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10 Best Small Colleges in Pennsylvania

10 Best Small Colleges in Pennsylvania
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2. Chatham University

Chatham University is an American university that has coeducational academic programs through the doctoral level. Its main campus is located in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private institution founded in 1869. It has a total enrollment of 2,224. The setting for Chatham is urban.

The school offers 40 undergraduate degree programs, and the students can also design their own major or minor. Chatham offers the Integrated Degree Program where students can earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 5 years.

There is much to do outside the classroom at Chatham University. There are some different organizations that students can choose from –  Public Service, the student newspaper, Activities Fair, Cheerleading team, University Dance Team, Creative Writing Club, Girl Up, Ukulele Club, just to name a few. The Chatham athletics teams, the Cougars, compete in NCAA Division III in the President’s Athletic Conference, and there is an active intramural sports program as well.

By Daderot (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Daderot (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
 Students also have the opportunity to go and participate in activities that are occurring off campus in downtown Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is home to excellent shopping and museums. Students may also choose to visit the theater or any one of the number of parks which exist for recreation or just to sit and chill.

The student to faculty ratio is 10:1 and there are over 500 courses of study at Chatham. The programs are offered on three campus sites – Shadyside campus, Chatham Eastside campus, and the Eden Hall Campus. The tuition and fees are $35,475., with room and board costs at $11,042. Eighty-one percent of full-time undergraduates receive some need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship awarded is $6,942. The Acceptance Rate is 55%. The average student debt upon graduation is $23,500. The average starting salary upon graduation is $35,000.


1. Susquehanna University

By Pubdog (talk) - Own work (Original text: I (Pubdog (talk)) created this work entirely by myself.), Public Domain, Link
By Pubdog (talk) – Own work (Original text: I (Pubdog (talk)) created this work entirely by myself.), Public Domain, Link

Susquehanna University is a four year co-educational private liberal arts University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Susquehanna is ranked #132 in the “National Liberal Arts Colleges”. The enrollment of the Susquehanna is 2,196. The college, which was founded in 1858, is nestled in a lovely rural setting.

The goal of Susquehanna University is to insure that all graduates, no matter what the major or career plans, will attain a broad-based academic foundation and will be ready to compete in the 21st-century job market place. The student to faculty ratio is 12:1 and 57% of its classes have fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors are Business/Commerce, Psychology, Creative Writing, and Biology/Biological Sciences.

What to do on campus? Well, you could join a club or organization where you will find people who share a common interest. There are 146 clubs, eight sports clubs and 23 NCAA Division III athletic teams, the River Hawks, that play in the Landmark Conference. There is also the Trax which is an on- campus, student-run entertainment venue. The Clyde H. Jacobs Fitness Center is on campus and available to the students, along with other venues, including the James W. Garrett Sports Complex and the Vialonga Sports Performance Center. Why there’s something happening on campus every night!! If you’re looking for adventure off campus, try kayaking at the local water sites!  Peace and beauty simultaneously.

Seventy-seven percent of full-time undergraduate students receive some need-based financial aid, and the average need-based scholarship or grant is $28,023. The tuition and fees are $43,720. With room and board at $11,620. The acceptance rate is 76%. The average student debt upon graduation is $26,412. The average starting salary upon graduation is $40,000.

Several factors played into America Unraveled’s choice of Susquehanna University as our top school among the small colleges in Pennsylvania.  The university has a high acceptance rate with a lower loan debt at graduation. The net cost was higher than some schools, but so was the average salary upon graduation. The combination of these facts with the beautiful campus and the excellent student life at Susquehanna University puts the school in the #1 position!


Look No Further Than Pennsylvania!

If you are looking to attend an exceptional small Liberal Arts and Sciences college, look no further than the state of Pennsylvania. The above-listed schools all have excellent credentials and exceptional faculties. You have urban campuses and small town campuses and suburban campuses to chose from. All the colleges offer a wide variety of student life both on and off their campuses. It seems to me that anyone of these ten schools would be an excellent choice as you begin your academic career.


Featured Image By Pubdog (talk) – Own work (Original text: I (Pubdog (talk)) created this work entirely by myself.), Public Domain, Link

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Jamie Stewart America Unraveled's resident expert on all things higher ed!

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