Online Schools & Colleges
in New Jersey

Guide to New Jersey’s Best Online Colleges, Tuition Rates and Resources

New Jersey is home to some of the country's most prestigious schools. Recently these institutions have begun making way for evolving learning options; the U.S. Department of Education reports that more than 45,000 students enrolled in New Jersey’s colleges and universities are pursuing their degree online. With online course catalogs growing, both residents and students from out-of-state are considering New Jersey colleges as a viable option. Read on to learn about the colleges that provide the best online education in New Jersey, and get answers to questions on transfer credits, paying for an online degree and more.

Best Online Colleges in New Jersey

2-Year Colleges

According to New Jersey’s Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, the state has more than 80 schools, many of which offer online degree programs. Making a choice among them may seem intimidating, but prospective students can simplify this process by looking at a few key standards. Tuition rates, graduation rates, and financial aid are a few examples of standards that students should pay close attention to. We’ve used these standards and other quantitative and qualitative measures to rank New Jersey online programs for you; take a look to see which stand out.

Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 Ocean County College $4,050 20 34% 1% Yes Yes Yes
2 Rowan College at Burlington County $3,480 9 22% 7% Yes Yes Yes
3 Camden County College $3,330 5 15% 2% Yes Yes Yes
4 Atlantic Cape Community College $5,340 14 16% 3% Yes No Yes
5 Brookdale Community College $5,892 4 23% 5% Yes No Yes
6 Passaic County Community College $4,290 9 13% 13% Yes Yes Yes
7 Mercer County Community College $4,080 3 13% 7% Yes Yes Yes
8 Union County College $9,240 5 16% 8% Yes Yes Yes
Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 Rutgers University-New Brunswick $11,408 34 57% 86% 46% No Yes Yes

One of the largest and most successful institutions of higher learning in New Jersey, Rutgers University teaches roughly 49,000 students. A large part of their student body is studying through their online school whose programs are taught with the same integrity and quality as their on-campus versions. The cost varies by program and students can study at their own pace, so an online degree from Rutgers can be a quick and affordable option.

2 Rowan University $9,434 4 71% 66% 42% No Yes Yes

Rowan University's distance education program, Rowan Global, offers degrees in both an online and hybrid format. Undergraduate students can choose from 4 entirely online degrees, and transfer students can choose from these programs as well as the degree completion programs. Some of these degree completion programs may require on-campus courses. Rowan offers a flat rate tuition for all online students, and many of these students receive additional help in the form of financial aid.

3 New Jersey Institute of Technology $13,602 14 59% 64% 56% No Yes Yes

While they may be recognized for their STEM programs, New Jersey Institute of Technology has academic programs in every field. NJIT has 14 different master's degrees offered entirely online, the newest of which is their master's in applied science. Along with their master's degrees, NJIT has a variety of 12-credit graduate certificates, useful for students who are trying to advance their careers. Also, out-of-state online students will receive a discount on their tuition as long as they continue to study entirely online.

4 Seton Hall University $37,100 18 67% 68% 98% No Yes Yes

One of the nation's premier Catholic schools, Seton Hall University has education options for students with all interests. Like some other online programs, Seton Hall focuses primarily on graduate education, offering a variety of master's degrees that can be completed entirely online. For students who are concerned about the cost of earning a graduate degree, Seton Hall provides the exact cost of each program from start to finish, making it easier to budget.

5 Caldwell University $31,150 5 85% 63% 93% Yes Yes Yes

Traditionally a liberal arts school, Caldwell University makes sure that all students have a core of liberal arts, math, science and humanities. While they only offer an RN-BSN program for undergraduates, Caldwell does have 3 master's degree programs, 2 of which are designed for current teachers and educators who want to advance their career. Caldwell is already recognized as having one of the lowest tuition rates for a private school in New Jersey, so their online school can be more affordable than other options.

6 Stevens Institute of Technology $47,134 8 39% 83% 97% No Yes Yes

Stevens Institute of Technology is a private research school that was founded nearly 150 years ago by a group of inventors. That same spirit of innovation lives on, and Stevens is recognized for their engineering and sciences. Current college graduates who want to further their career might be interested in Stevens' entirely online master's degrees. Their school of engineering and science offer 6 online master's degrees alone, and their schools of systems and enterprises has multiple options as well.

