Choosing which of the best universities in West Virginia to attend may be challenging for prospective students due to the number of high-quality schools in the region. However, considering school rankings, accreditation, and graduation rates can help you understand what makes the best colleges in West Virginia so great.
If you’re seeking to apply to the best colleges in West Virginia, look no further. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 universities in West Virginia and the highest-paying jobs available to graduates who choose to stay in West Virginia.
What Are the Best Universities in West Virginia?
The best universities in West Virginia include Marshall University, Shepherd University, University of Charleston, Bethany College, and Wheeling University. These universities are the best in West Virginia based on their graduation rates and national rankings.
How Many Universities Are in West Virginia?
There are 20 universities in West Virginia. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the 20 universities in West Virginia consist of 10 public universities, seven private non-profit universities, and three private for-profit universities.
What Are the Biggest Universities in West Virginia?
The biggest universities in West Virginia by total student enrollment are American Public University System and West Virginia University. American Public University System is a distance education provider with headquarters in West Virginia that has a student population of 50,047. West Virginia University is the second-largest university, with 26,269 students enrolled in its programs.
Largest West Virginia Universities by Enrollment
- American Public University System | 50,047
- West Virginia University | 26,269
- Marshall University | 11,958
- Fairmont State University University | 3,848
- West Virginia State University | 3,638
- Shepherd University | 3,159
West Virginia University Rankings: What Are the Top 10 Universities in West Virginia?
|3||Fairmont State University||Fairmont||45%|
|5||University of Charleston||Charleston||43%|
|8||West Virginia University at Parkersburg||Parkersburg||41%|
|9||Glenville State University||Glenville||38%|
How We Defined West Virginia University Rankings
Our ranking of the 10 best West Virginia universities is based on the graduation rates of top schools in the state, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). In coming up with our list of 10 West Virginia universities, we also consulted rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education, which you can reference in the expanded list below.
The Best Colleges and Universities in West Virginia, Explained
The following is a list of West Virginia’s best colleges and universities and some of the programs each of these schools offer. The information for each school was obtained from the university’s official website.
Wheeling University is a private university in Wheeling, West Virginia, founded in 1954. Wheeling was formerly a Jesuit university, but the church and school cut their ties in 2019. Programs offered at Wheeling University include undergraduate certificates, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, doctoral degrees, and postgraduate certificates.
Wheeling University Overview
- Campus Location: Wheeling
- Student Population: 857
- Acceptance Rate: 77%
- Graduation Rate: 57%
- Post-Grad Median Salary: $53,132
- US News National Ranking: #80 in Regional Universities South
- Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A
Best Wheeling University Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science: The engineering science program offers a demanding and comprehensive curriculum that trains students for successful engineering jobs. This degree at Wheeling University provides a combined curriculum of liberal arts and technology courses.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing: This Bachelor of Science program in nursing lays the basis for professional nursing practice and entry-level careers in healthcare.
- Bachelor of Liberal Arts: The Bachelor of Liberal Arts is an interdisciplinary degree program. Students can design their own study plans and course schedules in order to combine a wide variety of subjects and disciplines.
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology: The psychology department aims to provide a rigorous curriculum that allows students to study the most up-to-date and statistically sound behavioral principles.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: This degree focuses on teaching analytical and management skills. Students also get to study the intersection of business and technology. Graduates of this program will become more productive and socially responsible people who can run businesses and nonprofits.
Marshall University is a public university located in Huntington, West Virginia, and established in 1837. Marshall University serves as an engine for economic development in the fields of biotechnology and business. The university participates in research in both areas that help increase people’s quality of life.
Marshall University Overview
- Campus Location: Huntington
- Student Population: 11,958
- Acceptance Rate: 89%
- Graduation Rate: 52%
- Post-Grad Median Salary: $41,700
- US News National Ranking: #288
- Times Higher Education Ranking: >600
Best Marshall University Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences: This program teaches the science of life and living organisms, their life cycles, adaptations, and environments. The program is popular among students hoping to pursue a career in healthcare or medicine.
