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Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, the four-year colleges in West Virginia include 13 public and 10 private non-profit options.


    For the 2022-23 school year, the average in-state tuition for public four-year colleges in West Virginia is $8,944, according to College Board.


    In the U.S., full-time undergraduate students attending college in 2021-22 received an average of $15,330 per year in financial aid.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar colleges in West Virginia. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) — this organization examines the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of postsecondary education programs in the central United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission standards, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the resources and services provided for on-campus students. Then, we used this information to calculate the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Online College Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top 50 Colleges in West Virginia

Best Colleges In West Virginia

West Virginia University

West Virginia Wesleyan College

Shepherd University

West Liberty University

Wheeling University

University of Charleston

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

West Virginia State University

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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in West Virginia

As you consider different college options, you should take into account how your degree will prepare you to enter West Virginia’s workforce. The five largest industries in the state are office and administrative support occupations, sales, food preparation and serving, healthcare practitioners, and transportation and material moving. A degree relevant to these fields could greatly help you after graduation.

Also, the fastest-growing careers in West Virginia for workers with a bachelor’s degree are information security analysts, medical and health services managers, data scientists, athletic trainers, and operations research analysts.

Some of West Virginia’s top employers are the West Virginia Department of Transportation, the Charleston Area Medical Center, West Virginia University, Crispin Golf Course, and Berkeley County Schools. A lot of other employers also have thousands of workers on their respective payrolls.

What’s Next?

You’ll need to pay attention to financial aid opportunities as you evaluate the different colleges in West Virginia. The following state and federal resources will help you find grants and scholarships in the state:

  • College for West Virginia. This website offers information on state-level financial aid, including scholarship, grant, and loan assistance programs.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Provided by the U.S. Department of Education, FAFSA is the main form students use to apply for financial aid for college. To determine if you’re eligible for aid, submit a completed FAFSA form online.
  • CareerOneStop Scholarship Finder. This tool will show you available scholarships, grants, and loans and can be filtered by state and degree type. It includes information such as dollar amounts, how to apply, qualifications, deadlines, and contact details.

Colleges by State

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