Best Online Colleges in New Jersey

Explore the top 15 schools in New Jersey with online programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Learn what to look for when choosing a school and how to get financial aid to fund your program.

Top New Jersey Colleges with Online Programs

When determining the best colleges in New Jersey for an online program, you should consider factors such as accreditation, program length, flexibility and cost.

1. Thomas Edison State University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Trenton $7,519 17%

Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been providing alternative and diverse education programs since it was started in 1972. The school offers 13 associate's, 34 bachelor's and 17 master's degrees online as well as several certificate programs. In-state undergraduate students have a tuition rate of $399 per credit hour or $3,963 per semester (10 or more credit hours) and can choose from programs in data science, business administration, nursing and more. Graduate student tuition varies by program, with many students paying $668 per credit, and can select from programs such as those in nursing, educational leadership and business administration.

2. Rutgers University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
New Brunswick $14,974 69%

Rutgers University is the State University of New Jersey and is considered the state's prominent public institution and a leader in research. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is committed to improving lives, research and communities from the local to global levels. Undergraduate students can pursue an online degree in business, nursing, or labor and employment relations and have a tuition fee of $550 per credit hour. Graduate students can select from 14 online master's degree programs, including education and accounting, and have a tuition rate of $900 to $1,256 per credit hour.

3. Rowan University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Glassboro $13,697 84%

Rowan University was founded in 1923 as a teacher education institution but now offers a variety of programs, including over 50 online programs. Rowan University focuses on responsive, agile and inclusive education and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Undergraduate students can choose from online programs, including law and psychology, and have a tuition rate of $14,376 per year (in-state full-time rate). Graduate students can select from programs in criminal justice, finance and special education, and have an in-state tuition rate of $16,632 per year.

4. New Jersey Institute of Technology

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Newark $17,338 92%

The New Jersey Institute of Technology was founded in 1973 but began its journey in education in 1885 under a different name. Today the school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is one of the leading U.S. institutions in STEM programs. The school offers more than 30 graduate degree and certificate programs online, which have a tuition rate of $1,307 per credit hour. Students can pursue programs in applied science, engineering, management, business and information systems, marketing and more.

5. Stockton University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Galloway Township $13,739 89%

Stockton University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and offers 14 online graduate programs. The school was founded in 1969 and employs distinguished faculty, 94% of which hold the highest degree in their field. Online graduate students have a per-credit tuition rate of $650, regardless of their state of residency, making Stockton University one of the most affordable options for graduate students. The school's online options include master's degree programs in instructional technology and holocaust & genocide studies as well as a variety of certificate and post-master's degree program options.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 Montclair State University Montclair $12,790 81%
7 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken $52,202 99%
8 William Paterson University of New Jersey Wayne $13,060 90%
9 Monmouth University West Long Branch $38,138 99%
10 Kean University Union $12,348 90%
11 Seton Hall University South Orange $42,170 98%
12 Fairleigh Dickinson University Teaneck $40,732 99%
13 Georgian Court University Lakewood $32,976 100%
14 Rider University Lawrenceville $42,860 98%
15 Felician University Lodi $34,320 100%

All table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition represents the 2018-2019 undergraduate school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

How to Choose a New Jersey College for an Online Program

There are several factors that you should consider when choosing a school for your online program in New Jersey, some of which are discussed below.

Type of School

Although it may not make a direct impact on your success, choosing the right type of school for your experience can be extremely beneficial. There are two main types: public and private.

  • Public - Public schools receive public funding, so are usually less expensive. However, these schools are often larger and, because of their public funding, frequently have more resources available to students.
  • Private - Private schools are usually smaller and are generally more expensive than public schools. Because of their smaller size, private schools often provide students with more individualized support.

Flexibility

As you prepare for your online program, you should review your time commitments and opportunities in order to determine how much time you can dedicate to your studies. Ask schools if the programs you are interested in are offered in the format that you need (full-time or part-time) and if you can take more or less classes as your availability changes.

Term Length

Standard terms, or semesters, are 16 weeks long, but many online classes are offered in accelerated formats (such as 8 weeks). Shorter terms can offer more flexibility as you move through the program, and often result in programs taking less time overall. For example, a student taking 18 credit hours would normally need 2 semesters to complete the 6 classes, but using 8-week terms they can finish those 18 credits in 3 terms, or 1.5 semesters.

Cost

Online program costs vary based on your degree level, field of study and previous experience. When reviewing your school choices, compare all applicable program and school costs. Ask your schools about any discounts or awards that you might qualify for, and keep in mind that financial aid is available to online students in New Jersey.

Transfer Credits

If you have attending a college or university in the past, you can typically have credits from your previous program transferred into your online program as long as these meet certain criteria (such as a B grade). When comparing schools, look for those that transfer the most credits into your new program. The more credits that you are able to transfer into your program, the shorter and cheaper your program will be.

Accreditation for New Jersey Online Colleges and Programs

There are two types of accreditation that you should be aware of: institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation applies to an entire school while programmatic accreditation applies to a specific program or academic unit. Both types of accreditation require a school/program to meet quality criteria set by an outside organization. If the outside organization finds that the criteria is met or exceeded, then accreditation is awarded. Schools must maintain quality programs, as accreditation is reviewed and renewed every few years.

