This New England state was one of the original Crown Colonies, established by the merging of three territories in 1662. It was founding its first universities not longer after. To put it plainly, Connecticut has had plenty of time to get it right. And get it right they have. The state’s tradition of higher education began on no less venerable a site than the New Haven campus where Yale University came to be in 1701.
Yale is not just the top school in the state of Connecticut. According to the 2014 U.S. News & World Report, Yale ranked #3 in the U.S. Times of London notched it as the 11th best school in the world. In addition to its well-deserved reputation for scholastic excellence and its relative exclusivity, Yale is home to the longest-running daily college newspaper in America, The Yale Daily News.
And in spite of Yale’s famous academic and athletic rivalry with nearby Harvard University, the former was actually founded by alumni of the latter as a way to train clergy and statesmen for colonial leadership. Though it began as the Collegiate School at New Haven, the Ivy League college quickly changed its name in honor of a Dutch East India Company governor who donated a crate of goods to the fledgling operation.
In spite of the rich history represented among Connecticut’s 20 private, non-profit universities, some of its best schools came to be in the 20th century. The New London based Connecticut College is a perfect example. The small liberal arts school was established in 1911 and offers its students uncommon freedom in tailoring courses, majors, and degree programs to their individual needs. The school is also noted for its distinguishing generosity in the area of financial aid.
An additional 19 public universities serve the students of Connecticut. Connecticut State Universities are the largest among them (and the second largest in the New England region), serving roughly 35,000 across four state universities (Central, Eastern, Southern, and Western). The Central was the first to be established in 1849 and today, the composite university is comprised of 93% in-state residents.
In 2010, Connecticut’s four-year public colleges exceeded the national average of 56% by graduating 61.5% of their students within six years.
- See who ranks as the best college and university in Connecticut today.
- Yale University ranks #3 among The 100 Best Universities in the World.