Virginia’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in Virginia offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Virginia’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Virginia

Liberty University, a private Christian school in Lynchburg, is the largest school in Virginia, serving over 60,000 students. The largest public university, Virginia Tech, has a student population of about half that but offers many in-person degree programs as well as eight master’s programs and 19 certificate programs online. Students who attend Virginia Tech can pursue fields like engineering, criminal justice, education, and business.

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The majority of Virginia’s universities and colleges could be considered small schools, serving populations of less than 5,000 students. Included on this list are public schools, like Christopher Newport University in Newport News, and private schools, like Hampton University, a historically black university in Hampton. Though most of its higher education institutes charge tuition fees above the national average, Virginia offers several loan forgiveness programs for qualifying attorneys and medical, dental, behavioral health, and pharmaceutical professionals.

Virginia is perhaps most famous for its rich history — but the state is also home to many unique museums and famous landmarks. For example, those who love the classics can visit the Edgar Allen Poe Museum in Richmond. Those who harbor romantic dreams of espionage and intrigue might visit the CIA Museum in McLean. And, if you like your attractions random, you could check out Virginia’s 300-yard-long natural tunnel or its 29-ton spinning granite ball. While you’re here, you might consider attending one of the 78 colleges located in the state.

Learn more about Virginia’s higher education opportunities by checking out the state’s many colleges and universities.


What are Virginia’s Colleges & Universities?

Virginia’s Best Overall


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How do we determine Virginia's best community colleges?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.


We’ve identified 26 community colleges in Virginia, 25 satisfy our criteria. The following list shows the best community colleges in the state.

Best Community Colleges in Virgina

  1. #1

    Paul D. Camp Community College

    #10834 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    <1K

    Franklin, VA

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    What is Paul D. Camp Community College known for?

    Paul D. Camp Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
  2. #2

    Rappahannock Community College

    #12482 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    2K

    Glenns, VA

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    What is Rappahannock Community College known for?

    Rappahannock Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
  3. #3

    Richard Bland College

    #7023 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    1K

    South Prince George, VA

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    What is Richard Bland College known for?

    Richard Bland College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Piedmont Virginia Community College

    #11165 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    3K

    Charlottesville, VA

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    What is Piedmont Virginia Community College known for?

    Piedmont Virginia Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Sociology
  5. #5

    Southwest Virginia Community College

    #12478 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    2K

    Cedar Bluff, VA

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    What is Southwest Virginia Community College known for?

    Southwest Virginia Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Danville Community College

    #5300 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    2K

    Danville, VA

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    What is Danville Community College known for?

    Danville Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Patrick & Henry Community College

    #10857 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    2K

    Martinsville, VA

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    What is Patrick & Henry Community College known for?

    Patrick & Henry Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
  8. #8

    Tidewater Community College

    #8124 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    13K

    Norfolk, VA

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    What is Tidewater Community College known for?

    Tidewater Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    Virginia Western Community College

    #10892 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    4K

    Roanoke, VA

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    What is Virginia Western Community College known for?

    Virginia Western Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Social Work
    • Biology
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Central Virginia Community College

    #11127 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    2K

    Lynchburg, VA

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    What is Central Virginia Community College known for?

    Central Virginia Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Dabney S. Lancaster Community College

    #15671 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    Clifton Forge, VA

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    What is Dabney S. Lancaster Community College known for?

    Dabney S. Lancaster Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
  12. #12

    Brightpoint Community College

    #18883 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    6K

    Chester, VA

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    What is Brightpoint Community College known for?

    Brightpoint Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    New River Community College

    #12373 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    3K

    Dublin, VA

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    What is New River Community College known for?

    New River Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
  14. #14

    Northern Virginia Community College

    #3453 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    30K

    Annandale, VA

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    What is Northern Virginia Community College known for?

    Northern Virginia Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Social Work
  15. #15

    Mountain Empire Community College

    #13766 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    2K

    Big Stone Gap, VA

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    What is Mountain Empire Community College known for?

    Mountain Empire Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
  16. #16

    Virginia Highlands Community College

    #9102 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    1K

    Abingdon, VA

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    What is Virginia Highlands Community College known for?

    Virginia Highlands Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #17

    Wytheville Community College

    #14413 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    2K

    Wytheville, VA

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    What is Wytheville Community College known for?

    Wytheville Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
  18. #18

    Blue Ridge Community College

    #14667 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    2K

    Weyers Cave, VA

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    What is Blue Ridge Community College known for?

    Blue Ridge Community College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #19

    Southside Virginia Community College

    #11011 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    2K

    Alberta, VA

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    What is Southside Virginia Community College known for?

    Southside Virginia Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
  20. #20

    Thomas Nelson Community College

    #7417 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    5K

    Hampton, VA

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    What is Thomas Nelson Community College known for?

    Thomas Nelson Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #21

    Germanna Community College

    #10790 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    4K

    Locust Grove, VA

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    What is Germanna Community College known for?

    Germanna Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #23

    J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College

    #10606 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    5K

    Richmond, VA

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    What is J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College known for?

    J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Social Work
  23. #24

    Eastern Shore Community College

    #16137 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    <1K

    Melfa, VA

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    What is Eastern Shore Community College known for?

    Eastern Shore Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Medical
  24. #25

    Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale

    #14315 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    30K

    Annandale, VA

    View profile

    What is Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale known for?

    Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology

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Photo By: Rappahannock Community College