A Guide to Online Colleges in Connecticut

Updated May 11, 2021 | BestCollegeReviews.org

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"The Land of Steady Habits" is just one of the many monikers for the state of Connecticut. Origins of this motto are tied to politics, today this motto fits in with the state's qualities of reliability, stability, virtue, and order. This southern-most state in New England provides just that with phenomenal schools, clean cities and towns, and steady jobs in industries like education, health care and administration. The majority of the state's residents live along the south east coast making New York City its border and shares many of its characteristics; walkable cities, high densities of museums, cultural center, and ethnic blends. The Thimble Islands are an archipelago of 100 small islands with few inhabitants. Connecticut is literally a state where you can connect deeply with culture or getaway to tiny towns, beautiful beaches and stunning state parks. Named after the rambling Connecticut river, this state features dramatic Autumn landscapes, budding communities with distinct virtues, quaint country sides that resemble those of our friends across the side all blended with rich academic traditions. There is something for all types in "The Provisions State."

In-state tuition is often applied to public schools offering online programs. Many online programs require some face-to-face time, or more numerous support services at their brick and mortar locations. Intensive study experiences — often on the weekends or in several week long bouts — enable many online students to accelerate their time until graduation. And students looking at online education can drastically expand their educational options if they also look to hybrid degrees (degrees where degrees can be taken partially, or mostly online). Finally, one of the most common stipulations in scholarships is that students be from a certain state or region, often more funds are available to students seeking degrees in-state.

Featured Online Schools

Top Public Schools

Our two top public school offerings in Connecticut are the University of Connecticut and Southern Connecticut State University. The University of Connecticut is a top 60 public school in the nation and offers its in-state tuition for $14,000 compared to its out-of-stat price which is $35,000 per year. There are three masters degrees available online including a M.S. in Accounting, M.A. in Educational Technology, and a Masters in Survey Research. Our next pick, Southern Connecticut State University offers programs that range from the associate to master's level including an A.S. in Labor Studies, B.S. in Nursing, and a Master of Business Administration among others.

Private School Offerings

The majority of school that offer online program in the state of Connecticut are private. Quinnipaiac University offers bachelor's and master's degrees and is the only university that offers an online doctoral program; that is in occupational therapy! Quinnipiac offers 12 other programs including some very unique journalism degree options. The University of Bridgeport has 11 online options, the second largest selection of online programs for Connecticut schools and includes a B.S. in Dental Hygiene as well as a M.S. in Computer Science among its online picks. Sacred Heart University offers 5 programs including one in applied psychology.

Becoming a resident

Like many other states, the state of Connecticut requires 12 consecutive months of domicile in the state of Connecticut prior to the attendance of a Connecticut State university. Exclusionary language is important here as students who are simply attending a Connecticut University do not qualify for having established domicile. To qualify for domicile you must have part-time employment, be a dependent (over 50% of your living expenses are codependent of you) of a parent or guardian living in Connecticut or work full-time in the state of Connecticut. However, those who have worked full-time for 6 months in Connecticut may qualify if and only if the individual is not in the state primarily as a full-time student. One other exception is given to a dependent child of a member of the military stationed in Connecticut under military orders.

In 2015-16 the average published tuition prices for Connecticut four-year universities was $10,524 for in-state tuition that’s $1,124 above the national average for public schools which is listed, as of 2016, at $9,400 nation wide. University of Connecticut costs $14,066 per year. Though approximately $5,000 higher than the national average, the University of Connecticut is a top 60 school in the nation ranking closely with Purdue, and George Washington University (with a $51,950 tuition price tag). By comparison, this is a fantastic value! Our top pick school for online degrees is Quinnipiac University — a private school that costs $43,940; that's $8,000 above the national average. That being said, room and board is nearly $16,000 for Quinnipiac students — adding close to $60,000 to your wallet just by studying online.

Bridgeport is located in Fairfield, Connecticut and located on Long Island Sound part of the greater New York City area along the Pequonnock River. The main industries in Bridgeport include construction and healthcare. Residents of Bridgeport enjoy all of the same amenities as residents of New York City — a short train ride away. The city itself has strong ties to Spanish culture including many Spanish restaurants and shops and is home to the PT Barnum Museum and the famous Harboryard shorline park as well as its own museums, theaters and cultural centers. This city is experiencing growth and rehabilitation with its goals set on becoming the cleanest green city in the region by 2020. Due to its proximity to New York City, Bridgeport is close to over 30 schools with online programming!

