New Hampshire's Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau projects that the fields of healthcare and information technology will experience the strongest employment growth in the state through 2026. Many of the most lucrative jobs in these fields, such as registered nurse and software developer, require some form of postsecondary education.
In addition to a ranking of the top online colleges in New Hampshire, this page offers information on ways to pay for your degree, possible career paths after graduation, and the importance of choosing an accredited program.
Higher Learning Initiatives in New Hampshire
Advanced Placement (AP) Test Fee Reduction
As the name implies, the Advanced Placement Test Fee initiative was created in May 2012 to help eligible low-income students cover the full costs of AP exams. In the past, low-income students were only eligible to get assistance for a maximum of three exams. A cap no longer exists, which means more students will be able to take AP exams and get the opportunity to pass lower-level college coursework, whether online or traditional. What's more, these students will have a better chance of graduating on time. Finally, passing the tests also cuts back on the cost of college, because it decreases the number of courses students must take and pay for, and in turn can reduce the time to completion.
Comprehensive Assessment Systems Grant
In September 2010, the U.S. Secretary of Education awarded several states special grants intended to help school boards assess the way students read, construct research, and work with technology and other digital media over a course of four years. As a recipient of the grant, New Hampshire must use its research to implement innovative programs. These new programs can potentially help better prepare students for higher education and online coursework as well as make them suited for the workforce.
E-Learning for Educators
The E-Learning for Educators program is designed exclusively for educators of all grade levels. It helps instructors learn the latest technology to use in the classroom as well as how to create hybrid and online classes so that students can reach their full potential. The Open NH Program is an ongoing five-year initiative.
Popular Degree Programs in New Hampshire
While New Hampshire offers a great deal of economic opportunity, the state also struggles with many social problems. For example, New Hampshire ranks second in the nation, behind West Virginia, in the number of opioid-related deaths per capita. Many students in the Granite State choose to major in fields like human services to develop the skills needed to combat this epidemic.
- Human Services and Community Organization: A human services program prepares students for jobs like social worker, counselor, or nonprofit administrator. Depending on their area of specialization, students majoring in this area often take coursework in subjects like community and public health, working with diverse populations, and public policy. Students planning to continue their education at the graduate-level also study research methods.
- Business Administration: A degree in business administration opens up a variety of career paths. Graduates can work for a large institution, such as an accounting firm or a manufacturing company. They can also become entrepreneurs, starting and growing their own business venture. Business administration students usually take classes in organizational development, finance, and personnel management.
Paying for College in New Hampshire
You can pay for your education in many ways. If you live in New England, you may qualify for in-state tuition through the New England Board of Higher Education's Tuition Break program. You can also apply for state and federal financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
In addition, you can save money by taking New Hampshire community college online courses. Earning an associate degree qualifies you for many entry-level roles, and you can easily transfer your community college credits to a four-year institution.
At both two-year and four-year institutions, New Hampshire students tend to pay more in tuition and fees than the national average.
Remember to consider other related expenses, such as room and board and transportation. While students attending a New Hampshire online college can avoid some of these costs, schools may charge distance learners a technology fee to study remotely.
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 New Hampshire
New Hampshire boasts a strong economy. The state's unemployment rate sits at just 2.5%, significantly below the national average. The mean wage in the Granite State also outpaces the national average by roughly $500 per year.
According to the Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau, overall employment in the state should increase by 6.1% through 2026. The field of healthcare will enjoy the strongest growth, at a rate of approximately 15.7% during that same period. The fields of social assistance and information technology will also expand rapidly, while the availability of production occupations will decline slightly.
Accreditation for Colleges in New Hampshire
When researching online colleges in New Hampshire, make sure to choose an accredited institution. The accreditation process ensures that schools meet certain academic standards and adequately prepare their students for careers after graduation. Students who attend unaccredited colleges may not qualify for all forms of state and federal aid. In addition, prospective employers may not recognize their degree, and other schools may not allow them to transfer credit they have previously earned.
Your college or university may hold either regional or national accreditation. Approximately 85% of all higher education institutions, and nearly all public and nonprofit schools, hold regional accreditation. In New Hampshire, the New England Commission of Higher Education serves as the primary regional accreditor.
Some for-profit and vocational schools seek out national accreditation instead. Together, the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) authorize more than a dozen bodies to oversee the national accreditation process. For example, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission accredits many online programs throughout the country. As national accreditation requires more lenient standards, some regionally accredited schools may not accept transfer credits from nationally accredited institutions.