Institutional Accreditation

Institutional accreditation is required for students to qualify for federal financial aid as well as some careers. Institutional accreditation can be regional or national; regional accreditation represents higher quality standards while national organization often means more relaxed admission requirements. A key difference that may affect students is that credits earned at a nationally accredited school can only transfer to another nationally accredited school.

Programmatic Accreditation

Programmatic accreditation applies to many programs, but not to all. Programs in technical fields, like nursing, usually have accreditation. Many of these fields require students to graduate from accredited programs in order to qualify for their intended licensure. Other accredited programs, like some in business, aren't necessarily required for employment but can provide candidates with employment opportunities.

How Much Do Online Programs Cost in New Jersey?

There are several expenses involved in the cost of an online program in New Jersey, including tuition and other fees. Some schools offer flat-rate costs which have all (or most) applicable fees combined; these may be charged per credit hour or per semester, depending on the school. However, most schools separate the cost of tuition and other relevant school and program fees.

Tuition

Tuition is the largest portion of overall program costs, and it is usually charged one of two ways:

  • Per Credit Hour - Tuition is typically charged per credit hour, especially for online graduate programs.
  • Flat-Rate - Tuition is charged at a flat rate for students taking a certain number of credit hours, such as 12 to 18 credits per semester.

The total cost of tuition for a program depends on the length of the program as well as the rate for that particular program. Tuition may be as little as $200 per credit or more than $1,000 per credit. In addition, although many schools have a standard tuition rate for all online students, some schools have a higher tuition rate for out-of-state students than for New Jersey residents. The table below provides an example of total program tuition based on estimated tuition rates.

Program Credits Needed Cost Per Credit Total Program Tuition
Associate's Degree 60 $500 $30,000
Bachelor's Degree 120 $500 $60,000
Master's Degree 40 $900 $36,000
Doctoral Degree 60 $1,000 $60,000

Other Fees

In addition to tuition, online students will usually incur other fees as part of their programs or enrollment. These fees vary by school, program and student, but may include some of the items listed below.

  • Technology fees
  • Registration fees
  • Student services fees
  • Differential/course fees
  • Distance learning fees

Many of these fees are charged per semester, such as registration and distance learning fees, while other fees are charged by credit hour or per course. Over the length of an online program, these fees can add up to $2,000 to $5,000 or more.

Financial Aid for Online Programs in New Jersey

Students interested in financial aid should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which shows what types of federal aid students can qualify for. In addition, students can add schools to their FAFSA, which allows schools to be automatically notified of student results. Students can also find financial aid through their school and other organizations by searching on reputable websites, such as the U.S. Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Scholarships

Students can find scholarships through several sources, including the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority of New Jersey as well as their selected school.

  • New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund - This $2,600 renewable award is available to students from disadvantaged upbringings attending a college in New Jersey.
  • Governor's Urban Scholarship Program - Students from designated areas who are in the top 5% of their class and are attending a qualifying New Jersey institution may be eligible for this state-funded award.
  • NJ STARS - Provided by the state of New Jersey, this award is available to students who are in the top 15% of their graduating class and are enrolling in an approved community college program.
  • NJ STARS II - This New Jersey scholarship is available to students who have completed an associate's degree in New Jersey and are enrolling in a four-year program at a qualifying NJ school.
  • Builders League of South Jersey Scholarship Foundation - Three $2,000 awards are given to southern New Jersey students who are pursuing a program relating to construction and real estate.

Work Study

Work study programs are offered by the federal government and participating institutions. Students can earn part or all of their program costs by working part time while in school, and are often able to work in positions related to their field of study.

Tuition Assistance

Many employers offer tuition assistance to their employees as both an incentive as well as an investment. The amount of assistance and approved programs vary by employer, but in many cases employees are able to increase their knowledge and skills applicable to their positions and industries.

Student Loans

Student loans are offered by private lenders as well as state and federal governments. Government loans should be used before any private loans because they are income based and have well-regulated interest rates. In addition, government loans offer flexible repayment plans.

  • Loan Forgiveness: Graduates who work in certain industries may be able to have some or all of their loans forgiven. The federal government forgives predetermined amounts of student loans for graduates who work in public service positions, such as teaching, and those who work for the government and nonprofit organizations.

Career Options for Graduates of Online Programs in New Jersey

Graduates of online programs in New Jersey may be prepared for a multitude of careers and industries, depending on their field of study. Graduates of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, for example, may be prepared for roles as registered nurses or health services managers, while graduates of a Bachelor of Business Administration may be prepared to work in a dozen different positions. Some positions that are available to graduates of online programs in New Jersey are shown in the table below.

Job Title Mean Annual Salary (2018, New Jersey) Typical Education Needed
Registered Nurses $82,750 Bachelor's degree
Nurse Practitioners $122,100 Master's degree
Medical and Health Services Mangers $116,750 Bachelor's degree
Human Resources Specialists $75,360 Bachelor's degree
Management Analysts $105,680 Bachelor's degree
Mathematicians $117,060 Master's degree
Statisticians $116,090 Master's degree
Computer Systems Analysts $107,540 Bachelor's degree
Database Administrators $110,160 Bachelor's degree
Chief Executives $233,050 Bachelor's degree
Financial Managers $175,880 Bachelor's degree
Economists $100,500 Master's degree
Urban and Regional Planners $74,120 Master's degree
Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists $98,470 Doctoral degree
Business Teachers, Postsecondary $111,740 Doctoral degree

Career data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Saybrook University

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    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

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