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Online Colleges in Connecticut

Most Affordable Online Colleges
School Interviews
Dr. Sebastian Mahfood
- Vice-President of Administration at Holy Apostles College & Seminary
"Holy Apostles College & Seminary [is] accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has offered online graduate degree programs in theology and philosophy since 1998."
See entire interview

Introduction

Among the industries projected to see fast growth in Connecticut between 2010 and 2020 are computer systems design; software publishing; and scientific research and development, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor. For these and other high-skill career fields that generally require a college degree, there may not be enough educated workers in the state to meet future demand.

While nearly 46 percent of Connecticut's working-age adults (25-64) possessed postsecondary degrees as of 2010, according to the Lumina Foundation, 65 percent of all jobs in the state are expected to require a college credential by 2018. In addition to possibly having more job opportunities, college graduates generally earn more and are less susceptible to unemployment, based on 2012 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Connecticut is home to about 3.7 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Among those 18 to 24 years old, 13 percent have earned a Bachelor's degree or higher, and 45 percent have at least some college or have earned an associate degree. Among those older than 25, 17.6 percent have at least some college; 7.3 percent have earned an associate degree; more than 20 percent have a bachelor's degree and nearly 16 percent have a graduate or professional degree, the Census Bureau reports.

There are 1.6 million workers in Connecticut, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates from 2013, and these workers earn an average of $26.16 per hour, for an average annual wage of $54,410. Those workers who are interested in getting more education in an effort to improve their value on the job market can earn a bachelor's degree or higher from 29 different public and private nonprofit and for-profit colleges and universities.

Most Affordable Colleges in Connecticut

The following list ranks the 10 schools in Connecticut that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs. This ranking is based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students such as the actual degree programs that are taught online, and information on tuition fees, accreditation and notable alumni. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (2013-2014) and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students. See our Methodology section for more details on the ranking methodology.

1

Middlesex Community College

Tuition/Year
$3,786
Graduation Rate
14%
# of Online Degrees
1
Accredited
 
School Type
2-year

About

Middlesex Community College prides itself on building skills for immediate employment. They offer over 500 non-credit online courses, and a variety of full credit online courses that allow students to complete their Associate Degree in General Studies with a Liberal Arts focus.
School Website: 
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2

Charter Oak State College

Tuition/Year
$6,192
Graduation Rate
NA
# of Online Degrees
4
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Charter Oak State College, in addition to offering transfer credit through testing and from military training and lifelong learning, offers a number of online degree programs in Connecticut. Some of their programs can be completed entirely through their online programs, and some degrees can be earned through a combination of online courses and testing and credit transfers. Its online undergraduate degrees include Cybersecurity; Healthcare Administration; Health Information Management; and General Studies. The General Studies degree can be earned through any one of 18 concentrations.
School Website: 
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3

Southern Connecticut State University

Tuition/Year
$9,020
Graduation Rate
49%
# of Online Degrees
1
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

In addition to online courses offered in such areas as Business Administration and Political Science, Southern Connecticut State University also offers a completely online degree program in Connecticut in Library Science, which results in a Master's degree.
School Website: 
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4

Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Tuition/Year
$10,470
Graduation Rate
20%
# of Online Degrees
7
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

This college has as its mission to is to "cultivate lay, consecrated and ordained Catholic leaders for the purpose of evangelization." As part of that mission it also offers online degrees for those students who can't commute to their campus in Cromwell. These online opportunities include: Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Bachelor of Arts in English the Humanities, Bachelor of Arts in History in the Social Sciences, Master of Arts in Philosophy, Master of Arts in Theology, Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (upcoming).
School Website: 
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5

University of Connecticut

Tuition/Year
$12,022
Graduation Rate
83%
# of Online Degrees
16
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

In addition to dozens of undergraduate online course offerings, UConn offers fully online graduate degree programs in Accounting; Educational Technology; Gifted and Talented Education; Human Resource Management; and Survey Research. In addition, UConn offers a variety of graduate certificate programs in Accounting; Arts Administration; Geographic Information Systems; Gifted Education and Talent Development; Interdisciplinary Disability Studies; Leadership and Diversity Management in Sport; Nonprofit Management; Postsecondary Disability Services; School Law; Survey Research; and Sustainable Environmental Planning and Management.
School Website: 
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6

