Students looking for online colleges in New Hampshire can find a variety of options in the state. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that New Hampshire boasts a total of 27 colleges and universities. This includes 13 public, 12 nonprofit, and two for-profit degree-granting institutions. For students seeking an associate degree, diploma, or certificate, the state also offers eight two-year schools. This guide introduces some of the best online colleges in New Hampshire to help learners find the school for their needs. It also includes a brief overview of New Hampshire higher education generally and online education specifically. Prospective students can learn about tuition breaks for out-of-state learners and the job outlook for college graduates in the state. The guide concludes with a collection of financial aid and scholarship opportunities for students at online schools in New Hampshire.
But before we dive into our list of the best online colleges in New Hampshire for 2018, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in New Hampshire today.
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A Brief Overview of Higher Education in New Hampshire
Although small compared to many other states, New Hampshire in recent years saw an increase in total student enrollment and percentage of distance learners. In 2016, New Hampshire’s total enrollment for students at degree-granting postsecondary institutions hit 133,136, according to the NCES. Unlike most other states, which saw an overall enrollment decline from 2011-2016, New Hampshire’s enrollment increased an astonishing 71.9% during that time.
- 13 public
- 12 non-profit
- 2 for-profit
Expenses add up when earning a college degree in New Hampshire. College Board data indicates the average annual in-state tuition and fees for public four-year schools in New Hampshire cost $16,460 in the 2018-19 school year. In-state students in only one other state, Vermont, paid more on average for one year of tuition and fees. In most states, in-state students pay under $10,000 a year (and sometimes much less) to attend a public four-year school. Tuition at the state’s flagship university, the University of New Hampshire, hit $18,545 annually for in-state students in 2018-19, with out-of-state students facing a tuition bill of $33,879 that year. Students attending the best online colleges in New Hampshire qualify for a variety of financial aid opportunities, including loans, grants, scholarships, and work study.
Students can expect online learning to continue to expand in New Hampshire. Southern New Hampshire University, one of the state’s fastest-growing schools, boasts a successful eLearning initiative expected to grow larger in coming years.
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The State of Online Higher Education in New Hampshire
An Online Learning Survey for New Hampshire found the state substantially outpaces the national average for students enrolled in online classes. In fall 2015, 68,362 learners took at least one online course, including New Hampshire community college online courses. This represents 55.1% of the total student body, while the national average hit only 29.7% during the same time. More than 60,000 students (48% of all students in the state) took all of their courses at online schools in New Hampshire, including 42,843 undergraduates and 17,188 graduates. Of the exclusively online learners, 9,693 students (16.1%) live in New Hampshire, with the rest coming from out of state. The percentage of students taking at least one course on campus, including a mix of on-campus and distance courses, hit 51.6%.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
Out-of-state students typically pay much higher tuition rates than in-state learners, although some online colleges in New Hampshire offer tuition discounts to out-of-state learners. The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) helps New England residents access educational services and opportunities. Founded in 1955, NEBHE coordinates a variety of programs that promote regional educational resource sharing. One of NEBHE’s best-known programs remains the New England Regional Student Program (RSP) tuition break, which helps New England residents attending out-of-state colleges and universities afford their degrees more easily. The RSP lets New England residents pay reduced out-of-state tuition when they enroll in participating academic programs in other New England states. Full-time students who participate in the RSP save $8,033 on average each year.
Not only does the RSP make school more affordable for New England students who want to study outside of their home states, it also promotes efficiency and cost savings by minimizing duplication of academic programs at multiple schools. The RSP also helps institutions that might otherwise be too small to continue operating by attracting non-resident students. Other NEBHE member states besides New Hampshire include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Best Online Colleges in New Hampshire
See below for our rankings of the best online four-year programs in New Hampshire. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing the best online schools in New Hampshire, explore our state resources, such as a database of every college and university in New Hampshire 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||Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester||$$$$$||2500 North River Road|
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
Southern New Hampshire University offers more than 200 career-focused online degrees at the associate, master's, and bachelor's levels. SNHU offers flexible web-based classes delivered asynchronously; the school offers some advanced degrees, such as the master's in counseling, in a blended format and with limited on-campus obligations. The school also boasts some of the nation's most affordable tuition rates, and has not raised its cost of attendance since 2012. SNHU offers private financial aid packages for qualifying students, and it makes tuition discounts available for active duty military personnel and their spouses.
