Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2024

Amy BoyingtonASO Rankings Team
Updated April 18, 2024
Edited by
Your Future is Waiting

Explore and compare a list of accredited schools to enroll in your next program.

Person in college

Pennsylvania has nearly 300 postsecondary schools, several of which offer online programs for in-state and out-of-state students. Attending an online school in the Keystone State can provide flexibility, whether you prefer to learn from home or live far from campus.

Explore this guide to learn the benefits of online learning in the state, uncover potential job opportunities after graduating, and discover some of the best online universities Pennsylvania offers.

Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site

2024 Best Online Universities in Pennsylvania

The school descriptions below were drafted using natural language generation technology and have been edited for clarity and accuracy.

#1 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2024

The Pennsylvania State University

  • Location-markerUniversity Park, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$15,400
  • Out-of-state$25,084
  • Retention Rate87%
  • Acceptance Rate92%
  • Students Enrolled88,914
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment54%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2024

Temple University

  • Location-markerPhiladelphia, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$16,488
  • Out-of-state$29,712
  • Retention Rate86%
  • Acceptance Rate72%
  • Students Enrolled35,626
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment68%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2024

Drexel University

  • Location-markerPhiladelphia, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$54,766
  • Out-of-state$54,766
  • Retention Rate90%
  • Acceptance Rate83%
  • Students Enrolled23,216
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment50%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2024

Elizabethtown College

  • Location-markerElizabethtown, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$34,000
  • Out-of-state$34,000
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate79%
  • Students Enrolled1,933
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment29%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2024

Thomas Jefferson University

  • Location-markerPhiladelphia, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$41,900
  • Out-of-state$41,900
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate78%
  • Students Enrolled8,270
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment66%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2024

DeSales University

  • Location-markerCenter Valley, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$39,500
  • Out-of-state$39,500
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate78%
  • Students Enrolled3,101
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment45%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2024

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

  • Location-markerClarion, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,716
  • Out-of-state$11,574
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate99%
  • Students Enrolled3,922
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment63%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2024

Immaculata University

  • Location-markerImmaculata, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$26,900
  • Out-of-state$26,900
  • Retention Rate82%
  • Acceptance Rate80%
  • Students Enrolled2,478
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment54%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2024

Misericordia University

  • Location-markerDallas, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$34,100
  • Out-of-state$34,100
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate89%
  • Students Enrolled2,239
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment51%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania of 2024

Point Park University

  • Location-markerPittsburgh, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$33,870
  • Out-of-state$33,870
  • Retention Rate73%
  • Acceptance Rate82%
  • Students Enrolled3,505
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment55%
  • AccreditationYes

Is Accreditation Important for Online Schools in Pennsylvania?

Many online universities in Pennsylvania are institutionally accredited, meaning that a third-party evaluator has endorsed the school for their adherence to academic and quality standards.

To receive federal financial aid, including grants and loans, students must attend schools with institutional accreditation. Many state funding, licensure, and certification programs also require accreditation. For example, the PA State Grant Program, which provides financial aid to eligible Pennsylvania undergraduates, requires funded colleges and universities to hold accreditation.

Schools typically list their accreditation information on their websites, but it’s a good idea to double-check the accrediting body’s website for current accreditation status using its searchable database. You can also search the Council for Higher Education Accreditation directory or the U.S. Department of Education database.

Did You Know…

Institutional accrediting bodies consider feedback from schools, students, employers, and federal and state policies to determine the best methods of evaluating student outcomes at accredited schools.

Why Consider an Online College in Pennsylvania?

  • Enrolling in an online college gives you the flexibility to balance school with work and family.
  • Many online programs in Pennsylvania run asynchronously, letting you schedule classes around your other responsibilities.
  • You can save money by not paying for campus housing or a meal plan.
  • Some online colleges in feature start dates throughout the year, allowing you to further your education on your own time.
  • Several Pennsylvania colleges and universities offer the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state online learners.

How Much Do Online Colleges in Pennsylvania Cost?

