Roanoke, Virginia Education and City Information

Roanoke, Va., lies along the Roanoke River, just east of the Allegheny Mountains and west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This city hosts three nonprofit postsecondary schools: Virginia Western Community College, Hollins University and Jefferson College of Health Sciences.

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Information about Roanoke, Virginia

Roanoke is the largest city in southwestern Virginia, with a population estimated at 99,428 in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median household income in Roanoke was significantly lower than the statewide median for the period 2010-2014, at $39,530 compared to $64,792.

Roanoke's location near both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail make it an ideal location for hiking, biking and other outdoor activities. The city itself has five greenways and nearly 70 parks, including Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, the country's second largest city-owned park at nearly 13,000 acres. Other attractions include Mill Mountain Zoo, located atop Mill Mountain; Center in the Square, which houses the history and science museums of western Virginia and the Hopkins Planetarium; and Valhalla Wines, one of several vineyards in the Roanoke region.

Roanoke Educational Opportunities

Students looking for certificate and associate's degree programs can find them at Virginia Western Community College, the largest postsecondary school in Roanoke. This public community college enrolled over 8,600 students in Fall 2014.

Roanoke also is home to Hollins University, a private liberal arts school that confers bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates. Hollins had nearly 800 students as of Fall 2014, including approximately 600 undergraduates.

Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke offers certificate, associate's, bachelor's and master's programs in fields including rehabilitation and wellness, community health sciences and nursing. In Fall 2014, this private college had just over 1,130 undergraduate and graduate students.

Top Employers in Roanoke

As of 2014, top employers in Roanoke included Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke City Public Schools, the City of Roanoke, Carilion Professional Service and UPS, which has a large facility at the city's regional airport. Other major employers were HCA Virginia Health System, Kroger, County of Roanoke and Wells Fargo Bank NA. Additionally, Roanoke serves as the headquarters for Advanced Auto Parts, the largest auto parts retailer in the country.

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