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.

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

Rutgers University – New Brunswick

 3/580.68%New Brunswick, NJ


Rutgers is the eighth oldest college in the United States and serves more than 58,000 students from 50 states and 125 countries. The university offers one of the best online colleges in New Jersey with an extensive array of courses in partnership with Pearson eCollege. Students may earn a B.A. in Business Administration or a B.S. in Nursing. Ten graduate degrees include a Master of Education in Learning Cognition and Development.

Students work closely with instructors and participate in group projects, video presentations and other learning exercises to enhance the online learning experience. Resources include Learning Studio, an advanced learning management system, and ClassLive Pro, a synchronous video/voice conferencing application.

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Rutgers University – Newark

 3/565.89%Newark, NJ


With a reputation as one of the most respected online colleges in New Jersey, Rutgers offers students a B.A. in Business Administration and a B.S. in Nursing. Ten master’s degrees are available, including a Master of Biomedical Engineering. The university offers the convenience of 24/7 online access combined with small class sizes and regular consultations with faculty and other students.

Several programs have an option of fall, spring or summer starting dates and can be completed on a flexible time schedule. Rutgers participates in an advanced learning management system. Through Learning Studio and ClassLive Pro, students engage in synchronous video and voice conferencing.

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Rutgers University – Camden

 3/552.64%Camden, NJ


Rutgers is recognized worldwide for its high academic standards and distinguished faculty. Through its online program, the university makes it possible for students anywhere to get a quality education from one of the best online colleges in New Jersey. Undergraduate degrees include a B.A. in Business Administration and a B.S. in Nursing. Ten graduate degrees are offered, including a Master of Pharmaceutical Engineering.

Students and faculty coordinate assignments through Learning Studio, an advanced learning management system. Class Live Pro is a synchronous tool that provides online students with access to voice and video conferencing. Lectures are archived so they can be accessed 24/7.

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Rowan University

 3/566.7%Glassboro, NJ


Through its Rowan Global Learning & Partnerships program, Rowan offers programs that feature accelerated online courses, off-campus partnerships and some hybrid online/on campus interactions. Popular online bachelor’s degree programs are construction management, law and justice, and psychology. Five graduate degrees include a Master of Music: Jazz Studies and the M.A. in Special Education.

The university has a strong reputation among online colleges in New Jersey for its experienced instructors who engage with students online. Rowan Online Immersion is an orientation course that prepares students for online classes. The Canvas User Interface allows students to access courses and customize their user experience providing a more user-friendly and responsive online experience.

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Caldwell College

 4/561.59%Caldwell, NJ


Among online colleges in New Jersey, Caldwell offers one of the lowest tuitions. Undergraduate programs include a B.S. in Business Administration and nursing degrees from RN to BSN. Students may also earn an M.A in Educational Administration or an M.B.A in Accounting. Many online programs are accelerated into seven- and eight-week courses offered throughout the year. Online degree programs are restricted to residents of select states.

Blackboard is the Learning Management System students use to access assignments, complete tests, and take part in discussions. Online students also have access to financial aid, on-campus graduation and academic advisors.

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Rider University

 5/563.2%Lawrenceville, NJ

Granted university status in 1994, Rider is highly ranked among online colleges in New Jersey. Courses typically follow a weekly cycle and students are expected to participate in online discussions in addition to their assignments. In addition to undergraduate degrees in nursing and business administration, the university offers an M.S. in Accountancy. Graduate certificate courses help K-8 teachers broaden their knowledge of STEM subjects.

Online students use the myRider portal and the Canvas Learning Management System to access course materials, assignments and grades, correspond with instructors and classmates, and submit course work. Other resources include career services, financial aid and veteran’s programs.

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Fairleigh Dickinson University – Metropolitan Campus

 5/547.94%Teaneck, NJ

Farleigh Dickinson is known to be one of the most affordable online colleges in New Jersey. Students can register for courses at four different times throughout the year with classes ranging from 10-12 weeks. Online degree programs include the B.A in Individualized Studies. Fourteen master's degrees are offered including the M.S. in Homeland Security.

WebCampus and the Blackboard LMS ensure that online students have access to assignments and can participate in virtual classroom activities. Resources include a WebAdvisor, online library, tutoring and technical assistance.

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Kean University

 3/548.48%Union, NJ

Kean offers one of the most affordable tuition rates of online colleges in New Jersey, and allows students to complete coursework at their own pace. Online degrees include a B.S. in Business Management, a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a R.N. to BSN nursing program. Graduate degree choices are M.A. in Educational Administration and M.S. in Computer Information Systems. A pre-professional program in speech language pathology is also offered.

Blackboard is the learning management system used to access videos, audio, Powerpoint presentations and other documents for classes. Other resources include academic counseling, tutoring, career services, a digital library and networking with Kean student organizations.

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Fairleigh Dickinson University – College at Florham

 5/555.71%Madison, NJ

FDU is known among online colleges in New Jersey for its small classes, affordable tuition and 14 advanced master's degree programs. Only one undergraduate degree is available online. The B.A. of Arts in Individualized Studies offers students the flexibility to choose courses that best fit their career goals. Credit hours may be transferred from other colleges, and students also receive credit for military and professional training. FDU also offers several graduate certificate programs, including Security and Terrorism Studies, Non-profit Organization Development and Sports Administration.

Online students access courses through the Blackboard Learning Management System. Other resources include academic advising, 24/7 technical assistance, a digital library, tutoring and career counseling.

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Thomas Edison State College

 2/5N/ATrenton, NJ

Thomas Edison specializes in adult learning opportunities. Considered one of the best online colleges in New Jersey, TESU offers 40 online undergraduate degrees, including a B.S. in Energy Systems Technology and a B.A. in International Studies. Graduate degrees range from the M.S. in Public Service Leadership to Doctor of Nursing Practice. The college also offers associate and certificate programs for students who prefer specialized, fast-track training.

Assignments and class discussions are accessed through myEdison and the Moodle online learning management system. Courses are completed in 12 weeks with guidance from a mentor, and students take final exams through an online proctoring site. Online assessments from e-Pack help students measure their progress.

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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.