Online Colleges in Pennsylvania 2021

Considering online college in Pennsylvania? Find the best online schools, explore scholarship opportunities, and about tuition costs in Pennsylvania.

November 16, 2021

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Colleges in Pennsylvania 2021 is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Online Schools in PA

The best colleges in Pennsylvania cater to students looking to advance their education and career. Both in-state and out-of-state students benefit from attending online colleges in Pennsylvania. The state provides out-of-state degree-seekers with educational opportunities that may not exist where they live.

Students in Pennsylvania can pay in-state tuition at public schools if they live in the state for 12 consecutive months before enrolling. However, the state waives this requirement for select groups, including active-study service members, veterans, and U.S. Department of Defense contractors. Additionally, many online programs allow students to pay in-state tuition regardless of where they live.

Choosing a school represents one of the biggest decisions any aspiring college student can make. Some students may emphasize affordability while others may weigh program flexibility and graduation rates more heavily. Our rankings are based on a series of qualifications and metrics, all focused on quality and affordability. Scroll down to see the list of top online schools in Pennsylvania.

What to Know About Colleges in Pennsylvania?

true Q. Do online credits cost more or less in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania ranks as one of the top 10 most expensive states for college tuition. However, online students often save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur.

true Q. What is the most affordable college in Pennsylvania?

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania ties for the most affordable college in Pennsylvania with nine other postsecondary institutions.

true Q. How long do you have to live in Pennsylvania to get in-state tuition?

Prospective students must live in Pennsylvania for 12 consecutive months to qualify for in-state tuition. However, some schools allow all online students to pay in-state tuition regardless of where they live. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Explore these promoted online degree programs.

These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.

Why Choose Pennsylvania for Online Higher Education?

The best colleges in Pennsylvania feature undergraduate and graduate programs aligning with the state's key industries, such as natural gas, life sciences, and plastics. Prospective students can visit the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development website to learn more about the state's many employment opportunities.

Students can also explore different Pennsylvania careers by speaking with their college or university's career counselors. These counselors can provide learners with information on growing fields throughout the state.

Common Online Bachelor's Programs in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania online colleges offer many programs that set students up for career success. The following list outlines several common online bachelor's programs in Pennsylvania.

Cost of Attending an Online College in Pennsylvania

Students may choose to learn online for multiple reasons, such as financial benefits. Some public online colleges charge in-state tuition to all online students, regardless of residency. Online students also save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs.

The following table outlines the average tuition price for different types of Pennsylvania colleges.

Average Undergraduate Tuition in Pennsylvania
Public Four-Year College Private Four-Year College Public Two-Year College
In-State $14,812 $41,703 $5,284
Out-of-State $28,527 N/A $14,111

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Career and Salary Outlook for Students in Pennsylvania

A college degree plus professional experience prepares professionals for managerial roles. Managers in most fields oversee and train new hires, make decisions affecting their employer's long-term success, and earn more than less senior employees. The following list outlines several management-related careers.

Highest Paying Careers With a Bachelor's Degrees in Pennsylvania
Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2018-2028)
Financial Managers $153,350 16%
Sales Managers $150,210 5.1%
Marketing Managers $148,610 8.1%
Computer and Information Systems Managers $144,390 11.3%
General and Operations Managers $132,110 6.9%

Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral

Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania 2021

Seton Hill University true View School Profile Greensburg, PA Unconfirmed

A private Catholic university located in Greensburg, Seton Hill ranks among the top Pennsylvania colleges with online degrees. The liberal arts university offers fully online programs that allow learners to earn a new degree or complete a degree started at another college.

Students can earn their bachelor's degree in accounting, allied health leadership, behavioral health, or healthcare leadership. The business administration program offers concentrations in marketing, human resources, and entrepreneurial studies. Distance learners can also design their own degree with the online general studies option.

Seton Hill reports a 95% career or graduate school placement rate for its online programs. The school offers six start dates each year. Distance learners qualify for tuition discounts and scholarships. Online students can also access all campus amenities at Seton Hill, a major perk for local students considering online colleges in Pennsylvania.

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania true View School Profile Slippery Rock, PA $17617

A public university founded in 1889, SRU promotes intellectual development, civic responsibility, and leadership. The school offers online degree-completion programs that help learners finish a bachelor's degree in a flexible, convenient format.

SRU's online degree-completion programs let learners balance coursework with their career or personal responsibilities. SRU offers several undergraduate options, including accounting, healthcare administration, management, and nursing. Many of these programs encourage an interdisciplinary approach, giving students the most credit possible for their prior college experience.

SRU also offers online graduate degrees. Professionals can pursue a doctorate in education, a master's in criminal justice, or a master's in data analytics. Other online master's options include special education, English, history, and park and resource management.

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus true View School Profile University Park, PA $21678

A branch of Pennsylvania's public university system, Penn State World Campus specializes in online degrees. The World Campus branch opened in 1998 as the online campus for Penn State. Students can choose from over 150 undergraduate majors, graduate degrees, certificates, and minors.

Penn State World Campus offers degrees in business, education, engineering, healthcare, nursing, and technology. Students can also choose from geospatial programs, liberal arts majors, and energy and sustainability programs. The school offers regionally accredited online degrees that prepare graduates for career advancement or a new profession.

Penn State World Campus enrollees complete the same courses as on-campus students and receive the same degree as on-campus learners. Many of the same instructors teach online and on-campus courses. Penn State World Campus awards scholarships to support online learners.

Cairn University-Langhorne true View School Profile Langhorne, PA Unconfirmed

Originally the Philadelphia Bible Institute, today Cairn operates as a Christ-centered institute of higher education. Cairn offers a small student-to-faculty ratio and a student body of around 1,500 students. Undergraduates seeking a flexible learning option can enroll in Cairn Online to earn a bachelor's degree.

The online programs incorporate a biblical approach while preparing graduates for professional careers. Cairn offers online degrees in business majors like accounting, finance, marketing, and healthcare management. Students can also choose a criminal justice, liberal arts, or psychology major. Cairn's faith-centered majors include an associate or bachelor's degree in biblical studies, a Christian studies major, and a pastoral ministries major.

The university also offers dual-enrollment bachelor's and master's options and online graduate programs in religion, education, nonprofit leadership, and social work. Cairn Online charges a flat per-credit tuition rate with no extra fees.

DeSales University true View School Profile Center Valley, PA Unconfirmed

A Catholic university located in Lehigh Valley, DeSales encourages a positive approach to community and learning. At DeSales, about one in three students enrolls in an online program. The ACCESS program offers online and evening classes for undergrads seeking a bachelor's degree or certificate.

Designed for nontraditional learners, the ACCESS program uses an accelerated format. Fully online courses use an accelerated session (6-8 weeks) or a 15-week semester schedule. DeSales offers bachelor's degrees in high-demand areas like business administration, criminal justice, and management. Undergraduates can also choose accelerated programs in accounting, finance, or marketing.

DeSales' unique program offerings include specialized degrees in homeland security, financial planning, and pharmaceutical marketing. The school also offers a theology degree. Enrollees can complete online prerequisite courses for healthcare programs. Admission and financial aid advisors walk incoming students through the process of registering for classes and funding their degree.

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