According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), professionals with a bachelor's degree earn a median weekly salary more than $1,000 higher than workers with only a high school diploma. This increased earning potential can help college-educated individuals achieve a higher quality of life and plan for their financial future. Both recent high school graduates and working professionals can pursue bachelor's degrees through online colleges.
Students considering one of the online colleges in Pennsylvania can research the state's highest-paying professions to help them select a major. For example, the BLS reports that managers in Pennsylvania earn a salary of $125,270 per year. These professionals typically need at least an undergraduate degree.
Colleges and universities typically list the same admission requirements for on-campus and online programs. Applicants must usually submit high school transcripts or GED scores, and international applicants who learned English as a second language must generally provide TOEFL scores. Most Pennsylvania online colleges also require learners to meet technology requirements, such as a high-speed internet connection.
FAQ on Online Colleges in Pennsylvania
How long do you have to live in Pennsylvania to get in-state tuition?
Most Pennsylvania online colleges and universities grant in-state tuition rates to incoming students with at least 12 months of continuous residency in the state. Veterans and military members may have different requirements.
How much does it cost to get an online degree?
The cost of attending online colleges varies based on factors such as the student's residency status. Private colleges and universities typically charge higher tuition rates than public schools.
Can you go to college in Pennsylvania for free?
Many Pennsylvania online colleges provide grants to students who need additional assistance after receiving federal and state aid. Not all schools participate in this program.
How many colleges and universities are in Pennsylvania?
More than 150 accredited colleges and universities award degrees in Pennsylvania. Dozens of other trade and technical schools provide career-focused programs.
What Are the Goals of an Online Degree?
Many online colleges and universities offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. Accredited online programs deliver the same academic experience as their on-campus counterparts. Distance programs often deliver coursework asynchronously, creating scheduling flexibility for learners. Students in asynchronous courses do not meet at set times, allowing them to complete assignments at their convenience.
Learners attending online colleges in Pennsylvania can pursue bachelor's and master's degrees in fields such as animal welfare and behavior, nonprofit leadership, and applied arts and sciences. Distance learners typically graduate in approximately the same amount of time as students earning the equivalent on-campus degree.
Why Get an Online Degree?
Students often choose online colleges in Pennsylvania for multiple reasons, such as cost savings, scheduling flexibility, and the potential for career advancement. Learners can achieve these and other benefits by selecting an accredited school and earning excellent grades.
Some online colleges charge students the same tuition rates that on-campus learners pay. However distance learners often pay reduced tuition rates and save on costs such as meal plans and on-campus housing.
The ability to work while earning a degree can help students avoid debt. Working professionals can also immediately apply knowledge and skills from their coursework.
Online degree-seekers need to manage their time and become familiar with the latest software. These transferable skills can make graduates attractive job candidates.
Earning a bachelor's or master's degree can qualify individuals for advanced positions. These high-level roles often include greater responsibilities, such as managing other employees.
According to the BLS, bachelor's degree-holders earn a median weekly salary about $1,060 higher than that of workers with a high school diploma. Professionals with a master's or doctoral degree earn even higher median salaries.
What Are the Requirements for an Online School?
High school graduates without college experience must typically submit official high school transcripts. Some online colleges in Pennsylvania recommend that applicants provide standardized test scores, recommendation letters, or a personal essay. Specialized programs, such as an RN-to-BSN program, often feature additional admission requirements, such as a minimum undergraduate GPA and a background check.
Undergraduate students typically remain in good academic standing by passing all courses and maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA. Other graduation requirements may include a senior seminar or capstone course, during which degree-seekers synthesize their knowledge and skills through an essay or project. Graduates often use this final project to impress potential employers.
Scholarships for Online Students
Although students attending online colleges often save money compared to on-campus learners, degree-seekers can further reduce out-of-pocket expenses by earning scholarships. The following list features awards for Pennsylvania residents and online learners. These scholarships accept applications annually, and some renew as long as recipients remain in good academic standing.
Who Can Apply: The Pennsylvania House of Representatives awards this competitive scholarship to in-state high school seniors with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants submit official transcripts, a school counselor form, three recommendation letters, and an essay. The scholarship automatically renews each year as long as recipients earn grades of B or higher in all undergraduate courses.
