10 Best Colleges in Connecticut

What’s Covered:

 

Connecticut is one of the smallest states (in terms of area) in the country, yet is among the nation’s most densely populated states. Along with a lot of people, you’ll also find an abundance of excellent colleges in Connecticut—the state is home to everything from Ivy League institutions like Yale to prestigious liberal arts colleges like Wesleyan to nationally recognized schools like UConn. You’ll even find numerous religious-affiliated schools—like Fairfield University and Sacred Heart—despite Connecticut being one of the least religious states in the nation. 

 

Our Ranking Methodology

 

Our list of the 10 best colleges in Connecticut was constructed with a focus on school quality, outcomes, and return on investment (ROI). It also considers a host of other factors such as retention rate, selectivity, endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, median earnings, and cost of attendance. You can find CollegeVine’s rankings in their entirety here.

 

10 Best Colleges in Connecticut


1. Yale University

 

Location: New Haven, CT   

Acceptance Rate: 5%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1470-1560

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 4,703

 

In addition to being the best school in Connecticut, Yale University is one of the oldest—it was founded in 1701—and one of the most prestigious schools in the country. Yale is a member of the Ivy League, a collection of eight institutions renowned for their selective admissions, rigorous academics, and rich histories. Yale doesn’t have a core curriculum, which allows students to control their academic path. Over the past 300 years Yale has seen many impressive individuals grace its campus—from presidents like George Bush and Bill Clinton to critically-acclaimed actresses like Lupita Nyong’o and Meryl Streep.

 

Learn more about Yale University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

2. Wesleyan University

 

Location: Middletown, CT   

Acceptance Rate: 20%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1340-1510

Middle 50% ACT: 31-34

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,852

 

Wesleyan University is one of the best colleges in Connecticut and part of a group of 11 institutions commonly referred to as the “Little Ivies.” The Little Ivies are all outstanding liberal arts schools in the Northeast and have an academic rigor and selectivity that rivals that of the Ivy League. Wesleyan’s open curriculum is a hallmark of the university. Wesleyan students have no core requirements; rather, they work with an advisor to create personalized coursework in three academic spheres: arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences (SBS), and natural sciences and mathematics.

 

Learn more about Wesleyan University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

3. Trinity College*

 

Location: Hartford, CT   

Acceptance Rate: 36%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1310-1420

Middle 50% ACT: 30-32

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,200

 

Trinity College is the second-oldest college in Connecticut—behind Yale—and is also a member of the Little Ivies. What differentiates Trinity from many of the other Little Ivy schools is its urban location. The college is located just outside Hartford, the capital of Connecticut and the home of everything from Fortune 500 companies to exceptional dining and entertainment. Trinity is also just a few hours from New York City, Boston, and Providence. In addition to being one of the best colleges in Connecticut, Trinity University is also one of the most expensive colleges in the country. 

 

Learn more about Trinity College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

*Note: The U.S. Coast Guard Academy would hold the third spot on this list, however, since most students won’t find it not applicable to them, we omitted it from the post.

 

4. Connecticut College

 

Location: New London, CT   

Acceptance Rate: 37%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1310-1420

Middle 50% ACT: 30-33

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,737

 

Connecticut College is another institution commonly considered a member of the Little Ivies. Since 1922, an honor code—which is founded on an ancient Athenian oath of citizenship—has been the foundation of a Connecticut College experience. On all exams, tests, and quizzes, students write out the Connecticut College honor pledge and sign it. Connecticut College prioritizes career preparation and connecting liberal arts majors to professional opportunities and graduate study; consequently, the school offers funded summer internships to all students.

 

Learn more about Connecticut College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

5. University of Connecticut | UConn

 

Location: Storrs, CT   

Acceptance Rate: 56%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1170-1390

Middle 50% ACT: 27-32

Undergrad Enrollment: 18,917

 

The University of Connecticut has gained national recognition thanks to both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The Husky men have taken home four NCAA championships, while the women have won a staggering 11 championships and made the Final Four 21 times, including every year since 2008. Although UConn and their Husky mascot seem inseparable, the university’s first mascot was the Aggies, a nod to the school’s origin as the Storrs Agricultural School. Today, all of UConn’s huskies are named Jonathan, after Jonathan Trumbull, the last colonial and first state Governor of Connecticut.