Prospective SNHU online students must complete an application, submit their official transcripts from high school and any previously attended colleges or universities, and speak with a university admissions counselor. The school maintains a rolling admissions policy, allowing interested individuals to apply at any time during the year. Incoming students do not need to submit GRE, GMAT, or SAT scores.
Most of the university's undergraduate programs strive to accommodate students at all levels and maintain lenient minimum GPA requirements. Applicants to SNHU's graduate school should hold at least a 2.75 undergraduate GPA, but those with a 2.00-2.74 GPA may receive provisional acceptance. Incoming candidates with 12 or more college credits are considered transfer students. SNHU students may transfer up to 90 credits toward their bachelor's degree, 45 toward an associate degree, and six toward graduate degrees. Transfer students need at least a 2.5 GPA to gain admission.
This nonprofit New Hampshire online college holds regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The school boasts a growing alumni network of more than 75,000 professionals worldwide that frequently helps SNHU graduates locate and secure internship and career opportunities.
|2||Dartmouth College||Hanover||$$$$$||10 North Main Street|
Hanover, NH 03755
Dartmouth College is a private research university located in Hanover, New Hampshire. Established in 1769, this Ivy League institution is home to approximately 6,500 students. Dartmouth boasts many notable alumni, including members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Pulitzer Prize winners, Rhodes Scholars, Olympic medalists, and a U.S. vice president. The school's admission policies prove highly competitive, with an average undergraduate admissions rate of 10.44%. Successful applicants traditionally boast an SAT score of 2050 or higher and earn a 30 or better on the ACT.
This New Hampshire online college offers two web-based degrees, as well as many free, open-access online classes available to the public. Since 2016, the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice has offered an online master of public health degree. This two-year program requires candidates to complete three, one-week individual residential classes per year. The program prides itself on training healthcare professionals to serve as progressive actors in the field, taking an aggressive approach to improving healthcare policy. Distance learners typically complete the online MPH in 22 months and take one class at a time.
Instructors present classes in a synchronous format through virtual classes, video lectures, and thorough investigations of medical case studies. All students complete a final practicum project which displays their mastery of course material. Program applicants should hold a bachelor of science or arts degree and at least two years of work experience in a related field.
Dartmouth also offers a hybrid master of science in healthcare delivery science. Students in this program complete a total of 15 synchronous and asynchronous courses over the duration of 18 months. Applications should include three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a statement of institutional support, and the application fee.
The master of public health program holds accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health. Dartmouth College holds regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
|3||Plymouth State University||Plymouth||$$$$$||17 High Street|
Plymouth, NH 03264-1595
Established in 1871, Plymouth State University is a public university that boasts a student body of around 6,300 individuals. The university offers an online master's degree in business administration (MBA) with an optional specialization certificate. The online MBA program is a self-paced, 36-credit degree that features certificate options in accounting, healthcare administration, international business, and strategic marketing management. Each certificate requires an additional 12 credits.
The program caters to part- and full-time students from all backgrounds, especially those with bachelor's degrees in fields other than business. Distance learners acquire useful managerial skills applicable to virtually any profession, working directly with faculty members who boast real-world experience in government and business. Business students may tailor the program to fit their academic and professional goals.
Upon completing the program, graduates can handle complex business projects and understand how their decisions impact the environment, interpersonal relationships, employers, and society. Graduates enjoy the ability to communicate across cultures while working with business associates from diverse backgrounds at the international level. PSU students pursuing the general management track typically seek careers in financial management, mergers and acquisitions, and company expansions.