To check whether your school holds either regional or national accreditation, review CHEA's online directory.
Scholarships for New Hampshire Online College Students
Along with state and federal aid, you can apply for private scholarships to help pay for your online degree. Try to identify scholarship opportunities that match your background and professional goals. For example, multiple organizations in New Hampshire offer scholarships to students who plan to seek a degree in a health-related field.
Who Can Apply: This program provides aid to students seeking a professional certificate, license, or other industry-recognized credential. NHCF prioritizes the funding of students currently working in the manufacturing and trade fields, such as plumbers, machinists, and electricians.
Who Can Apply: NHCF also offers scholarships to students pursuing their associate degree at a community college. To qualify for funding, you must hold either a high school diploma or GED and demonstrate financial need.
Amount: Up to $3,500
Who Can Apply: Students working towards a bachelor's degree in New Hampshire can apply for this scholarship award. NHCF makes funding decisions on the basis of academic performance, community service and extracurricular activities, and financial need.
Amount: Up to $7,500
Who Can Apply: Finally, NHCF supports students seeking an advanced degree, though it does offer more awards at the undergraduate level. Most master's/Ph.D. scholarships go to students who plan to enroll in medical school or work in a health-related profession. Applicants must also demonstrate strong financial need.
Who Can Apply: Community college students in New Hampshire can apply for a variety of scholarships. For example, the American Automobile Association of Northern NE Scholarship provides between $1,000 and $2,000 to students who plan to work in the automotive service industry.
Who Can Apply: One of the few aid programs directly administered by the New Hampshire Department of Education, this scholarship provides aid to the children of military service members who died in the line of duty. Applicants must submit a notarized application to receive funding.
Amount: Fees and room and board
Who Can Apply: Franklin Savings Bank provides scholarships to students who attend Franklin, Gilford, Merrimack, Merrimack Valley, Newfound Regional, or Winnisquam Regional high schools. To qualify, you must demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and financial need.
Who Can Apply: The Eastman Foundation offers financial support to students who enroll in a postsecondary degree or training program in a health-related field. Applicants must currently work at a health organization in the state.
Who Can Apply: This program supports students planning to enter the healthcare profession, though the trust prioritizes students who seek a degree in nursing. To qualify for funding, you must demonstrate above-average academic merit and financial need.
Who Can Apply: The Kent Scholarship aims to increase the number of math teachers in New Hampshire. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED, seek a degree in math education, and work for at least two years as a math teacher in the state after graduation.
Resources for Students in New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Community Foundation: NHCF provides the majority of financial aid to students pursuing a postsecondary degree in New Hampshire. It also offers guidance on identifying other private scholarship opportunities, how to choose from various student loan options, and where to find free SAT and ACT test preparation resources.
- New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation: NHHEAF administers the state's student loan programs. In addition, students and families can review resources on choosing the right school, applying to a program, completing the FAFSA, and saving for college. The foundation's website even features calculators to help you better predict the full cost of your education.
- New England Board of Higher Education: NEBHE's Tuition Break program helps students from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont receive in-state tuition at public colleges and universities in New Hampshire. During the 2016-17 academic year, more than 9,000 New England residents saved approximately $60 million in tuition by participating in this program.
- Community College System of New Hampshire: New Hampshire's community college system enrolls more than 26,000 students annually at seven campuses across the state. Community college students can earn their associate degree entirely online in fields like health and human services, business administration, and graphic design. They can also apply for a variety of scholarships and learn more about transferring credit to a four-year institution.
- New Hampshire Department of Education: The New Hampshire Department of Education oversees all public education in the Granite State. While it focuses mostly on K-12 education, the department's website offers helpful resources for veterans and their families, including information on how to use GI Bill benefits to pay for your degree and scholarship opportunities for children whose parents died while serving in the military.
Online Schools in New Hampshire
Franklin Pierce University
- Graduation Rate: 50%
- Average Net Price: $26,555
New England College
- Graduation Rate: 43%
- Average Net Price: $27,525
- Graduation Rate: 51%
- Average Net Price: $27,613
Southern New Hampshire University
- Graduation Rate: 59%
- Average Net Price: $29,194
University of New Hampshire at Manchester
- Graduation Rate: 62%
- Average Net Price: $16,750