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The Best Online Colleges in New Hampshire

The Best Online Colleges in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a leader when it comes to the proportion of college students taking online classes. See why top-ranked online colleges in New Hampshire are so popular and find the program that’s best for you.

New Hampshire is one of the smallest states in the country, yet it’s one of the nation’s leaders when it comes to the popularity of distance education. In 2021, 74% of New Hampshire college students took classes exclusively online, ranking it first among all states.

The benefits of online learning are clear, and many revolve around flexibility. Online programs often allow you to attend class not just from anywhere, but also at any time. Some even let you earn your degree entirely at your own pace, which makes working full-time while going to school possible. Earning your degree online from a New Hampshire college can also be much more affordable since you can take advantage of in-state tuition rates as well as state scholarships, grants, and other funding programs. Finally, even if a program is fully-online, you can still attend on-campus networking and social events if you’d like.

There’s never been a better time to start your search for an accredited online college in New Hampshire. Explore our list of top-ranked schools below to find a quality program that meets your needs. Then continue reading for other helpful information and resources about earning your degree online in the state.

2023’s Best Online Colleges in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is home to numerous high-quality, accredited online colleges. One of the biggest challenges for prospective online students is figuring out which program to apply to and attend. To help you with the school search, we examined the best online colleges in New Hampshire and ranked them based on several factors, including tuition rates, financial aid availability, learning options, and career/student resources. Learn more about our top-rated schools below and see if one meets your goals, schedule, and budget.

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    Base Methodology for OnlineColleges.me’s 2023 Online College Rankings

    1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

    To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

    • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

    2. Assign Weightings

    After creating the list of eligible schools, OnlineColleges.me data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

    Online Program Availability

    • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. Because exact numbers change often and can be difficult to verify, we use a range-based scoring system: 0-5 online programs = 1 star; 6-10 = 2 stars; 11-15 = 3 stars; 16-20 = 4 stars; 21+ = 5 stars. In our design, laptop icons = stars.

    Affordability

    • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
    • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

    Support Services

    • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
    • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    About Our Data

    OnlineColleges.me’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2022

  • Manchester, New Hampshire
    Private not-for-profit $$

    Southern New Hampshire University provides asynchronous degree programs so you can comfortably fit your studies into your schedule. When you enroll in an online program at the school, your coursework will be as rigorous as a traditional program, so as a result, online students are expected to give presentations, write papers, participate in individual or group assignments, and share their views about course content in discussion board posts. Although your courses are designed to challenge you, it doesn’t mean you have to get through your degree program alone. Southern New Hampshire University offers numerous support services to help you succeed, including tutoring that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, academic coaching, live workshops, and an online wellness center.

    Program Highlights:

    Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: Two years
    • Cost: $320/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

    Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

    • Credits: 120
    • Length: Four years
    • Cost: $320/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

    Master of Science in Human Resource Management

    • Credits: 36
    • Length: Two years
    • Cost: $627/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Durham, New Hampshire
    Public $$$$

    The support of online students at the University of New Hampshire-Main Campus begins before they even apply to the school because it provides resources to help prospective students understand what it will be like to enroll in a virtual degree program. Armed with this information, you are able to make an informed decision about whether or not online education is the right path for you. Once you enroll in an online program at the University of New Hampshire, the support continues with access to numerous resources, such as library, veteran and military, and business support services. Also, if you need academic help as you work through your degree program, you can get online assistance with specific course material.

    Program Highlights:

    Master of Business Administration

    • Credits: 48
    • Length: Two years
    • Cost: $800/credit in state; $910/credit out of state
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

    Master of Science in Health Data Science

    • Credits: 36
    • Length: Two years
    • Cost: $785/credit in state; $865/credit out of state
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

    Doctor of Nursing Practice

    • Credits: 33
    • Length: Two years
    • Cost: $785/credit in state; $865/credit out of state
    • Mode: Partially online
    • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Keene, New Hampshire
    Public $$$

    Have you earned an undergraduate degree and you’re ready to go back to school to advance in your field? Then enrolling in an online program at Keene State College may be the right choice for you. If you’re working full time, these programs are the perfect solution because of their flexibility. Not only are you able to take coursework virtually, but depending on the program, you may be able to enroll on a part-time basis. In addition, you get the chance to network with other professionals in your field during the course of your studies, so you can make connections that last throughout your career.

