Accredited Schools & Colleges in West Virginia

West Virginia College Guide – What You Need to Know

Best Colleges & Universities in West Virginia

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.

$27,040* $37,024* $43,472* $60,996* $72,852* $90,636*

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 - $8,000

National – $10,230

Out-of-State – $22,000

National – $26,300

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.

West Virginia College Tuition Costs Vs Salary Potential

Helping You Maximize Your Education Earnings

University of West Virginia Tuition & Fees In State Tuition & Fees Out Of state Books & Supplies Room & Board Campus Room & Board Off Campus Graduation Rate Grads Median Salary
West Virginia University $8,376 $23,616 $900 $10,576 8,340 57% $52,900
Marshall University $7,798 $17,856 $1,100 $10,126 $8,592 49% $41,800
West Virginia State University $7,546 $16,550 $1,544 $11,866 $8,592 26% $40,000
WV University Institute of Technology $6,950 $17,600 $900 $11,304 $8,340 21% $32,500
Fairmont State University $7,500 $16,300 $1,000 $9,656 $9,656 37% $39,000
Shepherd University $8,212 $17,600 $1,000 $9,800 $11,000 42% $40,100

**Salary after attending is a median salary, your degree and field can affect your median salary.

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.

  • PS
  • TRFS


West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program
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.



Promise Scholarship
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.



The Roothbert Fund 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.



Allegheny Mountain Section Air & Waste Management Assn. Scholarships
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.