Online Colleges in New Jersey

New Jersey offers a range of diverse educational offerings for college students. Continue reading to learn more about online colleges in New Jersey, including a list of 10 online schools ranked by affordability.

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Introduction

The state of New Jersey earned an "A" grade for student support and success in the 2012 "Leaders & Laggards" report issued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Their report found that the state's colleges and universities had excellent retention rates, graduation rates and credentials among full-time undergraduates. In addition, New Jersey ranks sixth in the nation for higher education attainment, with 45 percent of all adults aged 25-64 holding a two-year degree or higher, according to a 2012 report from the Lumina Foundation. This sits above the national average of 38 percent.

These accolades and numbers will need to stay strong if the state hopes to meet future economic demands, as the Lumina Foundation estimates that 64 percent of all jobs in New Jersey will require a college credential by 2018. This likely includes jobs in two of New Jersey's key industry clusters, which are, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, financial services and bio/pharmaceuticals.

There are several resources available to those in New Jersey seeking additional information about online programs. The New Jersey Virtual Community College Consortium outlines online courses and programs at two-year colleges throughout the state, while the New Jersey Department of Education provides a searchable library of over 100 online degree programs from 22 institutions (as of February 2013).

There are 3.8 million employed people in New Jersey, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates from 2013, and those workers make an annual mean salary of $52,800. This is slightly below the average salary for Bachelor's degree holders in New Jersey, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau: they make an average of $60,771, while those with a graduate or professional degree make $83,843.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options for students considering college degree programs in New Jersey, both online and on-campus. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that there are currently 43 institutions of higher education in New Jersey that provide students with the opportunity to earn a Bachelor's degree.

The Top 10 List of Online Colleges in New Jersey

This list of online colleges in New Jersey includes key data points for prospective students, such as the number and type of online programs offered, tuition fees, and accreditation. The list is also ranked by undergraduate tuition costs (lowest to highest), in order to provide a snapshot at each school's affordability. Sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics, this data is from the 2013-2014 school year. In-state tuition is included for those schools that offer in-state tuition.


#1 - Ocean County College

  • In-State Tuition: $4,152 (2013-2014)
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 13 Associate degrees
  • Notable Alumni: Musician Bruce Springsteen

As a two-year community college, Ocean County College aims to provide career-focused education that helps students transition into the workforce upon graduation. The school enrolled 9,477 students in fall of 2013 and awarded 1,446 Associate degrees that same year. Students who enroll in Ocean can choose to earn an Associate degree in a wide range of majors including Business; Liberal Arts; Business Administration; Computer Science; Criminal Justice; Engineering; Environmental Science; General Studies; Homeland Security; and Public Service. A handful of online certificate programs also round out their online educational offerings.


#2 - Passaic County Community College

  • In-State Tuition: $4,166 (2013-2014)
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 4 Associate degrees

As one of the most diverse colleges in the state of New Jersey, Passaic County Community College's four campuses enroll 13,000 students each year in both traditional and online degree programs. Currently, the school considers itself to be a leader among two-year institutions of higher education in New Jersey. Passaic County Community College currently offers four degree programs that can be completed entirely online: An A.A. in Liberal Arts with a Humanities option; a A.A. in Liberal Arts with a Criminal Justice option; an A.A.S. in Health Information Technology; and an A.A.S. in Fire Science Technology.


#3 - Atlantic Cape Community College

  • In-State Tuition: $5,605 (2013-2014)
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 13 Associate degrees

Atlantic Cape Community College is a public two-year institution of higher education that enrolls more than 7,500 students each year. The school boasts more than 45 transfer and career degree programs, many of which have the option for online or hybrid completion. Fully-online degrees offered by ACCC include Associate of Science degrees in Business Administration, General Studies, and Computer Information Systems; Associate of Applied Science degrees in Business Administration, Computer Programming, Computer Systems Support, Database Design and Development, and Office Systems Technology; and Associate of Arts degrees in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Business, Literature, History, Psychology, and Social Science.


