Why This Matters

  • 45 INSTITUTIONS GRANT ASSOCIATE DEGREES IN VIRGINIA

    According to College Navigator, students interested in a two-year associate degree program in Virginia have 45 options to choose from.

  • AVERAGE IN-DISTRICT TUITION & FEES OF $5,230

    Data from College Board shows that the average Virginia student paid $5,230 in tuition at public in-district community colleges for the 2022-23 school year.

  • 80.6% OF STUDENTS RECEIVED FINANCIAL AID DURING THE 2019-20 SCHOOL YEAR

    452,493 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

This list features some of the best community colleges in Virginia. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included small, midsize, and large colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others 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 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), a reputable organization that examines objectives, quality and overall effectiveness of education programs in the southern United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 23 Community Colleges in Virginia

Best Community Colleges In Virginia Badge 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Wytheville Community College
01
Best Online Programs
Mountain Empire Community College
01
Largest Community College System
Southside Virginia Community College
01
Best Transfer Opportunities
Germanna Community College
01
Best for Adult Education
Rappahannock Community College
01
Best for High School Students
Central Virginia Community College
01
Most Flexible Admissions
Piedmont Virginia Community College
01
Best for Job Training
Eastern Shore Community College
01
Best Tuition Assistance Program
Southwest Virginia Community College
01
Best for Tradesmen
New River Community College
01

Danville Community College
01

Virginia Western Community College
01

Northern Virginia Community College
01

Tidewater Community College
01

Virginia Highlands Community College
01

Paul D. Camp Community College
01

Virginia Peninsula Community College
01

Richard Bland College
01

Patrick & Henry Community College
01

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
01

Mountain Gateway Community College
01

Laurel Ridge Community College
01

Brightpoint Community College

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 2021, the top five highest paying careers for associate degree holders in Virginia were air traffic controllers, legal support workers, nuclear technicians, funeral home managers, and dental hygienists.

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 preschool teachers (excluding special education), paralegals and legal assistants, 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, broadcast technicians, embalmers, drafters, and nuclear technicians.

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.