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Pennsylvania State Schools Information and Overviews

There are over 20 schools within the Pennsylvania State University system. See how these institutions stack up against each other to find the school that's right for you.

With a total of 24 colleges and universities in the Penn State school system, it is important to consider each choice carefully before deciding where to enroll. Learn about nearness to cities, student population, net price, and graduation rates from different schools based on information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Pennsylvania Schools Near Large Cities

It is important to factor a school's location into your consideration. Many students enjoy being able to live within a large city while attending college. Unfortunately, there are no colleges within large cities in the university system. However, the NCES has a few examples of small cities home to universities, such as:

  • Pennsylvania State University-Dickinson Law (Carlisle)
  • Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus (University Park)
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Altoona (Altoona)

Largest Schools in Pennsylvania

Student population is an important consideration when selecting a college. As is most common, all the most populous schools in the system are four-year public institutions. The NCES ranks the top five student populations during Fall 2014 as:

  • Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus (47,040)
  • Pennsylvania State University - World Campus (10,805)
  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Harrisburg (4,519)
  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Erie-Behrend College (4,138)
  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Abington (3,952)

Lowest Net Price

College students today have more to be concerned about than getting good grades; they must also be mindful of school debt that can follow them years after graduating. An institution's net price is found by subtracting the average amount of awarded financial aid from the school's total cost of attendance, which is based on full-time tuition, fees, textbooks, housing and other educational expenses. According to the NCES, the schools below had the lowest 2014-2015 undergraduate net prices among those profiled.

  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Abington ($12,351)
  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Shenango ($13,034)
  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Brandywine ($13,417)
  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Worthington Scranton ($13,497)
  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Lehigh Valley ($13,760)

Highest Graduation Rate

Graduation rates are important to consider when researching a school. Greater percentages in this category could indicate a college offers a higher-quality education. The following schools have the highest graduation rates among those profiled, according to the NCES; these statistics are based on undergrads who entered programs in fall 2009 and finished them within 150% of normal time (e.g. six years or less for a bachelor's degree).

  • Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus (86% graduation rate)
  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Erie-Behrend College (69% graduation rate)
  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Altoona (68% graduation rate)
  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Harrisburg (64% graduation rate)
  • Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Berks (62% graduation rate)

With so many options within the Pennsylvania State University school system, it's important to consider net prices, proximity to cities, student populations, and graduation rates when deciding which of these schools to enroll in.


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