West Virginia Online Colleges & Universities: Top Schools for 2017-2018

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Best Online Colleges In West Virginia

A broad range of undergraduate and graduate degrees and programs are available across West Virginia from religious institutions, community and 4-year colleges, universities and online schools. Students can enroll at degree programs located in Charles Town and Huntington and other smaller cities across the state. Eight schools in West Virginia offered some form of distance education in 2013, either through individual classes or fully-online degree programs. The top online schools in West Virginia are highly regarded for their online curriculum, faculty and support services. See who made the list of the Best Online Colleges in West Virginia for 2016-2017.

Rank University Location ScoreAnnual Tuition# of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 University of Charleston Charleston, WV 99.53$18,80015 90% 15:1 35% Yes Yes Yes

The University of Charleston has a range of degree options available including bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees, which are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Accessed through the university student portal, the eLearn course management tool delivers online content and provides the interface to access and submit online assignments, contact faculty, and participate in class discussion via forums or discussion boards. The Student Solutions Center offers technical assistance and guidance for challenges with the learning interface or other technical issues, and additional assistance for distance learning or technology related questions can be directed to the Help Desk.

2 Marshall University Huntington, WV 99.09$6,5266 58% 19:1 44% Yes Yes Yes

Marshall University's distance learning program offers fully online graduate and undergraduate degrees, as well as certificate programs, accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Course content is presented through the Blackboard course management system and is delivered asynchronously, so that content can be accessed at the student's convenience, and no live meetings or on-campus attendance requirements apply. With over 10 degree options and a multitude of professional development certificate programs, distance learning students can complete degrees from the convenience of their home, office, or any location with access to required equipment and technology.

3 Bluefield State College Bluefield, WV 98.89$5,83212 33% 15:1 34% Yes Yes Yes

Students pursuing online degrees through Bluefield State College have access to courses via the university's two chosen online learning platforms Blackboard and MOODLE. Tutoring is offered 24 hours a day through the Smarthinking system, and the Technology Services department offers guidance for any technical challenges encountered in the virtual classroom environment. Bluefield State College is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to award associate and bachelor's degrees and offers several programs of study within their five academic schools. The online bookstore provides access to order texts according to course schedule and term.

4 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV 98.81$6,96012 57% 21:1 57% Yes Yes Yes

Offering more than 20 undergraduate and graduate degree choices, West Virginia University provides fully online degree completion options that are fully accredited through The Higher Learning Commission. Online course content is provided via the WVU eCampus learning interface and course management tool, and online students are offered on-campus resources, in addition to services designed specifically for distance learners. Distance learning students have online access to campus library resources, and texts can be purchased through the campus bookstore online or via telephone. With a college mission rooted in passion and innovation, over 100 faculty members are currently participating in researching energy issues.

5 Concord University Athens, WV 97.52$6,5803 52% 15:1 34% Yes Yes Yes

Students at Concord University have a choice of 12 undergraduate degree programs and 4 graduate degrees, and programs are accredited through several agencies including the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), and the Council on Social Work Education. The Academic Success Center offers assistance with tutoring, academic advising for major field of study decisions, as well as workshops and training sessions. Career and advancement services are also provided to help guide students through job search development and networking, while the campus also offers over 65 student organizations to facilitate student inclusion

6 Fairmont State University Fairmont, WV 97.41$6,3063 39% 15:1 33% Yes Yes Yes

With over 80 bachelor's degree choices, and five master's degrees, Fairmont State University programs are accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. Offering both online and hybrid class formats, distance learning is facilitated through the Blackboard course management system. Both graduate and undergraduate degree programs are offered, although some classes may require on-campus meetings. Online classes adhere to the standard semester schedule unless otherwise stated in the course syllabus or description. The university also utilizes an online web portal called myCampus to provide enrolled students with news and information regarding student affairs, textbook acquisition, and registration.

7 Shepherd University Shepherdstown, WV 97.27$6,5703 45% 16:1 40% Yes Yes Yes

Shepherd University offers more than 90 majors, including 27 degree path choices, as well as several graduate programs in business and education. Shepherd is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), an organization supporting high quality education in liberal arts and science. The university offers a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree, which is a degree program designed for adult learners, and often utilizes past college credit and work experience to facilitate degree completion. Offering a more flexible schedule, this program provides a unique method to earn a degree in a faster and more efficient manner than a typical undergraduate degree.

