Pennsylvania’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in Pennsylvania offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Pennsylvania’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania

Prospective students hoping to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree have over 100 higher learning institutions to choose from. The largest public university is Pennsylvania State University, or Penn State, with a tuition of $18,000, and a student population of over 95,000 across its campuses. As a private institution, the University of Pennsylvania, or simply Penn, is known for its medical, nursing, social work, and business fields. Tuition is $56,000, and the school boasts a 95% graduation rate.

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Students can also attend one of the more than 60 religiously affiliated schools, such as Villanova University or Lafayette College, each with a tuition of about $53,000. Some of the most affordable colleges in the state include the Curtis Institute of Music and the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, with tuitions set at $3,000 and $9,000, respectively. Though the average tuition for college in Pennsylvania comes in above the national average, those who practice medicine in underserved areas may qualify for up to $100,000 in loan forgiveness through the Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment Program.

As the nation’s second state, Pennsylvania’s history runs deep. It’s here where Betsy Ross made the first American flag and where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Keystone State is also home to some culinary delights, including whoopie pies, soft pretzels, and the famous Philly cheesesteak. Students looking to earn their degree in Pennsylvania will undoubtedly enjoy what the state has to offer.

Check out the state’s top programs and learn more about earning your degree in Pennsylvania.


What are Pennsylvania’s Colleges & Universities?

Pennsylvania’s Best Overall


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How do we determine Pennsylvania's best community colleges?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

There are 21 community colleges in Pennsylvania, 15 of which meet our criteria. The following list shows the best community colleges in the state.

15 Best Community Colleges in Pennsylvania

  1. #1

    University of Pittsburgh at Titusville

    #5080 institution's historical influence
    #1241 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    <1K

    Titusville, PA

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    What is University of Pittsburgh at Titusville known for?

    University of Pittsburgh at Titusville’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
  2. #2

    Community College of Beaver County

    #8837 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    1K

    Monaca, PA

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    What is Community College of Beaver County known for?

    Community College of Beaver County’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Education
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

    #12634 institution's historical influence
    #115 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    1K

    Lancaster, PA

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    What is Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology known for?

    Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
  4. #4

    Bucks County Community College

    #5652 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    5K

    Newtown, PA

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    What is Bucks County Community College known for?

    Bucks County Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • History
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

    #11197 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    1K

    Johnstown, PA

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    What is Pennsylvania Highlands Community College known for?

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
  6. #6

    Lehigh Carbon Community College

    #11555 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    4K

    Schnecksville, PA

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    What is Lehigh Carbon Community College known for?

    Lehigh Carbon Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Biology
  7. #7

    Westmoreland County Community College

    #6559 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    3K

    Youngwood, PA

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    What is Westmoreland County Community College known for?

    Westmoreland County Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
  8. #8

    Community College of Philadelphia

    #5345 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    16%

    Student body

    12K

    Philadelphia, PA

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    What is Community College of Philadelphia known for?

    Community College of Philadelphia’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Social Work
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
  9. #9

    Community College of Allegheny County

    #3565 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    16%

    Student body

    10K

    Pittsburgh, PA

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    What is Community College of Allegheny County known for?

    Community College of Allegheny County’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Luzerne County Community College

    #9652 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    3K

    Nanticoke, PA

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    What is Luzerne County Community College known for?

    Luzerne County Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Delaware County Community College

    #6658 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    7K

    Media, PA

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    What is Delaware County Community College known for?

    Delaware County Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
  12. #12

    Northampton Community College

    #4593 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    7K

    Bethlehem, PA

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    What is Northampton Community College known for?

    Northampton Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
  13. #13

    Montgomery County Community College

    #6435 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    6K

    Blue Bell, PA

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    What is Montgomery County Community College known for?

    Montgomery County Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
  14. #14

    Butler County Community College

    #14153 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    2K

    Butler, PA

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    What is Butler County Community College known for?

    Butler County Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • History
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    Reading Area Community College

    #9797 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    3K

    Reading, PA

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    What is Reading Area Community College known for?

    Reading Area Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Sociology

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