2022 Top Private Colleges and Universities in Connecticut

Private colleges and universities frequently top the lists of the best schools in the U.S. These institutions offer rigorous academic programs for students looking for a personalized college experience.

Private institutions generally cost more than their public counterparts, but students often receive the benefits of smaller class sizes, strong alumni networks, and generous financial aid opportunities.

Unlike public universities, private institutions do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition. This means students from anywhere can enroll in Connecticut’s private colleges and universities without paying higher out-of-state rates.

2022 Best Private Colleges and Universities in Connecticut

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Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

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Showing 19 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    Yale University

    New Haven, CT

    Graduation Rate

    96%

    Enrollment

    12,060

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $57700

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $57700

    Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University is a private institution that offers multiple programs. The school's accredited degrees help graduates launch or advance professional careers. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Yale University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    #2

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown, CT

    Graduation Rate

    91%

    Enrollment

    3,053

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $59086

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $59086

    A private institution, Wesleyan University educates students on its campus in Middletown, Connecticut. The school's academic and technical programs help students reach a variety of professional goals. During a bachelor's degree, enrollees take lower-division and upper-division coursework. The degree typically requires general education credits. Upper-division requirements focus on advanced concepts within a major. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    Trinity College

    Hartford, CT

    Graduation Rate

    82%

    Enrollment

    2,241

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $56380

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $56380

    A private institution, Trinity College enrolls students on its campus in Hartford, Connecticut. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. A waiver makes it easier to apply. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Trinity College is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #4

    Connecticut College

    New London, CT

    Graduation Rate

    82%

    Enrollment

    1,737

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $58660

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $58660

    From its New London, Connecticut campus, Connecticut College enrolls students in 46 programs. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The school provides a student-to-faculty ratio of 9-to-1. The school reports that 98% of students receive financial aid. The school reports a 82% graduation rate for its programs. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The admission rate for prospective students is 38%. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements.

    #5

    Fairfield University

    Fairfield, CT

    Graduation Rate

    82%

    Enrollment

    5,513

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $50550

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $50550

    Located in Fairfield, Connecticut, Fairfield University enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps students reach their educational goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division requirements. The degree typically requires general education credits. Upper-division classes emphasize advanced concepts within the major. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Fairfield University holds accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    Holy Apostles College and Seminary

    Cromwell, CT

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    648

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8640

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8640

    Located in Cromwell, Connecticut, Holy Apostles College and Seminary operates as a private institution. Learners study with experts in many different fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Students can fund their education with financial aid such as federal loans, scholarships, and grants. According to the institution, 0% of students receive aid and 28% receive loans. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 100%. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Holy Apostles College and Seminary is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    #7

    Sacred Heart University

    Fairfield, CT

    Graduation Rate

    73%

    Enrollment

    9,313

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $44080

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $44080

    Sacred Heart University, which offers on-campus and programs from its Fairfield, Connecticut campus, often ranks among the top colleges. The institution offers a variety of degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help learners meet their professional goals. Degree-seekers can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Students also use financial aid to pay for their college degree. Sacred Heart University has received accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #8

    Paier College of Art Inc

    Hamden, CT

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    128

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $19200

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19200

    Paier College of Art Inc, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Hamden, Connecticut. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. A waiver makes it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Paier College of Art Inc is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

    #9

    Quinnipiac University

    Hamden, CT

    Graduation Rate

    76%

    Enrollment

    9,746

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $48200

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $48200

    Quinnipiac University, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Hamden, Connecticut. The institution offers a variety of degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Enrollees can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Quinnipiac University has received accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #10

    University of Saint Joseph

    West Hartford, CT

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    2,305

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $39636

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $39636

    University of Saint Joseph, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in West Hartford, Connecticut. The college offers a variety of degree-granting programs and courses. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. At the institution, students typically complete an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can provide additional information on submitting an application. Students at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. University of Saint Joseph has received accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #11

    Goodwin University

    East Hartford, CT

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    3,312

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $19988

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19988

    A private institution, Goodwin University educates students on its campus in East Hartford, Connecticut. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to bolster their knowledge. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Goodwin University has received accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    #12

    University of New Haven

    West Haven, CT

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    6,961

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $40170

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $40170

    A private institution located in West Haven, Connecticut, University of New Haven grants degrees through multiple programs. The school offers accredited degrees that prepare learners for the workforce. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The school charges an average per-credit fee of 732. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    #13

    University of Hartford

    West Hartford, CT

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    6,493

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $40490

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $40490

    University of Hartford offers programs from its campus in West Hartford, Connecticut. The institution provides a variety of programs and coursework. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Students typically complete an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in two, and a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. The school holds accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    #14

    University of Bridgeport

    Bridgeport, CT

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    4,155

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $32860

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32860

    University of Bridgeport, located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, enrolls students in 104 programs. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The school holds a student-to-faculty ratio of 16-to-1. At the institution, 99% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 40%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school offers experiential learning in the form of internships, research opportunities, and practicums. The admission rate is 71% for hopeful students. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies.

