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Online Colleges in West Virginia

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West Virginia’s legislature has proven its commitment to online learning. Recognizing that distance education not only creates additional course options for learners, but also offers economic benefits to the state, the Legislature created the Distance Learning Coordinating Council (DLCC). The mission of this body is to nurture the development of online college degree programs and courses. This council is charged with creating a statewide technology system to link universities, colleges and libraries with the capabilities needed to foster online learning. This state-level effort is guaranteed to further boost the popularity of online learning in West Virginia. As of 2012, West Virginia was the only state in which students taking face-to-face courses made up less than half of the student body, speaking volumes about how established distance learning is in the state.

But before we dive into our list of best online schools in West Virginia for 2016, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in West Virginia today.


A Brief Overview of Higher Education in West Virginia

In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that West Virginia had 43 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 23 public schools, 8 nonprofits and 12 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 9,082 at public schools, 1,185 at private nonprofits and 4,090 at private for-profits.

Tuition-wise, the College Board found that, in the ’15-’16 school year, the average in-state tuition and fees for four-year public schools was $7,170, while the out-of-state average was $19,360.

As for the state’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that West Virginia awarded $45.4 million in need-based grants and $59.6 million in non-need grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Grants make up 20.4% of the state’s total fiscal support for higher education.

Recent initiatives include a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program. This grant will increase opportunities for online completion of a Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) degree. Through application of these funds, West Virginia distance learners will have access to live video classes via a web conferencing system.

With some of the most affordable tuition rates in the country, a host of schools to choose from and an incredibly strong commitment to financial aid, West Virginia’s higher education system continues to earn a great reputation.


The State of Online Higher Education in West Virginia

The NCES estimates that at least 40% of students enrolled in West Virginia’s Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 76.5% were reported to be undergraduates and 10.2% were found to be living in West Virginia.

Further encouraging online learning throughout the state and beyond are two of West Virginia’s distance learning services, SatNet and EdNet. SatNet is a network of West Virginia public college and universities that are responsible for developing and offering online degree programs and courses. Similarly, the EdNet program is responsible for producing and communicating distance learning for schools that offer online programs.

Another major force driving the state’s online learning is the West Virginia Virtual Learning Network.This is an association of public state colleges and universities with a mission to provide West Virginia citizens access to educational programs by 100% online education technologies.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has also created the unique West Virginia Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System, or WVROCKS. A system that helps distance learners pursue courses from institutions that offer regents bachelor of arts degrees. Through WVROCKS, online students remain enrolled and receive their degree from a home campus, but take courses through the portal.

WVROCKS was created with assistance from WVNET, the West Virginia Network. This service organization reports to the Higher Education Policy Commission and provides telecommunications, computing and networking services. It links centralized computing resources with systems at educational institutions throughout the state.

West Virginia is also a member of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus, an initiative that lets students sift through an impressive directory of online programs throughout the southeast U.S. SREB also has strong aid initiatives. Services like the Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus and the Regional Contract Program for Health Professions let students fully enroll in a selection of out-of-state programs while paying in-state rates. While the program selection is small and the admissions criteria strict, for qualified students these are incredible opportunities.


Best Online Colleges in West Virginia

Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in West Virginia. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing our best of West Virginia, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in West Virginia or our index of popular in-state scholarships.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

To determine the best online colleges in each state, we examined the factors most important to prospective students: Academic quality and reputation, online program strength, and cost and student aid. At the most basic level, we use the following formula to determine the best online colleges: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. Of course, there's more to these calculations than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about the process we use to rank schools.

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West Virginia University

1
West Virginia University
Morgantown
$6,456
$19,632

An Online Education at West Virginia University

WVU's online engine is WVU eCampus, a web-based course management system built on the Blackboard Learn platform. Beyond the delivery of synchronous and asynchronous courses, the eCampus system boasts a number of forward-thinking features, including email, a personal messaging tool, discussion boards, course wiki networks, online exams and real-time group collaboration. The university has also committed an outstanding amount of resources to its online students, including live chat services and dedicated phone support for online students (1-800-253-2762).

