Pennsylvania is home to many state funded colleges. State-owned schools belong to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. State-funded, independent schools belong to the Commonwealth System of Higher Education. You do not have to be a Pennsylvania resident to attend one of these schools.

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

Fourteen state-owned schools belong to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Each of these schools belongs to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, which gives them all NCAA Division II status. PASSHE schools are publicly owned and governed.

As of 2011, 90 percent of students enrolled in PASSHE schools are Pennsylvania residents. Enrollment is at a record high of 120,000 students. More than one quarter of new enrollees are transfer students.

The members of PASSHE are: Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, California University of Pennsylvania, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Clarion University of Pennsylvania. East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, and West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

Commonwealth System of Higher Education

The members of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education are referred to as “state-related schools”. State-related schools are considered public because they receive public funds; however, they retain independent control. Tuition is usually higher than in the PASSHE schools. Pennsylvania's Open Records law does not apply to Commonwealth schools. Such schools include: Lincoln University, Pennsylvania State University, Temple University and University of Pittsburgh.

Lincoln University

Lincoln University was renamed after President Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln University was renamed after President Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln University was originally chartered in 1854 by John Miller Dickey as Ashmun Institute. The school was America’s first historical black college or university and is proud to be referred to as an interracial university. Its alumni include many famous leaders, doctors, lawyers, scientists and statesmen. The campus is located on Baltimore Pike in southern Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania State University

Penn State campuses are located in a variety of locations.
Penn State campuses are located in a variety of locations.

Penn State has consistently been ranked high by many college-reviewing agencies. In U.S. News & World Report America's Best Colleges 2011 rating of “Top 50 Public National Universities," Penn State tied for 15th place nationally. Several of Penn State’s science programs have ranked in the top 20 by the National Science Foundation. Penn State has multiple campuses, located inAbington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Erie, Fayette, Greater Alleghany, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scranton and York.

Temple University

Temple College was founded in 1884 and renamed Temple University in 1907. Temple University has nine campuses including: Ambler, Fort Washington, Harrisburg, Center City Philadelphia and abroad. It refers to itself as an urban school with a focus on academic research.

University of Pittsburgh

At the Univeristy of Pittsburgh, the city is considered part of its campus.
At the Univeristy of Pittsburgh, the city is considered part of its campus.

The University of Pittsburgh was founded in 1797. It started in a log cabin originally known as the Pittsburgh Academy and has grown to a 132-acre campus. Its undergraduate programs have a student-faculty ratio of 16-to-1. The graduate school boasts 200 degree programs. The school is known as a leader in scientific research.