A Guide to Online Schools in New Hampshire

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New Hampshire holds a unique place in American history: one of the first areas settled by European explorers — the English and French arrived at the turn of the 17th century — Paul Revere rode through Portsmouth in December 1774 to warn of an imminent British attack, presaging his more famous midnight ride the next year. (In fact, in this case, Revere’s intelligence proved incorrect, though it heightened hostilities). The state was the ninth to ratify the Constitution in 1788. As a major hub for immigrants, particularly French Canadians and Poles, New Hampshire’s economy relied on manufacturing in the years before the Great Depression, especially textiles. Since then, its location along the Northeast Corridor and proximity to Greater Boston has provided economic stability; its median household income ranks in the top 10 nationally, and it’s also among the most energy efficient states in the country. New Hampshire’s higher education options are another strength; there are more than 25 two- and four-year colleges; and many schools have kept pace with national trends toward affordable, flexible higher education by offering online programs.

In-state tuition is often applied to public schools offering online programs. Many online programs require some face-to-face time, or more numerous support services at their brick and mortar locations. Intensive study experiences, often on the weekends or in several week-long bouts, enable many online students to accelerate their time until graduation. And students looking at online education can drastically expand their educational options if they also look to hybrid degrees (degrees that can be taken partially, or mostly online). Finally, one of the most common stipulations in scholarships is that students be from a certain state or region, often more funds are available to students seeking degrees in-state.

There are at least seven public colleges and universities that offer online degrees in New Hampshire: Granite State College, University of New Hampshire, Manchester Community College, Plymouth State University, NHTI-Concord’s Community College, the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, and University of New Hampshire School of Law. There are at least five private schools that offer online degrees in New Hampshire: Southern New Hampshire University, Franklin Pierce University, New England College, Antioch University-New England, and Rivier University.

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Potential Resident

For a variety of reasons, a student may look to move to the state of their online college program whether specifically required by the program or not – be it for a job, location desirability, school benefits, etc. Different states have different policies, however, and some of them can be rather demanding. The University System of New Hampshire has the most comprehensive list of the state’s residency requirements. In general, all students applying for in-state tuition should have lived in New Hampshire for at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes, and the student — or the student’s dependents — must demonstrate that they’ve established residency beyond merely meeting the in-state tuition requirement, i.e, they’re employed in the state, etc. Military families are exempt from these requirements.)

For 2016-17, the average tuition for a four-year public school in New Hampshire was $15,650, compared to a national average of $9,404. That’s a 2% increase from 2015-16 — on par with the national average — and a 9% increase over five years — which is 3% lower than the national average. In short, while the state’s average tuition is high, it’s at least tapered and stable. The same goes for two-year community colleges: the $6,525 price tag is about $2k higher than the national average, but that’s dropped 9% in the last five years. It may also be worth noting that New Hampshire’s tuition has been higher for at least the past ten years, so these numbers shouldn’t be surprising.

There are 3 schools in the Greater Manchester Area that offer online degrees: Southern New Hampshire University, University of New Hampshire at Manchester, Manchester Community College. Altogether, these account for the most total degrees in the state, at 53. SNHU alone offers 42 degrees, including 7 associates, 16 bachelors, and 19 masters, covering everything from Fashion Merchandising, to Criminal Justice, to Graphic Design, to Business. As the #1-rated university in the country for innovation, SNHU is one of the worldwide leaders in online education and serves 70,000 students. For its part, Manchester Community College is the largest two-year center for online education, with studies in Accounting, Finance, Health Science, Behavioral Science, English, and more. UNH Manchester offers 3 masters. For students willing to make occasional commutes, 3 schools offer online programs in Concord, and one in Nashua.

Rivier University, a private Catholic school, is the main source for online education in Nashua, offering a BS in Nursing (RN to BSN), BA in Psychology, and MS in Nursing, with a concentration in Leadership in Health Systems Management. For those willing to make occasional commutes, Southern New Hampshire University, University of New Hampshire at Manchester, and Manchester Community College, all offer online degrees, as well. (SNHU is the largest in the state, with 7 associates, 16 bachelors, and 19 masters.) Further, students willing to cross state lines will find a bevy of opportunities in Massachusetts, including: UMass Lowell; Middlesex Community College; North Shore Community College and Endicott College in Salem; and over a half-dozen in and around Boston, including Brandeis University, Lasell College, Northeastern University, Simmons College, Wheelock College, and Boston University, among others.

There are 3 schools offering online degrees in the Greater Concord Area: Granite State College, NHTI-Concord’s Community College, and the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Of these, Granite State is the second largest in the state, with 28 distance programs — 5 associates, 20 bachelors, 3 masters — across a diverse range of disciplines: Business, Education, Healthcare, Public Administration, Information Technology, Management, and the Humanities, among others. NHTI offers the second most associate-level tracks, including Accounting, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, and Hospitality And Tourism Management. Just a short drive away, New England College, in Henniker, offers 9 online options, and Southern New Hampshire University, University of New Hampshire at Manchester, and Manchester Community College are options to the south. From there, UNH, Antioch University, and Plymouth State are also available.

