2022 best colleges in Virginia best-colleges

With close proximity to Washington, D.C., students interested in government and political science internships will find a range of opportunities. The University of Virginia, the state’s flagship institution, is a pioneer in hypersonic flight research and home to the Academical Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The College of William & Mary, founded in 1693, is the second-oldest higher education institution nationwide, second only to Harvard University. Another historic site, the Virginia Military Institute was founded as the first public senior military college in the United States.

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Net cost: The median annual cost of all students that receive any aid. This does not refer to the “sticker price”, the price listed by the college.

Earnings: The median earnings of all bachelor-level students 10 years after enrollment. This includes both students that do and do not graduate, across all majors.

Payback: The amount of time in years it takes to pay off the median net cost by the median earnings. For this calculation, the median earning of high school graduates (in the school’s home state) are deducted from the median earnings.

Degree premium: The difference between the school’s median earnings and the median earnings for all schools in the same state. This is called “Vs. state average” in school profiles below.

Ranking: The payback rate is divided by the degree premium (set as a percentage), the lower the number the higher the rank. (i.e. payback=1, degree premium 20% higher than state school median: 1/120% = .883.

Net cost
Earnings
Payback
Degree premium
Rankings
Ranking methodology
#1 in Virginia

University of Virginia-Main Campus

Charlottesville, Virginia

Admission rate: 23%

Grad rate: 94%

Net cost: $20,397

Payback: 1.6 Years

Earnings: $77,048

Vs. state average: + $34,064

Economic score: 0.89

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#2 in Virginia

Washington and Lee University

Lexington, Virginia

Admission rate: 25%

Grad rate: 96%

Net cost: $22,615

Payback: 1.9 Years

Earnings: $86,020

Vs. state average: + $43,036

Economic score: 0.94

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#3 in Virginia

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, Virginia

Admission rate: 66%

Grad rate: 84%

Net cost: $21,198

Payback: 1.9 Years

Earnings: $73,159

Vs. state average: + $30,175

Economic score: 1.12

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#4 in Virginia

Virginia Military Institute

Lexington, Virginia

Admission rate: 60%

Grad rate: 78%

Net cost: $17,804

Payback: 1.9 Years

Earnings: $71,910

Vs. state average: + $28,926

Economic score: 1.16

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#5 in Virginia

William & Mary

Williamsburg, Virginia

Admission rate: 43%

Grad rate: 92%

Net cost: $19,800

Payback: 2.0 Years

Earnings: $64,723

Vs. state average: + $21,739

Economic score: 1.36

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#6 in Virginia

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

Admission rate: 90%

Grad rate: 74%

Net cost: $21,048

Payback: 2.3 Years

Earnings: $66,148

Vs. state average: + $23,164

Economic score: 1.53

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#7 in Virginia

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Admission rate: 81%

Grad rate: 84%

Net cost: $22,169

Payback: 2.6 Years

Earnings: $61,268

Vs. state average: + $18,284

Economic score: 1.81

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#8 in Virginia

University of Richmond

University of Richmond, Virginia

Admission rate: 31%

Grad rate: 83%

Net cost: $25,838

Payback: 3.0 Years

Earnings: $69,310

Vs. state average: + $26,326

Economic score: 1.84

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#9 in Virginia

Marymount University

Arlington, Virginia

Admission rate: 86%

Grad rate: 68%

Net cost: $26,078

Payback: 3.2 Years

Earnings: $60,360

Vs. state average: + $17,376

Economic score: 2.28

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#10 in Virginia

Radford University

Radford, Virginia

Admission rate: 79%

Grad rate: 64%

Net cost: $16,447

Payback: 2.8 Years

Earnings: $50,383

Vs. state average: + $7,399

Economic score: 2.43

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#11 in Virginia

University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, Virginia

Admission rate: 76%

Grad rate: 65%

Net cost: $21,907

Payback: 3.2 Years

Earnings: $54,819

Vs. state average: + $11,835

Economic score: 2.48

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#12 in Virginia

Hampden-Sydney College

Hampden-Sydney, Virginia

Admission rate: 48%

Grad rate: 65%

Net cost: $31,227

Payback: 3.9 Years

Earnings: $65,446

Vs. state average: + $22,462

Economic score: 2.59

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#13 in Virginia

Christopher Newport University

Newport News, Virginia

Admission rate: 77%

Grad rate: 73%

Net cost: $25,596

Payback: 3.5 Years

Earnings: $55,027

Vs. state average: + $12,043

Economic score: 2.76

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#14 in Virginia

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

Admission rate: 96%

Grad rate: 57%

Net cost: $16,493

Payback: 3.2 Years

Earnings: $49,678

Vs. state average: + $6,694

Economic score: 2.80

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#15 in Virginia

Bridgewater College

Bridgewater, Virginia

Admission rate: 77%

Grad rate: 64%

Net cost: $17,929

Payback: 3.2 Years

Earnings: $48,160

Vs. state average: + $5,176

Economic score: 2.84

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#16 in Virginia

The University of Virginia's College at Wise

Wise, Virginia

Admission rate: 83%

Grad rate: 53%

Net cost: $10,061

Payback: 2.9 Years

Earnings: $41,055

Vs. state average: - $1,929

Economic score: 3.06

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#17 in Virginia

Randolph-Macon College

Ashland, Virginia

Admission rate: 72%

Grad rate: 67%

Net cost: $26,370

Payback: 3.8 Years

Earnings: $53,288

Vs. state average: + $10,304

Economic score: 3.08

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#18 in Virginia

Roanoke College

Salem, Virginia

Admission rate: 79%

Grad rate: 69%

Net cost: $25,135

Payback: 4.0 Years

Earnings: $50,770

Vs. state average: + $7,786

Economic score: 3.41

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#19 in Virginia

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, Virginia

Admission rate: 91%

Grad rate: 69%

Net cost: $22,021

Payback: 4.0 Years

Earnings: $50,106

Vs. state average: + $7,122

Economic score: 3.43

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#20 in Virginia

University of Lynchburg

Lynchburg, Virginia

Admission rate: 98%

Grad rate: 65%

Net cost: $23,207

Payback: 4.0 Years

Earnings: $49,490

Vs. state average: + $6,506

Economic score: 3.52

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