Best Online Colleges in West Virginia

ASO Staff Writers
Updated June 28, 2023
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The state of West Virginia has major higher education aspirations for its residents over the next decade; the goal of the new West Virginia Climb initiative’s is to help 60 percent of the workforce hold a college certificate or degree by the year 2030. In order to do so, the state’s colleges and universities have committed to offering greater access to educational opportunities. One way to facilitate this is through online education. West Virginia students have 45 degree-granting institutions in the state to choose from, several of which offer online learning options. Read on for more information on how online college works, find answers on common online tuition and transfer credit questions and learn what makes the best online colleges in West Virginia stand out from the pack.

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Best Online Colleges in WV 2024

Many online schools and colleges in West Virginia offer excellent educational options at affordable costs. According to CollegeCalc, West Virginia had the 14th most affordable tuition rates for the 2023-2024academic year. Distance education programs often provide flexible scheduling options, and many distance learners work full time while earning their degree.

This guide explores college options in West Virginia and covers tuition costs, salary potential by degree level, and the importance of accreditation. The following sections also include links to scholarships, grants, and free online resources for college students.

#1 Best Online Colleges in West Virginia

Mountwest Community and Technical College

  • Location-markerHuntington, WV
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,692
  • Out-of-state$11,688
  • Retention Rate36%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,127
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment57%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online Colleges in West Virginia

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College

  • Location-markerMount Gay, WV
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,864
  • Out-of-state$6,250
  • Retention Rate51%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,439
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment77%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Online Colleges in West Virginia

West Virginia Northern Community College

  • Location-markerWheeling, WV
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,504
  • Out-of-state$11,232
  • Retention Rate52%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,099
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment89%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Online Colleges in West Virginia

West Virginia University

  • Location-markerMorgantown, WV
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,144
  • Out-of-state$25,824
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate90%
  • Students Enrolled25,474
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment54%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Online Colleges in West Virginia

Marshall University

  • Location-markerHuntington, WV
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$8,604
  • Out-of-state$19,658
  • Retention Rate74%
  • Acceptance Rate97%
  • Students Enrolled10,841
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment48%
  • AccreditationYes

How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I’m Looking for in West Virginia?

West Virginia institutions offer a variety of online programs. Prospective students should research options to find a program that suits their needs. Learners can find information about West Virginia universities on the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission website. They can also click the icon for details about accredited online schools and colleges in West Virginia.

How Much More Do College Grads in West Virginia Make?

While no degree guarantees a particular salary, degree-holders tend to earn more than those with less education. According to data from PayScale, professionals with a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia’s top universities earn median early career salaries of $77,000 to $100,000.

The table below features the median annual salaries of U.S. professionals by degree level. Throughout the nation, higher levels of educational attainment correlate with higher earning potential.

Annual Full-Time Wage and Salary by Educational Attainment in the U.S.

Source: BLS

Paying for Online College in West Virginia: Tuition and Financial Aid

The tables below compare West Virginia tuition rates to the national averages. As the data shows, the average tuition rates for both in-state and out-of-state learners at West Virginia institutions fall well below the national averages.

Even with affordable tuition rates, students should consider options for funding their education. Many learners pursue financial aid, loans, and scholarships. The following sections explore cost considerations for online learners and methods for financing a college education.

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Public Colleges and Universities

$7,924$20,061$9,037 (In-State)
$25,657 (Out-of-State)

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Private Colleges and Universities

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost Considerations for Online Students in West Virginia

The figures above only include the cost of tuition and fees. However, students should factor in other costs when creating their college budget. Below are common fees and expenses for students attending online schools and colleges in West Virginia.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition in West Virginia

Typically, to qualify for in-state tuition rates, students must prove that they have lived in West Virginia for a certain amount of time. However, some schools charge all online learners in-state or discounted tuition rates, regardless of residency. Students should contact their school’s financial aid office for details about tuition rates.

Out-of-state learners can qualify for lower tuition rates through reciprocity agreements. West Virginia participates in the Academic Common Market, a reciprocity agreement between southern states. This agreement provides reduced tuition rates for learners who reside in a participating state and attend a West Virginia school.

Paying for College in West Virginia: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Students attending online schools and colleges in West Virginia can qualify for various financial aid opportunities. Learners can reduce their student debt by applying for scholarships and grants, which do not require repayment. The list below includes scholarships and grants available to West Virginia students.

Scholarships for West Virginia College Students

Grants for West Virginia College Students

Financial Aid for Online Schools

The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in West Virginia

Accreditation demonstrates that a school meets high educational standards. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversee accrediting agencies in the U.S. and ensure that the evaluation process is fair and accurate.

Students should verify their school’s accreditation status before applying. Certain types of financial aid are only available to learners at accredited schools, and many employers and graduate schools only recognize degrees earned from accredited institutions. The sections below explore various types of accreditation for online schools and colleges in West Virginia.

Regional and National Accreditation

The two main types of institutional accreditation in the U.S. are regional and national accreditation. National accrediting agencies typically evaluate vocational schools and technical colleges.

Regional accreditation, the more prestigious form, generally applies to public and private degree-granting institutions. Six accrediting agencies award regional accreditation based on geographic location. The Higher Learning Commission confers regional accreditation to West Virginia schools.

Subject-Specific Accreditation

While regional and national accreditation apply to entire institutions, subject-specific accrediting agencies evaluate individual degree programs. These accrediting bodies ensure that programs prepare learners to succeed in the field, and individuals in some industries need a degree from an accredited program to qualify for licensure. Students can learn about programmatic accrediting agencies and accredited programs through the Department of Education database and the CHEA directory.

How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

To ensure that they receive a high-quality education, students should only consider accredited schools. Most accredited institutions display their accreditation status on their official website and note programmatic accreditation on each degree program’s page. Learners can identify or verify the accreditation status of any U.S. school using the Department of Education database or the CHEA directory.

Online College and Adult Education in West Virginia

Online schools and colleges in West Virginia deliver flexible programs that are often ideal for adult learners. Additionally, the state offers programs to help residents gain basic skills and career training. The sections below include facts and resources related to adult education in West Virginia.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in West Virginia

Nearly 42% of West Virginia college students enrolled exclusively in online courses in 2015.About 82% of exclusively online learners in West Virginia lived out of state in 2015.Nearly 55% of all West Virginia college students took at least one online class in 2015.
Source: Distance Education State Almanac 2017

Adult Education Programs for West Virginia Students

Online College Resources for West Virginia Students

Learners applying to online schools and colleges in West Virginia can use online resources to simplify their college search. The resources below include information and tools that help students learn about academic options in the state, complete applications, and locate financial aid opportunities.

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