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New Hampshire Online Colleges & Universities: Top Schools for 2018

Updated on: 01/04/2018

Choosing a college is a major decision, and many questions need to be answered before that decision is made. One of the biggest questions is how much will a degree cost. However, answering that question isn’t as simple as figuring out what the tuition is. There are other variables that can affect price, such as residency status and financial aid award. Then there’s balancing the cost of the school with the quality of education. The purpose of this guide is to help potential college students make an informed decision when choosing to attend a New Hampshire online college or university.

What are students asking…

New Hampshire’s Online College Growth

Over the past few years, distance education has really taken off. The flexibility offered through online learning puts a college degree in reach for working professionals, busy parents and others who don’t have the time to sit in a classroom. Traditionally, their only option was to attend classes part time or in the evening. But with the power of the internet, students can take their classes at their own pace and at any time during the day.

Southern New Hampshire University is leading the shift with over 200 online college degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. And every one of the seven community colleges that make up New Hampshire’s community college system offer courses 100 percent online through the Blackboard system. Even New Hampshire’s flagship public institution, the University of New Hampshire, offers a wide range of online graduate programs.

Tuition & Financial Aid Available for New Hampshire Students

Establishing residency in a state can make a huge difference in the amount of tuition a student pays. To establish New Hampshire residency for tuition purposes, students (or their parents, if they are dependents) must live in New Hampshire for at least 12 continuous months before the academic term for which the student wishes to enroll. Additionally, living in New Hampshire must be for purposes other than attending school. Below is an average cost for in-state versus out-of-state tuitions (excluding any Tuition Break discounts) for the 2015-2016 school year.

In-state tuition (public, 4-year institution): $14,986

Out-of-state tuition (public, 4-year institution): $26,795

In-state tuition (public, 2-year institution): $6,999

Out-of-state tuition (public, 2-year institution): $15,204

Private tuition: $31,979

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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Do I need to pay in-state or out-of-state tuition for online college in New Hampshire?

It depends on the program and school. For private four-year institutions, as well as two-year community colleges, residency status generally makes no difference as to online tuition, with students paying the in-state rate regardless of residency. However, for many public four-year institutions, online course offerings are slightly more expensive per credit hour for out-of-state residents.

For students who aren’t residents of New Hampshire, but live in a neighboring New England state, there is a special program that will reduce the cost of their out-of-state tuition. New Hampshire is part of the New England Board of Higher Education’s Tuition Break program, which allows students who are residents of any New England state (Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine or Vermont) to enroll in an out-of-state New England college or university at a discounted tuition rate. However, students must choose a major that is not offered by any of their home state colleges or universities.

Quick summary on tuition:
  • 1.Students pay an in-state tuition rate for online courses at private and community colleges, although out-of-state students may pay slightly higher online tuition than in-state residents at public four-year institutions.

  • 2.The Tuition Break program allows students from any New England state to receive out-of-state tuition discounts at another New England school if their home state doesn’t offer their chosen major course of study.

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What is the financial aid application process in New Hampshire?

Students wishing to apply for federal and school specific financial aid should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This is a very important application that any student seeking need-based (and sometimes merit-based) financial aid should complete.

Completing the FAFSA is important even if students desire non-federal financial aid; even if the student only wants to apply for financial aid from a specific school, completion of the FAFSA is still necessary.

The deadline for completing the FAFSA is June 30, although students may begin submitting the FAFSA on October 1, approximately one year prior to their intention to begin taking classes. It’s strongly recommended students submit their FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1. Keep in mind that specific schools may have different deadlines for completion of the FAFSA. For example, at the University of New Hampshire, the deadline is March 1.

Because New Hampshire has limited state-based financial aid offerings, students need only be concerned with FAFSA and federal financial aid eligibility requirements. However, if students are interested in school-specific financial aid or private scholarships and grants, they must meet the applicable eligibility requirements, such as GPA, area of study, ethnicity, family background, religious affiliation, etc.

Scholarship & Grant Opportunities in New Hampshire

Unlike school loans, scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid. As a result, they are most sought after. New Hampshire has very few state-based scholarship and grant opportunities, so students attending a New Hampshire school must rely primarily on federal grants, school-specific awards or scholarships and grants from private organizations, such as companies and non-profit institutions.

Which New Hampshire-specific scholarships are available for me to apply for?

The one state-based financial aid option offered by the State of New Hampshire is Scholarships for Orphans of Veterans, where the primary criterion for eligibility is being the child of a deceased military veteran.

With a limited number of state-based grants and scholarships available, many New Hampshire schools have stepped up to provide their own scholarships and grants. For example, the University of New Hampshire offers a large number of scholarships based on a variety of criteria. Granite State College offers several exclusive scholarships, as well.

