Best Delaware Colleges & Universities

Become Team
Become Team
November 20, 2020

Delaware boasts impressive higher education offerings, with particular strengths in education, engineering, and social work programs. In addition to its five two- and four-year institutions, Delaware is home to a host of technical schools and online programs. Performing the research necessary to make a decision among these options can be difficult for prospective students. We've created this page to make it easier, and provide a starting point from which to narrow down schools. Here you'll find information about school rankings and accreditation, student financial aid, alumni earning potential by school, and other helpful resources when planning for college in Delaware.

Delaware College Leaderboard: Rankings

Our best-in-state school rankings objectively assess which two- and four-year colleges in Delaware provide the highest amount of academic value. Included in the rankings calculations are factors like tuition cost, graduation rate, alumni earnings, financial aid availability and student-to-teacher ratio. Learn more about Delaware's best colleges and universities below.

Rankings Methodology Minimum Qualifications
  • Located in Delaware
  • Public or private not-for-profit
  • Institutionally accredited
  • At least 10 total programs
Ranking Metrics
  • Median annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering the college
  • In-state tuition and fees for undergraduates
  • Student/teacher ratio
  • 6-year graduation rate
  • % of students receiving institutional financial aid (first-time, full-time undergrads)
  • Average amount of institutional aid awarded per student (first-time, full-time undergrads)
  • Availability of placement services upon completion
  • Availability of academic/career counseling services
  • Availability of employment services
  • 3-year student cohort loan default rate
Data Sources

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS): National Center for Education Statistics

Latest 'Final Release' data available as of Fall 2016 College Scorecard: U.S. Department of Education

2-Year Programs

Delaware Technical Community College-Terry View School Profile $ 15% 99.85 $29,000 12:1 9% N/A 0 52 Yes Yes
Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington View School Profile $ 9% 99.79 $33,500 13:1 7% N/A 0 81 Yes Yes
Delaware Technical Community College-Owens View School Profile $ 20% 99.65 $28,800 13:1 15% N/A 0 70 Yes Yes
Delaware College of Art and Design View School Profile $$$ 70% 86 N/A 13:1 91% 48% 0 11 No No

4-Year Programs

University of Delaware View School Profile $$ 80% 99.37 $54,300 15:1 54% 68% 10 177 Yes No
Wilmington University View School Profile $$ 34% 91.54 $43,000 14:1 20% N/A 29 66 Yes Yes
Goldey-Beacom College View School Profile $$$ 40% 88.9 $43,900 20:1 100% 51% 0 16 Yes No
Wesley College View School Profile $$$ 31% 86.88 $41,400 14:1 95% 57% 1 30 Yes Yes
Delaware State University View School Profile $ 33% 86 $34,200 16:1 60% 44% 0 115 Yes No

Find and Research Delaware Colleges & Universities

Students will want to begin comparing specific colleges early on in their search. Not everyone has the same standards, and some people care more about certain features than others. For instance, one person may make a decision based entirely on cost and financial aid while another is more concerned with class size or location. Use the search tool below to compare Delaware colleges using the criteria you care about most.

College Prep and Support Programs in Delaware

Some students are expected to go to college because it's a highly-valued attribute within their family: it's not a question of if they'll go to college, but where. Unfortunately, not all children get the opportunity due to extenuating circumstances such as cost or language barriers. Luckily, there are programs in Delaware that help students attend college and meet their academic goals.

Delaware College Scholars

This organization's mission is "to recruit, assist, and enrich high-performing, low-income high school students academically and socially toward applying to competitive colleges and universities." Delaware College Scholars is particularly helpful to first-generation college-bound students.

Delaware Futures

Delaware Futures was formed in 1993 to help serve the educational needs of city youth. The program accepts a small number of high school students each year. The biggest benefit of the program is that it guarantees free college tuition to all of its graduates.

Manners First

L. Clayton Washington founded this organization in 1997. The faith-based organization hopes to bring success to students by increasing high school, college and post-secondary vocational, certificate and licensure programs, as well as college and university graduation and completion rates. Its mission is to see to this vision by closing all achievement gaps in K-12 education, and to advocate for evidence-based and innovative solutions to education reform.

The True Cost of Delaware Colleges

Many factors can influence the cost of college in Delaware. Students with in-state residency usually pay substantially less per credit than out-of-state students. Financial aid is another big factor that affects the price tag. Students considering colleges in Delaware may want to know how much they might pay and how that figure compares to other schools across the country. Prospective applicants can use the information below to compare average college costs in Delaware and nationally.

Source: CollegeBoard

Source: IPEDS

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.

Delaware's Six-Most Affordable Colleges

For many aspiring students and their families, the one and only concern for college is out-of-pocket costs - how much per credit, and how much of it can be mitigated with scholarships and grants. We've measured the most affordable colleges in Delaware by that same calculation, tuition cost minus the average amount of gift financial aid awarded.

