Online Colleges in West Virginia

Most Affordable Online Colleges

COLLEGE FINDER

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Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following criteria:

  • Level of institution is either "Four or more years" or "At least 2 but less than 4 years"
  • Data is reported for all 11 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section
  • At least 1% of students are taking at least some of the classes via distance education
  • "Number of programs offered via distance education" was an integer greater than 0

We ranked the resulting 1,813 colleges on 11 criteria, using 2016-17 data from IPEDS:

  1. Number of programs offered via distance education
  2. Ratio of students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  5. Graduation rate
  6. Retention rate
  7. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Other)
  8. Services (Academic/Career, Placement for Completers)
  9. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)
  10. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  11. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2014-15, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources:

  • Bluefield State College, http://bluefieldstate.edu/distance-education
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, West Virginia, accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wv.htm
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Charleston, accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_16620.htm
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Morgantown, accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_34060.htm
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Huntington, accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_26580.htm
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Data, accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.t01.htm
  • Charleston Area Alliance, http://www.charlestonareaalliance.org/community-development/our-community/
  • Charleston, West Virginia Metropolitan Area, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston,_West_Virginia_metropolitan_area
  • City of Huntington, http://www.cityofhuntington.com/visitors/community-profile
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=WV&l=94
  • Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, http://www.easternwv.edu/Academics/Distance-Learning.aspx
  • Fairmont State University, https://www.fairmontstate.edu/academics/distancelearning/online_courses.asp
  • Huntington-Ashland-Ironton Metropolitan Area, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington-Ashland-Ironton_metropolitan_area
  • IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/CDSPreview.aspx
  • List of U.S. States by Population Density, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_population_density
  • Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce, http://www.morgantownchamber.org/about-the-morgantown-area/quality-of-life/
  • Morgantown Metropolitan Area, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgantown_metropolitan_area
  • Mountwest Community and Technical College, http://www.mctc.edu/programs-of-study/
  • New River Community and Technical College, http://www.newriver.edu/current-students/academics/degrees-and-certificate-programs/24-multiple/workforce/508-onlinecourses
  • Online Degree Programs, West Virginia University at Parkersburg, http://www.wvup.edu/academics/programs-of-study/online-degree-programs/
  • Potomac State College, http://potomacstatecollege.edu/academics/majors/
  • Pierpont Community and Technical College, http://pierpont.edu/faculty-staff/academic-administration/faculty-distance-learning
  • Regional Accrediting Organizations 2016-2017, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, accessed January 2017, http://www.chea.org/Directories/regional.asp
  • Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, http://www.southernwv.edu/?q=online-learning
  • U.S. Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml
  • U.S. Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, Median Earnings in the last 12 months, Charleston, West Virginia, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml
  • U.S. Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, Median Earnings in the last 12 months, Huntington-Ashland, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml
  • U.S. Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, Median Earnings in the last 12 months, Morgantown, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml
  • West Liberty University, http://www.westliberty.edu/distance-education/
  • West Virginia Northern Community College, http://www.wvncc.edu/online-courses
  • West Virginia State University, http://www.wvstateu.edu/Academics/Online-Programs.aspx
  • West Virginia Statistical Areas, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Virginia_statistical_areas
  • CFWV - Find Scholarships, Accessed April 2017, https://secure.cfwv.com/Financial_Aid_Planning/Scholarships/Scholarships.aspx
  • CFWV - Financial Aid 101, Accessed April 2017, https://secure.cfwv.com/Financial_Aid_Planning/Financial_Aid_101/_default.aspx
  • Concord University, Accessed April 2018, https://www.concord.edu/
  • Wheeling Jesuit University, Accessed April 2018, https://www.wju.edu/
  • West Virginia State University, Accessed April 2018, http://www.wvstateu.edu/
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The rolling mountains of West Virginia encompass abundant acres of lush flora. Riotous with blossoms in the spring, gloriously green in the summer, ablaze with brilliant color in the fall, beautifully snowcapped in the winter — its hills and forests create a peaceful, natural calm. Its secluded communities give residents the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of a more metropolitan life.

Since many of West Virginia's residents live at some distance from major city centers, it makes sense that the state would be an early adopter of online education. Through the state's many distance learning programs, students can continue their studies without commuting or relocating to another part of the state.

Overall, West Virginia is home to a surprising number of institutions of higher education. As the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports, the state is home to:

  • 13 public, four-year universities
  • 13 public community colleges
  • 13 private nonprofit schools
  • 23 for-profit schools

If you're interested in learning about the best and most affordable online colleges in West Virginia, then you've come to the right place.