This New Hampshire online college subscribes to a rolling admissions policy, allowing students to begin the MBA program at any time of the year. Prospective students should hold a 3.0 GPA or higher. Application materials include official transcripts from any previous college-level work, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a current resume, and an application fee. PSU offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships each year. The school awards funds based on the applicant's academic and professional background, their likelihood of succeeding in a graduate program, and their future career goals.
PSU holds accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
|4||University of New Hampshire||Durham||$$$$$||105 Main St., Thompson Hall|
Durham, NH 03824-3547
A public research university, University of New Hampshire-Main Campus was established in Durham in 1866. Today, the university offers online master's degrees in business administration, cybersecurity and risk management, educational studies, intellectual property, international criminal law and justice, and social work. Distance learners may also pursue doctoral degrees in nursing or law, including intellectual property law and international criminal law and justice. UNH prides itself on its flexible course offerings, small class sizes, and top-of-the-line instructional technology that helps students get the most from their online learning experience.
In addition to core coursework, online students may take professional development courses, receiving extra instruction on public speaking strategies, problem-solving in the workplace, interview skills, marketing and project management, and virtually any other business-related topic that professionals need in today's competitive job market. UNH offers online professional development modules and resources for undergraduate students, graduate students, and learners from military backgrounds and their spouses. Candidates interested in teaching careers can take online classes in college-level instruction through UNH's Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching and Learning.
UNH offers both part-time and full-time degrees. While some departments provide online programs specifically developed for part-time students who require flexible schedules, other programs require candidates to enroll on a full-time basis. Full-time students typically complete their graduate degree in two years or less. Prospective students should hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Most applicants need to submit a personal statement, professional resume, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and answer required essay questions. Minimum GPA requirements vary between majors, and some programs may require standardized test scores from the GRE or GMAT.
This New Hampshire online college holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
|5||Rivier University||Nashua||$$$$$||420 South Main St|
Nashua, NH 03060
Rivier University is a private, Catholic liberal arts university. Established in 1933, this small Nashua institution enrolls only 2,300 students and offers online degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Undergraduates can pursue degrees in psychology, business administration, nursing, public health, and individualized studies. Online graduate programs include business administration, healthcare administration, public health, nursing, and computer information systems. Rivier also offers a web-based doctor of nursing practice.
This New Hampshire online college requires undergraduate applicants to hold at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA, although prospective nursing students must hold a GPA of 2.67. Master's-level applicants should demonstrate a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and provide at least two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose outlining career goals, a resume, and official transcripts. While the doctoral program requires similar application materials, applicants should hold a 3.2 GPA or higher.
Incoming transfer students may transfer up to 90 credit hours toward a bachelor's degree or nine credits toward a master's degree. Bachelor's degrees typically require four years of full-time coursework, while most master's students earn their degree in two years. The doctorate in nursing program requires two and half years of study.
Rivier's homepage provides resource guides for business, computer information systems, healthcare administration, nursing, psychology, and public health students. These links provide distance learners with helpful human resource tools, career preparation modules, and job application and interview advice. Students can also make contact with professional organizations in their area of study.
Rivier holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing accredits the doctoral nursing program.
|6||Granite State College||Concord||$$$$$||25 Hall Street|
Concord, NH 03301-3471
Located in Concord, Granite State is a public college and one of four schools in the University System of New Hampshire. More than 77% of Granite State students take at least one class online. The school prides itself on offering extensive resources and support services for online and on-campus students alike. In addition to traditional on-campus programs, the school also offers a variety of online and hybrid or blended courses to fit even the busiest of schedules.
Students may pursue bachelor's and master's degrees online, as well as associate degrees and teacher certifications. Granite State's standout programs include online bachelor's degrees in business management, English language arts, and healthcare management. Available master's degrees include project management, leadership, nursing, and healthcare management.
