With so many options, it is important to consider as many factors as possible when trying to find where you should attend an online college. Learn about net prices, graduation rates, locations, and student populations for the Pennsylvania colleges with online options, with information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics.
Pennsylvania Schools Near Large Cities
While it is not the biggest concern for online students, it can still be appealing to attend college in a large city. Even if only for the occasional test, lab, or other on-campus necessity, having a schools within a large, nearby city can be convenient. The NCES lists several universities at some of the state's biggest cities, all of which offer online degrees. A few examples would be:
- Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia)
- Point Park University (Pittsburgh)
- Peirce College (Philadelphia)
- Drexel University (Philadelphia)
- University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus (Pittsburgh)
Largest Schools in Pennsylvania
To some college students, the larger the school, the more opportunities for valuable social interaction. The NCES records the student enrollment of the colleges in Pennsylvania based on their 2015 numbers, making these the five largest schools in the state. It is important to note, however, that these figures are based on both online and on-campus numbers, though a larger school can often indicate a much better chance of diverse distance learning opportunities.
- Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus (47,307)
- Temple University (38,007)
- University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus (28,649)
- Drexel University (25,595)
- Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg (19,121)
Lowest Net Price
It is always important to consider the price of attendance for whichever school you decide to attend. The NCES provides the net price for schools in Pennsylvania, adding together the various costs of attending school (tuition, books, feed, etc.) and subtracting the average amount of expected financial aid. These are the five lowest net prices to attend for full-time undergraduates during the 2014-2015 school year. It is important to note, though, that many colleges may offer online courses at a reduced price, meaning the true cost of attending may be somewhat lower.
- Westmoreland County Community College ($2,907)
- Butler County Community College ($4,099)
- Pennsylvania Highlands Community College ($4,864)
- Lehigh Carbon Community College ($5,152)
- Community College of Allegheny County ($5,558)
A school's graduation rate is often an indicator at how effective it is as a learning institution. The NCES calculates these rates by taking the number of full-time, undergraduate students who completed their degrees in 150% of normal expected time and comparing it to the total enrollment for students who began attending by 2009. These are the highest graduation rates for undergraduate online and traditional students in the state.
- Villanova University (90%)
- Lehigh University (88%)
- Carnegie Mellon University (88%)
- Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus (86%)
- University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus (82%)
It is important to consider as many factors as possible when enrolling at an online college from a Pennsylvania school, so remember to account for net price, location, student population, and graduation rate at every institution you preview.