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees in Pennsylvania, 2021-2022
School TypeTuition and Fees
Public 2-Year, In-State$5,549
Public 2-Year, Out-of-State$12,657
Public 4-Year, In-State$14,920
Public 4-Year, Out-of-State$26,426
Private, 4-Year$45,406
Source: NCES

Online universities in Pennsylvania charge various tuition rates and fees, depending on factors like the type of institution, in-state and out-of-state residency, school prestige, and part-time or full-time enrollment.

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the 2021-2022 school year shows average tuition and fees in Pennsylvania between $14,940-$26,426 for public four-year schools and $5,549-$12,657 for public two-year schools. Private four-year schools charged an average of $45,406 in this period.

In addition to tuition and fees, students also must budget for textbooks, housing or commuting costs, personal expenses, and school supplies.

Learners should explore their federal financial aid options, like grants and loans, and scholarship or grant programs offered by their school. Pennsylvania also has low-cost student loans and a state grant program to help students afford their education.

Scholarships and Grants for Students in Pennsylvania

In addition to federal grants and loans, enrollees at online colleges and universities in Pennsylvania can fund their education through public and private scholarships. The following section compiles some grants and scholarships that can help Pennsylvania students cover degree costs.

Scholarships for Pennsylvania College Students

Hope Through Learning Award

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports learners who are 24 years old or younger. Applicants must reside in Allegheny County and have experienced homelessness while attending school. Applicants must be pursuing higher education for the first time.

Amount: $2,500

Beulah Frey Environmental Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania awards this scholarship to graduating high school seniors from Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Beaver, Fayette, Washington, or Westmoreland Counties. Applicants must plan to study an environment-related subject.

Amount: $2,500

Pennsylvania Engineering Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Pennsylvania high school seniors planning to attend ABET-accredited engineering schools in the state can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must also be entering their freshman year of college in the fall.

Amount: $1,000

Allegheny Mountain Section of the Air & Waste Management Association Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Undergraduate students pursuing careers in environment-related fields and attending eligible schools can apply for this award. Each applicant must submit a one-page essay discussing their interest in an environmental field.

Amount: Varies

Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: Learners with a minimum 3.25 GPA and whose family’s annual income does not exceed $126,000 can apply for this grant from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Amount: Up to $2,500 for full-time students and $1,250 for part-time students

Grants for Pennsylvania College Students

Pennsylvania National Guard Military Family Education Program

Who Can Apply: This grant supports spouses and children of Pennsylvania National Guard members who have entered into an additional six-year service commitment. Applicants must be studying at approved Pennsylvania institutions.

Amount: Up to full tuition plus technology fee

Children of POW/MIA Soldiers

Who Can Apply: Each applicant must be the child of a soldier designated as MIA or POW who served on active duty after January 31, 1955. The applicant’s parent must not have deserted, defected, or been dishonorably discharged and must have been a Pennsylvania resident for at least 12 months before serving on active duty.

Amount: Up to $1,200

Pennsylvania National Guard Education Assistance Program

Who Can Apply: Applicants must be Pennsylvania National Guard members enrolled in degree-granting or certificate-granting programs at approved Pennsylvania institutions.

Amount: Up to full tuition plus technology fee

Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program

Who Can Apply: This grant supports U.S. citizens and qualifying noncitizens who are Pennsylvania residents, hold high school diplomas, and are enrolled in programs targeting high-demand industries like energy and agriculture. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.

Amount: Up to $6,000

PA State Grant Program

Who Can Apply: High school graduates who are Pennsylvania residents of good character can apply for this grant. Each applicant must be studying at least part time at an approved school.

Amount: Varies based on financial need and Federal Pell Grant eligibility

Which Pennsylvania Cities Have Popular Online Colleges?

Several cities in Pennsylvania are home to online colleges, including State College and Scranton. However, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and their surrounding areas host the largest number of postsecondary institutions in the state, many of which have online programs.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is well-known for its place in American history as the home of several historical sites, like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. It’s also a bustling city for profitable industries, including financial services and advanced manufacturing.