    Program Highlights:

    Master of Science in Public Health Nutrition

    • Credits: 34
    • Length: Two years
    • Cost: $11,754/year in state; $22,663/year out of state
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Concord, New Hampshire
    Public $$

    For the last 50 years, Granite State College has been dedicated to making education accessible to everyone who wants it, so it’s not surprising the school offers online programs that cater to the needs of working adults who require the flexibility of virtual learning to help them further their education while staying in their jobs. The school does this by not only offering online degrees at the associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s level, but by also giving you the option to take classes during evenings and weekends for maximum flexibility. In addition, Granite State College offers support to online students that can be accessed by email, text, Zoom, and phone, so they can get the tools they need to do well in their programs.

    Program Highlights:

    Associate of Science in Behavioral Science

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: Two years
    • Cost: $314/credit in state; $370/credit out of state
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

    Bachelor of Science in Fire Service Administration

    • Credits: 120
    • Length: Four years
    • Cost: $314/credit in state; $370/credit out of state
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: New England Commission on Higher Education

    Master of Science in Leadership

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: Two years
    • Cost: $545/credit in state; $595/credit out of state
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: New England Commission on Higher Education

Not all online colleges in New Hampshire are the same, and we’re not just referring to the quality of education. As you investigate programs, you’ll notice differences in how each online program works, such as class schedules, pace of learning, and in-person curriculum requirements. Let’s delve into those differences and explore examples of each type of program.

Partially Online vs. Fully Online

One of the biggest differences among the best online colleges in New Hampshire is whether an online program can be completed 100% online or if it has one or more in-person requirements. Generally speaking, a program is fully online if all of the classwork can be completed virtually, with no campus visits. These programs are ideal for busy students who need to earn their degrees without any travel. 

A program is considered a blended or hybrid program if it has in-person components. While many schools use the terms “blended” and “hybrid” interchangeably, they can sometimes mean different things. For example, blended programs have in-person requirements to supplement the online portions while a hybrid program has online components that completely replace one or more in-person requirements. Make sure you’re clear on how the school you’re looking at categorizes its programs.

BS in Business Administration at Hellenic American University (Blended/Hybrid)

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administrationfrom Hellenic American University provides maximum flexibility but also gives students the opportunity for hands-on instruction. For example, students can choose to take courses during the day, in the evenings, and/or online. Online courses include a live lecture or interactive session each week to facilitate interaction between students and professors. Online courses also utilize an e-learning platform that offers discussion forums and video blogging opportunities. 

Students in business administration choose from the following majors and minors: entrepreneurship, finance, project management, e-commerce, hospitality management, and marketing and sales management. The degree requires the completion of 121 credits, although students with prior college coursework may be eligible to transfer credits to save time and money. 

BS in Criminal Justice at Southern New Hampshire University (Fully Online)

Southern New Hampshire University is one of the most prominent online colleges in New Hampshire, with many fully online, on-campus, and hybrid/blended undergraduate and graduate programs. One popular program is the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Students with no prior college credits usually take four years to complete the program as full-time students and typically take two classes each eight-week term (there are six terms per calendar year). However, incoming students can transfer up to 90 credits (out of the 120 required to graduate), which can dramatically reduce the time and money needed to complete the program. The majority of the online coursework can be completed asynchronously, with access to materials at any time and from anywhere there’s a broadband internet connection. Students can customize their learning by choosing from among eight concentration options, including corrections, criminology and crime analysis, cybercrime, homeland security and counterterrorism, human services and advocacy, police administration and operations, security management, and substance abuse.

Find Your Pace: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous

No matter which New Hampshire online college or university you enroll in, a common feature of many online courses is the ability to complete most course requirements from almost any location with internet access. But there’s the question of whether you need to be present for class at a certain time. If a class requires you to be present for an event such as a live lecture, then it’s a synchronous class. But if you can attend class and complete the requirements at a time of your choosing (as long as you’re meeting relevant deadlines for assignments), then it’s an asynchronous class. The latter type of class is best suited for students who have busy and/or unpredictable schedules, while the former is best for students who desire more interactive learning experiences. The type of class offered by a school or program often depends on the teaching philosophies of a particular professor or program. Take a look at the following programs to get an idea of what seems like the best fit for you.

