2022 Top Private Colleges and Universities in Connecticut

Private colleges and universities frequently top the lists of the best schools in the U.S. These institutions offer rigorous academic programs for students looking for a personalized college experience.

Private institutions generally cost more than their public counterparts, but students often receive the benefits of smaller class sizes, strong alumni networks, and generous financial aid opportunities.

Unlike public universities, private institutions do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition. This means students from anywhere can enroll in Connecticut's private colleges and universities without paying higher out-of-state rates.

2022 Best Private Colleges and Universities in Connecticut

  1. #1

    Yale University

    New Haven, CT

    Graduation Rate

    97%

    Enrollment

    13,609

    Format

    In person

    From its Connecticut campus, Yale University offers 297 degree-granting programs. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 6-to-1. The institution reports that 64% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 97% graduation rate. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school incorporates internships, research opportunities, and service learning. The admission rate is 6% for prospective students. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores.

  2. #2

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown, CT

    Graduation Rate

    92%

    Enrollment

    3,230

    Format

    In person

    Located in Middletown, Connecticut, Wesleyan University enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps students reach their professional goals. Learners complete lower-division and upper-division coursework to earn a bachelor's degree. Enrollees also complete general education credits. Upper-division courses typically focus on advanced concepts within a major. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

  3. #3

    Trinity College

    Hartford, CT

    Graduation Rate

    83%

    Enrollment

    2,234

    Format

    In person

    Located in Hartford, Connecticut, Trinity College grants degrees as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. Students complete courses and experiential learning opportunities to bolster their knowledge. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. Trinity College holds accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

  4. #4

    Connecticut College

    New London, CT

    Graduation Rate

    84%

    Enrollment

    1,861

    Format

    In person

    Located in Connecticut, Connecticut College offers 50 academic programs. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 9-to-1. According to the school, 94% of students receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 84% graduation rate. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. Hopeful students can expect admission rates of 37%. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

  5. #5

    Holy Apostles College and Seminary

    Cromwell, CT

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    603

    Format

    Online, In person

    Located in Connecticut, Holy Apostles College and Seminary offers 14 academic programs. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The school boasts a 6-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. According to the institution, 50% of enrollees receive some form of financial aid. We do not know the graduation rate at this time. Real-world experience helps candidates stand out on the job market. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

  6. #6

    Industrial Management Training Institute

    Waterbury, CT

    Graduation Rate

    80%

    Enrollment

    87

    Format

    In person

    Industrial Management Training Institute offers a total of 3 certificate programs, and the school is a top choice for Connecticut students seeking professional education. For students with limited time, credential programs often enable them to graduate within weeks or months, rather than years. Short-term credential programs such as those offered by this school attract students who want to develop advanced skills in an accelerated time frame. Credential recipients gain new skills that can help them succeed in the job market. The institution holds national accreditation from Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Prospective students should contact the admissions office with any questions about Industrial Management Training Institute's application process. Graduates pursue careers in their field often immediately following program completion.

  7. #7

    Fairfield University

    Fairfield, CT

    Graduation Rate

    83%

    Enrollment

    5,349

    Format

    Online, In person

    From its campus in Fairfield, Connecticut, Fairfield University awards degrees as a top school. The institution offers a variety of degrees and courses. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Learners can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions staff can provide more information on the process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. The school holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education.

  8. #8

    International Institute of Cosmetology

    Wethersfield, CT

    Graduation Rate

    76%

    Enrollment

    163

    Format

    In person

    One of Connecticut's top schools, International Institute of Cosmetology offers 2 certificate programs. Programs deliver rigorous curricula and meet high academic standards. Degree-seekers gain skills necessary to enter the workforce or advance professionally. Learners apply their knowledge in real-world contexts. The postsecondary institution's accreditation demonstrates its high academic standards. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Learners enrolled in a program at the accredited institution can receive federal financial aid. Students can learn about program requirements through the school's website. The postsecondary institution holds accreditation from the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

  9. #9

    Belle Academy of Cosmetology LLC

    Waterbury, CT

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    10

    Format

    In person

    A Connecticut-based school, Belle Academy of Cosmetology LLC offers 2 certificate programs. The rigorous curriculum prepares learners to succeed in careers and further studies. Students gain skills necessary to enter the workforce or advance professionally. Enrollees apply their knowledge in real-world contexts. The postsecondary institution's accreditation demonstrates its high academic standards. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners enrolled at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid. Students can learn about residency and practical experience requirements through the school's website. The institution holds accreditation from the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

  10. #10

    Paier College of Art Inc

    Hamden, CT

    Graduation Rate

    61%

    Enrollment

    89

    Format

    In person

    A private institution, Paier College of Art Inc enrolls students from its campus in Hamden, Connecticut. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. A total of 88% of students receive financial aid and 67% take out loans at the institution. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 61%. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

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Why Choose a Private College or University in Connecticut?

Connecticut is home to 17 private universities and colleges, according to 2019-2020 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Some of these well-known institutions include Yale University, Wesleyan University, and Fairfield University. Students choose private institutions in Connecticut for their prestigious state-of-the-art programs, student involvement, and specialized learning experience.

