Ball State UniversityEastern Indiana Normal School opened in 1876 and provided students with educational and teaching classes and programs. Tuition was just $10, which included room and board. After the normal school closed down, a man purchased the campus and operated it for several years under the name Palmer College. The school remained fairly small until it received a $100,000 donation, which allowed it to once again become a normal school that prepared teachers for leading students in classrooms throughout the state. Though it went through at least three more name changes over the years, this campus officially became Ball State University in the 1960s.

Ball State University, or Ball State as locals call it, is a large public university located in the east-central town of Muncie. Though the college gained a poor reputation when a website named it one of the worst colleges for Internet users, it worked hard to change that reputation and create a new wireless network for its students and faculty. Washington Monthly listed Ball State at number 233 on its list of top public colleges, and U.S. News and World Report listed it slightly higher at number 181. More than 21,000 students, including more than 4,000 graduate and doctoral students now attend Ball State.

Ball State University Accreditation Details

Students should never enroll in a college or university without first ensuring that the college has accreditation from a top organization. The Higher Learning Commission, also known as the HLC, is the largest organization of its type. It actually consists of six separate agencies operating under the HLC, and it allows one agency to represent one large section of the country. The HLC performs an initial inspection after a college requests accreditation. It will then return at least once every 10 years to make sure the school still meets its minimum standards for accreditation. Ball State has accreditation from the HLC through its Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Those enrolling in one of the educational programs may also find themselves interested in the accreditation of those programs and the memberships associated with the school. Ball State has accreditation from the Indiana Department of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. It is also a member of American Council on Education, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, National University Continuing Education Association and Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Those organizations offer additional experiences and opportunities for students.

Ball State University Application Requirements

Ball State University only accepts a small number of the students who apply every year, and the university is particularly selective when it comes to its graduate and doctoral programs. Those applying for admission to the educational studies program must submit their scores from the General Records Examination. Also known as the GRE, this examination is similar to the ACT or SAT and tests students on their reasoning, writing and other skills. All students applying to graduate programs must apply online, answer the questions on the application and pay the required fee. Each graduate program has its own requirements for applicants.

The educational studies program requests that students submit a current and up to date resume and a detailed cover letter that explains why they want to enroll and what they hope to get out of the program. The university also asks that student submit an autobiography and proof of their reading and writing skills such as a report or project they worked on in graduate school. Students will also submit three letters of recommendation. Ball States admissions department looks at all aspects of a student’s application and weighs each factor carefully to determine whether the student will do well in the program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The first step students must take before gaining any financial assistance from Ball State is the completion of the Free Application for Student Financial Aid. Students under a certain age must used their parents’ income information unless they are legally independent, a member of the military or married. The university will base a student’s need on the responses given on that document. Most students qualify for subsidized or unsubsidized loans from the government, and some students qualify for one or more loans. They may also qualify for parental loans, work study programs and government grants. Doctoral students can qualify for an assistantship, which comes with free tuition and a stipend for supplies and expenses.

Ball State estimates the cost of attending its school at around $17,000 for Indiana residents and around $29,000 for students from other states. This covers the cost of tuition, room and board and any associated fees but does not include textbooks and other supplies. Students living on campus may see their fees rise based on where they live. Those who live off campus can avoid paying the more than $8,000 the school charges for room and board. The cost of tuition for online students and those living off campus ranges from around $4,000 to $10,000 per semester.

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision

The Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies at Ball State University is a 90 credit hour program designed to help students keep up with the challenges they’ll face in the classroom and with the demands that new technology puts on them. All students take 26 credits of courses on researching new topics in education and general educational studies classes. Fourteen of those credits will come from research classes on statistics and methodologies and twelve credits are on the philosophy behind education and curriculum development. Students can then select a concentration on curriculum development, educational technology or the history, philosophy and sociology of education. They take 24 additional credits in their core concentration area.

Each of those concentrations requires that students gain some practical experience in the field. They earn between three and nine credits for working in local schools and libraries. Educational studies students must also complete a dissertation worth an additional 10 credits prior to graduating. They work closely with a professor in the program who acts as an advisor and gives them help and feedback about the topic they choose and helps them as they complete their work. Ball State University has similar requirements in place for students who want to complete an educational studies degree online.