#4 - Thomas Edison State College

  • In-State Tuition: $5,700 (2013-2014)
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 8 Associate degrees, 27 Bachelor's degrees, 8 Master's degrees

As a college geared specifically towards working adults, Thomas Edison State College prides itself in the flexibility its programs have to offer. Students never need to visit the school's physical location in Trenton, New Jersey, and instead can complete all requirements for their degree program of choice from the comfort of their own homes. In total, Thomas Edison State College offers over 40 degree programs that can be completed entirely online. Associate degree options include everything from Computer Studies to Business Administration to Nuclear Engineering Technology, and Bachelor's degree options run the gamut with degree selections available in Communications; Mathematics; Psychology; Marketing; Nursing; and more. Online graduate degrees are also available in fields like Educational Leadership; Nursing; and Management.


#5 - New Jersey City University

  • In-State Tuition: $10,653 (2013-2014)
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 500+ classes with a flexible, online format; none completely online

New Jersey City University promises world class learning opportunities in an intimate, small-class environment. Keeping with this theme, the school aims for a class size of 24 and a teacher-to-student ratio of 12:1. While not offering any degree programs that can be completed entirely online, New Jersey City University does offer over 500 undergraduate and graduate classes that can be completed in a flexible, online format.


#6 - Montclair State University

  • In-State Tuition: $11,318 (2013-2014)
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 2 graduate degrees
  • Notable Alumni: New York Yankees Superstar Yogi Berra, Actor Bruce Willis

Montclair University boasts an average class size of 22 and a teacher-to-student ratio of 17:1. With high national school rankings across the board, Montclair has been mentioned repeatedly in the national news media for exceptional performance in affordability, value, and quality. They school currently offers two graduate degree programs that can be completed entirely online- a Master of Arts in Child Advocacy and Policy, and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership.


#7 - Caldwell College

  • Tuition: $29,000 (2013-2014)
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 2 Bachelor's degrees, 1 Master's degree
  • Notable Alumni: First Lady of New Jersey Mary Jo Codey

As a Catholic liberal arts institution, Caldwell University promises to provide leadership and guidance to its students while they pursue any one of their 25 undergraduate degrees and 33 graduate degrees and certificate programs. Among those programs, Caldwell offers three degree programs that can be completed entirely online - a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; a R.N. to Bachelor of Science in Nursing; and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration. Several online certificate programs also round out the school's distance education offerings.


#8 - Felician College

  • Tuition: $29,990 (2013-2014)
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 2 Bachelor's completion programs, 2 Master's degrees

As a preeminent Catholic Franciscan College, Felician focuses on educating its student's whole being, including the mind, body, and soul. Fortunately, the school has also chosen to branch out into online learning in an effort to make education more convenient for its students. Currently, they offer two Bachelor's degree completion programs - in Cyber Security and Criminal Justice - for students who already have an Associate's degree. In addition, they offer a graduate program in Religious Education, as well as an M.S.N. degree in Family or Adult Nurse Practitioner.


#9 - Saint Peter's University

  • Tuition: $32,284 (2013-2014)
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 1 Bachelor's degree
  • Notable Alumni: Writer Will Durant

Founded in 1872, Saint Peter's University has gone through a lot of changes. Aside from evolving from a college and into a University, part of that change involved embracing online learning and implementing online courses in a flexible, web-focused format. Currently, Saint Peters offers a fully-online R.N. to B.S.N. for nurses who want to earn a Bachelor's degree.


#10 - Seton Hall University

  • Tuition: $35,820 (2013-2014)
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of online programs: 12 Master's degrees, 1 Bachelor's degree
  • Notable Alumni: Musician Max Weinberg, Sports Anchor Dick Vitale

Seton Hall University boasts an enrollment of 5,500 undergraduate and 4,300 graduate students, a student to faculty ratio of 14:1, and an average class size of 21. According to the school website, approximately 97 percent of its students receive financial aid. Seton Hall has also openly embraced the online education movement, going as far as creating some 13 degree programs that students can complete entirely online. That figure includes one Bachelor's degree program - a R.N. to B.S.N.- and a wide range of Master's degree programs in topics such as Healthcare Administration; Data Visualization and Analysis; Health Systems Administration; and Law.


