In an effort to keep up with the advances in technology, many universities are offering online classes for its students. These courses allow a student from anywhere in the world to attend the school without the need to physically go to class in most instances. They can perform their coursework on their own schedule, making it an ideal setup for students that work or need to provide for a family.
In West Virginia, there are several schools that fit the online bill and have been compiled here. These universities offer a bevy of online classes for graduates and undergraduates to choose from, allowing them to attend school when it is convenient for them.
What Are The Best Online Colleges In West Virginia?
For this report, we used a specific methodology to determine which college made the list. We focused on institutional excellence, student satisfaction, and student success based on their return on investment. To identify institutional excellence, we used a variety of data points. This included graduation rate, institutional reputation, student entering test scores and student-to-faculty ratio as well as the school’s endowment size. Determining student satisfaction was more of an aggregate measure as it weighted student reviews found in a variety of publications and on websites. The student success factor looked at tuition costs, financial aid, student debt after graduation, and expected career salary for graduates. This data comes directly from the National Center for Education Statistics IPEDS database and Payscale as well as individual college websites and from US News & World Report.
Let’s read on to see who made the list.
West Virginia University
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $10,405
Located in charming Morgantown, West Virginia University is a public university that was found in 1867. It has a semester enrollment of over 31,000, which is more than its neighboring colleges. The campus of WVU is diverse with students from 107 nations as well as all over the U.S. As many of 51 percent of the students enrolled in the college hail from West Virginia themselves, representing all 55 counties.
The school has more than 460 different student organizations to participate in as well as a series of clubs and sports programs. To date, the university has had over 200,000 graduates from more than 135 nations.
The online program at WVU is expansive in that it offers over 30 degrees in a variety of emphasizes. Some of the areas of focus for these degrees include:
- Business data analytics
- Child development
- Mental health
- Design and technology
More than 600 courses are provided online, allowing students to select the program that works best for them. The college also offers eight certificate programs and 21 minors in fields of study that range from advertising and child development to political science and history.
According to WVU, the school has some of the lowest tuition rates in the country. The average cost of tuition and fees in 2016-2017 was approximately $7992 for in-state students and $22,488 for out-of-state attendees. The college awards over $433 million in financial aid to its students each year including scholarships in excess of $8 million.
College Choice Score: 99.55
Average Net Price: $9,240
Marshall University is located in the inviting downtown Huntington. It has additional campuses located in South Charleston, Point Pleasant, Teays Valley, and Beckley. The school was founded in 1837 and has an annual student body of 13,631. Approximately 58 percent of the student body is female, and a total of 11 percent are minorities. The student body is made up of students from 49 states, 56 countries, and all 55 counties of West Virginia.
The average class size for the university is 21 students with a student to faculty ratio of 19:1. Student life is made up of 230 recognized organizations and a NCAA sports program.
The school offers an array of degree programs including associate, baccalaureate, master’s, first professional and doctoral degrees. It also offers a range of certificate programs and has more than 100 different courses that are also available as online classes. Some of its programs include:
- Advertising and public relations
- Computer science
- Journalism and mass communications
- Medical imaging
- Sports management
Marshall University provides financial aid to more than 89 percent of its student body. It average assistance package is approximately $10,192 with the average grant size at $5984. After graduating Marshall University, most students have an average debt size from tuition and fees of $26,625. Financial aid priority is given to early enrolling students, but the school does dole out additional funding throughout the year. It also has a 73 percent retention rate of freshman students.
Wheeling Jesuit University
College Choice Score: 91.10
Average Net Price: $18,744
Wheeling Jesuit University is a Catholic Jesuit university that was established in Wheeling in 1954. The school has a total of 1385 students that represent more 37 states and more than 20 countries from around the world. The average class size at the school is 14 students with a faculty ratio of 11:1.
Campus life at the school is found on a 65-acre site in the downtown area. Approximately 79 percent of the student body resides on the campus that has 29 clubs and organizations that students can be a part of while they attend the school. Wheeling Jesuit University is also home to a sports complex and athletic field. It also supports NCAA Division II sports teams.
The school features a diverse variety of programs for students to participate in. There are 35 bachelors, seven master’s, one doctoral and four certificate programs. The schools focus areas include:
- Health Sciences
- Arts, communications, and languages
- History, law, and pollical science
- Math and science
- Philosophy and theology
Its catholic studies fall under its philosophy and theology program.