Incoming undergraduate students at this New Hampshire online college may transfer up to 90 credits toward a bachelor's degree. To qualify for transfer credit,students must complete courses at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of "C" or higher. However, students who already hold an associate degree may transfer all of their credits toward a bachelor's degree. Granite State students may also complete validated training programs, equivalency testing, experiential learning portfolios, or military training to receive additional credit toward their online degree.
Granite State boasts extensive career services for online students, including individual advising sessions, job search resources, and a career planning system that allows learners to connect with alumni and valuable resources across the country. Distance students can also seek their adviser's help to locate and secure internships, find venues or businesses in which to complete their practicums, and locate resources that supplement their integrative capstone projects.
Granite State holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
|7||Colby-Sawyer College||New London||$$$$$||541 Main St|
New London, NH 03257-7835
Established in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is a private New London college with a student body of around 1,100 individuals. Distance learners can pursue a registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing (RN-to-BSN) online program or take individual undergraduate courses in fields like education, history, mathematics, health studies, economics, and business. Individual classes are synchronous, with regular online meeting times and scheduled assignment due dates. In these cohort-based classes, students work through course material together and engage with their classmates and instructors online on a weekly basis.
Distance students at this New Hampshire online college can complete the RN-to-BSN degree in as few as 16 months. Full-time and part-time enrollment options allow nursing students to progress through coursework at a comfortable pace. Each semester lasts 12-15 weeks. The program features low tuition rates, financial aid options, and flexible scheduling. Students may come to campus to meet with faculty and collaborate with their fellow students if they wish.
The school assigns first-year nursing, international, and transfer students an admissions director to help them select classes and receive maximum credit for transferable coursework. Academic advisers help students design individualized academic plans to fit their career goals and educational needs -- and ensure that distance learners take advantage of the school's support services, such as 24/7 online tutoring. Applicants to the online nursing program must complete a major-specific application and submit their high school and college transcripts. While optional, Colby-Sawyer encourages prospective students to submit letters of recommendation and ACT or SAT scores.
Colby-Sawyer is affiliated with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), and nursing students associated with or employed by DHMC receive a 10% tuition discount. The school holds accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.
|8||Franklin Pierce University||Rindge||$$$$$||40 University Drive|
Rindge, NH 03461-0060
Franklin Pierce is a private, nonprofit school located in Rindge. Established in 1962, only 2,400 students enroll in this liberal arts university. The school offers online bachelor's degrees in a variety of fields, including accounting, emergency medical services, criminal justice, integrated studies, marketing, and nursing. Distance learners may also pursue associate degrees in business, criminal justice, general studies, and human services -- or professional certificates in human services or paralegal studies. Several master's degrees are available in a hybrid format, including programs in accounting, finance, management, and business administration.
Incoming students applying to certain programs may receive up to 45 credits toward their degree based on previous employment or life experience. The school offers nearly all required courses entirely online through both asynchronous or synchronous formats. Admission requirements vary according to program. First-year freshman must provide official transcripts, a completed application, and financial aid information.
Applicants should demonstrate a history of coursework in English, mathematics, laboratory sciences, social sciences, and a diverse set of electives. Transfer students must submit a letter of recommendation written by a college professor or adviser, their high school transcripts, and a graded essay from a previous college course.
Distance students at this New Hampshire online college gain access to the school's writing center, academic advising, internship guidance, and personal success coaching. Through the career center, students and alumni can make contact with fellow students and alumni, locate internships, and secure employment. The center for academic excellence offers disability services, peer tutoring, and graduate-level writing assistance.
Franklin Pierce is a Yellow Ribbon school and accepts transfer credits from non-collegiate sources, military experience, the College Level Examination Program, and the American Council on Education.
Franklin Pierce holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
|9||New England College||Henniker||$$$$$||98 Bridge St|
Henniker, NH 03242
Founded in Henniker in 1926, New England College is a private, nonprofit school with approximately 2,700 students. NEC offers over two dozen online undergraduate degrees in accounting, business administration, communications studies, cybersecurity, social sciences, and professional studies. NEC's business administration program offers extensive concentrations, including accounting, marketing, finance, project management, and strategic sales management.
