Best Online Colleges in Delaware

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While there are only ten four-year colleges in Delaware—only three of which offer online programs—the state has authorized certain out-of-state colleges to grant degrees to Delaware residents. Due to sagging enrollment rates among college-age residents, the state recently launched the Getting to Zero initiative. The program encourages students to apply to post-secondary schools, and aspires to reduce the number of high school graduates who don’t apply to college to zero.

Delaware has also added online and distance learning opportunities into its overall educational system. Three of Delaware’s top colleges—the University of Delaware, Wilmington University, and Widener University—have recently introduced online degree programs. Additionally, in 1999 the Delaware Center for Distance Adult Learning was formed to help residents obtain their high school diploma or GED online.

Online colleges in Delaware have provided vital resources to residents who are interested in college, but discouraged by rising public tuitions. Between 2006 and 2011, in-state tuition rose by 41.8 percent while state appropriations fell alongside at a rate of 8.6%. Taken together, these factors have spurred interest in online education, where costs are generally lower.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Wilmington University RANKING SCORE 75.83 COST GRADUATION RATE 33% LOCATION New Castle, DE

Wilmington University provides an inclusive academic experience that emphasizes innovative learning led by expert faculty. The nonprofit research institution promotes a student-focused environment, both face-to-face and online. The leader in online colleges in Delaware, Wilmington University offers 90 fully online degree and certificate programs, and each program's flexible online curriculum caters to students with diverse educational backgrounds.

Up to 90 transfer hours can be applied toward an online degree, and students can convert prior training into earned credit. The university's undergraduate tuition rates are competitively priced, and online students pay the same as traditional students. Active duty military students receive a significant discount toward tuition. Prospective students can take a free online course to determine if online learning is a good fit. Online student navigators are available to assist distance learners, and students can chat with a navigator from 8-11PM on specified days.

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2 Delaware State University RANKING SCORE 72.50 COST GRADUATION RATE 43% LOCATION Dover, DE

Delaware State University, established in 1891, is a Historically Black College. The school offers several online undergraduate programs, including accounting, criminal justice, psychology, and public health, as well as four graduate degrees, which makes DSU one of the leading online colleges in Delaware.

At DSU, online courses are offered in a few different forms. Many of the online classes follow an eight-week, accelerated format, which allows students to work through one asynchronously delivered class at a time. There are also on-campus classes that are web-enhanced and blended classes that combine online and on-campus elements. For admission into any programs at DSU, applicants must have minimum ACT scores of 17 and minimum SAT scores of 800. New students and transfer students must also have at least a 2.0 GPA in previous college coursework. Online students at DSU are provided with a number of resources for employment, academic assistance, and finding internships.

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3 University of Delaware RANKING SCORE 61.67 COST GRADUATION RATE 81% LOCATION Newark, DE

The University of Delaware has a history that dates back to 1743 and is the largest university in the state. UD is also one of the leading online schools in Delaware, with an online degree in nursing that has been available through distance education since 1993. The online BS in nursing, like other programs, is offered year round.

Online programs at UD combine asynchronous study with real-time interactions. Online students are never required to visit the Newark campus, but learners who live in the area can take tests at any of the UD campuses or Delaware testing centers. Out-of-state students can set up local placement and testing sites. Transfer students are eligible to bring in up to 59 credits that were earned with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Online students are permitted access to the online library and other academic and professional resources.

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More About Online Colleges in Delaware

Tuition costs in Delaware have increased in recent years, and state spending for education has decreased alongside. In-state tuition for public and private universities increased by 41.8% and 20%, respectively, in the last five years; total state appropriations for higher education decreased 8.6% during that time.

In recent years, Delaware has launched several initiatives to expand higher learning programs in the state. Governor Jack Markell joined forces with the College Board to pursue key initiatives such as “Getting to Zero” and “Pathways to Prosperity.” “Getting to Zero” aims to eliminate the percentage of college-ready students who do not take advantage of college application opportunities in the state (currently 18% don’t), while “Pathways to Prosperity” prepares high school students for specialized training toward earning a degree and securing employment in Delaware.

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

NCES Report

Recent NCES reports indicate that 6.9% (4,185) of students enrolled in Delaware’s Title IV institutions were in exclusively online programs. Additionally:

  • 2.6% of students at two-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 59.7% of exclusively online students live in Delaware
  • 37.8% live elsewhere in the United States

Delaware’s higher education agencies aim to promote online learning in the state through several key initiatives. Secondary school students may choose from a variety of district-sponsored online courses and programs through Delaware’s K12 project, some of which are offered free of charge to students. The state facilitates additional distance learning opportunities for college students as well as other adult learners through the Open Education Database (OEDb) and the Delaware Center for Distance Adult Learning.The majority of Delaware’s postsecondary institutions, including the University of Delaware, Wilmington University and Delaware Technical Community College, offer fully online delivery options.

