Best Value Colleges in Virginia

If you’re considering attending college in Virginia, use PayScale’s College ROI Report to find the best value schools in Virginia so that you make a smart financial decision when you enroll. Virginia offers a wide array of options for students who want a college education that will set them up for a long, successful career.

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Rank
School Name
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Graduation Rate
% of full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students who began their studies at the given school and graduate within 6 years. Source: IPEDS
Typical Years to Graduate
# of years it takes for at least 65 percent of graduates from a given school to receive their diplomas. Source: IPEDS
Average Loan Amount
Received by full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students, multiplied to represent amount over four years. Includes all Title IV loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored student loans. Source: IPEDS
% Grant Money Received
% of full-time, first-time undergrads who received local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2012-2013 academic year. Source: IPEDS
110.3%N/A14.3%N/A$680,000N/A$736,000N/A$111,000N/A78%6$34,40013%
1Virginia Military Institute(In-State)
Annual ROI10.3%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI14.3%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$680,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$736,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$111,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$34,400
Grant Money Received13%
29.9%9.8%16.1%16.0%$633,000$633,000$709,000$709,000$114,000$114,00094%4$30,10012%
2University of Virginia-Main Campus(In-State)
Annual ROI9.9%
Annual ROI9.8%
Annual ROI16.1%
Annual ROI16.0%
20 Year Net ROI$633,000
20 Year Net ROI$633,000
20 Year Net ROI$709,000
20 Year Net ROI$709,000
Total 4 Year Cost$114,000
Total 4 Year Cost$114,000
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$30,100
Grant Money Received12%
36.5%N/A12.0%N/A$614,000N/A$768,000N/A$243,000N/A92%4$23,6006%
3Washington and Lee University(Private)
Annual ROI6.5%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI12.0%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$614,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$768,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$243,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate92%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$23,600
Grant Money Received6%
410.1%10.1%12.2%12.2%$597,000$597,000$629,000$629,000$103,000$103,00084%4$34,00014%
4Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University(In-State)
Annual ROI10.1%
Annual ROI10.1%
Annual ROI12.2%
Annual ROI12.2%
20 Year Net ROI$597,000
20 Year Net ROI$597,000
20 Year Net ROI$629,000
20 Year Net ROI$629,000
Total 4 Year Cost$103,000
Total 4 Year Cost$103,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$34,000
Grant Money Received14%
57.1%N/A8.9%N/A$590,000N/A$646,000N/A$201,000N/A78%6$34,40013%
5Virginia Military Institute(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI7.1%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI8.9%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$590,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$646,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$201,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$34,400
Grant Money Received13%
69.5%9.1%11.6%11.0%$545,000$537,000$578,000$570,000$106,000$115,00070%4$33,40028%
6George Mason University(In-State)
Annual ROI9.5%
Annual ROI9.1%
Annual ROI11.6%
Annual ROI11.0%
20 Year Net ROI$545,000
20 Year Net ROI$537,000
20 Year Net ROI$578,000
20 Year Net ROI$570,000
Total 4 Year Cost$106,000
Total 4 Year Cost$115,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$33,400
Grant Money Received28%
77.4%7.4%8.6%8.6%$531,000$531,000$564,000$564,000$168,000$168,00084%4$34,00014%
7Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI7.4%
Annual ROI7.4%
Annual ROI8.6%
Annual ROI8.6%
20 Year Net ROI$531,000
20 Year Net ROI$531,000
20 Year Net ROI$564,000
20 Year Net ROI$564,000
Total 4 Year Cost$168,000
Total 4 Year Cost$168,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$34,000
Grant Money Received14%
86.1%6.1%8.3%8.2%$518,000$517,000$594,000$594,000$229,000$229,00094%4$30,10012%
8University of Virginia-Main Campus(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.1%
Annual ROI6.1%
Annual ROI8.3%
Annual ROI8.2%
20 Year Net ROI$518,000
20 Year Net ROI$517,000
20 Year Net ROI$594,000
20 Year Net ROI$594,000
Total 4 Year Cost$229,000
Total 4 Year Cost$229,000
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$30,100
Grant Money Received12%
98.4%8.4%12.9%12.9%$516,000$516,000$588,000$588,000$129,000$129,00091%4$33,4009%
9College of William and Mary(In-State)
Annual ROI8.4%
Annual ROI8.4%
Annual ROI12.9%
Annual ROI12.9%
20 Year Net ROI$516,000
20 Year Net ROI$516,000
20 Year Net ROI$588,000
20 Year Net ROI$588,000
Total 4 Year Cost$129,000
Total 4 Year Cost$129,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$33,400
Grant Money Received9%
109.5%9.5%11.8%11.8%$493,000$493,000$527,000$527,000$96,200$96,20082%4$30,10014%
10James Madison University(In-State)
Annual ROI9.5%
Annual ROI9.5%
Annual ROI11.8%
Annual ROI11.8%
20 Year Net ROI$493,000
20 Year Net ROI$493,000
20 Year Net ROI$527,000
20 Year Net ROI$527,000
Total 4 Year Cost$96,200
Total 4 Year Cost$96,200
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$30,100
Grant Money Received14%
116.4%6.2%7.5%7.2%$465,000$456,000$498,000$490,000$187,000$195,00070%4$33,40028%
11George Mason University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.4%
Annual ROI6.2%
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI7.2%
20 Year Net ROI$465,000
20 Year Net ROI$456,000
20 Year Net ROI$498,000
20 Year Net ROI$490,000
Total 4 Year Cost$187,000
Total 4 Year Cost$195,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$33,400
Grant Money Received28%
125.5%5.5%11.1%11.1%$461,000$461,000$616,000$616,000$242,000$242,00088%4$28,60016%
12University of Richmond(Private)
Annual ROI5.5%
Annual ROI5.5%
Annual ROI11.1%
Annual ROI11.1%
20 Year Net ROI$461,000
20 Year Net ROI$461,000
20 Year Net ROI$616,000
20 Year Net ROI$616,000
Total 4 Year Cost$242,000
Total 4 Year Cost$242,000
Grad Rate88%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$28,600
Grant Money Received16%
136.9%6.9%8.1%8.1%$433,000$433,000$466,000$466,000$156,000$156,00082%4$30,10014%
13James Madison University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI8.1%
Annual ROI8.1%
20 Year Net ROI$433,000
20 Year Net ROI$433,000
20 Year Net ROI$466,000
20 Year Net ROI$466,000
Total 4 Year Cost$156,000
Total 4 Year Cost$156,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$30,100
Grant Money Received14%
145.6%5.6%7.7%7.7%$428,000$428,000$500,000$500,000$217,000$217,00091%4$33,4009%
14College of William and Mary(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI5.6%
Annual ROI5.6%
Annual ROI7.7%
Annual ROI7.7%
20 Year Net ROI$428,000
20 Year Net ROI$428,000
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
Total 4 Year Cost$217,000
Total 4 Year Cost$217,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$33,400
Grant Money Received9%
158.4%8.5%9.7%9.8%$404,000$406,000$425,000$427,000$101,000$99,00072%4$29,60015%
15University of Mary Washington(In-State)
Annual ROI8.4%
Annual ROI8.5%
Annual ROI9.7%
Annual ROI9.8%
20 Year Net ROI$404,000
20 Year Net ROI$406,000
20 Year Net ROI$425,000
20 Year Net ROI$427,000
Total 4 Year Cost$101,000
Total 4 Year Cost$99,000
Grad Rate72%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$29,600
Grant Money Received15%

