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

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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
110.7%11.2%14.4%15.5%$493,000$500,000$529,000$536,000$74,700$67,80021%5$25,00048%
1West Virginia University Institute of Technology(In-State)
Annual ROI10.7%
Annual ROI11.2%
Annual ROI14.4%
Annual ROI15.5%
20 Year Net ROI$493,000
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
20 Year Net ROI$529,000
20 Year Net ROI$536,000
Total 4 Year Cost$74,700
Total 4 Year Cost$67,800
Grad Rate21%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,000
Grant Money Received48%
28.4%8.8%10.6%11.1%$455,000$462,000$491,000$498,000$112,000$105,00021%5$25,00048%
2West Virginia University Institute of Technology(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI8.4%
Annual ROI8.8%
Annual ROI10.6%
Annual ROI11.1%
20 Year Net ROI$455,000
20 Year Net ROI$462,000
20 Year Net ROI$491,000
20 Year Net ROI$498,000
Total 4 Year Cost$112,000
Total 4 Year Cost$105,000
Grad Rate21%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,000
Grant Money Received48%
39.2%9.7%12.0%12.9%$385,000$392,000$418,000$425,000$80,500$73,60057%5$29,40027%
3West Virginia University(In-State)
Annual ROI9.2%
Annual ROI9.7%
Annual ROI12.0%
Annual ROI12.9%
20 Year Net ROI$385,000
20 Year Net ROI$392,000
20 Year Net ROI$418,000
20 Year Net ROI$425,000
Total 4 Year Cost$80,500
Total 4 Year Cost$73,600
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$29,400
Grant Money Received27%
46.4%6.7%7.8%8.2%$331,000$337,000$363,000$370,000$135,000$128,00057%5$29,40027%
4West Virginia University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.4%
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROI7.8%
Annual ROI8.2%
20 Year Net ROI$331,000
20 Year Net ROI$337,000
20 Year Net ROI$363,000
20 Year Net ROI$370,000
Total 4 Year Cost$135,000
Total 4 Year Cost$128,000
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$29,400
Grant Money Received27%
55.7%5.4%9.6%9.1%$282,000$276,000$355,000$349,000$140,000$147,00049%4$36,90050%
5Alderson Broaddus University(Private)
Annual ROI5.7%
Annual ROI5.4%
Annual ROI9.6%
Annual ROI9.1%
20 Year Net ROI$282,000
20 Year Net ROI$276,000
20 Year Net ROI$355,000
20 Year Net ROI$349,000
Total 4 Year Cost$140,000
Total 4 Year Cost$147,000
Grad Rate49%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$36,900
Grant Money Received50%
66.3%6.0%8.7%8.2%$194,000$188,000$223,000$217,000$80,200$85,90046%5$40,40038%
6Shepherd University(In-State)
Annual ROI6.3%
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI8.7%
Annual ROI8.2%
20 Year Net ROI$194,000
20 Year Net ROI$188,000
20 Year Net ROI$223,000
20 Year Net ROI$217,000
Total 4 Year Cost$80,200
Total 4 Year Cost$85,900
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$40,400
Grant Money Received38%
75.9%5.7%8.3%8.0%$159,000$156,000$186,000$183,000$74,100$76,60028%5$28,30045%
7Fairmont State University(In-State)
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROI5.7%
Annual ROI8.3%
Annual ROI8.0%
20 Year Net ROI$159,000
20 Year Net ROI$156,000
20 Year Net ROI$186,000
20 Year Net ROI$183,000
Total 4 Year Cost$74,100
Total 4 Year Cost$76,600
Grad Rate28%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$28,300
Grant Money Received45%
84.2%4.0%5.7%5.3%$154,000$148,000$183,000$177,000$120,000$126,00046%5$40,40038%
8Shepherd University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI4.2%
Annual ROI4.0%
Annual ROI5.7%
Annual ROI5.3%
20 Year Net ROI$154,000
20 Year Net ROI$148,000
20 Year Net ROI$183,000
20 Year Net ROI$177,000
Total 4 Year Cost$120,000
Total 4 Year Cost$126,000
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$40,400
Grant Money Received38%
95.4%5.4%8.7%8.7%$149,000$149,000$185,000$185,000$79,300$79,10045%5$23,10044%
9Marshall University(In-State)
Annual ROI5.4%
Annual ROI5.4%
Annual ROI8.7%
Annual ROI8.7%
20 Year Net ROI$149,000
20 Year Net ROI$149,000
20 Year Net ROI$185,000
20 Year Net ROI$185,000
Total 4 Year Cost$79,300
Total 4 Year Cost$79,100
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$23,100
Grant Money Received44%
104.2%4.1%5.8%5.6%$130,000$128,000$157,000$155,000$103,000$105,00028%5$28,30045%
10Fairmont State University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI4.2%
Annual ROI4.1%
Annual ROI5.8%
Annual ROI5.6%
20 Year Net ROI$130,000
20 Year Net ROI$128,000
20 Year Net ROI$157,000
20 Year Net ROI$155,000
Total 4 Year Cost$103,000
Total 4 Year Cost$105,000
Grad Rate28%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$28,300
Grant Money Received45%
113.2%3.5%7.0%7.7%$129,000$138,000$207,000$216,000$150,000$141,00058%4$31,20030%
11Wheeling Jesuit University(Private)
Annual ROI3.2%
Annual ROI3.5%
Annual ROI7.0%
Annual ROI7.7%
20 Year Net ROI$129,000
20 Year Net ROI$138,000
20 Year Net ROI$207,000
20 Year Net ROI$216,000
Total 4 Year Cost$150,000
Total 4 Year Cost$141,000
Grad Rate58%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$31,200
Grant Money Received30%
123.5%3.5%5.5%5.5%$114,000$114,000$150,000$150,000$114,000$114,00045%5$23,10044%
12Marshall University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI3.5%
Annual ROI3.5%
Annual ROI5.5%
Annual ROI5.5%
20 Year Net ROI$114,000
20 Year Net ROI$114,000
20 Year Net ROI$150,000
20 Year Net ROI$150,000
Total 4 Year Cost$114,000
Total 4 Year Cost$114,000
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$23,100
Grant Money Received44%
132.4%2.9%6.7%8.0%$103,000$119,000$198,000$213,000$169,000$153,00050%4$26,70034%
13West Virginia Wesleyan College(Private)
Annual ROI2.4%
Annual ROI2.9%
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROI8.0%
20 Year Net ROI$103,000
20 Year Net ROI$119,000
20 Year Net ROI$198,000
20 Year Net ROI$213,000
Total 4 Year Cost$169,000
Total 4 Year Cost$153,000
Grad Rate50%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$26,700
Grant Money Received34%
142.4%N/A5.3%N/A$96,100N/A$164,000N/A$160,000N/A41%4$23,50046%
14Bethany College (West Virginia)(Private)
Annual ROI2.4%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI5.3%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$96,100
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$164,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$160,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate41%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$23,500
Grant Money Received46%
154.1%4.1%6.4%6.4%$93,700$93,700$120,000$120,000$75,000$75,00034%5$23,20050%
15Concord University(In-State)
Annual ROI4.1%
Annual ROI4.1%
Annual ROI6.4%
Annual ROI6.4%
20 Year Net ROI$93,700
20 Year Net ROI$93,700
20 Year Net ROI$120,000
20 Year Net ROI$120,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,000
Grad Rate34%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$23,200
Grant Money Received50%

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

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 usually promises a high ROI. OWVUIT has made significant advancements in its academic programs since its founding. 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. 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. Famous WVU alumni include basketball star Jerry West, Adam “Pacman” Jones and novelist Ann Pancake.


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