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Virginia (VA): Overview of Virginia's College and University System

Oct 20, 2021

Are you looking to pursue an education in the state of Virginia? Continue reading to look at data related to numerous schools in the state, based on information from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Virginia Schools Near Large Cities

You can attend colleges and universities in Richmond, Charlottesville, Fairfax, and Norfolk. The latter city features at least two post-secondary institutions. If you are looking to study in or near a metropolitan area, consider the following choices:

  • George Mason University (located in Fairfax)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (located in Richmond)
  • Tidewater Community College (located in Norfolk)
  • Old Dominion University (located in Norfolk)
  • University of Virginia - Main Campus (located in Charlottesville)

Largest Schools in Virginia

The most populous schools in the state all had student populations exceeding 79,000 for the 2018-2019 year. In addition, all five of the schools listed had over 23,000 undergraduates. These institutions are located in Lynchburg, Annandale, Fairfax, Blacksburg, and Richmond.

  • Liberty University (79,152 students; 45,935 undergraduates)
  • Northern Virginia Community College (50,929 students, all undergraduates)
  • George Mason University (37,316 students; 26,192 undergraduates)
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (34,683 students; 27,811 undergraduates)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (30,697 students; 23,693 undergraduates)

Lowest Net Prices

The lowest net prices for 2018-2019 in Virginia are found in community colleges. All five amounts on this list are below $7,000. These values are calculated by finding the difference between the total in-state or in-district program cost and the average financial aid full-time undergraduate students were given.

  • Whytheville Community College ($2,761)
  • Paul D Camp Community College ($5,071)
  • Patrick Henry Community College ($5,383)
  • Eastern Shore Community College ($5,383)
  • Dabney S Lancaster Community College ($6,390)

Highest Graduation Rates

The non-specialty schools with the best graduation rates in 2018 are found in Charlottesville, Lexington, Williamsburg, Richmond, and Harrisonburg. The schools had rates above 80% for the 2018year. The NCES calculated these percentages using undergraduate students who finished their programs within 150% of the normal amount of time it takes to complete them.

  • University of Virginia - Main Campus (95% graduation rate)
  • Washington and Lee University (94% graduation rate)
  • College of William and Mary (90% graduation rate)
  • University of Richmond (89% graduation rate)
  • James Madison University (84% graduation rate)

The state of Virginia has numerous colleges and universities for those looking to be located near large cities, pay low net costs, study alongside many students, and attend a school with high graduation rates.

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