Radford, Virginia (VA) Colleges and Universities

While there is only one postsecondary institution in Radford, VA, there are 3 traditional schools located within a 15-mile radius. Read about the top schools in several categories, including lowest net price and highest graduation rate, to find the school for you.

School Ranking Overview

Students interested in pursuing a postsecondary education in or near Radford, VA, can choose from among two public universities and one community college. Detailed information drawn from national and school-specific resources can be helpful in aiding students to choose which institution works best for them. Read about how these three schools compare to each other and rank within the following four categories:

  • Most Program Variety
  • Lowest Net Price
  • Highest Graduation Rate
  • Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Most Program Variety

A wide breadth of academic offerings gives an inquiring student scope to explore many fields of study, and an opportunity to associate with others preparing to enter many different walks of life. The 3 traditional schools nearest to Radford vary greatly in the number of programs of study offered at each.

1 - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Commonly known as Virginia Tech, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a 4-year public institution in Blacksburg, heads the category with about 120 separate study tracks leading to academic awards ranging from associate's to doctoral degrees. Virginia Tech was founded as an agricultural and mechanical college in 1872. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Virginia Tech awarded 5,825 bachelor's degrees in the 2011-2012 school year. Of that total, 1,151 were granted to students completing one of the school's 18 engineering disciplines, and 1,133 were awarded to business students. The third most popular area of study at Virginia Tech was biological and biomedical science, for which 524 bachelor's degrees were awarded in 2011-2012.

2 - Radford University

Located in downtown Radford, Radford University awards undergraduate certificates, bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees through roughly 66 programs of study. Radford was chartered as a public women's college in 1910, became coeducational in 1972, and was granted the status of 4-year public university in 1979, according to the school's website. The NCES states that 301 bachelor's degrees were received by Radford business majors in the 2011-2012 academic year. The next most popular program was multi/interdisciplinary studies, with 185 bachelor-level graduates, followed by studies in the health professions, which awarded 169 bachelor's degrees.

3 - New River Community College

New River Community College (NRCC), in Dublin, offers about 35 avenues of study resulting in certificates and associate's degrees. Founded in 1958 as a postsecondary vocational and technical school for the Radford area, NRCC was incorporated into the Virginia community college system in 1966. Of the 482 associate's degrees the NCES states were awarded by New River in 2011-2012, more than half were awarded for liberal arts studies. Students in the health professions earned 66 associate's degrees, and 60 more degrees were awarded for studies completed in business, making health professions and business studies the second and third most popular academic areas at the school.

Lowest Net Price

Although all three of the institutions closest to Radford are public schools, the annual costs of attending vary by more than $12,000. The NCES supplies a net price calculation for each school that takes into account the average monetary value of financial aid received by students who applied for financial aid. All of the following statistics are supplied by the NCES, and the net price figures are NCES calculations for 2010-2011.

1 - New River Community College

At $4,995, New River has the lowest net price of the 3 schools profiled. Among beginning undergraduate students in 2010-2011, 65% received an average of $4,527 in scholarship and grant aid. For the 2012-2013 year, in-state tuition and fees totaled $3,048, an increase of 4.9% over the previous year.

2 - Radford University

The net cost of attending Radford was $10,813, with 41% of beginning undergraduates obtaining an average of $8,436 in scholarship and grant aid during the 2010-2011 school year. For in-state students, tuition and fees totaled $8,590 in the 2012-2013 school year, a year-on-year rise of 3.2%.

3 - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Tech's net price was $17,631. Of beginning undergraduates from 2010-2011, 57% received grant and scholarship aid, averaging $5,517 each. Virginia Tech charged $10,923 for in-state tuition and fees in 2012-2013, moving 3.9% higher than the preceding year.

Highest Graduation Rate

The 3 schools nearest Radford differ greatly in their rates of successfully graduating students. The NCES tabulates a school's overall graduation rate as the percentage of students entering postsecondary education for the first time in a given cohort year who received an academic award in 150% of the time it should normally take to complete; 6 years for a bachelor's degree, for example. All of the following graduation and retention rate statistics are from the NCES.

1 - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Tech has the highest graduation rate in the area; 82% of full-time freshmen who began their postsecondary education in 2005 graduated within 6 years. Virginia Tech's retention rate was also best of area schools. Of full-time freshmen who first began their pursuit of a bachelor's degree in the fall of 2010, 91% returned to continue their studies in the fall of 2011.

2 - Radford University

Of full-time freshmen who began their postsecondary studies at Radford in 2005, the school graduated 56% within 6 years. Radford's retention rate from fall of 2010 to fall of 2011 for first-time, full-time freshmen seeking bachelor's degrees was 76%.

3 - New River Community College

New River graduated 21% of its 2008 freshman cohort within 6 years. In other words, of those who first began pursuing a postsecondary award at the school, about 1 in 5 managed to graduate within 150% of the nominal time designated for the completion of their program. The percentage of New River students who returned in the fall of 2011 to continue studies begun in the fall of 2010 was 60%.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

A low number of students per faculty member can make college learning a more personal experience; the 3 public schools profiled are all reported as having ratios of students to faculty of between 16:1 and 26:1. The NCES posts a calculation of each school's student-faculty ratio based on the institution's enrollment and staff information.

1 - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Tech has the lowest ratio of students to faculty among area schools, 16:1, according to the NCES, which also lists an undergraduate enrollment of 23,700 for the school in the fall of 2011. In that school year, Virginia Tech had 1,368 full-time instructors and 3,404 part-time teachers, including 3,125 graduate teaching assistants.

2 - Radford University

The NCES lists Radford, with a 2011 undergraduate enrollment of 8,350, as having a student-faculty ratio of 19:1. Radford's full-time faculty instructors numbered 406 in 2011, with an additional 258 part-time instructors, of which 76 were graduate teaching assistants.

3 - New River Community College

The NCES calculates New River's student-faculty ratio at 26:1. The school enrolled 5,207 students in the fall of 2011 and had 57 full-time instructors; part-time instructors numbered 182.

School Name Location School Type Awards Offered Area Ranking
New River Community College Dublin, VA (6.6 miles from Radford) 2-year, public Less than 1-year and 1 to 2-year certificates; associate's degrees Lowest Net Price,
3rd Most Program Variety,
3rd Highest Graduation Rate,
3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Radford University Radford, VA 4-year, public Less than 1-yr certificate; associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates 2nd Most Program Variety,
2nd Lowest Net Price,
2nd Highest Graduation Rate,
2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Virginia Polytechnic and State University Blacksburg, VA (11.7 miles from Radford) 4-year, public Associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees; post-master's certificate Most Program Variety,
Highest Graduation Rate,
Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
3rd Lowest Net Price

Related to Radford, Virginia (VA) Colleges

Search Degrees, Careers, or Schools