As one of the oldest states, Connecticut is home to some of the most established, prestigious and high-ranking colleges in the country. Connecticut colleges include one of the largest systems of public education in New England, an Ivy League school, a military academy, two Catholic universities, private liberal arts schools, community colleges and several trade schools. Read on to learn more about colleges in Connecticut, including factors to consider and resources available to help find the best schools for your financial, academic and lifestyle needs.

The Best Connecticut Colleges of 2017

Connecticut Connecticut

With its many options, finding the right college in Connecticut can seem like a daunting task. Knowing what to look for in a school can make the search a lot easier. Some important factors to consider when researching colleges in Connecticut are their cost of tuition, graduation rates, financial aid availability student-to-teacher ratios, and alumni earnings potential. We used these and other criteria to rank and score the best Connecticut colleges and show how they compare to one another.

Rank School Name Score Tuition Fees Alumni Earnings Student/Teacher Ratio Gift Financial AidGraduation Rate Acceptance Rate # Online Programs # Total Programs Placement Services Credit for Experience
1
Capital Community College
99.23
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$35,000
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
23%
9% N/A 1 46 Yes Yes
2
Manchester Community College
97.71
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$33,800
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
39%
18% N/A 0 75 Yes Yes
3
Naugatuck Valley Community College
96.96
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$32,500
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
16%
12% N/A 2 75 Yes Yes
4
Three Rivers Community College
95.60
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$32,600
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
22%
13% N/A 0 67 Yes Yes
5
Gateway Community College
93.91
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$30,200
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
30%
8% N/A 0 71 Yes Yes
6
Tunxis Community College
91.98
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$34,300
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
39%
10% N/A 0 41 No No
7
Middlesex Community College
91.56
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$30,100
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
28%
14% N/A 0 41 Yes Yes
8
Housatonic Community College
90.88
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$30,100
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
23%
8% N/A 0 42 No Yes
9
Asnuntuck Community College
90.31
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$32,400
18:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
46%
25% N/A 0 34 Yes Yes
10
Norwalk Community College
90.05
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$31,900
19:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
26%
8% N/A 9 54 Yes Yes
11
Northwestern Connecticut Community College
88.69
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$27,000
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
37%
13% N/A 0 38 No Yes
12
Quinebaug Valley Community College
86.00
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$25,100
18:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
34%
14% N/A 0 38 No Yes
Rank School Name Score Tuition Fees Alumni Earnings Student/Teacher Ratio Gift Financial AidGraduation Rate Acceptance Rate # Online Programs # Total Programs Placement Services Credit for Experience
1
Yale University
99.72
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$66,000
6:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
50%
96% 6% 0 155 Yes No
2
Fairfield University
96.59
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$69,000
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
85%
81% 72% 0 76 Yes No
3
Quinnipiac University
95.64
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$56,400
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
91%
75% 66% 8 76 Yes No
4
University of Hartford
95.06
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$45,900
10:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
97%
52% 72% 9 100 Yes Yes
5
University of Connecticut
94.89
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$53,900
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
64%
82% 50% 2 194 Yes No
6
Trinity College
94.13
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$56,100
9:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
42%
83% 33% 0 49 Yes No
7
University of Saint Joseph
93.60
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$49,700
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
100%
58% 80% 4 41 Yes Yes
8
Sacred Heart University
93.43
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$54,100
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
99%
63% 57% 5 54 Yes Yes
9
Wesleyan University
92.92
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$50,900
8:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
38%
91% 24% 0 71 Yes No
10
Connecticut College
92.75
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$51,000
9:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
54%
85% 38% 0 48 Yes No
11
University of New Haven
92.09
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$48,900
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
95%
56% 81% 3 80 Yes Yes
12
Albertus Magnus College
91.30
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$52,200
14:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
81%
43% N/A 3 34 Yes Yes
13
Central Connecticut State University
90.21
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$43,700
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
56%
52% 60% 1 96 No Yes
14
Western Connecticut State University
88.71
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$43,300
14:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
69%
42% 40% 0 53 Yes No
15
Southern Connecticut State University
88.54
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$41,700
14:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
33%
44% 72% 0 77 Yes No
16
University of Bridgeport
87.64
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$40,600
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
95%
32% 61% 11 63 Yes Yes
17
Goodwin College
86.76
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$25,800
10:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
91%
N/A N/A 10 11 Yes Yes
18
Eastern Connecticut State University
86.63
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$42,400
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
49%
53% 63% 1 40 Yes Yes
19
Mitchell College
86.00
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$29,800
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
97%
43% 70% 1 12 Yes Yes

Explore Accredited Connecticut Colleges and Universities

Students can use the following search tool to find more information about Connecticut colleges and further narrow program options based on their individual preferences. Selectable criteria include school type, city location, tuition cost and student population.

