The Garden State has historically been known for three very distinct regions, with their own dominant employment: the agricultural region, the heavy industry and manufacturing sector, and the professional commuter class. As in other areas of the US, though, when agriculture and manufacturing have scaled back, working adults in New Jersey have had to find their ways in a newly-developing service and professional economy.
A whole generation of working adults are finding themselves re-educating themselves for the 21st century, either to launch new careers or to push their current careers to a new level. For working adults, online education has proven to be an attractive option, and in New Jersey, both the public and private higher education community has responded by building world-class online degree programs.
Ranking the Best Online Colleges in New Jersey
Whether you’re a mid-career professional, a blue-collar worker in transition, or a young adult just starting in the workforce, Value Colleges has the answer for you. The Value Colleges ranking of the Best Online Colleges in New Jersey features only regionally-accredited, reputable online degree programs from institutions that have proven their value. Schools are presented here by the number of online undergraduate degrees.
1. Thomas Edison State University
With 30 online programs to choose from, Thomas Edison State University is clearly one of the best online colleges in New Jersey. Many programs, such as computer science, energy systems technology, and homeland security, are available 100% online through TESU’s own courses. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in business administration can choose between eleven concentrations, most of which are available online through TESU. The school also has agreements to provide joint programs in cooperation with other area schools. TESU’s BS in Health Sciences is an example. This program is offered as a joint degree program in cooperation with Rutgers School of Health Professionals.
Thomas Edison State University was created specifically to offer education to adult students. The school offers more than 100-degree programs from the associate level to doctoral. TESU offers a prior learning assessment that makes it possible for students to earn college credit for knowledge gained through work and life experience.
Number of Online Programs: 30
2. Kean University
Next on the list of the best New Jersey online colleges is Kean University. Kean offers six undergraduate programs online. They are criminal justice, management-human resources management, psychology, accounting, management-general business, and nursing. The nursing program is an RN to BSN program that is only open to RNs.
Kean Online is committed to using technology to facilitate learning for its online students. Kean’s online courses are available whenever the student is ready, so their programs are a perfect fit for busy parents and other adult students who are trying to juggle work and school. Even though students complete their degrees online, they are still able to get to know each other and forge enduring relationships with their peers. Kean has been recognized as one of the most diverse schools in the country. Kean is one of the most affordable schools in the state. Its students have about 36% less debt at graduation than the national average.
Number of Online Programs: 6
3. Rowan University
Rowan University is another of the best online colleges in New Jersey. This school offers six online bachelor’s degree programs, four of which are degree completion programs. The programs available are health studies, liberal studies, nursing (RN to BSN), law and justice, construction management, and psychology. All of these programs can be completed 100% online. In addition to its degree programs, Rowan offers non-credit career development courses to small businesses, high schools, and corporations. Some of Rowan’s online programs include accelerated courses, which help students finish faster.
Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships is dedicated to serving adult students. This includes master’s students who are returning to school to advance their education and careers as well as bachelor’s students looking to get further ahead in life while balancing their roles as employees and parents. The school is committed to providing convenient educational opportunities that can be accessed by anyone who desires to pursue them.
Number of Online Programs: 6
4. Rider University
Rider University is next on the list of New Jersey online colleges and universities with five bachelor’s degree programs. The school offers degrees in allied health studies, liberal studies, psychology, business administration, and nursing. The nursing program is an RN to BSN program for students who are already working as Registered Nurses. There is a prior learning assessment available that can enable students to earn credit for prior knowledge and experience.
At Rider University, students have the flexibility to be able to work at their own pace online. The programs are structured to encourage interaction between students and their professors and peers, so students are able to develop strong relationships as they work through their programs, and students are supported by advisors and counselors as they complete their educational journeys. Rider offers six start dates throughout the year, so students can begin when it is most convenient for them.
Number of Online Programs: 5
5. Rutgers University
Rutgers University is also one of the best online colleges in New Jersey, with three online programs to choose from: business administration, RN to BSN nursing, and labor and employment relations. The business administration program has four concentrations to choose from. They are corporate finance, digital marketing, data analytics, and strategic human resource management.
Teaching and Learning with Technology is a resource that provides course design and electronic technology for learning across all of Rutgers University. TLT is part of the Division of Continuing Studies, which is committed to lifelong learning for adult students. TLT manages all technology for online learning at Rutgers, including Canvas, Coursera, Moodle, and Sakai. There is even a department for game research and immersive design that creates virtual worlds and uses game design to engage students. Rutgers University has 300 institutes and research centers throughout the state of New Jersey.
