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Online Colleges in New Jersey

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Below, we’ve ranked the top online colleges in New Jersey. Many of the state’s largest schools, including Rutgers, Rowan and Fairleigh Dickinson, feature prominently on our list and you’ll find quality programs at both large research universities and small liberal arts schools. Rutgers is particularly renowned for their online offerings, with a mix of online bachelor’s and graduate programs, as well as several hybrid options. The school is also partnered with Coursera, a service that allows students to take courses from top schools from around the country.

But before we look at the best online colleges in NJ, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in New Jersey today.


Overview of Higher Education in New Jersey

In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that New Jersey had 70 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 33 public schools, 27 nonprofits and 10 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 29,658 at public schools, 9,846 at private nonprofits and 791 at private for-profits. New Jersey’s first-year retention rate sits at 84.3%, the 9th highest state in the nation, and the graduation rate sits at 67%, the 7th highest rate amongst states.

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 $13,300, growing only 4% over the last five years, while the out-of-state average was $25,960.

At the community college level, as of 2012, New Jersey was reported to enroll over 400,000 students each year. Over 60% of the state’s undergraduates enrolled in a public school attend one of the state’s 19 community colleges.

As for the state’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that New Jersey awarded $385.2 million in need-based grants and $7.7 million in nonneed grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Grants make up 19.7% of the state’s total fiscal support for higher education; 9th largest percent amongst states. New Jersey also awarded $191.7 million in loans over the same period; the most, by far, by any state. Students interested learning more about grant support can go to HESAA.org, the state’s dedicated web portal for grant services.

New Jersey has an excellent system of public and private colleges and universities, which explains its high yet stable tuition costs. Add to that strong retention and graduation rates and truly excellent financial aid services and it is clear New Jersey is well poised for the next decade of higher education.


State of Online Higher Education in New Jersey

The NCES estimates that at least 7.4% of students enrolled in New Jersey’s Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 84.1% were reported to be undergraduates and 60.4% were found to be living in New Jersey, suggesting the state does a good job of drawing a sizable body of out-of-state distance students.

Two New Jersey organizations that stand out for their commitment to online education are the New Jersey Learning Management Network (NJLMN) and the New Jersey Distance Education Affinity Group (NJDEAG). The NJDEAG, formerly known as the New Jersey Virtual Community College Consortium, consists of 19 New Jersey community colleges and is dedicated to ensuring access to the best technological resources, as well as providing the support necessary to host quality distance education courses. Students at any of the 19 schools are readily able to identify and pursue distance courses from the various NJDEAG institutions. Prospective distance students can quickly filter through their community college choices thanks to the NJDEAG site.

Meanwhile, NJLMN captures the subject specific distance learning efforts taking place in the state. Distance courses maintained by the organization deal exclusively with public health, including many professional, post-degree certificate courses and training modules. The organization also maintains a digital library, a peer to peer forum and an online exchange of public health statutes and procedures specific to online colleges in NJ.


Best Online Colleges in New Jersey

Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in New Jersey. 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 Jersey, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in New Jersey 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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Rutgers University

1
Rutgers University
New Brunswick
$13,499
$27,523

An Online Education at Rutgers University

Rutgers University delivers all of their online classes through the Blackboard learning management system. Through this LMS, online learners communicate with their professors and classmates, complete and submit assignments and take exams. Students new to Blackboard can familiarize themselves with how to navigate the interface via the online tutorial provided by the school. Admission requirements for online students vary by program; students are encouraged to visit the degrees for more information.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • RN to BSN
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Social Work in Clinical Social Work
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Education in Adult and Continuing Education
  • Master of Library and Information Science
  • Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering
  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
  • Master of Music in Music Education

In addition to the fully-online degrees listed above, Rutgers has partnered with Coursera to provide access to open courses. Non-Rutgers students may contact the Visiting Students office for details on how to enroll in one of the many online classes the school offers.

Contact Information

83 Somerset St
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1281
(732) 932-1766


Acclaim for online programs

  • #13on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs
  • #43on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs
  • #54on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

Rowan University

2
Rowan University
Glassboro
$12,380
$20,186

An Online Education at Rowan University

RowanOnline, a division of the College of Graduate & Continuing Education (CGCE) offers both fully online, hybrid and accelerated course options to help individuals meet their goals. Courses are conducted through the popular learning management system Blackboard; the school provides an orientation, tutorials and support services to all online students. Students interact and communicate with their instructors via this platform, which incorporates digital slide shows, audio, videos, discussion boards, chat rooms, and of course, email. Courses are usually scheduled in 8 week modules with weekly assignments that must be completed by a set deadline. Most of the degree programs are scheduled in a part-time, accelerated format, resulting in degree completion typically within twenty-four months.

