According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Connecticut boasts a low 3.6% unemployment rate on par with the national rate. The state supports major industries including insurance and financial services, advanced manufacturing, bioscience, digital media, and green technology. Compared to national averages, however, Connecticut residents face higher costs of living for housing, groceries, healthcare, and utilities. One way to help offset these costs is through higher education. BLS data reveals that college degrees tend to correlate with increased work opportunities and income.

Top 5 Online Colleges in Connecticut

  1. Charter Oak State College - New Britain, CT
  2. Sacred Heart University - Fairfield, CT
  3. Quinnipiac University - Hamden, CT
  4. Albertus Magnus College - New Haven, CT
  5. University of Bridgeport - Bridgeport, CT

Online learning is a popular option for all types of college students. Traditional undergraduates often supplement their on-campus courses with online classes throughout their college career. In 2015, 29% of college students took at least one online class. According to the same study, 14.4% of all enrolled college students in 2015 pursued their education entirely via distance learning.

The clearest benefit of online education is increased accessibility and flexibility. For many prospective college students, including full-time employees and parents, it can be difficult to arrange attendance for on-campus classes, even if a college or university offers evening or weekend scheduling. Flexible online options -- especially asynchronous courses, which do not require set login times -- can make it easier for anyone to pursue a certificate or degree at their convenience.

Online colleges can also save students a significant amount of money. Online students often pay in-state tuition rates, while avoiding frequent commutes and campus-based fees.

If your college choices aren't necessarily limited by physical distance, selecting a preferred school can be an incredibly difficult choice. To help make the process a bit easier, we've crafted the following list detailing five of the best online colleges in Connecticut. Our rankings include relevant information regarding accreditation, degree offerings, notable areas of study, and admission requirements.

2020 Best Online Colleges in Connecticut

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Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Charter Oak State College

New Britain, CT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

Headquartered in New Britain, Charter Oak State College exclusively offers online degrees. Students with busy personal or professional lives can pursue a variety of master's, bachelor's completion, associate, and certificate programs.

Charter Oak features academic programs in areas such as healthcare administration, childhood development and education, paralegal studies, and cybersecurity. Asynchronous coursework provides learners the ability to complete coursework when it fits their schedule, while select programs offer accelerated five- or eight-week course options. Students may earn additional credits for lifelong learning or prior experience, earned via examination, military training, or the school's portfolio program.

Applicants to this best online college in Connecticut must submit a $50 application fee, official transcripts, and test scores. Specific admission requirements vary by degree level and discipline. Out-of-state students pay slightly higher per-credit tuition rates than residents.

2

Sacred Heart University

Fairfield, CT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

Sacred Heart University, the second-largest Catholic university in the state, is committed to truth, justice, service, and intellectual support. Approximately 5,400 students attend each year. In addition to a 300-acre Fairfield campus, this private institution features an e-learning branch with seven online degrees.

SHU's online degrees focus primarily on nursing practice, with options available at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Current RNs can enroll in a standard RN-to-BSN pathway or combine undergraduate and graduate studies into one RN-BSN-MSN pathway. Master's programs are also available in social work or strategic communication and public relations. Many of SHU's online degrees require in-person clinical practicum hours, but the asynchronous course material can be accessed online 24/7 from any location.

Admission procedures and requirements -- including prerequisite education, licensure, minimum GPA, resume, and letters of recommendation -- vary by program selection. All online students pay the same tuition rates, regardless of residency.

3

Quinnipiac University

Hamden, CT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

Quinnipiac University is a private liberal arts institution with three campuses located in Hamden and North Haven. Many of the university's 10,000 students also complete classwork in virtual classrooms. The school's full suite of certificates, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees help make Quinnipiac one of the best online colleges in Connecticut.

Twenty-one online degrees and certificates are offered by Quinnipiac's accredited schools of business and law, health sciences, nursing, education, communications, and engineering. Select programs require in-person participation such as clinical or practicum hours. However, many of Quinnipiac's online options -- like the master of science in cybersecurity -- offer a 100% virtual experience. Courses are asynchronous for maximum convenience.

Admission requirements vary by program. Before applying, every prospective student is connected with an admissions counselor to discuss individual educational goals and assess program eligibility. All accepted online students receive the same tuition rates, regardless of residency.

4

Albertus Magnus College

New Haven, CT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 75%

Albertus Magnus College, a private Catholic liberal arts college based in New Haven, has designed innovative, accelerated courses for working adults since 1985. That tradition continues today with a variety of flexible associate and bachelor's degrees available in online and hybrid formats.

Albertus offers academic programs in the arts and sciences, business and leadership, and social sciences. Many online programs offer accelerated schedules (six- or eight-week classes and two courses per term) that allow students to earn approximately 30 credits each year. Other available degrees include a master of science in clinical counseling, a master of fine arts in writing, and an MBA with six specialization options.

Prospective Albertus students should submit an online application, college transcripts, photo identification, and a $35-$50 fee. Additional admission requirements may apply depending on program selection. State residency does not impact online students' tuition rates.

5

University of Bridgeport

Bridgeport, CT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

The University of Bridgeport is a private nonsectarian institution that serves more than 5,000 students on campus and online each year. UB launched its first online degree -- a master of science in human nutrition -- in 1997. UB's online and hybrid catalog now includes eleven other programs, including five bachelor's degrees, four master's degrees, and two doctoral degrees in educational leadership and health sciences.

The school also features a bachelor of science in dental hygiene. Offered by the world's first-established school of dental hygiene, this program accepts up to 90 transfer credits and prepares licensed dental hygienists for advanced career opportunities in as little as two years.

Specific admission procedures and requirements vary for undergraduates and graduates, but all applicants must submit relevant transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a $25-$50 fee.

do -- include healthcare, business, and computer systems. Software developers and registered nurses rank among the top 10 occupations as measured by job ads, while half of the top 10 employers placing job ads in the state are healthcare companies like UC Health.

While finding the right school can be a challenge, these rankings review some of the best online colleges in Colorado. Our guide outlines each accredited school’s campuses, online program offerings, and admissions criteria to help you find an online program that meets your budget, schedule, and career goals.

Click here to see the best campus colleges in Connecticut.