Lincoln College of New England

Tuition/Year
$18,780
Graduation Rate
23%
# of Online Degrees
4
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Lincoln College operates two campuses in Connecticut - in Hartford and Southington. While many students are drawn to these two diverse campuses, others are drawn to the online degree offerings that are available to them through the school. Lincoln offers an online Associate's degree in Criminal Justice and Health Information Technology, and Bachelor's degrees in Criminal Justice and Health Information Administration.
School Website: 
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7

Post University(Visit School Site)

Tuition/Year
$20,925
Graduation Rate
36%
# of Online Degrees
63
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Post, founded in 1890 and located in Waterbury, Conn., specializes in online accelerated degree programs that are perfect for working adults. The school offers 41 online undergraduate degrees in subjects ranging from Accounting and Business Administration to Interactive Communication and Marketing. It's graduate degree programs offered online range from Human Services and Corporate Innovation to Higher Education Administration and Public Administration.
School Website: 
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8

University of Bridgeport

Tuition/Year
$29,090
Graduation Rate
28%
# of Online Degrees
11
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

The University of Bridgeport, located along Long Island Sound in southern Connecticut, offers fully online Bachelor's degree programs in Healthcare Administration; Human Resource Administration; Organizational Leadership and Change; Dental Hygiene; and General Studies. On the graduate degree front, Bridgeport offers online degrees in Global Development and Peace; Business Administration; Dental Hygiene; Human Nutrition; Computer Science; and Technology Management. It also has a post-graduate degree program in Chiropractic Continuing Education.
School Website: 
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9

University of Saint Joseph

Tuition/Year
$33,417
Graduation Rate
52%
# of Online Degrees
4
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

The University of Saint Joseph offers 4 graduate degree programs that are completely online and available in Connecticut and many - but not all - outside states. Its four Master's degree programs are in Biology; Chemistry; Nutrition; and Biochemistry.
School Website: 
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10

University of New Haven

Tuition/Year
$33,740
Graduation Rate
54%
# of Online Degrees
4
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

The University of New Haven prides itself on providing the same quality in its online courses that it provides for its face-to-face classes on campus, and the online programs all carry the same rigor and academic credit. A totally online Bachelor's degree is offered in Professional Studies, and Master's degrees are offered in Criminal Justice; Emergency Management and Environmental Engineering.
School Website: 
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11

Sacred Heart University

Tuition/Year
$35,050
Graduation Rate
70%
# of Online Degrees
4
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

In addition to offering a wide range of online courses, Sacred Heart also offers degree programs online in Connecticut for students unable to travel to campus. In addition to its Speech-Language Pathology Online Prerequisite Series and its Bachelor's degree program in Nursing, it offers online Master's degree programs in Nursing and Applied Psychology.
School Website: 
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12

Quinnipiac University

Tuition/Year
$39,330
Graduation Rate
76%
# of Online Degrees
10
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Quinnipiac University is located in a beautiful setting, nestled in the shadow of Sleeping Giant State Park, but what attracts many students to the school is its online degree programs in Connecticut. In addition to Bachelor's degrees in Health Science and Nursing, Quinnipiac University offers graduate online degrees in Business Administration; Business Analytics; Organizational Leadership; Interactive Media; Journalism; Sports Journalism; Instructional Design; and Teacher Leadership.
School Website: 
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School Interviews

Mahfood

Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, Vice-President of Administration at Holy Apostles College & Seminary

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at Holy Apostles College & Seminary?

Holy Apostles College & Seminary [is] accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has offered online graduate degree programs in theology and philosophy since 1998.

In 2012, the college began offering online undergraduate courses, and in 2014, the college received approval to offer all of its undergraduate programs fully online. These programs include an Associate of Arts in Theology and a Bachelor of Arts in English in the Humanities, in History in the Social Sciences, in Philosophy and in Theology. This allows the college to provide college-level courses to high school juniors, to undergraduates, and to graduates.

