Pennsylvania’s Most Affordable Colleges and Universities of 2021

Here are the most affordable colleges and universities in Pennsylvania. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you, at a price you can afford.

Pennsylvania’s Most Affordable Colleges and Universities 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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We’ve identified 37 affordable colleges and universities in Pennsylvania with stated tuitions and fees below the national average of $16,000/year.

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees
  3. Its stated tuition and fees must be under $16,000/year.

How do we determine Pennsylvania's most affordable colleges and universities?

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.


Most Affordable Colleges & Universities in Pennsylvania

  1. #1

    West Chester University

    #1622 institution's historical influence
    #1387 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/23

    West Chester, PA

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    What is West Chester University known for?

    West Chester University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Anthropology
  2. #2

    Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

    #1962 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    <1K

    Cheyney, PA

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    What is Cheyney University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Cheyney University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

    #3023 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/20

    Edinboro, PA

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    What is Edinboro University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Edinboro University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Earth Sciences
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
  4. #4

    East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

    #4679 institution's historical influence
    #498 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/19

    East Stroudsburg, PA

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    What is East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania known for?

    East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

    #2245 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/21

    Slippery Rock, PA

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    What is Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #6

    Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

    #2249 institution's historical influence
    #521 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/21

    Kutztown, PA

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    What is Kutztown University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Kutztown University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Literature
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania

    #4959 institution's historical influence
    #340 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/19

    Lock Haven, PA

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    What is Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Earth Sciences
    • Communications
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

    #3386 institution's historical influence
    #574 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/20

    Bloomsburg, PA

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    What is Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Biology
    • History
    • Earth Sciences
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    Lincoln University

    #645 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    940/17

    Lincoln University, PA

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    What is Lincoln University known for?

    Lincoln University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    California University of Pennsylvania

    #2728 institution's historical influence
    #557 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/20

    California, PA

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    What is California University of Pennsylvania known for?

    California University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Law
    • History
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  11. #11

    Clarion University of Pennsylvania

    #4006 institution's historical influence
    #760 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/20

    Clarion, PA

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    What is Clarion University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Communications
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Political Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    Millersville University of Pennsylvania

    #3047 institution's historical influence
    #805 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    7K

    Millersville, PA

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    What is Millersville University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Millersville University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

    #5169 institution's historical influence
    #296 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/19

    Mansfield, PA

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    What is Mansfield University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Mansfield University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

    #2580 institution's historical influence
    #379 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/19

    Shippensburg, PA

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    What is Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Business
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Earth Sciences
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania

    #1536 institution's historical influence
    #334 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/19

    Indiana, PA

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    What is Indiana University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Biology
    • Medical
  16. #16

    Penn State Shenango

    #9054 institution's historical influence
    Sharon, PA

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    What is Penn State Shenango known for?
  17. #17

    Penn State Greater Allegheny

    #4857 institution's historical influence
    #1062 overall school desirability
    McKeesport, PA

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    What is Penn State Greater Allegheny known for?
  18. #18

    Penn State New Kensington

    #7364 institution's historical influence
    #1421 overall school desirability
    New Kensington, PA

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    What is Penn State New Kensington known for?
  19. #19

    Penn State Mont Alto

    #7080 institution's historical influence
    #1119 overall school desirability
    Mont Alto, PA

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    What is Penn State Mont Alto known for?
  20. #20

    Penn State DuBois

    #4864 institution's historical influence
    DuBois, PA

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    What is Penn State DuBois known for?
  21. #21

    Penn State Fayette

    #11204 institution's historical influence
    Lemont Furnace, PA

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    What is Penn State Fayette known for?
  22. #22

    University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

    #3196 institution's historical influence
    #818 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/21

    Johnstown, PA

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    What is University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown known for?

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

    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
  23. #23

    University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

    #6515 institution's historical influence
    #838 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/22

    Greensburg, PA

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    What is University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg known for?

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

    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
  24. #24

    University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

    #3204 institution's historical influence
    #796 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    Bradford, PA

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    What is University of Pittsburgh at Bradford known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Nursing
  25. #25

    Penn State York

    #9685 institution's historical influence
    #765 overall school desirability
    York, PA

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    What is Penn State York known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  26. #26

    Penn State Scranton

    #14512 institution's historical influence
    #1430 overall school desirability
    Dunmore, PA

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    What is Penn State Scranton known for?
  27. #27

    Penn State Brandywine

    #9255 institution's historical influence
    #931 overall school desirability
    Media, PA

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    What is Penn State Brandywine known for?
  28. #28

    Penn State Lehigh Valley

    #5608 institution's historical influence
    #690 overall school desirability
    Center Valley, PA

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    What is Penn State Lehigh Valley known for?
  29. #29

    Penn State Schuylkill

    #6185 institution's historical influence
    #1185 overall school desirability
    Schuylkill Haven, PA

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    What is Penn State Schuylkill known for?
  30. #30

    Penn State Hazleton

    #5516 institution's historical influence
    #1400 overall school desirability
    Hazleton, PA

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    What is Penn State Hazleton known for?
  31. #31

    Penn State Abington

    #4998 institution's historical influence
    #644 overall school desirability
    Abington, PA

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    What is Penn State Abington known for?
  32. #32

    Peirce College

    #3779 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Graduation

    16%

    Student body

    <1K

    Philadelphia, PA

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    What is Peirce College known for?

    Peirce College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  33. #34

    Penn State Harrisburg

    #4291 institution's historical influence
    #647 overall school desirability
    Middletown, PA

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    What is Penn State Harrisburg known for?
  34. #35

    Penn State Altoona

    #4785 institution's historical influence
    #602 overall school desirability
    Altoona, PA

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    What is Penn State Altoona known for?
  35. #36

    Penn State Berks

    #5238 institution's historical influence
    #1160 overall school desirability
    Reading, PA

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    What is Penn State Berks known for?
  36. #37

    Lackawanna College

    #4912 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    2K

    Scranton, PA

    View profile

    What is Lackawanna College known for?

    Lackawanna College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

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