Connecticut has 17 universities and colleges. More than 79,000 students are enrolled in Connecticut's private institutions, and more than 122,000 students are enrolled in Connecticut's public colleges. Yet with so many options, how does a student find the right one for them? It's not easy, but for many it comes down to identifying the school with the cost, quality and amenities they need to maximize their chance for success. Learn which online colleges in Connecticut are changing higher education in the state, and what that means for college students of today and tomorrow.
5 Best Online Colleges in Connecticut
Although Connecticut is the third-smallest state in the country, the Constitutional State offers ample college options. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 80,000 students attend private schools in Connecticut, and 117,345 attend public schools in the state.
Choosing a high-quality, affordable online program that fits your needs can seem daunting. This guide can help you find the most affordable online schools and colleges in Connecticut. The following sections also provide information about scholarships and grants that can offset your educational expenses.
These rankings include
#1 Online Schools and Colleges in Connecticut
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
The academic programs at Quinnipiac University meet the highest standards for online learning. The private institution's 2,156 online students can choose from five online programs, which they can complete from any location. Many online programs require no set class times or in-person components, making them ideal for learners with other responsibilities.
A supportive online learning community helps online enrollees succeed. Internship opportunities help participants improve their professional credentials. Academic advisors help learners select classes and ensure they are on track to graduate.
To pay for their education, degree-seekers can consider institutional aid and external funding, such as federal loans and private scholarship programs. Students can consult financial aid officers for information about institutional and outside funding options. The school reports that 99% of enrollees receive financial aid of some kind, which can help them fund their degree.
#2 Online Schools and Colleges in Connecticut
Sacred Heart University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Sacred Heart University delivers high-quality, flexible online programs. Based in Fairfield, the school offers six online programs for distance students. The institution delivers its remote programming to 3,111 online enrollees.
The school fosters a strong online learning community, featuring collaborative opportunities. Participants can communicate with peers through chat and videoconferencing. In addition to completing internships, students can conduct original research to gain professional experience and impress employers after graduation. The institution provides online resources to support distance learners during their studies. To prepare for their job search, enrollees can attend networking events and access career services such as resume assistance.
Many students apply for financial aid to reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. The financial aid office can help learners identify funding options to pursue, such as grants and scholarships. To help pay for their educational program, 100% of enrollees receive financial aid, according to the institution.
#3 Online Schools and Colleges in Connecticut
Albertus Magnus College
New Haven, CT
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Albertus Magnus College offers online programs of premier quality. Located in New Haven, the school boasts a robust online learning community, supporting 692 remote enrollees across 21 programs. Online programs offer flexible scheduling options, which can be ideal for working professionals and other busy learners.
Students earning a degree online can participate in discussions and receive assistance from professors through the virtual learning platform. Learners receive opportunities to collaborate on research projects with professors, bolstering their resume and preparing for careers in their field. The institution's career center provides enrollees with resources such as resume assistance and interest inventories. Students who are apprehensive about the interview process can take advantage of mock interviews to prepare for their job search.
When preparing for the costs of education, applicants can speak with a financial aid counselor to explore funding opportunities. The federal government supports enrollees with financial need through loans, grants, and work-study programs. With 99% of the student body receiving financial aid, the school's programs can be very affordable.
#4 Online Schools and Colleges in Connecticut
University of Hartford
West Hartford, CT
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
With top-quality online programming, University of Hartford provides a variety of options for students pursuing their degree online. Along with five online programs, the private school delivers in-person classes at its campus in West Hartford. The institution's 1,232 online learners benefit from institutional resources, such as career counseling and tutoring.
Online enrollees can use the virtual classroom environment to communicate individually and foster professional relationships with peers and faculty members. In addition to completing general education requirements, learners take advanced courses in their field. Students discuss their plans with academic advisors to select electives that match their goals and interests. Experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, help enrollees practice working in a professional environment.
The financial aid office can provide information about funding options to help applicants reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Students can apply for need-based and merit-based awards.
#5 Online Schools and Colleges in Connecticut
University of New Haven
West Haven, CT
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Enrollees who plan to study online can pursue a variety of excellent remote programs from University of New Haven. The school's seven online programs provide a plethora of options for its 1,875 distance learners. Flexible scheduling and enrollment options allow online students to earn their degree faster than many on-campus learners.
Enrollees connect with classmates and faculty members through a virtual classroom environment. To impress prospective employers, degree-seekers often complete internships and original research during their online program. Institutional resources, including career services and academic advising, help students succeed in their online program. Learners find support and guidance as they near the end of their program and have the option to participate in career workshops, mock interviews, and job fairs.
Students may pay different costs and fees based on their program. Before enrolling, applicants should discuss full program costs with an admissions counselor. Funding options including scholarships, grants, and federal aid can reduce the financial burden of earning a degree.
How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I'm Looking for in Connecticut?
Employing an organized strategy can help you find the online program that best suits your needs and budget. Below are steps you can take during your research:
- Make a list of preferences.
- Researching tuition rates.
- Examining each program's curricula.
- Review graduation rates.
How Much More Do College Grads in Connecticut Make?