The annual cost to attend Wheeling Jesuit University is approximately $27,830 including tuition and fees. Room and board equate to $5140 to $6180 per year. The school does offer a series of grants and scholarships on an annual basis. Its grants are given based on need while its scholarships are based on merit as well as competitive honoring. It also provides a range of institutional scholarships that are award to its student body.
University of Charleston
College Choice Score: 87.79
Average Net Price: $18,799
The University of Charleston is based in the heart of Charleston on the Kanawha River. Here, the school educates a semester enrollment of 2435 students each fall. The average student to faculty ratio at the school is 14:1 with international students from 41 countries. It was established in 1888.
The school has been chosen as one of 12 that are the model for the First Year Experience with 90 percent of its graduates being employed or in graduate school six months following graduation. The school has been named a Best College by the 2015 Princeton Review and has been ranked as a military-friendly institution. It has also has 20 NCAA Division II sports teams on campus as part of the Mountain East Conference. One-third of the student body participates on the sports teams.
The school offers a series of graduate programs as well as doctorates of pharmacy and executive leadership. Its master’s programs include physician’s assistant, strategic leadership, business administration, and forensics accounting. The school is well known for the following popular undergraduate programs that include:
The cost to attend the University of Charleston is approximately $29,400 a year with an additional room rate of $5000 and board rate of $4100. Its online courses are $380 per credit hour. The school does offer financial aid and scholarship programs to students enrolled in the college. Scholarships are based on merit with amounts determined by grade point average. There are also scholarships provides for sports and other extracurricular activities.
Fairmont State University
College Choice Score: 87.09
Average Net Price: $8,897
Fairmont State University is set in the friendly city of Fairmont. It was built in 1865 and sits on a 120-acre campus. The student body is comprised of 4200 students with a student to faculty ratio of 17:1. The average class size at the school is 22 students.
Campus life includes a variety of activities, clubs, and organizations. There are 80 recognized student organizations at the school as well as a series of sororities and fraternities and intramural sports to participate in. The college is also a member of the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference with 16 varsity sports to be involved with.
The school has a bevy of academic programs for students to study with schools in the fields of:
- Liberal arts
- Science and technology
- Education, health and human performance
- Fine arts
It provides master’s programs as well as Army and Air Force ROTC studies.
The school’s online courses can be done from a distance with only two to three class meeting a semester.
The annual tuition rate for a student that lives on campus at Fairmont State University is approximately $296 per credit hour. Out-of-state students can expect to pay $634 per credit hour to live on campus. Students that are looking to commute can expect to pay a tuition rate of $265 and $603 for in-state and out-of-state students, respectively.
At Fairmont State University, a total of 72 percent of its students receive financial aid in some form. The school also provides scholarships for talent and merit, which are competitive among enrolled students.
Ohio Valley University
College Choice Score: 84.98
Average Net Price: $16,588
Ohio Valle University is a fully accredited Christian faith school that associates itself with the churches of Christ. It was founded in 1958 and is known as a private liberal arts university located in Vienna along the Ohio River on 266-acres of lush green woods.
The school has an enrollment of 500 students each year. These students come from 25 different states in the U.S. as well as 16 nations around the world. The student faculty ratio is 10:1 with an average class size of 20 students. The university was also named as one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Report.
The school has four colleges that include:
- Arts and science
- Biblical studies
- Behavioral sciences
- Business and education
It offers a series of majors that are diverse as biology and accounting to history and forensics. It also provides a series of pre-professional programs in the medical, dental, law, and veterinary fields to name a few.
Ohio Valle University has a semester tuition of $8755 per semester which averages out to $17,510 a year. This accounts for 14 to 17 hours of coursework. An additional cost of $875 to $1750 is necessary for fees. Over 90 percent of the school’s students receive grants or scholarships with $3 million being dedicated to the students in the 2013-2014 school year for aid. The scholarships at Ohio Valle University are based on ACT and SAT scores at the time of enrollment with funding provided from $250 to full tuition.
Alderson Broaddus University
College Choice Score: 82.04
Average Net Price: $17,641
Alderson Braoddus University is located in welcoming city of Philippi on the vistas of the Tygart River Valley. It is the merging of two schools that formed Alderson Braoddus University in 1932. The school has a rich Christian faith and is primarily a liberal arts college.
The school has a total enrollment of 1052 students of which 1005 are full-time students. A total of 27 percent of its students are minorities with 65 percent of the total being out-of-state attendees. More men than women attend the school only by a slight margin. Another 5 percent are from international countries, and the student to faculty ratio is 71:1.
