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Connecticut Online Colleges & Universities: Top Schools for 2018

Updated on: 01/04/2018
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Enrolling in an online program isn’t always an easy decision. It takes thought and research to find the program that will meet the needs and budget of the student. This page will help answer the most pressing questions for the aspiring online college student, from which online colleges are best in the state to tuition costs and financial aid availability. It’s important to go into any decision about college and careers armed with the right knowledge and facts. That’s exactly what we offer.

Best Online Colleges in Connecticut: 2018

Finding the right college for you might take a little work, like doing the research and submitting all the right paperwork. We’ve started the work for you with our list of the best accredited online colleges in Connecticut. We looked at class sizes, student services availability, programs offered and cost to bring our list of the best affordable online colleges in Connecticut. You can find our Best Of list below, and then you’ll be on the right path.

  • Accredited public or private not-for-profit institution

  • At least 3 online associate degrees or certificate programs (2-year schools)

  • At least 3 online bachelor’s or master’s degrees (4-year schools)

  • Annual in-state tuition below $5,000 (2-year schools)

  • Annual in-state tuition below $25,000 (4-year schools)

Colleges receive a total score based on performance in the following categories:

  • Average in-state net price for first-time/full-time undergraduates

  • Count and breadth of online programs available

  • Student-teacher ratio

  • 6-year graduation rate (4-year schools only)

  • % of beginning, full-time undergrads receiving scholarship/grant aid from the college

  • Average $ of financial aid students receive directly from the college

  • Availability of academic/career counseling services

  • Availability of job placement services for students and graduates

  • 3-year loan default rate

  • AC Online Peer-Based Value (PBV)*

  • *PBV is a proprietary metric that compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or similar) cost. In short, the PBV calculation denotes the overall value – or ‘bang for your buck’ – of an online degree.

Our college rankings are backed by data collected and analyzed from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a program managed by the National Center for Education Statistics. Surveying over 7,500 colleges annually, it is among the most longstanding and trusted providers of U.S. postsecondary information.

  • Most recent “Final Release” data available as of October 2017

Rank University Location Score Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateCredit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Holy Apostles College and Seminary Cromwell, CT 100.00 $10,800 7 N/A 6:120%yes no yes
2 Charter Oak State College New Britain, CT 99.94 $6,312 7 N/A 14:1N/Ayes no yes
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2-Year Best College Rankings

Rank University Location Score Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateCredit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Norwalk Community College Norwalk, CT 100.00 $3,432 12 41% 18:1N/Ayes yes yes
2 Asnuntuck Community College Enfield, CT 97.83 $3,432 4 48% 15:1N/Ayes yes yes
3 Manchester Community College Manchester, CT 92.01 $3,432 3 20% 18:1N/Ayes yes yes
4 Capital Community College Hartford, CT 91.78 $3,432 3 18% 14:1N/Ayes yes yes

The Growing Number of Connecticut’s Online Colleges

The Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium was founded in 1998 to support learning institutions that provide online opportunities to students from kindergarten through adult and higher education. This publicly funded organization helps to bridge the gap that many colleges and other schools found when navigating the technology behind online learning. Colleges in Connecticut continue to grow and develop their online degree programs with both hybrid and fully online options available to students within the state and beyond. Online opportunities range from community and private college degrees to online courses offered at the prestigious Yale University.

Connecticut’s Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition costs are usually one of the top concerns for students seeking a quality degree. While costs vary from school to school and often among degree programs within the same institution, non-resident students can expect to pay a higher rate than in-state students. Online programs also have added fees and other factors that student need to consider. To qualify for in-state tuition, students should establish in-state residency for at least one year prior to the first day of classes. Here’s a breakdown of the average in-state vs. out-of-state tuition rates in Connecticut.

In-state tuition: $11,106

Out-of-state tuition: $32,870

Source: U.S. Department of Education, 2017

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Should online college students plan to pay in-state or out-of-state tuition in Connecticut?

One of the benefits of online programs is that students can live anywhere in the U.S. or even abroad and still attend a Connecticut university online. In general, out-of-state students pay more than in-state residents of Connecticut, however online students typically have a special tuition rate no matter where they live. At Western Connecticut State University, undergraduate online students pay about $40 per credit hour more than their on-campus, resident counterparts. At Post University, tuition rates vary by the program level and type. Costs and fees are the same whether the student is a resident or not, and the rates are much lower for online students than on-campus students.

