Students of all backgrounds increasingly attend college to obtain postsecondary credentials. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics projects that the undergraduate student population in the U.S. will grow from 16.8 million in 2017 to 17.2 million in 2028. By earning postsecondary degrees and certificates, you can gain access to better career opportunities and higher pay.

Top 10 Online Colleges in New Jersey

  1. Rutgers University - New Brunswick, NJ
  2. Rowan University - Glassboro, NJ
  3. Thomas Edison State University - Trenton, NJ
  4. Rider University - Lawrenceville, NJ
  5. Saint Peter's University - Jersey City, NJ
  6. Georgian Court University - Lakewood, NJ
  7. Centenary University - Hackettstown, NJ
  8. William Paterson University of New Jersey - Wayne, NJ
  9. Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus - Teaneck, NJ
  10. Felician University - Lodi, NJ

2020 Best Online Colleges in New Jersey

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bachelor's degree-holders earn roughly $24,000 more in average annual salary than professionals with only high school diplomas. They also enjoy a significantly lower unemployment rates.

Due to mounting tuition prices and debt, college students often prefer to earn their degrees remotely. Online academic programs offer distinct scholarships and relatively affordable tuition prices that may disregard residency status. Additionally, most online schools operate asynchronous classes that allow you to access learning materials and communicate with peers and professors any time of the day. Flexible scheduling may also let you accelerate degree completion and join the workforce more quickly.

The plethora of distance education options can seem overwhelming as you look for a school that supports your career goals. This guide assists your search by detailing the 10 best online colleges in New Jersey. The following ranking considers crucial factors like accreditation, cost, the availability of supporting resources, and overall student retention and graduation rates.

Each profile covers degree offerings and application criteria. For additional information, contact admissions offices directly. Specialists can help you find scholarships and complete the enrollment process.

New Jersey is home to many universities and a robust economy. BLS data show that, as of November 2019, the Garden State's unemployment rate sat at 3.4% -- just below the national average of 3.5%. You can find lucrative career opportunities in key industries like healthcare/life sciences, advanced manufacturing, financial services, and transportation logistics. New Jersey also houses the second-highest concentration of information technology professionals in the country.

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

New Brunswick, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 80%

Rutgers University was chartered in 1766, making it the eighth-oldest higher education institution in the United States. The school offers comprehensive academic programs that emphasize research and professional development. Students can pursue online degrees through Blackboard.

Options include fully remote undergraduate credentials in nursing and business administration. Learners can also obtain a bachelor of science in labor and employment relations; through an interdisciplinary curriculum, candidates examine the challenges workers face and how individuals and groups address these issues.

Rutgers delivers 12 online graduate programs, including clinical social work, music education, and liberal studies. The university also provides a master of business administration that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In lieu of a general MBA, business students can earn specialized degrees in data analytics, public administration, and supply chain management.

Graduate applicants must submit official school transcripts, a resume, two recommendation letters, and GRE/GMAT scores. Rutgers bases its online tuition rates on enrollment status and program type. Financial aid opportunities include departmental scholarships and graduate fellowships.


Rowan University

Glassboro, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

Founded in 1923 as a teacher training school, Rowan University now operates as a public research institution that offers career-relevant academics across its 12 colleges. Students can pursue remote learning opportunities through Blackboard and Canvas. Offerings include fully online bachelor's programs in health studies as well as law and justice.

Distance learners can also earn a construction management degree that holds an endorsement from North America's Building Trades Unions. Through a 120-credit curriculum, candidates develop effective project management skills and learn how to apply safe and ethical building practices.

Rowan oversees over 70 online and hybrid graduate programs. Students may obtain master's credentials in areas like engineering management, clinical mental health counseling, and bioinformatics. They can also pursue a master of business administration that offers five concentration options. This 36-credit program uses accelerated, eight-week classes, and candidates can graduate in 18 months.

Graduate admission criteria differ by program but typically include a minimum 2.5 GPA and adequate GRE/GMAT scores. Online students pay per-credit tuition based on their program.


Thomas Edison State University

Trenton, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 45%

Thomas Edison State University, located in Trenton, serves about 11,000 students annually. As a leader in distance education, TESU delivers flexible certificates and degrees through Moodle. Learners may enroll in online undergraduate programs in criminal justice, psychology, information studies, and nursing (an RN-to-BSN track).

They can also earn a bachelor of science in business administration that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Business majors personalize their degree plans by picking one of 10 concentrations.

TESU facilitates remote graduate programs in fields like public service leadership, healthcare management, and data science and analytics. Experienced educators can prepare for specialty endorsement by obtaining a master's degree in educational leadership that offers three concentration options. These options include a 42-credit district leadership track that lets candidates access careers as school principals and program supervisors.

Undergraduate applicants do not need to furnish standardized test scores. Prospective graduate students usually need a minimum 3.0 GPA and, depending on their program, at least two years of career experience. TESU offers a variety of financial aid, like the Switzer Foundation Scholarship for nursing students.


Rider University

Lawrenceville, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

Based in Lawrenceville, Rider University is a private postsecondary school that provides affordable and career-focused degrees through five academic units. The institution powers distance education with Canvas. Students may enroll in online bachelor's programs in business administration, allied health, and liberal studies.

Rider also facilitates a flexible bachelor of science in nursing track for licensed RNs. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, this BSN program operates accelerated, seven-weeks classes with embedded clinicals. Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA and an unrestricted nursing license.