Psychology students may select from several specializations, including clinical psychology, criminal justice, forensic psychology, human services, and applied behavioral analysis. NEC also offers associate degrees in accounting, business administration, liberal studies, sociology, and psychology.
Graduate students can pursue master's degrees in business administration, clinical mental health counseling, professional writing, and public policy. Additionally, NEC offers a master of education program with available concentrations in alternative education, collective impact leadership, special education, storytelling, and digital equity leadership.
Most distance learners at this New Hampshire online college complete their bachelor's degree in four years. Associate degree seekers typically graduate in two years or less. Candidates may complete their studies faster by transferring credits toward their degree. Eligible transfer credits must maintain a grade of "C-" or higher. Applicants with credits from a New Hampshire online community college may receive automatic acceptance to NEC.
NEC boasts that 100% of its students receive some merit-based scholarship assistance, with many learners receiving between $10,000-25,000. The school also participates in the Yellow Ribbon program and offers a special military scholarship for veterans enrolled in undergraduate programs. Scholarships and financial aid do not require a separate application, and students are automatically considered for funding based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, materials and academic performance.
NEC holds accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in New Hampshire
See below for a second listing of the top online colleges in New Hampshire, ranked according to tuition rates.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||School Link||Cost|
|1||Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester||School profile||$$$$$|
|2||Colby-Sawyer College||New London||School profile||$$$$$|
|3||Granite State College||Concord||School profile||$$$$$|
|4||Plymouth State University||Plymouth||School profile||$$$$$|
|5||Rivier University||Nashua||School profile||$$$$$|
|6||Franklin Pierce University||Rindge||School profile||$$$$$|
|7||New England College||Henniker||School profile||$$$$$|
Job Outlook for College Graduates in New Hampshire
Graduates from online colleges in New Hampshire can expect a promising job outlook now and in coming years. The state’s low overall unemployment rate of 2.7% in August 2018 speaks to the high demand for qualified employees in a variety of industries. Recent graduates benefit from this need for workers, perhaps getting hired for positions that require more experience in an economy with more people seeking fewer jobs. New Hampshire residents earn a healthy mean annual wage of $51,040 for all occupations.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in New Hampshire
New England Water Works Association Scholarships
The association bestows six or more annual scholarships to resident students attending school in New England. Eligibility criteria varies by scholarship, but most require applicants to be pursuing a civil or environmental engineering degree.
New Hampshire Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Scholarship
Must be a New Hampshire MGMA member enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in a medical practice management-related field.
New Hampshire Society of CPAs Scholarship
Must be a resident of New Hampshire and accounting or business major entering senior year at an accredited college or university. Applicants must have completed at least three upper-level accounting courses.
The Mary Eileen Dixey Endowed Scholarship
Must be a New Hampshire resident and an occupational therapy or occupational therapy assistant student attending an accredited program in New Hampshire.
Shaw-Worth Memorial Scholarship
Must be from New England and demonstrate a passion for working with animals. The scholarship committee does not consider academic achievement or financial need.
New England Board of Higher Education Tuition Break
Must be a permanent resident of a New England state and be enrolled in one of the 800 approved undergraduate and graduate out-of-state programs.
Horatio Alger New Hampshire Scholarship
Must be a high school student in New Hampshire and a U.S. citizen with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants also must demonstrate financial need, commitment to earning a bachelor’s, and involvement in community service.
New England Employee Benefits Council Scholarship
Must be a student enrolled in an accredited program living in or attending college in New England who demonstrates an interest in the field of employee benefits.
Roothbert Fund Scholarships
Must be a resident of or hold a permanent address in New Hampshire (or a few other states), with preference given to students who demonstrate high academic achievement and prioritize spirituality.
Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund
Must be a bachelor’s student enrolled in an accredited college or university who holds a minimum 3.0 GPA and a permanent resident of a New England state.
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