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Online Colleges in Connecticut

Most Affordable Online Colleges

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.

Affordable Online Colleges in Connecticut

The following list presents 10 schools in Connecticut that offer online degrees at notably low tuition costs. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students.

Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in Connecticut

Students in Connecticut may choose to start their educational journey at a two-year community college before transferring to a four-year university. Below is one of the most affordable online community colleges in Connecticut.

1

Middlesex Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,600
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
37.94%
Institution Type
Public

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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Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in Connecticut

Despite being small in geographic territory, Connecticut had a fairly large number of colleges and universities that offer bachelor's or higher degree programs. These are some of the most-affordable four-year colleges and universities in Connecticut.

1

Southern Connecticut State University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$4,968
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
11.09%
Institution Type
Public

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 library science, which results in a master's degree.

School Website: 
GO
2

Charter Oak State College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,624
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Institution Type
Public

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

Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$7,680
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
61.76%
Institution Type
Private

About

The mission of the Holy Apostles College and Seminary is to "cultivate lay, consecrated and ordained Catholic leaders for the purpose of evangelization." As part of that mission it also offers online degree programs for 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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4

University of Connecticut

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$10,524
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
6.55%
Institution Type
Public

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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5

Post University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$15,258
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
91.56%
Institution Type
Private

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 degree programs 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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6

Lincoln College of New England

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$18,780
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
6.95%
Institution Type
Private

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 program offerings that are available to them through the school. Lincoln offers an online associate degree program in criminal justice and health information technology, and bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice and health information administration.

School Website: 
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7

University of Bridgeport

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$28,800
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
23.19%
Institution Type
Private

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 programs 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: 
GO
8

University of New Haven

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$34,330
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
20.54%
Institution Type
Private

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 program is offered in professional studies, and master's programs are offered in criminal justice, emergency management and environmental engineering.

School Website: 
GO
9

University of Saint Joseph

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$34,530
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
17.70%
Institution Type
Private

About

The University of Saint Joseph began delivering online courses for graduate students in 1999. Through the online platform Blackboard, the university offers two certification programs and multiple graduate degree programs to its students.

School Website: 
GO

College Accreditation in Connecticut

While searching for the right program, students shouldn't overlook accreditation. Accrediting bodies ensure the programs at colleges and universities meet certain standards. The process is voluntary, but most major institutions choose to participate to demonstrate the quality of their educational offerings.

There are a number of accrediting programs, including some for specific fields or types of institution. There is also a regional accrediting body approved by the Department of Education for each state. In Connecticut, regional accrediting is provided through the following organization:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE)

If a college in Connecticut lists accreditation from a different organization, check with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to see if it's from a recognized group.

School Interviews

Dr. Sebastian Mahfood
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.

Dr. Sebastian Mahfood

Vice-President of Administration

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.

Financial Aid in Connecticut

Connecticut Loans

Connecticut offers students state-based loans through the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority, otherwise known as CHESLA. Of course, you should always take advantage of your scholarship and grant options before applying for a loan, but Connecticut students who do not qualify for need-based loans may find that the state offers a strong program.

Students eligible for this loan must be enrolled at least half-time at an accredited nonprofit college or university in the state of Connecticut, or be a resident of Connecticut attending an institution out-of-state.

  • Application deadline:  No application deadline
  • Award amount:  From $2,000 per year, up to cumulative maximum of $125,000

For more details on student loans and how to get them, explore the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Connecticut

  • The CT Office of Higher Education houses a collection of information for students seeking financial aid in Connecticut, from state-based scholarships and grants to information on federal loans and loan forgiveness.

Featured Cities in Connecticut

The data providing the details on these featured cities is sourced from the 2015 American Community Survey (census.gov).

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-Milford, CT Metro Area

Total Population

862,224

Median salary for high school grads

$32,765

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$54,636

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

31.3%

Median rent

$1,061

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-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT Metro Area

Total Population

1,214,056

Median salary for high school grads

$35,354

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$60,669

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

31.9%

Median rent

$1,005

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.

 
Article Sources

Sources:

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  12. Regional Accrediting Organizations 2016-2017, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, accessed January 2017, http://www.chea.org/Directories/regional.asp
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  16. Things to Do in Bridgeport, http://www.bridgeportct.gov/content/89013/89201/default.aspx
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