Best Online Colleges in Virginia

Doug WintemuteASO Rankings Team
Updated September 20, 2023
Edited by
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Home to some of the oldest, most reputable schools in the country, Virginia has close ties with the history of U.S. higher education. These days, though, you don’t have to live in Virginia to be a student at the state’s prestigious schools. The growth of online colleges in Virginia has made it easier than ever to attend some of the country’s best programs.

In this guide, we introduce the best online colleges in VA, highlighting what to look out for and what to expect when you enroll.

Why Consider Online Colleges in Virginia?

  • Online course flexibility makes it easy to balance school with other responsibilities.
  • Many online degree programs in Virginia offer asynchronous classes that don’t require set log-in times.
  • Degree-seekers can attend top online programs without having to relocate.
  • Many accredited online colleges in Virginia provide tuition discounts to distance learners.
  • Virginia boasts a number of renowned institutions, like the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Did You Know?

  • chevron-right Higher education in Virginia started with William & Mary in 1693, the second-oldest school in the U.S.
  • chevron-right The largest online college in Virginia is Old Dominion University, with more than 175 online programs.
  • chevron-right Both the Virginia State University and Virginia Community College systems offer online programs and courses.
  • chevron-right You can compare state schools and programs using the Virginia Education Wizard from the Virginia Department of Education.

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Does Accreditation Matter for Online Schools in Virginia?

Online learners should always choose an accredited school. Accreditation ensures the school or program meets the highest standards for educating students.

Accreditation can benefit you in several ways. For instance, only students at accredited schools can qualify for federal financial aid. Also, many colleges and graduate schools only accept degrees and credits earned from accredited institutions.

Most online colleges in Virginia will be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Top Online Colleges in Virginia

Read About Our Methodology Herearrow-circle-right

#1 Best Online Colleges in Virginia

Averett University-Non-Traditional Programs

  • Location-markerDanville, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$11,520
  • Out-of-state$11,520
  • Retention Rate50%
  • Acceptance Rate24%
  • Students Enrolled485
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment97%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online Colleges in Virginia

Liberty University

  • Location-markerLynchburg, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$15,417
  • Out-of-state$15,417
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate51%
  • Students Enrolled85,586
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment92%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Online Colleges in Virginia

George Mason University

  • Location-markerFairfax, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,060
  • Out-of-state$32,520
  • Retention Rate86%
  • Acceptance Rate87%
  • Students Enrolled37,863
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment33%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Online Colleges in Virginia

Old Dominion University

  • Location-markerNorfolk, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,029
  • Out-of-state$26,664
  • Retention Rate80%
  • Acceptance Rate89%
  • Students Enrolled23,675
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment54%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Online Colleges in Virginia

Hampton University

  • Location-markerHampton, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$24,950
  • Out-of-state$24,950
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate36%
  • Students Enrolled4,293
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment11%
  • AccreditationYes

How Much Do Online Colleges in Virginia Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average annual undergraduate tuition was $13,931 for in-state students at Virginia four-year public schools and $23,220 for students at four-year private schools in 2020-2021.

Out-of-state students attending public schools in Virginia paid a considerably higher annual average tuition of $36,193.

While online schools typically have similar in-state tuition prices as on-campus programs, being an online student can save you money on commuting or paying campus fees.

You should always submit the FAFSA to apply for federal financial aid. In addition, you can apply for many Virginia-based scholarships and grants, such as:

Some online colleges in Virginia offer standard tuition rates for all online students, regardless of where they live.

As a member of the Southern Regional Education Board, Virginia maintains a reciprocity agreement that provides reduced out-of-state tuition to students living in member states, which include Florida, Texas, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

What Are the Most In-Demand Jobs in Virginia?

The fastest-growing jobs in Virginia are in a variety of sectors, such as healthcare, construction, and technology. These jobs maintain various educational requirements, including high school diplomas and associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.

Nurse practitioners and information security analysts boast some of the highest median annual salaries, with each earning above $100,000 in Virginia in May 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They are also among the most in-demand occupations in the state.

10 Fast-Growing Jobs in Virginia
JobMedian Annual Salary in VA (May 2021)Job Growth Rate in VA (2020-2030)Minimum Education Required
Nurse Practitioners$102,86057%Master’s
Solar Photovoltaic Installers$45,68052%High school diploma
Cooks, Restaurant$28,78050%High school diploma
Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and GasUnavailable50%None
Occupational Therapy Assistants$62,64038%Associate
Information Security Analysts$126,23037%Bachelor’s
Flight Attendants$48,94036%High school diploma
Animal Trainers$36,06035%High school diploma
Physical Therapist Assistants$60,73033%Associate

Sources: BLS, Projections Central

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Virginia

question-mark-circleHow many four-year colleges are there in Virginia?

Virginia is home to 69 four-year degree-granting colleges in total, according to NCES data. This comprises 16 public four-year colleges, 38 private nonprofit schools, and 15 for-profit schools.

question-mark-circleWhat schools are online in Virginia?

There are currently more than 50 online colleges in Virginia. Many of the state’s largest colleges and universities offer online programs, including Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Virginia.

question-mark-circleHow do you qualify for in-state tuition in Virginia?

You need to live in Virginia for at least one year to qualify for in-state tuition, according to the Code of Virginia. You can temporarily live in out-of-state residences while attending school as long as you return to your permanent in-state residence and plan to live there after graduation.

question-mark-circleWhat is the cheapest online college in Virginia?

Several online colleges in Virginia could qualify for the lowest tuition rates in the state, including Northern Virginia Community College and Potomac State College. Both of these schools have annual tuition prices of around $5,000.

For four-year schools, Norfolk State University remains one of the few with annual tuition costs below $10,000. Old Dominion University and Radford University come in just above that marker.

question-mark-circleDoes UVA have online school?

Yes, the University of Virginia offers a variety of online degrees, certificates, and courses. The university has two online bachelor’s programs, 16 online graduate programs, and 30 online certificates.

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