Whether you're interested in starting, changing, or growing your career, earning a degree through an online college in New Hampshire can prepare you for one of the state's growing employment sectors, such as health care, education, or professional and technical services. And the flexibility of distance education means you can work on your degree while still maintaining your current part- or full-time job and honoring other commitments, like family.

There are more than a dozen accredited online colleges in New Hampshire. Let's take a closer look at them.

  • 13 online colleges in New Hampshire offer associate, bachelor's, and/or master's degree programs.
  • Southern New Hampshire University offers the most online degree programs — more than 100.
  • While 8 of the online colleges in New Hampshire are public, 5 are private including one Catholic college.
  • At the undergraduate level, 11 online colleges offer associate programs and 8 have bachelor's programs. At the graduate level, 9 have online master's programs and 4 offer online doctoral programs.

New Hampshire participates in three Complete College America's initiatives — 15 to Finish, Math Pathways, and Corequisite Support — as a way to meet its goal: 65 percent of adults 25 and older will have earned a postsecondary credential by 2025. Another way it aims to boost educational attainment is through the Dual Admission program, which allows students to pay one application fee, enroll at a community college, and also be admitted to the public university system.

We hope the following information can help you select an online college in New Hampshire that's right for you. Below you'll see the top 10 colleges in New Hampshire as well as financial aid resources specific to the state.

What Makes a Good Online College in New Hampshire?

Here at OnlineColleges.com, we've created multiple rankings to help students in their search for the best online college in New Hampshire. Each school in these rankings was selected using a wide range of carefully selected data, and only schools that have been accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency were considered. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges is the primary accrediting agency in New Hampshire. However, other national and programmatic accreditation agencies can be valid in the Granite State, such as the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. To check whether or not a school's accreditation is valid in New Hampshire, students can view the New Hampshire Department of Education.

Our rankings are more than just a number. The data we use is gathered from government sources, and we carefully select data points that can help to paint a picture of the online college experience. Students can compare the data that helped each school earn its position, such as the number of online programs offered, the percentage of distance learners at the school and the cost of in-state tuition. Visit the "What Makes a Good Online College?" section of our "About Us" page to learn why OnlineColleges.com considers these factors to be important to online education.


Best Online Universities in New Hampshire for 2019-20

We created this ranking of the best online colleges in New Hampshire to help students understand the rich options for online study in the Granite State. Using our unique methodology, we analyzed data provided by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) for this list, looking at factors such as acceptance rate and net price.


Rivier University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is Rivier like?

Founded in 1933 as a women's college by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, Rivier University is a private nonprofit Catholic school based in Nashua, New Hampshire. In 1991, Rivier became coeducational and admitted its first batch of male undergraduates.

The school welcomes students from all backgrounds and focuses on liberal arts and career preparation. With their holistic learning environment, they strive to educate the "whole person" of their students -- mind, body and spirit.

What online programs are at Rivier?

Canvas, Rivier's online learning platform of choice, delivers coursework on an asynchronous schedule for the school's small but impactful list of distance learning degree programs. Rivier also maintains a system of rolling admissions every seven weeks, offering flexibility to potential working students hoping to earn their degrees online.

Nursing programs are some of the most notable of Rivier's multiple distance learning offerings, from the RN to BSN option to Doctor of Nursing Practice program. The RN-BSN, MSN and DNP programs are specially accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, and there are multiple specialties at the graduate level, such as the MSN for family nurse practitioners or the system leadership track for the DNP.

What online resources does Rivier offer?

Rivier supports its online programs with access to plenty of career advice. Students can contact Rivier advisors to discuss potential career paths, career outcomes (including earning potential) and personalized career advising.

A generous transfer policy allows online students to transfer up to 90 credits to accelerate the progress of their chosen bachelor's degree program, while the master's degree programs may allow up to nine transfer credits.


Franklin Pierce University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is Franklin Pierce like?

Franklin Pierce University is a private liberal arts school with the main campus in rural Rindge, New Hampshire. The university prides itself on going beyond a typical "one-size-fits-all" approach to learning. By combining personalized teaching with principles of experiential and applied learning, the school works to create a dynamic, career-focused experience for students.

The diverse list of notable Franklin Pierce alumni includes actor Henry Simmons, MLB left-handed pitcher Steve Hathaway and animal behavior expert Temple Grandin.

What online programs are at Franklin Pierce?