- Bachelor of Science in Chemical Sciences: This bachelor's degree program provides students with a broad and flexible base of scientific knowledge. Students are exposed to many sub-disciplines of chemistry while also being given the freedom to select elective courses in other areas of interest.
- Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering: Biomedical engineering applies engineering principles to studies in biology, physiology, and medicine to improve the quality of life for populations. Biomedical engineers have discovered ways to increase lifespans and cure illnesses.
- Bachelor of Science in Biomechanics: Marshall University's biomechanics program is one of only 10 undergraduate programs in the country that offers a dedicated Bachelor's Degree in Biomechanics. Students are taught foundational skills in human physiology, kinesiology, and exercise science.
- Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering: This program offers students small class sizes and desiccated career support services. Graduates are prepared to become licensed professional civil engineers and work on highway networks, trains, airports, bridges, and power stations, among other things.
Fairmont State University is a public university located in Fairmont, West Virginia, that was founded in 1865. Associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees are available, in addition to postbaccalaureate and postgraduate certificate programs.
Fairmont State University Overview
- Campus Location: Fairmont
- Student Population: 3,848
- Acceptance Rate: 94%
- Graduation Rate: 45%
- Post-Grad Median Salary: $35,930
- US News National Ranking: #91 in Regional Universities South (tie)
- Times Higher Education Ranking: >800
Best Fairmont State University Programs
- Master of Arts in National Security and Intelligence: This curriculum prepares students to develop and apply rigorous analytical methodologies to difficult national security concerns. Students in this program also gain leadership skills and knowledge of ethics in this industry.
- Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT): The online Master of Arts in Teaching program is for people with a bachelor's degree or higher in liberal arts. The program guarantees that candidates have gained the necessary skills and knowledge to become effective educators.
- Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM): This program is unique because it combines sophisticated technical concepts and tactics with operational performance improvement. Graduates of this program go on to work for the government and private companies as engineers.
- Master of Science in Healthcare Management (MSHM): This program prepares students to fill management positions in healthcare. The need for qualified healthcare executives is growing and graduates of this program can fill that gap. Students learn leadership skills and complete a capstone to gain real-world experience in strategic management.
- Master of Education (MEd) in Professional Studies: The Master of Education in Professional Studies is a 30-credit hour graduate program that equips students with the practical knowledge and intellectual ability to address the evolving needs of professional work situations. Students in this program get to create their own learning paths.
Shepherd University is a public university founded in 1871 that is located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Its proximity to both Washington, DC and Baltimore makes it easy for students to find job and internship opportunities. It has an average class size of 14, which allows students to get individualized guidance from professors.
Shepherd University Overview
- Campus Location: Shepherdstown
- Student Population: 3,159
- Acceptance Rate: 98%
- Graduation Rate: 44%
- Post-Grad Median Salary: $45,723
- US News National Ranking: #168-222 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
- Times Higher Education Ranking: >800
Best Shepherd University Programs
- Engineering Science Comprehensive, BS: Environmental engineering or systems engineering are the two focus areas available to students in this program. The environmental engineering focus prepares students for careers in engineering technology and its applications to environmental issues and difficulties.
- Computer and Information Science Comprehensive, BS: The curriculum teaches students the skills and concepts needed to design and manage cutting-edge computer systems. Students are equipped to utilize their expertise in the workplace or pursue graduate studies in a similar field.
- Health Promotion and Exercise Science Comprehensive Major, BS: This degree provides professional training for health and fitness exercise science jobs. Shepherd University is the only school in the state to receive accreditation for its program from The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
- Applied Mathematics Comprehensive, BS: Mathematics is a fundamental topic because it is the foundation of all sciences. The program is beneficial because a strong mathematical foundation improves all intellectual effort. Graduates can pursue careers in a wide variety of fields, including technology and business.
