Best Value Colleges in Pennsylvania

There is no shortage of amazing colleges in Pennsylvania, but before you apply to one, consult PayScale’s College ROI Report to find out which Pennsylvania colleges provide the best ROI to alumni.

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Rank
School Name
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Graduation Rate
% of full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students who began their studies at the given school and graduate within 6 years. Source: IPEDS
Typical Years to Graduate
# of years it takes for at least 65 percent of graduates from a given school to receive their diplomas. Source: IPEDS
Average Loan Amount
Received by full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students, multiplied to represent amount over four years. Includes all Title IV loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored student loans. Source: IPEDS
% Grant Money Received
% of full-time, first-time undergrads who received local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2012-2013 academic year. Source: IPEDS
16.9%6.9%13.0%13.0%$739,000$739,000$914,000$914,000$262,000$262,00095%4$28,60014%
1University of Pennsylvania(Private)
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI13.0%
Annual ROI13.0%
20 Year Net ROI$739,000
20 Year Net ROI$739,000
20 Year Net ROI$914,000
20 Year Net ROI$914,000
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$28,600
Grant Money Received14%
26.8%N/A10.2%N/A$705,000N/A$828,000N/A$260,000N/A90%4$32,00011%
2Carnegie Mellon University(Private)
Annual ROI6.8%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI10.2%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$705,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$828,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$260,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,000
Grant Money Received11%
36.9%6.9%11.3%11.3%$679,000$679,000$811,000$811,000$240,000$240,00089%4$37,40015%
3Lehigh University(Private)
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI11.3%
Annual ROI11.3%
20 Year Net ROI$679,000
20 Year Net ROI$679,000
20 Year Net ROI$811,000
20 Year Net ROI$811,000
Total 4 Year Cost$240,000
Total 4 Year Cost$240,000
Grad Rate89%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$37,400
Grant Money Received15%
46.2%6.2%9.7%9.7%$581,000$581,000$699,000$699,000$248,000$248,00090%4$34,40013%
4Villanova University(Private)
Annual ROI6.2%
Annual ROI6.2%
Annual ROI9.7%
Annual ROI9.7%
20 Year Net ROI$581,000
20 Year Net ROI$581,000
20 Year Net ROI$699,000
20 Year Net ROI$699,000
Total 4 Year Cost$248,000
Total 4 Year Cost$248,000
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$34,400
Grant Money Received13%
56.0%N/A9.5%N/A$566,000N/A$690,000N/A$257,000N/A88%4$32,70012%
5Bucknell University(Private)
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI9.5%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$566,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$690,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$257,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate88%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,700
Grant Money Received12%
65.9%N/A10.8%N/A$543,000N/A$693,000N/A$251,000N/A89%4$34,00010%
6Lafayette College(Private)
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI10.8%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$543,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$693,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$251,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate89%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$34,000
Grant Money Received10%
75.6%N/A12.2%N/A$501,000N/A$680,000N/A$254,000N/A94%4$23,70017%
7Swarthmore College(Private)
Annual ROI5.6%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI12.2%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$501,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$680,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$254,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$23,700
Grant Money Received17%
85.4%5.4%8.5%8.5%$497,000$497,000$613,000$613,000$267,000$267,00070%5$41,50026%
8Drexel University(Private)
Annual ROI5.4%
Annual ROI5.4%
Annual ROI8.5%
Annual ROI8.5%
20 Year Net ROI$497,000
20 Year Net ROI$497,000
20 Year Net ROI$613,000
20 Year Net ROI$613,000
Total 4 Year Cost$267,000
Total 4 Year Cost$267,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$41,500
Grant Money Received26%
97.4%7.4%9.2%9.2%$445,000$445,000$483,000$483,000$139,000$139,00086%4$38,20012%
9Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus(In-State)
Annual ROI7.4%
Annual ROI7.4%
Annual ROI9.2%
Annual ROI9.2%
20 Year Net ROI$445,000
20 Year Net ROI$445,000
20 Year Net ROI$483,000
20 Year Net ROI$483,000
Total 4 Year Cost$139,000
Total 4 Year Cost$139,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$38,200
Grant Money Received12%
104.9%4.9%11.3%11.3%$419,000$419,000$601,000$601,000$262,000$262,00090%4$24,80022%
10Haverford College(Private)
Annual ROI4.9%
Annual ROI4.9%
Annual ROI11.3%
Annual ROI11.3%
20 Year Net ROI$419,000
20 Year Net ROI$419,000
20 Year Net ROI$601,000
20 Year Net ROI$601,000
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$24,800
Grant Money Received22%
117.5%7.5%9.0%9.0%$412,000$412,000$443,000$443,000$127,000$127,00063%4$35,80030%
11Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend College(In-State)
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI9.0%
Annual ROI9.0%
20 Year Net ROI$412,000
20 Year Net ROI$412,000
20 Year Net ROI$443,000
20 Year Net ROI$443,000
Total 4 Year Cost$127,000
Total 4 Year Cost$127,000
Grad Rate63%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$35,800
Grant Money Received30%
128.2%8.2%9.6%9.6%$399,000$399,000$424,000$424,000$105,000$105,00081%4$46,7000%
12Grove City College(Private)
Annual ROI8.2%
Annual ROI8.2%
Annual ROI9.6%
Annual ROI9.6%
20 Year Net ROI$399,000
20 Year Net ROI$399,000
20 Year Net ROI$424,000
20 Year Net ROI$424,000
Total 4 Year Cost$105,000
Total 4 Year Cost$105,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$46,700
Grant Money Received0%
135.2%5.2%7.6%7.6%$394,000$394,000$475,000$475,000$223,000$223,00070%4$45,10027%
13University of the Sciences(Private)
Annual ROI5.2%
Annual ROI5.2%
Annual ROI7.6%
Annual ROI7.6%
20 Year Net ROI$394,000
20 Year Net ROI$394,000
20 Year Net ROI$475,000
20 Year Net ROI$475,000
Total 4 Year Cost$223,000
Total 4 Year Cost$223,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$45,100
Grant Money Received27%
145.7%5.7%6.9%6.9%$391,000$391,000$429,000$429,000$193,000$193,00086%4$38,20012%
14Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI5.7%
Annual ROI5.7%
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI6.9%
20 Year Net ROI$391,000
20 Year Net ROI$391,000
20 Year Net ROI$429,000
20 Year Net ROI$429,000
Total 4 Year Cost$193,000
Total 4 Year Cost$193,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$38,200
Grant Money Received12%
156.4%6.4%7.5%7.5%$382,000$382,000$413,000$413,000$157,000$157,00063%4$35,80030%
15Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend College(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.4%
Annual ROI6.4%
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI7.5%
20 Year Net ROI$382,000
20 Year Net ROI$382,000
20 Year Net ROI$413,000
20 Year Net ROI$413,000
Total 4 Year Cost$157,000
Total 4 Year Cost$157,000
Grad Rate63%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$35,800
Grant Money Received30%

* N/A indicates school does not have an on campus living option.

Students attending Pennsylvania colleges can immerse themselves in the rich cultural and historical traditions of thriving cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The Keystone State is also home to stretches of the Appalachian Trail and many other beautiful natural areas. If you’re planning on attending college in Pennsylvania, make sure you’re getting a good value using PayScale’s College ROI data.

Located just three miles from downtown Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University is made up of seven colleges and independent schools. CMU is home to one of the leading robotics research institutes in the country, and that’s a skillset that is in higher demand than ever in today’s economy. (News stories of companies like Uber poaching talent from CMU’s student pool demonstrate just how valuable.) The Carnegie Mellon School of Drama is among the most highly ranked in the U.S. too. Numerous accomplished alumni, including several astronauts, eight Academy Award winners and more than 100 Emmy award winners, are graduates of the school.

The University of Pennsylvania is also a great investment for students who can get in. Founded by Benjamin Franklin, this prestigious Ivy League school was among the nine original Colonial Colleges. Located in West Philadelphia, UPenn’s 279-acre campus is dominated by a Collegiate Gothic style. The alumni list includes Elon Musk, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Elizabeth Banks, Warren Buffet, John Legend, Dr. Oz, and Steve Wynn.


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