Best Colleges & Universities Connecticut 2024

Every year, New England area colleges and universities welcome thousands of out-of-state students to their historical campus sites.


Since before the founding of this nation, the east coast has upheld a rich tradition of higher education. Connecticut has participated fully in this tradition for just as long.

Nearly 200,000 students are drawn to the Nutmeg State for over 100 options of colleges, universities, and seminaries.

Connecticut hosts such prestigious institutions as Yale University (est. 1701) and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (est. 1876), upholding a longstanding tradition of prestigious academic excellence.

Today, Connecticut maintains that commitment to education by awarding millions of dollars worth of scholarships, grants, and teacher loan repayments.

As an ambitious, aspirational student, you're sure to find what you're looking for within Connecticut's various public, private, community, and liberal arts institutions, colleges, universities, or seminaries.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.


EDsmart assesses colleges in Connecticut based on data that covers four main areas:

  • Cost (average net price)
  • Student satisfaction (retention rate)
  • Academic quality (graduation rate)
  • Salary After Attending (the median earnings of former students who received federal financial aid, at 10 years after entering the school)

All data was gathered from the U.S. Dept of Education websites College Scorecard and College Navigator.

This ranking assesses the affordability and value of top colleges in Connecticut so students can make informed decisions about which college to attend.

Best Accredited Colleges & Universities Connecticut 2024

1. Yale University

  • Average Net Price: $16,341
  • Graduation Rate: 97.47%
  • Retention Rate: 80.17%
  • Median Earnings: $95,961

Established in 1701, Yale University is a prestigious private college in New Haven, Connecticut.

Known for its exceptional drama and music departments, Yale offers a variety of academic programs across 13 schools, including the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering & Applied Science.

Yale ranks highly in national and undergraduate research rankings and offers popular majors such as Social Sciences, Humanities, Engineering, and Biomedical Sciences. It also provides online courses for flexibility.

2. University of Connecticut

  • Average Net Price: $21,724
  • Graduation Rate: 84.46%
  • Retention Rate: 92.30%
  • Median Earnings: $76,076

The University of Connecticut (UConn) is a top public research institution that offers an impressive array of over 115 majors and degree programs, providing students with a wide range of academic choices.

UConn is ranked #63 among National Universities, reflecting its strong academic reputation and commitment to excellence in higher education. UConn is particularly known for offering popular fields of study such as Economics and Nursing, attracting students interested in these areas.

UConn's online graduate programs and graduate certificates also contribute to its academic diversity. The university offers online programs in Accounting, Computer Science, and more, making it accessible to students who prefer remote learning or need flexible scheduling options for their graduate studies. These programs are designed to provide quality education while accommodating the needs of working professionals and distance learners.

UConn's consistent recognition in national rankings further underscores its academic standing. It is ranked #58 in National Universities, #26 in Top Public Schools, and #155 in Best Value Schools, highlighting its commitment to providing a high-quality education with great value.

UConn's online graduate programs include Accounting, Computer Science, and more.

3. Trinity College

  • Average Net Price: $32,036
  • Graduation Rate: 84.26%
  • Retention Rate: 90.70%
  • Median Earnings: $76,456

Trinity College is known for its focus on undergraduate studies and offers a wide range of over 100 majors and minors, including disciplines like Art History and Engineering. This diverse array of academic options allows students to tailor their education to their interests and career goals. Additionally, Trinity College provides master's programs and accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degree options, offering students the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees or complete their education more efficiently.

In terms of national rankings, Trinity College is highly regarded. It is ranked #19 in National Liberal Arts Colleges by, which reflects its strong reputation in the liberal arts education sector. U.S. News also ranks Trinity College at #59 in the nation among National Liberal Arts Colleges, further highlighting its academic standing.

Trinity College places emphasis on a low student-to-faculty ratio, fostering a close-knit and supportive learning environment. Innovation and value are key components of the college's educational philosophy.

