Students looking to attend college in Northern Virginia have their choice of several types of schools, including traditional public and private not-for-profit colleges that offer multiple areas of study. This article analyzes some of these schools using NCES statistics, to help you determine which might be a good fit for you.
Northern Virginia Schools Near Large Cities
Students often find larger cities provide students with opportunities they can't find in less populated areas. While there are no colleges or universities in large cities in Northern Virginia, there are several four-year universities in small-to-mid sized cities. Here are five:
- Marymount University (Arlington, Virginia)
- Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Virginia)
- James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Virginia)
- Shenandoah University (Winchester, Virginia)
- Mary Baldwin College (Staunton, Virginia)
Largest Schools in Northern Virginia
Students also usually find more networking, extracurricular and academic opportunities at larger schools. When assessing a schools size we look at NCES statistics on student population. According to the 2015 NCES report, the following were the largest schools in the area.
- Northern Virginia Community College (52,078 enrolled students)
- George Mason University (33,929 enrolled students)
- Virginia Commonwealth University (30,918 enrolled students)
- University of Virginia-Main Campus (23,883 enrolled students)
- James Madison University (21,227 enrolled students)
Lowest Net Price
Among the many statistics provided by the NCES is the net price figure for each school. This cost amount is calculated by offsetting the total cost of full-time attendance (undergraduate tuition, room, board, books and fees) with the average level of financial aid awarded in that school. The following figures reflect the 2014-15 academic year, and use in-state or in-district tuition levels where applicable. The following schools had some of the lowest net prices among the compared schools.
- Lord Fairfax Community College ($6,559)
- Germanna Community College ($6,568)
- J Sargeant Reynolds Community College ($7,151)
- Piedmont Virginia Community College ($7,481)
- Blue Ridge Community College ($8,087)
Highest Graduation Rate
The NCES provides a graduation rate statistic as a measure of a school's track record for completed programs. This current figure reflects undergraduate students who began as first-time full-time students in 2009 for four-year schools, or 2012 for two-year schools, and completed their program within 150% of the normal time. The following colleges had some of the highest graduation rates in the area, based on those parameters.
- University of Virginia-Main Campus (93% graduation rate)
- University of Richmond (88% graduation rate)
- James Madison University (83% graduation rate)
- University of Mary Washington (70% graduation rate)
- George Mason University (69% graduation rate)
For some students, finding the right college can be a challenge. Here we discuss the location, student population, net price and graduation rates of a few Northern Virginia school. Use this information to help you make an informed decision about where you want to go to school.