Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Connecticut

Does Connecticut have good online colleges and universities?

Connecticut offers several online bachelor’s degree programs that are decently ranked by U.S. News & World Report. At the graduate level, many online programs at institutions in Connecticut rank especially high — for instance, University of Connecticut (UConn) ranks No. 7 in Online Master’s in Business (non-MBA), No. 8 in Online Master’s in Nursing, and No. 9 in Online Master’s in Nursing Education. University of New Haven ranks No. 14 in the country for Online Master’s in Criminal Justice. So, particularly at the graduate level, Connecticut has a range of high-quality online degree programs, especially for such a small state.

Do online college credits in Connecticut cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some colleges offer discounted rates for online courses regardless of where you live, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. In Connecticut, the only schools that offer online bachelor’s degree programs are private universities, and their tuition fees tend to be higher than those of public institutions. However, many community colleges in Connecticut offer online courses at reasonable rates, especially for in-state students.

Why should you choose Connecticut for online higher education?

Connecticut’s online graduate degree programs are particularly strong. If you are looking for an online master’s program in fields such as nursing, business, criminal justice, or nursing education, Connecticut has high-quality, relatively affordable options. At the undergraduate level, your options are slightly more limited and expensive relative to other states. That said, you may benefit from the online course offerings at Connecticut’s extensive network of community colleges.

The Cost of Online College in Connecticut

How much does an online degree in Connecticut cost?

The cost of an online degree in Connecticut depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you choose to pursue. For example, undergraduate degrees are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you may find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save a lot of money on indirect expenses, such as transportation and housing, by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the current rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Connecticut below:

  • Most affordable online college in Connecticut: Albertus Magnus College, $552 per credit
  • Most expensive online college in Connecticut: Sacred Heart University, $590 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in Connecticut to get in-state tuition rates?

Establishing Connecticut residency typically requires you to have resided in Connecticut for at least 12 months prior to declaring Connecticut residency. You must also prove that you came to Connecticut for reasons other than education and that you intend to stay there for the foreseeable future. This entails, for instance, changing your driver’s license and voter registration, paying Connecticut state taxes, being employed in the state, etc. Some exceptions are made for veterans and active-duty service members.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Connecticut?

Connecticut offers several ways to reduce your tuition costs. One is through participation in the New England Regional Student Program (RSP), which enables students from New England states to enroll at out-of-state New England public colleges and universities at a discount. Costs vary depending on the institution you want to attend. At UConn, qualified New England RSP students pay 175% of UConn’s in-state tuition cost. This can end up saving you thousands, or even tens of thousands, on your degree.

Connecticut also sponsors a program called PACT, which enables qualified residents to attend community college in Connecticut for free. The PACT grant covers the gap between the financial aid you receive and the tuition and fees you need to pay. Eligibility is determined using FAFSA application data, so it’s important to file that early and accurately. The FAFSA will also show whether you’re eligible for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and other financial aid awards.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Connecticut

In addition to New England RSP reciprocity agreements and PACT community college grants, there are a number of other programs available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are also based on financial need, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent financial aid options for you below:

Yale New Haven Hospital Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship Program

Established by Yale New Haven Hospital and administered by Scholarship America, this program offers merit-based scholarships to minority high school seniors from the greater New Haven area who plan to enroll in a full-time program leading to a degree in nursing or allied health fields. Up to seven awards of $2,000 each are granted annually.

Who’s eligible? Minority students from the greater New Haven area who plan to enroll full-time in a nursing or allied health degree program, and who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership, and life skills.

Contact information: [email protected] | 507-931-1682

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Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund

This is a scholarship for permanent residents of New England states who demonstrate financial need and display academic achievement, a commitment to serving others, a strong work ethic, and leadership qualities. Awards tend to range from $3,000 to $17,000.

Who’s eligible? New England residents enrolled in an eligible program at an eligible postsecondary institution who meet certain financial need criteria, maintain a GPA of at least 3.0, and demonstrate qualities of community service and leadership.

Contact information: [email protected] | 978-744-2111

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Live Out Loud Young Trailblazers Scholarship

This scholarship awards $5,000 to three LGBTQ+ high school seniors from the tri-state area (Connecticut, New York, New Jersey) who demonstrate financial need and have made an important impact on their community.

Who’s eligible? Tri-state area LGBTQ+ high school seniors with financial need who have positively impacted their community.

Contact information: [email protected] | 646-653-4312

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Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity

This scholarship awards $4,000 to $20,000 to students who demonstrate exceptionally innovative and creative problem solving.

Who’s eligible? High school juniors and seniors and college freshmen who either live in or plan to attend college in Connecticut or the NYC metro area.

Contact information: [email protected] | 203-777-2386

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5 Fastest Growing Industries in Connecticut

If you’re still in the process of assessing your college options, you may also be undecided on your major. When selecting a major, one of the most important factors to consider is your future employability. Thinking about which industries and careers are growing the fastest in Connecticut can make it easier to find a job once you graduate, and being in demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By consulting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Long-Term Employment Projections 2018–2028, we’ve determined that the following five careers have some of the highest projected growth rates in Connecticut:

Industrial Engineers

Industrial engineers work in many different fields, from healthcare to finance. They focus on maximizing efficiency and eliminating waste. Unlike some other types of engineers (nuclear, chemical, etc.), industrial engineers can typically enter their careers with only a bachelor’s degree. In Connecticut, industrial engineers earn an average annual salary of $93,330.

  • Projected growth: 20.9%
  • Degree options: Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering, Bachelor’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Bachelor’s in Operations Research, Bachelor’s in Supply Chain Management, Bachelor’s in Manufacturing Engineering

Financial Managers

Financial managers tend to the financial health of an organization. Given Connecticut’s proximity to New York City, Boston, and other metro areas on the East Coast, it’s a popular location for corporate headquarters. For example, the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates has its headquarters in Westport, Connecticut, and health insurance company Aetna is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut. Financial managers earn an average annual salary of $170,500 in the state.

Personal Care Aides

As Connecticut’s population ages and chronic and acute medical conditions become more prevalent, the state is in increasing need of personal care aides to assist patients, often older adults or disabled people, with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing. In Connecticut, personal care aides make an average annual salary of $29,450.

Substance Use Disorder, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

Connecticut, like most states in the U.S., is experiencing a mental health and addiction epidemic. There is a growing need to provide more professional support around substance use disorder, behavioral issues, and mental health. In Connecticut, counselors in this field earn an average salary of $56,060 per year.

  • Growth: 19.9%
  • Degree options: Bachelor’s in Clinical/Medical Social Work, Bachelor’s in Psychology, Bachelor’s in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, Master’s in Clinical/Medical Social Work, Master’s in Clinical Psychology, Master’s in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling

Software Developers (Applications)

Across the nation, software developers are in high demand, and Connecticut is no exception. Salaries in this field tend to be quite high, with software developers earning an average salary of $107,550 per year in Connecticut.

Our Research

For this list, we reviewed some of the best online colleges in Connecticut. We included research institutions, mid-sized universities, and liberal arts colleges, and we based our selections on tuition costs, the coursework delivery format, and the minimum number of credits needed to graduate.

To help ensure the quality of these programs, we only included institutions approved by regional accreditors such as the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). NECHE evaluates schools by reviewing academic performance, mission, and overall effectiveness. It is recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

  • 21hours to write this article
  • 55universities and colleges we assessed
  • 102education programs we compared

The Top 20 Online Colleges in Connecticut

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