Number of Online Programs: 3
6. Centenary University
Last on the list of New Jersey online colleges and universities is Centenary University. There are three bachelor’s programs to choose from: accounting, business studies, and professional studies. The business studies degree covers the basics of business, while the accounting degree focuses more on the financial side of the business. The professional studies degree focuses on soft skills, such as you would find in a liberal arts program.
The School of Professional Studies at Centenary University allows students the flexibility of choosing whether to complete their courses online or not, whether to accelerate, and whether to pursue one or more concentrations within their degree programs. The school is committed to developing critical thinking skills and producing students who take action and get things done. Centenary was founded by the United Methodist Church and values service to others as a key component of quality education. Centenary’s classes are small enough to foster relationships that help students succeed.
Number of Online Programs: 3
What is the Value of Online Colleges in New Jersey?
A degree opens up opportunities for a much higher earning potential. In fact, on average, a college graduate earns a million dollars more over the course of a lifetime. This is incredibly appealing to individuals, but not everyone is capable of earning a degree. However, online colleges in NJ can make earning a degree possible for working adults, nontraditional students, and rural residents.
For working individuals, New Jersey online colleges offer a schedule that works around a person’s work schedule since he or she can attend school whenever he or she has time. This means that a pupil may complete their studies before or after work, and there isn’t a set schedule a student has to adhere to.
For nontraditional students like parents, especially single ones, online colleges in NJ offer the convenience of not having to leave their children to go to class. The individual can stay at home with the children and complete their degree while his or her children are occupied or sleeping. A parent might opt to complete his or her coursework whenever the kids are in bed.
Rural citizens can also benefit from online colleges in NJ. New Jersey online colleges eliminate the long commute time that rural students have to endure each day to get back and forth to school. It eliminates the need to travel when the weather isn’t ideal, and rural students never have to sit in traffic.
What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in New Jersey?
Students can earn various New Jersey online degrees, including everything from an associate’s to a bachelor’s to a master’s to a doctorate. Another option a student can earn is a certificate program, which takes less time than a standard degree but can still give students access to opportunities after graduation.
New Jersey online degrees vary in the different majors students can earn. Additionally, in some schools, a student may choose a minor in addition to his or her major.
Some examples of New Jersey online degree programs for associate’s degrees include cybersecurity, psychology, criminal justice, healthcare administration, and business, among others. New Jersey online degree programs for bachelor’s programs include these fields and also nursing. Nursing programs become available at a bachelor degree level because students must first complete their clinicals.
All of these programs are also available at master’s or doctorate degree levels. These programs get more specific. For instance, a pupil may choose to earn a psychology degree program in focused counseling. Individuals can choose to become a nurse practitioner and specialize in a certain area of medicine.
How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in New Jersey?
Although NJ colleges that offer online courses can bring an education to students who may not be able to attend a brick-and-mortar school, price is often another obstacle for students. It’s possible to save money on New Jersey online college courses by choosing a public institution rather than a private one. Public NJ colleges that offer online courses are usually cheaper than public. The regional schools tend to have lower costs than the main branches.
Another way to save money on New Jersey online college courses is by starting with community college. Community colleges are cheap online colleges in New Jersey that can help a student earn many of the prerequisites he or she needs to complete the general requirements of a degree. Students may even complete an entire associate’s or bachelor’s degree at one of these cheap online colleges in New Jersey.
Students also have the option of state or federal financial aid. Grants are available based on a student’s financial need. Additionally, a pupil may want to look into the option of employer reimbursement programs. This option requires a student to attend school in certain employer-approved programs. At the end of the program, the student has to work for the employer for a designated amount of time, and then the employer reimburses the student for part of his or her tuition.
Why Choose an Online Public University in New Jersey?
Many of the accredited online colleges in New Jersey are public universities. Nowadays, well-known public universities are offering programs. Often, the online degree program at these accredited online colleges in New Jersey is the same as the courses offered in the school itself. It’s just in an online format. The accredited online colleges in New Jersey receive acknowledgment from a well-recognized educational governing body.
New Jersey community colleges online are considered to be public educational institutions. New Jersey community colleges online are more affordable than completing a New Jersey online education from a private institution. Plus, they offer many of the same degree programs and can still provide students with an education that can help them achieve the career they want. Often, students use a community college degree as a stepping stone to achieve a New Jersey online education from a public or private university.