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West Virginia State University is a public, small university located in Institute, West Virginia, just outside of the capital of West Virginia in the middle of serene forests and nature and it’s within an easy drive to five border states and major cities. This exposure to various environments and populations allows for WVSU graduates to thrive in public service and leadership roles across the US and beyond.

Overview of West Virginia State University

The student population of WVSU is just over 3,500 individuals, of which roughly 97% are undergraduate students. It was founded in 1891 originally, as a Historically Black University. Today, it represents a highly diverse student population representing various regions across the US, as well as the world. All types of students attend WVSU, including adult learners.

Innovative educational methodologies and applied research are the central focus of all programs, as are the goals of meeting the developmental and economic needs of the region. A variety of degree programs are available in a wide range of subject matters including liberal arts, social sciences, sciences, business, and professional studies. As students pursue their career aspirations, they will also focus on the core values of the university to evolve as a human as well as an academic. And students can participate in sports, cultural organizations, student clubs, student government, and more.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Suburb: Midsize
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 11:1
Graduation Rate 31%
Year Founded 1891

Student Enrollment

Total Students4,120


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,644
Female 2,365

Graduate Student

Male 46
Female 65

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Male 927
Female 1,315


Male 871
Female 1,262

Acceptance Rate95%

Male 94%
Female 96%

Enrollment 277

Male    44
Female 30
Application Fee $20
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 17
Common Application Accepted No

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

A student can expect the in-state tuition at West Virginia State University to be $8,237. The out-of-state tuition is significantly higher, much like all public schools, at $17,691. At least 94% of students receive financial aid to assist with minimizing the expense of higher education. As a result, the average net price is $9,657.

Another $16,000 or so will be necessary for books, supplies and room and board. This cost is roughly the same for all students. Do not forget to include the costs of one’s social life off-campus and miscellaneous expenses including regional day trips, monthly app and streaming subscriptions, shopping expenses, and much more. One way students help offset daily living and social expenses is to obtain a part-time job. The university can help find students such work, possibly even on campus.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $9,657
Average Total Aid $8,271
Students Receiving Financial Aid 94%
Room & Board $12,538

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,237
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $17,691
  • Books and Supplies - $1,701
  • Room & Board - $12,538
  • Other - $2,505


West Virginia State University has four colleges with 23 undergraduate programs, 28 minors, and a handful of graduate programs. The colleges offer an excellent pathway to outstanding career possibilities including arts and humanities, business and social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, and professional studies. The featured majors vary greatly but include art, biology, criminal justice, education, engineering, political science, nursing, music, social work, sport studies, and more.

Graduate programs are highly specialized including biotechnology, criminal justice administration, education in instructional leadership, media studies, public administration, computer science, and sports studies. Some students choose to continue their education at WVSU with both an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree consecutively. An honors program is also available for individuals who excel in their field of study. This provides students with an advantage once it is time to seek employment upon graduation.

Overall, the retention rate at WVSU is 61% and the four-year and six-year graduation rates are 15% and 31%, respectively. These figures are lower than average. A few reasons for these low numbers could be that more students are taking courses online and the student-to-faculty ratio has increased from 11 to 1 up to 17 to 1 in recent years. This means that students are no longer receiving as much personal attention as they once did to be able to stay on track in their programs.

Student Population Total

Student Population 4,120

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 46 Total Graduates / 13%
General Studies 46 Graduates
All Business Majors 44 Total Graduates / 13%
Business Administration and Management, General 44 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 43 Total Graduates / 13%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 43 Graduates
All Education Majors 40 Total Graduates / 12%
Elementary Education and Teaching 28 Graduates
Secondary Education and Teaching 12 Graduates
Public Administration and Social Service Professions 32 Total Graduates / 9%
Social Work 32 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 40%

Outcome & Salary

An internship is an important part of the WVSU experience. These academic programs provide each student with the hands-on experience necessary to be seen as a desirable candidate in today’s intensely competitive job market. Internships allow students to utilize their educational theories in a practical and realistic learning environment. These types of experiences also prepare students for a first-hand encounter with the way in which a work environment functions including behaviors, expectations, and pay. It also helps students determine whether or not they are on the right career path.

The Office of Career Services assists students with such internship opportunities, along with part-time work and full-time employment upon graduation. The services offered prepare students for long-term success and include professional skill development, goal creation, career planning, job searching, job recruitment, student forums, graduate school preparation, and more. Today, students can utilize video conferencing applications to take advantage of these services.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $42,900
College Grads Average Salary $58,527
College Grads Mid Career Salary $78,900
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $585,270
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,374,270
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $38,628
10 Year Projected ROI $546,642
20 Year Projected ROI $1,335,642
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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