Pennsylvania Best Universities To Study


Looking for a top college in Pennsylvania? This ranking will serve as your go-to resource for high value, low cost schools in the state. And Pennsylvania has plenty to offer in terms of higher education – it provides easy access to city hot spots like New York; Boston; Washington, D.C.; and of course Pennsylvania, and it’s home to some of the best-ranked universities in the country, from the UPenn to Carnegie Mellon.

When thinking about where to go to college, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s no one, perfect choice for everyone. Not only that, but it might not be possible to find a college that checks off every last item on your wish list. That’s because the very best schools in terms of academics and athletics often unavoidably come with a higher price tag, or they sacrifice another want, like small class sizes. But even when it comes to compromising, there are some deals that are better than other. And that’s what we bring to you: a list of Pennsylvania colleges that provide a blend of affordability, accessibility, and quality that will appeal to most applicants.


They determined the ranking as follows:

Graduation Rate: Defined as the number of students who complete their degree within 150% of “normal time” (i.e. six years for a four-year program), graduation rate provides a good indication of a college’s ability to keep students on track and engaged during their studies. We collected this information from College Navigator and weighted it 25% of the total score.

Net Price: Unlike tuition, net price offers a more representative idea of what a student might pay for college. It takes into account everything from room and board expenses and cost of living to average scholarship and financial aid packages, and of course tuition (using in-state rates for public universities). We collected this information from College Navigator and weighted it 35% of the total score.

Acceptance Rate: This statistic indicates the percentage of students who were accepted to the university out of all those who applied. It is generally taken as an indicator of both the school’s selectivity and its popularity, as schools that receive more applications generally have lower acceptance rates, with some exceptions. We collected this information from College Navigator and weighted it 25% of the total score.

20-Year R.O.I.: “Return on Investment” refers to the amount of money a student will recoup after graduating college, determined by calculating the average salary of graduates and subtracting the four-year cost of tuition. This figure provides an approximation of how much money graduates from any particular university can expect to make in the 20 years after graduation, and serves as an accurate representation of the school’s career preparation abilities and students’ success post-grad. We collected this information from PayScale and weighted it 15% of the total score (weighted less than other categories because this information was not available for all colleges).

When all was said and done, we tallied the points and gave each school a score out of 200. No schools received a perfect score, and we wouldn’t expect them to (see the point about compromise above). But the following 30 colleges will undoubtedly bring you value: they all excel in various areas of academics, athletics, research, and extracurriculars, and more than half boast an annual net price less than $23,000 a year.

1 Penn State University University Park …
2 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia
3 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh …
4 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh …
5 Temple University Philadelphia …
6 Drexel University Philadelphia
7 Swarthmore College Swarthmore
8 Lehigh University Bethlehem
9 Villanova University Villanova
10 Bucknell University Lewisburg
11 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr
12 Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia
13 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester
14 Haverford College Haverford
15 Duquesne University Pittsburgh
16 Indiana University of Pennsylvania Indiana
17 Dickinson College Carlisle
18 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Shippensburg
19 Penn State College of Medicine Hershey
20 Lafayette College Easton
21 Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia
22 Franklin and Marshall College Lancaster
23 Widener University Chester …
24 Gettysburg College Gettysburg
25 Millersville University of Pennsylvania Millersville
26 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg
27 Lock Haven University Lock Haven …
28 University of Scranton Scranton
29 Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Kutztown
30 Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport
31 Arcadia University Glenside
32 Seton Hill University Greensburg
33 Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock
34 Elizabethtown College Elizabethtown
35 Messiah College Mechanicsburg …
36 La Salle University Philadelphia
37 Wilkes University Wilkes-Barre
38 Susquehanna University Selinsgrove
39 Alvernia University Reading
40 Muhlenberg College Allentown
41 Chatham University Pittsburgh
42 The University of the Arts Philadelphia
43 Grove City College Grove City
44 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Edinboro
45 Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion
46 Ursinus College Collegeville
47 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Philadelphia
48 York College of Pennsylvania York
49 East Stroudsburg University East Stroudsburg
50 Gannon University Erie
51 Eastern University St. Davids
52 King’s College Wilkes-Barre
53 Mercyhurst University Erie
54 Lebanon Valley College Annville
55 Lycoming College Williamsport
56 Moravian College Bethlehem
57 The American College of Financial Services Bryn Mawr
58 Robert Morris University Moon Township …
59 Allegheny College Meadville
60 DeSales University Center Valley
61 Marywood University Scranton
62 Westminster College, Pennsylvania New Wilmington
63 Juniata College Huntingdon
64 Point Park University Pittsburgh
65 Gwynedd Mercy University Gwynedd Valley
66 California University of Pennsylvania California
67 Lincoln University Lincoln University
68 University of the Sciences in Philadelphia Philadelphia
69 Saint Vincent College Latrobe
70 Curtis Institute of Music Philadelphia
71 Misericordia University Dallas
72 Cedar Crest College Allentown
73 Washington & Jefferson College Washington
74 Lancaster Bible College Lancaster
75 Geneva College Beaver Falls
76 Saint Francis University Loretto
77 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Mansfield
78 Delaware Valley University Doylestown
79 Immaculata University Immaculata …
80 Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Harrisburg
81 Moore College of Art and Design Philadelphia
82 Wilson College Chambersburg
83 Carlow University Pittsburgh
84 Albright College Reading
85 Neumann University Aston
86 Chestnut Hill College Philadelphia
87 Cabrini University Radnor
88 La Roche College Pittsburgh
89 Central Penn College Summerdale
90 Keystone College La Plume
91 Rosemont College Rosemont
92 Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Cheyney
93 Thiel College Greenville
94 Holy Family University Philadelphia
95 Waynesburg University Waynesburg
96 Peirce College Philadelphia
97 Mount Aloysius College Cresson
98 Pennsylvania College of Art and Design Lancaster
99 Salus University Elkins Park …
100 Bryn Athyn College Bryn Athyn
101 Cairn University Langhorne …
102 Clarks Summit University Clarks Summit
103 Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton
104 University of Valley Forge Phoenixville
105 Gratz College Melrose Park
106 Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Lancaster
107 WON Institute of Graduate Studies Glenside
Unranked The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

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