New Hampshire students can also check out the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation for a list of scholarships and grants tailored to New Hampshire students.

How should I apply for New Hampshire grants and scholarships?

The exact process for applying for a grant or scholarship will depend on the organization offering the scholarship. However, most scholarships require completion of an application (or FAFSA), financial information (such as the student’s or parents’ tax returns), letters of recommendation, essay, high school transcript and standardized test scores.

To achieve the greatest chance of obtaining a scholarship award, keep a few things in mind. First, apply as soon as possible and never miss the deadline. Not only will late submissions likely be ignored, but most scholarships are limited. This means many qualified and exemplary students are denied a scholarship award because they applied after the allotted scholarship awards were given out.

Second, to help ensure your scholarship application is submitted quickly, as soon as you decide to apply for the scholarship, begin work on your essay and lining up individuals to write your letters of recommendation. You want to give your recommenders plenty of time to write the best letter of recommendation possible. And you want enough time for your essay because it’s not just the writing to worry about; you also need enough time to modify and proofread it.

Third, expect to revise and tweak your essay often. Because most scholarships and grants rely on an essay as the primary method for students to distinguish themselves from other applicants, sending in a well-written and polished essay can really set you apart. Almost no one, even the best writer in the world, produces their best work on the first try.

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Best Online Colleges in New Hampshire for 2018

The word “best” is such a simple word, but it’s difficult to define. Why? Because everyone has their own definition of what constitutes the “best” and schools are no different. For some students, the best school could be one that provides a particular degree at the lowest price. As a result, they’ll want to find the best affordable online colleges in New Hampshire. For other students, the quality of a specific academic program is the primary consideration. Therefore, choosing the best accredited online colleges in New Hampshire will depend on finding a school that offers a desired area of study with high-quality professors and a good reputation. Check out the following ranking to find out which New Hampshire schools made our “best” of list for the 2017-2018 school year. Users can examine each ranking based on a number of factors, including price and academic quality.

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Methodology

To find the best online colleges in each state for the 2016-2017 school year, our researchers and higher education experts collected and analyzed data from every accredited postsecondary institution in the United States. The goal? To see which colleges offered the most notable balances of academic rigor, student support and affordability for online learning. The specific criteria and scoring metrics for the ranking are as follows:

  • Accredited public or private not-for-profit institution located in the state

  • Must offer at least 3 online associate degree programs (2-year schools)

  • Must offer at least 3 online bachelor’s degree programs (4-year schools)

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

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

  • In-state tuition & fees for undergraduate students

  • Count and breadth of online programs available

  • Student-to-faculty ratio

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

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

  • Average amount of scholarship/grant aid students receive 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.

Rank University Location Score Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateCredit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Plymouth State University Plymouth, NH 100.00 $10,410 7 85% 17:156%no yes yes
2 Granite State College Concord, NH 97.89 $6,840 35 1% 12:19%yes yes yes

Selecting an Online College in New Hampshire

Finding the right online college in New Hampshire depends on the specific needs and goals of the student. For some, choosing a school with a particular program is the single more important factor. For others, it’s the cost to obtain a degree. Below is a list of commonly asked questions that prospective students ask when deciding which online college to attend.

Do any colleges in New Hampshire accept transfer credit and work/life experience?

Most definitely. Most schools will accept transfer students, although each school has its own transfer policies. For example, some schools, such as Southern New Hampshire University, allow students to transfer up to 90 credits towards their degree.

And for students transferring from a New Hampshire community college to four-year colleges and universities in New Hampshire, there is a database hosted by NH Transfer that allows students to see which courses will be accepted at which schools and for how many credits.

New Hampshire students can also obtain transfer credits for experience obtained outside the classroom. At Granite State College, students can get college credit from professional training, CLEP and work experience.

If I’m a New Hampshire resident, do I have to choose an online college in the state?

Absolutely not. Practically all accredited online programs across the nation will accept students from anywhere in the United States. And most of these schools will allow their out-of-state students to pay the same tuition rate as their in-state students.

How do I find and choose an online college in New Hampshire?

There are a variety of ways you can approach choosing an online school in New Hampshire. The first thing you can do is find schools with online course offerings that suit your needs.

Today, most schools offer classes with online components. However, most students seeking an online college desire a program that’s primarily or entirely online. You’ll need to identify online colleges that offer the level of online education you require.

Next, you should identify important school characteristics. For example, you might have a specific degree you want to get or you may have certain financial limitations. Or perhaps you desire a high level of attention, so the student-faculty ratio will be very important. Once you identify these school traits, you should find the online colleges and universities in New Hampshire that meet these requirements.

Finally, take a look at each school’s tuition and cost of attendance to see which schools are most affordable and provide the best education value for your dollar.