These private four-year colleges may also offer a more intimate college experience, with fewer students than public schools and smaller class sizes. For example, 18,917 undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Connecticut's main campus in 2020. By contrast, Yale University's undergraduate enrollment came to only 4,664.

Additionally, the private colleges and universities in Connecticut far outnumber the state's public institutions. There are 10 four-year public colleges and universities in the state, according to NCES data from 2019-2020.

The downside to many private institutions is the cost. Students may, however, offset their high fees with scholarships and grants. When choosing the right college, there are several factors to consider, including weighing the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges.

Pros and Cons of Attending a Private College or University in Connecticut

Pros

Some of the best private schools in Connecticut offer smaller classes and a more intimate campus experience.Private colleges in Connecticut may award more scholarships and grants, substantially lowering the cost of college.Many of the private colleges and universities in Connecticut are known for their prestigious programs.

Cons

Private colleges and universities in Connecticut usually offer fewer degree programs than public schools, focusing on core academic subjects.Private institutions often come with higher tuition costs than public colleges.Because of their small size, private colleges in Connecticut tend to offer fewer extracurricular activities.

Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Universities in Connecticut

Students find several distinctions between nonprofit and for-profit colleges. Nonprofit private universities receive funding from tuition, the government, donors, and endowments.

These colleges focus on increasing students' success rates and improving the college experience. They tend to offer lower tuition rates than for-profit universities and greater financial aid packages.

For-profit universities rely on tuition and money from investors. These funds pay for instructors and non-educational spending like marketing and recruiting. Any profits go to investors and shareholders. For-profit colleges may offer both benefits and drawbacks.

Post University and Paier College are the two for-profit private universities in Connecticut. Post University enrolls about 800 undergraduate students on its main campus, while about 8,000 students take online courses.

How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Private College or University in Connecticut?

According to the NCES, four-year private colleges in Connecticut charged, on average, $43,242 in tuition and fees in 2019-2020. Room and board at these schools came to an average of $15,332.

Wesleyan University, one of the most expensive private institutions in Connecticut, charged $61,449 for tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year. Students paid an additional $17,531-$18,905 in room and board.

One of the least expensive private institutions in Connecticut is Goodwin University. In 2021, the school charged about $19,988 for tuition. Keep in mind that there are many misconceptions about paying for college, including the high price of private schools. Scholarships and grants can significantly reduce the cost, even allowing some students to attend college for free.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges and Universities in Connecticut

How many private colleges and universities are there in Connecticut?

Connecticut is home to 17 private nonprofit universities and colleges. These include highly selective universities like Yale, known for its premier law school, and prestigious liberal arts schools such as Trinity College, Connecticut College, and Wesleyan University.

Several religious-affiliated colleges also make Connecticut their home. These include Fairfield University, Albertus Magnus College, Sacred Heart University, Holy Apostles College and Seminary, and the University of Saint Joseph. Schools known for their strong research programs include the University of Hartford andQuinnipiac University..

What is the most expensive private university in Connecticut?

Wesleyan University is one of the most expensive private institutions in Connecticut. Undergraduate students paid $61,449 in tuition for the 2021 academic year. First-year and sophomore students paid an additional $17,531 in room and board, while junior and senior students spent $18,905.

Coming in neck-and-neck for first place is also Yale, with an estimated cost of $62,250 for tuition and fees in 2022-2023. Room and board come to $18,450, with an additional $3,700 for books and personal expenses.

While it may seem difficult to afford the rising cost of college, many private colleges in Connecticut award students significant financial aid packages.

What is the least expensive private university in Connecticut?

One of the least expensive colleges in Connecticut is Goodwin University. The school charged full-time undergraduate students $19,988 for tuition in 2021. The University also reports that as of fall 2021, 94% of its undergraduate students received grants or scholarships to help cover their costs.

Tuition at Post University, a for-profit private institution, was $28,250 for the 2021-2022 academic year. Room and board ranged from $11,600-$15,790. Most of their online students paid $570 per credit. Additional costs for online students include $90 per course for an electronic course material fee.

Is a private college or university right for me?

Choosing which type of college or university is right for you depends on your academic and career goals, what type of environment best suits your needs, and your financial situation. While private colleges may appear to cost more than public schools, they also tend to offer more scholarships and report higher financial aid packages.

For those seeking an intimate college experience, a private school may offer a smaller student population and smaller class sizes.

On the other hand, public colleges may offer a larger student body, translating to more extracurricular activities and an active sports scene. They also tend to offer more programs, an important consideration if you haven't decided on a major yet.

Can I get more scholarship money at a private university?

Private universities receive funding from alumni donations, endowments, tuition, and other private funds. They then use some of these funds to offer scholarships and grants, enabling them to compete with the lower-priced public schools. Scholarships are also available from companies, organizations, and individuals.

For example, according to the College Board, Wesleyan University's average yearly net price for tuition and fees is $21,853. This amounts to a reduction of about $39,596 from its full tuition. Approximately 40% of their students receive financial aid.

At Yale University, 56% of students receive financial aid, lowering the average net tuition cost to $18,073. Finding the right scholarships can make a tremendous difference in the overall cost of college.