Manchester


Population: 110,448
Cost of Living: 118.8%
Top Industries: Education, Tourism
Local Online Degrees: 7

Nashua


Population: 87,259
Cost of Living: 118.7%
Top Industries: Tech, Healthcare
Local Online Degrees: 16

Concord


Population: 42,444
Cost of Living: 114.7%
Top Industries: Government, Healthcare
Local Online Degrees: 9

Derry


Population: 22,015
Cost of Living: 132.8%
Top Industries: Education, Healthcare
Local Online Degrees: 7

Dover


Population: 30,665
Cost of Living: 132.8%
Top Industries: Education, Government
Local Online Degrees: 6

Rochester


Population: 29,991
Cost of Living: 131.6%
Top Industries: Education, Government
Local Online Degrees: 6

Salem


Population: 28,776
Cost of Living: 141.3%
Top Industries: Education, Government
Local Online Degrees: 7

The Best Online Colleges in New Hampshire

  • 1. Southern New Hampshire University

    Online Programs: 42
    Type: Private
    Website

    Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit university — one of the worldwide leaders in distance learning, with over 70,000 enrolled online, and ranked 1st in the country for innovation, according to US News. Offering 42 online degrees, it is the largest provider in the state, with seven associates, 16 bachelors, and 19 masters in a wide range of fields. Highlights include studies in Fashion Merchandising, Graphic Design, Finance, International Management, Game Design And Development, and several Business and Education specializations. SNHU’s 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio helps to foster an intimate, collaborative learning community, and over half of classes have fewer than 20 students. None have more than 50. All students have access to personalized academic advising, a writing center, career services, 24/7 tech support, and library services.

  • 2. Granite State College

    Online Programs: 28
    Type: Public
    Website

    Founded in 1972, Granite State College has a total enrollment of about 2,200, the majority of which is undergraduate. GSC offers 28 online degrees, making it the second-largest online education hub in New Hampshire, including five associates, 20 bachelor’s (the most in the state, and three masters. Among the highlights are bachelors in Business Management, Public Service Management, Service & Hospitality Management, Computer Science Innovation, Human Resources Administration, and Nursing; and master’s in Leadership, Management, and Project Management. Pre-professional tracks are available in Early Childhood Education, Behavioral Science, and Communication Sciences & Disorders, among others. With a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Granite State has a vibrant, tight-knit educational community that combines personalized instruction with collaborative learning. Over 80% of classes consist of less than 20 students, and none have more than 49.

  • 3. Franklin Pierce University

    Online Programs: 15
    Type: Private
    Website

    Founded in 1962, Franklin Pierce University has a total enrollment of 2,300, representing 40 states and 14 countries. Online, the school offers five associates, four bachelor’s, and six master’s in an array of disciplines. Some highlights include a BA in Criminal Justice, MBA concentrations (Health Administration, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, Leadership, Sports Management), and Master of Education & Teacher Certification. Franklin Pierce’s 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio and average class size of 17 supports a lively, collaborative educational environment while maintaining one-to-one instruction. Nearly 65% of classes consist of fewer than 20 students, and just 2% percent have more than 50. For those interested, financial aid opportunities are available: 81% of undergrads receive some form of financial aid, and the average need met is nearly 70%. Admissions are rolling.

  • 4. New England College

    Online Programs: 9
    Type: Private
    Website

    New England College, founded in 1946, is a private liberal arts school in Henniker, with an enrollment of of 2,600, 600 of which are enrolled online. Nine programs are available online: two associates in Business Administration and Liberal Studies, and seven bachelor’s in Business specializations, Healthcare Administration, Criminal Justice, and Psychology. NEC’s 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports an vibrant, collaborative educational model, while still tailoring to individual students. Nearly 80% of classes consist of less than 20 students, and none have more than 49. All NEC programs emphasize experiential learning to develop hands-on insights and training, and the school is ranked among the best in the region. Further, NEC earned the President’s 2014 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and has been listed on Time‘s “Colleges That Have Diversified the Most.”

  • 5. University of New Hampshire-Main Campus

    Online Programs: 3
    Type: Public
    Website

    Founded in 1866, The University of New Hampshire has a total enrollment of 15,400, most of whom are undergraduates; students, staff, and visiting scholars come from more than 80 countries. Ranked among the best value universities nationally, UNH offers three online degrees, all master’s: 2 MBA concentrations and a Master of Social Work. All online course work is interactive, and all lectures are recorded for students’ convenience. For maximum delivery flexibility, hybrid options are offered, as well. The university’s 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports a dynamic, collaborative community in tandem tailored instruction. 40% of classes consist of fewer than 20 students, and less than 20% have 50 or more. For those interested, financial aid opportunities are available, and the average need met is 76%.

