Indiana Wesleyan University opened as the Marion Normal College in 1892 in Marion, Indiana. The college them became the Marion Normal Institute and operated for several years before merging with another normal school nearby. Normal schools of that time offered education classes and trained students for working in schools across the country. As the city still had a campus and several buildings available, locals helped found Marion College in 1920, which later became Indiana Wesleyan University. IWU spent decades as a liberal arts school that offered classes in humanities topics before adding some technology programs in later years.
According to U.S. News and World Report, IWU is among the top colleges in the Midwest. The university saw itself moving further up this list over the last few years. It also ranks as one of the top regional colleges in a report later issued by the same organization. The university also received some recognition for its commitment to adult students and for the programs it launched to help students who wanted to go back to school. Though IWU still has its main campus in Marion, it also offers online classes and operates some satellite campuses. Its total enrollment across all campuses is now more than 10,000 with fewer than 3,000 students attending classes on the Marion campus.
All students interested in attending Indiana Wesleyan University should learn more about the accreditation process before enrolling. The accreditation process begins with the school seeking recognition from a regional organization or agency. Students applying for financial aid from the government will need to attend an accredited university to obtain that support. Indiana Wesleyan University has regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Students may have some interest in program accreditation as well, which is only available for specific programs. Some of the program accreditation given to Indiana Wesleyan University comes from organizations that include:
- Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
- Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
- National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission
- American Music Therapy Association
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- National Association of Schools of Music
- Association of Theological Schools
- Council on Education for Public Health
- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
- Council on Social Work Education
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
Indiana Wesleyan University created its online program as a way to assist students who did not have a college degree and those who only earned a few credits. Applying to one of the online programs is easy because you only need some basic information. IWU requests that you fill out a simple form on the website that includes your email address, home address, phone number, age and the program that interests you. A representative will then contact you and walk you step by step through the admissions process. Those applying for one of the graduate programs will need to complete this form as well. Graduate students will generally need to take the GRE or a similar examination, submit transcripts from their colleges and send in letters of recommendation too.
Students who want to attend the IWU main campus or one of its satellite campuses will need to create an online account that includes a valid email address and a password of the student’s choosing. The online application will ask you about your future major, what you hope to do with your degree, why you selected the university and some other simple questions. You will also need to list a valid home address and phone number on your application, submit your scores from the SAT or ACT and submit an official high school transcript.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Unlike other schools that offer tuition discounts for students who live in the same state, Indiana Wesleyan University believes that all students deserve the right to affordable education opportunities. The university charges the same tuition rates for all students, including those who live on campus and those who commute. Tuition costs at IWU come in at around $27,000 a semester. It estimates that those who live on campus will also pay around $8,000 a year for room and board. Students will also pay for their own textbooks, school supplies and any other living expenses.
IWU works hard to help students attend college. In 2014 alone, the university awarded financial aid packages that totaled more than $29 million. University graduates typically leave the school with less than $20,000 in loans, which is far below the national average. While most students do receive subsidized and unsubsidized government loans, the university also offers work-study jobs on campus, grants and scholarships. Scholarships and grants are financial aid packages that students do not pay back later, and work-study jobs let them make some extra money every year. IWU recommends that students interested in financial aid complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after receiving an acceptance letter.
Online Education Degrees
Since beginning a continuing education program for adults, Indiana Wesleyan University looked for other ways to help professional students and those who didn’t want to live on campus. This led to the university launching its own online program that lets students earn a degree without every visiting campus. One of the more popular of those online programs is one that awards graduating students with a Master of Education. Students have the option of selecting a concentration, and many students earn a Special Education degree graduate degree.
Designed for teachers who have an interest in working with special needs students and students with disabilities, this program prepares you for working as a teacher, guidance counselor, principal and in other educational positions. It is a 33 credit hour program that meets the requirements for obtaining a teaching license in Indiana and in other select states. The program consists of 18 credit hours of core courses six classes on special education topics. One of the last courses you take is a seminar that lets you learn from a professional educator. You’ll then select a topic that relates to the course, conduct independent research and write a paper based on your research. Indiana Wesleyan University offers financial aid packages for online graduate students that you can use for your courses, textbooks and any other things you need.