Online Schools and Colleges in Connecticut

Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools

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.

Best Online Colleges in Connecticut 2020

Best Online Schools

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.

Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 Middlesex Community College Middletown, CT Tuition $3,720 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 19% Financial Aid 30% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
2 Manchester Community College Manchester, CT Tuition $3,720 # of Online Programs 3 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 18% Financial Aid 22% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
3 Capital Community College Hartford, CT Tuition $3,720 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 11% Financial Aid 15% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
4 Asnuntuck Community College Enfield, CT Tuition $3,720 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 44% Financial Aid 35% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
5 Tunxis Community College Farmington, CT Tuition $3,720 # of Online Programs 3 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 12% Financial Aid 39% Credit For Experience No Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT Tuition $41,990 # of Online Programs 10 Acceptance Rate 76% Graduation Rate 77% Financial Aid 93% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Quinnipiac University's online programs highlight both career advancement and flexibility, thanks to its asynchronous delivery of courses, making them accessible wherever and whenever students find it convenient. It is committed to student support, which is demonstrated through academic advisers, who remain with students throughout their programs. Quinnipiac offers 100% online, upper-level bachelor's degrees in business, health sciences and nursing; master's programs in business, communications, education, engineering and nursing; doctoral programs in occupational therapy and nursing; and a variety of certificate programs. The master's programs can be completed in about 2 years.

2 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT Tuition $38,050 # of Online Programs 8 Acceptance Rate 57% Graduation Rate 68% Financial Aid 98% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

As the second-largest Catholic University in New England, Sacred Heart University boasts a place among the elite Colleges of Distinction, noted for its level of student engagement, quality instruction and successful student oucomes. Its high-quality online offerings include individual online courses and complete online programs. Sacred Heart offers a bachelor's in nursing and a variety of master's degree programs and certificates, including healthcare informatics, nursing, applied psychology and social work. For some programs, such as social work, students can apply for "advanced standing" with prior education in the field to earn their master's degrees in just a year. In other programs, students can expect to earn the degree in 2 year or more.

3 Albertus Magnus College New Haven, CT Tuition $30,036 # of Online Programs 13 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 51% Financial Aid 77% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

For students who are looking for the flexibility to decide whether they want to take fully online courses, mix it up with on-ground courses or even work on accelerated schedules, Albertus Magnus College provides its Online and Flex Programs, which provide highly customizable education experiences. Because the school has been designing innovative, accelerated courses for working adults since 1985, it has experience in adapting its education offerings for busy students. Available Online and Flex program offerings include bachelor's and master's programs in degrees in arts and sciences, social sciences, business and leadership. The accelerated, 8-week-long classes provide students the opportunity to work quickly through degree programs to career advancement.

4 University of Hartford West Hartford, CT Tuition $35,036 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate 72% Graduation Rate 56% Financial Aid 98% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

The University of Hartford sees its standout offering for online courses as personal attention, from the interaction available with the full-time professors teaching the courses to the option to attend courses on campus for a blended experience, to the career guidance provided to students. This personal touch extends to program offerings, which include a variety of online undergraduate courses and the 100% online master's programs in business administration, education (special education and Montessori concentrations), accounting and taxation, management, nursing and organizational psychology. Programs require between 30-36 credit hours, taking at least 2 years to complete.

5 University of New Haven West Haven, CT Tuition $35,700 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate 81% Graduation Rate 50% Financial Aid 96% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

University of New Haven touts that 96% of their alumni report having success in their chosen fields within 6 years of graduating. The university's focus on career development is clear through its 4 online master's degree programs that focus on in-demand careers in specialized professions: criminal justice, emergency management, environmental engineering and investigations. The master's in investigations (a 1-year, 10-course degree) is the first of its kind in the country focusing on white-collar crime in the criminal justice field. The other 3 programs require between 30-36 credit hours and, taken full time, will each take 2 years to complete.

6 University of Bridgeport Bridgeport, CT Tuition $29,550 # of Online Programs 13 Acceptance Rate 58% Graduation Rate 30% Financial Aid 95% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

As the first university in Connecticut to offer an online degree program, University of Bridgeport has a lot of experience and history behind its online programming. Since launching its master's degree in human nutrition in 1997, the school has expanded its online offerings to 12 programs for undergraduates (in dental hygiene, general studies, professional studies, psychology and RN-to-BSN), graduates (including analytics and systems, business administration and global development and peace) and doctoral students (educational leadership and health sciences). The doctoral program is hybrid, which combines online and on-campus activities, but undergraduate and graduate programs are 100% online. Upon enrolling, students are each assigned an academic adviser that provides one-on-one support throughout the program.

7 University of Saint Joseph West Hartford, CT Tuition $35,220 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate 88% Graduation Rate 51% Financial Aid 73% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

University of Saint Joseph prides itself on being military friendly and dedicated to community service. Through its nuanced online programs, students experience flexibility without compromising quality. Programs are offered in fields with high projected job growth. Students can earn RN-to-BSN degrees; master's degrees in biology, biochemistry, chemistry and nutrition; doctorate degrees in nursing practice; and certificates in 5 specialized areas. The courses themselves are flexible, but the program also allows students to enter at the beginning of any semester and does not require students to take courses every semester. USJ is authorized in most states, but not all, so students outside of Connecticut should inquire before enrolling.

