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Our Research

This list features some of the best online schools in West 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 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 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.

All of the colleges on our list are accredited to ensure they uphold high educational standards. Most of our West Virginia colleges are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a regional accrediting body serving institutions in 19 states to provide quality assurance in higher education.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated 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 Online Colleges in West Virginia

Best Online Colleges in West Virginia Badge

West Virginia University

Marshall University

University of Charleston

West Liberty University

West Virginia State University

Wheeling University

Concord University

Fairmont State University

Davis & Elkins College

Glenville State University

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Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in West Virginia

Does West Virginia have good online colleges and universities?

Yes. The state offers a wealth of online educational opportunities, such as Glenville State University’s Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration and West Virginia University’s Online Bachelor’s in Child Development and Family Studies. After you graduate, you may want to consider staying in West Virginia to complete a master’s degree while you work in one of the state’s many growing fields, such as computing or social services. West Virginia is rich in graduate school options, like Concord University’s Master’s in Health Promotion and Salem University’s Online Master’s in Cybersecurity.

That said, there are many excellent online college programs available in other states as well. If you’re open to attending a school that’s located in another state, check out our guide to the best accredited online colleges. In addition to showing you the top 30 options in the entire United States for remote learning, this guide offers expert advice on how to choose a college and complete the application process.

Do online college credits in West Virginia cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some schools offer discounted rates for online courses, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. West Virginia became a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) in 2014. This means that out-of-state students who live in a SARA-participating state can take online courses from West Virginia schools without incurring additional fees.

Why should you choose West Virginia for online higher education?

From affordable community colleges to top public research universities, West Virginia offers something for every type of online college student. One option that stands out as particularly appealing is West Virginia University, which offers a wide variety of online degree and certificate programs.

The Cost of Online College in West Virginia

How much does an online degree in West Virginia cost?

The cost of an online degree in West Virginia depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you decide to pursue. For example, undergraduate degrees are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you’ll probably find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save money on indirect expenses, such as transportation and housing, by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the lowest and highest rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in West Virginia below:

Most affordable online college in West Virginia: Marshall University, $282 per credit

Most expensive online college in West Virginia: West Virginia University, $422 per credit

College Tuition Costs

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in West Virginia to get in-state tuition rates?

Typically, you’ll be eligible for in-state tuition rates after you’ve lived in West Virginia for 12 consecutive months. Some groups, such as military veterans, tribal members, and graduate fellows, are entitled to in-state tuition rates without meeting this one-year requirement.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in West Virginia?

The WV Invests Grant is a state-funded program that covers the full cost of tuition and fees for select certificate and associate degree programs in West Virginia for state residents. Priority is given to applicants who plan to study high-demand fields like healthcare. Applicants must fill out the FAFSA and complete a drug screening. You must not have earned a college degree previously and you must commit to living in West Virginia for at least two years after graduation.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in West Virginia

If you don’t qualify for the WV Invests Grant, there are many other sources of financial support available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are based on income, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent scholarship options for you below:

WV STEM Scholarship

Funded by the West Virginia Legislature, this scholarship helps academically talented individuals pursue careers in the fields of engineering, science, and technology within the state. While priority is given to West Virginia residents, any U.S. citizen or resident alien can apply. Recipients must agree to work full-time in an engineering, science, or technology field in West Virginia for one year for each year the scholarship was received.

Who’s eligible? In addition to the requirements above, applicants should have at least a 3.0 GPA and be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a science, engineering, or technology program leading to a certificate or degree.

Contact information: [email protected] | 304-558-4618

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Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation Scholarships

This nonprofit foundation located in Martinsburg administers nearly 50 scholarships, ranging in award amount from $500 to $6,000, to students from West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. Last year, the foundation awarded more than $180,000 in scholarships to high-achieving students. You only need to fill out one application to be considered for all scholarships you’re eligible for.

Who’s eligible? Eligibility for each scholarship is different, but most look for academic success, leadership, and community service. Most scholarships do not require you to attend college within the state of West Virginia.

Contact information: [email protected] | 304-264-0353

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Horatio Alger State Scholarship

This national scholarship program, funded by the Horatio Alger Association and the Horatio Alger Endowment Fund in West Virginia, is named after American author Horatio Alger. It’s offered to students who exhibit integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity. Recipients may begin their studies at a two-year institution and later transfer to a four-year institution.

Who’s eligible? High school juniors who have at least a 2.0 GPA, financial need, and West Virginia residency.

Contact information: [email protected] | 844-422-4200

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TGKVF Scholarships

A nonprofit organization located in Charleston, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation administers hundreds of scholarships for students from West Virginia. Last year, the foundation awarded nearly $800,000 in scholarships to high-achieving students. You only need to fill out one application to be considered for all scholarships you’re eligible for.

Who’s eligible? Eligibility for each scholarship is different, but most look for financial need (you are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA), academic success, leadership, and community service. Most scholarships do not require you to attend college within the state of West Virginia.

Contact information: [email protected] | 304-346-3620

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Top 5 Fast-Growing Industries in West Virginia

If you still don’t know where you will attend college, you may also be undecided on your major. In that case, one of the most important factors you should consider is which industries are growing the fastest in West Virginia — this will make it easier to find a job, and more demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By consulting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Long-Term Occupational Projections (2020–2030), we’ve determined that the following five careers have some of the highest projected growth rates in West Virginia:

Nurse Practitioners

NPs are advanced practice registered nurses who specialize in diagnosing and treating patients with an emphasis on preventative care and health education. They are quickly becoming many Americans’ preferred primary care professionals. NPs tend to be well-compensated; in West Virginia, they earn an average salary of $106,790.

Occupational Therapy Assistants

Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) support occupational therapists in their patient care, helping people regain the ability to carry out their daily activities. OTAs typically have at least an associate degree and earn an average yearly salary of $62,420 in West Virginia.

  • Growth: 51.7%
  • Degree options: Associate in Occupational Therapy Assistance

Physician Assistants

Physician assistants are one of the most in-demand health professionals. They work under physicians to support patient care and must complete extensive education and medical training. The average annual PA salary in West Virginia is $114,260.

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts monitor and manage an organization’s computer networks and systems. Specifically, information security analysts keep an organization’s data safe. As cybersecurity and information security become increasingly important in our digital world, security analysts are in high demand. They are also well-compensated, making an average annual salary of $92,350 in West Virginia.

Personal Care Aides

As West Virginia’s population ages and chronic and acute medical conditions become more prevalent, the state is in increasing need of personal care aides to assist patients, often older adults or disabled people, with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing. In West Virginia, personal care aides make an average annual salary of $24,510.

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