Snapshot of New Jersey Cities

The following paragraphs provide a breakdown of New Jersey's economic and demographic landscape by metro area. Economic data, including the latest Labor Force Data, comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the 2014 Cost of Living Index is published by The Council for Community and Economic Research. All demographic data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau.


Newark
Economics
The biggest metropolitan region in New Jersey includes the city of Newark and surrounding areas, known as the Newark-Union, NJ-PA division. The area employs 957,630 earning an annual mean wage of $55,150. The Cost of Living index for Newark is 128.1, with home prices averaging $488,031.

Demographics
The city of Newark, New Jersey had a population of 277,140 in 2010, making it the nation's 67th most-populous municipality.

Fun Facts for Online Learners
Newark is home to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Museum, and the Newark Bears.


Jersey City
Economics
As part of the New York metropolitan area, Jersey City serves as a major hub for big city commuters. According to BLS data, 244,070 workers earn an annual mean wage of $39,680 in Jersey City. The Cost of Living index for this area is 130.7, with home prices average $518,997.

Demographics
Jersey City is the seat of Hudson County, New Jersey, and home to 247,597 residents according to 2010 U.S. Census data.

Fun Facts for Online Learners
Because of its waterfront location, Jersey City is an intriguing place for young people who enjoy beautiful scenery and nightlife. Jersey City is also one of the most racially diverse cities in the world.


Camden
Economics
Camden, New Jersey is the county seat of Camden County, and is located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. According to the BLS, the Camden, New Jersey metropolitan area is home to 501,330 workers who earn an annual mean wage of $48,290.

Demographics
The city of Camden, New Jersey is home to 77,344 residents as of 2010, according to U.S. Census data.

Fun Facts for Online Learners
With 37 percent of its population under the age of 18, Camden, New Jersey could be a good place for young people to strike out on their own. The region is also home to many attractions that make it unique including the Walt Whitman house, Camden Aquarium, and Campbell's Field.


Helpful Resources

There are several resources available to those in New Jersey seeking additional information about online programs. The New Jersey Virtual Community College Consortium outlines online courses and programs at two-year colleges throughout the state, while the New Jersey Department of Education provides a searchable library of over 100 online degree programs from 22 institutions (as of February 2013). Prospective students should contact an admissions counselor for details on a specific online program and its entry requirements. To take the next step, request information from one of the online colleges in New Jersey that sparks your interest.


Sources:

  1. Atlantic Cape Community College, http://www.atlantic.edu/online/degrees.html
  2. "Bureau of Labor Statistics," Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New Jersey, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nj.htm
  3. "Bureau of Labor Statistics," May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Camden, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_15804.htm
  4. "Bureau of Labor Statistics," May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Newark-Union, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_35084.htm
  5. "Bureau of Labor Statistics," May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Jersey City, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_3640.htm
  6. Caldwell University, http://www.caldwell.edu/online
  7. Felician College, http://www2.felician.edu/online-learning
  8. Montclair State University, http://www.montclair.edu/online/online-programs/
  9. "The National Center for Education Statistics," College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=NJ&l=93&ic=1
  10. New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, lwd.state.nj.us
  11. New Jersey City University, http://www.njcu.edu/onlinelearning/
  12. Ocean County College, http://www.ocean.edu/content/public/study-online/degrees-programs.html
  13. Passaic County Community College, http://www.pccc.edu/online_learning
  14. Saint Peter's University, http://www.saintpetersuniversityonline.com/online-programs
  15. Seton Hall University, http://www.shu.edu/academics/online-programs.cfm
  16. Thomas Edison State College, http://www.tesc.edu/academics/online-degrees.cfm
  17. "U.S. Census Bureau," American Fact Finder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF

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