Delaware’s community colleges and universities see the value in online education, and many offer virtual programs identical to their traditional counterparts. Distance learning programs in Delaware present students with potential benefits such as flexible scheduling and options for off-campus living.
The University of Delaware, for example, offers more than 200 courses and a dozen programs in a web-based format. Degree programs center on advanced study at the master’s level, including six different options for nursing. The university recently hosted its first Massive Open Online Course, Phoneography, for a worldwide audience. The online undergraduate and graduate degrees from UD include MBA, RN to BSN, teacher leadership and mechanical engineering programs.
Delaware Technical and Community College has a variety of learning options, including web-enhanced and hybrid courses where students meet on campus for about half the classes, in addition to online coursework.
It’s not difficult to find quality education through on-site or online schools in Wilmington. Some of Wilmington’s colleges offer fully online options, while others have specific courses available, often through graduate or continuing education programs. Wilmington University has online programs in areas such as business, behavioral and social sciences, education, health care, liberal arts and technology. This university also provides 14 locations in the city and surrounding areas, expanding the network of resources available.
Known as “the corporate capital of the world,” Wilmington hosts several institutions of higher learning. Six of these are satellite locations of larger universities, including Delaware State University, Delaware Technical and Community College, Drexel University and Springfield College. With locations in and around the downtown area, University of Delaware – Wilmington offers degrees in subject areas such as sociology, criminal justice, business and economics. The campus also boasts a professional and continuing studies department so adults can go back to school to further their careers.
Students planning to attend college must consider the costs associated with higher education. Tuition costs are a major expense, especially at some private schools. Colleges in Delaware generally offer lower tuition to students with established state residency. The annual tuition for Delaware residents in 2012 was $10,776, ranking Delaware 21st for in-state tuition in the country.
Living expenses are another cost to consider when choosing a college. Room and board are responsible for a significant portion of higher education costs. Expenses can vary widely, depending on whether a student lives on or off campus. The state’s cost of living is also a factor, and in Delaware, this ranks about 2 percent higher than the national average. This table examines the cost of living (COL) in the metro areas of Delaware in comparison to the national average (100):
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Before selecting a college, it’s important to look at the value of that college’s degrees. Do graduates land solid employment after earning a diploma? Does the average graduate earn a healthy lifetime salary, and do those earnings compare well with the cost of the college? This long-term return on investment (ROI) could be the most valuable metric that students overlook. The following colleges in Delaware offered students the highest ROI in 2013:
One way students at Delaware colleges and universities can reduce college costs is with federal financial aid. Federal programs are need-based, so students must fill out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to find out how much assistance they may be eligible to receive. In 2012, 64 percent of undergraduate students in Delaware received financial aid, putting the state near the bottom nationwide.
Scholarships are another option for reducing college costs. Some colleges and universities in Delaware award scholarships to make college more affordable. Nonprofit organizations, companies, and state and local governments offer scholarships in Delaware as well. Here are some of the scholarships and supporters for students in the state:
Several regional and national accrediting agencies set standards for colleges and universities in the United States. In order for students to receive financial assistance, the school they choose to attend must have the proper accreditation. In Delaware, the chief regional accrediting body is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. This private, not-for-profit agency examines the school as a whole, as well as its programs, faculty and methods, to ensure students receive a high-quality education. In addition, Delaware colleges may also seek specialized accreditation, which applies to business schools, law schools and nursing programs, to start. For example, the University of Delaware’s School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
What Delaware lacks in size, it makes up for in educational opportunities at the postsecondary level. The state is home to colleges and universities with an array of online courses and degrees to complement traditional on-campus offerings. Some institutions feature fully online degree programs with a choice of full-time or part-time schedules, while others blend Internet-based and on-site instruction. The schools listed here have been chosen for their commitment to providing flexible and affordable online degree programs that meet rigorous standards of quality.
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|University of Delaware||86.00||54%||18||15:1||79%||
The University of Delaware is one of the oldest universities in the United States and can trace it’s origins back to 1743. Online learning through the University of Delaware combines on-demand video lectures, interactive assignments, real-life case studies, social interaction and digital resources. Students can choose from more than 200 individual online courses, or consider an undergraduate degree program, a graduate degree program or a professional development program – all with the flexibility that comes with distance learning. Plus, the online program extends the same benefits to students that traditional on-campus learning provides.
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Students have the option of pursuing more than 90 degree programs that are 100 percent online and in a flexible format at Wilmington University. There are 13 undergraduate programs, six graduate programs and four certificate programs to choose from. The university offers online courses where there is no on-location meetings and they offer hybrid courses with limited on-location meetings. Academic years at Wilmington are three semesters and six blocks during the fall, spring and summer. Online courses typically run between seven and 15 weeks long. Wilmington University uses the Blackboard course management system for their online course offerings.
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Although the coastal state of Delaware ranks as the second smallest in the country, it still offers a diverse selection of academic opportunities, with online studies available at levels ranging from community college to graduate school. With so many choices available, finding appropriate online programs may take some research. The search tool below can help students make an informed decision about where to attend school by getting a better understanding of the differences in tuition, degree programs, enrollment and more.
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Wilmington University offers more than 60 degrees, certificates and concentrations available through its "WilmU" distance-learning program. Students can advance their education through coursework in business, education, healthcare, the liberal arts and technology. Additional resources to help generate a positive e-learning experience include advising, library resources, and tutoring that are available online.
|2||University of Delaware||$11,682||19,292||YES|
The University of Delaware offers a number of advanced degrees through distance education to give students flexibility in their learning. Students can work on online master's degrees in areas such as administration and policy, education and human services, engineering, and the health sciences. Additional degree programs may be available through a hybrid format that combines both campus-based and online college learning.
|3||Widener University-Delaware Campus||$13,050||245||YES|
Distance-learning options available at Widener University at the Delaware Campus include associate and bachelor's degrees and minor programs. One-year accelerated master's degrees in education are also available with online college. Learning takes place through WebStudy software, and courses are delivered in 14-week semesters or through shorter semesters of seven weeks that utilize hybrid learning.
To gain a sense of the true value of an online education in the state, we spoke to a representative from Wilmington University. The university offers more than 80 online degrees and certificates, and it takes pride in the affordable price tag for its web-based programs, as shown below.
How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?
At Wilmington University, we strive to offer a state-of-the-art and interactive online student learning experience that delivers high quality academics in a flexible, convenient online format.
What makes your online programs so valuable to students?
Our programs offer students fully-accredited, relevant, and affordable online courses that are designed to prepare them for their career. Academic programs are taught by expert faculty who currently work within their field of study, giving them current insight into the subject matter.
Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?
Over the next five years Wilmington University will be a regional leader of innovative, online learning options that continually increase opportunities for students to access our virtual classrooms. We seek to provide practical learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom. We will add new programs and continually update all course offerings to incorporate the latest academic standards and technological innovations. Programs will also include a variety of student-centered learning options to demonstrate mastery through a variety of emerging pedagogical techniques.
Numerous resources are available for students interested in attending online colleges in Delaware. These websites offer details on topics including financial aid, accreditation and state associations providing assistance for students.