Franklin Pierce uses Canvas to manage its online classes and related coursework. Distance learning students may choose from numerous online undergraduate certificate, associate degree and bachelor's degree programs offered in various fields, ranging from accounting to criminal justice and beyond.

Some distinctive master's degree programs at Franklin Pierce are the MBA in Energy and Sustainability program and the MBA in Sports Management program. These options maximize the flexibility of online learning by allowing students to take courses at their own pace.

What online resources does Franklin Pierce offer?

Eligible students may benefit from the Center Scholar Program at Franklin Pierce, offered through the school's Center for Academic Excellence. Students and alumni alike are supported by career planning and advancement services as well. Alumni are encouraged to give back to the school by speaking to and mentoring current students.

Military personnel and veterans are welcome at Franklin Pierce. Potential students can expect the school's Office of Admissions to provide advice and assistance in determining eligibility for VA educational benefits and other related types of aid, such as the Yellow Ribbon Program.


New England College

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is NEC like?

Founded in 1946 to serve the post-war educational needs of servicemen and -women, New England College has grown to be a private nonprofit school with a strong liberal arts background. NEC maintains an "experiential learning" approach in its teaching endeavors, prioritizing hands-on experience or learning by doing. At the same time, NEC offers a robust distance learning initiative with dozens of online options, including a BA in Business Administration program with more than 10 concentrations.

Illustrious NEC alumni include meteorologist Ira Joe Fisher, sculptor Mark Lindquist, former FEMA director Wallace Stickney and voice actor Steven Zirnkilton.

What online programs are at NEC?

Business is the most highly enrolled field for undergraduates at NEC, with 16 percent of undergraduate students choosing the field in 2016. The school's graduate business programs are also well worth looking into. For example, the MS in management benefits from NEC partnerships with New Hampshire businesses, healthcare institutions and nonprofits, which create learning and internship opportunities for its students.

NEC uses Canvas as its preferred online learning management platform, and coursework can be completed on an asynchronous schedule. Courses are available 100 percent online, with no on-site classes required.

What online resources does NEC offer?

NEC offers a variety of online student support resources, including a staff of distance learning student services representatives to assist with everything from enrollment and ordering textbooks to technical support. Online tutoring is also available via Smarthinking.

Institutional scholarships at NEC benefit both first-time students and returning alumni. Merit-based NEC scholarships are typically awarded to undergraduates upon admission, as incoming students are automatically screened for eligibility instead of being dependent on separate applications. NEC alumni may also take advantage of the Pilgrim Plus Scholarship, a 25 percent tuition reduction that can be applied to many of the school's graduate programs.


Granite State College

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is Granite State like?

The earliest foundations of Granite State College's flexible learning initiatives were weekend and evening classes for working adults who wished to continue their education. In the years since, the school has evolved distance learning into an art. A unique portfolio of distance learning formats helps Granite State to meet the needs of all kinds of students.

The school further supports its student body by forming partnerships that create financial aid opportunities -- such as the Network4Health Behavioral Health Scholarship or the Osher Reentry Scholarship Endowment Program -- and employee training opportunities - from their Learning Solutions cohorts to professional development workshops.

What online programs are at Granite State?

Granite State emphasizes flexibility in its online programs by offering them in several formats:

  • 100 Percent Online: No on-site requirements. Coursework is managed through Moodle, Granite State's preferred learning management tool.
  • Blended: Part online, part face-to-face.
  • Hybrid: Classroom meetings only on selected weeks throughout the term, with the rest of the coursework delivered online.
  • Field Work-Based: Weekly one-on-one meetings with faculty members.
  • Blended Online: Completely online coursework, but with weekly live video conferences.
  • Hybrid Online: Completely online coursework, with live video conferences only on selected weeks throughout the term.

Of Granite State's online programs, one of the more notable is the A.S. in Behavioral Science program. OnlineColleges.com has ranked Granite State as one of the best online colleges for behavioral science, and with the variety of available concentrations and the seamless transitions to multiple Granite State bachelor's programs, it's not hard to see why.

What online resources does Granite State offer?

As one of the best online colleges for military servicemen and their dependents, veterans and current personnel can expect substantial support and assistance from Granite State. The school participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and several military tuition waiver or discount programs. Granite State is also partnered with the Community College of the Air Force through the latter's General Education Mobile program, which helps airmen complete associate and associate-to-baccalaureate degrees.


