Virginia (VA): Overview of Virginia's College and University System

There are 189 colleges and universities within Virginia. Read about the schools closest to major cities with the lowest costs, highest graduation rates, and most students to find the school for you.

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Are you looking to pursue an education in the state of Virginia? Continue reading to look at data related to numerous schools in the state, based on information from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Virginia Schools Near Large Cities

You can attend colleges and universities in Richmond, Charlottesville, Fairfax, and Norfolk. The latter city features at least two post-secondary institutions. If you are looking to study in or near a metropolitan area, consider the following choices:

  • George Mason University (located in Fairfax)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (located in Richmond)
  • Tidewater Community College (located in Norfolk)
  • Old Dominion University (located in Norfolk)
  • University of Virginia - Main Campus (located in Charlottesville)

Largest Schools in Virginia

The most populous schools in the state all had student populations exceeding 30,000 for the 2014-2015 year. In addition, all five of the schools listed had over 23,000 undergraduates. These institutions are located in Lynchburg, Annandale, Fairfax, Blacksburg, and Richmond.

  • Liberty University (81,459 students; 49,744 undergraduates)
  • Northern Virginia Community College (51,487 students, all undergraduates)
  • George Mason University (33,729 students; 22,349 undergraduates)
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (31,224 students; 24,247 undergraduates)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (30,848 students; 23,661 undergraduates)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Lowest Net Prices

The lowest net prices for 2014-2015 in Virginia are found in community colleges. All five amounts on this list are below $6,000. These values are calculated by finding the difference between the total in-state or in-district program cost and the average financial aid full-time undergraduate students were given.

  • Whytheville Community College ($2,081)
  • Dabney S Lancaster Community College ($4,931)
  • Paul D Camp Community College ($5,358)
  • Patrick Henry Community College ($5,389)
  • Eastern Shore Community College ($5,422)

Highest Graduation Rates

The non-specialty schools with the best graduation rates in 2015 are found in Charlottesville, Lexington, Williamsburg, Richmond, and Harrisonburg. The schools had rates above 80% for the 2015 year. The NCES calculated these percentages using undergraduate students who finished their programs within 150% of the normal amount of time it takes to complete them.

  • University of Virginia - Main Campus (93% graduation rate)
  • Washington and Lee University (91% graduation rate)
  • College of William and Mary (90% graduation rate)
  • University of Richmond (88% graduation rate)
  • James Madison University (83% graduation rate)

The state of Virginia has numerous colleges and universities for those looking to be located near large cities, pay low net costs, study alongside many students, and attend a school with high graduation rates.

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