Best Online Colleges in New Hampshire
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The small-yet-mighty state of New Hampshire has many online college programs that fit diverse learners' needs
Online colleges in New Hampshire offer first-year and returning students the opportunity to enroll in flexible, affordable distance education. Many of New Hampshire's roughly 40 community colleges, universities, and technical schools offer online undergraduate, graduate, or certification programs. Programs that allow students to stay at home and complete courses at their own pace may appeal to today's busy students.
New Hampshire colleges set students up for success. According to 2019 data from the New Hampshire Department of Education, 90.73% of students graduated in six years.
Online students local to New Hampshire can enjoy winter sports, beautiful foliage, and nearby access to both charming small towns and major metro areas, such as Boston.
Below, you'll find a ranking of New Hampshire's best online programs, plus career and salary information.
The Best Online Colleges in New Hampshire
Founded in 1866, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) is the University System of New Hampshire's flagship public university. It serves more than 14,000 in-person students, making UNH the state's largest university system.
UNH's urban campus, UNH Manchester, offers several fully online programs through UNH Online. Its 11 master's programs include intellectual property law and public administration. Online learners can also pursue doctoral degrees, master of law degrees, and certificate programs. However, the university currently offers no fully online bachelor's degrees.
Faculty deliver most online programs asynchronously for maximum flexibility, and students can look to UNH Online's Student Success Coach Team for extra support.
Founded by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary and Sister Madeleine of Jesus in 1933, the private Rivier University (Riv) currently serves around 2,330 undergraduate and graduate attendees.
Riv's varied online offerings provide flexibility with rolling admissions, asynchronous courses, and new terms starting every seven weeks. Bachelor's degree options include nursing, psychology, and business administration. Master's programs include public health and computer information systems. Doctorate programs include nursing practice or education in leadership and learning.
Riv's founders aimed to serve the economically disadvantaged, and the university carries on that mission with cost-saving measures for students. Most undergraduate programs at Riv accept up to 90 transfer credits. The university features two online master of business administration programs taught entirely from open educational resources, saving students extra money from textbook purchases.
Franklin Pierce University, a private university established in 1962, divides its 2,100 students between campuses in Rindge, New Hampshire, and Goodyear, Arizona. It also has centers in Manchester and Lebanon, New Hampshire and online programs.
Its online bachelor's degree programs include marketing and nursing. Associate degrees include business and criminal justice. Human services and paralegal studies certificates are also available.
Franklin Pierce also offers fully online and hybrid graduate degrees. For example, students can earn master of business administration in sports management degrees or master of science in accounting degrees through 100% online classes. Students in the new hybrid doctor of physical therapy program must visit campus for lab sessions and take synchronous and asynchronous online courses.
New England College (NEC), a private liberal arts college, currently teaches 3,500 students between its Henniker and Manchester campuses and online. Founded in 1946 to serve returning veterans after World War II, the college now offers several online and low-residency hybrid degrees in addition to in-person education.
Its online associate degrees include criminal justice and healthcare administration. Online bachelor's degrees include cybersecurity, nursing, and psychology. The university's online master's programs explore education and forensic accounting, among many others. Enrollees can also pursue fully online doctor of education in educational leadership degrees, along with two hybrid doctoral programs.
Online resources include access to the Career and Life Planning office, discounts at the NEC college store, and invitations to online events. Rolling admissions and the option to switch to in-person courses provide additional flexibility.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has embraced the 21st century's technology and demands through its growing online programs. Compared to SNHU's on-campus population of 3,000, the school enrolls more than 100,000 students online.
SNHU Online offers 11 associate degrees (such as criminal justice and fashion merchandising), 18 certificates and graduate certificates, and more than 100 bachelor's degrees, including geoscience and creative writing. Enrollees can pursue more than 80 master's degrees online.
Online student resources include academic advisors, a career services team, tutoring, an online library, tutoring, and tech support.
Most classes use asynchronous delivery. Students can save money by transferring up to 90 credit hours for bachelor's degrees (45 for associate), testing out of courses, and earning credit for prior life experience. The university offers low tuition rates and has not raised costs in a decade.
Online Colleges in New Hampshire Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.
Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.
While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.
The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.
Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.
Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology
About Our Ranking Factors
Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.
Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.
We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.
In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.
If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.
We thank you for your readership and trust.