AS in Information Technology at White Mountains Community College (Asynchronous)

The Associate in Science in Information Technology from White Mountains Community College has a specially designed curriculum to prepare graduates to handle computer software, networking, and hardware needs for various organizations. The curriculum at this online college in New Hampshire focuses on three core areas: networking, programming, and operating systems and security. To offer learning flexibility, many classes can be completed online on the student’s own schedule. This asynchronous learning makes it feasible for students to work full-time while in school. However, for enhanced interactive learning, students attend class on campus every other week for labs and to talk with their professors. In addition to the information technology major requirements, students also complete general education courses (some of which are also available online) and an on-site internship for experiential learning.

Juris Doctor at University of New Hampshire (Synchronous)

The hybrid Juris Doctor (JD) program offered by the Franklin Pierce School of Law at the University of New Hampshire is among the few online, accredited JD programs in New Hampshire or elsewhere. This part-time program focuses on intellectual property, technology, and information law. Most of the curriculum can be completed online, with both synchronous and asynchronous components. To allow students to continue working while in law school, the synchronous classes are usually offered in the evenings and the in-person requirements are minimal. The on-campus residential components typically last four to five days and occur once or twice each semester. The program consists of at least 85 credits; most students take four years to graduate (a full-time JD program can usually be completed in three years).

Courseload Options: Part-Time vs. Full-Time

Full-time and part-time programs are usually both offered by online colleges in New Hampshire because they allow you to choose when you want to attend class. Full-time programs are better suited for you if you want to graduate as quickly as possible and have the time to devote your full attention to academic obligations. But if you need to work or take care of personal obligations while in school, then part-time learning might be a better idea. There’s no universal rule when it comes to how many credits you need to take to be a full or part-time student (each school may define this differently), but as a general rule, expect to take about twice the number of credits per term in a full-time program compared to a part-time program. To give you a rough idea of how these programs differ, we’ve spotlighted a part-time and full-time program to help you figure out which might be best for you.

AS in Hospitality and Tourism Management at NHTI—Concord’s Community College (Part-Time)

NHTI—Concord’s Community College offers a wide range of online associate degree and certificate programs to choose from, including its Associate in Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and requires 62 to 63 credits to complete. This online college program in New Hampshire offers a flexible learning pace; students can earn their degree 100% online. However, they also have the option of earning credit by working with a faculty member to find an internship to gain hands-on experience. Classes are offered at various times during the day to meet the needs of busy students and cover topics such as accounting, digital communications, marketing, principles of sales, and hospitality and tourism-related electives.

BS in Public Health at Rivier University (Full-Time)

Students interested in a career improving the health of their communities should consider the Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Rivier University. Most full-time students take about 15 credits per semester in this 100% online college program in New Hampshire. This means they graduate in about four years after earning the required 120 credits. Students take courses during 14-week or seven-week terms (there are six of them each year) and can shorten the time it takes to earn their degree by transferring credits from prior college courses. Students can also tailor their degree with the generous elective credits offered, in both general education and major classes. The program offers a rolling admissions process and six start dates each year—January, March, May, July, September, and October.

Accreditation for Online Colleges in New Hampshire

When deciding among various online colleges in New Hampshire, only consider those that are accredited. Accreditation refers to the fact that an independent organization has confirmed that a given school or program meets basic education quality standards. Enrolling in an accredited online college in New Hampshire is important because accreditation usually is required for financial aid eligibility. 

It’s also critical if you want to start a career in a field where you’ll need to be certified or licensed. In these situations, you’ll likely look for programmatic accreditation, such as for nursing (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing), social work (Council on Social Work Education), or teaching(Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation). Most accredited colleges and universities in New Hampshire have regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). However, some online colleges in New Hampshire may instead be accredited by national agencies, such as the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

Pricing Online College in New Hampshire

The cost of a degree from the best online colleges in New Hampshire is a bit higher than the national average. Part of this reflects the overall higher cost of living in New England. Fortunately, there are financial aid options to help lower the cost of tuition. You can also focus your search on schools that have more affordable rates for in-state students. 

