Best Public Colleges in West Virginia 2022

Best Public Colleges in West Virginia 2022

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in West Virginia provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

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 public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 12 public universities in West Virginia. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in West Virginia, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

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Best Public Colleges in West Virginia 2022

  1. #2

    Marshall University

    Huntington , WV
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/22

    Marshall University’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing
    Degree Concentrations
    • Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in General Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in English
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA or BS in Geography
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Medical Laboratory Science
    • Required Credits: 123-127
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Professional Writing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in English
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in General Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA/BS in Geography
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Medical Laboratory Science
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Professional Writing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    965/19

    West Virginia State University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in English
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #4

    West Liberty University

    West Liberty , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    2K

    West Liberty University’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing: RN to BSN
    • Required Credits: 125
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Potomac State College of West Virginia University known for?

    Potomac State College of West Virginia University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Potomac State College of West Virginia University’s Online Degrees

    BAS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    55%

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/21

    What is West Virginia University Institute of Technology known for?

    West Virginia University Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    2K

    What is West Virginia University at Parkersburg known for?

    West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    1K

    Glenville State University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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West Virginia’s Best Public College in Your Area of 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. West Virginia University
  2. Marshall University
  3. West Virginia State University
  4. Glenville State University
  5. Concord University
  6. Shepherd University
  7. West Virginia University Institute of Technology
  8. Fairmont State University
  9. Bluefield State University
  10. West Liberty University