* N/A indicates school does not have an on campus living option.

The Old Dominion State also boasts a long, lovely coastline along the Atlantic, numerous fascinating historical and cultural sites and some of the most beautiful scenery in the South. Whether you want to be an engineer or a second-grade teacher, you can easily find a college in Virginia that will prepare you and pay off.

Washington and Lee University is one of the most well-known liberal arts schools in the country. Originally founded in 1795 (known as Augusta Academy), Washington and Lee is believed to have graduated the first African-American man in the United States. It was an all-male school until 1985; women were admitted to its law school in 1972. Today, 45 percent of students are women. Washington and Lee offers a wide variety of liberal arts degrees, including a focus on majors in accounting, business administration, economics, politics, and public accounting offered at the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. W&L’s close proximity to Washington D.C. is a natural opportunity for students to get great internships that lead to high-paying careers.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University — better known as Virginia Tech is located in Blacksburg, Virginia and was founded in 1872. The public university offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, with its College of Engineering a particular standout. It’s little wonder that the university appears near the top of PayScale’s best value colleges Virginia list.

With its lovely Jeffersonian architecture, numerous secret societies and reputation for being one of the fittest universities in the nation, the University of Virginia, or simply “Virginia,” perennially offers an incredible return on investment for students. If you have a spirit for adventure, you’ll be intrigued to know the school sends huge numbers of students on to the Peace Corps. Seven NASA astronauts graduated from the university, which exemplifies the fact that this school offers the value of college education Virginia students and their family’s desire.


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