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Online Colleges in New Hampshire

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Despite its relatively small size, New Hampshire is packed with online higher education opportunities, offering a tight-knit network of community colleges and private institutions. New Hampshire is also ranked 5th in the nation for graduation rate from 4-year public institutions and also the second lowest student loan default rate, indicating a healthy post-graduation job outlook. The state is actively working to provide oversight for quality assurance and expanded e-learning opportunities to out-of-state students through its membership in the New England State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), showing itself to be highly aware of the responsibility to online distance learners and concerned with the quality of its online programs.

But before we dive into our list of best online colleges in NH for 2016, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in New Hampshire today.


A Brief Overview of Higher Education in New Hampshire

In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that New Hampshire had 27 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 12 public schools, 13 nonprofits and 2 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 5,366 at public schools, 4,025 at private nonprofits and 378 at private for-profits.

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 $15,160, while the out-of-state average was $26,320.

The University of New Hampshire System is the largest provider of higher education in the state and is comprised of four institutions serving more than 34,000 students. New Hampshire was a leader in increased state funding for higher education in ‘13-’14, leading all other states with a 28.5% increase in state spending per student.

Another leader in the state is the New Hampshire College and University Council, a nonprofit consortium that raises awareness of higher education, coordinates education initiatives and provides a forum for ongoing discussion of issues in higher education. With resources for news, exchange programs and tuition and financial aid, this is a great one-stop site for college bound students. The New Hampshire Community College system offers many online learning resources, including eStart, a 100% online high school and college degree program. The New England Board of Higher Education also offers a Tuition Break program for New England residents entering public colleges and universities.

The commitment to quality control, funding initiatives and community involvement amongst public and private institutions clearly shows that online colleges in NH are making progress in higher education and seeking to expand education opportunities to students across state boundaries.


The State of Online Higher Education in New Hampshire

The NCES estimates that at least 17.6% of students enrolled in STATEs Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 13.5% were reported to be undergraduates and 42.2% were found to be living in New Hampshire.

The NCES report also shows that New Hampshire has a higher percentage of online distance learners hailing from outside the state, indicating beneficial conditions to online learners across state-boundaries as well as those living outside the U.S. This is perhaps a result of measures the state has taken to control the quality and oversight of its online programs through regional reciprocity agreements.

New Hampshire has also joined the New England State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), a voluntary agreement that seeks to standardize access to distance education for students across New England. SARA also addresses ongoing challenges in the approval and accreditation process for online programs. Ultimately designed to provide fair access to online courses for all students, this organization is possibly the single most important step forward for online learning in the region.


Best Online Colleges in New Hampshire

Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in New Hampshire. 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 our best of New Hampshire, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in New Hampshire or our index of popular in-state scholarships.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

To determine the best online colleges in each state, we examined the factors most important to prospective students: Academic quality and reputation, online program strength, and cost and student aid. At the most basic level, we use the following formula to determine the best online colleges: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. Of course, there's more to these calculations than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about the process we use to rank schools.

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Southern New Hampshire University

1
Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester
$28,884

An Online Education at Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University provides online students with the opportunity to complete one of more than 200 associate, bachelor's or graduate degrees entirely online. SNHU's online programs are powered by Blackboard, an online education portal. SNHU uses a variety of different term schedules, granting students the maximum amount of flexibility in their particular program. Sessions run in 8 week modules all year long.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Accounting A.S. B.S.
  • Business Studies B.S.
  • Justice Studies B.S.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Communication MA
  • Data Analytics M.S.

Southern New Hampshire University offers more than two dozen certificate programs, including accounting, cyber security and justice studies. SNHU's certificate programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

SNHU is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The university also has five specialty accreditations, including the Council for Business Schools and Programs, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the New Hampshire State Department of Education for Teacher Certification.

Contact Information

2500 North River Road
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
(603) 668-2211

Plymouth State University

2
Plymouth State University
Plymouth
$12,610
$20,030

An Online Education at Plymouth State University

Plymouth State University provides students with a small number of fully online bachelor's degree and continuing studies certificate programs. The courses are designed to allow students to complete 24/7 access to coursework and materials. Students may participate on either a part-time or full-time basis. Courses are offered on a traditional semester-based academic calendar.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Business Administration B.S.
  • Nursing RN-BSN
  • Communication Studies B.A.
  • Criminal Justice B.S.

