- Welcome, Delaware Higher Education Office, Accessed June 2017, https://www.doe.k12.de.us/Page/2243
- See the Difference at Wilmington University, Wilmington University, Accessed June 2017, http://www.wilmu.edu/about/index.aspx
- About Wesley College, Wesley College, Accessed June 2017, http://wesley.edu/about
- Facts & Figures, University of Delaware, Accessed June 2017, http://www.udel.edu/about/facts-figures/
- At a Glance, Delaware State University, Accessed June 2017, https://www.desu.edu/about/glance
- Why Choose GBC, Goldey-Beacom College, Accessed June 2017, https://www.gbc.edu/about/choosing-gbc.html
- Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-18 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.
The higher education system in Delaware includes high-quality institutions that draw students from across the region and even the country.
The Delaware Higher Education Office counts eight institutions as the colleges and universities operating within its borders. These include three public schools and five private institutions. Many of these offer four-year degrees, but there is also a law school, art and design school and community college in the state. The latter is a particularly good choice for students who want to start their education at a lower cost institution before transferring to a four-year school. Thanks to articulation agreements, many colleges and universities will accept credits from a community college and apply them toward a bachelor's degree.
In addition to educating students on campus, several of the state's schools offer robust distance education options for those who want to earn an online bachelor's degree in Delaware.
Best 4-Year Colleges in Delaware
Of the eight Delaware schools, five offer four-year degrees in the state's most popular majors. Using a methodology that considers metrics such as graduation rates, tuition and fees and online degree availability, here's how those schools compare.
The University of Delaware is one of the oldest universities in the nation and also a top education choice in the state. The school pre-dates the country and was founded in 1743 as Newark College. By 2015, UD was enrolling nearly 23,000 students, and the school awarded more than 5,500 degrees in that year. It is also home to 21 NCAA Division I sports teams.
Among its notable attributes, the University of Delaware has the best retention and graduation rates in the state. It is also first for the number of academic programs it offers. UD also offers the best average net price for low-income students.
While its campus is based in Newark, students can select from several online programs including an associate in arts, a RN-BSN and several master's degree options.
Although it maintains campuses in three states, Wilmington University is better known as one of the best online colleges for Delaware. It offers more online degree programs than any other state institution, and nearly 85 percent of its student population was enrolled in distance education classes in 2015.
Wilmington University also prides itself on offering affordable degree programs. All students get access to in-state tuition rates. Overall, WilmU ranks second in Delaware for the cost of its tuition and fees. It also has the second best average net price and the second best average net price for low-income students. Many students are able to minimize their student loans, and Wilmington University graduates have the lowest median debt in the state.
Founded in 1968, the university is a private institution and has a special focus on flexible scheduling. Classes are available in 15-week, 7-week and weekend modular formats.
As one of two public four-year schools in the state, Delaware State University has the lowest tuition and fees among surveyed schools. It also has the lowest average net price and ranks second for the amount of institutional grant aid it awards as a percentage of its tuition and fees.
The school is second only to the University of Delaware in the number of academic programs it offers. Its most popular majors include diverse offerings such as accounting, mass communications and movement science. Its nearly 4,500 students are split evenly from within and outside the state. There are also online Delaware degree programs available at DSU. These include several graduate programs as well as five options for those who want to earn an online bachelor's degree in Delaware.
Delaware State University was founded in 1891 and has its main campus in Dover.
Goldey-Beacom College has positioned itself as a good choice for both traditional and non-traditional students. Students who are interested in living on site will find the school's Wilmington campus offers comfortable housing, small classes and a vibrant student community. Students who may also be working adults or who are balancing family responsibilities will benefit from the school's flexible scheduling that includes night and weekend classes.
When compared to other Delaware four-year colleges, GBC ranks first for the amount of institutional grant aid it awards as a percentage of its tuition and fees. Its retention and graduation rates are the second best in the state. Goldey-Beacom College also appears to prepare its students well to repay student loans. Its graduates have the second lowest median debt in the state and the second best three-year loan repayment rate.
The college is a private institution and can trace its roots to 1886 when it opened as a commercial college with only five students. In 2015, GBC enrolled nearly 2,000 students.
Rounding out the top five four-year schools in Delaware is Wesley College. The school was founded in 1873 and offers four associate degrees programs, 30 bachelor's degree programs and several graduate degree options. Business administration was its most popular major in 2015.
Wesley College gets high marks for offering a flexible learning environment. High school students can enter college with credits from dual enrollment or AP classes. Adult learners may be eligible for credit based on life experiences. Meanwhile, students of all ages can take advantage of night and weekend classes. Remedial support, academic advising and career placement services are also available.
With a campus in historic Dover, the school enrolled 1,650 students in 2015. Wesley College is a private institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Most Popular Degree Programs in Delaware
Wondering which degrees attract the most students in Delaware? Here are the top choices for on-campus and online Delaware degrees.
In-Demand Careers in Delaware
Selecting the right degree is an important step toward getting a job after graduation. See if your major might prepare you for one of these careers that are in-demand by Delaware employers.
|Career Title||Projected Job Growth||Total Employment||Annual Salary|
|Operations Research Analysts||37.3%||860||$91,710|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||32.9%||90||$64,220|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||32.4%||250||$58,820|
|Physical Therapist Aides||30.5%||440||$23,790|
|Home Health Aides||30.3%||1,690||$31,290|
|Personal Financial Advisors||29.6%||570||$123,680|
|Personal Care Aides||29.4%||3,880||$23,370|
|Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other||28%||250||$42,890|
|Brickmasons and Blockmasons||25.9%||220||$54,540|
|Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians||24.7%||300||$57,840|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographers||24.7%||160||$73,190|
|Insulation Workers, Mechanical||24.7%||200||$43,050|
|Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Except Emergency Medical Technicians||23.1%||60||$29,140|
|Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary||22.8%||40||$76,460|
|Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary||22.1%||320||$78,230|
|Computer Systems Analysts||21.8%||3,500||$94,720|
|Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary||21.1%||260||-|
Financial Aid and Scholarships in Delaware
Delaware works hard to make sure its residents can afford a higher education. Thanks to its participation in the Academic Common Market, students who can't find the degree program they want at a public Delaware institution may be eligible for in-state tuition at a different public school in one of the 15 states participating in the Southern Regional Education Board. What's more, Delaware offers 12 state-sponsored financial aid programs that provide scholarships, grants and other assistance.
November 15 (Early Action admissions deadline)
Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.25 GPA and full-time status.
Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.6 GPA.
February 1 (fall); October 1 (spring)
Renewable for four years.
- Delaware Higher Education Office
- State of Delaware, Higher Education and Training
- Southern Regional Education Board