Best Online Colleges in West Virginia for 2018-19

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While West Virginia is home to an array of schools that offer online learning programs, not all schools are created equal. To make it easier for you to select a program that's right for your needs, we created this ranking of best online universities in West Virginia using data from the National Center of Education Statistics. Our methodology for this ranking looked at factors such as student resources, graduation rate and net price (to learn more, see the bottom of the page). If you'd like to make your own rankings, try out our Top Colleges Tool.

1

American Public University System

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,880
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
100%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
154
School Type
4-year

American Public University is one of the premier web-based colleges in the entire United States, with well over 100 degree programs across numerous fields and all degree levels, from associate up to doctoral. Some of the university's degree programs have other intriguing qualities too, such as:

  • Prior Learning Assessment programs: Students create a portfolio of their previous experiences and submit it to earn credits towards their degree program.
  • Dual degree programs: Students can complete two master's degrees at once. As of June 2018, there is only one dual degree program available: emergency and disaster management, combined with homeland security.
  • Online Learning Track Programs (graduate and undergraduate): Consists of three related courses and a two-week orientation on online learning. Curious students can try out online education before committing to an online degree program.

APU also offers extensive resources for their students, including help transferring credit from other schools, advising and career counseling, and assistance with financial aid.

2

Fairmont State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,950
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
66%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
5
School Type
4-year

Fairmont University offers a broad selection of online courses and a small selection of online degree programs, conveyed to students via the Blackboard learning platform. Programs at Fairmont State include a Master of Arts in teaching, a Master of Science in criminal justice, and a Master of Education that can be customized with several different concentrations, such as special education or digital media, new literacies and learning. Fairmont's distance education students can also benefit from technical support offered by the university's Information Technology Commons, as well as digital library support from the Ruth Ann Musick Library.

3

Marshall University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,154
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
30%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
9
School Type
4-year

Named for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall, Marshall University was one of the first public institutes of higher education in West Virginia, as well as an early trailblazer in online education. Since the 1990s, Marshall University has been improving its online offerings, which include online academic advising, online technical support and a special distance tuition rate in lieu of regular tuition and fees.

Marshall University's roster of online degree programs includes online bachelor's and master's programs in multiple subjects (i.e. education, leadership studies, counseling or mathematics), most with the option to specialize further (i.e. mathematics with an optional area of emphasis in statistics). Various certificate programs and internship opportunities can be pursued as well.

4

Bluefield State College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,408
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
74%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
3
School Type
4-year

Bluefield State College is particularly noteworthy for its affordable tuition costs, as well as the academic counseling and online technical support it offers. These services can be helpful to students partaking in BSC's range of online courses and/or handful of online degree programs, which are hosted through the learning management system Moodle.

Distance learning at Bluefield is not limited to just online channels, however. The June Oblinger Shott Center for Extended Learning hosts the Interactive Video Network (IVN), which connects classrooms on the main BSC campus to corresponding classrooms in the satellite campuses at Beckley and Lewisburg. Not only does this allow students from all three campuses to interact simultaneously, but sessions are recorded and can be sent to students as a DVD, in multiple digital video file formats, or even as a TV broadcast over C-SPAN!

5

Concord University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,238
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
56%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
4
School Type
4-year

A comprehensive, public, liberal arts university founded in 1872 in the settlement of Athens, West Virginia (then called "Concord Church,") Concord University is a small, rural institution with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. All of the graduate degree programs at Concord University -- from education to social work to health care -- are conducted completely online and delivered through the Blackboard learning management system.

The university also has a partnership with the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center; at the EBHEC, Concord students can also complete online degree programs from the other partnered institutions: Bluefield State College and Marshall University.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

1000 Vermillion Street, Athens,
WV 24712
 
6

Wheeling Jesuit University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$28,110
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
55%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8
School Type
4-year

Wheeling Jesuit University's motto is "Luceat Lux Vestra", which translates to "Let Your Light Shine." And the school helps students do just that through their online degree programs, which can help students to light the way to a brighter future.

In order to help their online students shine, the school offers programs in the fields of education, nursing, physical therapy and business. Several course start dates are available throughout the year so students can take classes when it's convenient for their schedules. In addition, students have easy access to all course materials -- such as lectures, case studies, quizzes and homework assignments -- on the Blackboard class management system.

