Best Online Colleges in New Jersey

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The state of New Jersey is one of a small number of states in the country that has yet to join an interstate student exchange initiative such as the New England Board of Higher Education’s Tuition Break program. Due to this lack of participation in a similar initiative, prospective students in New Jersey are denied a few key benefits, like the ability to enroll in colleges out of state at a reduced price for nonresident tuition.

Not being a part of an interstate student exchange program does not mean students are without educational options, however. Home to dozens of four-year colleges and universities, and a number of county colleges with two-year programs, New Jersey boasts a wide variety of degree programs for students at all levels higher education.

For those interested in distance learning, the Center for Online and Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies (COHLIT) at Rutgers University is just one of many providers of online degree programs in the state. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates at least 7.4% of all students enrolled in New Jersey Title IV institutions during the fall of 2012 were exclusively taking distance learning courses.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Rutgers University-New Brunswick 83.04 3/5 79% New Brunswick, NJ

With nearly 50,000 undergraduates taking advantage of 100+ baccalaureate programs, Rutgers has built a name for itself by providing high-quality and affordable education that can be completed quickly and flexibly. With nearly 80% of all learners receiving some type of financial aid, prospective students can rest assured that an RU education won’t break the bank.

The New Brunswick location currently offers three different online bachelor’s degrees: a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), a BA in business administration, and a BS in labor and employment relations. In 2012, the university formed a partnership with Pearson eCollege to further enable it to provide online learning opportunities. Known as a managed program, students can look forward to seeing more options for distance learning in the coming years.

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2 Rowan University 74.64 4/5 72% Glassboro, NJ

In 1923, a group of visionaries got together to create a teacher preparation college for those who wanted to educate future leaders. That small school has evolved into a bustling public research institution that ranks among some of the best New Jersey online colleges. With more than 14,000 students currently taking courses that lead to graduation from over 80 bachelor’s degree areas -- not to mention graduate programs -- Rowan University is a campus committed to providing tailored options for myriad interests.

With a focus on offering accessible, affordable, and flexible learning options, RU has more than 30 online programs, including 12 bachelor’s degrees. These curated offerings span from construction management and disaster preparedness to law and justice studies and sociology, giving online learners many options. The latest technology is utilized in delivering these programs, including chat rooms, online discussion boards, digital slide shows, and live video.

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3 Thomas Edison State University 65.54 3/5 40% Trenton, NJ

With nearly 30 online bachelor’s degree programs currently available, TESU in Trenton has a more comprehensive distance education program than most online colleges in New Jersey. Mirroring the expansive degree programs offered on campus, options for online students are varied and include studies in electronics systems engineering technology, nuclear energy technology, entrepreneurship, and organizational leadership.

All of these courses are delivered by the same professors leading classes at the brick-and-mortar campus, ensuring online learners receive the same quality education. In addition to traditional online classes, learners also have the option to complete e-Pack courses -- a 12-week independent study whereby students complete a series of online quizzes without the need to interact with other students. TESU was founded in 1972 and is one of the 11 senior public colleges and universities in the state. Unlike the others, TESU was created specifically for adult learners.

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4 Saint Peter's University 56.43 3/5 52% Jersey City, NJ

As one of only 28 Jesuit institutions of higher learning in the United States, Saint Peter’s takes its calling to provide education rooted in the Jesuit tradition very seriously. The school, chartered in 1872, focuses on creating well-rounded students through a combination of rigorous learning, real-world internship experience, community service initiatives, and a caring community atmosphere.

This last goal is carried out in the classroom, where the student-to-faculty ratio is a low 13:1. The school currently offers more than 50 undergraduate degrees, including two that can be taken fully online. Both the BS in business administration and the RN to BSN programs are taught asynchronously for students with busy schedules outside academics. Although not ever required, all online students are highly welcome and encouraged to visit the Jersey City campus to get a real sense of just what makes Saint Peter’s one of the best online colleges in New Jersey.

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5 Fairleigh Dickinson University 51.25 3/5 47% Teaneck, NJ

With campuses in both Madison and Teaneck, students looking for the best online colleges in New Jersey have lots of choices when considering Farleigh Dickinson. As the largest private university in the state, FDU serves more than 11,000 students through its 100+ degree programs. FDU currently offers a fully online BA in individualized studies, allowing students to craft a plan of study fitted to their future goals -- specifically at the intersection of business theory and technological skills.

Learners are required to complete 120 credit hours, although they have the option to transfer up to 90 existing credits to expedite their learning. Year-round scheduling is also available, with four different start times for beginning the 10-12 week courses. Because not all states authorize online programs from FDU, prospective students should research state authorizations to ensure their location is on the list of approved states.

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More About Online Colleges in New Jersey

With such a large majority of postsecondary institutions in New Jersey not only offering, but continually expanding, online degree programs, distance education is quickly gaining steam.

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

NCES Report

In 2012, NCES reported the following stats about online learning in New Jersey:

  • 7.4% of all students in the state were exclusively enrolled in online learning.
  • A further 10.3% enrolled in an on-campus program supplemented their educations with at least one online course.

Students enrolled in online courses or degrees frequently benefit from lessons taught by the same professors leading classes on-campus, but don’t have to deal with the hassle of traveling to campus or attending at a certain time. With USA Today reporting New Jersey residents have some of the longest commutes in the nation, the 60-minute commute endured by nearly 15% of residents is just another benefit of online learning worth mentioning.

Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2016
Rank School Location
1 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
2 Rutgers University - Newark Newark, NJ
3 Rutgers University - Camden Camden, NJ
4 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
5 Caldwell College Caldwell, NJ
6 Rider University Lawrenceville, NJ
7 Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus Teaneck, NJ
8 Kean University Union, NJ
9 Fairleigh Dickinson University - College at Florham Madison, NJ
10 Thomas Edison State College Trenton, NJ