Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania

Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania

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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

Q. 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.

Q. 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.

Q. 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.

Q. 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.

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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.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship Fund

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.
Amount: Varies

Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program

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

Last Dollar Scholarship

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.
Amount: $200-$7,500

All Around Scholarship

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.
Amount: Varies

Education Matters Scholarship

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.
Amount: $5,000

Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania

  1. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

    University Park, PA



    Located in University Park, Pennsylvania, Penn State World Campus launched in 1998 to provide a virtual learning environment in higher education. Penn State World Campus now offers 150 online bachelor's degree programs.

    Penn State World Campus' online programs consist of degrees in liberal arts and technical specializations. These include accounting, business, digital journalism and media, economics, finance, information sciences and technology, law and society, marketing, nursing, psychology, and software engineering. Penn State World Campus' students receive excellent support from the university's student services team.

    Penn State World Campus does not limit the number of credits prospective undergraduate students may transfer. Applicants must fill out an online application form and submit their official high school transcripts as part of their self-reported academic records. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  2. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

    Slippery Rock, PA



    A public state school based in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, SRU offers online bachelor's degree completion programs for working adults aiming to finish their studies without altering their day-to-day lives.

    SRU offers online degree completion programs in the areas of accounting, healthcare administration and management, management, leadership studies, nursing, philanthropy and nonprofit management, and liberal arts. These completion programs provide 100% online course delivery with the same high-quality education as on-campus classes.

    For transfer students, SRU's transfer counselors evaluate learners' prior course credits. To apply for admission, applicants must complete a first-year admission application, pay a $30 application fee, and submit their official high school transcripts. SRU does not require applicants to submit SAT scores.

    Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  3. Seton Hall University

    Greensburg, PA

    A coeducational liberal arts university in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Seton Hall offers online adult degree programs to provide working professionals with a pathway to earn their degrees.

    Seton Hall offers online specialized degree and certificate programs in accounting, allied health leadership, behavioral health, business administration, criminal justice, healthcare administration, pastoral ministry, RN-to-BSN, and general studies. The university's online adult degree programs also feature accelerated online courses, tuition discounts and financial aid, and an excellent 95% career and graduate school placement rate.

    Seton Hall integrates a rolling admissions policy, permitting prospective students to apply anytime. The university allows students to transfer up to 90 credits from previously attended institutions. Applicants must complete an online application form and submit all official high school or college transcripts. Seton Hall University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  4. Geneva College

    Beaver Falls, PA

    A Christ-centered academic community in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, Geneva offers online bachelor's degrees in an accelerated format for working adults.

    Geneva offers online majors in aging services, child and family services, criminal justice, human resources, management, and organizational leadership, along with an online associate degree in general studies. Geneva offers competitive tuition rates and flexible, fully online course delivery. Geneva also integrates small class sizes to provide students with direct access to their instructors and professors.

    Online bachelor's students at Geneva can transfer up to 84 credits. Interested applicants must fill out a free online application and submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Geneva requires a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Geneva College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  5. Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

    Lancaster, PA

    A premier health sciences college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, PA College offers online bachelor's nursing tracks focused on preparing nurses for professional excellence.

    PA College offers multiple online nursing degree paths, including an accelerated bachelor's in nursing for registered nurses; a three-year, concept-based bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program; and a four-year, concept-based BSN program.

    PA College combines online classroom work with immersive experiences in simulation, clinical, and service-learning. The school's partnership with the Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health provides students with unlimited clinical access.

    Interested applicants must submit a high school transcript or official GED transcript, along with their SAT or ACT scores. PA College also considers additional factors such as class rank, academic performance in secondary- and college-level math and science courses, and healthcare-related service.

    Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

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