Virginia has a wealth of high-paying professional careers, thanks to proximity to Washington, DC, but it is also a state with many different people and places, from rural and mountainous areas to major cities. Anyone who struggles to attend class in a traditional setting benefits from online degrees in Virginia. Difficulties with the traditional classroom can stem from circumstance, convenience, or learning differences. Online college degrees are a good route for many people who have trouble with a traditional school setting. This includes many groups of Virginia residents.
Adults who work full time jobs, parents of young children, people who live in rural communities, and people who have a disability that prevents them from attending a traditional class all can benefit from online classes. Online college is a great option for anyone who prefers to learn on their own schedule. Nontraditional classes are also a good fit for people who struggle to stay focused in a traditional classroom environment. Virginia residents aren’t the only ones getting on board with Virginia online degrees. The Virginia Plan For Higher Education, created in 2014, works to make it easier for nontraditional students to earn a college degree.
Ranking the Best Online Colleges in Virginia
For the College Consensus ranking of the best online colleges in Virginia, Consensus editors set the parameters very specifically. First, the ranking includes only accredited colleges and universities that have earned a Consensus Score. Secondly, they must offer at least 3 online bachelor’s or associate’s degree programs.
Schools are ranked according to their Consensus Score.
University of Virginia-Main CampusCharlottesville, VA
As one of the best online colleges in Virginia, The University of Virginia has nine online degree programs. These include the Bachelor in Liberal Arts and the Bachelor of Professional Studies in Health Management, along with a Master’s program and certificates in undergraduate and graduate studies. Designed for working adults, these affordable programs provide flexibility while enhancing the skills needed to move forward in their careers. Students are challenged on a variety of topics while gaining the knowledge needed through coursework and practical applications. These programs take about three to four years for completion, and have part-time, blended evening classes and other options.
Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, the school was ranked No. 3 in 2019 by U.S. News & World Report for being the best public university. They have also been ranked as the Best Value College in Virginia by Forbes, No. 4 for the Best National Public University 2020 by U.S. News & World Report. A leader in public education, students are taught by faculty who have made an impact in their respective fields to promote high levels of learning and foundational concepts, making it one of the best online colleges in Virginia.
Averett UniversityDanville, VA
Averett University has four online undergraduate programs: Associate’s in Business Administration; and Bachelor’s degree programs in Applied Science – Leadership Studies; Business Administration; and Sociology and Criminal Justice. Known for their tailored course content, these programs cater to those already in the workforce. They provide a practical, up-to-date curriculum with highly credentialed instructors. Attending to the needs of professional students through practical applications is a major initiative at Averett, providing instruction to help students understand the dynamics of a global workplace. Students are able to challenge themselves while learning crucial core competencies such as leadership, communication, elements of marketing and others.
Averett has been around for over 150 years. It was initially started as a private Baptist college, but became a coeducational institution in 2011. The university was named #15 on the list of Best Regional Colleges in the South for 2020 by U.S. News & World Report.
George Mason UniversityFairfax, VA
George Mason University has a number of online undergraduate degree programs which includes Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in Cybersecurity; Health, Wellness and Social Services; and Technology and Innovation. They also offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Game Design; and Bachelor of Science degrees in Information Technology; Management, Nursing; Psychology; and Sports Management – Health and Recreation Resources. These programs are designed to help professionals expand their knowledge base and acquire the skills needed to further their careers.
George Mason University is the largest public research university in Virginia. The online curriculum is designed to assist students who need flexible schedules but are ready to explore their fields at a higher role or different career. Officially established in 1956, it became an independent institution in 1972. Faculty at the university offer practical, real-world experience to students to help them operate in global industries. The school was ranked #141 in 2014 as a National University.
Hampton UniversityHampton, VA
Hampton University has many online degree programs which include Aviation Management; Biblical Studies; Business Management; Flight Education; General Studies and Religious Studies. Their Bachelor’s degree programs include General Studies; Paralegal Studies; Religious Studies; Aviation Management; Business Management; Criminal Justice; RN to BSN; Systems Organization and Management; and Systems Organization and Management HR. These courses are designed to complement individuals who are in the professional workplace setting to acquire additional knowledge in their fields. Individuals interested in pursuing another career path also benefit from these degree programs, as they help with leadership skills and other areas of professional development.
Hampton University was founded in 1868 and is a private historically black university. Hampton University Online was recognized in 2018 as a Best Online College in Virginia by Affordable Colleges Online and also houses the Hampton University Museum, the oldest museum of the African diaspora.
Radford UniversityRadford, VA
Radford University has four online undergraduate degree programs: RN to BSN; Bachelor of Science degrees in Emergency Services; Health Sciences; Healthcare Administration and Public Health. These programs are designed to address the diverse needs of professional students who are seeking additional avenues to increase their level of leadership in their current roles or to gain insight on how to move into another career. Students are exposed to real-world scenarios and practical applications in the corporate arena.