Featured Online Programs
Employment in New Hampshire
The top industries in New Hampshire include advanced manufacturing, tourism, and healthcare. Tourists flocking to New Hampshire to enjoy autumn leaves and visit historic sites help support over 46,000 hospitality jobs in the state. The seacoast and Upper Valley — home to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center — feature major hubs for biomedical research.
Unemployment in New Hampshire has declined to near pre-pandemic levels as COVID-19-related restrictions ease. As of June 2021, unemployment stood at 2.9% — not far from 2019's low of 2.6%.
New Hampshire ranks among the 10 most highly educated states, as 37% of state residents have earned at least a bachelor's degree.
The cost of living in New Hampshire is somewhat above the national average, indexed at 105.4, with 100 as the average. However, New Hampshire charges no income or sales tax, meaning each paycheck stretches further. The mean annual wage in New Hampshire reached $56,730 as of May 2020, with top earners including physicians and architectural and engineering managers.
The following information explores the highest-paying roles employing more than 1,000 individuals in New Hampshire. Salary information applies specifically to New Hampshire, while job growth data pertains to the United States as a whole.
|Career||Annual Mean Wage (2020)||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)||Education Required|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$158,100||3%||Bachelor's degree|
|Sales Managers||$156,460||4%||Bachelor's degree|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$149,290||10%||Bachelor's degree|
|Marketing Managers||$139,860||7%||Bachelor's degree|
|Industrial Production Managers||$138,600||1%||Bachelor's degree|
|General and Operations Managers||$132,720||6%||Bachelor's degree|
The following data reflects the highest-paying roles employing more than 2,500 professionals in New Hampshire. Salary figures apply specifically to New Hampshire, while job growth data refers to the entire United States. Each role requires a bachelor's degree.
|Career||Annual Mean Wage (2020)||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)||Typical Major|
|Software Developers||$109,670||22%||Information Technology|
|Wholesale Sales Representatives||$75,900||2%||Depends on industry: Biology, Chemistry, Engineering|
|Accountants and Auditors||$75,050||4%||Accounting|
|Project Management Specialists||$81,320||6%||Project Management|
|Management Analysts||$100,170||11%||Depends on industry: Business, Computer Information Systems, Mathematics|
Online Associate Degrees
An online associate degree can prepare students to start entry-level careers or pursue bachelor's degrees. Most associate programs take two years to complete. Learners can apply transfer credits from most associate programs toward four-year bachelor's degrees. Many programs use asynchronous delivery, allowing students to complete materials at their own pace rather than attending classes at specific times.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges and universities expanded their online degree offerings. New Hampshire's colleges and universities feature hundreds of unique online associate degree programs. Plus, with 16 New Hampshire colleges belonging to the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, students can be rest assured that degrees earned online will receive national and international recognition.
Popular online options include business administration, accounting, and criminal justice. The state also offers niche sectors, including data analytics and digital photography. Graduates with degrees in marketing and healthcare administration can work in New Hampshire's booming hospitality and healthcare industries.
Online Graduate Degrees
Looking to further your career and earn an advanced degree from the comfort of your home? An online graduate program might be right for you. Many of New Hampshire's colleges offer fully online and hybrid master's programs and doctoral degrees. Hybrid programs require occasional visits to campus for some courses or labs, while learners can complete 100% online programs from anywhere with a laptop and an internet connection.
Unlike on-campus courses, faculty deliver many virtual courses asynchronously, which may offer a good fit for people seeking degrees while continuing to work. Additionally, some online programs offer reduced tuition or accelerated pathways.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many institutes transitioned to online learning. Today's online learners benefit from expanded course and degree offerings. However, some degrees require in-person attendance for required labs or clinicals. Research your field's requirements before pursuing an online degree.
Popular graduate degrees include master of business administration and human resources management degrees. Thanks to New Hampshire's growing biomedical research and advanced manufacturing fields, individuals looking to pursue master's degrees in data science or operation and supply chain management will find plenty of opportunities. Several schools in the state offer these programs online.
Common Questions About Studying in New Hampshire
Tuition is often the same between in-person and online programs, though some colleges don't charge out-of-state tuition to online learners. Students may save on course materials and fees.
Most associate degrees take two years to complete, while bachelor's degrees take four years. However, learners can complete some online undergraduate and graduate degrees at an accelerated pace.
The most popular bachelor's degrees in New Hampshire are in the fields of science and engineering, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Business degrees are also common.
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