Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, students interested in a two-year associate degree program in Virginia have 46 options to choose from.


    Data from College Board shows that the average Virginia student paid $5,230 in tuition at public in-district community colleges for the 2020-21 school year.


    437,899 students participating in two-year degree programs in the United States received some type of financial aid, such as scholarships, grants, and loans.

Our Research

To create a comprehensive list of the learning opportunities and job training available in Virginia, we reviewed private and public community colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. The factors we evaluated include tuition costs and the required number of credits for graduation.

We verified the quality of our selections by narrowing our focus to accredited colleges. The majority of these colleges are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), a regional organization recognized by both the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. SACSCOC accreditation indicates that the school has a defined mission and offers the resources necessary to support students with their higher education goals.

  • 27hours to write this article
  • 50universities and colleges we assessed
  • 62education programs we compared

The Top 50 Community Colleges in Virginia

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What You Should Know About Graduating From Community College in Virginia

When selecting a community college, you should consider what type of career you want to pursue and your earning potential. In 2020, the top five highest paying careers for associate degree holders in Virginia were legal support workers, funeral home managers, calibration and engineering technologists (except drafters), dental hygienists, and radiation therapists.

Associate degree holders entering the workforce in Virginia should also consider which occupations tend to have high job availability. The top five careers expected to have the most job openings for the next ten years are paralegal and legal assistants, preschool teachers (excluding special education), legal support workers, computer network support specialists, and electrical engineering technicians.

It’s important to consider which careers are expected to thrive and which are expected to decline. Jobs expected to undergo the greatest decline for associate degree holders in Virginia are desktop publishers, mechanical drafters, broadcast technicians, chemical technicians, and human resource assistants (excluding payroll and timekeeping).

What’s Next?

One of the most important factors to consider when pursuing community college is cost. We’ve put together a list of federal and state resources to facilitate access to the grants, scholarships, and financial aid available for associate degree students in Virginia.

  • Virginia Department of Education. The Virginia Department of Education connects residents to resources about state, local, and federal funds. It also offers information about the minimum qualifications to apply.
  • Federal Student Aid. Every year, students across the United States receive over $120 billion in financial aid from the Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid. To see if you qualify for a scholarship, grant, or loan, visit the FAFSA4caster. Then, you can apply with the online FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. Sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop connects students to scholarships and information about their deadlines, award amounts, and qualification requirements. Users can even filter this information by degree level and state.