The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown has been recognized by affordablecollegesonline.org (AC Online) as being among the top five percent of colleges and universities in Pennsylvania for providing one of the highest returns on investment.
Of the 402 Pennsylvania colleges and universities analyzed, Pitt-Johnstown was 21st among the 81 schools to receive a ranking. Pitt-Johnstown is also one of only three public universities in Western Pennsylvania to be among the top 25, and ranks the highest among the 18 colleges and universities in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, which the school joined this month.
President Jem Spectar offered, “In today’s challenging economy, it is gratifying to be recognized for being among the top institutions in the state for return on investment and for providing a great value for our students.”
Dr. Spectar continued, “We have taken bold steps to increase the amount of financial aid that we are making available to our students and are taking proactive steps to help our students maximize their potential for being hired into rewarding positions through rigorous efforts by our RealWorld Career Services staff. We continue to remain focused on ensuring that our practical, real world-focused learning experiences provide our students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the highly competitive 21st century world.”
Furthermore, intensive career and job placement initiatives facilitate progress from admission to graduation, with focused guidance intended to help students find jobs and succeed in a competitive workplace in their careers of choice. Pitt-Johnstown has received national recognition for its unique post-graduation outreach program to assist students in securing meaningful employment.
Focusing on making a college education more affordable, last year Pitt-Johnstown awarded more than $36.5 million in financial aid, resulting in nearly 90 percent of students receiving some sort of financial assistance (an increase of five percent in just two years). For the upcoming year alone, Pitt-Johnstown has made an additional $300 thousand available to its students through the new RealWorld Grant Program.
Other ways Pitt-Johnstown has been helping its students is through scholarships including the REB Commuter Scholarship, which was established in 2008 and has paid for tuition and fees, books, and supplies for 50 students. Additional scholarships introduced recently include the STEM Scholarship for students who plan to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics; and the Trojan Access Scholarship, which is a partnership with the Greater Johnstown School District that provides scholarships and grants to its students.
Over the past five years, Pitt-Johnstown has introduced more than a dozen new programs that are in direct response to the needs of its students and communities, making the students’ investment more valuable. These programs, which have been identified as having significant career growth, include majors in nursing, energy and earth resources, biochemistry, computer engineering technology, and justice administration and criminology.
The survey ranking was based upon a calculation involving tuition prices, starting salaries for graduates, and an estimation of ROI over a long-term period. According to AC Online, graduates from the schools on this list enjoy the largest earnings gap between non-degree holders over thirty years, and earn more on average than graduates from other Pennsylvania schools.
“This is an important list for prospective students to consider,” said AC Online founder Dan Schuessler. “We’ve sifted through comprehensive data sources to find colleges and universities in Pennsylvania that offer a high quality education with consistent, long-term payoffs in the workplace.”
The full list of rankings is available at www.affordablecollegesonline.org/online-colleges/pennsylvania.
On its website, AC Online reports that in developing this exclusive list, “We used information only from the most trusted sources, including the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS), PayScale.com, and the Carnegie Foundation.”
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization." Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past three years.