Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, there are 12 public universities, nine private non-profit colleges, and four private for-profit institutions.


    West Virginia residents paid an estimated average of $8,570 for in-state tuition and fees at the state’s public colleges in 2020-2021.


    Many students in the U.S. receive thousands of dollars in financial aid. The average assistance amount was $14,940 in 2019-20 school year.

Our Research

Our rankings encompass liberal arts colleges, midsize universities, and large research universities. When evaluating each school, we considered factors like cost per credit hour, credit hour requirements, and course delivery modes.

To make sure our rankings only listed high-quality colleges, we limited our research to accredited institutions. Most of the colleges on our list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which holds all of its member schools to high standards. Other schools are accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 60 hours to write this article
  • 68 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 193 education programs we compared

The Top 20 Colleges in West Virginia

Best Colleges In West Virginia
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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in West Virginia

As you consider different college options, take into account how your degree will prepare you to enter West Virginia’s workforce. In October 2020, the five largest industries that were responsible for employing the most workers in the state are government; education and health services; goods-producing services; trade, transportation, and utilities; and retail trade. A degree relevant to these fields could greatly help you after graduation.

Many of the state’s top career paths are in these industries. The fastest-growing careers in West Virginia for college graduates are operations research analysts, software developers, athletic trainers, therapists, and information security analysts.

With specific regard to employers, some of West Virginia’s top employers are CAMC Memorial Hospital, West Virginia Department of Transportation, West Virginia University, and Cabell Huntington Hospital. 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 investigate different financial aid opportunities, such as grants and scholarships in West Virginia.

  • College Foundation of West Virginia. The College Foundation of West Virginia has information on state-level financial aid, including scholarship, grant, and loan assistance opportunities in the state.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Over $120 billion in financial aid is given out to U.S. college students each year. These funds are awarded by the Department of Education and through the FAFSA program. You can check eligibility on the FAFSA4caster and apply through this online form.
  • CareerOneStop. A resource sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop has information on different scholarships and grants that are offered in each state. View scholarships by their amounts, requirements, deadlines, and other factors. Filter by degree type and the state where you plan to study.