It's all in the name in "New Haven" Connecticut, a city that is quite literally like a slice of heaven in Connecticut. New Haven is known for having the best of all worlds including home to one of the best schools in the world, Yale University and its Peabody Museum of Natural History. The city is ideal for pedestrians whether shopping, visiting museums or strolling through Lighthouse Point Park, there are endless places to go in New Haven. This foot-friendly city is also a short distance from beach get-a-ways, ski get-a-ways, boating excursions and several sports including golfing, cycling, hiking and much more. New Haven is located near East and West Rock State Park as well as Sleeping Mountain State Park. There are just 80 miles between New Haven and New York City putting you less than 2 hours away from over 30 schools with online programming.

Hartford, Connecticut is the state capital where knowledge is power. Located just under 25 miles from Springfield, Massachusetts, Hartford is part of something known as the Knowledge Corridor. The Knowledge Corridor gets its name due to the high concentration of colleges and universities located along this part of New England. In fact, it falls only second behind the Greater Boston area. There are 30 colleges in this corridor alone. Academia and high culture often go hand-in-hand. Hartford is filled with museums, galleries, theaters, music centers, civic centers, a science center and more. It is also the home of the Connecticut State Library, and several other historical attractions including Mark Twain's home.. In addition to culture and historical landmarks, there are several unique food and shopping options in Hartford. Between Hartford and Springfield there are 10 schools with fantastic online options.


Population: 147,612
Cost of Living: 133.9%
Top Industries: Construction, healthcare, retail, accomodation and food service
Local Online Degrees: 3

New Haven

Population: 130,282
Cost of Living: 134.6%
Top Industries: Education, Manufacturing, healthcare, administrative
Local Online Degrees: 4


Population: 128,278
Cost of Living: 142.7%
Top Industries: construction, healthcare, professional scientific and technical, retail
Local Online Degrees: 20


Population: 124,705
Cost of Living: 108.4%
Top Industries: Healthcare and social assistance, retail, accomodation and food service,
Local Online Degrees: 7


Population: 109,307
Cost of Living: 130%
Top Industries: Healthcare and social assistance, manufacturing, retail, eduational services
Local Online Degrees: 1


Population: 88,145
Cost of Living: 139.3%
Top Industries: Healthcare and social assistance, educational services, construction, administrative services
Local Online Degrees: 3


Population: 83,784
Cost of Living: 135%
Top Industries: Healthcare and social assistance, retail and trade, construction, manufacturing
Local Online Degrees: 8

The Best Online Colleges in Connecticut

1. Quinnipiac University

Online Programs: 13
Type: Private

Quinnipiac University is a private school located in Hamden, Connecticut. Hamden is a suburb of New Haven located at the foot of Mount Carmel about 90 miles outside of New York City. There are over 50 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs available to the nearly 10,000 person student body. The U.S. News rankings include 11th in the region, 6th "Best Colleges for Veterans" and the 42nd "Best Value School" in the nation. Quinnipiac has both a medical and law school as well as 7 other professional schools. According to their website over 95% of graduates are either employed or have moved on to advanced degrees. The online programs range from bachelor's to doctoral degrees with offerings like a B.S. in Health Science Studies, a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Sports Journalism, an Occupational Therapy Doctorate and others.

2. University of Connecticut

Online Programs: 3
Type: Public

The University of Connecticut (UConn) is a public school with a land, sea, and space grant located in Storrs, Connecticut and accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. UConn has many top rankings including the 60th best university in the nation, 20th best public school in the nation and the 36th best college for veterans according to U.S. News. But UConn is more than just the rankings, they are innovative in ways that are making a difference in the world. For example, they're mapping the Black Sea and have recently discovered a never-before-seen medieval seafaring vessel and their research has successfully treated MRSA an so many others. Another area of innovation comes through their online programming offering three Master's degrees completely online.

3. Sacred Heart University

Online Programs: 5
Type: Private

Sacred Heart University is a private university located in Fairfield Connecticut — a quaint colonial gulf town bordering Bridgeport. Some of the accolades according to U.S. News include a 44th Best Regional University in the North and 25th Best College for Veterans. Some of Sacred Hearts' "points of pride" include its number 1 ranked Physical Therapy program 100% pass rate for occupational therapists, its game design program, and "Top Ten for Graduate Starting Salaries" in the state of Connecticut. 99% of its graduate move on to jobs for further education. That's just about as good as it gets for programming. Sacred Heart challenges student to be "fearless in their curiosity" and encourages their learners to engage both inside and outside of the classroom. There are 4 programs online; one bachelor program in nursing and three masters degree programs including applied psychology and nursing. There are more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral program available on-campus.