In Delaware, according to data from the 2016 IPEDS report (published in November 2017), most online bachelor’s degrees offered in 2016 were in business administration and management:

Business Administration and Management

Employment growth in this profession is moderate in Delaware. According to the Delaware Department of Labor, long term projections show an increase of 15% in the total number of jobs between 2014 and 2024. Wages increased by 12% from 2011-2016.

Top Careers in Business Administration

In Delaware, what were the top careers in 2016 for people who had a degree in business administration and management?

Career Name Number of Jobs Average Annual Wage
General and Operations Managers 4,080 $149,110
Management Analysts 2,220 $83,240
Cost Estimators 980 $69,360
Managers, All Other 870 $136,740
Sales Managers 860 $178,450
Administrative Services Managers 820 $113,300
Social and Community Service Managers 740 $65,990
Business Teachers, Postsecondary 450 $93,400
Construction Managers 430 $111,170
Chief Executives 340 No Data
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers 310 $133,140
Industrial Production Managers 290 $121,510
Career Outlook for General and Operations Managers in Delaware

Data source: Delaware Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Wages - General and Operations Managers (2011 - 2016)

Data source: Delaware Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Best Schools for Business Administration

In Delaware, the best online business administration and management bachelor’s degrees are offered by:


Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration

Employment growth in this profession is strong in Delaware. According to the Delaware Department of Labor, long term projections show an increase of 150% in the total number of jobs between 2014 and 2024. Wages increased by 3% from 2011-2016.

Top Careers in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

What were the top careers in Delaware in 2016 for people who had a degree in criminal justice/law enforcement administration?

Career Name Number of Jobs Average Annual Wage
Managers, All Other 870 $136,740
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 310 $99,310
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary 40 $76,460
Career Outlook for Management in Delaware

Data source: Delaware Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Wages - Managers, All Other (2011 - 2016)

Data source: Delaware Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Best Schools for Criminal Justice

In Delaware, the best online criminal justice/law enforcement administration bachelor’s degrees are offered by:


Psychology

Employment growth in this profession is strong in Delaware. According to the Delaware Department of Labor, long term projections show an increase of 150% in the total number of jobs between 2014 and 2024. Wages increased by 3% from 2011-2016.

Top Careers in Psychology

In Delaware, what were the top careers in 2016 for people who had a degree in psychology?

Career Name Number of Jobs Average Annual Wage
Managers, All Other 870 $136,740
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists 340 $79,000
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary 70 $90,400
Career Outlook for Managers, All Other in Delaware

Data source: Delaware Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Wages - Managers, All Other (2011 - 2016)

Data source: Delaware Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Best Schools for Psychology

In Delaware, the best online psychology bachelor’s degrees are offered by:


Information Technology

Employment growth in this profession is strong in Delaware. According to the Delaware Department of Labor, long term projections show an increase of 27% in the total number of jobs between 2014 and 2024. Wages increased by 16% from 2011-2016.

Top Careers in Information Technology

In Delaware, what were the top careers in 2016 for people who had a degree in information technology?

Career Name Number of Jobs Average Annual Wage
Computer Systems Analysts 3,500 $94,720
Software Developers, Applications 3,470 $100,290
Computer and Information Systems Managers 1,260 $161,360
Computer Network Architects 660 $119,480
Information Security Analysts 470 $101,180
Computer and Information Research Scientists No Data $93,970
Software Developers, Systems Software No Data $116,750
Career Outlook for Computer Systems Analysts in Delaware

Data source: Delaware Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Wages - Computer Systems Analysts (2011 - 2016)

Data source: Delaware Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Best Schools for Information Technology

In Delaware, the best online information technology bachelor’s degrees are offered by:

  • Currently, no schools in Delaware offer an online degree program in information technology.

Marketing/Marketing Management

Employment growth in this profession in Delaware is strong. According to the Delaware Department of Labor, long term projections show an increase of 25% in the total number of jobs between 2014 and 2024. Wages decreased by 2% from 2011-2016.

Top Careers in Marketing

In Delaware, what were the top careers in 2016 for people who had a degree in marketing/marketing management?

Career Name Number of Jobs Average Annual Wage
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 1,950 $79,280
Sales Managers 860 $178,450
Marketing Managers 590 $173,850
Business Teachers, Postsecondary 450 $93,400
Career Outlook for Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists in Delaware

Data source: Delaware Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Wages - Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists (2011 - 2016)

Data source: Delaware Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Best Schools for Marketing

In Delaware, the best online marketing/marketing management bachelor’s degrees are offered by:


Rankings Archive

Best Online Colleges in Delaware of 2017
Rank School Location
1 Wilmington University New Castle, DE

Best Online Colleges in Delaware of 2016
Rank School Location
1 University of Delaware Newark, DE
2 Widener University - Delaware Campus Wilmington, DE
3 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
4 Delaware State University Dover, DE
5 Goldey-Beacom College Wilmington, DE
6 Wesley College Dover, DE