Delaware’s Best Public Colleges and Universities of 2021

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Delaware provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

Delaware’s Best Public Colleges and Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Delaware

A total of six higher learning institutions offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Two public schools and four private schools award degrees in fields such as mathematics, political science, criminal justice, and publishing. Delaware State University and the University of Delaware are both affordable at $8,000 and $14,000, respectively.

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The student population, however, is vastly different with a little over 4,000 attending Delaware State University and just over 22,000 students at the University of Delaware. Wilmington University has the highest student population among private colleges at just under 10,000 — it is also the most affordable at $11,000. Students who attend Delaware College of Art and Design can specialize their associate degree in animation, fine arts, graphic design, illustration, or photography. Residents who earn degrees in the medical or mental health fields have the opportunity to get assistance in paying off their student loans through Delaware’s State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). Applicants must agree to work in underserved areas of Delaware for two or three years and can receive up to $105,000.

Though it is the second smallest state in the nation, Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, earning it the nickname, The First State. With the Delaware River running through it, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and forests throughout, Delaware college students will find beauty everywhere.

Just above the nation’s average for cost of colleges at $12,274, Delaware provides prospective students with unique options in both the private and public spheres. Discover more about Delaware’s colleges and universities.


What are Delaware’s Colleges & Universities?

Delaware’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.

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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees. We’ve identified 2 public universities in Delaware. The list below of the best public universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must receive direct funding from the state.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It offers a broad range of bachelor’s degree programs.
  4. Its graduation rate must be greater than 40%.

How do we determine Delaware's best public 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 Public Colleges & Universities in Delaware

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    What is University of Delaware known for?

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

    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

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  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    39%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    920/19

    What is Delaware State University known for?

    Delaware State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
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