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Early Childhood Development Certificate
  • Infant/Toddler Certificate
  • Multidisciplinary Studies B.A.
  • Nursing RN to BSN
  • Regents Bachelor of Arts R.B.A.

Beyond those programs, the school offers dozens of single courses online, with the school's liberal arts and STEM departments well represented. Graduate courses and even fully online graduate programs are also maintained.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Communication Studies: Corporate and Organizational M.A.
  • Educational Leadership: Higher Education Administration M.A.
  • Instructional Design and Technology M.A.
  • Integrated Marketing Communications M.S.
  • Legal Studies M.L.S.
  • Nursing M.S.N.
  • Public Health M.P.H.

Lastly, the school has a host of ACCESS courses available to high school students interested in earning college credit online.

All of WVU's online courses have been approved by the Southern Regional Board's Electronic Campus. This organization maintains an online directory of thousands of web-based courses offered by colleges and universities throughout the south. Since Colleges and Universities offering distance education must abide by the laws of each of the states in which they enroll students, those individuals residing outside of West Virginia should be sure to check the State Authorization page prior to applying to WVU’s online courses.

Contact Information

Stewart Hall, 1500 University Avenue
Morgantown, WV 26506-6201
(304) 293-0111


Acclaim for online programs

  • #25on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs
  • #36on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs
  • #86on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

Wheeling Jesuit University

2
Wheeling Jesuit University
Wheeling
$27,830

An Online Education at Wheeling Jesuit University

Online programs at WJU are facilitated through the Blackboard learning management system. Through this platform, students receive communication from instructors regarding course materials, syllabi, assignments, projects, tests and more. Most interaction is done through emailing, webinars, web-conferencing, discussion boards, online chats and blogs.

Students are permitted to transfer up to 90 semester hours from a regionally accredited college or university to WJU. Those who hold an accredited associate degree may transfer their entire associate degree credits if they so choose.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • RN to BSN

Additionally, an Accelerated Certification for Teaching (ACT) program can be taken online for those seeking certification to teach 5th graders up to adults. Ideally designed for those wishing to enhance their professional qualifications and skills, the program also offers an additional endorsement in various types of special education. The 12 to 19 hours of endorsement coursework can be completed entirely online.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master’s in Education Leadership (MEL)
  • Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL)
  • Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN)

For those working educators and administrators who already hold a master's degree, WJU’s MEL program can be entered in order to earn additional licensure as an instructional supervisor or as a superintendent, by taking just nine more credit hours.

Contact Information

316 Washington Ave
Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 243-2000


Acclaim for online programs

  • #125on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
  • #68on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs
  • #40on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs

Bluefield State College

3
Bluefield State College
Bluefield
$5,564
$10,536

An Online Education at Bluefield State College

Bluefield’s distance education courses offered entirely online at BSC are delivered through one of two well known interfaces: Blackboard or Moodle. Courses are unique in that they are completely asynchronous, with absolutely no scheduled meetings, whereas face-to-face and blended courses most often have specific meeting or login times and locations. Communication in Blackboard is facilitated through the use of chat rooms, discussion forums and blogs.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA)
  • Business Administration (BBA)
  • Nursing (BSN)
  • BS in Imaging Science (2+2 program)

The Regents BA Degree Program (RBA) was originally designed to give adults the opportunity to earn a four-year degree in a non-traditional way. Developed by the former West Virginia Board of Regents, this format is offered at many West Virginia institutes. It allows students to be awarded college credit for work and other nontraditional learning experiences, while also letting students tailor their individual program to meet their personal educational and professional goals.

