Best Value Colleges in West Virginia

Almost heaven, West Virginia is celebrated for its rugged and beautiful countryside, colorful history, coal mining and logging industries, and wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities; the Appalachian Trail passes through the famous West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, where the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is headquartered.  Read More

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1West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$566,000
Total 4 Year Cost$68,200
Grad Rate19%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,300
2West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$531,000
Total 4 Year Cost$103,000
Grad Rate19%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,300
3West Virginia University (WVU) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$352,000
Total 4 Year Cost$72,500
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,700
4West Virginia University (WVU) - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$300,000
Total 4 Year Cost$124,000
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,700
5Shepherd University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$259,000
Total 4 Year Cost$74,500
Grad Rate40%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$35,200
6Wheeling Jesuit University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$246,000
Total 4 Year Cost$148,000
Grad Rate64%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,900
7Shepherd University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$222,000
Total 4 Year Cost$112,000
Grad Rate40%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$35,200
8Marshall University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$158,000
Total 4 Year Cost$74,400
Grad Rate44%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,400
9Fairmont State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$157,000
Total 4 Year Cost$67,100
Grad Rate33%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,800
10Fairmont State University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$132,000
Total 4 Year Cost$92,300
Grad Rate33%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,800
11Marshall University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$125,000
Total 4 Year Cost$107,000
Grad Rate44%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,400
12West Liberty University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$59,500
Total 4 Year Cost$77,500
Grad Rate40%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$35,600
13West Liberty University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$29,600
Total 4 Year Cost$107,000
Grad Rate40%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$35,600

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

The state is also home to a number of find colleges and universities, many of which provide a solid return on investment in PayScale's College ROI report.

The West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery is a public college with just 1,100 students, but because of its limited selection of majors (all relatively high-paying fields like engineering, nursing, business management, etc.), it reigns supreme with a 20-year net ROI of $566,000 for in-state students. OWVUIT has made significant advancements in its academic programs. It was originally a trade school, then a junior college, and now graduates some of the highest earners in West Virginia.

In contrast, nearly 8,000 students attend West Virginia University in Morgantown, home to the second highest college return on investment in West Virginia. Founded as the Agricultural College of West Virginia in 1867, it was quickly renamed the following year and began to offer a larger selection of majors. In-state WVU students see a 20-year net ROI of $352,000, and out-of-state students see an ROI of $300,000, making it one of the best value colleges in West Virginia. Famous WVU alumni include basketball star Jerry West, Adam "Pacman" Jones and novelist Ann Pancake.

The next two colleges on our College ROI rankings for West Virginia are Shepherd University and Wheeling Jesuit University. With 20-year net ROIs of $259,000 and $246,000, respectively and without financial aid accounted for, these schools have lower returns on investment than the other colleges we have talked about so far.