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Delaware Online Colleges & Universities: Top Schools for 2018

Updated on: 01/04/2018
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For online students, the process of choosing a college program can have a big impact on their education and future career. For this reason, prospective students must carefully research schools to find answers to their questions before making a decision. For example, students who are concerned with reducing costs may want to investigate financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Other students may focus on finding the best online colleges in the state and defining what makes them the best. By exploring these and other questions, this page provides students with the knowledge to choose an online college in Delaware that supports their academic and career goals.

Best Online Colleges in Delaware: 2018

The factors that determine which school is best depend on what is important academically and financially for a prospective student. Are they looking for the best affordable online colleges in Delaware because they need to keep the cost down? Or perhaps the student is more interested in the best accredited online colleges in Delaware because of specific career aspirations. The ranking below weighs factors related to quality and affordability to provide a comprehensive picture of online college options in Delaware. Then students can delve deeper into a specific data if necessary. Take a look at the online colleges in Delaware on our list of the “Best” for the 2017-2018 school year so you can identify the schools that match your needs.

  • 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 University of Delaware Newark, DE 100.00 $10,900 6 67% 16:182%no yes yes
2 Wilmington University New Castle, DE 97.66 $10,140 34 26% 14:135%yes yes yes

The Growth of Online Colleges: Delaware

Community colleges and universities in Delaware provide a range of options for online students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The University of Delaware promotes social interaction and collaboration in a virtual environment with more than 200 interactive, on-demand classes with a flexible schedule for busy students. At Wilmington University, students interested in pursuing distance learning can work toward 90+ online degrees when taking courses equal to the traditional courses offered on-campus. Delaware Technical Community College presents online classes in several formats. For instance, in addition to fully online, there are hybrid courses, which split instruction time between the traditional classroom setting the online learning management system.

Paying for School: Delaware’s Tuition & Financial Aid

Affordability is a concern for many prospective students. Tuition costs can vary widely depending on where the student resides before entering a program. Because in-state tuition is usually considerably lower than out-of-state tuition and Delaware, like other states, has strict residency requirements. In most cases, students must live in Delaware for 12 consecutive months to qualify for the reduced tuition available to state residents. The alternative is to pay much more per credit hour as an out-of-state student. Below are the 2016-2017 average tuition rates in the state of Delaware:

In-state tuition: $11,670

Out-of-state tuition: $28,962

Source: U.S. Department of Education, 2017

Explore Online Degree Programs in Delaware

Do students pay in-state or out-of-state tuition for online college in Delaware?

Some Delaware colleges have made it easier to qualify for in-state tuition rates, particularly since the rise in popularity of distance education. For instance, online graduate school tuition at the University of Delaware is the same for in-state residents as it is for out-of-state residents. Furthermore, tuition for online students at Wilmington University is the same no matter where the student resides.

Delaware residents who seek the flexibility associated with distance education can also qualify for tuition savings through two Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) programs: the Academic Common Market (ACM) and the Regional Contract Program (RCP). With ACM, online students in Delaware pay in-state tuition rates in more than 1,900 undergraduate and graduate programs in 15 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. RCP allows students in professional health degree programs (dentistry, medicine, optometry, osteopathic medicine, podiatry, veterinary medicine) to pay in-state tuition at schools in Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

Quick summary on tuition:
  • 1.Residency does not affect the tuition rates at all Delaware colleges.

  • 2.The Academic Common Market allows Delaware residents to pay in-state tuition in 14 states.

  • 3.Professional health students can participate in the Regional Contract Program pay in-state tuition at schools in seven states.

Explore Online Degree Programs in Delaware

How should I apply for financial aid for college in Delaware?

All Delaware students seeking financial aid must fill out and submit the FAFSA application form by using income tax information from two years prior. Although the federal FAFSA deadline is June 30, students in Delaware must file by April 30 to qualify for state scholarships. It’s important not to wait until the last minute. Filing as soon as possible after the October 1 starting date ensures students receive all the aid they are eligible for, particularly grants and scholarships with their own early deadlines. Applicants will need to include the 6-digit Federal School Code for the college, posted on most school websites.

