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Saint Francis University (SFU) is a small, private higher learning institution founded in 1847. It is located in Loretto, Pennsylvania, which is almost in the middle of Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and surrounded by nature and beauty. Over 80% of the nearly 3,000 students are enrolled as undergraduates. The university provides quality education with spiritual-based opportunities that welcome individuals from all faiths.

Overview of Saint Francis University

As part of the journey toward one’s desired career, faculty will encourage students to develop their drive to be successful while remaining caring and compassionate. The development of international perspectives and experiences is also important at SFU. Such experiences might be through world studies, hands-on job preparation, or travel. Leadership skills will also be a central focus in classes, as well as clubs and organizations.

SFU is one of the only universities in the country to offer E-sports in addition to traditional sports at the NCAA Division I level and through sports clubs. Students can also participate in university bands, spiritual programs, the arts, academic societies, and much more. And all types of faith-based events, activities, programs, seminars, and workshops are available throughout the year. The JFK Student Center is a primary engagement hub featuring food, study sanctuaries, live entertainment, a multipurpose lounge, and an auditorium.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting Town: Fringe
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 14:1
Graduation Rate 73%
Year Founded 1847

Student Enrollment

Total Students2,930


Undergraduate Student

Male 854
Female 1,519

Graduate Student

Male 201
Female 356

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Francis Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 702
Female 1,046


Male 498
Female 805

Acceptance Rate75%

Male 71%
Female 77%

Enrollment 406

Male  130
Female 122
Application Fee NA
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Required
Formal demonstration of competencies Recommended
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline May 1
Common Application Accepted Yes

Francis Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

As a small, private university, SFU is more expensive than larger public colleges and universities at $38,170 annually for both in and out-of-state students. With around 99% of all undergraduate students accepting financial assistance to some degree, the net price average of SFU tuition is $29,188. Each student will require around another $18,000 for supplies, books, course fees, and standard living expenses.

It is important to understand that these costs do not account for trips to visit family, tours of the area, nights out, or any other non-education-related expenses. And if a student chooses to study abroad, even more funds will be necessary. Fortunately, SFU offers over $26.5 million in scholarships and grants each year as a way to help minimize the overall expenses. Students can also select from a variety of loans to make one’s educational dreams come true. And the school offers ROTC and military benefits to make these programs more accessible to all.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $29,188
Average Total Aid $23,592
Students Receiving Financial Aid 99%
Room & Board $12,948

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $38,170
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $38,170
  • Books and Supplies - $2,000
  • Room & Board - $12,948
  • Other - $3,000


This liberal arts university is dedicated to producing well-rounded students who are interested in making a positive impact in the world in both their professional and personal lives. Students can select from a variety of schools and degree programs including business, STEAM, exploratory students, health sciences, education, and many others. Graduate degrees are also available, as well as online degrees.

As part of each program, students will learn skills to become highly desirable employees over the course of their careers by centering around ethics, experiential learning, and giving back to the community. In fact, a number of opportunities exist for students to participate in community engagement, ethical citizenship, research, study abroad, sustainability, and values through service. Each program is designed to enhance the appeal of each student to potential employers.

SFU has reasonable graduation and retention rates of 63% and 73% for the four-year and six-year graduation rates, respectively, as well as an 85% student retention rate. The small class sizes, high number of mentors, and a faculty-to-student ratio of 1 to 14 are all likely factors that help students remain on track. The graduation rates could be better. These low rates could be attributed to the high cost of the university programs or that students are not taking as many courses as possible each semester.

Student Population Total

Student Population 2,930

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 156 Total Graduates / 39%
Physician Assistant 44 Graduates
Occupational Therapy/Therapist 35 Graduates
Physical Therapy/Therapist 27 Graduates
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 21 Graduates
All Business Majors 103 Total Graduates / 26%
Accounting 28 Graduates
Business Administration and Management, General 27 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 14 Graduates
Organizational Leadership 14 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 23 Total Graduates / 6%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 12 Graduates
Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography 6 Graduates
Exercise Physiology 5 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 18 Total Graduates / 4%
Behavioral Sciences 14 Graduates
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 4 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 18 Total Graduates / 4%
Psychology, General 18 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 21%

Outcome & Salary

Saint Francis University works to provide each student with the best chance of success during their college experience and once they graduate. Students will have access to research and opportunities to build their portfolios, as well as fieldwork, lab work, and internships. A dedicated career center is available for each year level including freshman, sophomore, graduate school, etc. These centers help keep students on track to graduate in less time and to find the right career pathways.

Students will be able to participate in jobs throughout their collegiate experiences, as well as to develop essential job searching tools including mock interviews, career testing, resume assistance, professional development, and more. Most services and resources are available online as well as in person. Graduates utilize career services to become business owners, doctors, engineers, lawyers, physical assistants, biologists, and others.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $46,900
College Grads Average Salary $69,686
College Grads Mid Career Salary $66,900
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $696,860
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,365,860
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $116,752
10 Year Projected ROI $580,108
20 Year Projected ROI $1,249,108
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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