Four Connecticut institutions of higher education offer 10 undergraduate degrees, 11 graduate degrees, and 7 certificate programs, all completely online. Three more schools in the state offer some online courses. In addition to these in-state universities, Connecticut residents have access to more than 200 online programs offered by schools licensed to operate within the state. Given the robustness of these numbers relative to its size, it is safe to say Connecticut has made considerable strides in establishing and legitimizing online education.
But before we look at the best online colleges in Connecticut, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in Connecticut today.
A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Connecticut
In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that Connecticut had 46 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 21 public schools, 19 nonprofits and 6 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 11,239 at public schools, 9,563 at private nonprofits and 668 at private for-profits.
- 21 public
- 19 non-profit
- 6 for-profit
Tuition-wise, the College Board found that, in the ’15-’16 school year, the average in-state tuition and fees for four-year public schools was $11,400 while the out-of-state average was $30,700.
As for Connecticut’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that Connecticut awarded $39.8 million in need-based grants and $0.268 million in nonneed grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Combined with another $106.903 million in tuition waivers, the state’s overall fiscal support for higher education that school year equaled $146.976 million. Grants made up 27.26% of Connecticut’s total fiscal support for higher education.
Overall, Connecticut has a relatively sizable pool of schools to choose from given its size, somewhat higher tuitions both in-state and out, typically an indicator of sought after institutions, and strong financial aid services, with more than a quarter of the state’s support going to students in the form of grants.
The State of Online Higher Education in Connecticut
The NCES estimates that at least 6.8% of students enrolled in Connecticut’s Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 77.7% were reported to be undergraduates and 53.7% were found to be living in Connecticut. Despite having only a small number of online colleges in CT, the state does a remarkable job of attracting online students.
Connecticut’s foremost online learning advocates are the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) and its subsidiary, the Connecticut Virtual Learning Center. The CTDLC is primarily intended to support the educators responsible for conducting the state’s distance learning courses, with services like curriculum consultation, technical support and strategic partnerships between members of the CTDLC.
The Virtual Learning Center, on the other hand, is explicitly intended to help high school students complete their degrees with distance learning support, as well as to introduce and enroll said students in courses that earn them college credit prior to undergrad enrollment. Such a service acclimates students to online learning, while also ensuring students stay on the path towards earning their degree — a key indicator for the longterm economic health of a state. The Learning Center also announced its partnership with an equivalent organization in Vermont, meaning the selection of distance courses students can choose from will grow substantially.
Best Online Colleges in Connecticut
Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Connecticut. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing the best online schools in CT, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Connecticut or our index of popular in-state scholarships.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||St. Vincent's College||Bridgeport||$$$$$||2800 Main St|
Bridgeport, CT 06606-4201
St. Vincent's College is an online college in Connecticut focused on health careers. The school offers three different types of distance learning courses including online, hybrid, and e-enhanced. Two degrees are offered entirely online: the RN to BSN Completion Program for registered nurses and the Bachelor of Science in Radiological Sciences for radiologic professionals. Students interested in healthcare management can also earn a certificate online. The college has a relationship with St. Vincent's Medical Center and St. Vincent's Health Services, and students have the chance to practice their skills in multiple simulation laboratories that mimic the hospital setting. In addition to the skills laboratories at the Bridgeport campus, all students have access to the Campus Ministry, student organizations, and The Sister Marie Burns Student Learning and Career Services Center, which provides academic support, tutor referrals, career workshops, and the online career services system.
|2||Quinnipiac University||Hamden||$$$$$||Mt Carmel Ave|
Hamden, CT 06518
This online school in Connecticut offers three online undergraduate programs to students who have completed an associate degree or a certain number of college credits: Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Health Science Studies, and RN to BSN. There are also online graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs. Online students have access to technical support seven days a week, as well as administrative support and academic advising. The university states that 94.6% of their graduates were employed or seeking further education six months after graduation. For students interested in extracurricular activities, the 142 recognized student organizations and clubs organized a total of 8,799 events last year.