- Data Analytics Comprehensive, BS. Advanced data analytics or biology are the two concentration options for students in this program. In addition to the core courses in data analytics, students must meet the prerequisite requirements for their chosen concentration.
University of Charleston is a private, non-profit institution located in Charleston, West Virginia. It was founded in 1888 and offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs. It has a student population of just under 3,000 students, the majority of whom are pursuing undergraduate degrees.
University of Charleston Overview
- Campus Locations: Charleston, Beckley
- Student Population: 2,967
- Acceptance Rate: 61%
- Graduation Rate: 43%
- Post-Grad Median Salary: $41,700
- US News National Ranking: #299-391
- Times Higher Education Ranking: #482
Best University of Charleston Programs
- Elementary Studies and Child Development: If you want to work in the education field but don't want to teach in elementary schools, this degree is for you. After completing this four-year program, you will be qualified to work in educational support services at government agencies, libraries, and museums.
- Applied Computer Science: Students who study in the applied computer science undergraduate program will get the information and skills needed to pursue careers in software development, network administration, mobile computing, and web design. There is also a cyber security concentration available for this four-year program.
- Accounting: This program will help you develop problem-solving, critical reasoning, and communication skills, as well as a thorough understanding of ethical behavior. Combining these skills and knowledge will allow you to achieve your professional and academic objectives. This is a four-year program, but there is an accelerated option for students who wish to graduate in three years.
- Radiologic Science: Basic anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, radiation shielding, radiographic placement, and imaging equipment are among the topics covered in the program. This curriculum will guide you in becoming a responsible and multi-skilled radiologist.
- Psychology BA or BS: This study helps you gain a greater understanding of organism behavior and processes, as well as an appreciation for psychology as a field, science, and profession. Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science degree will have to take extra math and science courses to fulfill the degree requirements.
Bethany College is a private liberal arts college in West Virginia. The institution was started in 1840 by Alexander Campbell. Bachelor's degrees, postbaccalaureate certificates, and master's degree programs are available. Its small student population allows the school to maintain its 11-to-one student-to-faculty ratio.
Bethany College Overview
- Campus Location: Bethany
- Student Population: 576
- Acceptance Rate: 92%
- Graduation Rate: 43%
- Post-Grad Median Salary: $46,114
- US News National Ranking: #168-222 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
- Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A
Best Bethany College Programs
- Computer Science: Computer science and cyber security programs help students build problem-solving skills as well as the ability to shift, adapt, and constantly educate themselves.
- Chemistry: This program aims to give graduates a theoretical and quantitative basis in chemistry, including analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Students get the versatility needed to work in research and service industries.
- Mathematics: This mathematics major gives access to numerous research, presentation, and internship opportunities. Mathematics is a study that can be used to augment other curricula while also providing a broad field of study in and of itself.
- Accounting: Bethany College's accounting major is comprehensive, preparing students for advanced degrees and entry-level accounting employment in public accounting firms and other businesses.
- Political Science: Students in political science learn how to conduct research and think critically, use qualitative and quantitative approaches to solve significant questions and polish written and oral debate strategies that equip them for various vocations.
Concord University is located in Athens, West Virginia. It was founded in 1872 and provides bachelor's, master's, and postgraduate certificates to its students. Of its 1,807 students, 1,463 are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs.
Concord University Overview
- Campus Location: Athens
- Student Population: 1,807
- Acceptance Rate: 91%
- Graduation Rate: 42%
- Post-Grad Median Salary: $37,985
- US News National Ranking: #91 in Regional Universities South
- Times Higher Education Ranking: >800
Best Concord University Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Biology: This program offers students a wide understanding of everything from life's smallest molecules to individual animals to ecosystems. A Bachelor's Degree in Biology requires 120-credits to graduate.
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: Aspiring computer scientists want to know why technology works and how to put that knowledge to use. This program’s curriculum provides students with a complete understanding of computers, including hardware mechanics, mathematical foundations, and software development.
