By attending one of the best online colleges in Connecticut, you can earn a graduate or undergraduate degree that helps improve your career prospects and increase your annual income. Like other graduates, you can qualify for new positions in your field, work toward a career change, or prepare for graduate school. Attending an online college in your state allows you to take advantage of Connecticut’s tuition discounts for state residents and make great local connections and receive the full benefit of your school’s name recognition.
Higher Learning Initiatives in Connecticut
Charter Oak State College
Charter Oak State College is the only one of the online public schools in Connecticut overseen by the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities Board of Regents for Higher Education. Charter Oak State College offers associate of science, associate of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of arts degrees to online students. Additionally, this online college offers those interested in health care the opportunity to get their bachelor’s degrees in health information management, health care administration, and health studies. Charter Oak State College also facilitates a number of certificate programs for Connecticut residents in areas like computer security, project management, land surveying, and public safety.
Connecticut Virtual Learning Center
In 2008, Connecticut provided the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium, a faction of Charter Oak State College, with the funds necessary to establish the Connecticut Virtual Learning Center. This online learning center is intended for public high school students who wish to take a portion or all of their courses online. It provides high school students in Connecticut an opportunity to take classes on a flexible schedule and helps increase the likelihood that Connecticut students will obtain their diplomas. The Connecticut Virtual Learning Center’s online courses meet national and state standards and are modeled after the classes offered by online schools in Connecticut in terms of lecture and assignment structure.
State Technology Competency Standards for Students
Since 2001, Connecticut has required all of its public schools to meet computer technology competency standards. These standards oblige K-12 public schools to teach certain technology skills to elementary, middle, and high school students. They establish that Connecticut students should know confidently know how to use technology to research information and perform clerical tasks by the time they graduate from high school. By putting these competency standards in place, Connecticut helps ensure that its students graduate from high school prepared to use technology in the real world.
Popular Degree Programs in Connecticut
Finance, insurance, and real estate dominate Connecticut’s economy, along with service and manufacturing. Due to its waterfront location, the state’s industries are often involved in and dependent upon shipping and water-related commerce.
- Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering: Connecticut’s location along the Atlantic coast makes it an ideal place to study marine-related subjects. In a naval architecture and marine engineering major, students use math skills to design and develop ships and other watercraft. They also learn to avoid, deter, or repair problems related to rust and environmental hazards so that shipping remains a safe and profitable industry.
- Psychology: Psychology majors study individual and collective behavior, usually with the intention of solving behavioral problems and disorders. Students in this field take courses in creativity, abnormal psychology, counseling, research methods, and social psychology. Some learners pair a psychology major with studies in education or business with the intention of helping schools and companies improve life for students and employees.
Paying for College in Connecticut
Higher education can be expensive, and prospective students often contemplate nontraditional ways of earning a degree, including taking Connecticut community college online courses. The state’s tuition prices tend to run higher than the average throughout the nation, but Connecticut offers an array of private scholarships, public grants, and other financial aid programs that help students cover higher education’s costs.
Connecticut’s public higher education institutions carry a slightly higher price tag than the average two- or four-year college in the U.S. In addition, students should consider other costs such as books, transportation, and rent when budgeting for college. Financial aid from federal, state, and private sources can help offset tuition and other expenses.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18
|Public Two Year||Public Four Year|
Source: College Board
Employment Outlook in Connecticut
Current unemployment rates across the nation stand at near-record lows. Still, those rates vary by state, and in Connecticut, the unemployment rate is higher than the national average. The state’s employment figures still look good when compared against historic trends. Most Connecticut residents earn considerably more in annual salaries than the average American. Connecticut’s close proximity to New York City, with its thriving industries and economy, may offer a partial explanation for the state’s high wages. In addition, Connecticut’s cost of living is higher than the U.S. average, meaning residents may need higher wages to maintain the national standard of living.
Accreditation for Colleges in Connecticut
When selecting a college or university, prospective students must consider many factors, including price, location, and available programs, but perhaps the most important consideration is a college’s accreditation. An accredited school can offer far more student aid than an unaccredited one, and its graduates can take professional exams and apply for graduate schools, whereas most graduates of unaccredited schools cannot. In the U.S., accreditation is a voluntary process in which colleges demonstrate that they meet or exceed minimum standards and are upholding a commitment to self improvement. Colleges can hold regional, national, or programmatic accreditation, and some institutions hold more than one kind of accreditation.
Regional accreditation covers an entire institution and is the most widely recognized form of accreditation. In Connecticut, the regional accrediting association is the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. National accrediting agencies such as the Distance Education and Training Council and the Transnational Association of Colleges and Schools offer their stamp of approval to schools within their niche. Programmatic accreditation goes to specific departments or programs such as education, library science, business, or engineering. Accreditation for Connecticut college online courses is the same as for schools offering courses on campus.
