Best Colleges in Virginia for Associate, Bachelor’s & Master’s

Virginia College Guide – What You Need to Know

Virginia is one of the most beautiful states in the nation. It is full of rich history, as it was the home for many of our founding fathers, the site of so many definitive American conflicts, and is now the home to a rich and diversified economy that stretches from beautiful Atlantic beaches to stunning Appalachian vistas. Virginians can pursue careers in shipping, high-technology, government, engineering, and even tourism. There is no limit to what you can do in Virginia.

To support this incredible breadth of opportunity, Virginia is home to some of our nation's storied and venerated colleges and universities. University of Virginia, to name one example, is a pillar of U.S. education and the state still supports stellar women's colleges. The state even has at least one non-military college for men only. If you live in Virginia, you have your pick of some of our top schools. Your career already shines bright.

What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Virginia?

No matter what degree you pursue, if you graduate from a Virginia institution, you are assured an excellent education. However, you should choose a degree that not only leads to a successful career, but which also is one that is gratifying and will offer a lifetime of satisfaction.

While Virginia's most popular bachelor's degrees are much like those of the rest of the nation, there are significant differences. Consider these, but also remember that an education is a highly personal thing. Even if you pick the most popular major, make sure that the program you pursue is tailored to your specific goals and desires.

The most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Virginia are:

Education Level & National Average Median Compensation


NO FORMAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA ASSOCIATE DEGREE BACHELOR’S DEGREE MASTER’S DEGREE DOCTORAL DEGREE
$30,784* $38,792* $46,124* $64,896* $77,844* $96,772*

Best Associate Degrees in Virginia


You can start working towards the career of your dreams by enrolling in one of the two-year degrees available in Virginia. It’s easy to earn a valuable associate degree quickly and affordably. Whatever your professional concentration is, one of the top colleges in the state will have an associate program that will prepare you for a successful career after graduation. Alternatively, you could use an associate program to spend less money to complete your general education requirements before applying for and transferring to a traditional four-year institution.

Northern Virginia Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
51,822
Graduation Rate
29%
Net Price
$9,153
Grads Salary
$42,000
Lord Fairfax Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,337
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$6,320
Grads Salary
$30,600
Wytheville Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,244
Graduation Rate
42%
Net Price
$3,107
Grads Salary
$27,800
John Tyler Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
10,152
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$6,086
Grads Salary
$33,400
Piedmont Virginia Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
5,312
Graduation Rate
38%
Net Price
$6,700
Grads Salary
$31,100
New River Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
4,332
Graduation Rate
37%
Net Price
$6,742
Grads Salary
$31,300
Dabney S Lancaster Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,075
Graduation Rate
38%
Net Price
$5,545
Grads Salary
$29,100
Germanna Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
7,225
Graduation Rate
36%
Net Price
$6,716
Grads Salary
$30,500
Virginia Western Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,303
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$6,453
Grads Salary
$30,400
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
8,711
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$6,303
Grads Salary
$31,300
Full Ranking Report

Best Bachelor's Degrees in Virginia


Students can choose from a wide variety of prestigious, four-year bachelor’s degree programs in Virginia. You have many options to choose from among the state’s top colleges or universities. Undergraduate programs are ideal for individuals who want a broad introduction to a certain field. Graduates gain the knowledge and skills necessary to jumpstart their academic and/or professional careers. Whatever your goals and aspirations are, you will be prepared for employment in your field of choice or enrollment in an advanced degree program.

