Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, there are 69 institutions in Pennsylvania that grant students associate degrees after two years.


    Data provided by College Board shows that the average Pennsylvania student paid approximately $5,599 in tuition and fees at in-district community colleges during the 2020-21 school year.


    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 437,899 students enrolled in two-year programs in the United States received some type of financial aid for the 2018-19 school year.

Our Research

To create a comprehensive list of the learning opportunities and job training available in Pennsylvania, we reviewed private and public community colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. When making our selections, we considered factors such as tuition and fees, the mandatory credit amounts, and coursework delivery formats (i.e., online or in-person).

We narrowed our focus down to accredited institutions, which guarantees that these programs meet high standards of education. Most of the colleges featured on our list are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), a voluntary, peer-based organization that verifies the mission, integrity, and quality of institutions in the northeast. MSCHE accreditation is also useful for professional credentials.

  • 76hours to write this article
  • 69universities and colleges we assessed
  • 90education programs we compared

The Top 50 Community Colleges in Pennsylvania

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What You Should Know About Graduating From Community College in Pennsylvania

One of the most important factors to consider when reviewing community colleges is your career potential and salary goals. In 2020, the highest paying careers for associate degree holders in Pennsylvania were air traffic controllers, radio equipment installers and repairers, radiation therapists, funeral home managers, and avionics technicians.

Associate degree holders looking for jobs in Pennsylvania should consider which fields tend to have high employment rates. The five careers with the most job openings for the next decade are preschool teachers (excluding special education), paralegals and legal assistants, physical therapist assistants, dental hygienists, and radiologic technologists.

While some jobs are expected to increase in popularity in the upcoming decade, others are projected to decline. The occupations expected to undergo the greatest decline for associate degree holders in Pennsylvania are desktop publishers, respiratory therapy technicians, human resources assistants (excluding payroll and timekeeping), mechanical drafters, and nuclear technicians.

What’s Next?

While researching community colleges, keep in mind which financial aid opportunities are available to you. To help you find funding, we’ve created a list of federal and state resources that connect associate degree students to grants, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities in Pennsylvania.

  • Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Pennsylvania Department of Education supports students looking to fund their education by providing resources regarding state loans, school grants, and policy and funding regulations.
  • Federal Student Aid. The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid offers over $120 billion in financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study opportunities, every year. Students can check their eligibility at the FAFSA4caster and apply by filling out the online FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop, sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, helps students find scholarships and grants available in their state. Users can filter their searches by degree level and easily access useful data about award amounts, qualification requirements, contact information, and application deadlines.