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Our university partners

The University of Hartford

In the past two years, 37% of our students took at least one class at the University of Hartford.

College courses

Watkinson School and the University of Hartford have a decades-long relationship. Qualified Upper School students take college-credit courses at the University through their College Now Program. Our students are eligible for college-credit classes — generally done in senior year — for no tuition charge. Students are responsible for registration and book fees only.

University of Hartford courses give our students a taste of college while still in high school. Many colleges will accept this credit when our students graduate and enroll in their chosen school.

Examples of classes taken: Calculus II and Calculus-based Physics are available for students who are advanced in Math and have taken Calculus in their junior year at Watkinson. Also some students have taken Intro classes in Psychology, Music Theory and Composition and Computer classes.

The University Library

Any Watkinson student, 6-12/PG, is welcome to use the University of Hartford library simply by showing their Watkinson ID. Some teachers bring classes over to the University of Hartford campus to introduce them to this great resource; it is a wonderful supplement to our own resources.

University Employee tuition grant

Full-time University of Hartford employees enjoy a 25%  tuition grant if their child is accepted at Watkinson.


The UH Security presence is also a great benefit to Watkinson as they regularly include Watkinson’s campus on their daily patrols.

The University of Saint Joseph

Watkinson and USJ launched a strategic partnership in February of 2024.


Beginning in fall 2024, Watkinson graduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher, enrolling in any of USJ’s undergraduate degree programs, will receive the new Independent Scholar Award. This $5,000/year scholarship, up to $20,000 total, is renewable annually for up to four years with continued full-time enrollment and meeting USJ’s academic criteria. It may be supplemented by other USJ merit and need-based financial support.

earn college credit while in high school

USJ and Watkinson are also developing a concurrent enrollment program through which Watkinson students earn USJ credit for completion of designated Watkinson classes. This is modeled after a successful existing arrangement between USJ and Northwest Catholic High School. 

“Watkinson emphasizes authentic learning to promote depth of knowledge and skill rather than just content coverage, which readies graduates for success at colleges like USJ, known for small, hands-on classes,” said USJ President Rhona Free. “Additionally, the Watkinson experience is something many USJ faculty want for their own children, affirming our shared values and educational approach make this a natural partnership.”

University Employee tuition grant

Full-time University of Saint Joseph employees enjoy a 25% tuition grant if their child is accepted at Watkinson.

tuition savings for watkinson employees

Like USJ, Watkinson prioritizes the implementation of progressive, evidence-based approaches to teaching. To support this priority, USJ will provide a 30% tuition discount to Watkinson employees.

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