4. Fairfield University

  • Average Net Price: $43,569
  • Graduation Rate: 81.12%
  • Retention Rate: 90.43%
  • Median Earnings: $95,393

Fairfield University offers high-quality education with programs supporting professional growth. Ranked highly in innovation and regional universities, it offers 43 undergraduate majors and 19 minors, including Interdisciplinary Minors, qualifying students for federal aid like Pell Grants.

5. Connecticut College

  • Average Net Price: $31,814
  • Graduation Rate: 82.44%
  • Retention Rate: 86.78%
  • Median Earnings: $70,044

Fairfield University is known for offering high-quality education with a strong emphasis on programs that support professional growth.

The university provides a diverse range of academic opportunities, including 43 undergraduate majors and 19 interdisciplinary minors, giving students the flexibility to explore their interests and career paths. These programs cover a wide array of fields, including Interdisciplinary Minors, and they are designed to prepare students for various career prospects.

Fairfield University has received recognition for its commitment to innovation and regional impact. While specific rankings may change over time, the university's dedication to providing a well-rounded education remains a cornerstone of its mission. Additionally, the university supports students by offering federal aid opportunities such as Pell Grants, which can help make higher education more accessible and affordable.

6. Quinnipiac University

  • Average Net Price: $36,964
  • Graduation Rate: 77.60%
  • Retention Rate: 87.96%
  • Median Earnings: $81,553

Quinnipiac University offers a diverse range of academic programs, including over 100 undergraduate majors and over 30 graduate programs.

Among its unique offerings is the BS in Biomedical Marketing, which reflects the university's commitment to innovative education. The university caters to a wide array of fields, making it possible for students to explore their interests and career aspirations.

Quinnipiac University is known for its School of Law and School of Medicine, which are highly regarded in the academic and professional communities.

The university has gained recognition for its impressive career placement record, consistently ranking as the #1 university in the nation for successful career placement for three consecutive years. This accomplishment speaks to the institution's commitment to preparing students for successful and fulfilling careers.

7. Central Connecticut State University

  • Average Net Price: $13,434
  • Graduation Rate: 59.30%
  • Retention Rate: 75.49%
  • Median Earnings: $56,799

Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) offers a well-rounded education with a focus on liberal arts and sciences, along with professional preparation. It is ranked #69 in Regional Universities North and tied for #23 in Top Public Schools, according to the 2024 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report. This ranking reflects CCSU's commitment to providing quality education in a regional context and as a top public institution.

CCSU offers a variety of academic programs, including majors in Business, Psychology, and many others. It is known for its dedication to interdisciplinary majors and minors, which allows students to explore diverse fields of study. The university also offers doctoral programs, providing opportunities for advanced research and education.

The Carol A. Ammon College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences at CCSU offers programs that provide a broad liberal education applicable to various career paths and prepares students for graduate studies in relevant academic fields. The university's mission is rooted in providing students with a well-rounded education that combines liberal arts with practical skills and knowledge.

8. Sacred Heart University

  • Average Net Price: $43,871
  • Graduation Rate: 67.78%
  • Retention Rate: 86.20%
  • Median Earnings: $74,642

Sacred Heart University offers a diverse range of academic programs across six distinct colleges and three schools. These include:

  1. College of Arts & Sciences: This college encompasses the School of Communication, Media & the Arts, and the School of Social Work. It provides a wide array of programs in liberal arts and social sciences.
  2. Jack Welch College of Business & Technology: This college includes the School of Computer Science & Engineering and focuses on business and technology-related programs.
  3. College of Health Professions: As the name suggests, this college specializes in health-related programs.

In addition to these, Sacred Heart University provides more than 90 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs, including online degree programs. This diverse academic offering caters to students with varied interests and career goals.

The university is known for its commitment to academic excellence, cutting-edge technology, Division I athletic teams, and community service programs. Sacred Heart University has a strong presence in various fields of study, making it an institution that provides a well-rounded education to its students.