- Master of Business Administration: The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is a standard MBA with 30 hours of coursework that concentrates on equipping master's candidates with the information and abilities necessary to effectively run enterprises.
- Master of Art in Teaching: The Master of Art in Teaching is a 36-hour program that includes professional coursework and practical exposure through student teaching. Graduates will be prepared to teach a specific subject to a designated age group, but a licensing examination is still required before starting a teaching position.
- Master of Education: This online program requires 12 hours of graduate practice and 24 hours of topic specialty coursework in education, leadership, and supervision. This program is intended exclusively for instructors who are either licensed or eligible for licensure.
West Virginia University at Parkersburg is a public school established in 1961. The institution offers programs for associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and one-year certificates. West Virginia University at Parkersburg is one of the most affordable universities in the state and 71 percent of its students receive some form of financial assistance.
West Virginia University at Parkersburg Overview
- Campus Location: Parkersburg
- Student Population: 2,624
- Acceptance Rate: 100%
- Graduation Rate: 41%
- Post-Grad Median Salary: $31,363
- US News National Ranking: #70 in Regional Universities South
- Times Higher Education Ranking: >800
Best West Virginia University at Parkersburg Programs
- Associate of Science: Students pursuing bachelor's degrees can transfer their Associate of Science degrees to other schools and universities. The Associate of Science degree prepares students for careers in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, veterinary science, and other fields.
- Associate of Applied Science in Nursing: The program educates students on professional nursing practice while also offering a foundation of knowledge for future career advancement. Since this is an Associate of Applied Science degree, it is considered a terminal degree in this field and graduates can apply to be licensed as registered nurses.
- Associate of Art: Students in this program will study the same core curriculum in addition to courses required by their major. Some of the majors available to students are journalism, English, religion, mathematics, communications, and theatre. The Associate of Arts is intended for transfer to other schools and universities.
- Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice: This program is meant to give students a fundamental grasp of the criminal justice system and the skills they'll need to continue their education and work in professions such as policing, law, corrections, and other related fields.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting: Accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing are all abilities that the business administration program will help you develop. The degree also emphasizes topics in quantitative analysis and operations management.
Glenville State University is a public university in Glenville, West Virginia. Established in 1872, it offers undergraduate programs for one-year certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. Of its 1,538 students, 97 percent receive some amount of financial aid.
Glenville State University Overview
- Campus Location: Glenville
- Student Population: 1,583
- Acceptance Rate: 100%
- Graduation Rate: 38%
- Post-Grad Median Salary: $36,583
- US News National Ranking: #43 in Regional Universities South
- Times Higher Education Ranking: >800
Best Glenville State University Programs
- Bachelor of Applied Science: Before attending Glenville State University, students must have earned an Associate of Applied Science degree from a regionally approved two-year university. Courses in this program cover a wide variety of topics in addition to courses for the student’s selected area of emphasis.
- Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management: The natural resource management bachelor's degree equips students with the information, analytical and practical skills, and decision-making abilities needed to protect and utilize our renewable resources efficiently.
- Land Surveying Associates Degree: Glenville State University's land surveying technology program creates a learning environment meant to form, teach, and educate future surveyors.
- Forest Technology Associates Degree: The two-year degree helps students to finish their studies quickly and begin their forestry career. It teaches students about tree and wood species, forest measurements, mapping, forest ecology, silviculture, timber harvesting, forest health, and agroforestry, among other topics.
- Master of Science in Accountancy: Glenville State University and Marshall University have joined to offer a Master of Science in Accounting degree to students. Applicants take courses to learn accounting theory, laws, and how to use financial data to make effective company decisions.
Salem University is a private university in Salem, West Virginia and was founded in 1888. The institution awards associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master's degrees, postgraduate certificates, and doctorate degrees.