Accreditation:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Location:

316 Washington Ave, Wheeling,
WV 26003
 
7

West Virginia University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,992
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
26%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8
School Type
4-year

West Virginia University is a public institution that has a research classification of "R1: Doctoral University," the top level of research activity described by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The university's emphasis on research has not hindered its advances in the area of distance education, however. Certificate programs, degree programs, and hundreds of individual courses are available online to interested students. Among WVU's options are:

  • A hybrid Bachelor of Science to Doctor of Nursing Practice program
  • A Master of Science in Software Engineering (M.S.S.E.) taught via live online sessions
  • A Bachelor's of Multidisciplinary Studies (B.MDS.) where students pick three minors and weave them together into a single related program
  • A Master of Arts in literacy education that may be able to include reading specialist certification
8

University of Charleston

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$29,900
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
58%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
6
School Type
4-year

Saved from debt by a Fayetteville coal operator named Morris Harvey 13 years after it opened, the University of Charleston has since grown into a thriving university. It offers multiple online degree programs that are made more accessible by the school's various financial aid options (primarily awarded in the form of scholarships). These online programs include:

  • Bachelor's programs, i.e. accounting, nursing (RN-BSN), organizational leadership, psychology
  • Master's programs, i.e. business administration, cyber security, strategic leadership
  • A Doctorate of Executive Leadership (DEL) program
9

Glenville State College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,344
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
23%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
4
School Type
4-year

Glenville State College, also known as the Lighthouse on the Hill, is the only centrally located public college in West Virginia as of June 2018. Founded as a teacher college in 1872, Glenville State has broadened its scope since its early days to include courses in business, forest technology, art, English and more, many of which can be taken in an online or hybrid format. The college only offers a handful of degree programs that can be completed 100 percent online, but one of them in particular is worth noting: the very first bluegrass music degree program to be offered online.

10

West Virginia State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,996
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
29%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
3
School Type
4-year

West Virginia State University is a historically black college that was founded in 1891 to help promote diversity in higher education. That dedication to educational diversity still exists today -- and it doesn't just apply to students' ethnicity. Whether you are a recent high school graduate, an established working professional, a stay-at-home parent or a person looking to change careers, you may be able to benefit from WVSU's online degree programs. These programs are offered on the bachelor's and master's levels, in subjects such as business administration, technical writing and instructional leadership.

Accreditation:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Location:

Rte 25, Wheeling,
WV 26003
 

Affordable Online Colleges in West Virginia for 2018-19

For a more detailed look at higher education in West Virginia we have compiled this list of colleges ranked by tuition costs from lowest to highest. Each school profile offers crucial information for prospective students, such as the number and type of online programs offered, tuition fees and accreditation. Our Top Colleges Tool can help you if you'd like to see more specific rankings based on factors of your choice.

  • School Type - 2 Years
  • School Type - 4 Years
  • COLLEGE NAMETUITION & FEES/YEAR
    Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    DISTANCE EDUCATION PARTICIPATION
    Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    NUMBER OF ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
    Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
    SCHOOL TYPE
    Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College$3,55660%32-year
    West Virginia Northern Community College$3,68443%72-year
    Mountwest Community and Technical College$3,88840%92-year
    BridgeValley Community & Technical College$4,57045%12-year
    Pierpont Community and Technical College$4,68463%12-year
  • COLLEGE NAMETUITION & FEES/YEAR
    Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    DISTANCE EDUCATION PARTICIPATION
    Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    NUMBER OF ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
    Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
    SCHOOL TYPE
    West Virginia University at Parkersburg$3,38449%64-year
    Bluefield State College$6,40874%34-year
    American Public University System$6,880100%1544-year
    Fairmont State University$6,95066%54-year
    West Virginia State University$6,99629%34-year

Financial Aid Resources in West Virginia

1.Achievement Award
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a West Virginia resident.
Award Amount
$1,000
Application Deadline
February 1
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
Yes
Application URL
2.Mountaineer Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be an incoming freshman who is a West Virginia resident.
Award Amount
$1,500
Application Deadline
February 1
Renewable
Renewable for four years if recipient maintains required GPA.
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
Yes
Application URL
3.Presidential Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be an incoming freshman who is a West Virginia resident.
Award Amount
$3,000
Application Deadline
February 1
Renewable
Renewable for four years if recipient maintains required GPA.
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
Yes
Application URL
4.W.P. Black Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a West Virginia resident who has a minimum 2.5 GPA and demonstrates academic excellence, financial need, good moral character, and who is enrolled in an undergraduate program.
Award Amount
$1,000
Application Deadline
January 15
Renewable
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL

West Virginia Loans

West Virginia's state government does not offer any loan opportunities for online college students. They instead focus their attention on state-based scholarships and grant programs across several fields of study, all maintained by the College Foundation of West Virginia. Students seeking financial aid assistance are encouraged to apply for scholarships and grants first to help cover their cost of tuition, as such awards do not need to be repaid. However, if you still find that you are in need of federal financial assistance, you will have to fill out the FAFSA and supply information about your family's financial situation. Private student loan programs can also help cover any remaining expenses.

Learn more about the student loan process by exploring the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in West Virginia

  • Financial Aid 101 provides an extensive FAQ to assist West Virginia students in navigating the entirety of the financial aid process.
 
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