Online graduate programs cover fields like athletic leadership, psychology, business administration, and higher education analytics. Distance learners can also earn a master's degree in art management and executive leadership in just 11 months. Through a 39-credit curriculum, candidates develop the skills needed to implement engaging marketing strategies and cultivate steady funding streams from private, corporate, and government sources. The art management program comes with personal mentoring and career coaching services. Applicants do not need to submit GRE/GMAT scores.


Saint Peter's University

Jersey City, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Saint Peter's University is a Jesuit-affiliated higher education institution headquartered in Jersey City. The school supports about 3,500 students and facilitates online academics through Blackboard. Undergraduate candidates may enroll in a business administration program that offers a concentration in healthcare management. The university also delivers a remote bachelor of science in nursing program for diploma- and associate-prepared RNs. BSN candidates can graduate in 21 months.

At the graduate level, remote programs include master's tracks in industrial-organizational psychology and higher education administration. The former track totals 36 credits, which students typically complete in 15 months. Coursework includes organizational development, psychometrics, and conflict resolution.

Saint Peter's also delivers an online doctor of education in higher educational leadership. This 48-credit program targets mid-career professionals who want to assume advanced administrative and research positions within their colleges and universities. Candidates take classes like student development programming, enrollment management, and ethical foundations/social responsibility.

To enroll in this Ed.D program, applicants need at least a 3.0 GPA. Admission materials include a resume, three recommendation letters, a personal essay, and a 5-15-page academic writing sample.


Georgian Court University

Lakewood, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Founded in 1908 as a women's school, Georgian Court University now provides coeducational academics to about 2,100 students each year. The institution maintains a campus in Lakewood and delivers flexible online degrees through Blackboard. Online undergraduate offerings include two bachelor's degree completion pathways in criminal justice and business administration.

Asynchronous classes last seven weeks. Applicants to these completion programs need an associate degree or at least 60 credits earned with a 2.0 GPA or higher. However, they do not need to submit ACT/SAT scores.

GCU also provides eight online master's degrees. Options include higher education student affairs, communication and digital marketing, and holistic health studies. The university also delivers a master of business administration that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Additionally, master's students can pursue an education degree that focuses on autism spectrum disorders, ESL, or teaching students with disabilities.

Graduate applicants must submit a statement of objective, a resume, one recommendation letter, and GRE or GMAT scores.


Centenary University

Hackettstown, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

Centenary University is a private liberal arts institution located in Hackettstown that serves about 1,800 students annually. In addition to flexible campus-based academics, the university provides a variety of online credentials through Canvas. Distance learners can obtain undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, accounting, and business studies.

They may also enroll in a bachelor of professional studies program that is delivered through accelerated, eight-week courses. The customizable curriculum lets students pick from four concentrations. Candidates can transfer in up to 96 credits, allowing them to graduate in as little as 12 months.

Centenary University offers one online graduate degree -- a master of business administration that is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. MBA candidates choose a self-paced option or a rigorous, 14-month track. In either case, they take 13 courses and concentrate their studies on finance, leadership, management, marketing, or healthcare administration. Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA, but the university does not require standardized test scores.


William Paterson University of New Jersey

Wayne, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Established in 1855, William Paterson University of New Jersey is the second-oldest postsecondary school in the state. Over 10,000 learners attend William Paterson, many of whom pursue distance education through Blackboard Learn. Online offerings include a bachelor of arts in liberal studies designed for returning and transfer students.

This flexible program enables candidates to customize their degree plan by picking two concentrations. Options include psychology, political science, sociology, and creative writing. To enroll in this degree completion track, applicants should possess at least 60 transfer credits or an associate degree.

Graduate students can enroll in a master of education program in literacy or curriculum and learning. The first option prepares candidates for careers as reading specialists who can effectively diagnose student challenges and collaborate with teachers, school staff, and parents to develop total literacy programs. The second track comes with a school library media concentration, leading to endorsement in EMS or AMS.

Graduate applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and a CEAS or a standard teaching license.


Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus

Teaneck, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

Based in Teaneck, Fairleigh Dickinson University serves about 11,000 students each year, making it the largest private higher education institution in New Jersey. The school delivers over 100 academic programs, many of which learners can complete remotely through asynchronous classes powered by Blackboard. In addition to an associate track in liberal arts, undergraduate students can enroll in a bachelor of individualized studies program that accepts up to 90 transfer credits.

This customizable degree plan lets baccalaureate candidates choose from six specializations. Students also benefit from a special tuition rate and the school accepts applications on a rolling basis.

FDU facilitates 14 online master's programs. Options include sports administration, supply chain management, public health, and student services administration. Students may also pursue a master's degree in digital marketing; this program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The university delivers master of nursing tracks in nursing education and family nurse practitioner. All graduate applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. Nursing candidates must also possess an in-state RN license and at least one year of clinical experience.


Felician University

Lodi, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Founded in 1942 as a teacher training school, Felician University now offers comprehensive academic programs at its two campuses in Lodi and Rutherford. The institution powers distance education with the Desire2Learn platform.

At the undergraduate level, the university delivers an online bachelor of science in nursing that students can complete through an RN-to-BSN track or a second bachelor's degree plan. Both options enable candidates to earn their credentials in under two years. The BSN program maintains specialized accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The school's online graduate catalog contains four master's degrees and three doctorates. Master's programs include religious education, family nurse practice, nursing administration, and adult gerontology nurse practice. Candidates can earn a doctor of nursing practice in executive leadership or advanced practice.

Alternatively, students may enroll in a self-paced doctor of business administration program. The DBA curriculum emphasizes the quantitative business evaluation and research competencies students need to work as organizational leaders and college educators.

Click here to see the best campus colleges in New Jersey.