8 Glenville State College Glenville, WV 96.85$6,6963 51% 16:1 32% Yes Yes Yes

Centrally located in West Virginia, Glenville State College is a public institution with approximate enrollment of 1800 students. Offering small class sizes, the school is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and offers associate, bachelor's, and teacher education programs. Career and enrichment services are offered through the Academic Coordinator, providing resources such as resume writing assistance, interview tools, and a range of comprehensive career-related information to assist students in continuing their academic and professional development. Current information regarding area job opportunities is an additional student resource.

9 Alderson Broaddus University Philippi, WV 86.00$22,7403 99% 16:1 45% No Yes Yes

Alderson Broaddus University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. Operating within the foundation of a faith-based learning environment, ABU offers 7 bachelor's degrees and a master's program in physician assistant studies. Program offerings also include an online option for registered nurses pursuing a bachelor's degree in nursing, designed to assist practicing nurses in completing the bachelor's degree in approximately 18 months of dedicated full-time study. This program is delivered in an asynchronous format and offers 8-week classes, rotating admissions, and potential to apply prior nursing experience and education toward degree credits.

Best 2-Year Online Colleges in West Virginia

Rank University Location ScoreAnnual Tuition# of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 West Virginia Northern Community College Wheeling, WV 92.94$3,1549 15% 16:1 12% Yes Yes Yes

Students desiring or requiring the flexibility of programs that are offered fully online have access to many e-programs at West Virginia Northern Community College. The school offers certificate and two-year online degrees – some examples include: history, humanities, psychology and business administration. WVNCC uses the Blackboard system for its online course which also provides access to virtual technical support available at all hours of the day. WVNCC’s faculty are highly trained in teaching online courses which may ensure that students will receive quality education at a distance.

2 Mountwest Community and Technical College Huntington, WV 92.05$3,5216 12% 18:1 7% Yes Yes Yes

Mountwest Community and Technical College offers students the flexibility of completing courses and degrees entirely at a distance. Among the programs that are 100 percent online at this school include programs in science, technology and health information technology. With the exception of the Certified Coding Specialist program, all online programs are two-years in length that may result in AA or AAS degrees. MCTC utilizes the Blackboard Learning Management System for its online classes and is accredited through The Higher Learning Commission.

3 Pierpont Community and Technical College Fairmont, WV 90.07$4,4403 14% 15:1 12% Yes Yes Yes

Pierpont Community and Technical College provides students with several flexible learning options, among those are programs that are offered fully online. The AAS Design Specialist is one program that has transitioned to being fully online along with the Liberal Studies program. Several of the other two-year programs offer varying levels of online course offerings, which are taught through the Blackboard system. Pierpont also has a lot of helpful resources for veterans, from helping them understand their benefits to resources for dependents and spouses of veterans.

A Guide to Online Colleges in West Virginia

Students looking for college opportunities in West Virginia have numerous choices. The state was home to 80 vocational schools, 2-year colleges and universities in 2013. Overall, West Virginia was ranked 34th in the U.S. for its number of post-secondary schools and 35th for student appeal. Over the past decade both public and private schools in West Virginia have added distance learning options to suit the needs of non-traditional students. These programs expand the opportunities available to students located around the world.

West Virginia University offers five undergraduate programs online and 29 online or blended graduate degree or certificate programs. Hundreds of undergraduate and graduate stand-alone courses are also available online every semester.

To illustrate the growing scope of higher educational opportunities in West Virginia, we’ve spotlighted schools, colleges and universities in Charleston, along with a look into the state’s online options.

City Spotlight: Charleston

Charleston, West Virginia is home to a satellite campus for Marshall University focusing on extension graduate programs in computer science and public health. The college was named one of America’s Best Buys by U.S. News & World Report and a top 100 “Most Wired” campus by Yahoo. With its main campus just a short distance away in Huntington, students have access to all MU’s traditional resources.

West Virginia Junior College has three campuses throughout the state, one of which is in Charleston. WVJC focuses on training students for in-demand careers such as medical and dental assisting. BridgeValley Community and Technical College is one of nine colleges on 27 campuses throughout the providing associate degrees and certificate completion programs to online students. Its community outreach center works with K-12 institutions to further the STEM fields.

The University of Charleston also calls West Virginia’s capital home. UC has received numerous accolades, including ranking as one of the top regional colleges by U.S. News and was listed by the Princeton Review as one of the best colleges to attend in 2013. In 2011, the institution was recognized for having 100 percent of its BSN and ADN graduates pass the NCLEX-RN licensure exam on the first try.

