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.

The Top 12 Online Colleges in West Virginia

Best Online Colleges in West Virginia Badge
01
Intelligent Pick
West Virginia University
01
Best Scholarships
Marshall University
01
Best Associate Degrees
University of Charleston at West Virginia
01
Best HBCU
West Virginia State University
01
Best Accelerated Programs
Wheeling University
01
Best for Individual Courses
Fairmont State University
01
Most Unique Master's Degrees
West Liberty University
01
Best for Nursing
Alderson Broaddus University
01
Best RN-BSN
Davis & Elkins College
01
Most Affordable
West Virginia University at Parkersburg
01

Concord University
01

Glenville State University

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.

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 Fairmont State University, which offers a flat rate of $329 per undergraduate credit for all online students regardless of state residency.

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, parking, 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: West Virginia University at Parkersburg, $216 per credit
  • Most expensive online colleges in West Virginia: University of Charleston, $380 per credit (in-state) and West Virginia State University, $562 (out-of-state)

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 pays toward the full cost of tuition and fees for select certificate and associate degree programs at a West Virginia public two- or four-year institution 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

Learn more

Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation Scholarships

This nonprofit foundation located in Martinsburg administers nearly 50 scholarships, ranging in award amount from $600 to $6,000, to students from West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. Last year, the foundation awarded more than $120,000 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

Learn more

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 seniors who have at least a 2.0 GPA, financial need, and West Virginia residency.

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

Learn more

TGKVF Scholarships

A nonprofit foundation located in Charleston, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation administers 360 scholarships to students from West Virginia. Last year, the foundation awarded over $800,00 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

Learn more

5 Fastest 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 examining the state’s WorkForce Industry Projections 2018-2028, we’ve determined that the following five industries will have the highest growth rates in West Virginia in the immediate years to come:

Management

Management jobs are growing in West Virginia due to an influx of new, high-growth employment sectors, including cybersecurity, cloud services, and data centers. Jobs include general managers, medical and health service managers, and financial managers. Other jobs within the management sector are chief executives, school administrators, training managers, and marketing managers. The average statewide salary for all jobs in the management industry is $92,270.

  • Growth: 16.1%
  • Degree options: Associate in Business, Bachelor’s in Management, Bachelor’s in Human Resources, Bachelor’s in Industrial Psychology, Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership, Master’s in Education Administration, Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)

Healthcare Support

West Virginia is fourth in the nation when it comes to having the oldest population, sparking a large need for healthcare support workers. Within this sector, the most common occupations are home health and personal care aides, nursing assistants, and medical assistants. Other occupations in this domain include psychiatric aides, physical therapy assistants, veterinary assistants, massage therapists, and pharmacy aides. The average statewide salary for all jobs in this industry is $26,910.

  • Growth: 12.9%
  • Degree options: Associate in Veterinary Technology, Associate in Nursing, Associate in Dental Assisting, Associate in Clinical Laboratory Technician, Bachelor’s in Health Administration, Bachelor’s in Health and Human Services, Bachelor’s in Pre-Occupational Therapy

Food Preparation and Serving

West Virginia’s robust food, beverage, and hospitality industry contributes $3.9 billion to the state’s economy annually. The most common occupations in this sector in the Mountain State are servers, fast-food workers, and cooks. Jobs in food preparation and serving in the state pay an average salary of $24,440. Other jobs in this sector include chefs, private household cooks, bartenders, school cafeteria attendants, and restaurant managers.

  • Growth: 10.7%
  • Degree options: Associate in Food and Beverage Studies, Bachelor’s in Food Industry Compliance, Bachelor’s in Baking and Pastry Arts, Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts, Bachelor’s in Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship, Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)

Construction

Natural gas pipeline development that began in 2019 has caused an uptick in construction activity and jobs in West Virginia. Within this sector, the most common occupations in the state are construction laborers, operating engineers, and construction supervisors. Other construction occupations include plumbers, pipefitters, and fencers. The average annual wage for a construction laborer in West Virginia is $49,060.

  • Growth: 8.1%
  • Degree options: Associate in Construction Technology, Bachelor’s in Construction Management, Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering Technology, Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering, Master’s in Construction Administration, Ph.D. in Building Construction

Transportation

Due to West Virginia’s manufacturing sector recording moderate employment gains over the past few years, the state has seen an increase in transportation jobs. Occupations within the transportation industry include packagers, airline pilots, transportation inspectors, conveyer operators, locomotive engineers, and supervisors. The average annual salary in the transportation industry in West Virginia is $35,720.

  • Growth: 7.95%

Degree options: Associate in Logistics, Associate in Railroad Operations, Bachelor’s in Transportation and Logistics Management, Bachelor’s in Supply Chain Management, Bachelor’s in Air Traffic Management, Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), Master’s in Aviation