Salem University Overview
- Campus Location: Salem
- Student Population: 1,008
- Acceptance Rate: 100%
- Graduation Rate: 31%
- Post-Grad Median Salary: $32,796
- US News National Ranking: #104-137 in Regional Universities South
- Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A
Best Salem University Programs
- Associate of Science in Business Administration: Students who complete the business associate program should be able to demonstrate knowledge of business functions, economics, and professional communication and conduct.
- Associate of Science in Computer Science: You can get the core skills needed to work as a support technician, software programmer, or other entry-level computer science positions with an Associate of Science in Computer Science.
- Bachelor of Art in Criminal Justice: This program offers extensive exposure to criminal justice concerns. This concentration is beneficial for students pursuing a career in criminal justice who are unsure which section of the discipline interests them most.
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology: The main program lays the groundwork for students to understand how to adapt information technology theory and principles to real-world opportunities and difficulties in information system and network management and operations.
- Bachelor of Science in Education with a Concentration in Physical Education: The curriculum in this program focuses on diet, healthy living choices, and national public health concerns such as obesity and addictions. It also equips students with the capacity to teach this subject to others through coursework and field activities.
Best College and University Entry-Test Prep Books
West Virginia University Admission Requirements
The admission requirements to attend a university in West Virginia are a high school diploma or equivalent, a high school GPA of 2.0 or above, standardized tests such as SAT or ACT, an application fee, and a personal statement or essay. These are the standard admission requirements for a bachelor’s degree program and may differ based on degree level.
Admission Requirements for Universities in West Virginia
- High school diploma or equivalent
- High school GPA of 2.0 or above
- SAT or ACT scores
- Application fee
- Personal statement or essay
How to Apply to West Virginia Universities
The process of applying to West Virginia universities includes reviewing the admission requirements, completing an application form, providing required documents, and paying the school’s application fee. You should check your application status and wait for feedback from the school’s admissions office after applying.
West Virginia Universities Admissions Process
- Research the school’s admissions requirements.
- Fill out the application form on the school’s website.
- Provide required documents such as standardized test scores, personal statements, and high school transcripts.
- Pay the application fee.
- Await feedback from the admissions office.
Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees
Why Study in West Virginia?
You should study in West Virginia if you want excellent job opportunities, a low cost of living, and plenty of high-quality academic opportunities. Below is an explanation of each of these factors and why they should be considered.
There are various job opportunities in West Virginia in hospitality, government, mining, and business available to students while in school and after graduation. Some schools have career offices that give students information on internships and work-study opportunities.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in West Virginia is relatively cheap compared to other states in the US. Students who graduate from one of the best universities in West Virginia should be able to find jobs quickly and benefit from the low cost of living.
West Virginia has a variety of quality schools for you to choose from including Fairmont University, Wheeling, and West Virginia University. They offer a range of program options, including undergraduate graduate certificates and degrees.
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More West Virginia University Rankings: What Other Universities Are the Best in West Virginia?
West Virginia university rankings can help you choose from the best universities in the state. The following is an overview of the best West Virginia universities in public, private, online, and international student categories.
- Fairmont State University: Fairmont state university is a public university that offers programs in nursing, business administration and management, psychology, and criminal justice. The institution also provides extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, and organizations that can help aid the personal development of the students.
- West Virginia University Potomac State College: Potomac State College is a public college located in Keyser, West Virginia. Potomac College offers 62 degrees in subjects that include education, liberal studies, criminal justice, and agriculture. There is also a wide range of on-campus activities, clubs, and events for students to participate in.
- West Virginia State University: West Virginia State University is undoubtedly one of the best state universities in West Virginia. It has an 89 percent acceptance rate. The programs offered by the university are psychology, business administration, management, social work, and history, among others. The university has a safe and large university campus conducive to learning.
- West Liberty University: West Liberty University is the oldest higher institution in West Virginia. It offers courses such as liberal and creative arts, elementary education and teaching, and general studies. The university provides career services where students are assisted with writing resumes, writing cover letters, and practicing job interviews.
