Best Small Colleges in Pennsylvania 2022

Best Small Colleges in Pennsylvania 2022

Small colleges in Pennsylvania are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

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.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

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

Pennsylvania's Best Small Colleges and Universities Badge
Download Badge

The following list of the best small colleges and universities in Pennsylvania is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 78 small colleges in Pennsylvania. The list below of the 30 best small colleges in Pennsylvania. To be included schools must fully accredited, and must have student body populations below 5,000 students.

Back to Top

Best Small Colleges in Pennsylvania 2022

  1. #1

    Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

  2. #2

    Haverford College

    Haverford , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

  3. #12

    Widener University

    Chester , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $50K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/22

  4. #16

    Elizabethtown College

    Elizabethtown , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/24

  5. #20

    Muhlenberg College

    Allentown , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1245/28

  6. #21

    Allegheny College

    Meadville , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1265/27

  7. #22

    Arcadia University

    Glenside , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/24

  8. #23

    Robert Morris University

    Moon Township , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/24

    Robert Morris University’s Online Degrees

    BS Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Marketing & Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Services Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #24

    DeSales University

    Center Valley , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/25

  10. #25

    Chatham University

    Pittsburgh , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    2K

  11. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    What is University of Pittsburgh at Bradford known for?

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

  12. #27

    Wilkes University

    Wilkes-Barre , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1119/23

  13. #29

    Lycoming College

    Williamsport , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/21

  14. #30

    Albright College

    Reading , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Albright College’s Online Degrees

    BS in Applied Psychology
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
Back to Top

Pennsylvania’s Best Small College in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Swarthmore College
  2. Bryn Mawr College
  3. Haverford College
  4. Westminster College, Pennsylvania
  5. Bucknell University
  6. Wilkes University
  7. Dickinson College
  8. Franklin & Marshall College
  9. Saint Francis University
  10. Elizabethtown College
  11. Lafayette College
  12. Allegheny College
  13. Washington & Jefferson College
  14. Ursinus College
  15. Susquehanna University
  16. Gettysburg College
  17. University of Scranton
  18. Grove City College
  19. Arcadia University
  20. Eastern University
  21. Muhlenberg College
  22. Misericordia University
  23. Lycoming College
  24. Juniata College
  25. Gannon University