Plymouth State University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is PSU like?

Established in 1871 as a school for teachers, Plymouth State University continues to honors its roots in education training to this day. As a member of the University System of New Hampshire, the public school maintains a sizable number of teaching-based academic offerings, some available online.

Some notable PSU alumni include poet Ethan Paquin, television producer Chris Romano and former NFL player Joe Dudek. Pee-wee Herman actor Paul Reubens is also a former PSU attendee.

What online programs are at PSU?

While many programs at PSU can be taken partially or mostly online, the majority require at least some on-campus attendance. However, there are a few notable exceptions. Two examples include library media -- which is recognized by the American Association of School Librarians -- and general management -- which is designed for non-business majors and is taught using a cohort format.

Plymouth's learning management platform of choice is Moodle. In addition, several short non-credit career training courses are also available online through a partnership with Ed2Go.

What online resources does PSU offer?

PSU maintains an extensive knowledgebase to help students with IT and tangential issues, like setting up university-provided email addresses or learning how to use Moodle. There is an online service that gives PSU students access to writing consultations and resources dealing with plagiarism, writing anxiety, style guides and more.

The school also offers talent grants and fellowships, as well as a number of scholarships such as the Citizens Bank Scholarship Fund and the Myrtle L. Grover Endowment Fund-Business.


Southern New Hampshire University

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is SNHU like?

Southern New Hampshire University has changed a lot over the years. Founded in 1932 as a for-profit business school, it has transformed into a fast-growing private nonprofit university that offers by far the largest number of different online programs in New Hampshire. A substantial percentage of SNHU's student body is familiar with the school's distance education initiatives and has taken at least one online course.

What online programs are at SNHU?

SNHU's learning platform of choice is D2L's Brightspace, through which programs are available in health, psychology, math, social science, engineering and many other fields.

However, considering the school's business training legacy, it's understandable that SNHU would have a strong focus on business. And indeed, the university boasts a truly impressive spread of business- and finance-related online degree programs, with dozens of possible concentrations. Of particular note is the fact that OnlineColleges has ranked SNHU as one of the best online colleges for marketing.

What online resources does SNHU offer?

SNHU's open enrollment policy, which waives the typical fee and transcript-submission requirements, makes the university widely accessible for prospective students. The school is even more accessible for active-duty military and their eligible dependents, who may be eligible for a tuition fee discount.

The school has also partnered with Salesforce and created a transfer path between Salesforce's Trailhead initiative and SNHU's degree programs. This allows students to complete modules through Trailhead and transfer the credit into applicable SNHU programs.


University of New Hampshire-Main Campus

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is UNH like?

The University of New Hampshire was first established as a mechanical and agricultural arts college in 1866. Well over a century later, it has blossomed into a public research university and the main campus of the State University System. Based in Durham, this university began as a land grant college but has become a land, sea and space grant educational institution.

UNH hosted its first online program in 2012 and has been expanding its offerings ever since. The long list of illustrious UNH alumni includes well-known authors John Irving and Alice McDermott, filmmaker Jennifer Lee and multiple former New Hampshire governors.

What online programs are at UNH?

UNH previously used Blackboard as its online learning portal but has switched to myCourses powered by Canvas. The majority of online coursework offered by UNH is asynchronous; some courses are offered at an accelerated or condensed format.

Among the most noteworthy online programs at UNH are its two LLM programs: one in intellectual property law and the other in international criminal law and justice. The former focuses on patent law, while the latter focuses on legal and global issues surrounding terrorism, human trafficking, cybercrime and more. These programs may be completed full-time in only 12 months or can be taken part-time over as long as five years.

What online resources does UNH offer?

UNH's career advisement and development services are particularly extensive, offering several online resources such as:

  • A career management system in the form of a partnership with Handshake
  • Wildcat Connections, a platform for current students to seek guidance from alumni
  • Job-seeking tools (i.e., VMock and InterviewStream) that allow students to review resume strength and interview performances

White Mountains Community College

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is WMCC like?

White Mountains Community College is working to offer educational access to an ever-wider portion of New Hampshire. In the time since it was founded in 1966, the school has expanded to include two remote academic centers where classes can be taken. It also hosts a small but relatively unique list of distance learning certificate programs, as well as individual online courses in various subjects.

WMCC is known for its relatively easy application process -- many of its programs operate under an open enrollment policy.

What online programs are at WMCC?