Contact Information

219 Rock St
Bluefield, WV 24701
(304) 327-4000

University of Charleston

4
University of Charleston
Charleston
$19,650

An Online Education at University of Charleston

UC’s online programs use a combination of several interfaces to deliver coursework, information and instruction. Students can manage their accounts, submit an announcement and submit their community service via their eConnections login, while at the same time using their eLearn login to access information from their professors specific to their registered online courses. Online programs use weekly online chats, individual assignments and group projects to assess students’ progress.

Students are also permitted to transfer up to 90 regionally accredited semester credits towards their degree. UC is currently in the process of seeking authorization to deliver distance education in all U.S. states, however, students residing outside of West Virginia can refer to this State Complaint page if they are unsure if their state qualifies.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Psychology

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master’s of Forensic Accounting
  • Doctorate of Executive Leadership
  • Master’s of Strategic Leadership

The bachelor’s programs, excluding nursing, follow the cohort model to encourage peer-supported professional and personal growth. An accelerated program allows students to potentially complete their bachelor’s degree in less than four years, while the nursing and master’s program are able to be completed in as little as 18 months.

Contact Information

2300 MacCorkle Avenue, SE
Charleston, WV 25304
(304) 357-4800

West Virginia State University

5
West Virginia State University
Institute
$5,932
$13,864

An Online Education at West Virginia State University

WVSU Online is a virtual learning environment developed with Sakai. The student learning experience includes interactive multimedia, online lectures, discussion forums and other communication tools. WVSU’s programs are hosted entirely online. Students log in to ProctorU to take exams, and they have 24/7 access to SmartThinking.com for tutoring in more than 15 subjects. Online library access includes one-on-one consultation with reference librarians through emails, phone calls and chats.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • BA Technical Writing
  • BS Business Administration

The school is developing an additional online bachelor’s program in criminal justice, with a planned launch in spring 2016.

Contact Information

Rte 25
Institute, WV 25112-1000
(304) 766-3000

Alderson Broaddus University

6
Alderson Broaddus University
Philippi
$22,740

An Online Education at Alderson Broaddus University

Alderson Broaddus University’s online program in nursing carries no on-campus requirements. Courses are delivered in eight-week academic terms through the Blackboard Learning Management System. Courses are completely asynchronous, so students do not have to be online at scheduled times. Each student gets their own Battler Portal, which provides access to a range of administrative and support services.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • RN to BSN

This program is designed for students who have already completed an associate degree or diploma in nursing, and have earned an RN license.

Contact Information

101 College Hill Drive
Philippi, WV 26416-2035
(304) 457-1700

Davis & Elkins College

7
Davis & Elkins College
Elkins
$24,992

An Online Education at Davis & Elkins College

Davis & Elkins College uses a cohort model for classes. Each cohort contains no more than 30 students, and students progresses through the program at the same pace. All coursework is completed online; students are able to watch lectures asynchronously and there are no on-campus requirements. Academic advisors work with students one-on-one to provide guidance throughout the online program. Students and instructors connect in course sites managed by the school’s e2Campus system.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • RN to BSN

Davis & Elkins College awards up to 24 credits to students with at least two years of experience in nursing. Clinical components of the curriculum can be coordinated within each student's current work environment.

Contact Information

100 Campus Dr
Elkins, WV 26241-3996
(304) 637-1900

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

8
West Virginia University at Parkersburg
Parkersburg
$2,712
$9,648

An Online Education at West Virginia University at Parkersburg

WVU-Parkersburg uses Pearson LearningStudio to provide course materials, communication tools and learning activities online. This system permits desktop and mobile access to students. All coursework is completed online, though some classes require students to take tests on campus or at approved proctoring locations. To complete practicum and fieldwork requirements, students must make arrangements with local clinics or organizations.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Child Development
  • RN to BSN

An undergraduate certificate in child development and various associate degree programs are also available online through WVU-Parkersburg.

