Connecticut’s Best Private Colleges and Universities of 2021

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Connecticut.

Connecticut’s Best Private Colleges and Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Connecticut

As the fourth oldest learning institute in the United States, Yale enrolls just over 15,000 students at its New Haven campus. Higher education in Connecticut includes both public and private institutions that offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. With 19 public schools and 20 private schools, students have a variety to choose from. Tuition for most of the state’s community colleges averages $4,000, while the cost for other public schools ranges from $8,000 to $16,000.

Students interested in psychology, economics, and communications can check out the University of Connecticut (UConn), which is home to the premier research institute for ecological psychology. Sacred Heart University, a Roman Catholic university, is known for its religious studies and business programs. And those looking for a smaller student population may want to check out Manchester Community College, which enrolls about 4000 students and offers affordable degrees in literature, biology, and social work.

Students in Connecticut can choose from a variety of higher education experiences fitting a full spectrum of budgets and career goals. Learn more and begin earning your degree from one of Connecticut’s top colleges or universities.


What are Connecticut’s Colleges & Universities?

Connecticut’s Best Overall

What is a public college? And what is the difference between a private and public college?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models — one is a private company with private funding; the other is owned by the state and receives both state and federal funding to operate. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of private vs. public college, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a four-year degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a four-year public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually.

Connecticut's Best Private Colleges and Universities 2021 badge
Download Badge

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees. We’ve identified 15 private universities in Connecticut; 11 of which meet our criteria. The list below of the best private universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a private, non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 50%.

How do we determine Connecticut's best private colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Private Colleges & Universities in Connecticut

  1. #1

    Yale University

    #5 institution's historical influence
    #4 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    New Haven, CT

    View profile

    What is Yale University known for?

    Yale University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Wesleyan University

    #112 institution's historical influence
    #34 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    4K

    Middletown, CT

    View profile

    What is Wesleyan University known for?

    Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Religious Studies
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Connecticut College

    #833 institution's historical influence
    #212 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1380/31

    New London, CT

    View profile

    What is Connecticut College known for?

    Connecticut College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Engineering
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Trinity College

    #497 institution's historical influence
    #148 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    36%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1374/30

    Hartford, CT

    View profile

    What is Trinity College known for?

    Trinity College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Fairfield University

    #962 institution's historical influence
    #483 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/28

    Fairfield, CT

    View profile

    What is Fairfield University known for?

    Fairfield University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Communications
  6. #6

    Albertus Magnus College

    #3370 institution's historical influence
    #501 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    970/19

    New Haven, CT

    View profile

    What is Albertus Magnus College known for?

    Albertus Magnus College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    University of Hartford

    #1263 institution's historical influence
    #824 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/24

    West Hartford, CT

    View profile

    What is University of Hartford known for?

    University of Hartford’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Communications
    • History
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
  8. #8

    Quinnipiac University

    #1437 institution's historical influence
    #804 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    76%

    Student body

    9K

    Hamden, CT

    View profile

    What is Quinnipiac University known for?

    Quinnipiac University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Law
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. #9

    University of New Haven

    #1525 institution's historical influence
    #770 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/24

    West Haven, CT

    View profile

    What is University of New Haven known for?

    University of New Haven’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • History
    • Law
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Sacred Heart University

    #2192 institution's historical influence
    #1133 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    9K

    Fairfield, CT

    View profile

    What is Sacred Heart University known for?

    Sacred Heart University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    REQUEST INFO
  11. #11

    University of Saint Joseph

    #6022 institution's historical influence
    #458 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    2K

    West Hartford, CT

    View profile

    What is University of Saint Joseph known for?

    University of Saint Joseph ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science

Find Connecticut’s best private school for your interest

Resources for College-Bound Students