- Marshall University: Marshall University is a public research university located in Huntington, West Virginia. The institution is recognized for its nursing, pharmaceutical, and medical programs. Marshall University also offers general studies, psychology, finance, and biological sciences courses.
- Shepherd University: Shepherd University is a public university. Its popular majors include its health professions and related programs and its liberal arts and sciences programs. The institution also provides additional student resources ranging from accessibility services to counseling services.
- Wheeling University: Wheeling University is a non-profit, private university Wheeling University is one of the best colleges in West Virginia and offers bachelor's degrees in subjects like registered nursing, biological sciences, and safety studies.
- University of Charleston: University of Charleston is a private nonprofit university with its main campus in Charleston, West Virginia. It is well known for its organizational leadership programs. University of Charleston also offers programs like registered nursing, psychology, and accounting, amongst others.
- Catholic Distance University: Catholic Distance University is a private, 100 percent online university and is the first university in the United States to offer online Catholic education. Available majors include theology and liberal studies.
- West Virginia University: WVU Online offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in addition to undergraduate and graduate certificates. The majority of the classes are recorded and archived to allow students to access them at any time.
- Marshall University: Marshall University has one of the best online education programs. The institution is not a 100 percent online institution, but it offers over 600 fully online courses. Students at this institution enjoy an online library and career resources. Some of the programs offered are business, criminal justice, and education.
- Concord University: Concord University is a public university located in Athens, West Virginia. It offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online. The institution is flexible and makes recorded classes available so students can access them on their own time. Popular concentrations include business, nursing, and psychology.
- West Virginia University: West Virginia University is ranked as the best university in West Virginia for international students. International students at WVU have access to resources like the International Students and Scholars Services, which assists students from different cultural backgrounds to acclimate to US culture.
- Marshall University: Marshall University is one of the best universities for international students. The institution has an Office of International Student Services that helps students with immigration issues. Marshall University also provides international students with compulsory health insurance to protect them from the high cost of medical services in the US.
- Davis & Elkins College: Davis & Elkins College is a private nonprofit institution that provides support services for international students to ensure an easy transition.
Best Bachelor’s Degrees
Top West Virginia Universities by Major
The top West Virginia universities have different majors that provide high-quality education in engineering, nursing, and psychology. Below are some of the best universities in West Virginia by major.
- West Virginia University: West Virginia University has well-experienced lecturers who help students learn about computational processes and teach the students to create problem-solving software to meet the world's demands.
- West Virginia Wesleyan College: The institution offers both entry-level and professional courses in computer science. Some of the major aspects are computer programming, system analysis and designs, cyber security, and operating systems.
- Marshall University: Marshall University offers both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Computer Science. Students learn the theoretical and practical aspects of computer science that help them build successful careers. Students learn to identify problems and apply computing solutions. Courses include artificial intelligence, machine learning, and software engineering.
- West Virginia Wesleyan College: The institution has modern equipment to train students to be exceptional in the nursing field. Wesleyan College has a simulation lab, a pediatric intensive care unit, and a medication dispensing system. Wesleyan College offers Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Degrees in Nursing.
- American Public University System: The Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing. American Public University System is one of the best universities for nursing in West Virginia if you are interested in pursuing your degree online.
- Fairmont State University: This school has one of the best nursing colleges in West Virginia and has a well-equipped facility, clinical setting, and modern technology necessary to make the best nurses out of its students.
- West Virginia University: West Virginia University has seven academic departments in its College of Engineering. The departments include chemical and biomedical engineering, mining engineering, petroleum and natural gas engineering, and mechanical and aerospace engineering. Graduates can work effectively as team members and are able to identify and solve technical and scientific problems.
- West Virginia University Institute of Technology: WVU Tech is one of the top-ranked engineering schools in West Virginia and arms students with the skills to tackle the world's technological and mechanical needs. Students learn technical competence and environmental responsibility.
