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2021 Best Colleges in Connecticut

19 Colleges
$53,337 Avg Salary*
52% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

With all of the options you have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our Top in Connecticut Colleges and Universities ranking is part of that endeavor.

Our analysis looked at 19 schools in Connecticut to determine which ones were the best in terms of overall quality. Instead of depending on subjective information, we focus on over 20 objective factors to determine this ranking. These factors include such things as student-to-faculty ratio, average graduate earnings, and graduation rate.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location and field of study. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as value or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another!

Top Colleges in Connecticut

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Our analysis found Yale University to be the best school for overall quality in Connecticut in this year’s ranking. Yale is located in New Haven, Connecticut and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,664 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

With a freshman retention rate of 99%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $83,200 during the early years of their career..

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#2

Wesleyan University

Middletown, Connecticut

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Wesleyan University helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in Connecticut. Wesleyan U is located in Middletown, Connecticut and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,096 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.4%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% During the early years of their career, graduates from Wesleyan U make an average of $54,700 a year.

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#3

Trinity College

Hartford, Connecticut

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Trinity College helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in Connecticut. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Hartford, Connecticut, and it awarded 596 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

With a freshman retention rate of 88%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $66,100 during the early years of their career..

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#4

University of Connecticut

Storrs, Connecticut

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at University of Connecticut helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in Connecticut. Located in Storrs, Connecticut, the large public school awarded 6,052 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 2.3% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from UCONN is $58,400 during the early years of their career.

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#5

Connecticut College

New London, Connecticut

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Connecticut College. The school came in at #5 in Connecticut on this year’s overall quality ranking. Located in New London, Connecticut, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 518 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.5%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Conn College go into careers with an average salary of $54,900 during the early years of their career.

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#6

Fairfield University

Fairfield, Connecticut

With a ranking of #6, Fairfield University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Connecticut list. Fairfield U is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school situated in Fairfield, Connecticut. It awarded 1,069 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 90%. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Fairfield U make an average of $72,100 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Fairfield University Report

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#7

Quinnipiac University

Hamden, Connecticut

Quinnipiac University came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Connecticut ranking. Quinnipiac is a private not-for-profit institution located in Hamden, Connecticut. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,891 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 86%. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Quinnipiac make an average of $63,300 per year during the early years of their career.

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#8

University of Saint Joseph

West Hartford, Connecticut

University of Saint Joseph came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Connecticut ranking. University of Saint Joseph is a small private not-for-profit school located in West Hartford, Connecticut that handed out 202 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.5%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from USJ go into careers with an average salary of $52,800 during the early years of their career.

Full University of Saint Joseph Report

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#9

Sacred Heart University

Fairfield, Connecticut

Sacred Heart University came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Connecticut ranking. Sacred Heart University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in Fairfield, Connecticut that handed out 1,411 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 3.3% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% During the early years of their career, graduates from Sacred Heart make an average of $56,000 a year.

Full Sacred Heart University Report

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#10

University of New Haven

West Haven, Connecticut

With a ranking of #10, University of New Haven did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Connecticut list. U of New Haven is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school situated in West Haven, Connecticut. It awarded 1,189 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.7%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% During the early years of their career, graduates from U of New Haven make an average of $52,100 a year.

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#11

University of Hartford

West Hartford, Connecticut

University of Hartford did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Connecticut ranking, coming in at #11. Located in West Hartford, Connecticut, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school handed out 1,123 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Uhart make an average of $47,800 a year.

Full University of Hartford Report

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#12

Eastern Connecticut State University

Willimantic, Connecticut

Eastern Connecticut State University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Colleges in Connecticut list. Eastern Connecticut State University is a small public school located in Willimantic, Connecticut that handed out 1,108 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from ECSU make an average of $46,400 a year.

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#13

Central Connecticut State University

New Britain, Connecticut

Central Connecticut State University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Connecticut ranking. CCSU is a public institution located in New Britain, Connecticut. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,083 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from CCSU go into careers with an average salary of $47,900 during the early years of their career.

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#14

Southern Connecticut State University

New Haven, Connecticut

Southern Connecticut State University came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Connecticut ranking. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the medium-sized public school awarded 1,676 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from SCSU go into careers with an average salary of $45,300 during the early years of their career.

Full Southern Connecticut State University Report

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#15

Western Connecticut State University

Danbury, Connecticut

Western Connecticut State University ranked #15 on this year’s Best Colleges in Connecticut list.Danbury, Connecticut is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 987 students in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from WestConn is $45,200 during the early years of their career.

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#16

Albertus Magnus College

New Haven, Connecticut

Albertus Magnus College came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Connecticut ranking. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 296 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $51,200 during the early years of their career..

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#17

University of Bridgeport

Bridgeport, Connecticut

With a ranking of #17, University of Bridgeport did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Connecticut list. University of Bridgeport is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school situated in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It awarded 621 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from University of Bridgeport make an average of $43,100 a year.

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#18

Mitchell College

New London, Connecticut

Mitchell College did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Connecticut ranking, coming in at #18. Located in New London, Connecticut, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 108 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Mitchell College make an average of $32,000 a year.

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#19

Post University

Waterbury, Connecticut

Post University came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Connecticut ranking. Post University is a fairly large private for-profit school situated in Waterbury, Connecticut. It awarded 1,043 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Post University make an average of $40,900 a year.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 19 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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