Alvernia University

2014 Quick Stats
400 St. Bernardine Street

Reading, PA 19607-1799

Phone: (610) 796-8200
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
rolling admission

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#116 Overall Score: 36 out of 100. Regional Universities (North)

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Alvernia University is a private institution that was founded in 1958. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,347, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 123 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Alvernia University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities (North), 116. Its tuition and fees are $29,060 (2013-14).

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Alvernia is a thriving university that empowers students through real-world learning to discover their passion for life while providing the education to turn what they love into lifetimes of career success and personal fulfillment. Students follow their hearts into productive careers and vibrant lives where they help make the world a better place. Situated on a scenic 121-acre suburban campus in historic Berks County, Pa., the university is conveniently located near Philadelphia (60 miles) and within an easy drive of New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. With a College of Arts and Sciences and College of Professional Studies, Alvernia today offers more than 600 courses and over 50 undergraduate majors and minors including business, criminal justice, social work, psychology and a comprehensive health sciences program that includes programs in nursing, occupational therapy and athletic training, as well as tracks for pre-med, pre-dental and pre-pharmacological studies. The university also provides a range of graduate programs at the master's and doctoral levels through its School of Graduate and Adult Education. Alvernia's main campus is located in Reading, with satellite sites in Philadelphia and Schuylkill County. The university supports a rigorous and caring learning community that is welcoming to more than 3,000 students who hail from diverse geographical, cultural and religious backgrounds. They benefit from faculty who are accomplished scholars and supportive mentors. Alvernia students also enjoy the personal attention (12:1 student to teacher ratio) afforded by small class sizes (average class size below 20) and real world application of their studies via an extensive network of field experiences, internships, and service projects that develop successful professionals and engaged citizens.
As one of only 22 Franciscan institutions in the country, Alvernia's focus on caring for each other, the environment and the community are joined with a challenging educational experience to provide an unparalleled environment to grow, develop and mature as people and professionals. And the university's two Centers for Excellence bring an award winning combination of service-learning and ethical leadership opportunities to students and the community at large. Alvernia has recently invested in several additions to the campus including a new laser laboratory to support science programs, a media center that supports all majors, and several new innovative living and learning apartment style buildings that were designed with input from students. A brand new Campus Commons building houses a two-story fitness center, dance and aerobics studio, a computer lab, spaces for student clubs to organize and meet, and a large campus living room complete with an indoor/outdoor fireplace. Major renovations have produced more technologically-advanced classrooms, arts-related rehearsal spaces, a new lecture hall, and popular gathering spaces for students and campus guests. Well known for its top-notch nursing programs, from pre-licensure to RN-BSN to an on-line master's degree, Alvernia is bolstering its healthcare offerings, mirroring vital needs in the medical community. A new undergraduate major in healthcare science and an associate degree in medical imaging offered through a dual-enrollment agreement with the Reading Hospital's School of Health Sciences complement a new Doctorate of Physical Education program (currently in pre-candidacy phase). Alvernia has also partnered with the nation's largest medical college, allowing Alvernia students pursuing the pre-med, pre-pharma and pre-dental tracks, who meet academic requirements at Alvernia, to be guaranteed early acceptance into a notable graduate medical program at campuses in Florida and Pennsylvania. Alvernia University is committed to fostering reflective professionals, engaged citizens, and ethical leaders with moral courage.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1958
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Academic calendar semester
Setting suburban
2012 Endowment $19,663,518


When applying to Alvernia University, it's important to note the application deadline is rolling. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due August 1. The application fee at Alvernia University is $25. It is less selective, with an acceptance rate of 80.5 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity less selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 80.5%
Application deadline rolling
SAT/ACT scores must be received by August 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Alvernia University is 12:1, and the school has 67.2 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Alvernia University include: Health Professions and Related Programs; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Education; Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services; and Psychology. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 72.8 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 12:1
4-year graduation rate 38%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 35%
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 20%
Education 12%
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 10%
Psychology 6%

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Student Life

Alvernia University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,347, with a gender distribution of 29.2 percent male students and 70.8 percent female students. At this school, 57 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 43 percent of students live off campus. Alvernia University is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,891
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity N/A
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority N/A
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Alvernia University offers a number of student services including health service and health insurance. Alvernia University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Alvernia University, 70 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Alvernia University.

Students who have cars on campus 70%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Alvernia University, 88 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $12,967.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $29,060 (2013-14)
Room and board $10,190 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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