There are only two full distance education options available at WMCC: the library technology certificate program and the water quality technology certificate program. WMCC uses Canvas as its learning management system to manage its asynchronous online classes and coursework.

After completion, credits from the water quality technology certificate program can be applied towards WMCC's associate in interdisciplinary studies. Meanwhile, the library technology certificate program ends with a field placement that gives students a chance to apply what they have learned to practical work. Students in this program can expect lessons to discuss reference, circulation and other library-related topics, with a focus on recent technological advancements in the field.

What online resources does WMCC offer?

WMCC students can expect their online course credits to be transferred with no issue between the member institutions of the state's Community College System and within the state's University System. The school's Assisting People In Transition (APIT) program helps students that are also homemakers and single parents in particular, offering everything from academic and career planning to financial assistance and childcare reimbursements.

The Registrar's Office of WMCC also has a Certifying Official for Military Education Benefits to help eligible students apply for and receive VA financial assistance through the Montgomery G.I. Bill, as well as other forms of federal tuition assistance.


Colby-Sawyer College

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is Colby-Sawyer like?

Colby-Sawyer College is an innovative private science and liberal arts school founded in 1837 as a coeducational institution. The school has what it calls a "wireless campus," where all students create electronic portfolios to track their learning achievements throughout their college career.

Noteworthy Colby-Sawyer alumni include actor Nate Corddry, former New Hampshire governors John H. Bartlett and Anthony Colby, former Massachusetts governor John Q. A. Brackett and businessman Charles Henry Morrill, the namesake of Morrill County, Nebraska.

What online programs are at Colby-Sawyer?

Colby-Sawyer offers an RN to BSN program that can be completed 100 percent online. The program's courses focus on evidence-based leadership and practices as well as community and public health. Prospective students can submit unofficial transcripts for evaluation and may be allowed to transfer up to 90 undergraduate units toward the 120-credit Colby-Sawyer BSN.

The college offers rolling admissions, with 15-week spring and fall courses and 12-week summer sessions. Courses are managed by the Moodle learning platform.

What online resources does Colby-Sawyer offer?

Financial aid may be available to online students who are enrolled in more than one course in a semester, including a tuition rate discount for employees of long-time affiliated Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Each online student is also assigned an academic advisor to consult with, who can provide personal tutorial services online.

Furthermore, distance learners have access to Colby-Sawyer's other online resources, such as library collections, technical support and career development initiatives.


NHTI-Concord's Community College

Tuition & Fees
Distance Education Participation
Number of Programs Offered
School Type

What is NHTI like?

Established as New Hampshire Technical Institute in 1965, NHTI is based in the state's capital city of Concord. The public residential school is a member of the Community College System of New Hampshire, and it changed its name in 2008 to reflect its transformation into a comprehensive educational institution.

What online programs are at NHTI?

NHTI's preferred online learning management system is Canvas, through which it delivers coursework for distance learning associate degree or undergraduate certificate programs. These programs are meant to be asynchronous and completely online, ideal for part-time or full-time adult students.

Perhaps the most distinctive NHTI online offering is the Associate in Science in hospitality and tourism management program, as well as the relatively unique related options: the event/conference management certificate, hotel administration certificate, travel and tourism certificate and wedding planning management certificate programs. All but the last come with optional practicum or internship opportunities through NHTI partnerships.

What online resources does NHTI offer?

NHTI accepts and helps facilitate VA educational benefits applications for eligible military servicemen.

The school also has a number of useful career resources available to all its students. There is an internal job and resume posting portal powered by College Central Network and a thorough Career Coach online resource. The latter includes a resume builder, a career assessment test and a specific search tool for veterans to find civilian careers based on their military skills.

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Affordable Online Colleges in New Hampshire for 2019-20

The following list displays several online colleges in New Hampshire with low tuition costs. Read on to learn the names of some of the most affordable accredited online colleges in New Hampshire.

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Financial Aid Resources in New Hampshire

Source: Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of CollegeXpress, a division of Carnegie Dartlet. Copyright © 2020 by CollegeXpress.

Student Loans in New Hampshire

New Hampshire does not currently offer student any state-based loans. It's recommended that students look into all opportunities for scholarships and grants anyway, as those types of financial aid do not have to be repaid. If you still find that you are in need of financial assistance, you will need to fill out the FAFSA and supply information about your family's financial situation to qualify for federal student loans. You may also apply for loans through private lenders.

