Where to Start Looking to Find Pennsylvania Colleges
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) provides an interactive Pennsylvania Student Aid Guide which can also be downloaded as PDF. It has a basic college planning timeline and information on how to apply for financial aid including the Pennsylvania State Grant Program. The guide contains a table showing the percentage of applicants receiving state aid by income levels.
PHEAA also sponsors EducationPlanner.org which has a MySmartBorrowing activity that is worth using. What makes this “calculator” different is that it asks the users to estimate how they will pay for college and how much they will earn in their chosen field. It then tells you how much the school will actually cost and how much the starting salary is for the profession. I thought it was a good way to remind people to check their assumptions.
I do have a problem with the advice to borrow no more than what your first year salary would be. For a starting teaching salary, it lists $51,000. This is much higher than the average loan amounts students are currently graduating with and causing great concern. Much of the information on the website just references other resources on the internet but all the links I clicked on worked.
Students can find information on state institutions on the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education website. The site doesn’t provide any sort of search function. The Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling provides a list of college fairs in the state. If you’re interested in starting off at a community college, visit PA TRAC which lists transfer agreements including some private institutions.
Some Numbers to Help You Find a College
There are 72 private four-year colleges with 500 or more full-time undergraduates and 41 public ones according to the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System. Almost 45% of college students in Pennsylvania attend private colleges where just over 55% attend public universities.
The average four-year graduation rate for private Pennsylvania colleges was 57.3% and the average five-year rate for public schools was 50.7%. A total of 55 Pennsylvania colleges meet the 50-50 DIY College Rankings Profile Requirements.
The average SAT score for college-bound seniors in Pennsylvania was 497 for Critical Reading and 504 for Math. The 75th percentile scores were 570 for Critical Reading and 580 for Math. A total 37 colleges had 75th percentile scores equal to or higher than the state in both categories.
The top 20 colleges SAT test takers in Pennsylvania applied to:
- Penn State University Park
- University of Pittsburgh
- Temple University
- West Chester University of Pennsylvania
- Drexel University
- Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania
- Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
- Millersville University of Pennsylvania
- Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Delaware
- Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
- Duquesne University
- Robert Morris University
- East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
- York College of Pennsylvania
- Villanova University
- Arcadia University
- Lehigh University
Pennsylvania Colleges Conferences and Divisions
List of Pennsylvania Colleges
In the following table, the four-year graduation rate is used for private colleges and the five-year rate for public colleges. The data are based on the data available from IPEDS in December of 2014 which are available on the DIY College Search spreadsheet.
Pennsylvania Colleges with Graduation Rates and Test Scores
(Download PDF version)
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