Why This Matters

  • 69 INSTITUTIONS OFFER TWO-YEAR ASSOCIATE DEGREE PROGRAMS IN PENNSYLVANIA

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

  • $5,793 AVERAGE IN-DISTRICT TUITION & FEES

    Data provided by College Board shows that the average Pennsylvania student paid approximately $5,793 in tuition and fees at in-district community colleges during the 2022-23 school year.

  • 80.6% OF ENROLLED STUDENTS RELY ON FINANCIAL AID

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 452,493 students enrolled in two-year programs in the United States received some type of financial aid for the 2019-20 school year.

Our Research

This list features some of the best community colleges in Pennsylvania. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included small, midsize, and large colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.The colleges on our list are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Accreditation (MSCHE), a reputable organization that examines objectives, quality and overall effectiveness of education programs in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 24 Community Colleges in Pennsylvania

Best Community Colleges In Pennsylvania Badge 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Bucks County Community College
01
Best Culinary Arts Program
Montgomery County Community College
01
Best for Lifelong Learning
Butler County Community College
01
Best for Athletics
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
01
Best ESL Program
Lehigh Carbon Community College
01
Best for Financial Aid
Community College of Beaver County
01
Most Affordable
Community College of Allegheny County
01
Best Bachelor’s Programs
Delaware County Community College
01
Best Resources for Businesses
Luzerne County Community College
01
Best Private Institution
Manor College
01

Community College of Philadelphia
01

Northampton Community College
01

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
01

Westmoreland County Community College
01

Harcum College
01

Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg
01

Reading Area Community College
01

Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology
01

Lancaster County Career & Technology Center
01

Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center
01

Wilkes-Barre Area Career & Technical Center at Practical Nursing
01

Fayette County Career & Technical Institute at Practical Nursing Program
01

Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center
01

Johnson College

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 2021, the highest paying careers for associate degree holders in Pennsylvania were air traffic controllers, nuclear technicians, funeral home managers, radiation therapists, and aerospace engineering 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, radiologic technologists, and computer network support specialists.

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, nuclear technicians, mechanical drafters, and human resources assistants (excluding payroll and timekeeping).

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.