7 Rider University $39,080 6 72% 64% 100% Yes No Yes

With over 150 of offering quality education, Rider University has turned its attention toward the student experience. The learning experience is important for students today, particularly those who don't study traditionally. Part of this new push has meant growing their online school. The majority of the online programs currently surround the health field with degrees in health studies and business communication with a focus on the health industry, but students can also earn a bachelor's in business administration and master's in accountancy.

8 Saint Peter's University $34,130 5 74% 54% 100% Yes Yes Yes

Saint Peter's University is going through an exciting time of growth and change. Drawing from Jesuit ideals, Saint Peter's has become a leader in educating future educators - and they've been seeing their class size grow. Their two main online programs are designed for educators looking to take the next step, and both prepare students for a career teaching at the highest level: college. Other online programs include a bachelor's degree in business administration and an RN-BSN program.

9 Fairleigh Dickinson University $36,976 9 77% 51% 91% Yes No Yes

With a history of teaching health and sciences, Fairleigh Dickinson University has started to expand their expertise to business. As a result, most of their online programs represent one of these 3 fields. The online programs at FDU are designed for current workers that have already earned their bachelor's degree. FDU offers 13 master's degrees, all of which are meant to further careers. There are also 2 fully online bachelor's degrees offered, the most popular of which is their bachelor's in individualized studies.

10 Felician University $30,680 4 79% 37% 99% Yes Yes Yes

Founded over a century ago, Felician University is a Franciscan school that has gained attention for its nursing programs. There is only one bachelor's degree offered through the online school at Felician -- the RN-BSN program -- but there are plenty of master's and doctoral level programs for current workers to choose from. In addition to their designed programs, students can also take online courses to speed up their progress, essentially turning their degree into a hybrid degree.

11 Thomas Edison State University $6,350 36 - - - Yes No Yes

Thomas Edison State University offers over 30 bachelor's degrees through a fully online format, including programs for computer science, sociology and organizational leadership. Prospective students can apply at any time, as there are 12 start dates throughout the year. Applicants will need to submit an application and evidence of high school completion to be considered for admissions. Graduation requires 120 credits in coursework with a minimum 2.0 GPA. The school aims to cut down on tuition costs by awarding a number of scholarships annually as well as implementing a free eBook Pilot Program.

How can I find which online colleges offer the degree I'm looking for in New Jersey?

While many schools in New Jersey offer online bachelor's programs, most restrict their web-based offerings to a handful of majors. Finding a program that aligns with your academic and career goals requires a great deal of careful research. Applicants can check out the Inventory of Program Offerings through the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education. The New Jersey Council of County Colleges offers a program guide for online community college courses and programs.

Online students can also find program information and class schedules for distance learning through individual institutions’ web sites and course catalogs. Thomas Edison State University, for example, is home to a wide variety of online bachelor's degrees. Candidates have their choice of more than 30 fully online majors, including entrepreneurship, homeland security and emergency management, marketing communications and criminal justice.

Rutgers University, New Jersey's flagship university, is the state's largest postsecondary institution. Thanks to a recent partnership with Coursera, the university has begun offering a plethora of open online courses.

Which online schools in New Jersey will accept my transfer credits or work/life experience?

If you’re one of many New Jersey students who have already taken college courses, or are coming into college with years of working knowledge, getting to know transfer credit policies in New Jersey is important. Transfer rules and regulations vary by school; some examples include:

  • Centenary University celebrates returning and first-time adult students by providing college credit for life and professional experience. Students who complete a prior learning assessment may translate their out-of-classroom learning into course credit and finish their degrees in less time.

  • Thomas Edison University employs prior learning assessments to grant credit for military training, professional certification and other experience.

  • At Rutgers University, transfer students' transcripts are evaluated to determine credit equivalence. The university accepts up to 60 credits earned at two-year institutions and 96 credits from four-year schools.

  • Saint Peter's University has "Transfer Thursdays," on which prospective students can visit the campus and ask questions. In addition, Saint Peter's also participates in the NJ Transfer Program, which helps New Jersey community college students transfer to one of the state's participating four-year institutions.

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How Much More Do College Grads in New Jersey Make?

