Online Colleges in Virginia 2021

By ACO Staff with contributions from Annemarie Given, Emma Yenko

Published on August 10, 2021

Online Colleges in Virginia 2021

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Many of the best colleges in Virginia offer online programs. Learning online allows students to save time and money since they do not need to commute to campus and can often keep working while earning their degree. Students living in Virginia who enroll in Virginia online college qualify for in-state tuition rates. Local students can also take advantage of hybrid programs and access campus resources like the school's library.

To qualify for in-state tuition in Virginia, students typically must demonstrate Virginia residency for at least one year. This may change for active military members.

Choosing a school represents one of the biggest decisions any aspiring college student can make. Some students may emphasize affordability while others may weigh program flexibility and graduation rates more heavily. Our rankings are based on a series of qualifications and metrics, all focused on quality and affordability. Scroll down to see the list of top online schools in Virginia.

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Answers to Questions About Schools in Virginia

Q. Do online credits cost more or less in Virginia?

The difference between online and in-person tuition in Virginia depends on the school. Many online students pay the same tuition as in-person students.

Q. What is the most affordable college in Virginia?

The University of Virginia offers the state's most affordable education per credit. This school also allows students to enroll in online programs.

Q. How long do you have to live in Virginia to get in-state tuition?

Students typically must live in Virginia for at least a year to receive in-state tuition. This includes changing to a Virginia driver's license and voter registration.

Why Choose Virginia for Online Higher Education?

Online higher education offers working students in Virginia various career opportunities. Virginia online colleges can help learners advance in their current field or shift to a new career. 

Attending a Virginia online college helps students earn a degree in a thriving industry. For example, students can work to gain more experience in industries such as food and beverage processing, information technology, and the life sciences.

Common Online Bachelor's Programs in Virginia

Learners can explore a variety of bachelor's programs at Virginia online colleges. See below for some of the most common bachelor's programs in Virginia.

[tabs] [tab-item title="Biology"]

Many students attending the best colleges in Virginia choose to study biology. A nexus of the life sciences in the Mid-Atlantic region, Virginia hosts many federal labs, including federally funded centers and internationally recognized research facilities. Many Virginia schools also hold direct access to innovative technology in the life sciences.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Business"]

Studying business in Virginia gives students an advantage in a growing industry in the state. Due to Virginia's central location, many businesses choose to open their headquarters in this lower-cost area. The state's increased corporate services offer business students more career opportunities after graduation.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Economics"]

Many of the best colleges in Virginia offer bachelor's programs that teach students about the dynamics of wealth and markets. Economics programs prepare students for careers in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. With Virginia as a leading state for business operations, many companies and organizations look for economics graduates at local colleges.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Nursing"]

Virginia colleges offer some of the nation's most well-known nursing programs. These programs include seminars and hands-on instruction, giving enrollees the skills to become registered nurses. Nursing students in Virginia can earn their nursing license in the state.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Psychology"]

Many students successfully graduate from psychology programs in Virginia. These programs prepare enrollees for graduate programs in the field that allow them to receive a license to practice. Psychology programs often cover social psychology and research.

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Cost of Attending an Online College in Virginia

Tuition costs often influence students' choice of school. When selecting a school, prospective students should consider the different expenses that come with an on-campus experience. A budget analysis can help prospective learners choose a school or program based on their financial situation. 

Online programs can help save students money by eliminating on-campus fees and expenses. However, some online programs charge technology fees.

Many public colleges offer online options for learners. In-state students typically receive additional tuition discounts due to their residency status. Choosing an online program can significantly decrease the price of tuition. The table below illustrates the average undergraduate tuition in Virginia based on several factors.

Average Undergraduate Tuition in Virginia
Public Four-Year College Private Four-Year College Public Two-Year College
In-State $13,413 $23,380 $5,241
Out-of-State $34,890 N/A $11,455

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Career and Salary Outlook for Students in Virginia

Graduates from Virginia online colleges can pursue a variety of careers. The best colleges in Virginia prepare students for careers in growing local industries. See below for some possible career paths for graduates from the best colleges in Virginia.

Marketing Managers

These professionals strive to engage potential consumers and direct interest in services or products. They typically create campaigns for clients on an individual or organizational level and identity potential markets. Many marketing managers hold a bachelor's degree. Experience in marketing, advertising, sales, and promotions also helps in this career.

Computer and Information System Managers

Information technology managers oversee an organization's computer-related activities. They plan, coordinate, and implement computer systems to meet an organization's technology goals. This position typically requires at least a bachelor's degree in computer or information science. Many professionals in this role also hold a graduate degree.

Sales Managers

These professionals oversee an organization's sales department and representatives. They typically set organizational sales goals and train sales representatives to meet these goals. This position often requires travel. Most sales managers hold a bachelor's degree and previous work experience as a sales representative.

Financial Managers

These professionals supervise an organization's finances. They create financial reports, develop financial goals, and monitor financial information. Financial managers work in various settings, including banks, investment firms, and insurance companies. This job typically requires at least a bachelor's degree and five years of experience in a related position.

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Public relations managers help clients maintain their public image through appropriate communications, press releases, and advertising campaigns. Fundraising managers work to increase donations to their organization by contacting potential donors and creating fundraising campaigns. Professionals in these roles need at least a bachelor's degree, although some also hold graduate degrees.

