Best Online Colleges in New Hampshire

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New Hampshire is a member of the New England Regional Student Program (RSP). The RSP Tuition Break program offers students the flexibility to attend school outside of their home state at a reduced nonresident price, provided that none of the public colleges or universities within their home state offers a degree in their chosen field of study. Over 800 degree programs are offered through the RSP Tuition Break program, saving students and their families millions of dollars each year.

Similar to the RSP Tuition Break program, students at participating schools are also able to enroll in courses not offered at their own school through the Student Exchange program run by the nonprofit New Hampshire College & University Council.

In the 2013-2014 school year, New Hampshire’s four-year colleges and universities reported that 25,000 of their 78,000 students were enrolled exclusively in distance education courses. That number will likely grow, due to the state’s voluntary membership in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). SARA streamlines the process where states authorize online courses for nonresident students. This makes the state’s distance learning programs more accessible for all students, while also indicating that each course meets established quality control guidelines.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1Southern New Hampshire University68.894/559%Manchester, NH

SNHU, known nationally as one of the best online colleges in New Hampshire, offers more than 200 academic programs for students, including associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. Areas of study online include accounting, healthcare, liberal arts, information technology, social sciences, and more. SNHU keeps these programs affordable, with tuition rates the same for all students no matter where they call home.

In addition to its rigorous programs, the university offers 24/7 access to class materials and resources, allowing students to complete their coursework on their own schedules. Several student services available online, including tutors for those who need a little extra help with certain subjects.

SNHU is also transfer-friendly, accepting up to 90 credits from most accredited institutions, while also working with students to find scholarship and financial aid opportunities. Although most coursework is completed online, SNHU also has several regional centers, where students can engage in a more traditional face-to-face environment.

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2Plymouth State University64.273/555%Plymouth, NH

Plymouth State operates one of the best online colleges in New Hampshire, with online graduate programs that include instructional design, curriculum and instruction, library media, business administration, and accounting. Exact admission requirements depend on the program, but generally, accepted students must hold a bachelor's degree, provide several letters of recommendation, and submit a written essay describing their motivation behind seeking an advanced degree.

Additionally, PSU offers a 100% online undergraduate nursing associate degree. After completing that program, students may start their careers in healthcare and/or move on to a bachelor's program at PSU's partner institution, Granite State University. Notably, more than 90% of students at Plymouth State receive some sort of financial aid. The university is located in the small New Hampshire town of Plymouth, near White Mountain National Forest.

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3Granite State College60.833/550%Concord, NH

With more than 77% of its students taking online classes at some point in their academic careers, Granite State is among the top New Hampshire online colleges. The institution places a premium on accessibility, offering a wide range of programs and coursework that students may access from anywhere in the world. None of its online courses require any face-to-face instructional time, making it a simple and convenient option for those who are attending college while balancing family and work life.

Granite State offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs. The programs available will vary depending on the state in which the student resides; students can search online programs by state here. While out-of-state students must pay a slightly higher rate than resident students, this difference is not as pronounced as it is at most other colleges and universities. Prospective students can apply to Granite State's programs easily using the school's online application system.

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4Rivier University60.834/551%Nashua, NH

River is a private Catholic liberal arts university offering undergraduate- and graduate-level degrees on its campus in Nashua and online. Online bachelor’s degree options include a BA in individualized study, a BA in psychology, a BA in business administration, a BS in public health, and an RN to BSN program. All of these programs can be completed within 2-4 years.

Distance students pursuing a master’s degree have even more options, including an online MBA with multiple areas of focus, a master of public health, and an MSN with three specialization tracks. The school also offers an online doctor of nursing practice. All Rivier Online programs are offered in seven- or 14-week formats through the Canvas learning platform. Students can begin at the start of any term throughout the year, and up to 90 credit hours can be transferred in. The school offers several resources for online students planning their academic and career paths, making Rivier one of the most accommodating online colleges in New Hampshire for students who are ready to immediately enter the workforce.

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5Colby-Sawyer College56.673/556%New London, NH

Colby-Sawyer is a private college located in New London. The school offers online degrees at both the associate and bachelor’s level, and provides students with 24/7 access to course content, online discussions, and assignments.

Distance students have the option to pursue an associate degree in liberal arts, a 60-credit program that can be seamlessly transferred over to a bachelor’s degree program. Online bachelor’s degree options include an RN to BSN program, geared towards RNs who already hold an associate degree or nursing diploma. This program is offered in 15-week semesters (or 12-week summer semesters) and can be completed at a part time or full time pace. Students typically finish the program in 2-3 years. Online curriculum is delivered through the Moodle platform. Distance students have access to library services, a NetTutor, technical support, and career services.

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More About Online Colleges in New Hampshire

Online learning is a significant part of the postsecondary educational options in New Hampshire; in 2012, 14,812 students were enrolled in exclusively online programs. With nearly one-third of all degree-seeking students enrolled part-time, online education provides learners with the flexibility to balance outside commitments with their pursuit of higher education. New Hampshire has demonstrated their dedication to the proliferation of online learning by joining the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), the nationwide initiative of states striving to better online education programs. Additionally, total funding for higher education in the state increased by 27% in 2014.

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

NCES Report

The National Center for Education Statistics reports the following about online education in New Hampshire:

  • Within four-year institutions,
  • 4.4% of students took exclusively online classes in the state in 2012
  • A further 5.5% took at least one online course
  • Within two-year colleges, 5.5% of the students completed their degrees fully online
  • Nearly 14% supplemented their brick-and-mortar courses with distance learning
Best Online Colleges in New Hampshire of 2016
Rank School Location
1 Plymouth State University Plymouth, NH
2 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
3 Colby-Sawyer College New London, NH
4 River University Nashua, NH
5 Franklin Pierce University Rindge, NH
6 Granite State College Concord, NH
7 New England College Henniker, NH