- Marshall University: Marshall University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science teaches students practice-oriented teachings and applied research. The institution is well equipped with the necessary equipment to teach the students both the theoretical and practical aspects of engineering.
- Marshall University: Marshall University’s Lewis School of Business is one of the best business universities in West Virginia and offers an exceptional business education that helps students prosper in the Business world. It provides students with professional programs and invites experts to advise students on their business career choices.
- West Virginia University: West Virginia University’s outstanding business school offers one of the best online MBA programs in West Virginia. The college provides students with a combination of business and social sciences programs. Students are also taught to build an entrepreneurial mindset during the program.
- University of Charleston: The Charleston School of Business and Leadership prepares students for the ever-evolving business world. The comprehensive business education provided by the university teaches skills in communication, business analysis, and technology. It provides internship opportunities to help students gain experience.
- West Virginia University: WVU is the best university in West Virginia to obtain a degree in psychology. The institution offers both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Psychology. It also provides all-inclusive quality programs that help students succeed in their area of specialization.
- American Public University System: APUS is recognized as one of the best schools to study psychology. The institution offers an online Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Psychology that teaches students to apply psychological concepts in the real world. The department invites experts in psychology specialties to guide the students.
- West Virginia Wesleyan College: Wesleyan College provides students with a well-equipped laboratory with access to perform experiments and apply statistics to research results. It also offers options in the psychology field including behavioral analysis, abnormal psychology, human relations, personality theory, and assessment.
Tuition Costs for West Virginia Universities
The average tuition cost for public West Virginia universities is $19,034, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The average tuition cost for private universities in West Virginia is $22,446. Below we discuss the five most affordable schools in the state based on in-state tuition rates.
Most Affordable Universities in West Virginia
- West Virginia University at Parkersburg | Tuition: $221/credit: Originally part of the West Virginia University system, Parkersburg is now an independent public school. It has 52 majors and programs, as well as the lowest in-state tuition by credit.
- West Virginia University Potomac State College | Tuition: $237/credit: Potomac State College is a public university located in Keyser, West Virginia. It was established in 1901 and currently offers more than 60 majors.
- Shepherd University | Tuition: $278/Credit: Shepherd University is a public university located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. It was established in 1871 and enrolled about 3,159 students in Fall 2020.
- Fairmont State University | Tuition: $319/Credit: Fairmont State University is a public university. The school was established in 1865 and offers more than 80 academic programs.
- Marshall University | Tuition: $359/Credit: Marshall University is a public university established in 1837 in Huntington, West Virginia. The university has nine colleges and offers over 150 programs.
How to Pay for Your Chosen School Path
Financial Aid Options for the Best Universities in West Virginia
There are several financial aid options available for students attending the best universities in West Virginia. The financial aid options include scholarships, student grants, work-study permits, and student loans.
Financial Aid for West Virginia Universities: A Summary
- Scholarships: You can apply for scholarships in West Virginia to finance your education. They can be based on high grades, registration in a specific program or institution, or financial need. Make sure to do your research on your eligibility.
- Student grants: You can opt for a student grant if you don’t have the means of paying for your education. Grants are most often given to graduate students and do not need to be paid back.
- Work-study opportunities: You will have to apply for a federal work-study program to be eligible for on-campus jobs. Once accepted, you will be able to work at your university as a tour guide or at a student help desk.
- Student loans: Another great option is to apply for a student loan which you will repay with interest after school. Loans can be provided by the government or by financial institutions and you can work out different repayment options.
West Virginia University Eligibility Requirements: Who Qualifies for Financial Aid at West Virginia Universities?
- Be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen who can demonstrate financial need.
- Have a valid social security number.
- Be a regular student in an eligible school, degree, or program.
- Sign the certification statement on your FAFSA form.
- Fulfill satisfactory academic progress in your enrolled degree program.
Private West Virginia Universities With Good Financial Aid
- American Public University System: American Public University System offers several financial aid options, including student grants and direct loans. They also offer credit balance refunds on any funds remaining after payment of all charges.