The college also offers free mini-courses in a variety of practical, theological and philosophical topics for anyone who'd like to enroll in them via the registration page at http://www.hacsmooc.cc.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

Students interested in an online degree program ought to be the kind of persons who are self-disciplined and self-motivated to apply a few hours a day to their studies. Online courses enjoy the same quality of teaching and learning that courses offered in a face-to-face classroom have, and they can be even more engaging than face-to-face courses given the necessity for everyone to involve themselves meaningfully in the life of the virtual classroom.

Online learners should seek friendships among their classmates and engage with them in the extracurricular activities, such webinars, student organizations, e-newspapers and blogs, etc,. that that the college offers. That kind of engagement helps form important relationships among the learners as they move through their degree programs. Online learners should also try to visit the physical campus at least once during their time in the program and attend the on-campus commencement ceremony hosted on the occasion of their own graduation.

For students concerned about missing the on-campus experience, I would encourage them to attend on-campus courses at their local college and transfer those credits into their online degree program. Many colleges will accept up to half of the undergraduate credits received elsewhere and up to six of the graduate credits. Students should consult their academic advisor to ensure transferability of the coursework before signing up for a local class.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

Online learning will evolve in the coming years in a few important directions. Outcomes-based learning will allow more credits to be earned through demonstration from prior or current life experience.

The online classroom of the future will be mobile, allowing students to come out from behind their laptops and engage via their hand-held devices, learning experiences in context with the actual world their courses are explaining. Art courses, for instance, will partner with local museums around the world, and students will complete their classes inside the museums. Greater choice will be given in the curricula of any program for the purpose of allowing learners greater control in the tailoring of their programs to their own specific needs.

Other forms of credentialing, like competency-based badges and certifications, will compete in the marketplace with the traditional categories of AA, BA, MA, and Ph.D. The global south will find easier access to degrees offered through colleges in North America and Europe.


Cynthia Gallatin

Cynthia Gallatin, Associate Vice-President and COO for Online Programs at Quinnipiac University

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at Quinnipiac University?

We offer undergraduate degree completion programs, Master's programs and some Doctoral programs.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

I would advise them to thoroughly research the type of institution being considered, as well as the program. For example, they should take the time to learn about the accreditation standards, faculty experience and credentials, and what makes both the school and program a good fit.  It is also important for students to gain an understanding of the time commitment; online programs require students to be self-motivated, disciplined and responsive to deadlines.  Our students have found the flexibility of online learning to be especially helpful, as it allows them to schedule their studies around their personal and professional lives.

In summary, prospective students should understand the school accreditation, the faculty, the type of program, the time commitment and the learning outcomes that they hope to achieve.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

As the proliferation and use of online technologies continues to evolve, more individuals will take advantage of the opportunities online learning offers.  Interactive simulations, webinars, conference tools and educational presentation tools will provide an engaging educational experience.  New technologies will continue to support a very positive and immersive educational experience for adults.

Top Cities For Students In Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Mean Wage

$62,000

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

420,000

Total Population

144,229

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$65,278

Economics

Bridgeport, including the surrounding metropolitan area of Norwalk and Stamford along the state border with New York, is home to more than 420,000 workers. These workers are among the highest paid in the state, earning an average hourly wage of $29.76, which translates into an average annual salary of nearly $62,000.

Demographics

Bridgeport proper is home to 144,229 residents, but it's location along Long Island Sound in the southwestern corner of Connecticut makes it part of the Greater New York City Combined Statistical Area. Many of its white-collar workers commute each day by car or commuter train into nearby New York City. All told, the 420,000 workers in the Bridgeport metropolitan area provide 26 percent of Connecticut's entire workforce.

Fun Facts

As you might expect for a town that was founded in 1836, there are several historical sites in Bridgeport worth visiting, including the Barnum Museum, the Black Rock Historic District and the Berkshire No. 7, an old ship docked in Bridgeport Harbor. The Beardsley Zoo and the Discovery Museum and Planetarium are also popular attractions.