Earning a college degree generally leads to higher earning potential in Connecticut. Data from the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Employment and Wages shows that individuals earn higher salaries after obtaining a degree. The median quarterly salary of Connecticut State College students increased $8,719 after they graduated with a bachelor's degree. The table below shows that, nationally, higher education levels tend to correlate with higher annual salaries.
|Less Than a High School Diploma||High School Diploma||Associate Degree||Bachelor's Degree||Master's Degree||Doctoral Degree|
Paying for Online College in Connecticut: Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition rates depend on the student's school and residency status. For the 2017-2018 academic year, Connecticut residents attending public colleges paid an average of $12,355 in tuition, while out-of-state students paid an average of $33,741, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This does not include the cost of books, fees, housing, or transportation.
The tables below detail the typical cost of tuition and fees throughout the United States.
|Types of Schools||In-State Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||National Average|
|Public||$7,924||$20,061||$9,037 (In-State); $25,657 (Out-of-State)|
Cost Considerations for Online Students in Connecticut
In addition to tuition costs, prospective students should consider fees and expenses when setting their budget. Below are some factors that can impact the overall cost of earning a degree.
Online and hybrid programs often require a technology fee that covers the cost of the online distance learning platform and technical support.
Colleges often charge higher tuition rates for courses that require additional learning materials or the use of external facilities.
When students take credits beyond full-time status, they may incur charges at 120-200% of the tuition rate.
Summer and Winter Rates
Taking classes during winter and summer semesters can help students graduate more quickly, but these courses often cost more than spring and fall classes.
Schools may charge fees for late tuition payments and when students pay only part of their total tuition costs by the deadline.
Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Connecticut
According to the residency requirements outlined in the Connecticut General Statutes, students must have a "permanent physical presence within this state" to qualify for residency status. To qualify for in-state tuition rates, learners must submit proof of Connecticut residency with their college application.
To qualify for in-state tuition, students must show proof of employment or residence in Connecticut for the last six months. Several circumstances exempt students from these rules. For instance, learners with a parent or spouse who is in the military and who meets residency requirements can receive in-state tuition rates. Colleges may also charge in-state tuition rates for all distance learners, regardless of residency.
Paying for College in Connecticut: Scholarships and Financial Aid
Most students need financial assistance to fund their college education. Learners can use loans to reduce the financial burden. However, scholarships and grants are ideal forms of funding, since they do not require repayment. Below are scholarships and grants available to students attending online schools and colleges in Connecticut.
Scholarships for Connecticut College Students
Who Can Apply: Connecticut high school juniors who demonstrate "ethical behavior and personal integrity" can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must submit an essay and video, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.
Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports college juniors and seniors with financial need. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and reside in Providence, Philadelphia, New York, New Haven, Boston, or Los Angeles.
Who Can Apply: NEBHE offers tuition discounts to more than 1,200 out-of-state students pursuing degrees at public colleges in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
Who Can Apply: This four-year scholarship goes to four New York- or Connecticut-based recipients per year. Candidates must be high school juniors, high school seniors, or college freshmen who have creatively solved a problem in their community or school.
Amount: $5,000 per student
Who Can Apply: The Connecticut Community Foundation offers 47 different scholarships for full-time college students.
Amount:$500 to $3,000
Grants for Connecticut College Students
Grants deliver funding based on financial need. Many grants are reserved for students who plan to work in high-need areas. Below are five grants for Connecticut students.
Who Can Apply: Applicants must be a part-time or full-time student at a private college or university and must demonstrate financial need.
Who Can Apply: This grant supports Connecticut state residents attending two- or four-year public colleges. Applicants must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Who Can Apply: This grant helps students who cannot meet eligibility requirements for a Pell Grant. Applicants must have a parent or guardian who served in the armed forces and died in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Who Can Apply: Minority students who plan to teach in Connecticut can receive this grant, which provides $5,000 per year for two years. The grant also provides up to $2,500 per year of teaching, for up to four years.
Who Can Apply: Connecticut residents attending two- or four-year public colleges or universities with financial need can receive this state-funded grant.
The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Connecticut
Accreditation indicates a school has undergone evaluation by an independent accrediting agency. Approval by an accrediting agency ensures the institution's programs meet academic standards. The sections below describe the different types of accreditation and methods for determining a school's accreditation status.
Regional and National AccreditationNational and regional accreditation are the primary types of institutional accreditation in the United States. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges awards regional accreditation to Connecticut institutions. National accrediting agencies include the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Vocational and technical schools typically receive national accreditation, while traditional two- and four-year colleges generally hold regional accreditation.
Subject-Specific AccreditationPrograms and departments may hold subject-specific accreditation. There are field-specific accrediting bodies for areas of study including nursing, psychology, education, and business. For example, the teacher certification program at Connecticut College holds accreditation from the Connecticut State Department of Education.
How to Know if Your School or Program is AccreditedAccredited schools and programs generally state their accreditation status online. If a school's website does not display accreditation status, check the databases of relevant accrediting agencies. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation and College Source Online maintain searchable databases of accredited schools and programs.
Online College and Adult Education in Connecticut
Many colleges offer tuition discounts and other incentives to help adult learners return to college. Online programs often appeal to returning students who need flexible scheduling options.
Adult Education Programs for Connecticut Students
Online College Resources for Connecticut Students
Prospective distance learners can access support through online resources. The tools below can help students find financial aid opportunities and the best program for their needs.