- University of Charleston: University of Charleston offers financial aid such as federal grants, scholarships, and student loans.
- Salem University: Salem University offers financial aid to students, including federal grants, work-study programs, student loans, and scholarships.
Universities in West Virginia That Provide Financial Aid to Out-of-State Students
- West Virginia University: West Virginia University offers freshman scholarships to students who are not residents of West Virginia. Students attending online programs are not eligible for this financial aid.
- Salem University: Salem University offers the Salem Scholars Grant to non-resident, first-year undergraduate students in communities such as Beverly, Danvers, Middleton, Lynn, Malden, Peabody, Saugus, and Chelsea.
- Bethany College: Bethany College offers out-of-state financial aid to students based on individual needs. The most common out-of-state grants are awarded to students from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland.
How to Apply For Financial Aid and Scholarships for West Virginia State Universities
- Fill out the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA).
- Check for your eligibility for financial aid in West Virginia.
- Review the financial aid options at West Virginia schools and see which suits you best.
- Receive the aid in your student account and complete your FAFSA form every year.
- Repay your student loans after graduation (There is a six-month grace period after school to help you plan before you begin repayment).
Demographics of Universities in West Virginia
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the majority of students at universities in West Virginia are white. Other demographics that make up the total student body at West Virginia universities include Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, and people who identify with two or more races.
Diversity Statistics for Universities in West Virginia
- White: 76.3%
- Black: 10.1%
- Hispanic: 7.2%
- Asian: 1.9%
- Pacific Islander: 0.4%
- American Indian: 0.5%
- Two or More Races: 3.6%
West Virginia Employment Outlook for University Students
The job opportunities for people who study in West Virginia include network and information security, mining and logging, and professional and business services. The job outlook for university students is positive and West Virginia has an unemployment rate of just over three percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
5 In-Demand West Virginia Jobs
There are several in-demand career opportunities in West Virginia including data scientist and graphic design jobs. The following is all the information about the top five in-demand West Virginia jobs, including the average salaries, employment, job growth rate, and the best West Virginia university programs to help you succeed.
Cyber security analysts oversee the security of a company’s computer networks. They develop measures to protect the systems from attacks, including building firewalls. They also perform security checks to identify and resolve security breaches on the networks.
Data scientists apply techniques to derive useful insights from raw datasets. They conduct surveys and experiments with machine learning and interpret the results to solve business problems.
Electrical engineers design and oversee electronic devices or machines. They develop techniques to manufacture, test, and control new and existing electric equipment. They also identify problems with the systems and develop repair solutions.
Graphic designers use computer software to develop visual designs and interfaces. They create digital designs such as images, logos, electronic fliers, and illustrations to communicate ideas or advertise products.
Computer engineers develop new computer hardware systems and upgrade existing ones. They run tests on the hardware and develop techniques to modify computer networks. They also create devices that engineers build into machines like vehicles and electrical appliances.
Is a University in West Virginia Right for You?
Yes, a university in West Virginia is right for you if you want an excellent education and a cheaper off-campus living experience. In addition to the programs listed in this article, the best universities in West Virginia offer hundreds of degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. Whether you are pursuing an associate degree or a doctorate, West Virginia is a great place to study.
How to Get Into the Best Colleges and Universities
Best Universities in West Virginia FAQ
The West Virginia college experience includes both on and off-campus activities like sports and outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting. However, the school you attend ultimately determines your college experience.
You must evaluate your preferences and needs during your school search to find the best school for you. Consult school rankings in the US and look out for factors like high retention rates, small class sizes, and positive program reviews.
West Virginia University Institute of Technology is ranked as the hardest school to get into in West Virginia with an acceptance rate of 51 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Marshall University is known for its marketing, general studies, education, and psychology courses. Marshall University’s engineering and business programs are also highly-regarded in West Virginia.
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