Options for Online Learning in Charleston

BridgeValley has a variety of classes and programs online, enabling those with busy schedules and family responsibilities to continue their education. In 2013, the University of Charleston expanded, opening three new locations for distance learners. UC-Online offers financial aid options to qualifying students so that they can pursue any of the eight online degree programs available. According to the college’s website, UC is currently seeking authorization to provide distance education in states outside of West Virginia.

Tuition & Cost of Living in West Virginia

Students attending college in West Virginia must plan for the various costs that are associated with higher education. Tuition is often the most expensive, but these costs will vary based on location, whether the school is public or private, or if students are residents of West Virginia. In 2012, West Virginia students with residency in the state paid an average annual tuition of $8,580, making West Virginia number 10 on the list of most affordable colleges.

While tuition and fees are a central component of a college budget, other expenditures are a necessity. This includes living expenses, transportation and medical expenses. The cost of living (COL) in West Virginia is approximately 5 percent lower than the national average. The following table provides the COL averages in West Virginia’s urban areas, compared with the national average of 100.

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Martinsburg-Berkeley County -10.4% -17.3% -8.5% -14.1% 3.9% -0.1% -9.4%
Charleston -7.3% -10.7% -11.2% -3.3% 2.9% -6.1% -7.1%
Clarksburg -5.0% -6.9% -4.8% -7.8% 3.8% -10.5% -4.5%
Morgantown 0.6% 11.9% -6.1% -10.1% 0.7% -3.9% -2.9%

Accreditation Standards in West Virginia

Students should look for regionally accredited colleges in West Virginia. Accreditation ensures a college meets quality standards, but is also required for students to qualify for federal loans. In West Virginia, regional accreditation is overseen through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Additionally, West Virginia colleges hold programmatic accreditation for specific colleges, departments or programs within an institution. WVU Institute of Technology, for example, has earned program accreditation from ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission and ABET Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission. WVU Tech’s nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Search Accredited West Virginia Online Colleges

Students attending online colleges in West Virginia must consider what school to attend, degree costs, scheduling, accreditation and future career options. The custom search tool below helps students filter through West Virginia online colleges and programs, sorting by cost, accreditation and program type.

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Best Online Colleges in West Virginia for 2015-2016

RANK COLLEGE ScoreStudent-Teacher RatioFinancial AidCostMORE INFO
1 West Virginia University at Parkersburg 99.8217:135%

West Virginia University at Parkersburg is located in Parkersburg, West Virginia was founded in 1961 and is home to more than 4,000 enrolled students. Online College Degree Programs at this university include; Bachelor of Applied Science- Child Development, Associate in Science- Business Administration, Associate in Applied Science-Business Technology- Child Development- Multi-Craft Technology and Certificate in Applied Science- Child Development.

2 West Liberty University 94.9614:197%

West Liberty University continues to add to its online degree offerings. The school offers courses that are completely online as well as hybrid courses that involve some pre-scheduled, face-to-face meetings. Otherwise, the online portions of these courses are asynchronous, meaning students have deadlines for work completion without set meeting times for those assignments. Online courses cover a few different programs, though the professional studies courses are also popular. These professional studies courseshave no prerequisites and can fulfill either certain general studies requirements or electives, depending on the degree type, and they teach students valuable skills needed in the workplace.

3 Marshall University 92.2919:194%

Founded in 1837 and located in Huntington, West Virginia, Marshall University is home to nearly 14,000 enrolled students. Marshall University Online offers 150 E-courses each semester with online classrooms 24-hours a day. Students communicate and participate electronically through forums, chats, and e-mail for a complete class experience.

4 West Virginia University 86.8320:189%

Located in Morgantown, West Virginia, West Virginia University is home to the Mountaineers and more than 29,000 students. This university offers six online college undergrad programs and more than 30 Online Graduate Programs. Degrees include communication, elementary education, health education, social work and nursing.

Deans Talk: Inside West Virginia’s Online Colleges

Find out the inside scoop on the qualities that earned institutions a place on the Best Online Colleges in West Virginia for 2015. The faculty of some of the colleges on our list spoke to us about what makes their programs stand out.

Great Resources for Online Students in West Virginia

The following links lead to free information and services about accreditation, state student aid (loans, grants and scholarships) and veterans’ educational benefits. Find out more about these resources.