9. University of Saint Joseph

  • Average Net Price: $25,776
  • Graduation Rate: 66.40%
  • Retention Rate: 80.10%
  • Median Earnings: $54,455

The University of Saint Joseph offers over 25 undergraduate majors, including unique ones like Prosthetics and Orthotics. They also provide online master's degrees and certificates in various fields. While specific details about the number of online programs and the availability of support services like tutoring are not provided in the information, the university is known for its diverse range of academic offerings.

Saint Joseph's University offers a wide array of undergraduate and graduate programs across 13 Faculties, 15 Institutes, and 7 Schools. They deliver more than 150 degrees in various disciplines, including Medicine and Health Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Science, Law and Political Science, Economics, Business, Banking, Insurance, Arts, Literature, Humanities, and Religious Sciences.

10. Eastern Connecticut State University

  • Average Net Price: $18,292
  • Graduation Rate: 60.45%
  • Retention Rate: 76.54%
  • Median Earnings: $52,411

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is focused on developing productive members of society with both theoretical and practical skills. Ranked #69 in Regional Universities North, ECSU offers a variety of degrees, including Business and Psychology, and provides online learning options for students.

Their commitment to practical education, applied research, and public and private partnerships prepares students for success.

ECSU is known for its signature areas of study, which include the humanities, education, and aviation. The university emphasizes advanced technologies and hands-on learning to provide a valuable and high-quality education at an affordable cost.

Moreover, ECSU aims to develop well-informed and highly productive members of society, and it has received recognition as one of the most influential Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The university offers 28 bachelor's degrees and four master's degrees, with a focus on excellence, accountability, diversity, and learning.

11. University of Hartford

  • Average Net Price: $29,932
  • Graduation Rate: 61.13%
  • Retention Rate: 79.46%
  • Median Earnings: $63,870

The University of Hartford offers a wide range of academic programs, providing over 100 majors and minors to its students. These programs cover diverse fields of study, allowing students to pursue their interests and career goals effectively. The university is known for its commitment to academic excellence and offers world-class faculty support in a supportive learning environment.

One notable program offered by the University of Hartford is the combined undergraduate and MBA program, which allows students to earn both a bachelor's degree and an MBA within four years. This program offers students the opportunity to gain a competitive edge in their careers by acquiring advanced business knowledge and skills while completing their undergraduate studies.

Furthermore, the University of Hartford places a strong focus on financial aid, helping students access the resources they need to pursue their education. This commitmentto financial assistance makes education more accessible and affordable for students who aspire to attend the university.

12. Western Connecticut State University

  • Average Net Price: $16,154
  • Graduation Rate: 52.11%
  • Retention Rate: 72.40%
  • Median Earnings: $57,005

Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) offers a diverse educational experience with a focus on providing opportunities for internships and research. It is ranked #101 in Regional Universities North, demonstrating its commitment to academic excellence. WCSU provides a range of degree programs, including Criminal Science, Nursing, and more, catering to various academic interests. Additionally, the university offers online learning platforms to accommodate students' needs for flexible education.

WCSU's dedication to experiential learning is evident through its emphasis on internships and research opportunities. These experiences allow students to apply their knowledge in real-world settings and gain practical skills that are valuable for their future careers.

The university strives to provide quality education to its students while also offering a range of degree options to choose from.

13. Southern Connecticut State University

  • Average Net Price: $18,231
  • Graduation Rate: 53.86%
  • Retention Rate: 74.69%
  • Median Earnings: $55,682

Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) offers a wide range of academic programs and clubs to cater to diverse student interests. It is ranked #64 in Top Public Schools, reflecting its commitment to providing quality education. SCSU offers majors in various fields, including Liberal Studies, Business, and more, allowing students to pursue their academic passions. Additionally, the university provides online undergraduate and graduate programs to accommodate students' needs for flexible learning.

