Widener University

2014 Quick Stats
1 University Place

Chester, PA 19013

Phone: (610) 499-4000
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
#181 Overall Score: 30 out of 100. National Universities

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Widener University is a private institution that was founded in 1821. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,298, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 108 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Widener University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 181. Its tuition and fees are $38,028 (2013-14).

Widener University is located in Chester, Pennsylvania, about 15 miles south of Philadelphia. The school began as a preparatory school for boys in 1821, became a military academy a few decades later, and is now a coed university with more than 40 undergraduate programs. Students at Widener University can also pursue a variety of master's degree programs, including business, law and education. Part of Widener University's mission is to help the local community, so each year, many Widener students tutor and mentor local children, build houses, donate blood and help low-income Chester residents with their taxes.

At Widener University, students can get involved in more than 80 campus clubs, pledge with about 10 fraternities and sororities and play intramural sports. More serious athletes can join the Widener Pride athletic teams, which compete in the NCAA Division III Commonwealth Conference. Esteemed director Cecil B. DeMille, whose films include "The Ten Commandments" and "Cleopatra," attended Widener when it was known as Pennsylvania Military College.

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

As a leading metropolitan university, we achieve our mission at Widener by creating a learning environment where curricula are connected to societal issues through civic engagement. We lead by providing a unique combination of liberal arts and professional education in a challenging, scholarly, and culturally diverse academic community. We engage our students through dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, and experiential learning. We inspire our students to be citizens of character who demonstrate professional and civic leadership. We contribute to the vitality and well-being of the communities we serve.

As a multicampus, independent university, Widener offers programs of study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The university embraces the sciences and liberal arts as the essential foundation for all baccalaureate education and is dedicated to the integration of liberal and professional studies. Graduate offerings are focused on applied, clinical and professional programs. As a metropolitan university, Widener is committed to serving the educational needs of its communities, and is known for academic innovation and program development.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1821
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting city
2012 Endowment $72,814,994


When applying to Widener University, it's important to note the application deadline is rolling. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due February 15. The application fee at Widener University is $35. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 65.5 percent.

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

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 65.5%
Application deadline rolling
SAT/ACT scores must be received by February 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Widener University is 12:1, and the school has 61.4 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Widener University include: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse; Accounting; Psychology, General; Civil Engineering, General; and Hospitality Administration/Management, General. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 72 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 12:1
4-year graduation rate 43%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 16%
Accounting 9%
Psychology, General 7%
Civil Engineering, General 6%
Hospitality Administration/Management, General 6%

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Student Life

Widener University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,298, with a gender distribution of 43.2 percent male students and 56.8 percent female students. At this school, 49 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 51 percent of students live off campus. Widener University is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 6,238
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Widener University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. Widener 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 Widener University, 60 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Widener University.

Students who have cars on campus 60%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Widener University, 82.4 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $8,490.

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 $38,028 (2013-14)
Room and board $12,340 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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