Quick summary on tuition:
  • 1.Online college students in Connecticut pay a different tuition rate from traditional students.

  • 2.Online students usually have additional fees besides regular tuition.

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What is the financial aid application process like in Connecticut?

Many students rely on financial aid to make their college dreams a reality. When applying for any aid, students must first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form helps determine need based on the student’s (and, if necessary, parents’) income and background. Students are encouraged to fill out this form early, but at least by March 15 of the year they plan to enter school. The Connecticut Office of Higher Education has resources and assistance for students applying for financial aid, such as how to pay for college, facts about receiving aid and warnings about scholarship scams.

When receiving financial aid, students must maintain certain academic standards to become and stay eligible. First, they must maintain satisfactory academic progress, which means they must hold a certain grade point average depending on the type of program they are in and complete at least a cumulative 67 percent of the courses they attempt. Graduate students have a slightly more rigorous requirement.

  • GPA

    2.0 grade point average for undergraduate students with 60 or more credits (lower for those with fewer credits) and 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average for graduate students.

  • Time commitments

    Students should attend at least half time, with awards adjusted for the total number of credit hours in which the student is enrolled.

  • Max credit loads

    Students can receive financial aid for up to 150 percent of the total degree credit requirement.

College Scholarships & Grants for Students in Connecticut

Scholarships are a good alternative to federal and state financial aid as, unlike financial aid, scholarships and grants do not have to be repaid after graduation. Students can apply for federal and state awards as well as private awards for specific fields of study or backgrounds. Award amounts vary widely, from those that can cover full tuition and fees to smaller scholarships and grants. Students should apply early because scholarships and grants tend to be competitive and because a student can receive a combination of different awards in any given academic year.

What kinds of scholarships and grants can I apply for in Connecticut?

There are many options when it comes to scholarships and grants. The Connecticut Office of Higher Education has state and federal programs outlined on its website, helping you get started with your research. Once you’ve narrowed down your college choices, check with the financial aid offices to find out what awards are available at that institution. You can also search online scholarship databases like Scholarship.com and Niche.com to find both state-based and field-based scholarships and grants.

How do I apply for Connecticut’s scholarships and grants for college?

Scholarship and grant applications start with filling out the FAFSA to help determine need and student background. Every scholarship has its own requirements and can include things like an application, essay, field of study, academic samples and sometimes an interview. Be aware of what is required, read the instructions carefully and submit all information as early as you can. Many scholarships and grants are highly competitive, so the earlier you submit the application the more likely you are to win the award.

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Deciding On an Online College in Connecticut

Choosing the perfect college for your educational and career goals might leave you with some questions. The process can be confusing and, at times, intimidating because of the wide range of information and opinions out there. We’ve talked to students and found answers to their most pressing questions, sharing them with you below. If you’re looking for an online college in Connecticut, we invite you to use these frequently asked questions as a guide.

Which colleges in Connecticut accept transfer credits and work/life experience?

Colleges each establish their own policies when it comes to transfer credits, with some even varying by field of study. Sacred Heart University and Charter Oak State College, for example, allow students to save money and time getting their degree with prior learning, or life experience, credits. Students must document what they know and how it will replace certain courses in their program. Other colleges allow students to transfer credit hours from other accredited institutions. Students can often only transfer a limited number of credits, as determined by the college.

If I live in Connecticut, am I required to choose an online college in the state?

Students do not need to choose a college in the state where they reside, which is one of the benefits of taking an online program. Often online programs are fully online, without requiring students to visit the campus for any reason. Other programs may require on-campus or practical work, where students must visit the campus. Be sure to check the requirements of your college or program before enrolling.

How do I determine which college in Connecticut is right for me?

Choosing an online college in Connecticut can be a time-consuming task, without the right resources and tools. The first step is to know your educational and career goals so you can find a school with a program in your field. Make a list of schools that have the program you want, offer a competitive enrollment and tuition with financial aid opportunities, provide ample student services and anything else that’s important for you to have available. Check each college’s accreditation and reputation to ensure you receive the best education possible. If possible, talk to current and former students as well as enrollment advisors to help you make your decision.