Best Private Colleges in West Virginia 2022

Best Private Colleges in West Virginia 2022

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in West Virginia.

Colleges and Universities in West Virginia

West Virginia has 20 public higher education institutions, all at a sticker price of $9,000 or less, making it one of the more affordable states to earn a degree. With over 25,000 students in attendance, West Virginia University is the largest and charges $9,000 in tuition. Aside from the community and state colleges, six other public universities have populations ranging from about 2,100 to just over 10,000, and all schools have a tuition rate of about $8,000.

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The state is also home to 12 private schools, eight of which are religiously affiliated. The University of Charleston is the largest private university, but its student population is still small. About 2,000 students take classes in fields such as chemistry, political science, and history, and the tuition totals $21,000. At $32,000 in tuition and fees, West Virginia Wesleyan College is the most expensive, but its student population is only slightly above 1,300.

As the only state contained entirely within the Appalachian range, West Virginia is rightfully nicknamed The Mountain State. Those who love the outdoors will feel at home hiking through the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve or skiing at Canaan Valley Ski Resort. History buffs can visit Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, where they can take a walk through life in the 1800s. In addition, the state offers over 30 private and public colleges and universities to those looking to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.

Check out the state’s top programs and see why West Virginia could be a good fit for your educational goals and budget.


What are West Virginia’s Colleges & Universities?

West Virginia’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 9 private universities in West Virginia. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in West Virginia, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in West Virginia

  1. #2

    University of Charleston

    Charleston , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1041/21

    University of Charleston’s Online Degrees

    BSBA in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 125
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    960/19

    Alderson Broaddus University’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #6

    Salem University

    Salem , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    <1K

  4. Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    What is Ohio Valley University known for?

    Ohio Valley University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/20

    What is Davis & Elkins College known for?

    Davis & Elkins College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Davis & Elkins College’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing: RN to BSN
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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West Virginia’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Bethany College
  2. Davis & Elkins College
  3. Wheeling University
  4. West Virginia Wesleyan College
  5. Alderson Broaddus University
  6. University of Charleston
  7. Ohio Valley University