Best Small Colleges in Delaware 2024


Small colleges in Delaware are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

Colleges and Universities in Delaware

Delaware is home to six higher learning institutions offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees for both traditional and online students. Despite its small size, there are plenty of excellent options among the brick-and-mortar and online colleges in Delaware.

With two public schools and four private schools, Delaware excels in awarding degrees in fields such as mathematics, political science, criminal justice, and publishing. Prospective students can also choose from between affordable traditional courses and online degree programs at either the Delaware State University or the University of Delaware.

In-state students will pay roughly $8,000 for a year at Delaware State University and about $14,000 for tuition at the University of Delaware. Out of state students will pay more.

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The student body size of these schools is, however, vastly different. Just a little over 4,000 students attend Delaware State University. By contrast, more than 22,000 on-campus and online students are currently taking courses at the University of Delaware.

Among private colleges in Delaware, Wilmington University has the highest student population among private colleges at just under 10,000 students. Wilmington University is also the most affordable private college in Delaware 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 state-sponsored financial aid 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 annual college tuition cost at $12,274, Delaware provides prospective students with an array of highly respected traditional and online degree programs. Discover more about Delaware’s colleges and universities.

What are Delaware’s Colleges & Universities?

Delaware’s Best Overall

Delaware's Best Small Colleges and Universities Badge
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The following list of the best small colleges and universities in Delaware is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 2 small colleges in Delaware. The list below of the best small colleges in Delaware. To be included schools must fully accredited, and must have student body populations below 5,000 students.

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Best Small Colleges in Delaware 2023

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Median SAT/ACT


    Career Outlook for degree at Delaware State University

    Cost of Degree: $8,358
    Expenses: $20,548
    Starting Salary: $42,579
    Salary after 4 years: $48,090
    Cost Recoup Time: 12 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Delaware State University known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    Delaware State University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Resource Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Delaware’s Best Small College in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Delaware State University
  2. Wesley College
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