Scholarships for Connecticut Online College Students
College students throughout the country can receive scholarships by demonstrating needs or merits that align with funders’ interests and goals. In Connecticut, students can take advantage of private and public aid to help pay for tuition, books, room, board, and other expenses associated with higher education.
- Connecticut Library Association Scholarships
Who Can Apply: Members of the Connecticut Library Association who are pursuing degrees in library science must also either be Connecticut residents or employees of a Connecticut public library to apply for this scholarship.
- Connecticut Community Foundation Scholarships
Who Can Apply: This community foundation oversees many scholarships to students in the Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills region, and students can apply for a general scholarship or a special scholarship using the online portal.
- Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Juniors, seniors, or graduate students who hold a GPA of 3.0 or better and are legal residents of Connecticut majoring in agronomy, botany, city planning, or an allied subject may apply.
- Tabor Foundation Fund
Who Can Apply: Residents of northeast Duchess or northwest Litchfield who work in or intend to work in a healthcare facility in the catchment area can apply. Nonresidents who work in healthcare in the area may also apply.
Amount: Between $1,000 and $4,000
- Minority Teacher Incentive Grant
Who Can Apply: Future teachers who are members of a qualifying minority group can receive a grant to help fund their education at a Connecticut college, provided that they begin teaching in a Connecticut school upon graduation.
- Veterans Tuition Waiver
Who Can Apply: Qualifying veterans, active military personnel stationed in Connecticut, and members of the National Guard can apply for a full tuition waiver when attending the University of Connecticut or one of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.
Amount: Tuition at a public college or university in Connecticut
- Hartford Foundation Scholarship Program
Who Can Apply: The Hartford Foundation offers scholarships to graduating high school seniors who plan to attend four-year colleges in Connecticut. The foundation also offers a community college scholarship and manages individual scholarship funds.
- Roberta B. Willis Need-Based Grant Program
Who Can Apply: This scholarship goes to Connecticut residents who attend a college in the state and who demonstrate financial need by having a federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC) amount within allowable limits.
Amount: Up to $4,500
- Roberta B. Willis Need-Merit Scholarship Program
Who Can Apply: Applicants must be Connecticut residents, hold an SAT score of 1200 or better, and be high school seniors in the top 20% of their graduating classes. Recipients have to attend college in Connecticut.
Amount: Up to $5,250
- Bob Eddy Scholarship Program
Who Can Apply: The Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists Foundation Inc. awards this scholarship to students who are studying at a Connecticut college or who are Connecticut residents pursuing a degree in journalism.
Amount: $1,000 – $2,500
Resources for Students in Connecticut
- The Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges: A coalition of 15 Connecticut-based accredited colleges and universities makes up the CCIC. Students can use the organization’s website to learn about the member colleges, their selection process, financial aid, and resources for veterans. The organization also engages in public policy advocacy and tracks the economic impact of higher education on Connecticut.
- CT Dollars & Sense: This financial literacy portal provides information about planning, saving, and paying for higher education in Connecticut. Using the site, students can find out about filling out the FAFSA, scholarships for which they qualify, and facts about student loans. The site also features a cost comparison tool that lets students evaluate their college options.
- Connecticut Office of Higher Education: The state’s Office of Higher Education manages student financial aid, regulates postsecondary career schools, and oversees the licensure and accreditation of Connecticut’s independent colleges and universities. Students can use the site to research academic programs and read a variety of guides on collegiate life, academics, and job searching in the state.
- Connecticut State Colleges & Universities: CSCU serves as the coalition of state-sponsored colleges and universities in Connecticut. This organization provides extensive information about tuition, graduation rates, diversity, admissions, and academics at the state’s 17 colleges and universities. Students seeking general information about transfer options can also find data available on this site.
- Connecticut Higher Education Trust: CHET is the State of Connecticut’s 529 college savings program. This state-sponsored, tax-advantage savings plan allows students and their families to put aside money for private school or higher education expenses, including tuition, room, and board. Students do not have to attend college in Connecticut to benefit from the plan.
Online Schools in Connecticut
Albertus Magnus College
New Haven, CT
- Graduation Rate: 43%
- Average Net Price: $22,858
University of Bridgeport
- Graduation Rate: 32%
- Average Net Price: $23,341
- Graduation Rate: 75%
- Average Net Price: $32,227
Sacred Heart University
- Graduation Rate: 63%
- Average Net Price: $34,550
St Vincent's College
- Graduation Rate: 38%
- Average Net Price: $16,342
University of New Haven
West Haven, CT
- Graduation Rate: 56%
- Average Net Price: $29,074