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Reston, Virginia (VA) Colleges and Universities

While there is only one schools in Reston, there are many schools located within a fifteen mile radius. Read about the top schools in several categories, including lowest net price and lowest student-faculty ratio, to find the school for you.

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School Ranking Overview

Reston itself may be lacking in public and not-for-profit schools, but it's close enough to other towns in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. that a Reston native can still find a school nearby. These schools run the gamut from affordable two-year community colleges to prestigious for-year private universities. This article takes a look at just a few of these options, ranking them in terms of:

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

Most Program Variety

There is only one school in Reston and it is a for-profit school. However, within a fifteen mile radius of the city, there are numerous traditional colleges and universities available for students and they're covered in this article. Amongst those schools, the ones with the most program variety are below.

1 - George Mason University

George Mason University is in Fairfax and it is a public 4-year school with four campuses in Virginia. The U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) for their 2013 college rankings put this school as #17 for 'Best Graduate Criminology Schools' and as #139 for 'Best National Colleges'. There are about 119 programs here and students can pursue graduate certificates along with bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. As of 2011-2012, the program that had the most awards conferred for that year was the master's degree program in curriculum and instruction according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

2 - American University

The Methodist affiliated American University is in Washington, District of Columbia, and it is a liberal arts 4-year private not-for-profit school. Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree program options can be found at this school with around 111 different programs being available. The NCES reported that there were 468 program completions in 2011-2012 for the doctorate program in law which was the most for any program at this school that year. For their 2013 college rankings, USNWR included American University as #77 for the 'Best National Colleges' and as #12 for their 'Best Graduate Public Affairs Schools'.

3 - Georgetown University

The oldest Jesuit and Catholic university is in Washington, District of Columbia, and it is the Georgetown University which is a private not-for-profit 4-year school. The master's degree program in business administration and management had the most number of students out of any program graduating according to the NCES for 2011-2012. With 95 programs or so, students can earn bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at this school. Georgetown University appeared as #21 for 'Best National Colleges' and as #14 for 'Best Graduate Law Schools' for the 2013 USNWR college rankings.

Lowest Net Price

From the $5,000 range to the $12,000 range, Reston's schools has a variety of ranges for net prices. The net price on average of a school is calculated by taking the total attendance cost on average and subtracting the financial aid award on average from it. Reported by the NCES for 2010-2011, these following traditional colleges and universities are the ones with the lowest net price near Reston.

1 - Montgomery College

Residing in Rockville, student clubs and organizations are available at Montgomery College which is a public 2-year school. As reported by the NCES, the tuition and fees here for 2012-2013 was $4,452 for in-district students, $8,664 for in-state students and $11,724 for out-of-state students. However, as of 2010-2011, the average net price at this school was $5,571. During that year, 38% of the undergraduate students at Montgomery College were awarded financial aid like grants or scholarships.

2 - Northern Virginia Community College

Located in Annandale, the Northern Virginia Community College is a public 2-year school and it has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The average net price reported by the NCES for this school was $7,178 in 2010-2011. As of that same year, grants or scholarships were given out as financial aid to 28% of the students here. More recently, in-state students paid $3,485 for tuition and fees while out-of-state students paid $8,159 as of 2012-2013.

3 - George Mason University

As reported by the NCES, the amount of students being presented with financial aid like grants or scholarships was 39% at George Mason University for 2010-2011. The net price during that academic year was $12,628 on average. The 2012-2013 tuition and fees at George Mason University for in-state students was $9,620 and $27,764 for out-of-state students.

Highest Graduation Rates

Reston's traditional schools with the highest graduation rates have rates from 64% to 94% according to the NCES. Graduation rates from the NCES look at the students that finish their programs within the normal time as well as those who graduate within 150% of the program's standard time. These statistics presented below are for the three traditional universities and colleges near Reston with the highest graduation rates.

1 - Georgetown University

From the NCES' report, Georgetown University's graduation rate was 94% for their Fall 2005 bachelor's degree seeking students that finished within a six year period. The graduation rate only lowered to 90% when looking at the students that graduated in a normal time period. Out of the three schools in this ranking category, Georgetown University had the highest retention rate with 96% of the full-time and 33% of the part-time students returning from 2010-2011.

2 - American University

The NCES noted that American University from 2010-2011 had a retention rate of 90%. The graduation rate here for their students that started in Fall 2005 and graduated within 150% of the normal time for the program was 77%. For the students that managed to finish within the program's standard time, the graduation rate was 74% at American University.

3 - George Mason University

The 4-year graduation rate for the students that began attending George Mason University in Fall 2005 was found by the NCES to be 41%. The graduation rate rose to 64% for that student group when looking at the number of students that graduated within a six year period instead of a four year period. Then, George Mason University saw a retention rate of 87% from 2010 to 2011 for their full-time students and a 50% retention rate for their part-time students.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Ranked below according to their student-faculty ratios are three traditional universities and colleges in the Reston area. These statistics below were taken in Fall 2011 by the NCES.

1 - Georgetown University

The student-faculty ratio for Georgetown University was 11-to-1 in Fall 2011, according to the NCES. This was determined by looking at the school's 17,130 student population as well as the 1,287 full-time and 885 part-time faculty members. There were also 654 part-time graduate assistants involved in instruction. Finally, 58.5% of the classes at Georgetown University was reported by the USNWR to have less than 20 students.

2 - American University

The USNWR noted that American University had 44.7% of their classes with fewer than 20 students. Additionally, as reported by the NCES in Fall 2011, this school had 488 part-time instructional graduate assistants, 565 part-time faculty members and 721 full-time faculty members. The school had 7,212 undergraduate students and 5,512 graduate students enrolled here. Lastly, the student-faculty ratio at American University was 12-to-1.

3 - Marymount University

Arlington is home to Marymount University which is a private not-for-profit 4-year school with study abroad program options. The USNWR found that 50.3% of the classes here had fewer than 20 students and that this university was #46 on the 2013 college rankings for 'Best Regional Colleges - South'. In Fall 2011, the school had a student population of 2,374 undergraduate students and 1,259 graduate students, per the NCES. Not only that, but the faculty roster was made up of 149 full-time members and 245 part-time members. These contributing factors resulted in a 14-to-1 student faculty ratio for Marymount University.

Reston Area Schools At A Glance

School Name Location School Type Degrees Offered Area Ranking
American University Washington, District of Columbia (13.9 miles from Reston) 4-year, private not-for-profit Less than 1-year certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate certificates 2nd Highest Graduation Rates,
2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
2nd Most Program Variety
George Mason University Fairfax, Virginia (7.1 miles from Reston) 4-year, public Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates Most Program Variety,
3rd Highest Graduation Rates
Georgetown University Washington, District of Columbia (14.8 miles from Reston) 4-year, private not-for-profit 1-year certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate certificates Highest Graduation Rates,
Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
3rd Lowest Net Price,
3rd Most Program Variety
Marymount University Arlington, Virginia (12.0 miles from Reston) 4-year, private not-for-profit Less than 1-year certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates 3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Montgomery College Rockville, Maryland (13.8 miles from Reston) 2-year, public Less than 1-year and 1-year certificates; associate's degrees Lowest Net Price
Northern Virginia Community College Annandale, Virginia (10.3 miles from Reston) 2-year, public Less than 1-year and 1-year certificates; associate's degrees 2nd Lowest Net Price
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