West Virginia (WV): Colleges, Trade Schools, and Universities Overview

Students planning to attend school in West Virginia have many options from which to choose. This article narrows the field to the largest public or private not-for-profit schools and organizes them, also, into categories such as graduation rates and net price. All statistics are based off of the National Center for Educational Statistics' (NCES) website.

West Virginia Colleges Near Large Cities

About half of the colleges in West Virginia are located in small cities. The rest of them are found in rural areas, in addition to suburbs and distant towns. West Virginia University's main campus is housed in Morgantown, while the American Public University System resides in Charles Town.

  • Huntington Junior College (Huntington)
  • Marshall University (Huntington)
  • Mountain State College (Parkersburg)
  • Ohio Valley University (Vienna)
  • University of Charleston (Charleston)

Largest Schools in West Virginia

The largest schools in West Virginia are mostly 4-year public schools. There is also a 2-year technical college. While a majority of the schools in the state had less than 5,000 full-time undergraduates, as of fall 2014, only a few had more than 10,000 students at that time.

  • American Public University System (57,539 students)
  • West Virginia University (29,175 students)
  • Marshall University (13,381 students)
  • Blue Ridge Community and Technical College (5,528 students)
  • Shepherd University (4,041 students)

Lowest Net Price

The average net price is calculated by NCES for new full-time students through subtracting the average financial aid award from the total cost of attendance, including tuition, books, fees and room and board. Of the four comparison schools, the following three had the lowest average net prices based on 2014-2015 data.

  • West Virginia Northern Community College ($3,887)
  • Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College ($4,001)
  • New River Community and Technical College ($4,444)
  • BridgeValley Community & Technical College ($5,116)
  • Mountwest Community and Technical College ($6,802)

Highest Graduation Rate

NCES calculates graduation rates by tracking the portion of full-time beginning students who complete their programs within 150% of the normal time, such as six years for a bachelor's degree or three years for a two-year program. The following schools have the highest graduation rates for students who enrolled in 2015.

  • West Virginia University (57% graduation rate)
  • West Virginia Wesleyan College (50% graduation rate)
  • Shepherd University (48% graduation rate)
  • West Liberty University (48% graduation rate)
  • University of Charleston (47% graduation rate)

Comparing 2-year and 4-year traditional West Virginia schools in four separate categories can help you decide on a school that makes the most sense for you.

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