8 Charter Oak State College New Britain, CT Tuition $6,888 # of Online Programs 7 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes

Charter Oak State College stands out for the ability it offers students to the majority of their bachelor's degrees online. Charter Oak is exclusively an online college that offers 12 certificate and credential programs, 2 associate degrees in general studies, a master's in organizational effectiveness & leadership and its bread and butter, a host of bachelor's degree programs with varying concentrations, including degree completion programs in business, health care, public safety and cybersecurity. Charter Oak also offers students alternative ways to earn credit for a portion of their coursework, for such things as prior learning, credentials, testing, training or portfolios.

9 Holy Apostles College and Seminary Cromwell, CT Tuition $7,680 # of Online Programs 7 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes

For seminarians and lay people alike, Holy Apostles College and Seminary offers a unique online liberal arts education experience based in Catholicism and designed to create future religious and spiritual leaders. While many courses are taken in person, undergraduate students have a wide variety of online courses available to them, including apologetics, reading science in light of faith and historical knowledge & human good. Undergraduate, graduate and seminary degrees and certificates in philosophy, theology and pastoral studies either fully online or in a hybrid or blended format.

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:

  1. Make a list of preferences.
  2. Researching tuition rates.
  3. Examining each program's curricula.
  4. Review graduation rates.

Click the icon below to learn about online schools and colleges in Connecticut.

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 & Universities Employment & 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
$28,756 $37,960 $44,824
Bachelor's Degree Master's Degree Doctoral Degree
$62,296 $74,568 $94,900

Source: BLS

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.

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Public Colleges and Universities
In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition National Average
$7,924 $20,061

$9,037 (In-State)

$25,657 (Out-of-State)
Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Private Colleges and Universities
In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition National Average
$40,410 N/A $30,731

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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.

Technology Fee: Online and hybrid programs often require a technology fee that covers the cost of the online distance learning platform and technical support.
Course Fees: Colleges often charge higher tuition rates for courses that require additional learning materials or the use of external facilities.
Excess Credits: 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.
Partial-Payment Fees: 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

BBB's Student Ethics Scholarship

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.

Amount: $2,500

Apply For Scholarship

Healy Foundation Scholarship

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.

Amount: $3,000

Apply For Scholarship

New England Board of Higher Education's Tuition Break

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.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Scholarship

Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity

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

Apply For Scholarship

Connecticut Community Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Connecticut Community Foundation offers 47 different scholarships for full-time college students.

Amount: $500 to $3,000

Apply For Scholarship

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.

Connecticut Independent College Student Grant Program

Who Can Apply: Applicants must be a part-time or full-time student at a private college or university and must demonstrate financial need.

Amount: $7,875

Apply For Grant

Connecticut Aid to Public College Students Grant Program

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.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Grant

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

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.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Grant

Connecticut Minority Teacher Incentive Grant Program

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.

Amount: $20,000

Apply For Grant

Roberta B. Willis Need-Based Grant Program

Who Can Apply: Connecticut residents attending two- or four-year public colleges or universities with financial need can receive this state-funded grant.

Amount: $4,500

Apply For 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 Accreditation

National 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 Accreditation

Programs 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 Accredited

Accredited 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.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in Connecticut

Nationwide, about 38% of undergraduate students are older than 25. According to the Lumina Foundation, 25% of students are raising kids, and 58% work while attending college.

Nationally, more than 6.6 million college students enrolled in online classes in fall 2017, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

The EAB projects the number of adult learners aged 25 to 34 to increase 21% by 2022.

Sources: Lumina Foundation, National Center for Education Statistics, EAB

Adult Education Programs for Connecticut Students

  • Connecticut Adult Virtual High School: Connecticut learners can take online courses through the Adult High School Credit Diploma Program and the GED preparation program. Connecticut State certified teachers lead online courses in subjects such as literature, civics, and algebra.
  • Free ESL Classes and Adult Basic Education: Throughout Connecticut, numerous adult learning centers offer free ESL and basic education classes to help individuals improve their reading and writing skills.
  • CAACE Scholarship Awards: At its annual conference, the Connecticut Association for Adult & Continuing Education offers $500 scholarships to adult students striving for academic excellence.

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.

  • Connecticut Office of Higher Education: The Office of Higher Education provides information about applying for aid and saving for college. The office also offers information about GI Bill benefits and postsecondary career schools.
  • Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Scholarship Directory: Students can search the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving's directory to find scholarships for residents of Hartford and 28 nearby towns.
  • New England Board of Higher Education: This website provides information about more than 500 undergraduate and graduate tuition break programs, which provide discounted tuition rates for out-of-state students.
  • PACT Program: Launching in 2020, PACT allows Connecticut students to qualify for a free community college education. Students can find a participating school through the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities website.
  • researchIT CT: The Connecticut State Library offers state residents access to library resources, including articles, e-books, and newspapers.

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