Colleges in Philadelphia: All 32 Schools

Explore public and private colleges in Philadelphia, including admission requirements, average tuition rates, and scholarship resources.
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Updated on October 23, 2023
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Life, liberty, and colleges. Philadelphia has a rich history and a robust list of four-year private and public colleges. In the City of Brotherly Love, you'll find 32 schools, including the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Drexel College.

Many of the top colleges in Philadelphia are among the best colleges in the state of Pennsylvania. These schools offer plenty of student resources and deliver affordable, convenient, and diverse learning opportunities. Read on to learn about the many colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area.

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5 Popular Colleges in the Philadelphia Area

What makes these the most popular colleges in Philadelphia? Discover more about the top five colleges in the city, which have the highest enrollment rates.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania has been a landmark in Philadelphia since 1740. This Ivy League school is one of the most selective colleges in the city. Roughly 54,588 applicants applied to Penn in the fall of 2022, and the college only accepted 7% of applicants.

Penn boasts a student body of 28,201. Four schools at Penn offer some 100 majors and 14 graduate programs. You can expect to pay an average annual net price of $26,123 at Penn.

Temple University

Founded in 1884 as a night school, Temple University offers 17 schools and colleges, educating roughly 40,000 students across its 600 different programs. You can study on campus in Philadelphia, online, and at international campuses in Tokyo and Rome.

Temple, which holds an R1 Carnegie classification, has an acceptance rate of 80%. In the 2022-23 school year, in-state students at Temple paid an average of $21,135, while out-of-state learners paid an average of $35,608 in tuition and fees.

Drexel University

The 1891-founded Drexel University delivers a private education at its three campuses in Philadelphia. As an R1 research institute, Drexel has research partnerships in India and China.

Since 1919, Drexel has offered a cooperative education program that gives you up to 19 months of work experience. Education at Drexel remains accessible since the school maintains an acceptance rate of 80%. At Drexel, you can expect to pay an annual net price of $39,267.

Villanova University

Established in 1842, Villanova University's six schools offer more than 60 bachelor's programs, 40 master's programs, and 14 doctoral programs. The curriculum is grounded in Augustinian Catholic values.

Villanova's 260-acre campus is located 12 miles outside of Philadelphia but conveniently has three on-campus train stations. The population of about 10,400 undergraduate and graduate students can choose from more than 300 student organizations to join. Villanova charges an annual net price of $34,837.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

West Chester University of Pennsylvania began in 1871 to train teachers. This public university now has six colleges with 118 undergraduate programs, 90 graduate programs, and four doctoral degrees. WCU's top programs include social work, nursing, public administration, and business administration.

This accessible college has an acceptance rate of 88%, and has more than 17,000 students enrolled in courses. At WCU, in-state students paid an average net price of $10,575, and non-resident learners paid an average of $22,399 in the 2022-23 school year.

List of All Philly Colleges

We've created a complete list of all four-year nonprofit colleges in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. You can use the table below to compare data on student population and the average net cost.

The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). All data is from 2022. Note that colleges with a total undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 500 were not considered for this list.

All 32 Colleges in Philadelphia
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate
Arcadia University 3,026 $29,692 78%
Bryn Mawr College 1,742 $39,072 31%
Cabrini University 1,613 $21,981 79%
Cairn University-Langhorne 1,031 $25,923 81%
Chestnut Hill College 1,420 $25,357 98%
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania 697 $11,588 100%
Delaware Valley University 2,178 $29,256 95%
DeSales University 2,991 $29,104 77%
Drexel University 22,344 $39,267 80%
Eastern University 5,769 $26,669 63%
Gwynedd Mercy University 2,091 $28,122 58%
Haverford College 1,421 $23,476 14%
Holy Family University 2,912 $12,379 77%
Immaculata University 2,361 $29,188 70%
La Salle University 4,049 $17,552 94%
Lincoln University 1,824 $15,502 81%
Neumann University 2,155 $28,707 85%
Peirce College 856 $9,621 100%
Penn State Abington 3,090 $20,460 93%
Penn State Brandywine 1,196 $21,600 96%
Penn State Lehigh Valley 888 $18,142 94%
Saint Joseph's University 7,861 $33,777 89%
Swarthmore College 1,625 $20,715 7%
Temple University 33,196 $23,935 80%
The University of the Arts 1,313 $42,467 80%
Thomas Jefferson University 8,286 $28,110 89%
University of Pennsylvania 28,201 $26,123 7%
University of Valley Forge 583 $25,825 82%
Ursinus College 1,527 $33,546 82%
Villanova University 10,383 $34,837 23%
West Chester University of Pennsylvania 17,275 $22,973 88%
Widener University 5,416 $32,185 88%
Source: NCES

How Much Is College in Philadelphia?

Attending a public university in Pennsylvania costs about the same as the national average college tuition. Nationally public four-year colleges in the 2020-2021 school year charged a total of $21,337 for tuition and fees and room and board, according to NCES.

The average annual net price of a public four-year education in Philadelphia costs an average of $20,435, compared to $27,789 at a private four-year institution.

Cost of College in Philadelphia (2022)
Institution Type Average Annual Net Price
Public (4-Year) $20,435
Private (4-Year) $27,789
Source: NCES

Scholarships for Philadelphia Students

Want to find scholarships for college? If you need additional aid to pay for your college education, check out the Philadelphia Foundation fund, a 100-year-old community foundation that awards 200 scholarships annually. You'll only need to complete one application to be considered for multiple scholarships.

Also, check out our student guide to college scholarships and grants.

Feinstein Fund for Philadelphia Scholars

High school seniors pursuing any college major can apply for the Feinstein Fund for Philadelphia Scholars award. You can receive $10,000 — $2,500 per year for your entire four-year education.

To apply, you need to submit proof of financial need, residency in Philadelphia, and transcripts showing a minimum 3.25 GPA.

Elizabeth J. Harrison Scholarship

High school seniors and undergraduate college students enrolled at accredited institutions can get their tuition covered if they receive the Elizabeth J. Harrison Scholarship.

Only Philadelphia residents who submit proof of financial need can apply. Also, you'll need to submit a financial aid award letter, a copy of your FAFSA, and college transcripts.

GSK Opportunity Scholarship

You can get four renewable scholarships for up to $5,000 each year if you win the GSK Opportunity Scholarship. The award goes to high school seniors and undergraduate and graduate students who show financial need.

You must submit your college transcripts, financial aid award letter and FAFSA report to apply.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Colleges in Philadelphia

What is the cheapest college in Philadelphia?

With an annual net price of $11,588, the small public Cheyney University of Pennsylvania ranks as the cheapest college in Philadelphia among public schools. Lincoln University, another public university which boasts a total enrollment of 1,824, also offers affordable tuition, with students paying an annual net price of $15,502.

As for private colleges, Pierce College ranks as the cheapest in Philadelphia, with an annual net price of $9,621. Holy Family University, a larger private college, charges an annual net price of $12,379.

How many colleges are in Philadelphia?

You'll find 32 nonprofit four-year public and private colleges and universities in Philadelphia offering undergraduate and graduate programs. There are also many two-year community colleges in Philadelphia, not included in this guide, that offer associate degrees and certificates.

What is the biggest college in Philadelphia?

In terms of enrollment, Temple University is the largest public college in Philadelphia. The school educates about 33,196 students. And the largest private college, with a total enrollment of 28,201 students, is the University of Pennsylvania. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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