The school offers a series of majors for students to complete during their enrollment at the university. The top five majors at the school are:
- Business administration
- Exercise science
- Criminal justice
The school also offers three graduate programs and seven pre-professional programs. This is in addition to its associate and graduate majors. The school also offers a range of online courses with specialty majors in nursing (RN) and teacher leader.
Tuition at the school is approximately $26,400 a year with another $210 dedicated to fees. Room and board on campus are $8390 for a double occupancy room. The school does offer financial aid with $28 million dedicated to its students each year. A total of 99 percent of its students receives some form of financial aid at an average rate of $22,228 per student. The school also offers grant and scholarship money based on student need.
West Virginia State University
College Choice Score: 79.46
Average Net Price: $7,690
West Virginia State University is situated in the quaint suburbs of Charleston. This vibrant community provides a campus home to more than 3514 students each semester at WVSU. The school, itself, was founded 1891 and features a student to faculty ratio of 17:1.
The campus of WVSU is a NCAA Division II sports school for five men’s and an additional five women’s sports. The university also offers study abroad programs and assistance for international students through its Excellence in Culture and English Language Study (EXCELS) program.
The school of WVSU hosts 23 undergraduate degrees for its students. It has six graduate programs that are focused on biotechnology, criminal justice, public administration, media studies, social work, and education.
Its online course includes five programs that are fully online. The online degree programs include:
- Criminal justice
- Business administration (concentration in accounting)
- Business administration (focus on management)
- Instructional Educational leadership (master’s)
WVSU is known for its affordable tuition. The average cost for a student to attend the school is based on a three-tier program for in-state, metro area, and out-of-state students. The rates are $6996, $12,156 and $15,572, respectively. There are additional costs for fees, room and board, and loan processing.
The school does offer financial aid, grants, scholarships, work study, and loan programs. Its scholarships are awarded based on merit with funds dedicated to current, new, and transferring students. Its work study program provides tuition in exchange for working on campus in the amount of $100 to $5000.
College Choice Score: 73.49
Average Net Price: $7,210
Located in Athens, Concord University is a liberal arts college that was started in 1872. The school was destroyed in a fire in 1910 and moved to its current location in Mercer County. The school is primarily made up of 2400 undergraduates and graduates per semester. It has a 67 percent retention rate with freshman and a graduation rate of 34 percent. The population on campus is diverse as all walks of life are represented in some percentage at the school. The student to faculty ratio is 15:1.
The school has an array of undergraduate and graduate programs. Its top performing majors are:
- Business administration
- Social work (master’s)
- Education (master’s)
- Elementary education
Concord University also provides online courses through its Information Technology department. These courses are provided via video conferencing, web presentation, satellite or Blackboard portal. The school has made great strides in its effort to provide online coursework with numerous classes offered in an online format.
The tuition at Concord University is $7574 for in-state students, $16,654 for out-of-state attends. There are additional fees to be included as well as room and board which is $4328 per double occupancy room. The school does offer financial assistance for its students with 70.5 percent receiving some kind of aid. The average scholarship or grant award is $5942. Scholarships are awarded based on merit. Concord University also offers a tuition reduction program for qualified students. The school boasts the lowest average loan debt for school graduates of any West Virginia four-year school.
American Public University System
College Choice Score: 66.35
Average Net Price: $10,265
With recent development in 2002, the American Public University System was born out of the American Military University. This school created as a result of the growth of the American Military University. The school has 88,000 students and is completely online. It has more than 70,000 graduates with an average class size of 19 students. A total of 77 percent of it students have a military background while 88 percent are working adults.
The school is completely online with its ten most popular programs being:
- Criminal justice
- Business administration
- General studies
- Intelligence studies
- Sports and health sciences
- Homeland security
- Transportation and logistics management
- Environmental science
The classes at American Public University System start monthly and are available in eight and 16-week programs. Online connections are made through discussion boards, forums, and blogs as well as social media.
The school has a tuition fee schedule that is designed to be affordable at $270 for undergraduates per credit hour and $350 for graduates per credit hour, without a grant associated with it. It provides financial aid as well as military and veterans benefits. Scholarships are not available through American Public University System but can be utilized if awarded through a private entity. The school does offer self-pay options and private loans as well as grant programs.
The school is military friendly as it provides credit towards military services as well as the transfer of credits from other universities. It also has an accelerated learning program available for advanced students.