Out-of-state applicants should be sure to refer to the list of states RU is authorized to deliver online before enrolling in an online course or program.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • B.A. in Law and Justice
  • B.A. in Liberal Studies: Humanities/Social Sciences
  • B.A. in Psychology

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Doctor of Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education
  • M.A. in Reading Education: Reading Specialist
  • M.A. in Wellness and Lifestyle Management
  • Master of Engineering Management (MEM)
  • Master of Music: Jazz Studies
  • M.A. in Theater Arts Administration

Several endorsements, as well as graduate and regular certificates, can also be attained through RowanOnline.

Contact Information

201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, NJ 08028
(856) 256-4000


Acclaim for online programs

  • #17on BestColleges.com’s “Best Online Bachelor Degree Programs”
  • #2on OnlineU.org’s “Most Affordable Online Colleges” for the College of Engineering

Caldwell University

3
Caldwell University
Caldwell
$29,000

An Online Education at Caldwell University

The online programs and classes offered by Caldwell University are open to New Jersey residents only. Using Blackboard, students can access all course materials, including syllabi, assignments and discussion boards. Caldwell's online programs were designed to be equal to their on-campus degrees, though many of the online courses are offered at an accelerated pace. Online learners can purchase or rent the books they need for their classes through the school's bookstore.

Caldwell University strives to provide its online students with the same quality education as the traditional students receive. Distance learners are assigned academic advisors who are prepared to guide students through their degrees.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • RN to BSN

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Educational Administration
  • Master of Business Administration

Contact Information

120 Bloomfield Avenue
Caldwell, NJ 07006-6195
(973) 618-3000

Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus

4
Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus
Teaneck
$34,882

An Online Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus

Continually striving to integrate online learning into its curriculum, FDU is the first in the nation to require online learning for on-campus students; every student must complete at least two online courses during their program. WebCampus, FDU’s online courseware resource, uses the Blackboard platform to deliver classes. It is here that students receive and submit assignments, participate in the Virtual Classroom and monitor their progress throughout a course.

Resources for FDU’s online students abound, including the University Technical Assistance Center, online library resources, eTutoring, WebAdvisor, which provides the ability to track individual academic progress and grades, and more.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)
  • Master of Administrative Science (MAS)
  • Master of Science (MS) Homeland Security
  • Master of Sports Administration
  • MSN Nursing Education
  • Master of Arts in Student Services Administration
  • Master of Science in Student Services Administration

A Community College Partnership of eight community colleges is yet another option for students who wish to complete their bachelor’s degree or perhaps even continue on to a graduate program.

A partnership with The National Society of High School Scholars allows high school students to earn college credits.

Contact Information

1000 River Rd
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 692-2000


Acclaim for online programs

  • FDU’s Online Master of Science in Electrical Engineering ranked among the top 40 Online Engineering Programs in the nation by BestOnlineColleges.org
  • Ranked one of the Most Affordable Online Colleges in New Jersey by Affordable Colleges Online

Fairleigh Dickinson University - College at Florham

5
Fairleigh Dickinson University - College at Florham
Madison
$37,348

An Online Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University - College at Florham

Though only offering one online degree at the undergraduate level, the personalized nature of the Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies program allows students to craft a program that fits their future aspirations. The graduate offerings are numerous and varied, with a number of innovative programs available fully online.

Students use Webcampus to access the Blackboard learning platform where they will find all of their course materials. Online learners also have access to the virtual library, e-Tutoring, academic and career advising and 24/7 tech support.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Administrative Science MSA
  • Master of Science in Homeland Security
  • Sports Administration MSA
  • Master of Arts in Mathematical Foundations
  • Master of Arts in Student Services Administration
  • Master of Science in Service Innovation and Leadership

FDU also offers a few "low-residency" programs. These degrees are mostly online, but students are required to visit campus a few times throughout the duration of their degrees to attend onsite classes.