Radford University was founded in 1910 and was ranked #47 in 2017 as a Regional University of the South. This is one of the state’s eight doctorate-granting public universities, which boasts a strong faculty to support its students. Radford University has also been recognized as a Top Public School, having one of the Best Undergraduate Teaching Programs; one of the Most Admired Interior Design Schools; a Best Bang for the Buck University; one of the Best RN Programs in Virginia and many more.
Bluefield CollegeBluefield, VA
Bluefield College has a number online undergraduate degree programs: Business Administration; Criminal Justice; Early Childhood Education; Human Services; Cybersecurity; Organizational Leadership; Ministry Leadership; and RN to BSN. Coursework in these programs are designed to help students gain practical knowledge and apply it to real-world experience to further their careers. Students are given more personal attention with a 11:1 student-teacher ratio in an environment that involves an integrated approach of faith and learning.
Around since 1919, the college is consistently recognized for their contributions. In 2017, they were recognized by the Center for Online Education as the one of the Best Online Colleges in Virginia. They were also given the distinction of being one of the Most Affordable Online Colleges. In 2018, they were named one of the Top Colleges & Universities by the Military Advanced Education & Transition.
Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk, VA
Old Dominion University has a number of online undergraduate degrees in areas of Accounting, Business Administration; Civil Engineering Technology; Electrical Engineering Technology; Computer Engineering; Computer Science; Criminal Justice; Cybersecurity; Dental Hygiene; Elementary Education; Fashion Merchandising; Health Sciences; Finance; Marketing and more. Their extensive portfolio of undergraduate studies reflects the caliber of faculty, as well as their commitment to providing the best opportunities for students to succeed. There are Bachelors’ degree completion programs for students who already have quite a few college credits, and full-fledged Bachelor’s degree tracks. There are a variety of ways students interact with each other and the professors, enriching their opportunities for connections and learning.
Old Dominion University has over 30 years of distance learning experience. Established in 1930, it is one of the largest universities in Virginia. In 2017, it was ranked #210 as a National University. It has also been named one of the Best Online Programs by U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, OnlineColleges.com ranked it as the #1 Top Online College in Virginia.
What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in Virginia?
Like in a traditional college setting, you can earn any type of degree when you begin online degree programs in Virginia. Associates degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and even graduate degrees are all possible with online classes. An associates degree takes two years of study in a traditional college classroom. The same is true when you earn the degree with one of the many Virginia online degree programs.
A bachelor’s degree takes four years, whether it’s earned online or in a traditional classroom. Many students who take classes online at the bachelors level appreciate the discussion boards created by professors. This allows students to learn from one another, like at a traditional school. A master’s degree requires an two years of study after a bachelor’s degree, and can be earned with online bachelor degree programs in Virginia. Online programs are an option for people pursuing a doctorate level degree, or a Ph.D. Some master’s and doctorate programs require internships. An internship allows students to practice job skills in real time. Internship students communicate with a professor, who will serve as an advisor, in the online classroom environment. With doctoral programs that require a thesis, students may have to to defend their thesis in person to a panel of experts.
How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in Virginia?
If you’re looking for the cheapest online college in Virginia, you’re not alone. Many students feel held back from pursuing higher education due to cost. Luckily, there are many options for inexpensive classes. Online community colleges in Virginia are a great option for lower cost education. Community college offers two years of college classes, as opposed to the four year programs of study at traditional colleges. Community colleges are much less expensive than four year universities. For students who want to get an associate’s degree, community college is a smart choice. These institutions can also be a smart choice for students who want to get their bachelor’s or graduate degrees as well. Many students who want to save money start out at a community college, earning their first two years of credits. These credits can then transfer to a four year institution. The degree students get from the four year institution is the same, even though half of the credits came from a different school.
It’s also important to look at public colleges, as they are often less expensive than private institutions. Students find that the quality of education is the same. Public institutions receive funding from the state, whereas private institutions are privately funded. Both types of colleges can provide scholarships. Financial aid from the state is greater for students attending a public institution. Consult with your employer about college class reimbursement. Many employers will pay for you to take college classes. Some employers have requirements in order for you to get reimbursed. These may include maintaining a certain GPA or agreeing to work for for a certain number of years after you graduate.
Are There Online Public Universities in Virginia?
When you’re looking for Virginia online colleges, you’ve got many options among the state’s public online institutions. In the past, the only way to get a college degree was to be commit years of study (and a lot of money) to a college. Now, things are different. Virginia educational institutions recognize that today’s college student is anything but typical. Colleges now cater to busy parents, people who work full time, and other nontraditional students. People of all ages, all family situations, and all economic levels are interested in furthering their education. Online college gives more people a fair shot at getting a degree. Virginia online colleges understand that while some students may not be able to attend classes in the traditional sense, they still should be able to have a chance to increase their education.