Delaware College Net Price vs. National Average

Average
Annual Net Price
DELAWARE $18,150
$18,073

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

Delaware Colleges With Highest-Paid Alumni

A primary concern for many students approaching college is what their earning potential will be after they graduate. Some Delaware colleges have alumni who make more than graduates of other schools; the illustration below highlights schools where alumni have earned the highest salaries 10 years after entering.

Delaware Alumni Salaries vs. National Average

Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After Entering College
DELAWARE $44,750
$42,759

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

Delaware Colleges for the Lowest Student Debt

Most colleges in Delaware and around the country have their own financial aid department, and specific colleges within colleges award scholarships to students entering the field. Some better prepare students to take advantage of these opportunities all year long. These are the colleges in Delaware from which graduates depart with the least student debt.

Delaware College Grad Debt Vs. National Average

Median Federal Student
Loan Debt After Graduation
DELAWARE $25,707
$23,145

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

Delaware's Cost of Living: City Comparison

Delaware's cost of living is just above the national average, which means its housing, food, utilities, and transportation costs are more expensive than those of most states. The margins aren't large, but students should still consider these expenses while calculating the overall cost of the education. The graphic below outlines Delaware cities' cost-of-living percentages

area composite index housing groceries utilities transportation health care misc.
Statewide Average 103% 95% 109% 111% 100% 101% 106%
Dover 99% 83% 110% 112% 101% 101% 105%
Wilmington 106% 107% 107% 110% 98% 102% 107%

Source: The Council for Community and Economic Research

The Ins and Outs of Delaware College Accreditation

Accreditation is the means by which educational institutions are evaluated to ensure that they meet state, local and national standards. There are many different accrediting organizations around the country; however, many schools in Delaware are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Students want to choose accredited programs so they can be sure of the quality and consistency of their education. In some instances, individual programs in universities are accredited by industry-specific bodies. Some examples include:

Major College Cities in Delaware

Newark

The city of Wilmington has six colleges and numerous technical schools. According to the U.S. Census, the city's 2010 population was 70,851. Its industries, other than education, consist mainly of finance, logistics, and insurance. Delaware is the official state of incorporation for many companies because of its business-friendly policies, and many of them are headquartered in Wilmington.

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

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

NewarkUniversity of Delaware Public $10,966 $41,900
The student population of the University of Delaware nears 23,000 including more than 4,000 graduate students. There are more than 300 degree programs, and the university boasts its study abroad program established in 1923 - in fact, 30 percent of its students study abroad each year. Community service is another piece of the university's requirements. Fourteen thousand students have spent more than 250,000 hours serving others, to date.
Wilmington

The city of Wilmington has six colleges and numerous technical schools. According to the U.S. Census, the city's 2010 population was 70,851. Its industries, other than education, consist mainly of finance, logistics, and insurance. Delaware is the official state of incorporation for many companies because of its business-friendly policies, and many of them are headquartered in Wilmington.

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

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

WilmingtonDelaware College of Art and Design Public $11,159 $43,500
DCAD was formed in 1996 when two schools, New York's Pratt Institute and Washington DC's Corcoran College of Art and Design, partnered to establish a new school in Delaware. DCAD offers Associate in Fine Arts degrees in liberal arts, animation, and illustration, among others. The school offers graduates a unique opportunity to transfer to a bachelor's in fine arts program at other art and design schools around the world.
WilmingtonGoldey-Beacom College Public $16,954 $37,700
GBC offers associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in fields like English, criminal justice and many science fields. This private school was founded in 1886, and has a full campus with residence halls, a library, gym and athletic fields. It's a small school with 2,000 students from 13 states and 60 countries. It boasts the belief and ability to provide financial aid to every student.
WilmingtonDelaware Technical Community College Public $4,963 $33,500
The Wilmington campus provides associate degrees, career-oriented programs, and volunteer and community service activities. This campus is also home to the Dental Health Center, which has at its mission to provide quality dental care for the community while helping students complete the program's requirements.

Source: College Scorecard

Additional Resources for Delaware College Research

To continue their research, students should consider exploring additional resources. All Delaware colleges have websites with a wealth of information, including scholarships and financial aid, degree programs, and university specialties. Here are some additional resources to review.

Leaders and Laggards - U.S. Chamber Foundation

A state-by-state report card on public colleges and universities, L&L offers data on student access and success, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, meeting labor market demand, transparency and policy environment.

Rodel Foundation of Delaware

A research foundation that focuses on public education in Delaware, the Rodel publishes an annual report highlighting statistics on student enrollment, student achievement, and college and career-readiness.

State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

SHEEO advocates for state-policy-leadership as a liaison between states and the federal government.

State of Delaware Education

Provides resources for students on scholarships, grants, financial aid and continuing education.

Vision Coalition of Delaware

The Coalition is a public-private partnership composed of a broad range of people from Delaware. It is working to create Student Success 2025, a development plan to improve public education.

Become Team
Become Team
Contributing Writer