    #15

    Porter and Chester Institute of Stratford

    Stratford, CT

    Graduation Rate

    64%

    Enrollment

    1,819

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $17590

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17590

    Offering 15 certificate programs, Porter and Chester Institute of Stratford ranks among the top schools in Connecticut. Students often complete a program in weeks or months, rather than years. Like many diplomas and certificates, credential programs here serve students looking to enter the workforce quickly. Credential recipients build specialized skills that can help them succeed in their professional field. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Prospective students should contact Porter and Chester Institute of Stratford's admissions department for more information about the application process. After finishing one of the school's programs, students can immediately enter their career track.

    #16

    Albertus Magnus College

    New Haven, CT

    Graduation Rate

    49%

    Enrollment

    1,384

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34410

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34410

    Located in Connecticut, Albertus Magnus College enrolls students in 52 programs. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school holds a student-to-faculty ratio of 14-to-1. The school reports that 100% of students receive financial aid. The private school reports a graduation rate of 49%. The institution understands that hands-on experience makes graduates more competitive in the job market. The admission rate is 81%. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #17

    Porter and Chester Institute of Hamden

    Hamden, CT

    Graduation Rate

    73%

    Enrollment

    371

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $17590

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17590

    One of the top schools in Connecticut, Porter and Chester Institute of Hamden offers 11 certificate programs. Programs deliver rigorous curricula that prepare learners for careers and further studies. Degree-seekers prepare to launch their career or pursue promotions. Enrollees take their knowledge to the real world with experiential learning opportunities. The institution maintains accreditation, signifying high-quality academic programs. The cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, learners enrolled at the school qualify for federal financial aid. The school provides information about required coursework on its website. The postsecondary institution is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

    #18

    Mitchell College

    New London, CT

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    599

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $32960

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32960

    Mitchell College, located in New London, Connecticut, grants degrees and certificates as a private institution. Learners study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports that 100% of students receive financial aid and 61% take out loans. Bachelor's students graduate from the school at a rate of 59%. Hopeful learners can expect admission rates of 74%. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. Mitchell College is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    #19

    Post University

    Waterbury, CT

    Graduation Rate

    25%

    Enrollment

    13,844

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $15258

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15258

    Located in Waterbury, Connecticut, Post University enrolls students as a private institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Students who complete an academic or technical program often enter the workforce right away. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. At the institution, 100% of students receive financial aid and 75% take out loans. The institution reports a 25% graduation rate. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. The school is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    Why Choose a Private College or University in Connecticut?

    Connecticut is home to 17 private universities and colleges, according to 2019-2020 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Some of these well-known institutions include Yale University, Wesleyan University, and Fairfield University. Students choose private institutions in Connecticut for their prestigious state-of-the-art programs, student involvement, and specialized learning experience.

    These private four-year colleges may also offer a more intimate college experience, with fewer students than public schools and smaller class sizes. For example, 18,917 undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Connecticut’s main campus in 2020. By contrast, Yale University’s undergraduate enrollment came to only 4,664.

    Additionally, the private colleges and universities in Connecticut far outnumber the state’s public institutions. There are 10 four-year public colleges and universities in the state, according to NCES data from 2019-2020.

    The downside to many private institutions is the cost. Students may, however, offset their high fees with scholarships and grants. When choosing the right college, there are several factors to consider, including weighing the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges.

    Pros and Cons of Attending a Private College or University in Connecticut

    Pros

    • Check Circle
      Some of the best private schools in Connecticut offer smaller classes and a more intimate campus experience.
    • Check Circle
      Private colleges in Connecticut may award more scholarships and grants, substantially lowering the cost of college.
    • Check Circle
      Many of the private colleges and universities in Connecticut are known for their prestigious programs.