  • 6. Manchester Community College

    Online Programs: 8
    Type: Public
    Website

    Manchester Community College — established in 1945 and formerly New Hampshire Community Technical College — has an enrollment of 3,000. Online, MCC offers eight bachelor’s degrees in Accounting, Finance, Health Science, English, Behavioral Science, Social Science, Life Science, and Mathematics. With 84% of MCC classes consisting of 19 or fewer students, MCC maintains an intimate, tight-knit learning community that also emphasizes peer-to-peer education. For students looking for affordable options, MCC averages $200 per credit and 65% of matriculated students receive financial aid. All courses are designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate individuals’ unique schedules, and students’ ages range from 17-69, representing full-time students, full-time professionals, and adult learners. Resources include library services, tech support, academic advising, transfer opportunities, and a student success center.

  • 7. Antioch University-New England

    Online Programs: 7
    Type: Private
    Website

    Founded in 1964, Antioch University is a private school with additional campuses in Seattle, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ohio. It offers seven online degrees, including: five bachelors in Management, Humanities, Human Services Administration, Literature And Creative Writing. All Antioch programs are designed for hands-on, practical learning, and students are required to complete up to 600 hours of real-world experience through internships. Course work is highly flexible to accommodate working professionals and adult learners, and the school’s generous transfer policy allows students to accelerate degree completion time through prior learning assessments. Services include a virtual writing center, library access, IT support, career planning, and more.

  • 8. Plymouth State University

    Online Programs: 3
    Type: Public
    Website

    Founded in 1871, Plymouth State has a total enrollment of 5,200, about 80% of which is undergraduate. Ranked in the region’s top 40 public schools, Plymouth State offers three online bachelor’s degrees: Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and Communication & Media Studies. Students have 24/7 access to course material for maximum flexibility, and communications are streamlined through a dynamic learning platform and web-based environment. With an emphasis on co-curriculuar and experiential learning, PSU’s 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports a vibrant but intimate educational community, combining independent and collaborative study opportunities. Half of classes have fewer than 20 students, and just 1% have 50 or more. Student services include a student success center, writing center, tech support, and more. For students looking seeking financial aid, nearly 70% of undergrads receive some form of aid.

  • 9. NHTI-Concord's Community College

    Online Programs: 6
    Type: Public
    Website

    NHTI, Concord’s Community College — opened in in 1965 as the New Hampshire Technical Institute — has a total enrollment of about 4,600, including day, evening, weekend, and online students. NHTI offers six online degrees, all associates: Accounting, Business Administration, Hospitality And Tourism Management, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, and General Studies. Typical class size at NHTI is between 15 and 25, so classes are small enough for individualized instruction while maintaining a collaborative, peer-to-peer learning approach. Courses are designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate individual schedules (including for working professionals and adult learners); the average age for students is 25. Online programs include access to academic advising, the Blackboard learning platform, tech support, registrar assistance, and transfer assistance.

  • 10. University of New Hampshire at Manchester

    Online Programs: 3
    Type: Public
    Website

    Established in 1985, UNH Manchester has a total enrollment of about 1,100. Online offerings include two MBA concentrations and a Master of Social Work. All course work is designed for maximum flexibility. Manchester’s 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio is among the lowest in the state — especially for a public institution — and supports a tight-knit educational setting that combines tailored instruction with collaborative learning. Washington Monthly has ranked the university 14th among urban colleges for value, and Money and Time have also recognized Manchester. Over 90% of students receive some form of aid, and the school recently announced a tuition-free plan for first-year students that are eligible for Pell Grants. Student services include career planning, internship opportunities, tech support, academic counseling, peer tutoring, and more.

Monitoring the accreditation of a university you are interested in attending is incredibly important. Accreditation ensures your credits can transfer, that you can receive Federal financial aid, and most importantly that certain standards of educational quality are met during your schooling. The highest accreditation standard for most programs in the United States is provided by regional accreditation agencies. The regional accrediting agency for New Hampshire is the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, one of six regional accrediting agencies responsible for accrediting schools in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Making sure that a University you’re hoping to attend is regionally accredited — or accredited by a real and respected accrediting agency — is one of the most important choices you can make in ensuring the quality of your education.

Three Steps for Securing Financial Aid

  • Submit your FAFSA.
  • Check to see if additional forms are needed at your university of choice.
  • Search and apply for private scholarships.

Through the previous three steps most students find themselves offered some sort of federal grant, work study, private grant, scholarship, or stipend.

Great New Hampshire Higher Education Resources

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