|3||University of Bridgeport||Bridgeport||$$$$$||126 Park Avenue|
Bridgeport, CT 06604-5620
The University of Bridgeport began offering online programs in 1997. Today, students can enroll in one of five fully online bachelor's programs, and registered nurses are able to complete their BSN in a hybrid format. Online courses are offered in an eight-week format, which allows students to work while still earning their degrees as full-time students. Students at this online college in Connecticut can take advantage of the university's one-on-one advising, the Center for Career Development, and the Wahlstrom Library, which has an online platform that's available 24/7 and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Bridgeport enrolls around 5,600 students; 51% of that population is undergraduate, and 24% of students are international.
|4||University of Bridgeport||Bridgeport||$$$$$||126 Park Avenue|
Bridgeport, CT 06604-5620
The University of New Haven offers five fully-online degrees: four master's programs and the Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies degree completion program. To be eligible for the online bachelor's program, students must already have an associate degree or a minimum of 30 transferable credits. If they are coming from an accredited four-year school, they may transfer up to 90 credits; those coming from an accredited two-year school or community college may apply up to 60 credits to the professional studies program. As one of the online colleges in Connecticut, New Haven is authorized to award degrees in all 50 states. Online students have access to the library, career services, and can rent digital textbooks from the university's book store.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in Connecticut
Below you’ll find another listing of online schools in CT, ranked by their tuition rate.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||School Link||Cost|
|1||Charter Oak State College||New Britain||School profile||$$$$$|
|2||Albertus Magnus College||New Haven||School profile||$$$$$|
|3||St. Vincent's College||Bridgeport||School profile||$$$$$|
|4||University of Bridgeport||Bridgeport||School profile||$$$$$|
|5||Sacred Heart University||Fairfield||School profile||$$$$$|
|6||Quinnipiac University||Hamden||School profile||$$$$$|
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Connecticut
Academic Excellence Scholarship
The University of Connecticut awards this merit-based scholarship to incoming freshmen who rank in the top of their graduating high school class or have competitive GPA and SAT/ACT scores (as determined by Undergraduate Admissions Office). Award amount varies, and is renewable for 4 years.
Big Y Scholarship for Academic Excellence
The Big Y Scholarship is awarded each year to students with the most outstanding academic records who live in the Big Y market area. Applicant’s residence or school must be within Massachusetts or Connecticut.
The Challenge Grant is available to transfer students entering the University of Bridgeport. The award amount is $6,000 per year. Selection is based on academic performance and GPA at applicants’ previous institution.
Day of Pride Scholarship
The University of Connecticut provides this scholarship to incoming freshmen who have demonstrated academic and leadership ability, as well as a commitment to diversity within their community. Applicants must have documented financial need.
The University of Connecticut provides this scholarship to incoming freshmen who rank at the top of their graduating high school class, or have highly competitive GPA and SAT/ACT scores. Applicants must also demonstrate a commitment to cultural diversity and leadership. Award amount varies yearly.
This scholarship is provided by the University of Connecticut for finalists and semi-finalists in the National Merit, Achievement, or Hispanic Recognition competition; It is also open to outstanding students from any Connecticut high school. To qualify, students must be Connecticut high school seniors who will attend the University of Connecticut next fall.
For transfer students entering University of Bridgeport. The award amount is $13,000 per year. Selection is based on academic performance and GPA at applicants’ previous institution.
For incoming freshmen at Albertus Magnus College. A GPA of 3.2+ and an SAT of 1100+ is required. Alternately, 3 years of documented community service (at least 40 hours per year) is accepted. The award amount is up to $14,000 per year.
The University of Hartford President’s Scholarship is an award of $15,000 per year. Applicants must be in the top half of their graduating high school class, have an SAT score of 1140+ or an ACT of 25+, and be Connecticut residents.
The Trustee Scholarship is available to transfer students entering the University of Bridgeport. The award amount is $15,000 per year. Selection is based on academic performance and GPA at applicants’ previous institution.
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