Keep in mind that not all schools in New Hampshire offer lower tuition for online students with in-state residency status. Often, they’ll offer a special tuition rate for all online students, regardless of their state of residency. The good news is that this special online rate is usually lower than the in-state campus rate.

In many cases, attending an online college in New Hampshire costs less than going to school on campus because it’s usually cheaper for schools to add more students to a virtual classroom than a physical one. You’ll also save because you don’t have to live on campus or nearby the school, providing flexibility in finding more affordable places to live. Finally, not needing to commute to campus will save you money as well. 

The chart below provides a good snapshot of the range of what you can expect to pay for your online college education in New Hampshire.

School NameOn-Campus
In-State
On-Campus
Out-of-State
Online
In-State
Online
Out-of-State
Hellenic American University$28,232.93/year$28,232.93/year$28,232.93/year$28,232.93/year
Southern New Hampshire University$13,360/year$13,360/year$7,680/year$7,680/year
Rivier University$9,224/year$9,224/year$9,224/year$9,224/year
Dartmouth College$61,658/year$61,658/yearn/an/a
Granite State College$7,806/year$9,150/year$7,806/year$9,150/year

* Costs include tuition and required fees of undergraduate programs.

Financial Aid for New Hampshire Online Students

If you’re thinking about which of the best online colleges in New Hampshire to attend, the cost of your education is a major consideration. Luckily, there are a variety of financial aid options available, including student loans, grants, work-study, and scholarships. Student loans are available from private lenders and the federal government, although the latter is usually the better option due to lower interest rates and other loan terms. 

Work-study programs are a type of federal financial aid administered by the school you attend. Grants and scholarships can come from a variety of sources, such as the federal government, private organizations (such as corporations and charitable organizations), and state governments, including the New Hampshire State Treasury’s Governor’s Scholarship Program. There are several online resources to learn more about financial aid options specific to New Hampshire; a good place to start is The New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF) Network.

Careers on the Rise for New Hampshire College Grads

You might have decided that online college in New Hampshire is for you but aren’t sure what you’ll study once enrolled. One way to help you get started on this important decision is to look at careers that are quickly growing in New Hampshire. To give you an idea of the in-demand jobs in New Hampshire for the next 10 or so years that require at least a college degree, check out the following chart.

CareerJob Growth (2020-2030)Annual Mean Wage (2021)
Nurse Practitioners58.7%$120,730
Choreographers40%$49,630 (National)
Statisticians37.5%$90,620
Occupational Therapy Assistants36.8%$65,620
Physical Therapist Assistants36.4%$60,070
Information Security Analysts36.2%$110,370
Physician Assistants34.4%$137,330
Actuaries33.3%$150,200
Archivists33.3%$61,880 (National)
Atmospheric and Space Scientists33.3%$96,880 (National)

Sources: Bureau of Labor StatisticsProjections Central

Resources for Online College Students in New Hampshire

Community College System of New Hampshire

The Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) represents the interests of the seven community colleges in New Hampshire that are accredited by the NECHE. The CCSNH provides information and assistance to students looking for more information on the benefits of community college, as well as how to apply and pay for their college education. 

New Hampshire Department of Education

The official government website for all schools in New Hampshire has a special page for anyone interested in higher education in the state. Resources include information on finding an approved college or university and career development. 

New Hampshire Gear Up Alliance

New Hampshire Gear Up Alliance exists to help students from underrepresented groups get into college and make the most of their education to go on to have engaging and fulfilling careers. This organization works with colleges, universities, businesses, and volunteer groups to achieve these goals and offers a great list of online resources for students looking for help to apply and pay for college in New Hampshire.

NH Transfer

Offered by the University System of New Hampshire, this website explains everything you need to know about transferring college credits at an on-campus or online college. Resources include a list of participating institutions and a detailed explanation of how the New Hampshire transfer process works.

The NHHEAF Network

The NHHEAF Network’s mission is to help students achieve their education and professional goals. Prospective college students find information about how to choose and apply to colleges in New Hampshire, as well as finding ways to help pay for their education. There’s also a career exploration guide.

University System of New Hampshire

This organization is made up of four New Hampshire institutions of higher learning that combine to be the largest provider of postsecondary education in the state. This website provides great information about its member schools and special programs for students, such as the New Hampshire Dual Admission program.