The second smallest state in the U.S., but the sixth most densely populated, Delaware hosts nine colleges and universities: three public, one for-profit, and five nonprofit institutions. If you prefer a two-year college, Delaware offers two degree-granting schools fitting this profile.
Below, you can find an overview of higher education in Delaware, including information about online options in the state and tuition breaks for out-of-state students. We also discuss the job outlook for college graduates in Delaware and scholarships and financial aid opportunities for online students in the "First State." You can use our list of the best accredited online colleges in Delaware to decide which school best suits your needs.
A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Delaware
In the 2015-16 school year alone, degree-granting institutions in Delaware enrolled over 61,100 students. Prospective students seeking online colleges in Delaware may be curious how much students pay for tuition at these schools. As in other states, students who qualify for in-state tuition pay much lower rates than out-of-state learners. Fortunately, many colleges and universities offer in-state tuition rates to all online learners regardless of where they live. In some cases, out-of-state online learners may qualify for programs that make tuition more affordable. According to College Board, in-state tuition and fees for four-year public schools in Delaware during the 2017-18 school year reached $12,300. Tuition at the state’s flagship school, University of Delaware, costs $13,200 for in-state students and $33,150 for out-of-state learners.
- 3 public
- 5 non-profit
- 1 for-profit
Learners enrolled in online colleges in Delaware qualify for many financial aid opportunities, and students in the state receive substantial assistance to pay for school. The National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs annual survey reports that Delaware students received almost $23 million in grants and other types of aid in the 2015-16 school year. This includes nearly $12 million of need-based grants and $8.5 million in grants without a need-based component.
The State of Online Higher Education in Delaware
Online higher education in Delaware slightly outpaces national trends in distance learning. According to an Online Learning Survey, 30% of learners (18,000 students) enrolled in higher education in the state take one or more online courses. Students enrolled in Delaware community college online courses or university distance courses for the entirety of their education make up 10.1% of all learners in the state (6,100 students). This includes 3,900 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students taking all coursework online. Of the exclusively online students, 65.4% live in Delaware, with the rest residing outside the state. The percentage of students taking hybrid coursework is 89.9%, or 52,300 individuals.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
Tuition for out-of-state students often exceeds the rate for in-state learners. This can make the prospect of attending an out-of-state school seem daunting. The nonprofit Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) helps Delaware residents afford colleges and universities located outside the state. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, SREB works to improve public education and helps states share resources to accomplish goals.
SREB’s Academic Common Market (ACM) program makes more than 1,900 academic programs (both graduate and undergraduate) in 15 states available to Delaware residents. Participating students pay in-state tuition. Other SREB states include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Not every institution in these states qualifies for the ACM program, however. Students can search eligible programs in SREB’s ACM program inventory.
Best Online Colleges in Delaware
Below, you can find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Delaware. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education, their services for distance students, and the fully online degrees available. After reviewing the best online schools in Delaware, explore our state resources, including a database of every college and university in Delaware and 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||Wilmington University||New Castle||$$$$$||320 Dupont Hwy|
New Castle, DE 19720
Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware graduated its first class of 194 learners in 1968. Currently, this private school educates approximately 20,000 learners, and 44% of those students pursue online learning through more than 125 academic degrees and certificates offered by the institution.
Online students can earn a bachelor's in fields like accounting, behavioral science, finance, health sciences, human resource management, and organizational dynamics. Available concentrations extend these degree options. For instance, a communication student can choose a focus in media communication or integrated marketing communication. Graduate learners can earn degrees in disciplines including cybersecurity, applied family science, and nursing leadership. Students can also achieve certificates in fields such as child advocacy studies, graphic design, and nonprofit management.
Students exploring online colleges in Delaware can attend virtual events, such as financial aid and program webinars, to determine if Wilmington University is a good fit. The school also accepts as many as 90 credits from transfer students. Candidates who attend the Graduate Studies Fair can apply for free admission.
Wilmington University provides free career services for current and former students including career assessments and assistance with locating jobs. Learners can also take a free online course to help with career planning.
The university holds accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Individual programs boast additional agency accreditations, including the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education; the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation; the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; the American Bar Association; and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in Delaware
Below, you’ll find all of the online schools in Delaware sorted by their tuition rates.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||School Link||Cost|
|1||Wilmington University||New Castle||School profile||$$$$$|
|2||University of Delaware||Newark||School profile||$$$$$|
|3||Widener University - Delaware||Wilmington||School profile||$$$$$|
Job Outlook for College Graduates in Delaware
Graduates of online colleges in Delaware can look forward to a favorable job market over the next several years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports an unemployment rate of only 3.9% for Delaware in August 2018. This low rate of unemployment suggests that most individuals, particularly those highly educated and experienced, will not struggle to find job openings. Additionally, Delaware’s mean annual wage for all occupations of $52,200 (or $25.10 an hour) remains higher than the national average of $50,600 (or $24.34 an hour).
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Delaware
Delaware Horatio Alger Scholarship
Candidates must be high school seniors in Delaware demonstrating financial need. Applicants should have a minimum 2.0 GPA and plan to earn a bachelor's degree at an accredited school.
Delaware Community Foundation Scholarships
The Delaware Community Foundation offers dozens of scholarships each year to Delaware undergraduate and graduate students. Eligibility requirements vary by scholarship.
Delaware Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame Inc.
Recipient must be a graduating senior from a Delaware high school who demonstrates financial need and academic achievement. Applicants must have participated in high school sports for at least two years.
Delaware Association of School Administrators Scholarship
Applicants must be Delaware high school seniors attending a school with at least one Delaware Association of School Administrators member. Students must submit an essay and major in education.
Helen H. Bennett Scholarship
Applicants must pursue a library science master's, doctorate, or certification. Students should commit to working in a Delaware library.
Delaware Diabetes Coalition Inc. Scholarships
These scholarships assist Delaware residents and high school seniors with Type I or Type 2 diabetes. Candidates should have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Delaware Open Cross Country Championship Scholarship
This scholarship benefits high school seniors in Delaware attending a N5CTA member school. Applicants must have participated in cross country in their junior and senior years and receive a nomination from the cross country coach. Candidates should demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Delaware PTA Scholarships
Applicants must be Delaware residents and high school students with acceptance to an accredited college. Specific requirements vary by scholarship.
Christa Mcauliffe Teacher Incentive Program
This award assists full-time undergraduate students in a program that leads to teaching certification at a Delaware school. Candidates must be legal residents of Delaware.
George A. Thompson Memorial Scholarship
Recipients must be residents and high school graduates of New Castle, Delaware who plan to attend college full-time.
Find Schools in Delaware
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