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Best Online Colleges in New Jersey

New Jersey is a small state in terms of land area, but it’s big in terms of availability of postsecondary educational opportunities. According to the State of New Jersey’s Office of the Secretary of Higher Education’s website, there are over 80 colleges and universities in New Jersey, most with many online degree options. Below, learn about the online options available to students in the state, and find the best online programs in New Jersey.

What constitutes the best school for one student may not be the best for another. For instance, one student may value a school’s academic reputation and program offerings while another is more concerned with cost of attendance. This means that the first student may be more interested in finding the best accredited online college in New Jersey, while the second student may desire schools that qualify as the best affordable online colleges in New Jersey. There is no right answer, with each student focusing on their particular needs and goals. The following ranking recognizes these differences and allows users to find the best school based on their specific needs.

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number University Score Cost Graduation Rate Location University Information
1 Rutgers University-New Brunswick 100.00 $$$$$ 79% New Brunswick, NJ

With a mission to contribute to the medical, environmental, social, and cultural well-being of New Jersey, Rutgers University-New Brunswick is the premier public research college in the state. There are 30 schools housed within Rutgers, offering academically rigorous and research-based teaching to students who want to pursue the arts and sciences. Rutgers is also one of the best online colleges in New Jersey, with distance learning courses in areas like business, nursing, social work, communications, education, and biomedical engineering. Most of the online degrees are master's degrees, designed for either a combination of classroom instruction and online learning or a fully online course of study. Rutgers Health is the clinical service branch of Rutgers University. It combines patient care with medical research and education to provide high-quality, cutting-edge care to New Jersey residents and real-world instruction to Rutgers students in the biomedical and health fields. Across its five campuses, Rutgers offers a range of residence options for on-campus students; students can even choose to live in residence communities that bring together Rutgers students with similar interests.

2 Rowan University 98.43 $$$$$ 68% Glassboro, NJ

Rowan University offers a wide range of majors, but it is also the only college in New Jersey with a college of osteopathic medicine. Promoting and supporting research is a key priority at this college, whether it's by identifying funding sources, making sure research standards are high, or reporting research findings. Rowan's programs have a strong engineering and medical focus, with specific colleges for biomedical studies, health sciences, health professions, and medicine. Students interested in earning online degrees in New Jersey will find graduate degree options, undergraduate degree completion courses, professional development resources, and business services through Rowan Global, the university's distance learning initiative. Online learning students have access to nine of the university's 14 schools and colleges. For on-campus students, Rowan's Glassboro campus has eight residence halls and five apartment communities, as well as 11 on-site dining options available.

3 Thomas Edison State College 92.85 $$$$$ N/A Trenton, NJ

Thomas Edison State College has a campus of eight buildings, but most of the students enrolled at this university are working remotely to earn online degrees in New Jersey. Active duty military members or veterans make up a large part of the student population at Thomas Edison State, and the college offers programs that were developed with each branch of the U.S. military. Students can choose to complete a degree or earn an undergraduate, graduate, or professional certificate in over 100 fields of study. Many of these degree programs are available entirely online, and designed to accommodate the shifting locations and schedules of military personnel. Course structures vary depending on each student's learning style; you can choose whether to take a more self-directed course of study or interact with peers and experts. Thomas Edison State also administers exams for students who wish to earn credit for what they have already learned in their area of study.

2-Year Best College Ranking

number University Score Location Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1. Rowan College at Burlington County College 100.00 Pemberton, NJ $3,480 4 5% 22:1 N/A yes yes yes
2. Ocean County College 99.63 Toms River, NJ $3,192 19 4% 25:1 N/A yes yes yes
3. Mercer County Community College 98.86 West Windsor, NJ $3,888 3 7% 18:1 N/A yes yes yes
4. Passaic County Community College 97.21 Paterson, NJ $3,750 4 12% 21:1 N/A yes yes yes

Online College in New Jersey

New Jersey has taken advantage of online learning, with about a dozen colleges and universities offering online degree programs for its students. One school leading the online education revolution for New Jersey is Rutgers University. In addition to having over a dozen online degree programs at both the graduate and undergraduate level, it also offers a variety of individual online courses, MOOCs (through its partnership with Coursera) and non-credit professional development classes.

New Jersey students looking for financial aid have a few options when it comes to securing funding. The NJ STARS scholarship is an extremely popular option; It pays for the student’s entire community college cost if they finish their junior or senior year in the top 15 percent of their high school class and attend the community college in their home county.

Awarded based on need and available funding, the state’s TAG (Tuition Aid Grant) helps pay tuition for students attending any of New Jersey’s community colleges and many of its public and private four-year colleges and universities. TAG awards may pay for the student’s entire tuition cost, although only partial tuition awards are common. More information about New Jersey’s financial aid options, including loans and scholarships, can be found at New Jersey’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA).

New Jersey’s Online College Growth

According to a 2012 study published by the U.S. Department of Education, almost 50 thousand of New Jersey’s students were enrolled in some kind of online education program, 34 thousand of which were exclusively taking online courses. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the report’s numbers about online education in New Jersey.

20,306 undergrads were enrolled exclusively online
57.4% of full-time undergrad students lived in New Jersey
10.4% of graduate students were enrolled online only
13.1% of 2-year students enrolled in at least one online class