Best Small Colleges in West Virginia 2022

Best Small Colleges in West Virginia 2022

Small colleges in West Virginia are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

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

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The following list of the best small colleges and universities in West Virginia is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 18 small colleges in West Virginia. The list below of the best small colleges in West Virginia. To be included schools must fully accredited, and must have student body populations below 5,000 students.

How do we determine West Virginia's best small colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

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Best Small Colleges in West Virginia 2022

  1. #1

    West Virginia State University

    Institute , WV
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    965/19

    What is West Virginia State University known for?

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

    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    University of Charleston

    Charleston , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1041/21

    What is University of Charleston known for?

    University of Charleston’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    West Liberty University

    West Liberty , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    2K

    What is West Liberty University known for?

    West Liberty University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Chemistry
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Fairmont State University

    Fairmont , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/20

    What is Fairmont State University known for?

    Fairmont State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • History
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Bethany College

    Bethany , WV
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/19

    What is Bethany College known for?

    Bethany College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    West Virginia Wesleyan College

    Buckhannon , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/21

    What is West Virginia Wesleyan College known for?

    West Virginia Wesleyan College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Economics
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Religious Studies
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Shepherd University

    Shepherdstown , WV
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/22

    What is Shepherd University known for?

    Shepherd University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Bluefield State College

    Bluefield , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    880/18

    What is Bluefield State College known for?

    Bluefield State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. 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:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Concord University

    Athens , WV
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1000/20

    What is Concord University known for?

    Concord University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Mathematics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. 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:

    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    Alderson Broaddus University

    Philippi , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    960/19

    What is Alderson Broaddus University known for?

    Alderson Broaddus University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Law
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. 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:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Law

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    Salem University

    Salem , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Salem University known for?

    Salem University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    Ohio Valley University

    Vienna , WV

    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:

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #16

    Wheeling University

    Wheeling , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/20

    What is Wheeling University known for?

    Wheeling University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #17

    Davis & Elkins College

    Elkins , WV

    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:

    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Economics
    • Literature
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #18

    Glenville State University

    Glenville , WV

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Glenville State University known for?

    Glenville State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • History
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

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West Virginia’s Best Small 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. Bethany College
  2. Glenville State University
  3. Concord University
  4. Shepherd University
  5. Davis & Elkins College
  6. Wheeling University
  7. West Virginia Wesleyan College
  8. Alderson Broaddus University
  9. University of Charleston
  10. Ohio Valley University
  11. West Liberty University

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