Plymouth State makes certificate programs available to both matriculated and non-matriculated students. They are fully available online and include an afterschool professional certificate and geographic information systems and professional sales certificates.

PSU is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Contact Information

17 High Street
Plymouth, NH 03264-1595
(603) 535-5000


Acclaim for online programs

  • #30on U.S. News and World Report's Top Public Schools
  • #103on U.S. News and World Report's Regional Universities (North)

Colby-Sawyer College

3
Colby-Sawyer College
New London
$9,600

An Online Education at Colby-Sawyer College

Online learning at Colby-Sawyer College is powered by Moodle, an open-source management system that gives students and instructors access to course materials, discussion boards and assignments. Most classes are delivered asynchronously, allowing online learners to fit school around their busy schedules. The courses are highly interactive and have weekly assignments. Students have access to several digital resources and tools, including virtual library services, academic and career advising from the career center and 24/7 tutoring through NetTutor.

Online Undergraduate Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Environmental Science Bachelor's
  • Health Care Management Bachelor's
  • RN to BSN

Colby-Sawyer also offers two online certificate programs and nearly 100 online courses throughout the year. Non-degree-seeking students may enroll in any of these online classes; they are not required to apply for full-student status with C-SC, though they must still fill out the non-degree application and pay for the course.

Contact Information

541 Main St
New London, NH 03257-7835
(603) 526-3000

Granite State College

4
Granite State College
Concord
$7,065
$7,545

An Online Education at Granite State College

Granite State College's online programs include more than 30 associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. All GSC programs are designed to be completed entirely online. The programs allow students to set their own schedule, taking classes on a part-time or full-time basis. Online courses are delivered via GSC's Moodle learning management system. Courses are offered in four sessions throughout the year: three 12-week (fall, winter and spring) and one 8-week summer session.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Behavioral Science A.S.
  • Criminal Justice B.S.
  • Nursing RN-BSN

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Project Management M.S.
  • Leadership M.S.

Granite State's online offerings also include a selection of more than two dozen minors, including family studies, human resources, finances and IT. The post-baccalaureate teacher certification is an available option for qualifying students.

Accreditation of Granite State College is provided by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges through the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CHIE). The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) will be conducting an accreditation review of the RN to BSN program.

Contact Information

25 Hall Street
Concord, NH 03301-3471
(603) 228-3000


Acclaim for online programs

  • #44on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs
  • #63on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs

Franklin Pierce University

4
Franklin Pierce University
Rindge
$0

An Online Education at Franklin Pierce University

Franklin Pierce University's online programs include 12 undergraduate and eight graduate degrees, which are fully online. All online and hybrid programs at FPU are delivered using the Pearson Learning Studio application, giving students access to course materials and opportunities to engage with their professors. The system is designed to grant access around the clock. The academic year is comprised of six 8 week sessions.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Criminal Justice A.A.
  • Human Services B.A.
  • Marketing B.S.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Health Administration MBA
  • Sports Management MBA

Franklin Pierce University offers undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in paralegal studies, nursing education and emerging network technology.

FPU is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Contact Information

40 University Drive
Rindge, NH 03461-0060
(603) 899-4000

Rivier University

6
Rivier University
Nashua
$28,055

An Online Education at Rivier University

Online opportunities at River University include undergraduate and graduate programs. RU's online courses allow students to have 24/7 flexibility when structuring their learning. Programs are delivered via Blackboard, a learning management system that frees students from having to visit the campus. All courses are offered in 8-week terms, providing students with the opportunity to complete their degree at their own pace. Hybrid online and on-campus courses are also available for interested students.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Psychology B.A.
  • Public Health B.S.
  • Nursing RN-BSN

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Nursing Leadership M.S.

River University offers four hybrid master's programs, including master's in business administration (MBA), information technology management and marketing. The on-campus requirements of hybrid courses range from once per week to several times per term.

RU is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Nursing programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). All programs are approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education.

