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

West Virginia College Guide – What You Need to Know

The State of West Virginia offers scenic settings, mountains and valleys, bustling cities, and small towns. The universities and colleges range from larger research institutions to small faith-based colleges with long traditions, small classes, and low student to faculty ratios. The cost of college education in West Virginia is lower than the national average for public and private education. West Virginia students can pursue a wide range of major courses of study including advanced technical fields.

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

West Virginia’s economy is in a state of transition. The state is moving from an energy and natural resources-based economy to a more diversified model. Today, the state has growth sectors in healthcare, science, agriculture, and technology. The selection of college majors as measured by degrees conferred shows that healthcare professions lead the way. Business, education, natural sciences, and the humanities are close competitors. The expansion of healthcare in West Virginia created a substantial amount of jobs in the healthcare professions and related support occupations. The business side of healthcare requires graduates with strong business management skills and specializations.

The top five degrees in West Virginia are:

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree in West Virginia


Federal and state government data, as well as private surveys, show a clear relationship between education and median salary. As the level of education increase, the median salaries increase. One study showed that a typical college graduate would earn about $1 million more over a lifetime of earnings than a high school graduate.

The rise in salaries in step with educational attainment goes beyond the bachelor’s degree level. Earnings at master’s degree level, doctorates, and professional degrees also show rising income with higher levels of education. The advantage of education helps employees get high salaries in a current occupation; college and graduate degrees also open opportunities for new occupations.

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 West Virginia


The state of West Virginia has a wide variety of options available for those interested in earning a two-year degree. You can choose from top colleges and universities offering programs in most career fields. While curriculums vary, most associate degrees provide students with a broad introduction to a specific industry, as well as a foundation in general education topics. Graduates will be prepared to apply for most entry-level positions in their chosen field but may also consider transferring credits to another higher education institution.

Potomac State College of West Virginia University
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,193
Graduation Rate
24%
Net Price
$8,277
Grads Salary
$45,800
Pierpont Community and Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,613
Graduation Rate
29%
Net Price
$6,659
Grads Salary
$33,000
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,912
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$5,896
Grads Salary
$29,000
West Virginia University at Parkersburg
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,624
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$8,226
Grads Salary
$28,000
West Virginia Northern Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,253
Graduation Rate
24%
Net Price
$4,155
Grads Salary
$25,800
West Virginia Junior College-Morgantown
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
622
Graduation Rate
59%
Net Price
$16,344
Grads Salary
$21,300
BridgeValley Community & Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,662
Graduation Rate
21%
Net Price
$6,361
Grads Salary
$27,800
Mountwest Community and Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,292
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
$8,178
Grads Salary
$24,500
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,474
Graduation Rate
21%
Net Price
$5,308
Grads Salary
$23,800
New River Community and Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,053
Graduation Rate
13%
Net Price
$3,155
Grads Salary
$23,700
Full Ranking Report

Best Bachelor's Degrees in West Virginia


A four-year degree from a college in West Virginia can provide you with the high-quality education, knowledge, and experience you need to build a successful career in almost any field. Whether you have a specific major in mind or are undecided, earning a bachelor’s degree can prepare you for success in a huge variety of specialized positions. Graduates can also use their degree to qualify for further education in related fields. Additionally, many professional certifications and credentials require candidates to have an undergraduate degree.

West Virginia University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
26,269
Graduation Rate
62%
Net Price
$13,087
Grads Salary
$70,700
American Public University System
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
50,047
Graduation Rate
48%
Net Price
$11,503
Grads Salary
$70,000
Marshall University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
11,958
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$8,387
Grads Salary
$61,900
Alderson Broaddus University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
863
Graduation Rate
32%
Net Price
$20,080
Grads Salary
$95,000
West Virginia Wesleyan College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,066
Graduation Rate
55%
Net Price
$19,843
Grads Salary
$72,000
West Liberty University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,496
Graduation Rate
53%
Net Price
$13,812
Grads Salary
$62,800
West Virginia University Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,645
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$10,151
Grads Salary
$80,100
Shepherd University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,159
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$10,685
Grads Salary
$62,600
Bethany College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
576
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$14,666
Grads Salary
$67,600
Davis & Elkins College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
776
Graduation Rate
48%
Net Price
$18,819
Grads Salary
$68,800
Full Ranking Report

Best Master's Degrees in West Virginia


Not all fields require an advanced degree, but many employers often give preference to candidates who have either master’s or doctorate degrees. These programs demonstrate a clear dedication to and understanding of major content, as well as an inclination toward meaningful research. Students gain highly developed skills in analysis and critical thinking, which make them incredibly marketable in most fields. Graduates are not only likely to be more competitive professionally, but they often earn higher salaries, promote faster, and enjoy more job security.