SCSU's extensive academic offerings are complemented by a vibrant club culture, providing students with opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities that align with their interests and passions. The university's commitment to providing a well-rounded educational experience is evident through its diverse range of clubs and organizations.

The university's online graduate programs further enhance its accessibility to a broader range of learners.

14. University of New Haven

  • Average Net Price: $33,109
  • Graduation Rate: 62.44%
  • Retention Rate: 77.38%
  • Median Earnings: $58,152

Located in downtown New Haven, this university offers programs in engineering, forensic science, and more. It provides a range of online undergraduate and graduate programs, including Homeland Security and Public Administration.

15. Wesleyan College

  • Average Net Price: $11,365
  • Graduation Rate: 56.58%
  • Retention Rate: 72.06%
  • Median Earnings: $37,674

Wesleyan University, located in Middletown, Connecticut, is a prestigious private institution known for offering a diverse range of majors and minors. Wesleyan University provides academic options with 45 majors, 32 minors, and three certificate programs.

Accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), Wesleyan University provides a comprehensive education in liberal arts and engineering.

Wesleyan University is committed to offering students a well-rounded academic experience with more than 250 student groups on campus. This diverse array of extracurricular activities ensures that students have opportunities to pursue their interests outside of their chosen majors and academic pursuits.

The university's academic programs are highly regarded, with popular majors including Social Sciences, Psychology, Visual and Performing Arts, English Language and Literature, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and more. Wesleyan University is known for its commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, fostering a scholar-teacher culture that encourages interdisciplinary learning and the exploration of new ideas.

With a rich history dating back to its founding in 1831, Wesleyan University has evolved into a secular institution known for its academic excellence and innovative programming. Graduates of Wesleyan go on to lead and innovate in various industries, making a significant impact in government, business, entertainment, and science.

16. Albertus Magnus College

  • Average Net Price: $28,927
  • Graduation Rate: 66.71%
  • Retention Rate: 68.72%
  • Median Earnings: $52,250

Albertus Magnus College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college located in New Haven, Connecticut. This institution offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programs, making it a versatile choice for students seeking higher education. One notable aspect of Albertus Magnus College is its commitment to providing options for online and hybrid learning, catering to individuals with varying schedules and learning preferences.

Founded in 1925, Albertus Magnus College is deeply rooted in the Dominican tradition, guided by the Four Dominican Pillars of Study, Prayer, Community, and Service. It emphasizes a values- and liberal arts-based education, ensuring that students receive a well-rounded and morally grounded academic experience.

The college offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs, with master's degree options including art therapy, liberal studies, education, leadership, and business administration. Whether students are looking for full-time or part-time study, Albertus Magnus College provides flexible learning options to accommodate their needs. The college also offers online courses.

Albertus Magnus College is known for its commitment to personalized education in a Catholic setting. It upholds the essential dignity of each individual as a being of divine origin. The campus is situated on 55 acres in a suburban setting, providing a peaceful and conducive environment for learning.

17. University of Bridgeport

  • Average Net Price: $24,416
  • Graduation Rate: 53.50%
  • Retention Rate: 61.95%
  • Median Earnings: $51,396

The University of Bridgeport is renowned for its innovative programs and commitment to providing a supportive learning environment.

Located in Connecticut, this university offers a wide range of academic programs, both online and on-campus, catering to diverse educational needs. Its emphasis on innovation is reflected in its forward-thinking academic programs, designed to equip students with the necessary skills for success in various fields.

One of the distinctive aspects of the University of Bridgeport is its recognition for diversity. It has been ranked as the tenth most racially diverse national university in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. With students representing over 60 different programs, the university fosters a multicultural and inclusive community.

For students seeking financial support, the University of Bridgeport provides substantial financial aid options and merit scholarships. This commitment to affordability makes higher education more accessible to a broader range of students.

