Best colleges Pennsylvania

2022 best colleges in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania holds a few gems among its public, private, and religious institutions, including Penn State University, nicknamed one of the “Public Ivies” for the exceptional quality of its academics. Beyond academics, Penn State holds several national titles for football, boxing, and other sports. One of only nine colleges founded before the Declaration of Independence was signed, the University of Pennsylvania is known just as much for its Ivy League status as its social scene. To keep with the state’s historic theme, Pennsylvania is also home to the nation’s oldest art school and museum – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

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Net cost: The median annual cost of all students that receive any aid. This does not refer to the “sticker price”, the price listed by the college.

Earnings: The median earnings of all bachelor-level students 10 years after enrollment. This includes both students that do and do not graduate, across all majors.

Payback: The amount of time in years it takes to pay off the median net cost by the median earnings. For this calculation, the median earning of high school graduates (in the school’s home state) are deducted from the median earnings.

Earningsplus: The difference between the school’s median earnings and the median earnings for all schools in the same state.

Rankings: The ranking order is based on the economic score. The economic score is calculated using a school’s payback and earningsplus performance.

Net cost
Payback
Earnings
EarningsPlus
Rankings
Ranking methodology
#1 in Pennsylvania | #10 in National Universities

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 0.71

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $25,802

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 1.4 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $103,246

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $49,668

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 9%
Graduation rate: 97%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#2 in Pennsylvania | #31 in National Universities

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 0.99

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $29,301

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 1.8 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $95,033

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $41,455

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 50%
Graduation rate: 88%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#3 in Pennsylvania | #35 in National Universities

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 1.05

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $34,508

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $99,998

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $46,420

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 18%
Graduation rate: 87%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#4 in Pennsylvania

University of the Sciences

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 1.27

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $33,637

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.3 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $98,779

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $45,201

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 72%
Graduation rate: 73%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#5 in Pennsylvania | #8 in Liberal Arts

Lafayette College

Easton, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 1.40

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $32,551

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.2 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $84,939

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $31,361

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 36%
Graduation rate: 87%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#6 in Pennsylvania | #81 in National Universities

Villanova University

Villanova, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 1.51

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $41,027

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.5 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $90,613

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $37,035

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 31%
Graduation rate: 89%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#7 in Pennsylvania | #11 in Liberal Arts

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 1.53

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $19,184

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.1 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $72,637

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $19,059

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 10%
Graduation rate: 95%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#8 in Pennsylvania | #15 in Liberal Arts

Bucknell University

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 1.68

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $42,502

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.8 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $88,154

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $34,576

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 38%
Graduation rate: 89%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#9 in Pennsylvania | #16 in Liberal Arts

Haverford College

Haverford, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 1.68

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $22,991

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.2 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $69,192

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $15,614

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 19%
Graduation rate: 92%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#10 in Pennsylvania

Holy Family University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 1.69

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $14,362

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 1.9 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $58,844

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $5,266

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 78%
Graduation rate: 64%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#11 in Pennsylvania | #26 in Liberal Arts

Franklin and Marshall College

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 1.96

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $30,281

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.6 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $72,227

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $18,649

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 37%
Graduation rate: 83%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#12 in Pennsylvania | #123 in National Universities

Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 2.00

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $25,162

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.5 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $67,807

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $14,229

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 70%
Graduation rate: 77%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#13 in Pennsylvania

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 2.08

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $33,375

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.9 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $73,428

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $19,850

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 81%
Graduation rate: 78%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#14 in Pennsylvania | #30 in Liberal Arts

Dickinson College

Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 2.09

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $29,452

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.7 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $69,562

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $15,984

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 52%
Graduation rate: 85%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#15 in Pennsylvania | #35 in Liberal Arts

Gettysburg College

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 2.17

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $26,513

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.7 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $65,926

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $12,348

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 49%
Graduation rate: 82%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#16 in Pennsylvania | #37 in Liberal Arts

Saint Vincent College

Latrobe, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 2.20

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $16,634

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.3 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $55,543

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $1,965

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 73%
Graduation rate: 78%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#17 in Pennsylvania | #150 in National Universities

Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 2.27

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $34,914

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 3.2 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $76,378

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $22,800

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 78%
Graduation rate: 69%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#18 in Pennsylvania

University of Pittsburgh-Bradford

Bradford, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 2.32

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $18,906

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.5 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $57,961

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $4,383

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 80%
Graduation rate: 45%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#19 in Pennsylvania

La Salle University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 2.35

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $24,763

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.8 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $63,561

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $9,983

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 77%
Graduation rate: 66%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#20 in Pennsylvania | #173 in National Universities

Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Economic score: 2.41

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $29,309

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 3 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $66,207

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $12,629

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 78%
Graduation rate: 80%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

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