Who Can Apply: This program supports Pennsylvania undergraduate students majoring in agriculture, diversified manufacturing, health, and energy. Applicants must provide FAFSA results and academic transcripts. Learners apply by May 1, and some students receive a living stipend in addition to the scholarship. Candidates must be attending an approved school.
Amount: Up to 75% of tuition costs
Who Can Apply: Philadelphia high school students who participate in Philadelphia Education Fund's College Access Program can qualify for this scholarship. Applicants must have exhausted other federal and state financial aid opportunities. Academic requirements include a minimum 2.0 high school GPA. The scholarship renews annually for up to six years as long as recipients pass all courses. The application window opens each year on April 1.
Who Can Apply: African American high school seniors and undergraduate students can apply for this award from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and must provide an essay and one reference. The scholarship committee also considers financial need. Interested students should apply by March 8. This scholarship does not renew.
Who Can Apply: Unigo offers this scholarship to college and high school students who are 14 and older. Applicants submit a 250-word essay detailing the importance of college and the positive impact of higher education on individuals' lives. Unigo uses a November 30 application deadline, and high school students do not receive the scholarship funds until they enroll in an accredited college or university.
Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State University World Campus
|Location||University Park, Pennsylvania|
Pennsylvania State University World Campus, located in University Park, guarantees flexibility through its online programs.
The institution supports 67 remote bachelor's degrees and 52 remote master's degrees. Students attend remote lectures and learn alongside peers through a virtual classroom setting. Distance learners complete general education and advanced coursework, satisfy curriculum requirements, and pursue experiential learning opportunities relevant to their field. Enrollees can receive guidance throughout their studies by connecting with academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources.
Interested applicants should meet with the admissions office to learn more about program requirements. To defray the costs of education, degree-seekers can speak with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities. The percentage of admitted students who receive financial aid is unknown.
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
|Location||Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania|
|Percent Online Enrollment||
People seeking a flexible online education should consider Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Students near and far can join SRU's growing online community of 2,937 distance learners, across 21 remote programs.
Enrollees study alongside fellow classmates in a virtual learning environment, where they connect with faculty and staff. Through coursework and hands-on experiences, participants gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their industry of choice. Learners can receive guidance throughout their studies by connecting with academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources.
Before applying, prospective applicants should schedule an appointment with the admissions office to discuss application materials and degree requirements. Eligible students can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial assistance. Out of all enrollees, 92% are awarded aid.
Seton Hill University
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Seton Hill University provides flexible online study options for students from all walks of life. The private institution supports six online programs from its main campus in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, attracting 725 distance learners across the globe.
A leader in online education, the institution boasts online bachelor's and master's programs. Participants attend lectures and complete coursework through a virtual classroom environment, alongside classmates and faculty. Distance learners gain knowledge in and outside of the classroom, through coursework, research projects, and internships. The college can connect degree-seekers with academic advising, career services, and other learning resources.
Prospective enrollees can meet with the admissions office to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other information. Students can connect with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities to make their education more affordable. Of all learners, 100% benefit from financial assistance.
|Location||Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania|
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Geneva College provides flexible online study options for people from all walks of life. Distance learners can connect with 202 online students across ten online programs.
Degree-seekers benefit from a supportive online learning community, where they connect with peers and faculty through a virtual classroom setting. Enrollees complete foundational and advanced courses relevant to their field of interest, and can pursue experiential learning opportunities, like internships, to deepen their knowledge. Students also receive guidance from academic advising, career services, and other resources.
Prospective applicants can discuss admission requirements and degree eligibility with the admissions office. Eligible enrollees can apply scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid toward their learning expenses. About 95% of all incoming learners are awarded financial aid.
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences is a wise choice for students seeking flexible online study. Distance learners can choose from 12 online programs and join its 1,137-person virtual community.
Enrollees benefit from a supportive online learning community, and connect with peers, faculty, and staff through a virtual classroom setting. Participants benefit from well-rounded curricula, completing foundational and advanced classes, and pursue experiential learning opportunities such as internships. While enrolled, students can benefit from academic advising, career services, and other learning resources.
Prospective applicants can connect with the admissions office, or speak with their program of choice directly, to learn more about the application process. To defray the costs of education, learners can speak with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities. Around 89% of all incoming enrollees receive some form of financial assistance.
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