University of Virginia
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
25,628
Graduation Rate
94%
Net Price
$19,043
Grads Salary
$78,000
Virginia Military Institute
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,698
Graduation Rate
85%
Net Price
$18,969
Grads Salary
$83,000
William & Mary
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
8,939
Graduation Rate
91%
Net Price
$18,588
Grads Salary
$74,000
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
36,383
Graduation Rate
86%
Net Price
$20,247
Grads Salary
$76,800
Washington and Lee University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,183
Graduation Rate
93%
Net Price
$27,148
Grads Salary
$77,200
George Mason University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
38,541
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$18,285
Grads Salary
$75,500
James Madison University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
21,820
Graduation Rate
82%
Net Price
$18,592
Grads Salary
$67,700
University of Richmond
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,056
Graduation Rate
88%
Net Price
$25,700
Grads Salary
$72,900
DeVry University-Arlington
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
188
Graduation Rate
25%
Net Price
$17,203
Grads Salary
$92,400
The University of Virginia's College at Wise
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,905
Graduation Rate
52%
Net Price
$9,418
Grads Salary
$59,000
Full Ranking Report

Best Master's Degrees in Virginia


Many fields require an advanced degree in order to be competitive in the job market. Whether you are interested in business, law, medicine, or engineering, earning a master’s or doctoral degree in Virginia will help ensure success in your academic and career-related pursuits. Many of the top degree programs in this state will help you gain a deeper and more specialized understanding of your field. Graduates can also expect to be more competitive when applying for positions, will advance faster, and are likely to make more money.

University of Virginia
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
25,628
Graduation Rate
94%
Net Price
$19,043
Grads Salary
$78,000
William & Mary
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
8,939
Graduation Rate
91%
Net Price
$18,588
Grads Salary
$74,000
Averett University-Non-Traditional Programs
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
472
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
$12,165
Grads Salary
$78,000
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
36,383
Graduation Rate
86%
Net Price
$20,247
Grads Salary
$76,800
George Mason University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
38,541
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$18,285
Grads Salary
$75,500
Washington and Lee University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,183
Graduation Rate
93%
Net Price
$27,148
Grads Salary
$77,200
James Madison University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
21,820
Graduation Rate
82%
Net Price
$18,592
Grads Salary
$67,700
University of Richmond
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,056
Graduation Rate
88%
Net Price
$25,700
Grads Salary
$72,900
DeVry University-Arlington
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
188
Graduation Rate
25%
Net Price
$17,203
Grads Salary
$92,400
Regent University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
10,365
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$14,785
Grads Salary
$59,900
Full Ranking Report
Learn about MBA's in Virginia

Cost of Virginia College Education & Salaries


Education is an investment. It's an investment in personal growth, career development, and your long-term well-being in our society. That's why you should take great care when deciding which college to attend, which major to study, and how you intend to finance the whole four-year adventure.

Most students in the United States must take on some sort of debt to complete their studies. In order to mitigate this outcome, there are a few things you can do. You can attend an in-state, public college or university, apply for scholarships and grants, and take courses at a lower-cost community or online institution. Since you are in Virginia, it's easy to stay in-state. After all, you have some of the nation's top public universities available for the in-state tuition rate. Consider that an equivalent education in North Carolina might cost as much as three times the tuition.

When you find the in-state school for you, apply for as many scholarships and grants as you possibly can. In fact, make this a habit every term. Take a few days to apply to many different scholarships. Though you might win many smaller scholarships, that money doesn't come with any strings. You'll never pay interest on those $500 scholarships.

Finally, to reduce costs, you can take your core curriculum from a community college. If the school is fully accredited the courses should transfer to your four-year institution. In fact, you might find that the courses are even a bit better than the equivalent at a major university. You'll receive top instruction from experts who have received master's degrees from top universities, and the class sizes will be smaller.

With a little creativity, you can not only reduce your college budget, but you will come out with a top-notch education.

College Cost Analysis - Virginia vs National


Average Virginia Tuition & Fees at 4 Year Public Schools

In-State Tuition - $13,413

National Average – $9,580

Out-of-State Tuition – $34,890

National Average – $27,437

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid

Financial Aid Virginia Nationally
Received Federal Grants 36% 37.7%
Average $ per Recipient $10,930 $10,927

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a post-secondary institution.
* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.