    Cons

    • X Circle
      Private colleges and universities in Connecticut usually offer fewer degree programs than public schools, focusing on core academic subjects.
    • X Circle
      Private institutions often come with higher tuition costs than public colleges.
    • X Circle
      Because of their small size, private colleges in Connecticut tend to offer fewer extracurricular activities.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Universities in Connecticut

    Students find several distinctions between nonprofit and for-profit colleges. Nonprofit private universities receive funding from tuition, the government, donors, and endowments.

    These colleges focus on increasing students’ success rates and improving the college experience. They tend to offer lower tuition rates than for-profit universities and greater financial aid packages.

    For-profit universities rely on tuition and money from investors. These funds pay for instructors and non-educational spending like marketing and recruiting. Any profits go to investors and shareholders. For-profit colleges may offer both benefits and drawbacks.

    Post University and Paier College are the two for-profit private universities in Connecticut. Post University enrolls about 800 undergraduate students on its main campus, while about 8,000 students take online courses.

    How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Private College or University in Connecticut?

    According to the NCES, four-year private colleges in Connecticut charged, on average, $43,242 in tuition and fees in 2019-2020. Room and board at these schools came to an average of $15,332.

    Wesleyan University, one of the most expensive private institutions in Connecticut, charged $61,449 for tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year. Students paid an additional $17,531-$18,905 in room and board.

    One of the least expensive private institutions in Connecticut is Goodwin University. In 2021, the school charged about $19,988 for tuition. Keep in mind that there are many misconceptions about paying for college, including the high price of private schools. Scholarships and grants can significantly reduce the cost, even allowing some students to attend college for free.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges and Universities in Connecticut

    How many private colleges and universities are there in Connecticut?

    Connecticut is home to 17 private nonprofit universities and colleges. These include highly selective universities like Yale, known for its premier law school, and prestigious liberal arts schools such as Trinity College, Connecticut College, and Wesleyan University.

    Several religious-affiliated colleges also make Connecticut their home. These include Fairfield University, Albertus Magnus College, Sacred Heart University, Holy Apostles College and Seminary, and the University of Saint Joseph. Schools known for their strong research programs include the University of Hartford andQuinnipiac University..

    What is the most expensive private university in Connecticut?

    Wesleyan University is one of the most expensive private institutions in Connecticut. Undergraduate students paid $61,449 in tuition for the 2021 academic year. First-year and sophomore students paid an additional $17,531 in room and board, while junior and senior students spent $18,905.

    Coming in neck-and-neck for first place is also Yale, with an estimated cost of $62,250 for tuition and fees in 2022-2023. Room and board come to $18,450, with an additional $3,700 for books and personal expenses.

    While it may seem difficult to afford the rising cost of college, many private colleges in Connecticut award students significant financial aid packages.

    What is the least expensive private university in Connecticut?

    One of the least expensive colleges in Connecticut is Goodwin University. The school charged full-time undergraduate students $19,988 for tuition in 2021. The University also reports that as of fall 2021, 94% of its undergraduate students received grants or scholarships to help cover their costs.

    Tuition at Post University, a for-profit private institution, was $28,250 for the 2021-2022 academic year. Room and board ranged from $11,600-$15,790. Most of their online students paid $570 per credit. Additional costs for online students include $90 per course for an electronic course material fee.

    Is a private college or university right for me?

    Choosing which type of college or university is right for you depends on your academic and career goals, what type of environment best suits your needs, and your financial situation. While private colleges may appear to cost more than public schools, they also tend to offer more scholarships and report higher financial aid packages.

    For those seeking an intimate college experience, a private school may offer a smaller student population and smaller class sizes.

    On the other hand, public colleges may offer a larger student body, translating to more extracurricular activities and an active sports scene. They also tend to offer more programs, an important consideration if you haven’t decided on a major yet.

    Can I get more scholarship money at a private university?

    Private universities receive funding from alumni donations, endowments, tuition, and other private funds. They then use some of these funds to offer scholarships and grants, enabling them to compete with the lower-priced public schools. Scholarships are also available from companies, organizations, and individuals.

    For example, according to the College Board, Wesleyan University’s average yearly net price for tuition and fees is $21,853. This amounts to a reduction of about $39,596 from its full tuition. Approximately 40% of their students receive financial aid.

    At Yale University, 56% of students receive financial aid, lowering the average net tuition cost to $18,073. Finding the right scholarships can make a tremendous difference in the overall cost of college.