Even smaller colleges such as Earlham, with just over 1,000 undergraduates, has some free transportation, with its Department of Public Safety giving free rides to students around the campus.

Before shelling out full price for bus fare — or, more significantly, buying a car — check both your college website and city transportation website for student deals. You might find something like IndyGo, Indianapolis’s mass transportation system, which gives half-price monthlong bus passes to students from participating colleges, including IUPUI. Or you may discover the Fort Wayne Citilink bus system, which sells discounted passes to Ivy Tech, IPFW and Indiana Tech students.


A campus meal plan isn’t always affordable or enough, and many colleges realize that. To combat student hunger, these schools have established on-campus food pantries. Indiana University South Bend has Titans Feeding Titans, IUPUI has Paw’s Pantry, and Ball State has Cardinal Kitchen, just to name three examples. Check your school to see if it has one. If not, explore the state health department’s map of food pantries and soup kitchens. And if you have a baby — or if one is on the way — see if you qualify for free food through the Women, Infants and Children Program.

SEE ALSO: Our Encyclopedic Guide to Saving Money as a College Student.

Find Support in Your Area

College in Indianapolis on a Budget

Indianapolis is home to several colleges, including IUPUI downtown. The city has a reasonable cost of living, although healthcare can be pricey. This is offset by low transportation, child care and housing costs. Students with medical needs, then, should look into free offerings from their campus clinics — get those shots!

Where to Go for Help in Indianapolis

As one of the largest cities in the Midwest, Indianapolis is stacked with government and nonprofit organizations that provide financial and other assistance to residents who need it. Here are a few organizations doing good work in the city and its surrounding areas:

  • Community Action of Greater Indianapolis works in several arenas, including energy assistance, by administering the local Energy Assistance Program and Weatherization Assistance Program; affordable housing, by maintaining its own properties for rent at below-market prices; and, when needed, emergency assistance to find food, get money or locate a place to stay.
  • Family Development Services is the only organization running Head Start programs in Indianapolis; it provides child care to low-income families at nine locations across the city.
  • Indianapolis Housing Agency exists to make high-quality housing available to everyone. It runs the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, so residents can rent private housing. But it also maintains five beautiful apartment complexes downtown that are either subsidized or place income caps on renters.
  • St. Vincent de Paul‘s Indianapolis food pantry is the largest in the Midwest. It also arranges microloans of up to $500, has attorneys to assist people with civil legal issues such as landlord disputes, and operates the Gennesaret Free Walk-in Clinic.

Need a different type of support? You can probably find it at Connect2Help211.org.

College in Fort Wayne on a Budget

Fort Wayne isn’t even a third of the size of Indianapolis, but it still has a number of colleges and universities. From our list, Huntington University is the closest, at about 30 miles away. Like Indianapolis, Fort Wayne has higher-than-average healthcare costs, but these are dwarfed by very low housing prices. Therefore, Fort Wayne has a lower cost of living than the state as a whole, making its schools attractive options for students on a budget.

Where to Go for Help in Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne has all the social services one could hope for in a mid-sized city. Here are some examples of what students on a strict budget will find:

  • Brightpoint administers Head Start and Early Head Start classes, the Neighborhood Impact Program to help homeowners with needed repairs, child care subsidies for children under 13, and health insurance for children through the Covering Kids and Families program.
  • Early Childhood Alliance runs two learning centers for children up to kindergarten as well as before- and after-school programs for children from four area primary schools. Fees can be paid on a sliding scale or with Child Care and Development Fund vouchers.
  • Fort Wayne Housing Authority owns 750 units reserved for people with low incomes. It has everything from one-bedroom apartments to standalone homes.
  • Lutheran Social Services does a little of everything. Its Children’s Village is a low-cost preschool, the Cup of Kindness program teaches financial literacy, and the Gear Up Program provides new parents with everything they need to keep their children safe, including car seats and baby gates.

Again, this is just a sampling for what Fort Wayne has to offer. Indiana University—Purdue University Fort Wayne’s Center for Women and Returning Adults has a great database detailing other services in the area.

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College in Evansville on a Budget

With just over 115,000 residents, Evansville proper can support far fewer colleges than Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. Still, a private liberal arts college, University of Evansville, is located in town and the mid-sized University of Southern Indiana is nearby. Students there may notice that due to high healthcare costs, Evansville is about as expensive as anywhere else in the U.S. But if students have no major health concerns and are comfortable with their insurance, they can take advantage of low housing, child care and transportation costs.

Where to Go for Help in Evansville

Though modestly sized, Evansville still has all the support services you’d expect of a much larger city. Here are a few:

  • Bank on Evansville offers free and low-cost checking accounts, even to people who have had trouble opening bank accounts in the past. It also has online and in-person classes on budgeting, balancing a checkbook, increasing credit scores, managing debt and saving.
  • Carver Community Organization has your child care needs covered. Its fees for pre-K child care are based on income, and its after-school youth programs for K-12 children, which encompass everything from leadership to sports to nutrition, are open to everyone regardless of their financial situation.
  • Community Action Program of Evansville is the area focal point for several government programs, including energy assistance, Head Start and individual development accounts, which provide matching funds to people who save money to go to college.
  • Evansville Housing Authority owns and maintains seven apartment complexes in the city along with individual homes. One advantage of living in EHA-owned housing is that some have after-school programs and summer feeding programs for youth, enabling further savings.

The Vanderburgh County Community Resource Guide has more in the way of nonprofit and government services. You can also try the United Way of Southwestern Indiana Community Resource Directory. Though its geographic reach is broader then the resource guide, it’s much easier to navigate.


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