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Connecticut College Planning and Support Initiatives

There are several state programs and resources available to potential and current students of Connecticut colleges. These programs are designed to increase access and affordability and to provide guidance and support to all students. Several state programs work with adults and disadvantaged youth, helping them achieve their educational goals. Students can get help with college planning, financial aid, transitioning to college, completing their degree and moving into the workforce successfully. Below are some examples:

The Student Success Plan (SSP)

The SSP is a program designed to encourage and guide Connecticut middle and high school students in career exploration and post-secondary school. Students work with mentors and are given individualized plans based on their needs and interests with an emphasis on goal setting, engagement, career planning and growth in academic, social, emotional and physical abilities. Students have an opportunity for work on concurrent credits outside the classroom with workplace experience, and for building community connections.

CHESLA Loan Program

The CHESLA (The Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority) was established to help students to pursue higher education in the state of Connecticut by providing an alternative option for financing college. CHESLA also focuses on providing tools and information to help students make informed financial decisions. CHESLA loans are eligibility based, and are good for students who do not qualify for need-based loans, need to borrow beyond what their other financial aid covers or are looking for an alternative to other state loans.

Connecticut Collegiate Awareness and Preparation Program (ConnCAP)

The ConnCAP program is a competitive grant program that encourages Connecticut colleges to create college prep programs for low-income and potential first-generation high school students. Several colleges in Connecticut take part in the program, helping ConnCAP students prepare to graduate high school and move on to a post-secondary education. ConnCAP programs combine rigorous academics with activities designed for personal growth. Students interested in attending a ConnCAP program must meet eligibility requirements like demonstrating academic need, low-income status and being a first-generation potential college student.

Cost Analysis of Attending College in Connecticut

The cost of tuition can greatly influence a student’s college decisions. The type of school, amount of student aid and students’ residency status all contribute to a school’s final price tag. Since tuition costs can vary significantly from state to state, it pays to do a comparison. The following section shows how the cost of tuition at Connecticut colleges compares to the national average in terms of tuition, the percentage of students receiving financial aid and the average amount students receive.

Average Connecticut Tuition &
Fees at 4-Year Public Colleges

Source: CollegeBoard

% of Connecticut Students
Receiving Financial Aid

Source: IPEDS

Average Financial Aid Award
for Connecticut Students

Source: IPEDS

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a postsecondary institution.

* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

The Most Affordable Colleges in Connecticut

Tuition and fee costs are certainly an important consideration during the college selection process, but it’s not the most precise way of determining a college’s affordability. To do that, student’s should instead look at a college’s average net price, which takes grants, scholarships and other gift financial aid into account. Based on this criteria, here are Connecticut’s most affordable colleges and a look at the state’s overall college affordability compared to the national average.

Average
Annual Net
Price

Cost for students awarded federal financial aid, after school and government aid is deducted. At public colleges, only applies to in-state students.

Connecticut College Net Price vs. National Average
CONNECTICUT $22,056 Average
Annual Net Price
$18,073

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Connecticut Colleges for Tomorrow’s Highest Earners

Taking a look at the typical salaries Connecticut colleges’ alumni earn can be helpful when deciding on a college. The following information shows Connecticut colleges with the highest-paid graduates ten years after they entered that school, and how they compare with the national average.

Annual
Median Earnings
10 Years
After Entering
College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

Connecticut Alumni Salaries vs. National Average
CONNECTICUT $50,744 Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After Entering College
$42,759

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Connecticut Colleges With the Lowest Student Debt

Most college students need financial aid to complete their educations, but some colleges work especially hard to try and reduce the amount of debt their students will incur. The following section highlights colleges in Connecticut that produce graduates with the least amount of student debt and data on the national average.

Median
Federal Student
Loan Debt After
Graduation

Only for undergraduates who completed college; does not include Parent-PLUS loans.

Connecticut College Grad Debt Vs. National Average
CONNECTICUT $24,054 Median Federal Student
Loan Debt After Graduation
$23,145

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

More College Cost Considerations: Living Expenses in Connecticut

Cost of living can vary significantly by location, so it’s an important factor to consider when looking at Connecticut colleges. One of the best ways students can be prepared financially for college is factor expected living expenses into their budgets. Typical living expenses for college students are shown below, along with a comparison of the cost of living among several Connecticut cities.

area composite index housing groceries utilities transportation health care misc.
Statewide Average 132% 160% 131% 121% 111% 116% 120%
Hartford 124% 131% 128% 126% 115% 119% 119%
New Haven 124% 140% 132% 104% 108% 114% 120%
Stamford 147% 209% 132% 132% 109% 114% 122%

Source: The Council for Community and Economic Research

Why Accreditation Matters for Colleges in Connecticut

There are many reasons why accreditation is one of the most important factors to consider when deciding on the right college; the credit transfer, financial aid eligibility, professional certification and future employment could be affected. The quality of one’s education could be affected, since colleges must achieve certain standards and meet specific criteria to be accredited. Not all accrediting bodies are equal, however: students should confirm their school’s accrediting organization is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Colleges as a whole or specific programs within the college can be given accreditation. The regional accreditation agency for Connecticut colleges is the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The following are examples of organizations that offer accreditation to specific programs found in Connecticut colleges.