West Virginia University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
26,269
Graduation Rate
62%
Net Price
$13,087
Grads Salary
$70,700
American Public University System
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
50,047
Graduation Rate
48%
Net Price
$11,503
Grads Salary
$70,000
Marshall University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
11,958
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$8,387
Grads Salary
$61,900
Alderson Broaddus University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
863
Graduation Rate
32%
Net Price
$20,080
Grads Salary
$95,000
West Virginia Wesleyan College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,066
Graduation Rate
55%
Net Price
$19,843
Grads Salary
$72,000
West Liberty University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,496
Graduation Rate
53%
Net Price
$13,812
Grads Salary
$62,800
Shepherd University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,159
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$10,685
Grads Salary
$62,600
Bethany College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
576
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$14,666
Grads Salary
$67,600
Concord University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,886
Graduation Rate
38%
Net Price
$8,677
Grads Salary
$62,100
University of Charleston
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,718
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$20,598
Grads Salary
$68,200
Full Ranking Report
Learn about MBA's in West Virginia

Cost of West Virginia College Education & Salaries


The State of West Virginia supports a higher education system of public colleges and universities. The Flagship is the University of West Virginia, and it includes West Virginia State University, and West Virginia State University Institute of Technology. Because of public support from tax payers, public schools, colleges, and universities offer a two-tier tuition system that favors West Virginia residents. The out-of-state tuition rates are much higher than in-state, and this difference reflects the support provided by West Virginia residents to higher education in the state.

When West Virginia students seek a major that may not be available at a West Virginia public college or university, they may be able to use the Education Common Market. The state of West Virginia cooperates with some neighboring states to extend in-state tuition rates. West Virginia students as residents of West Virginia can attend select colleges and universities in nearby states. Through the Academic Common Market, the options include Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee. West Virginia families can pay in-state tuition at public schools in the education common market. Students can get in-state discounts if they enroll in an approved degree program.

College Cost Analysis - West Virginia vs National


Average West Virginia Tuition & Fees at 4 Year Public Schools

In-State Tuition - $8,016

National Average – $9,580

Out-of-State – $21,996

National Average – $27,437

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid

West Virginia residents are close to the national average in successfully getting grants for tuition and expenses. The value of grants is twofold in that they reduce out of pocket expenses and do not require repayment. While West Virginia lags behind the national average in the median amount of funds per student, the gap in levels of funds may be due to the lower average costs of education in West Virginia.

Financial Aid West Virginia Nationally
Received Federal Grants 38% 37.7%
Average $ per Recipient $9,914 $10,927

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a postsecondary institution.
* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private non-profit schools only.

Best Scholarships for West Virginia


The costs of higher education are the most difficult barrier for most applicants. Few families can easily pay the average of nearly $50,000 per year in the average tuition and expenses for a college education. Scholarships and grants can fill unmet needs for financial resources to pay for tuition and fees. Unlike loans, grants and scholarships do not require repayment. An additional category for student consideration are loans that students can repay through service and employment. In areas of shortage such as teaching and nursing, some scholarships take the form of student loans with forgiveness upon service as a teacher or nurse. While there are not scholarships in the traditional sense, they can work as well for students with a personal and professional commitment to public service.

WVHEGP_logo

WVHEGP

West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program

https://secure.cfwv.com/Financial_Aid_Planning/Scholarships/Scholarships_and_Grants/West_Virginia_Higher_Education_Grant.aspx
Amounts: $2,700
Deadline: April 15
The West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program is a need-based financial assistance program. The grant helps qualified undergraduate students who demonstrate needs for financial assistance. Applicants must attend or plan to attend an approved educational institution located in West Virginia or Pennsylvania. The grants are renewable; students may renew their grants each year up to an additional three years beyond the initial award. Eligible applicants must be US citizens, reside in West Virginia, and have demonstrated financial need. Applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and be studying or plan to enroll as a full-time undergraduate student at an approved educational institution in West Virginia or Pennsylvania.

PS_logo

PS

Promise Scholarship

https://secure.cfwv.com/Financial_Aid_Planning/Scholarships/Scholarships_and_Grants/West_Virginia_PROMISE.aspx
Amounts: Full tuition scholarship to a WV Public school or an equal amount to a WV private college.
Deadline: March 1
Promise (Providing Real Opportunities for Maximizing In-State Student Excellence) is a merit-based scholarship program. The program provides West Virginia students with a full tuition scholarship to a state school, college, or university. If selecting a private school, then the fund will pay an equivalent amount to the private institution. The PROMISE scholarship does not rely on need or parental contributions. PROMISE scholarships are awarded on the basis of outstanding academic achievement.

TRFS_logo

TRFS

The Roothbert Fund Scholarships

https://www.roothbertfund.org/scholarships
Amounts: $2,000-$3,000 (20 Awards, Renewable)
Deadline: February 1
The scholarship fund supports high achieving students with demonstrated need. The fund awards to students without regard to race, gender, or national origin. Eligible applicants must reside in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, or North Carolina. Students may attend accredited colleges or universities anywhere in the US. While every major course of study is eligible for awards, the criteria favor education majors and careers.

AMS&AWMA_logo

AMS&AWMA

Allegheny Mountain Section Air & Waste Management Assn. Scholarships

http://www.ams-awma.org/amsscholarship
Amounts: Varies
Deadline: Varies
This scholarship program supports students that seek to pursue an education and career in environmental science. The eligible colleges and schools in West Virginia include Bethany College, Salem University, Bluefield State College, Fairmont State College, Shepard College, West Virginia State College, West Virginia University, West Virginia Institute of Technology, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Davis & Elkins College, and the State College System of WV.