Contact Information

420 South Main St
Nashua, NH 03060
(603) 888-1311

New England College

7
New England College
Henniker
$33,000

An Online Education at New England College

New England College's programs are intended to provide students with the flexibility needed to complete their coursework on a schedule that suits their needs. All online courses are powered by University Alliance, a third party distance learning platform. Online students experience the same curriculum and faculty as on-campus students, but enjoy the flexibility of 24/7 access to coursework. NEC courses are offered on a year round basis. Their five semester schedule enables students to complete a bachelor's degree in as few as three years and a master's in four years.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Business Administration A.A.
  • Liberal Studies A.A.
  • Criminal Justice B.A.
  • Psychology B.A.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Health Informatics MBA

New England College is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

Contact Information

98 Bridge St
Henniker, NH 03242
(603) 428-2211


Acclaim for online programs

  • #61on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs
  • #125on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs
  • #126on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs
  • #131on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs

Most Affordable Online Colleges in New Hampshire

Below, we’ve posted a second listing, this time ranking the online programs in New Hampshire according to their tuition rates.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

Our list of the most affordable online colleges is based on in-state yearly tuition, or annual tuition rates if a school does not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition rates are based on a full course load each semester or term. All colleges on the list offer at least one bachelor's degree completion program available entirely online. Those institutions with the lowest tuition are ranked highest, providing prospective students with a true list of the most affordable online colleges in their state.

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Granite State College

1
Granite State College
Concord
$7,065
$7,545

Colby-Sawyer College

2
Colby-Sawyer College
New London
$9,600

Plymouth State University

3
Plymouth State University
Plymouth
$12,610
$20,030

Rivier University

4
Rivier University
Nashua
$28,055

Southern New Hampshire University

5
Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester
$28,884

Franklin Pierce University

6
Franklin Pierce University
Rindge
$31,000

New England College

7
New England College
Henniker
$33,000


Scholarships and Financial Aid in New Hampshire

Addition Scholarship

Deadline: April 15, 2016
Scholarship Amount $3,500 See Scholarship

The Addition Scholarship is open to New Hampshire students between the ages of 17 and 23, and to graduate students. Recipients are selected based on financial need, academic performance, and factors such as community service or school activities. Provided by the NH Community Foundation.

Bartlett Scholarship

Deadline: April 15, 2016
Scholarship Amount $3,500 See Scholarship

The Bartlett Scholarship is open to New Hampshire students between the ages of 17 and 23, and to graduate students. Recipients are selected based on financial need, academic performance, and factors such as community service or school activities. Funds provided by the NH Community Foundation.

Berry Nursing Scholarship

Deadline: April 15, 2016
Scholarship Amount $3,500 See Scholarship

The Berry Nursing Scholarship is open to New Hampshire students who are pursuing a career in nursing. Recipients are selected based on financial need, academic performance, and factors such as community service or school activities. The scholarship is administered by the NH Community Foundation.

Dunkin’ Donuts Scholarship

Deadline: April 15, 2016
Scholarship Amount $2,000 See Scholarship

Provided by New Hampshire’s Dunkin’ Donuts franchises, this scholarship is available to New Hampshire high school seniors. Recipients are chosen based on merit and financial need. Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to volunteer or community service, and a GPA of 3.25+ is required.

Mary Felicia Falzarano Scholarship Fund

Deadline: April 15, 2016
Scholarship Amount $1,500 See Scholarship

This scholarship is open to New Hampshire high school seniors or graduates who are pursuing education at a vocational/technical college or other post-secondary institution. Recipients are selected based on financial need. Average award ranges from $250 to $1,500 per student. Funding provided by the NH Community Foundation.

New Hampshire Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

The New Hampshire Scholarship is open to Saint Anselm students who have a strong academic record and demonstrate financial need. The maximum award is $5,000 per year for 4 years. Recipients must maintain a GPA of 2.5+ to renew the award each year.

Presidential Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $17,000 See Scholarship

The Presidential Scholarship is open to freshmen entering Saint Anselm College. Recipients are selected based on academic merit and demonstrated school or community leadership. Students who receive this scholarship are invited to join the Honors Program. Maximum award is $17,000 per year for 4 years.


Higher Education Resources in New Hampshire