Contact Information

285 Madison Ave
Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 443-8500

Thomas Edison State University

6
Thomas Edison State University
Trenton
$5,700
$8,395

An Online Education at Thomas Edison State University

A wide variety of degree and certificate programs can be completed entirely through the university’s online and distance learning courses. Mentors guide students through eight- or 12-week long online courses. Courses may require midterm and final exams, which can be taken at a location of the student's choice, whether it's at home, at work or wherever the student has high-speed Internet access and a webcam through TESU's Online Proctored Service. Assignments are submitted and class discussions are held on Moodle for the duration of their courses.

All students have the potential to earn college credit through prior learning assessment, professional training, certifications and licensure, college-level examination programs or by transferring past college credit to TESU, thereby shortening the length and cost of their program.

TESU strives to ensure all distance students receive financial aid, whether it is in the form of federal and state financial aid, private grants and scholarships, innovative financing plans or employer reimbursement.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Science and Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology and Online Learning
  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Public Service Leadership
  • Master of Science in Applied Science and Technology
  • Master of Science in Hospitality Management
  • Master of Science in Homeland Security
  • Master of Science in Information Technology
  • Master of Science in International Business Finance
  • Master of Science in Human Resources Management
  • Master of Science in Management
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

More than 100 areas of study can be explored through TESU online. Numerous associate programs, graduate certificate programs and noncredit programs are available completely online for individuals not currently interested in seeking a four-year or graduate-level degree.

Contact Information

111 W State St
Trenton, NJ 08608
(888) 442-8372


Most Affordable Online Colleges in New Jersey

Below you’ll find another ranking of the top colleges in New Jersey, sorted 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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Thomas Edison State University

1
Thomas Edison State University
Trenton
$5,700
$8,395

Saint Peter's University

2
Saint Peter's University
Jersey City
$500
$12,000

Rowan University

3
Rowan University
Glassboro
$12,380
$20,186

Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus

4
Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus
Teaneck
$34,882


Scholarships and Financial Aid in New Jersey

Caldwell Grant

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $12,000 See Scholarship

Open to incoming freshmen and transfer students at Caldwell University. Applicants must be enrolled full-time at the university, and demonstrate financial need (FAFSA submission required). Award amounts vary based on applicants’ need. The maximum award is $12,000.

Chancellor’s Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

Open to freshmen entering the Newark College of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University. Applicants must have a combined SAT score of 1750+, and rank in the top 15 percent of their graduating high school class. Recipients are admitted to Rutgers’ Honors College.

Educational Opportunity Fund Grant

Deadline: March 1, 2016
Scholarship Amount $2,500 See Scholarship

State grants from the Educational Opportunity Fund are available to New Jersey students from educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The awards may be used at New Jersey institutions of higher education. Maximum award is $2,500 per year. Selection and award amount is determined by financial need.

Francis B. and Paige D. L’Hommedieu Scholarship

Deadline: rolling
Scholarship Amount $3,500 See Scholarship

Provided by the Douglass College Alumnae Association at Rutgers. One award is open to undergraduate science majors; another award is open to students who earned an associate’s degree at a New Jersey community college. Selection is based on academic merit and financial need. Maximum amount is $1,000.

Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship

Deadline: February 1, 2017
Scholarship Amount $2,500 See Scholarship

Available to students enrolled in a community college who will transfer to Rutgers University. To be eligible, applicant must be a full-time student and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Award is $8,000 per year for 2 years. A GPA of 3.0+ is required.

Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $2,000 See Scholarship

Open to incoming transfer students at Caldwell University who are members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. The maximum award is $2,000 per year.

Presidential Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Full tuition See Scholarship

Caldwell University’s Presidential Scholarship is awarded to full-time freshmen who demonstrate outstanding high school achievement. An SAT score of 1200 or higher is required. The award ranges from $20,000 to full tuition for 4 years of undergraduate study.

Presidential Scholarship

Deadline: December 1, 2016
Scholarship Amount $25,600 See Scholarship

The Rutgers Presidential Scholarship is available to students who rank in the top 1 to 2 percent of the incoming freshman class. Recipients of the award are admitted to Rutgers’ Honors College. Selection is based on academic performance and merit. Award is $25,600 per year for 4 years.

Recognition Award

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

Open to incoming freshmen and transfer students at Caldwell University. Applicants must demonstrate exceptional leadership skills, or significant commitment to community service or extracurriculars. The maximum award is $5,000 per year for 4 years.

Shannon Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: rolling
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

Available to out-of-state undergraduate students at Douglass College of Rutgers University. Recipient is selected based on financial need and academic merit. The award ranges from $300 to $1,000, depending on applicants’ financial need.


Higher Education Resources in New Jersey