Highest-Paying Careers With a Bachelor's Degree in Virginia
Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Marketing Managers $175,970 8.1%
Computer and Information Systems Managers $173,280 11.3%
Sales Managers $172,920 5.1%
Financial Managers $165,600 16%
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $162,630 7.9%

Source: BLS, Projections Central

Virginia Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships help students finance their degrees. Many learners apply for multiple scholarships to fund their education. Students may qualify for various financial awards based on their background, interests, and financial need. This list includes scholarships available to students pursuing a degree from a Virginia online college.

Kids' Chance of Virginia Online Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship helps children of Virginia workers affected by a workplace accident. Applicants need a parent whose work-related injury impacted their family's income. They must also plan to attend a postsecondary or trade school.

Amount: $1,000

The Esperanza Education Fund

Who Can Apply: This scholarship helps children of Virginia workers affected by a workplace accident. Applicants need a parent whose work-related injury impacted their family's income. They must also plan to attend a postsecondary or trade school.

Amount: $1,000

The Esperanza Education Fund

Who Can Apply: This scholarship awards students from immigrant families who live in the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia. Applicants must plan to attend an accredited public college or university.

Amount: Varies

Undergraduate Diversity Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Female or minority second-year college students majoring in STEM qualify for this scholarship. Applicants need at least a 3.0 GPA and must attend an accredited college. This scholarship includes enrollment in online programs.

Amount: $3,000

Securities and Insurance Licensing Association Foundation Post-Secondary College Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students seeking careers in securities and insurance qualify for this award. Applicants need at least a 3.0 GPA. They must also submit transcripts, a reference letter, and employment verification if working full time.

Amount: $1,000

Blacks at Microsoft Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Black students interested in pursuing a career in technology qualify for this scholarship. Applicants submit two recommendation letters, a resume, and two essays through an online application portal.

Amount: Varies

Best Online Colleges in Virginia 2021

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA Unconfirmed

Founded in 1971, Liberty University occupies 7,000 acres in Lynchburg, Virginia. The university offers more than 200 undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs through 15 schools and colleges. Liberty administers several financial assistance programs, including options for first responders and military service personnel.

Liberty maintains a generous transfer credit policy. Students can transfer up to 45 credits toward an associate degree, up to 90 credits toward a bachelor's, and up to 50% of the total required credits for a master's degree. Maximizing transfer credits often leads to considerable savings for students.

Online students can access support services including technical assistance, supplemental instruction, course and major selection, and career counseling. The university also provides online library resources and course guides. Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Regent University View School Profile Virginia Beach, VA Unconfirmed

Regent University in Virginia Beach enrolls approximately 10,500 students each year. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in more than 150 areas of study. Regent delivers more than 100 programs online.

Students can complete Regent's online undergraduate degrees without visiting campus. Online master's and doctoral students may need to attend weeklong or weekend campus residencies. Most online courses follow an accelerated eight-week schedule with an asynchronous format.

The flexibility of online learning allows many students to continue working as they pursue their degree. Regent offers a generous transfer credit policy, allowing students to apply up to 90 credits toward a bachelor's degree.

Online students can access tutoring sessions, academic and career counseling, technical assistance, and online library resources. Regent is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Old Dominion University View School Profile Norfolk, VA $15917

Founded in 1930 as the Norfolk division of the College of William and Mary, Old Dominion University became an independent institution in 1962 and achieved university status in 1969. ODU offers online certificate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs.

Online learners can study fields including business and management, engineering, health sciences, and nursing, and education. ODU offers more online programs than any of the other Virginia colleges. The university maintains partnerships with several community colleges. This simplifies the transfer process for community college graduates in Virginia.

Online learners can access support services including technical assistance, career guidance, academic advice, and supplemental instruction. ODU also delivers extensive digital library resources to help learners complete research and course requirements. ODU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Radford University View School Profile Radford, VA $15636

Like many Virginia colleges, Radford University was founded as a teacher training school. Today, the university comprises seven colleges and offers more than 100 academic programs. Learners can study fields including respiratory therapy, criminal justice, and strategic communication.

The university offers 24 online programs at the certificate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Some degrees are only available online, including the doctor of nursing practice, master of science in educational leadership, and graduate certificate in professional writing.

The university encourages both online and on-campus enrollees to apply for institutional scholarships and grants. Student support services for online learners include academic advising, tutoring, career guidance, and technical assistance. Students can also access digital resources from the Harvey Knowledge Center and the McConnell Library. Radford University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

George Mason University View School Profile Fairfax, VA $19064

The largest public research institution among Virginia colleges, George Mason University enrolls more than 37,000 students from all 50 states and 130 countries. Mason currently offers more than 50 online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Students can pursue online bachelor's degrees in business, health administration, information technology, sport management, nursing, and psychology. The university also delivers a bachelor of applied science that specifically prepares enrollees for the workforce. The BAS program offers concentrations in technology and innovation; health, wellness, and social services; and cybersecurity.

Online enrollees can apply for merit- and need-based financial aid opportunities. Mason delivers student support services including supplemental instruction, counseling, academic advice, and technical assistance. Online learners can access digital library resources and the career center. Mason holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Emma Yenko

With an undergraduate degree in communications and a master's in education, Emma finds writing for the education vertical to be the perfect niche.

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AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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