Despite its size, Connecticut has a lot to offer when it comes to higher education.
Connecticut is ranked as one of the most educated states in the nation, with impressive percentages of residents holding bachelor’s or higher level degrees. Students in the state can choose from large universities, mid-size colleges or liberal arts colleges. Most of the schools offer learning opportunities both online and on campus.
It’s clear that Connecticut is a state with a strong commitment to both higher education and online learning.
Overview of Higher Education in Connecticut
There are 41 degree-granting institutions in Connecticut, according to a 2018-2019 report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NES). Of the 41 schools, 22 are public, 17 are nonprofit, and 2 are for-profit.
Additional data from the NCES showed that in-state public tuition to one of Connecticut’s 4-year institutions run $12,959, on average. Out-of-state tuition is much higher, at $33,709. Both are thousands above the national average.
Connecticut’s most well-known private school, Yale University, was founded in 1701 and is the country’s third oldest institution of higher education. The prestigious Ivy League school has an acceptance rate of around 6.3%, and there are just over 13,600 students enrolled.
The University of Connecticut (UConn), the state’s largest public school, has more than 32,000 students across 5 campuses. UConn offers online undergraduate and graduate courses, post baccalaureate certificates, graduate certificates, and graduate programs. Designated a “public ivy,” the school ranks among the top 25 public universities in the nation.
Connecticut is a part of the New England Regional Student Program, which allows residents to enroll in degree programs in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, if those programs are not offered by public schools within their home state of Connecticut.
About Online Colleges in Connecticut
Connecticut was a pioneer in online learning.
In 1998, The Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) was launched to provide support and services to the online educators. That same year, 4 institutions in the state became among the nation’s first to offer online courses.
By 2018, according to the NCES, 9.9% of Connecticut higher education students were enrolled in online courses exclusively. Another 11.4% of students were participating in some combination of online and on-campus courses.
The online learning format appeals to adult learners, parents, people with medical conditions, and those who need to maintain full time employment, as well as many others. It’s also an excellent option for individuals who want a degree from a Connecticut institution, but live outside the state.
Additionally, Charter Oak State College focuses exclusively on online learning and offers associates, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in areas such as health care, business, information systems and more.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Connecticut
Students pursuing a postsecondary degree in Connecticut should first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The FAFSA application will ask questions about your income and assets, as well as those of your parents (unless you’re considered independent), and use that information to determine what financial assistance you qualify for.
Even if you don’t think you will qualify for need-based aid, it’s important to complete the FAFSA anyway. It can open the door to low interest loans and scholarships at the federal and state level, and even at the school you choose.
You can get started on your FAFSA application starting October 1st of the year before you plan to attend, and should do so as soon as possible because funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis.
The best type of financial aid is a grant or scholarship, as this money does not have to be repaid. Grants and scholarships are most often awarded based on financial need or academic merit, but they are also given out for intended area of study, geographic region, achievements or talents, etc.
Many scholarships can be found on scholarship search sites like Fastweb.com. Simply enter some basic demographic information and you will be matched with dozens of scholarships!
Here are some grants and scholarships available to Connecticut residents:
|Scholarship Name||Details||Scholarship Amount|
|Roberta B. Willis Scholarship – Need & Merit-Based Award||High School Senior or graduate who was in the top 20% of his/her junior class OR scored 1200 or better on the SAT or 25 or better on the ACT; Must have federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC) within specified range||Up to $5250 per year in 4-year program
Up to $4650 per year in 2-year program
|Roberta B. Willis Scholarship – Need-Based Award||Connecticut college student with federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC) within specified range||Up to $4500|
|Better Business Bureau Student Ethics Scholarship||Connecticut high school senior who demonstrates a high level of ethics||$2500|
|Connecticut Broadcasters Media Scholarship||Residents pursuing broadcast-related studies, such as journalism, communications, marketing, engineering and broadcast engineering; Based on financial need and merit||$500-5000|
|Eileen Kraus Scholarship||Outstanding female Connecticut residents who are enrolling in their first year of college||$5000|
Connecticut’s colleges and universities also offer their own scholarships and grants, so be sure to check with the financial aid office at the school(s) you’re considering.
Additionally, students enrolled at least half-time at a Connecticut institution, or Connecticut residents enrolled elsewhere, are eligible to borrow money through the Connecticut Higher Education Supplement Loan Authority (CHESLA). CHESLA loans allow students to borrow up to the full cost of education less other aid at a low fixed interest rate. Interest is only paid during the years you are in school.
List of Online Colleges in Connecticut
|Online Colleges in Connecticut||Location||Annual Tuition||Accreditation||Application Fee|
|University of Bridgeport||Bridgeport, Connecticut||$31,630||Regional||$25|
|Sacred Heart University||Fairfield, Connecticut||$38,300||Regional||$50|
|Quinnipiac University||Hamden, Connecticut||$43,940||Regional||$65|
|Charter Oak State College||New Britain, Connecticut||$7,671||Regional||$75|
|University of Connecticut||Storrs, Connecticut||$14,066||Regional||$80|
|Post University||Waterbury, Connecticut||$16,510||Regional||$25|
|University of Saint Joseph||West Hartford, Connecticut||$36,870||Regional||$50|
Connecticut has prioritized education and proven its commitment to online learning from early on.
With an impressive variety of schools to choose from, and numerous scholarships and other repayment programs, the state has a lot to offer to residents and non-residents alike.