Online Colleges in Delaware

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Updated October 5, 2021 is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Despite being the second smallest state in the nation, Delaware offers plenty in terms of education and career opportunities. Eight regionally accredited institutions of higher education -- five private and three public -- call Delaware home. The largest, public research institution University of Delaware offers over 135 areas of study. Another publicly funded land grant institution in the state is Delaware State University, a historically black college located in Dover.

In addition to opportunities for postsecondary educational attainment in Delaware, the state can also be a great place for professional development and career advancement after graduation. If students desire a diverse selection of degree offerings and possibilities for career growth in a smaller state, attending an online college in Delaware may appeal.

Job Outlook for Students with College Degrees in Delaware

It comes as no surprise to most people that higher levels of educational attainment usually correlate with increased job opportunities and higher salaries. In Delaware, educational attainment may matter more for finding employment than in other states. According to an analysis conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all fifty states report a higher concentration of jobs requiring some level of education. Delaware has a large share of jobs that require at least an associate's or bachelor's degree. In fact, Delaware enjoys one of the largest shares of employment in occupations typically requiring a master's degree, including marriage and family therapists, urban and regional planners, and nurse anesthetists. The state also boasts an annual mean salary $1,580 higher than the average annual salary in the nation overall. Attending an online college in Delaware and obtaining a degree can help make students more competitive job applicants in the state.

Unemployment Rate, November 2018

Delaware 3.8%
United States 3.8%

Source: BLS

Annual Mean Wage, May 2017

Delaware $52,200
United States $50,620

Source: BLS

Cost of Online Colleges in Delaware

Paying for college can be quite overwhelming. Average in-state tuition in Delaware is more expensive than the average cost of in-state tuition across the United States. At public two- and four- year institutions, average annual tuition costs $1,190 and $2,470 respectively more than the U.S. average.

Online programs typically cost the same or less than traditional on-campus degrees. Many universities charge a number of fees in addition to tuition, including facility maintenance, meal plans, and room and board. Online students often exempt themselves from paying fees for on-campus services and instead, usually pay a small technology fee instead. Depending on the particular institution of higher education and degree program, online courses could be more affordable for this reason alone. Some institutions offer out-of-state tuition waivers or discounts for online students who wish to study outside their state of residence, increasing the affordability of their online degree programs.

Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2018-19

  Public Two-Year Public Four-Year
Delaware $4,850 $12,700
U.S. Average $3,660 $10,230

Source: The College Board

In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition in Delaware

Tuition for out-of-state students could cost more than twice as much as what in-state students pay for the same education at a public university. Because public schools draw partial funding from resident tax dollars, residents of a state enjoy lower tuition rates at a public institution in the state where they pay taxes. At private institutions, no distinction in tuition cost exists between in-state and out-of-state students because these schools are privately funded.

Similar to in-state tuition, universities and colleges in Delaware typically cost more for out-of-state students than schools in other states. For instance, average tuition at a four-year institution in Delaware for a nonresident student costs $5,390 more than the average out-of-state tuition in the nation. This can certainly be a hurdle for out-of-state students wishing to obtain a college degree in Delaware. Sometimes, accredited online colleges in Delaware are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts, especially if programs offer tuition discounts or waivers to out-of-state students.

Average Tuition and Fees, 2018-19

  Public Two-Year In-State Public Four-Year Out-of-State
Delaware $12,700 $31,680
U.S. Average $10,230 $26,290

Source: The College Board

Financial Aid in Delaware

Even though taking Delaware online college courses can be more affordable than their on-campus counterparts, students should still look into the financial aid options available to them. Students can apply for federal financial aid by completing the FAFSA. Most online students qualify for federal financial aid, even students taking Delaware community college online courses to fulfill prerequisites for a degree program. In general, students not seeking degrees do not qualify for financial aid but exceptions exist for students completing courses necessary to enter a degree program or completing a certificate program that qualifies them for a specific occupation. For more details, students should contact a financial aid adviser at their specific online college.

Overall, Delaware grants less state financial aid on average than other states in the nation. As shown in the table below, Delaware grants, on average, $225 less financial aid per full-time college student than the national average. Therefore, in addition to federal, state, and institutional aid options, students should also investigate scholarships and grants.

State Grant Aid per Full-Time Equivalent Undergraduate Student, 2016-17

Delaware $580
U.S. Average $820

Source: The College Board

Scholarships and Grants for Delaware College Students

Students, including those attending online colleges in Delaware, can access many different types of scholarships and grants. Merit- and need-based scholarships and scholarships for underserved populations help prospective students reach their academic and career goals. Below are a few scholarships and grants available to students in Delaware.

Best Majors for Online Students in Delaware

Students of online colleges in Delaware may consider majoring in fields with high job demand to increase their employment opportunities after graduation. Some of the industries with the highest share of employment in Delaware include education and health services; professional and business services; government; and trade, transportation, and utilities. A BLS analysis found that Delaware has many job opportunities for nurse practitioners, marriage and family therapists, and urban planners, all of which project faster than average job growth in the next decade. For example, job outlook is expected to increase 31% for nurse practitioners and 13% for urban planners by 2026. Obtaining an online bachelor's degree in these fields also presents students with the opportunity to earn higher degrees in the future if they decide to return to graduate school.


Psychology investigates processes of the human mind and how they influence human behaviors and decision-making. This major prepares students for any careers as a psychology researcher, therapist, or school counselor. Since this degree offers applicable skills to a variety of positions, it is a great option for online students in Delaware.


A degree in nursing prepares students for a career as a nurse in hospitals, nursing homes, private practices, or other healthcare facilities. Demand for nurses throughout the nation is expected to increase in the next decade.

Public Policy

Public policy provides students with a foundational knowledge of public affairs, government operations and regulations, and the choices that influence public investments. This major includes skills that correlate to a number of occupations including program administrators, political aides, social justice advocates, urban planners, and policy analysts.

Resources for Online College Students in Delaware

Here are a couple of higher education resources for students attending or considering attending online colleges in Delaware:

Delaware Department of Education, Office of Higher Education: The Office of Higher Education within the Delaware Department of Education ensures the accessibility and affordability of postsecondary education for Delaware residents. Their website contains information and resources about state-sponsored financial aid programs, the Academic Common Market, and Delaware universities and colleges.

Delaware State Government Higher Education Resources: The Delaware state government provides resources on higher education and training with lists of scholarships, Delaware colleges and universities, non-state financial aid information, professional development opportunities and job boards, as well as seminars and training links.

Stand By Me: Stand by Me partnered with the Delaware Higher Education Office to help students develop a funding strategy for attending and paying for college. They provide workshops and one-on-one financial coaching for both college attendees and their families, including a guide to the FAFSA.

Delaware Goes to College: Delaware Goes to College is a resource created by the Higher Education Office for high school students preparing for college. Their website provides information on state scholarships, the college application process, applying for federal aid, and checklists for each year in high school.

United Way of Delaware: The United Way of Delaware empowers local communities by promoting early education success, college and career readiness, and financial stability. They connect individual students and families to economic resources to secure financial stability and help them find a roadmap to both educational and financial success.

Become Team
Become Team
Contributing Writer is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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