Best Online Colleges in Connecticut

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Connecticut has taken major steps to keep its online and distance learning programs up to national education standards. In 1998, the state launched the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium, which provides support and services to educators using technology to broaden their learning opportunities.

Today, most of Connecticut’s top universities offer online degree programs and coursework, including Quinnipiac University, the University of Connecticut, Southern Connecticut State University, and Yale University. Additionally, the state has licensed more than more 200 online degree programs for operation, with a total of 46 degree-granting institutions statewide.

While total enrollments in public degree-granting programs climbed 25.9 percent from 2000 to 2010, appropriations continue to sit below the national average. It’s part of a trend that has seen tuitions at both public and private institutions rise steadily in recent years. As a result, many students are seeking online degree programs, which are typically more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. Residents of the state can choose from a wide range of professional and educational opportunities.

2016 Online Education Trends Report: Learn how online programs are changing the face of higher education.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description

Quinnipiac University

 5/575.96%Hamden, CT


Quinnipiac University Online offers a variety of undergraduate degree completion, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs through its Schools of Business, Communications, Education, Health Sciences and Nursing.

All of Quinnipiac’s online programs are regionally accredited and designed with working professionals in mind. Coursework is delivered asynchronously, allowing students the flexibility to complete their degree around their busy schedules.

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St Vincent’s College

 3/566.67%Bridgeport, CT


Programs at St. Vincent’s focus on careers in healthcare, thanks in part to its affiliation with St. Vincent’s Medical Center. The college is well known for its healthcare courses, making it a huge draw for nursing students across the country.

St. Vincent’s, a private liberal arts Catholic college, offers fully online, hybrid, and online-enhanced learning opportunities. Three online-only bachelor's programs are available, including an RN to BSN completion program, BSRS (radiologic services), and a BS in healthcare leadership. Students can interact with classmates using either Blackboard, Angel, or Moodle, and can communicate with their professors via email.

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University of Bridgeport

 4/529.5%Bridgeport, CT


The University of Bridgeport received the distinction of being one of the best online programs in Connecticut from U.S. News and World Report. Their programs launched in 1997 and today include bachelor’s programs in dentistry, business, nursing, and general studies. Graduate degrees include a master’s in dentistry, nutrition, health, educational leadership, and an MBA. Chiropractors can also take continuing education courses online.

All courses are asynchronous, and are offered on a rolling calendar throughout the year. Online courses are delivered through the same industry professionals and scholars who teach on-campus, and UB provides personalized, one-on-one advising for all of its distance students.

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Sacred Heart University

 5/566.97%Fairfield, CT


SHU specializes in nursing and psychology. The university offers an RN to BSN in nursing degree as well as an RN to MSN degree, and all online nursing students have the opportunity to travel internationally for clinical and service work through the school’s global programs. Students can also complete a bachelor’s programs in applied psychology and a non-credit ESL certification.

Asynchronous courses means that the materials are available 24/7, so students can fit courses in around their own schedule. Financial aid is available for online programs and degrees at Sacred Heart.

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University of New Haven

 5/549.6%West Haven, CT


UNH was originally affiliated with Yale but has since moved to its own campus. New Haven offers five completely online classes, including a BS in professional studies or a master’s in criminal justice, emergency management, environmental engineering, and investigations. The university’s criminal justice programs are well known and respected country-wide.

UNH’s online learning programs are fully accredited, and available 24/7 via asynchronous learning. Its MS degree in investigations is the first online degree of its kind, and is considered cutting-edge in the field of criminology.

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More About Online Colleges in Connecticut

Connecticut is one of the smallest states in the U.S. by size, however it is also one of the most densely populated; Connecticut’s Hartford-Springfield region is home to more than 25 universities and 160,000 students and is New England’s second most populous area. While the state continues to boast one of the highest per capita rates in the country, the cost of living and of higher education have risen accordingly. In-state tuition for public and private universities increased by 28.9% and 26.1%, respectively, in the last five years.

After a steady decline of four years, in 2014 Connecticut expanded its budget for higher education programs to increase spending on state programs by over 7%. Of Connecticut’s estimated 2014 higher education budget of nearly $676 million, the largest percentage (44.5%) was allocated to the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system under the Board of Regents, responsible for facilitating the majority of both on-campus and online programs for college students in the state.

Browse our list of the best online colleges in Connecticut for more insight into distance learning programs in this state.

NCES Report

Recent NCES reports indicate that 6.8% (14,701) of students enrolled in Connecticut’s Title IV institutions were in exclusively online programs.

  • 75.3% of students at for-profit four-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 4.3% of students at two-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 54.3% were living in Connecticut
  • 45.2% were living elsewhere in the United States

The governing agencies over higher education in Connecticut have implemented several key initiatives to drive distance education in the state. Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium receives partial state funding to provide online education programs and resources for students in middle school, high school, secondary and postsecondary school. The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system also connects students of all ages with comprehensive distance programs, available through both private and public Connecticut institutions. In addition, both the CDLC and CSCU support adult learning programs provide student-employer workforce solutions.