 

Learn more about the University of Connecticut and what it takes to get accepted.

 

6. Fairfield University

 

Location: Fairfield, CT   

Acceptance Rate: 55%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1240-1370

Middle 50% ACT: 27-31

Undergrad Enrollment: 4,603

 

In addition to being one of the best colleges in Connecticut, Fairfield University is also one of the best Catholic colleges in the country and the only Jesuit school in Connecticut. The university was founded by the Society of Jesus—also known as the Jesuits—in 1942. Like other Jesuit schools, Fairfield believes in the idea of cura personalis, commonly translated as “care of the whole person,” and seeks to develop students in mind, body, and spirit.

 

Learn more about Fairfield University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

7. Sacred Heart University | SHU

 

Location: Fairfield, CT   

Acceptance Rate: 66%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1140-1260

Middle 50% ACT: 28-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,417

 

Sacred Heart University is a private Catholic College and the first Catholic University in the nation staffed by laypeople (non-ordained members of the church). Similar to Jesuit schools, SHU is committed to educating the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—and prepares its students to make a difference in the world. Service is an important aspect of a SHU experience, the university provides a number of ways to get involved with the community, from volunteering at local food banks to international immersion programs in countries like Guatemala, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. 

 

Learn more about Sacred Heart University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

8. Quinnipiac University

 

Location: Hamden, CT   

Acceptance Rate: 82%

Middle 50% SAT: 1080-1250

Middle 50% ACT: 22-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,841

 

Quinnipiac University offers more than 100 undergraduate programs—from accounting to women’s and gender studies—through its College of Arts and Science and eight professional schools: 

 

  • School of Business
  • School of Communications
  • School of Computing and Engineering
  • School of Education
  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Law
  • Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine
  • School of Nursing

 

Quinnipiac boasts its student outcomes, with 97% of the university’s graduates being either employed or enrolled in advanced education programs within six months of graduation. The website Zippia ranked Quinnipiac the best college in Connecticut for getting a job. 

 

Learn more about Quinnipiac University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

9. University of Hartford

 

Location: West Hartford, CT   

Acceptance Rate: 77%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1020-1210

Middle 50% ACT: 22-29

Undergrad Enrollment: 4,006

 

The University of Hartford grew out of three schools—Hartford Art School, Hillyer College, and the Hartt School—that merged in 1957. The university boasts over 100 majors, from business to education to nursing, and prides itself on its low 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The University of Hartford’s scenic campus is noted for its green space and woodlands, however, it’s just minutes from the state capital and within a few hours of both New York City and Boston.   

 

Learn more about the University of Hartford and what it takes to get accepted.

 

10. University of Saint Joseph

 

Location: West Hartford, CT   

Acceptance Rate: 78%   

Middle 50% SAT: 970-1166

Middle 50% ACT: 21-24

Undergrad Enrollment: 898

 

The University of Saint Joseph was established in 1932 as the first college for women in the Hartford area. The college became co-educational in 2018 and welcomes students of all genders, ages, races, religions, and cultures. Grounded in the Catholic tradition of educating the whole person, the University of Saint Joseph helps students discover their intellectual, spiritual, social, emotional, physical, and leadership potential. 

 

Learn more about the University of Saint Joseph and what it takes to get accepted.

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

Wondering what your odds of admission are at one of the best colleges in Connecticut? CollegeVine can help. Our free chancing engine uses factors like grades, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities to predict your odds of acceptance at hundreds of schools in Connecticut and across the country.

 

Our chancing engine can also help you build a balanced school list of colleges inside and outside of Connecticut. By providing your odds of acceptance, you can strategically assign safety, target, and reach schools and put yourself in the best position to get into a college that fits your needs and meets your expectations. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!


Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.

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