Each Delaware student who receives financial aid is monitored for satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to determine whether they maintain eligibility. To meet the minimum SAP standards, students need to show progress in several areas such as the following:

  • GPA

    2.0 undergraduate and 3.0 graduate

  • Time commitments

    Complete 67% of cumulative attempted credits based on review each semester. Class repeats, incompletes, withdraws, and fails do not qualify.

  • Max credit loads

    Federal regulation does not permit financial aid to cover an excess of more than 150% of required program credits (180 credits for a 120-credit undergraduate program, 54 credits for a 36-hour graduate program.)

College Scholarships & Grants for Students in Delaware

Another way for prospective students to make college more affordable is to qualify for scholarships or grants from the state and federal agencies or private organizations that offer them. While federal aid is need-based, Delaware scholarships and grants can also be merit-based. Best of all, unlike with federal loans, students do not usually have to repay scholarships after graduation. Students should research available scholarships and determine what each award application requires. Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions college students in Delaware ask about the process of researching and applying for scholarships.

Which scholarships and grants can I apply for in Delaware?

Whether attending online or on-campus classes, students in Delaware have access to plenty of scholarship opportunities. One of the most lucrative awards is the Student Excellence Equals Degree (SEED) Scholarship, open to all full-time students enrolled in an Associate in Arts program at the Dover, Georgetown, and Wilmington campuses of the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College. Also, the Delaware Department of Education, Higher Education Office offers a Scholarship Incentive Program. Other places to find scholarship opportunities are databases such as scholarships.com and niche.com on the pages state of Delaware pages.

What’s the application process like for Delaware’s scholarships and grants?

After you’ve researched Delaware scholarships and determined that you fit the profile described, check the application requirements to see what you need to complete. Each scholarship is different, but applicants usually need to submit academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a written essay. Applicants should pay close attention to the application deadline so as not to lose out on an award due to a late submission. Make sure to complete the entire application and then have a trusted peer or mentor review the materials for typos or other errors before sending it off.

Explore Online Degree Programs in Delaware

Choosing the Right Online College in Delaware

When it comes to evaluating online colleges, students weigh some factors more than others based on their short-term and long-range goals. Academic considerations include the quality of the program and available student resources while financial concerns include tuition and fees and residency options. We asked students at colleges in Delaware to share their priorities when choosing a school. Here are three of the top questions raised by these students along with the information necessary for you to choose the right online college in Delaware.

Do Delaware colleges accept transfer credits and work/life experience?

While all colleges in Delaware have some type of transfer policy, not all classes are transferable. Fortunately, there are multiple systems in place to help you determine if a course you’ve already completed can count toward your new degree. University of Delaware students can use the Transfer Matrix to find a list of classes that are approved to transfer from schools in any of the 50 states. The searchable database for students at Delaware Technical Community College shows which courses can be transferred into and out of the school.

In addition, at Wilmington University College of Online and Experiential Learning, students can receive credit for prior learning. Wilmington University also accepts credits for military training and occupations from all branches of service.

Am I required to attend an online college in Delaware if I’m a resident?

No. Delaware residents can enroll in online colleges outside their home state. In fact, in many cases, it’s possible to attend college out-of-state while paying in-state tuition.

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

First, think about what is most important to you in an online program. For example, criteria can include accreditation, cost, support services, student-faculty ratio, and reputation. Next, search for all online college in Delaware, like in the ranking on this page and the search tool below. Then, filter the list by the most important quality from step one. For instance, if accreditation is number one on your list, write down only the Delaware colleges with accreditation. Keep filtering the list with the remaining criteria in order of importance. By following these steps, you should be able to create a short-list of potential schools. You may want to call the admissions counselors for these schools or even visit in person before making your final choice.