New Haven, Connecticut

Mean Wage

$51,890

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

272,530

Total Population

129,779

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$54,276

Economics

The New Haven metropolitan area, which includes surrounding towns such as West Haven and East Haven, is home to 272,530 workers. Wages in this part of south-central Connecticut are significantly lower than in the more prosperous southwestern corner of the state; the average hourly water is $24.95 and the average annual wage is $51,890.

Demographics

The 272,530 workers in the New Haven metropolitan area represent 17 percent of the state's workers. Although the population of New Haven is just 129,779, the metropolitan area surrounding the city boosts its population to 862,477. In the city itself, Yale University is the largest employer, but healthcare jobs are also plentiful.

Fun Facts

Many visitors to New Haven make sure to take in the campus of Yale University and visit the Yale Bookstore. But there are also a great number of other attractions, including the white-sand beaches of West Haven along gentle Long Island Sound and the hiking trails of Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden.

Hartford, Connecticut

Mean Wage

$54,930

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

559,460

Total Population

124,775

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$59,303

Economics

The metropolitan area of Hartford, which includes West Hartford and a number of other surrounding towns, is home to 559,460 workers, many of who have jobs in the area's dominant industry - insurance. The average hourly wage for workers in the Hartford metropolitan area is $26.41 per hour, for an average annual wage of $54,930.

Demographics

The workers in the Hartford area represent roughly 25 percent of the state's workforce. Many of these workers have management jobs, although many are also employed in business and financial operations, computer and math jobs, education and healthcare.

Fun Facts

Hartford, like many Connecticut cities, is steeped in history. A great place to learn that history is the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, which takes visitors back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Mark Twain's former home is also open to the public, and Goodspeed Opera House in nearby East Haddam is still the staging area for great performances in a Victorian setting.

 
Other Connecticut Resources

Helpful Resources

Many postsecondary institutions in Connecticut now offer online programs and courses. Luckily, there are resources available to prospective students to help navigate these options, such as the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC). CTDLC provides online course and degree information from various accredited two- and four-year colleges in Connecticut, as well as a quiz to see if students are good candidates for online learning.

Many of the larger national online colleges accept students from Connecticut as well, including Kaplan University. Some even have physical campuses in Connecticut, which may offer students blended learning (part online, part on-campus) options.


Sources:

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bridgeport, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_71950.htm
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, New Haven, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_75700.htm
  3. Charter Oak State College Alumni Majors and Concentrations, http://www.charteroak.edu/prospective/programs/concentrations.cfm
  4. Charter Oak State College Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_Oak_State_College#Alumni
  5. College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=CT&l=93&ct=1+2+3
  6. Fun Things to Do in New Haven, http://www.visitnewhaven.com/thingstodo/attractions
  7. Fun Things to Do in Hartford, http://www.visitconnecticut.com/50-great-things-to-do-in-connecticut/hartford_central
  8. List of University of Connecticut People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_Connecticut_people
  9. Post University, http://www.post.edu/online/index.shtml
  10. Quinnipiac University Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinnipiac_University#Notable_alumni
  11. Quinnipiac University Online Programs, http://www.quinnipiac.edu/academics/qu-online/online-programs/
  12. Sacred Heart University Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Heart_University#Notable_alumni
  13. Sacred Heart University Online Programs, http://onlineprograms.sacredheart.edu/online-degrees-overview?cmgfrm=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sacredheart.edu%2Facademics%2Fonlinelearning%2F
  14. Southern Connecticut State College, http://www.southernct.edu/academics/courses-registration/distancelearning/
  15. Things to Do in Bridgeport, http://www.bridgeportct.gov/content/89013/89201/default.aspx
  16. U.S. Census Bureau: American Factfinder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml
  17. U.S. Census Bureau: American Factfinder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
  18. U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ct.htm#00-0000
  19. University of Bridgeport Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Bridgeport#Notable_alumni
  20. University of Bridgeport Online Programs, http://www.bridgeport.edu/academics/online-programs/
  21. University of Connecticut, http://ecampus.uconn.edu/programs.html
  22. University of New Haven Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_New_Haven#Notable_alumni
  23. University of New Haven Online Course Programs, http://www.newhaven.edu/Lifelong_eLearning/online-courses-programs/
  24. University of Saint Joseph, http://www.usj.edu/academics/online-programs/