Pennsylvania Schools for Commuters

  • York College of Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Geneva College
  • California University of Pennsylvania
  • West Chester University

Most of the 174 Pennsylvania colleges within the Commonwealth will accept commuters who wish to reside off-campus with their parents or roommates, but several schools go above and beyond to welcome them. Commuter schools let undergrads skip the experience of living in shared dorm rooms that only average 114 square feet. Commuting to college allows Pennsylvanians to avoid campus distractions, get home-cooked meals, and maintain their family obligations. Saving money is another big motivator since commuters won't be charged the mean room and board price of $10,440 each year. Maximize your college experience by considering these higher learning schools that cater to commuters in Pennsylvania.

1. York College of Pennsylvania

Opened in 1787, York College of Pennsylvania is a private, nonsectarian institution endowed for $87.68 million to educate 5,564 Spartans in Spring Garden Township. York caters to commuters living within 35 miles of campus with hangouts in Spart's Den, spacious parking in the Penn/Beard Lot, and events through Commuting Club. Commuters join three MSCHE-accredited schools for 50+ majors, including Nursing, English, Accounting, and Aviation. According to the U.S. News, York College is the North's 91st top university and 52nd most veteran-friendly school.

2. Pennsylvania College of Technology

Led by President Dr. Davie Gilmour, the Pennsylvania College of Technology is a public, polytechnic institute accredited by the MSCHE to educate 5,514 undergrads in Williamsport and off-site in Mountoursville. The nearly three-fourths of students who commute are given services in the Commuter Lounge outside Wildcat Express and convenient lockers. Commuters pick from 100+ Penn Tech programs, such as Construction Management, Dental Hygiene, Hospitality, and Forestry. The U.S. News ranked the Pennsylvania College of Technology as the North's 13th best regional school.

3. Geneva College

Affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Geneva College is a private, Christian liberal arts institution endowed for $28.6 million that's serving 1,791 Golden Tornadoes on 55 acres in the Pittsburgh suburb of Beaver Falls. Geneva confers 30 bachelor's majors like Public Relations, Biblical Studies, Biopsychology, Music Education, and Physics. Commuter services include lockers outside Skye Lounge, Flex Points dining at Riverview Café, and Fitness Center access. The U.S. News ranked Geneva College as the North's 80th best school and third top value.

4. California University of Pennsylvania

Sitting atop 92 acres in Washington County, California University of Pennsylvania is a public, co-educational PASSHE member directed by Chancellor Frank T. Brogan to serve 9,400 Vulcans. Non-traditional students benefit from Commuter Break Pods in Keystone Hall, snacks in the Energy Zone, and assistance from the Commuter Council. CalU delivers 150+ bachelor's degrees, including Adult Degree Completion programs, ranging from Anthropology to Mechatronics and Special Education. California University of Pennsylvania also has America's sixth best online offerings according to the U.S. News.

5. West Chester University

Another of the Pennsylvania colleges for commuters is West Chester University, a PASSHE member endowed for $23 million to educate 16,426 Golden Rams outside Philadelphia. Sixty-four percent of WCU students commute, so extensive services like the Campus Shuttle, SEPTA Pass discounts, and Home Away from Home longue in Sykes Student Union are available. The MSCHE-accredited university grants 118 bachelor's and 103 graduate degrees, such as Criminal Justice, Astronomy, Marketing, Respiratory Care, and Theatre. The U.S. News ranked West Chester as the North's 61st best college and 16th top public school.

According to Keystone Crossroads, Pennsylvania commuters enjoy one of the shortest average trip times nationwide at 25 minutes. The Pennsylvania DOT also offers fixed-route transit in 43 communities, 44 shared-ride systems, and Amtrak service from Pittsburgh to Philly. Attending one of these and other Pennsylvania colleges that cater to commuters, such as Peirce College, Messiah College, King's College, Penn State Behrand, and Gettysburg College, could save thousands on housing without sacrificing convenience.

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