For more about student loans and how they work, check out the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in New Hampshire

Costs for Out-of-State Students in New Hampshire

Nothing says college quite like picturesque New England towns and their universities, fall foliage, and outstanding academics. New England residents have some fantastic choices when it comes to attending college not only in their home state, but also in another state through what's known as Tuition Break by The New England Regional Student Program. Members include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

If you are from one of these states and want to attend college in bucolic New Hampshire, you will be able to get enroll at a public New Hampshire institution at a discount on the out-of-state tuition as long as you select a major that is not offered by a public university in your state. The program currently includes 700 graduate and undergraduate degrees.

The flagship University of New Hampshire  is a popular choice for out-of-state students, as its in-state resident student rate is 44 percent, meaning 66 percent of students hail from other states. If interested in learning more about education options as an out-of-state student, be sure to speak with an adviser for more insight. 


Best Careers In New Hampshire

Answering the question "What are the best jobs to have in New Hampshire?" depends a lot upon who is doing the asking. Students should seek career paths that dovetail with their personal interests. That said, students considering enrolling in online colleges in New Hampshire should also consider careers in growing fields to help them find employment after graduation. The data gathered in this section, which includes average salaries, statewide employment and job projections, should help students to narrow down which majors make the most sense for them to pursue while in college.

EmploymentEmployment GrowthMedian High School SalaryMedian Bachelor's Salary

Top New Hampshire Industries

*Industry rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data is sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.

Top IndustriesEmploymentProjected GrowthAverage Salary
Ambulatory healthcare services487,9308%$65,627
Hospitals; state, local, and private530,9408%$64,139
Educational services; state, local, and private584,4807%$62,887
Insurance carriers and related activities389,0807%$65,162
Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets (except copyrighted works)186,0106%$72,844
Professional, scientific, and technical services547,5706%$59,420
Pipeline transportation179,2606%$73,865
Nursing and residential care facilities458,0909%$58,263
Air transportation241,5906%$68,177

During the past decade or so, New Hampshire's economy has shifted from its traditional roots in manufacturing and millwork fabrication to more advanced manufacturing, including production of electrical components used throughout the technology sector. Manufacturing is prevalent in every county in the state, and companies working in this sector, along with others, have need of skilled workers in a range of professional positions such as accounting, engineering, management, legal services and many more.

Professional and business services positions aren't the only job opportunities in New Hampshire, though. The state's shortage of healthcare workers -- particularly in nursing -- led Gov. Chris Sununu to pledge $24 million in 2018 to help create additional nurse education programs in the state. There were an estimated 1,300 open registered nursing positions in 2018, making trained healthcare workers at hospitals and residential care facilities among the most needed jobs in New Hampshire.

In addition, the New Hampshire Department of Education has identified critical shortages in a range of educational positions, from STEM teachers to educational administrators and specialists. Considering these shortages, students who pursue careers in education, educational leadership and special education should be well positioned to land some of the most in demand jobs in New Hampshire.

The Granite State is a regional transportation hub served by three interstates, various rail corridors and the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. The latter is located a modest drive from downtown Boston and served more than 968,000 departing passengers in 2018. This may explain why air transportation ranks among the most high demand careers in New Hampshire.

This describes the best jobs in New Hampshire as a whole, but not every region of New Hampshire is going to be identical to every other region. As an example, let's spotlight some of the most needed jobs in the greater Manchester region.

Manchester-Nashua, NH Metro Area

Total Population
Median salary for high school grads
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
Median rent

While much attention is given to Boston's Innovation District and Technology Square in Cambridge, Mass., southern New Hampshire is quietly evolving into a technology hub as well. Large tech companies such as Texas Instruments and Autodesk have joined dozens of Manchester-based startups in the Manchester Millyard area. These firms employ a wide range of technology workers and related specialists, with software applications developers, electrical engineers and sales representatives for scientific products ranking among the highest demand jobs in Manchester.

In accordance with the statewide nursing shortage described above, the city's healthcare industry is expected to have a strong demand for nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the coming years as well.

Best CareersMinimum EducationAverage SalaryEmployment
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and TestersBachelor's degree$97,2901,150
Nurse PractitionersMaster's degree$116,000230
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific ProductsBachelor's degree$92,990530
Physician AssistantsMaster's degree$124,270160
Electrical EngineersBachelor's degree$107,620250

*Career rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.