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) The AACSB gives accreditation to business programs at several colleges in Connecticut, including the: University of Connecticut School of Business, Central Connecticut State University School of Business, Fairfield University Charles F. Dolan School of Business, Quinnipiac University School of Business and Engineering, Sacred Heart University Jack Welch College of Business, University of Hartford Barney School of Business, University of New Haven College of Business, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Yale University School of Management.
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) The CCNE gives accreditation to the baccalaureate nursing programs at: Central Connecticut State University, Fairfield University, Lincoln College of New England, Quinnipiac University, Sacred Heart University, Southern Connecticut State University, University of Connecticut, University of Hartford, University of Saint Joseph and Western Connecticut State University.

Connecticut’s Key College Towns & Cities

Hartford

Although many of Hartford's colleges and universities have been around for a long time, it's still considered a growing college town. The state capital is home to the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, a collaborative organization of public and private universities, seminary schools and community colleges. Students attending one consortium school can take classes at any of the others.

College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

HartfordUniversity of Hartford Public $16,940 $46,000
The University of Hartford (UHart) is a private university with three campuses throughout the area and a student population of nearly 7,000. The university has a long history, and offers a full campus life big on traditions, community, sustainability and opportunities for student involvement. UHart also has Division I athletics and the Hartford Scholars program, which awards half-tuition scholarships to local students. UHart is known for its business, engineering, and visual and performing arts programs.
HartfordCapital Community College Public $14,817 $37,200
CCC is a diverse, two-year public college located in downtown Hartford. The college is a member of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education and a designated Achieving the Dream Leader College, which is a nationwide initiative that focuses on retaining community college students and helping them graduate. CCC is known for its technical, nursing, and liberal arts and sciences programs.
HartfordTrinity College Public $13,126 $32,500
Trinity is a private, non-denominational liberal arts college located near downtown Hartford with about a student-to-teacher ratio of 10:1. As the second oldest college in Connecticut, Trinity College is rich in tradition, which carries over into to campus life. One such tradition is that all freshman must live on campus for their first year. Outside the classroom, Trinity offers more than 100 student clubs and organizations, Division III athletics, several internships, and opportunities for student involvement in the community. Popular programs here include economics, political science, and English language and literature.
New Haven

Located halfway between New York City and Boston, New Haven is rich in culture and opportunities that appeal to many students, faculty and alumni. Although Yale University has a very large presence in New Haven, several other historic and established colleges make their home in the area. Options include state universities and colleges; private liberal arts colleges; seminary and divinity schools; art schools and community colleges.

College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

New HavenYale University Public $7,555 $35,200
Yale is a private Ivy League school serving about 12,000 students at its central campus in downtown New Haven. Yale was founded in 1701, making it the oldest college in Connecticut, and third-oldest in the country. A major research university with several institutes, labs and research centers, Yale is also known for its drama and music programs.
New HavenAlbertus Magnus College Public $7,714 $28,300
Albertus Magnus is a Catholic four-year, private liberal arts college located in the suburban New Haven neighborhood of Prospect Hill. It was founded in 1925, and started out as a women's college. This college has about 1,500 students with a 13:1 student-to-teacher ratio. It offers two adult learning programs and the option of a traditional or accelerated undergraduate curriculum. Popular programs at AMC include business, law enforcement and psychology.
New HavenSouthern Connecticut State University Public $15,207 $45,500
Southern serves about 11,000 students just outside downtown New Haven. Founded in 1893 as a teachers college, Southern now offers nearly 120 undergraduate and graduate programs with several internship, research and study abroad opportunities. Southern is still known as a teachers' college, graduating the most teachers in Connecticut. The most popular programs are in health and wellness, business, and liberal arts and sciences.

Source: College Scorecard

More Connecticut College Resources

Below are some resources aspiring students may find useful when searching for colleges in Connecticut.

Connecticut Department of Labor

This state labor market website offers a student resources section through which potential college students can explore in-demand careers and their training needs, educational demands and wages.

Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium

This site has a list of Connecticut schools that offer online education and their associated courses and degrees.

Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU)

Current and potential students can find stats, facts and figures about Connecticut state colleges and universities, learn about the individual schools in the system, including admissions and degree programs available.

Connecticut State Department of Education

This state website can be used by potential and current students to find out about colleges, financial aid, adult education and other helpful programs.

State of Connecticut Office of Higher Education

This state website lets students search through a list of Connecticut colleges and degree programs, and learn about support programs and initiatives.

Veterans.ct.gov

This state website provides education, training and employment resources for U.S. veterans.