Contact Information

300 Campus Drive
Parkersburg, WV 26104
(304) 424-8000


Most Affordable Online Colleges in West Virginia

Below is a list of the most affordable online schools in West Virginia, ranked and ordered by tuition cost.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

Our list of the most affordable online colleges is based on in-state yearly tuition, or annual tuition rates if a school does not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition rates are based on a full course load each semester or term. All colleges on the list offer at least one bachelor's degree completion program available entirely online. Those institutions with the lowest tuition are ranked highest, providing prospective students with a true list of the most affordable online colleges in their state.

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Bluefield State College

1
Bluefield State College
Bluefield
$5,564
$10,536

West Virginia University

2
West Virginia University
Morgantown
$6,456
$19,632

University of Charleston

3
University of Charleston
Charleston
$19,650

Wheeling Jesuit University

4
Wheeling Jesuit University
Wheeling
$27,830


Scholarships and Financial Aid in West Virginia

Blue & Gold Level 1 Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $6,000 See Scholarship

West Virginia University offers the Blue and Gold scholarship to out-of-state freshmen who have a high school GPA of 3.25+, and an ACT of 24+ or SAT of 1100+. Selection is competitive, based on academic merit. The award is $6,000 per year for 4 years of undergraduate study.

Cavalier-Nichols Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation provides the Cavalier-Nichols Scholarship for students attending any postsecondary institution in West Virginia. To be eligible, students must have a GPA of 3.5+ and an ACT score of 25+ (or SAT equivalent). Preference is given to students attending West Virginia University’s Institute of Technology.

Dean’s Award

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $8,000 See Scholarship

The Dean’s Scholarship is open to incoming freshmen at Wheeling Jesuit University. Selection is based on academic merit. To be eligible, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and an ACT score of 20+ or SAT of 940+. The award is $8,000 per year for 4 years.

Health Sciences Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $20,000 See Scholarship

The College Foundation of West Virginia administers this recruitment incentive program. It is open to students enrolled in medical, dental, nursing, pharmaceutical sciences, or clinical psychology programs in West Virginia. Recipients must fulfill a service obligation by practicing medicine in West Virginia for two years following graduation. Maximum award is $20,000.

Presidential Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $4,000 See Scholarship

West Virginia University’s Presidential Scholarship is open to incoming freshmen who are West Virginia residents. Selection is based on academic merit. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.8 and ACT score of 30+ or SAT of 1340+. The award is $4,000 per year for 4 years.

Presidential Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $9,000 See Scholarship

Wheeling Jesuit University’s Presidential Scholarship is open to incoming freshmen. Selection is based on academic merit. To be eligible, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and an ACT score of 23+ or SAT of 1060+. The award is $9,000 per year for 4 years.

R. Ray Singleton Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation provides the R. Ray Singleton scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students who are residents of Kanawha, Boone, Putnam, Lincoln, or Fayette counties. The award may be used at any postsecondary institution in West Virginia. To be eligible, students must demonstrate academic excellence and financial need.

University Merit – Resident Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Full tuition See Scholarship

West Virginia University provides many merit-based academic scholarships for incoming freshmen. Award amounts vary based on high school GPA, SAT and ACT scores. The maximum award for WV residents covers full tuition plus a $4,500 stipend; the maximum award for out-of-state students is $21,000 per year for 4 years, plus a $3,500 stipend.

West Virginia Higher Education Grant

Deadline: April 15, 2015
Scholarship Amount $2,600 See Scholarship

Administered by the College Foundation of West Virginia, this grant is open to West Virginia high school graduates (GED also accepted) who are enrolling at a postsecondary institution in West Virginia or Pennsylvania. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. Maximum award is $2,600 per year.

West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $4,750 See Scholarship

The College Foundation of West Virginia provides the PROMISE Scholarship for West Virginia high school seniors who will enroll in a postsecondary institution after graduation. The award is based on academic achievement, and students who qualify can receive up to $4,750 per year. The award may be used at public or independent colleges in the state.


Higher Education Resources in West Virginia