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

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

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.

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

    97%

    Enrollment

    13,609

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $55500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $55500

    From its campus in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University offers programs as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students strengthen their knowledge of the field by completing coursework. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. These policies make it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #2

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown, CT

    Graduation Rate

    92%

    Enrollment

    3,230

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $57334

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $57334

    Located in Middletown, Connecticut, Wesleyan University enrolls students as a private institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. At the accredited institution, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The private school reports a graduation rate of 92%. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Wesleyan University has received accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    Trinity College

    Hartford, CT

    Graduation Rate

    83%

    Enrollment

    2,234

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $59050

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $59050

    From its campus in Hartford, Connecticut, Trinity College offers programs as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. Trinity College has been accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #4

    Connecticut College

    New London, CT

    Graduation Rate

    84%

    Enrollment

    1,861

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $56890

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $56890

    Connecticut College, located in New London, Connecticut, offers 50 programs for students. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The average student-to-teacher ratio is currently unavailable. Data on the amount of aid students receive per year on average is unavailable. The school reports a 84% graduation rate. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #5

    Fairfield University

    Fairfield, CT

    Graduation Rate

    83%

    Enrollment

    5,349

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $49830

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $49830

    From its campus in Fairfield, Connecticut, Fairfield University grants college degrees as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional 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 standardized test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs such as the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    Holy Apostles College and Seminary

    Cromwell, CT

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    603

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8720

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8720

    From its Cromwell, Connecticut campus, Holy Apostles College and Seminary offers 14 program options for students. The institution's many rigorous academic programs rank among the best in the nation. The average student-to-teacher ratio is currently unknown. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. Data on the graduation rate is currently unavailable. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements.

    #7

    Sacred Heart University

    Fairfield, CT

    Graduation Rate

    73%

    Enrollment

    9,156

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $43070

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $43070

    Located in Connecticut, Sacred Heart University enrolls students in 102 programs. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. Information on the average student-to-teacher ratio is unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. Students in the school's programs graduate at a rate of 73%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #8

    Paier College of Art Inc

    Hamden, CT

    Graduation Rate

    61%

    Enrollment

    89

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $17570

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17570

    Paier College of Art Inc, located in Hamden, Connecticut, offers 10 programs for students. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. Information on the average student-to-faculty ratio is unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 61%. The institution understands that hands-on experience makes graduates more competitive in the job market. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #9

    Quinnipiac University

    Hamden, CT

    Graduation Rate

    77%

    Enrollment

    9,708

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $49280

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $49280

    Quinnipiac University, located in Hamden, Connecticut, enrolls students as a private institution. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 77%. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying. Quinnipiac University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #10

    University of Saint Joseph

    West Hartford, CT

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    2,398

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $40286

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $40286

    A private institution located in West Hartford, Connecticut, University of Saint Joseph offers a variety of programs. The school's programs help graduates launch or advance professional careers. The institution offers an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, enrollees complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. University of Saint Joseph has been accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    #11

    Goodwin College

    East Hartford, CT

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    3,297

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $20898

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20898

    From its campus in East Hartford, Connecticut, Goodwin College offers multiple programs as a private institution. Graduates leave the school prepared for the workforce. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Goodwin College is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #12

    University of New Haven

    West Haven, CT

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    6,793

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $40440

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $40440

    A private institution located in West Haven, Connecticut, University of New Haven enrolls students in several programs. Graduates leave the school prepared for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Students can expect to spend 732 per credit at the school. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. University of New Haven is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #13

    University of Hartford

    West Hartford, CT

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    6,773

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $42182

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $42182

    Located in Connecticut, University of Hartford offers 141 academic programs. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. Information on the student-to-faculty ratio is unavailable. How much aid students receive on average is currently unknown. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 59%. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #14

    University of Bridgeport

    Bridgeport, CT

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    5,089

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34760

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34760

    A private institution in Bridgeport, Connecticut, University of Bridgeport offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The private institution reports a 45% graduation rate. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. University of Bridgeport has received accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    #15

    Porter and Chester Institute of Stratford

    Stratford, CT

    Graduation Rate

    69%

    Enrollment

    1,944

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $17220

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17220

    Porter and Chester Institute of Stratford, a private organization located in Stratford, Connecticut, offers multiple programs. The school offers programs that prepare graduates for careers and professional advancement. Learners benefit from the school's academic rigor and affordable tuition rate. The school offers nationally ranked programs in diverse fields. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Porter and Chester Institute of Stratford holds accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

    #16

    Albertus Magnus College

    New Haven, CT

    Graduation Rate

    61%

    Enrollment

    1,419

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $33260

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $33260

    A private institution, Albertus Magnus College grants degrees from its campus in New Haven, Connecticut. The school offers academic and technical programs to 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 no longer require standardized tests for admission. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at this accredited school also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Albertus Magnus College has received accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #17

    Porter and Chester Institute of Hamden

    Hamden, CT

    Graduation Rate

    63%

    Enrollment

    342

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $17220

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17220

    A private institution, Porter and Chester Institute of Hamden educates students on its campus in Hamden, Connecticut. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. Students prepare to contribute to their field by completing courses. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. These policies make it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Porter and Chester Institute of Hamden is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

    #18

    Mitchell College

    New London, CT

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    642

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34050

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34050

    Mitchell College enrolls learners from its New London, Connecticut campus. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. Consult the institution's website to find information on the typical timeline for program completion. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Students also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Mitchell College holds accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #19

    Post University

    Waterbury, CT

    Graduation Rate

    17%

    Enrollment

    10,642

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16610

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16610

    Located in Waterbury, Connecticut, Post University often ranks among the best schools. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. Academic programs generally take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. These policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Financial aid provides options for degree-seekers to pay for their education. Post University has been 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

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

    Cons

    • Private colleges and universities in Connecticut usually offer fewer degree programs than public schools, focusing on core academic subjects.
    • Private institutions often come with higher tuition costs than public colleges.
    • 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.

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    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.