4. University of New Haven

Online Programs: 5
Type: Private

The University of New Haven is a private institution located in West Haven, Connecticut and was originally founded on the campuses of Yale University. This non-profit university is one of the top regional universities in the north according to U.S. News and in fact houses one of the top engineering programs. Other accolades include its ranking in The Princeton Review as one of the "381 Best" and "Military Friendly" according to G.I. Jobs. The comprehensive programs and style of learning notable to UNH include their arts and sciences program, their criminal justice and forensics, and their faculty-mentored research programming. Online they offer a sports management degree, programming in environmental science, emergency management and others.

5. Southern Connecticut State University

Online Programs: 8
Type: Public

Southern Connecticut State University is a public university with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The campus is located about an hour from New York City. It received a ranking of 41st for "Top Public Schools" according to U.S. News. Southern Connecticut State University offers over 100 degrees for undergraduate and graduate students accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities systems which aims to provide affordable and innovative programming. Total enrollment is 10,473. There are 8 online program available including an A.S. in labor studies, B.S. in nursing, and a Master of Library Science among others.

6. University of Bridgeport

Online Programs: 11
Type: Private

The University of Bridgeport is a private university located on the Long Island Sound next to New York City on the sea. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredits the university that offers hundreds of programs for undergraduates, graduates and online students including 11 fully online degree programs. According to the U.S. New, Bridgeport has one of the most diverse campuses in the nation and provides a top engineering program for doctoral candidates. The online programs offered include a B.S. in healthcare administration, an M.A. in global development and peace among others.

7. Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Online Programs: 3
Type: Private

Holy Apostles College and Seminary is a small private institution located in Cromwell, Connecticut. The total enrollment for this school is just 450 and the student-to-faculty ratio is just 7:1. The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredits its programming. This small catholic seminary primarily offers theology programs at the undergraduate and graduate level including M.A. concentrations in apologetics, bioethics, church history, general studies, moral theology, sacred scripture as well as an undeclared concentration. However, online, students may also take either a bachelor's or master's in philosophy.

Monitoring the accreditation of a university you are interested in attending is incredibly important. Accreditation ensures your credits can transfer that you can receive Federal financial aid, and most importantly that certain standards of educational quality are during your schooling. The highest accreditation standard for most programs in the United States is provided by regional accreditation agencies. The regional accrediting agency for Connecticut is the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, one of six regional accrediting agencies responsible for accrediting schools in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Making sure that a University you're hoping to attend is regionally accredited — or accredited by a real and respected accrediting agency — is one of the most important choices you can make in ensuring the quality of your education.

Three Steps for Securing Financial Aid

  • Submit your FAFSA.
  • Check to see if additional forms are needed at your university of choice.
  • Search and apply for private scholarships.

Through the previous three steps most students find themselves offered some sort of federal grant, work study, private grant, scholarship, or stipend.

Great Connecticut Higher Education Resources

The office of higher education is a resource the aims to serve the needs of students in postsecondary education and its institution. Look here for more information on scholarships, out of state online registration and more.

The CSDE provides parents, students and non-traditional students insights into the online education, mentor programs, financial aid resources and others.

For over 150 years this organization has advocated for higher standards for students and teachers in the field of education.

This online database includes 1300 affordable programs from all state universities in Connecticut ranging from community colleges to four-year universities.

The Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame presents the Eileen Kraus Scholarship that recognizes talented young female residents embarking on their first year of college or university.

This need and merit-based scholarship is awarded to a Connecticut resident who is a high school senior or graduate with an SAT score of at least 1210 or an ACT score of at least 27. The recipient must attend a Connecticut non-profit private college.

This need-based awards is granted to students attending a public or non-profit private college who has a Expected Family Contribution (EFC) within the alloted range.

This program provides $5,000 a year for Connecticut students enrolled in an education program as well as up to $2,500 a year for up to four years as a teacher in a Connecticut public elementary or secondary school.

Jobs in Connecticut is a database that allows prospective employees to search by career, company, and others.

Flex Jobs is a fantastic way to gain insight into the top industries hiring in Connecticut. Looking for employment with a Fortune 500, or maybe the top employer in the state? Start your search on flexjobs.

This database allows you to search by county for jobs, real estate, and learn about amenities in your area.

Soak in the sites, and sounds of the natural beauty and architecture on this glorious water cruise.

Would you like to visit one of the most historic houses in the world? Head to the Mark Twain house and museum where Samuel Clemens AKA Mark Twain penned Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and The Prince and the Pauper.

Great non profits is exactly as it sounds. This website provides information on some of the best non profits in Connecticut and provides ratings and a short bio about the organization.

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