Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania for 2022

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There are 387 colleges and universities in Pennsylvania. Ninety-six are public, while 291 are private institutions. The state has a population of almost 13 million and the unemployment rate is just 3.3 and dropping. Most industries are adding employees to their roster, with business and healthcare being the fastest growing sectors. For state residents that want to go back to school, there are many options for them to consider. Whether they want to attend a community college or one of the private schools, both traditional and online options are available.

However, our focus here is online education. And there are plenty of students in Pennsylvania who are making use of this relatively new invention. The number of available online courses and programs has grown exponentially over the years, especially during the pandemic. And these programs are here to stay.


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Online Higher Education in Pennsylvania


  • How much is college tuition in Pennsylvania?

    For the 2020-2021 academic year

    • Pennsylvania in-state tuition: $11,563
    • Out-of-state tuition: $26,699
    • Graduate in-state tuition: $13,509
    • Out-of-state students paid $20,841

    The college with the highest undergraduate tuition is Franklin and Marshall College at $63,406 and the least expensive college tuition in the state was found at Curtis Institute of Music, with a cost of $5,015. For graduate school, Thiel College had the highest tuition at $34,250 and Albright College has the lowest at $27,678.

  • How many students are enrolled at colleges and universities in Pennsylvania?

    As of the 2020-2021 academic school year, there were:

    • Total students enrolled: 598,171
    • Undergraduate students: 467,828
    • Graduate school students: $130,343

    Full-time students far outnumber part-time students, with there being 421,353 and 176,818, respectively. Female students in Pennsylvania also outnumber male students 355,867 to 242,304.

  • How many students attend online classes?
    For the 2020-2021 academic year, 221,924 students attended classes exclusively online and another 173,472 took at least one online course during their education. Most online students were undergraduates.
  • What are some of the most popular degrees to get online?
    Some of the more popular programs include Business, Education, and Healthcare. However, some of the easiest degrees to get online might include options such as accounting, computer science, etc.

Our School Rankings Methodology


We use a particular set of criteria when creating our rankings. Some of the factors we consider include the following.

  • Admission Rate: This rate shows how competitive a school actually is. High admission rates mean it’s easier to be accepted, while a lower rate means the school is more selective of its students. Community colleges are often easier to get into than four-year colleges, but even they can have a strict criteria for admission.
  • Graduation Rate: We check the length of time students need to complete programs and whether that timeframe is within the standard four to six years for an undergraduate degree. Most students complete their degree programs in 4-5 years, but needing six or more years to finish is not out of the ordinary, especially for part-time students.
  • Net Price: This is the total amount a student will have to pay out of pocket for their education. This amount is the balance of tuition and fees after grants, scholarships, and work study credits have been applied.
  • Online Availability: Whether courses and programs can be completed online either partially or completely is considered.
  • Retention Rate: We evaluate how many students return after their first year of classes. This can help students to understand whether or not those who have attended the school previously felt that they had everything they needed to succeed or if they felt that they needed to attend elsewhere to gain their education.
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: The smaller the ratio, the smaller the classes and the greater chance for instructor interaction. Some students prefer smaller classes, while other students prefer larger ones, and the student-to-faculty ratio indicates which you will find at a particular institution.

What are the Best Online Community College & Associate Programs in Pennsylvania?


The best online community college will be one that offers a variety of programs that can be completed online and has relatively high ratings in other criteria. The programs as well as the school must be regionally accredited, and the credits earned from the community college should transfer easily to another college or university if you are planning to gain more education in the future. These colleges may also offer job placement assistance and other aids that online students can make use of. The online options may include virtual courses, self-paced classes with discussion boards, and seminars taught on a regular basis.

Check out our list of online community college programs in your state to find the best option for you.

Bucks County Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
6,988
Graduation Rate
25%
Net Price
$7,312
Grads Salary
$44,900
Pennsylvania College of Technology
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Student Population
4,565
Graduation Rate
47%
Net Price
$22,973
Grads Salary
$48,483
Montgomery County Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
9,827
Graduation Rate
25%
Net Price
$7,810
Grads Salary
$41,000
Pittsburgh Technical College
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,559
Graduation Rate
59%
Net Price
$25,399
Grads Salary
$37,300
Community College of Beaver County
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
1,713
Graduation Rate
20%
Net Price
$7,317
Grads Salary
$41,200
Delaware County Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
9,989
Graduation Rate
21%
Net Price
$9,647
Grads Salary
$41,100
Lehigh Carbon Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
6,205
Graduation Rate
20%
Net Price
$5,508
Grads Salary
$38,300
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
2,456
Graduation Rate
32%
Net Price
$6,466
Grads Salary
$32,140
Harcum College
College Type
2-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,150
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$22,565
Grads Salary
$42,200
Northampton Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
8,951
Graduation Rate
22%
Net Price
$8,692
Grads Salary
$37,100
Full Ranking Report

What are the Best Online Universities & College Programs in Pennsylvania?


Many people want to go back to school but, for various reasons, a traditional college setting will not work for them. Whether there’s a transportation issue or people are working when most traditional college courses are taught, it’s best for those who already have busy lives to consider online learning options. Online programs offered from colleges is an option that can allow you to become a student and earn a degree on your own time, from an associate to a PhD. Colleges that offer online programs should offer all courses online in a variety of formats, from virtual classes to weekly seminars that take place outside of traditional course hours. And like the community colleges, all programs and the school should be regionally accredited.

Check out our rankings of online college programs in your state to find a program you’ll love.

University of Pennsylvania
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
26,552
Graduation Rate
96%
Net Price
$24,167
Grads Salary
$86,000
University of Pittsburgh
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
32,277
Graduation Rate
84%
Net Price
$22,346
Grads Salary
$75,000
Villanova University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
11,032
Graduation Rate
92%
Net Price
$38,303
Grads Salary
$84,000
Thomas Jefferson University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
8,286
Graduation Rate
70%
Net Price
$29,255
Grads Salary
$84,000
The Pennsylvania State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
89,816
Graduation Rate
73%
Net Price
$25,548
Grads Salary
$77,000
Seton Hill University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,935
Graduation Rate
66%
Net Price
$23,008
Grads Salary
$73,000
Temple University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
37,236
Graduation Rate
75%
Net Price
$23,254
Grads Salary
$68,000
Waynesburg University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,576
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$20,029
Grads Salary
$68,000
La Salle University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
4,624
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$25,401
Grads Salary
$74,000
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
17,719
Graduation Rate
75%
Net Price
$19,336
Grads Salary
$62,000
Full Ranking Report

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