New Jersey residents who earn a bachelor's degree can potentially earn nearly $42,000 more per year than individuals who immediately enter the workforce after high school. That’s according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, who publish average incomes and minimum degree requirements for all occupations across the nation yearly. In contrast, those with a two-year associate degree bring in around $24,000 less per year than workers with a four-year degree, making an online bachelor's degree a valuable investment in New Jersey.

Mean Annual Salary for All Occupations in New Jersey, by Minimum Degree Level Required:

No Formal
High School
$34,254 $48,192 $66,977 $90,708 $90,464 $123,356

College Education & Career Trends in New Jersey

Some industries are growing faster than others in New Jersey. The professional and business services sectors are expected to add 81,750 jobs by 2024. These industries encompass many positions that require bachelor's degrees and beyond, such as accountant, financial planner, lawyer, and engineer. With New Jersey's unemployment rate hovering at a higher-than-average 4.6 percent, workers interested in advancing or changing careers face prime opportunities to do so by earning a bachelor's degree at an online school in New Jersey.

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The Impact of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in New Jersey

A surefire way to know if the online degree you’re interested in pursuing will be well-respected when you go to advance your career is to earn it from an accredited online university. Accreditation is the standard by which online schools in New Jersey are evaluated. A peer-group from other colleges judges each program against a set of standards to assure quality measures are being met.

There are many different accrediting bodies around the country, including those that are regional and those that are industry- and field- specific.

Paying for Online College in New Jersey: Tuition & Financial Aid

According to the College Board, New Jersey's tuition rates are among the highest in the nation. Online costs are no different, ranging from $396 per credit hour at Thomas Edison State University to $963 at Rutgers University. Distance learners at some online schools in New Jersey pay in-state tuition, while other institutions charge higher rates for online students from out-of-state.

The state's Department of Higher Education dashboard offers online tools to help prospective students explore their program options and financial aid opportunities. More answers to frequently asked college cost questions are included below.

What are New Jersey's requirements to qualify for in-state university tuition?

Prospective students are considered non-residents in New Jersey until they have lived in the state for 12 months prior to enrollment. This assumes that the student did not move to the state for tuition purposes. Documents needed to prove residency include a certified New Jersey income tax return from the previous year, a New Jersey driver's license, a state motor vehicle registration, and the deed or lease to a New Jersey residence.

Are online credits more affordable in New Jersey than other places?

Online and traditional courses often cost the same, but there are some programs that have lower costs for online education. That said, education in New Jersey is generally more expensive than other states.

  • Thomas Edison State University is among the more affordable institutions in New Jersey, charging residents $396 per credit and $499 for non-residents enrolled in the school's payment plan.

  • Online learners at Rutgers pay $963 per course, plus a $300 distance learning fee and around $695 for books. This does seem pricey, but when comparing these rates to a traditional, on-campus Rutgers education, which costs $11,999 in tuition, $2,971 in fees, and $1,350 for books, one can find the added benefit of learning online.

  • Some online schools in New Jersey charge the same rates for on-campus and distance education. At Rowan University, tuition varies according to program, although most bachelor's degrees cost $470 per semester hour.

  • Online tuition at William Paterson includes a $120 per-course distance learning fee.

In summary, when researching costs for online programs in New Jersey, one should keep in mind a few factors: in- or out-of-state residency, online class-specific fees, and special programs that discount or mitigate online learning.

How can I get help paying for online college in New Jersey?

New Jersey’s online-degree program costs may seem high, but help is available. The state's Higher Education Student Assistance Authority guides students to grants, scholarships and loans. Some examples include the state’s Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) that is available for full- or part-time students and the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Grant.

In addition, many colleges and universities offer institutional financial aid. The overwhelming majority of students at Saint Peter's University receive grants or scholarships directly from the school. Most online schools in New Jersey also provide substantial discounts for veterans, military personnel and their spouses.

Online Education & Adult Education in New Jersey

Many people aren’t able to make college a priority right after high school. Whether they start work right away, have kids young, or hit legal speed bumps along the way, there are always paths that adults can take to further their skills and put them on a path to a college degree.

New Jersey’s State Department and numerous federal and non-profit organizations provide programs to set learners on the path to developing skills, rehabilitation and even eventual college degree completion.

As data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows, even a two-year degree can mean a big difference in wage potential and career opportunities. Online schools in New Jersey, plus adult education and continuing education programs, make it easy to take the first step toward higher earning power.

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