159 SCHOOLS in PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania is popularly known as the Keystone State, an acknowledgement of the commonwealth’s central role in the American Revolution and the formation of the United States. Founded on a royal grant to William Penn, Pennsylvania was a haven for religious nonconformists, including Quakers and Mennonites, due to a religious tolerance law established in its constitution that became a model for American freedom of religion. That history of independence and conscience was in play when Philadelphia was selected for the meeting of the Continental Congress, which drafted the Declaration of Independence, and for the writing of the Constitution. Based on its influence in this era, Pennsylvania has been named the cradle of American independence.
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Pennsylvania solidified its heritage as a leader in American life, politics, and industry, trading on its vast natural resources from forestry and textiles to coal mining and petroleum (Pennsylvania was actually the first state to drill an oil well, long before Texas). With the 6th largest gross state product, fueled by numerous Fortune 500 companies and one of the biggest banking centers outside of New York City, Pennsylvania is known as one of the most significant economies – and job markets – in the US. Pennsylvania is also a political keystone, as a well-known swing state that often determines the course of US presidential elections. There can be little doubt that one of the nation’s most impressive higher education systems is at the heart of Pennsylvania’s success.
The University of Pennsylvania is a member of the Ivy League and one of the most prominent universities in the world – not to mention the second-largest employer in the commonwealth. As a national, private research university, UPenn has been at the center of some of the most important innovations in research and learning in American history. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is dominated by world-class small liberal arts colleges, like Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and Haverford, institutions that have shaped undergraduate education and defined academic excellence for generations. Elite polytechnics like Carnegie Mellon University, and world-shaping public research universities like Penn State, all form Pennsylvania’s rich history of educational excellence. Pennsylvania’s leadership is America’s leadership, and it’s Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities that prepare that leadership, in government, education, business, and medicine.