Online Colleges in Virginia

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When it comes to higher education in Virginia, you won’t have to settle.

Policymakers in the nation’s birthplace recognize the role education has in the state’s overall success. In 2017, The Virginia Business Higher Education Council launched Growth4VA to promote and reinvest in the state’s higher education system, prioritizing access and affordability.

Virginia already has a lot to offer, but the state continues to seek improvement which demonstrates a true dedication to education.

Overview of Higher Education in Virginia

Virginia is home to 115 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2018-2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of these, 41 are public schools, 42 are non-profit private schools, and 32 are for-profit private schools.

The average cost for in-state residents to attend one of Virginia’s 4-year public institutions is $13,413, according to the NCES. Out-of-state students will pay around $34,890. Both tuition rates are thousands of dollars above the national average.

Virginia residents who are unable to find their degree programs at in-state schools can benefit from the state’s involvement in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). The program allows students to enroll at public schools in the other 15 participating states while paying in-state tuition rates.

About Online Colleges in Virginia

Online learning has increased in popularity, as more and more individuals seek a way to pursue a degree or certification while still maintaining their career, family life and other obligations.

In 2018 the NCES reported that 21.8% of Virginia’s undergraduate students were enrolled exclusively in online programs, and another 17.8% were participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus courses. These percentages continue to rise as schools increase their online course offerings.

Today, most postsecondary institutions in Virginia offer online education opportunities.

The University of Virginia (UVA) offers two bachelor’s degrees — Liberal Arts and Professional Studies in Health Management — as well as numerous undergraduate and graduate certificates.

Students at Virginia’s largest public research university, George Mason University (GMU), can consider more than 50 fully online and hybrid degree and certificate programs in popular fields like business, education, engineering, and health.

Virginia Tech (VT) offers its prestigious master’s degree programs online, including Ocean Engineering, Natural Resources, Political Science, Information Technology, and more.

Even the second oldest institution in the nation, College of William and Mary (W&M), offers online education. They have fully online and hybrid degree programs available in their business school, school of education and law school.

Those interested in earning an associate degree or certification should consider the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), where they will find a truly remarkable range of fields they can pursue online.

Each of the above mentioned schools (UVA, GMU, VT, W&M, VCCS) are members of the Electronic Campus of Virginia (ECVA). The ECVA promotes resource and knowledge sharing that helps improve online programs at the 10 participating public and private schools.

Scholarships and Financial Aid in Virginia

If you are thinking about attending a college or university in Virginia, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This can provide you access to federal, state and private financial aid.

You will need to fill out the application as early as possible, since most of the funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis. The application becomes available each year on October 1st.

The FAFSA will include questions about your finances and the finances of your parents (unless you’re considered “independent”). Then, your answers will be used to determine what types of and how much financial aid you qualify for.

Grants and scholarships are the best form of aid, since they do not have to be repaid.

In Virginia, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) advocates for quality, accessibility, affordability, accountability in higher education.  They administer financial aid programs such as the following:

There are also a number of undergraduate and graduate financial aid programs for those with specific circumstances and those going into specific degree fields.

Private scholarships are another way to help offset the cost of college. Here are some examples of scholarships open to students in Virginia:

Scholarship Name Details Scholarship amount
The Granville P. Meade Scholarship For high school seniors who have achieved academically; Must demonstrate financial need $2000 per year
Charles Homer Barton Scholarship For children of police officers or sheriff’s deputies employed in specific counties; Preference given to children of those who were killed in the line of duty; Awarded based on academic achievement and community service (5) $4000
Leo Bourassa Scholarship Announcement For college students who have completed at least 2 semesters of undergraduate study in a curriculum related to water resources (as listed); Awarded on the basis of academic performance, contribution to the field and related extracurricular activities (multiple) $500-3000
Rich Murray Journalism Scholarship For high school seniors who excel in sports journalism and plan to pursue a related field $1000

You can find more scholarships by using scholarship search sites like Fastweb.com, where you enter basic information about yourself to get matched with dozens of scholarship opportunities.

And of course, don’t forget to talk to someone in the financial aid office at the school you have chosen. They will be able to tell you about any additional financial aid programs available to students.

List of Online Colleges in Virginia

Online Colleges in Virginia Location Annual Tuition Accreditation Application Fee
Bluefield College Bluefield, Virginia  $24,380  Regional  $30
University of Virginia Charlottesville, Virginia  $16,412  Regional  $70
George Mason University Fairfax, Virginia  $11,300  Regional  $70
Stratford University Fairfax, Virginia  $15,135 National  $50
Hampton University Hampton, Virginia  $24,242  Regional  $35
James Madison University Harrisonburg, Virginia  $10,390  Regional  $70
Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia  $21,292  Regional  $40
Miller-Motte Technical College-Lynchburg Lynchburg, Virginia  $10,288  Regional  $40
Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia  $9,750  Regional  $50
American National University Salem, Virginia  $14,886  National  $50
ECPI University Virginia Beach, Virginia  $16,639  Regional  $0 for online students; $100 campus students
Regent University Virginia Beach, Virginia  $16,438  Regional  $50
Shenandoah University Winchester, Virginia  $31,322  Regional  $30

Conclusion

You won’t have to settle in Virginia.

The state has great things to offer its students: high-ranking colleges and universities, a diverse range of online programs, and generous financial aid programs.

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.