The university's expert faculty, career-oriented programs, and flexible degree options contribute to its reputation as a leading institution in Connecticut. Whether you are looking for innovative academic programs, a supportive learning environment, or financial assistance, the University of Bridgeport offers a comprehensive educational experience.

18. Mitchell College

  • Average Net Price: $25,139
  • Graduation Rate: 39.78%
  • Retention Rate: 67.25%
  • Median Earnings: $36,205

Mitchell College, located in New London, is known for its diverse programs and strong focus on community service. This institution offers a unique educational experience with smaller class sizes, fostering a more personalized learning environment. Additionally, Mitchell College has gained recognition for its commitment to social mobility, further enhancing its appeal to students.

One of the notable programs at Mitchell College is the Thames at Mitchell College, which is a holistic college transition program designed for students with learning differences or those who would benefit from additional preparation for college success. This program is conveniently located on the campus of Mitchell College and has been recognized for its innovative support for students with diverse learning needs.

Mitchell College places a strong emphasis on creating a diverse and student-centered community. It supports individual learning differences, nurtures academic potential, and instills the professional knowledge and skills necessary for students to contribute effectively to a constantly changing world.

In terms of rankings, Mitchell College is listed as a Regional College North, ranking at #35 in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report. The institution's dedication to smaller class sizes and its focus on community service make it an attractive choice for those seeking a college experience that prioritizes individualized attention and social responsibility.

19. Post University

  • Average Net Price: $22,820
  • Graduation Rate: 15.99%
  • Retention Rate: 52.00%
  • Median Earnings: $40,615

Post University offers a diverse range of programs in arts, sciences, and public service, making it a versatile educational institution. It is known for its accessibility and affordability, providing opportunities for a wide range of students to pursue higher education. Post University maintains a strong academic environment with various undergraduate and graduate programs to cater to different educational needs and career goals.

Within its academic offerings, the School of Arts and Sciences at Post University covers a broad spectrum of disciplines, including Biology, Equine Studies, and Interactive Communication, showcasing the diversity of programs available. The university's commitment to innovation and creative education is evident through its Master of Education (MEd) degree program, designed for educators looking to transform educational programs and create effective learning environments.

In terms of rankings, Post University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report, where it is listed among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs and Best Online Veterans Graduate Business Programs for 2023. This recognition highlights the quality of its online programs and the institution's commitment to delivering accessible and effective education.

Post University offers a variety of undergraduate degrees and certificates across its four schools, emphasizing a tight-knit community and award-winning degree programs. Additionally, its extensive general education curriculum encourages exploration of the humanities, social sciences, and arts.

Insights and Analysis into Connecticut Colleges Rankings

Prestigious Private Institutions

  • Yale University:
  • Standout features: Highest graduation rate (97.47%) and substantial median earnings.
  • Represents academic excellence and research prowess.
  • Trinity College and Fairfield University:
  • High graduation rates and median earnings.
  • Focus on intensive, student-focused education.

Top Public Universities

  • University of Connecticut (UConn):
  • Offers affordability with high academic standards.
  • Notable for its high retention rate (92.30%), indicating student satisfaction.

Affordable Options with Quality Education

  • Central Connecticut State University and Eastern Connecticut State University:
  • Lower average net prices, making higher education accessible to more students.
  • Robust graduate employment outcomes despite lower tuition costs.

Institutions with Specialized Programs

  • Southern Connecticut State University and the University of Hartford:
  • Offer valuable opportunities in specialized fields.
  • Lower retention and graduation rates, but contribute significantly to specific industries.

Tailored Educational Experience

  • Wesleyan University and Albertus Magnus College:
  • Provide unique program offerings and personalized learning environments.
  • Cater to students seeking a more customized educational journey.


The diversity of institutions in Connecticut, from elite private colleges to accessible public universities and specialized smaller colleges, offers various pathways to success.

This range addresses different financial, academic, and professional needs, enriching Connecticut's educational landscape.

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