Philadelphia has more than 20 colleges, universities, and campuses, with many offering online degrees, like the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University. Students in Philadelphia or its surrounding areas can apply for scholarships from the Philadelphia Foundation.


In addition to housing passionate fans of its sports teams, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is highlighted on WalletHub’s list of the best cities to find a job, ranking eighth in 2024. Robotics and artificial intelligence, education, and health sciences are just a few of Pittsburgh’s top industries. With half of the United States population living within 500 miles of Pittsburgh, the city creates a welcoming landscape for business and employment.

The Steel City is also home to 20 colleges and universities, including the University of Pittsburgh and the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, both of which have online degree options.

Popular Online Colleges in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh
Carlow UniversityPittsburghMSCHEPrivate, 4-year
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghMSCHEPrivate, 4-year
Chatham UniversityPittsburghMSCHEPrivate, 4-year
Drexel UniversityPhiladelphiaMSCHEPrivate, 4-year
Duquesne UniversityPittsburghMSCHEPrivate, 4-year
La Salle UniversityPhiladelphiaMSCHEPrivate, 4-year
Peirce CollegePhiladelphiaMSCHEPrivate, 4-year
Point Park UniversityPittsburghMSCHEPrivate, 4-year
Saint Joseph’s UniversityPhiladelphiaMSCHEPrivate, 4-year
Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaMSCHEPublic, 4-year
Thomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaMSCHEPrivate, 4-year
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaMSCHEPrivate, 4-year
University of PittsburghPittsburghMSCHEPublic, 4-year

What Jobs Are Available in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania provides a welcoming landscape for diverse career options with attractive salary potential. For example, medical and health services managers, nurse practitioners, and information security analysts each offer a median average salary of over $110,000 in Pennsylvania and have a projected growth rate of 33% from 2020-2030.

Attending an online school in Pennsylvania could lead you to one of the state’s flourishing careers.

10 Growing Jobs in Pennsylvania
JobMean Annual Salary (May 2023)Job Growth Rate (2020-2030)Minimum Education Required
Medical and Health Services Managers$125,86033%Bachelor’s
Nurse Practitioners$127,45033%Master’s
Information Security Analysts$100,37033%Bachelor’s
Data Scientists$102,37021%Bachelor’s
Wind Turbine Service Technicians$77,09045%Certificate
Physical Therapist Assistants$59,64035%Associate
Forensic Science Technicians$58,78018%Certificate
Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors$46,99040%Certificate
Restaurant Cooks$32,56049%High school diploma
Sources: BLS,Projections Central

Resources for Pennsylvania Online College Students

Pursuing a college degree requires a significant investment of time and finances. Prospective learners should carefully research options to make the best choice for their needs, families, and futures. The following resources provide information about online schools and colleges in Pennsylvania, including details on transfer credits, financial aid, and transitioning into the workforce.

More Questions About Online Universities in Pennsylvania

How much is an online college in Pennsylvania?

According to NCES data for the 2022-2022 academic year, the average tuition in Pennsylvania ranges from $5,549-$45,406 per year. Tuition can vary greatly between schools, depending on the school’s public vs. private status, its reputation, and policies on student residency.

Are degrees from online universities in Pennsylvania respected?

Yes. Pennsylvania has several reputable colleges offering online degrees, like University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon University. Online degrees from these universities come with the same level of academic quality you’d receive from an on-campus program.

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

Generally, students must live in Pennsylvania for at least 12 months to qualify for in-state tuition. However, some online universities in Pennsylvania offer special online tuition rates, allowing all online students to pay the same tuition rate regardless of their residency.

Is it easy to get into an online school in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s online schools have similar expectations for on-campus students in the state, along with other jurisdictions. Applicants must generally meet all of a school’s eligibility requirements, such as a minimum GPA and proficiency in core academic subjects like English and math.

How many Pennsylvania universities have online programs?

More than 300 colleges, universities, and technical schools are located in Pennsylvania, and many offer at least some courses or programs online. Some of the state’s most prominent universities, like Carnegie Mellon University, Temple University, and the University of Pittsburgh, have online programs.

Next Steps

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.