There are more than 61 post-secondary institutions in Pennsylvania. Of these schools, 61 offer online programs. A total of 17 are public four-year colleges or universities and six are public community or technical colleges and 38 are private colleges, universities, or career and vocational schools. These schools offer 1,040 online certificate programs, 6,373 online associate programs, 13,033 online bachelor’s programs, 5,567 online master’s programs, 6,811 online professional programs, and 1,244 online doctoral programs. Crime scene investigation, cosmetology, and physician assisting are examples of subjects offered by these programs.
The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was 8 percent as of April 2013, slightly above the national average. Pennsylvania has about 5.4 million employed workers. The three biggest industries are:
- Public administration: 4 percent
- Manufacturing: 12 percent
- Wholesale trade: 3 percent
The average wage of Pennsylvania employees is approximately equal to the average wage for employees across the U.S. Employees in Pennsylvania earn an average annual income of $43,050 while the national average annual income is $42,871. The highest paid workers in the state earn over $77,310 annually, while the lowest paid workers earn under $17,660 annually. The median annual income for employees is around $33,840.
Tuition for online college courses varies depending on factors such as the type and location of the institution as well as the program. On average, public four-year colleges and universities in Pennsylvania charge students approximately $9,812 per year. On average, tuition at public community and technical colleges was $5,134 per year. Private accredited online college tuition ranged from $10,200 to $39,350 per year.
School accreditation in Pennsylvania is determined by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). MSCHE is part of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as one of six regional institutional accrediting agencies responsible for accreditation in the U.S. Pennsylvania schools with MSCHE accreditation maintain a level of excellence that ensures quality faculty, courses, and course materials. Online universities in Pennsylvania without accreditation by the MSCHE or an equivalent accrediting body may not have the same level of excellence.
Distance Learning Resources
- E-Grants at the Pennsylvania Department of Education links you to state-sponsored grants accessible to students enrolled in college as education majors.
- Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency was created by the Department of Education to help potential college student assess their options for making college more affordable through grants, loans, and scholarships.
- UPenn Libraries links you to all the libraries and electronic catalogues in the UPenn library system, including access to digitized texts and scholarly journals.
- College Planning and Financial Aid Resources is the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s list of the best online resources for prospective students interested in planning their higher education options, including financial aid, academic readiness, and admission advice.
- Pennsylvania Job Data brings together current economic and employment related data for the state of Pennsylvania, including employment rates and growth rates of select industries.
Named in honor of Admiral Sir William Penn, father of William Penn, meaning “Penns Woodland”, Pennsylvania is located in the Northeast region of the United States. With an area of 46,054 square miles, it is the 19th smallest state in the country. The average annual temperature in the state is approximately 52°F.
The population of Pennsylvania is the 6th largest in the US. The state has 67 counties and 12,702,379 residents living in these counties. An estimated 38 percent of Pennsylvania’s population is under the age of 30. Also, it has one of the least diverse populations in the country. An estimated 21 percent of the state’s population identifies itself as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group.
The capital city of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg. However, with a population of 1,526,006 residents, Philadelphia is the state’s largest city. Of the state’s residents, an estimated 8.32 percent reside in the greater Philadelphia area. Some of the other populous cities in Pennsylvania are Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, and Reading.
Pennsylvania residents generally have a higher than average level of education as compared to those around the nation. According to the 2010 Census, a reported 25.6 percent of the state’s residents over the age of 25 have finished high school, 5.7 percent have at least an associate degree, 4.8 percent have degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher, and 1 percent hold a graduate level degree.