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Pennsylvania College of Technology

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With over 100 diverse majors, Penn College provides hands-on learning at its campus in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Penn College was rated one of the best, public regional colleges by U.S. News in 2017 and has a campus of close to 1,000 acres. The admission rate for the Fall semester of 2016 was roughly 80 percent. Penn College has high employment rates, small class sizes, and lower than average loan default rates at 9.1 percent. Penn College also has low graduation rates and relatively high tuition costs.

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The Good

  • High Graduate Placement
  • Small Class Size
  • College Facts Transparency

High Graduate Placement

Penn College has a very high job placement rate post-graduation at 96 percent. This shows that success in the academic program is just as important as finding a job to apply those skills learned. Especially amid a competitive job market, this is a very compelling feature to Penn College. Penn College offers a VIP Job Fair, and Career Fair, and on-campus recruiting. The College also partners with employers to provide excellent student job recruits. Because there is a dedicated Career Services department of campus, it is evident that placing students into jobs post-graduation is very important to the school.

Small Class Size

Many assume that college courses are large lecture halls with hundreds of students. Such isn't the case at Penn College. The average class size is 17 students which is relatively comparable to a high school class, maybe even smaller. The student to faculty ratio is 14 to 1. This is a great asset to Penn College because it ensures that each student is known to the instructors with more interaction time. Smaller class sizes adds a "small college" feel to a large college. If it is important for you to get to know your instructors, the small classes are a benefit to Penn College.

College Facts Transparency

Penn College makes it easy for you to see its numbers by providing a quick facts guide. On this webpage it shares its operating and allocated funds, costs, grant activity, graduation rates, fundraising, foundation assets, default loan rate, student statistics, and more. Easy access to this information aids you in a quick comparison for finding the school that will meet your needs.
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The Bad

  • Low Graduation Rate
  • Tuition and Fees
  • High Tuition Deposit

Low Graduation Rate

A school's graduation rate tells a lot to a prospective student as far as how much students enjoy attending the school and also how committed students are to achieving the degree relating to their career goals. For first-time, full-time students pursuing bachelor's degrees, the retention rate from first year to second year is high at 77 percent, but then the 6-year graduation rate drops to 34 percent and 41 percent for those who complete within eight years. For first-time, full-time students pursuing associate's degrees, retention remains high from first year to second year at 71 percent but again drops for a three-year graduation rate of 36 percent to a four-year graduation rate at 42%. Although it is difficult to come anywhere near a 90 to 100 percent graduation rate, this may inspire other questions as to why the drop is so significant after the first few years of school.

Tuition And Fees

If you are interesting in applying to Penn College, it is important to evaluate the cost of attending. For the 2016 to 2017 school year, a credit hour will cost you $536. The average annual in-state tuition and fees comes out to $16,080 if you took 30 credit hours over the course of two semesters. For out-of-state tuition, it would be 1.5 times the in-state rate which comes to roughly $24,120. These numbers appear a little high for a public school. It may be no surprise then that 92.5 percent of all Penn College students receive financial aid.

High Tuition Deposit

A $150 tuition deposit is required for scheduling your placement test. Prior to placement testing, you are not officially accepted into any Penn College major. If you do not do well on your placement test you could be asked to re-take or be denied acceptance. Although the $150 tuition deposit would be credited towards your first semester bill, if you did not get accepted, you can request up to a $75 refund but not a total tuition deposit refund.
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The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a school which will provide you with numerous hands-on learning opportunities and solid job placement post-graduation, then Pennsylvania College of Technology is worth looking into. The school as a high acceptance rate and focuses on individual learning through a lower faculty to student ratio. There are also over 100 bachelor, associate, and certificate programs to choose from. However, you may need to consider tuition costs and corresponding financial aid to make it an affordable experience.
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