Best Online Colleges in West Virginia for 2020

In mountainous West Virginia, online college courses and degree programs are crucial to helping people get the education they need to succeed. Online college helps people who couldn’t otherwise attend school due to scheduling issues or family obligations to achieve a higher education. The value of obtaining a higher education alone is worth it because, on average, a person has a higher earning potential over the course of his or her lifetime with a degree.

Working adults are one group of individuals who can benefit from West Virginia online colleges. These individuals battle with not being able to attend school during regular school hours. The commute just adds to the time it takes for school. Not to mention, even night classes can be an inconvenience since a person works all day and may be too tired to attend school. With online classes through West Virginia colleges, people can choose their schedules. It’s possible for adults to earn a degree for the first time or someone to change careers or advance in their current field. 

How We Ranked the Best Online Colleges in West Virginia

With Value Colleges’ commitment to educational quality and return on investment, students can trust the institutions ranked in the Best Online Colleges in West Virginia to deliver. All of the programs featured are fully, legitimately accredited, and all have an established history of value. These schools listed are ranked by the number of fully online degree programs they offer and their tuition costs.

1. University of Charleston

Topping this list of online colleges in West Virginia is the University of Charleston. This school has eight undergraduate programs that can be completed 100% online. They are accounting, cybersecurity, crisis and emergency leadership, frontline leadership, nursing (RN to BSN), management, psychology, and organizational leadership. UC’s online programs are designed for adult students who are returning to school to complete their degrees. They are flexible enough to meet the needs of busy professionals who need to juggle work and school.

The University of Charleston offers more than just an education. The school values innovation and encourages it in many ways, from business plan competitions to mentoring student startup businesses. There is even an Innovation Center on campus that contains a maker lab, circuitry studio, 3-D printer, and more. At UC, all students must demonstrate competency in the areas of communication, citizenship, critical thinking, creativity, science, and ethical practice in order to graduate. The UC experience is defined by personal relationships. At UC, your instructors will encourage and support you every step of the way.

Number of Online Programs: 8

2. West Virginia University

West Virginia University is another of the top online colleges in West Virginia. The school offers several online bachelor’s degree programs: business administration (with a concentration in general business, marketing, or hospitality and tourism management), child development and family studies, nursing (RN to BSN), multidisciplinary studies, and the Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA). The Regents program was designed with the adult student in mind. It allows students to earn credit for their military, life, and work experience, as well as their previous academic experience. The Regents degree is the perfect program for adults with varied life experiences.

West Virginia University is a service-oriented school that encourages curiosity and strives to treat everyone with respect. The school tries to be efficient, responsive, and effective, and to show appreciation to those who deserve it. WVU is a land-grant university that is committed to diversity and inclusivity. The school is involved in research to improve the health and wealth of all individuals and to help solve the most pressing problems facing civilization. In 2020, the Center for World University Rankings listed West Virginia University among the top 3% of all colleges and universities in the world.

Number of Online Programs: 7

3. West Virginia State University

As one of the best online colleges in West Virginia, West Virginia State University offers six online bachelor’s degree programs: business administration (accounting or management concentration), health sciences, criminal justice, Regents, or English: technical writing. Like the Regents degree offered by West Virginia University, the Regents program at WVSU is a flexible program that is designed to give adult students credit for the life they have already lived. The program is 100% online to ensure that students can juggle their education with their work and other obligations.

West Virginia State University prides itself on its academic excellence, its diversity, and the individualized attention it gives to its students. WVSU is an affordable option for budget-minded students. The school takes a student-centered approach that focuses on hands-on, practical learning experiences that will benefit its students beyond graduation as they begin their careers in the real world. WVSU has a rigorous curriculum that provides everything students need to succeed. The school is committed to research, accountability, excellence, and service. WVSU is committed to expanding the options available for online education through WVSU Online.

Number of Online Programs: 6

4. Marshall University

Marshall University is next on the list of the top online colleges in West Virginia. Marshall University offers four online bachelor’s degrees: medical laboratory science, nursing (RN to BSN), geography, and Regents. Students taking the online geography program learn about meteorology, geographic information systems, world regions, global environmental issues, and human geography. The medical laboratory science program covers blood bank analysis, flow cytometry, immunology, serology, molecular diagnosis, clinical chemistry, and parasitology. The nursing program is designed for students who are already Registered Nurses and want to obtain their bachelor’s degrees, and the Regents program is designed for adult learners.

Marshall University is one of the oldest public universities in West Virginia and is named after Chief Justice of the US, John Marshall. The school performs groundbreaking research with its $39 million annual research budget. Marshall’s programs prepare students for life in an ever-changing world where they need to be ready for anything. The school values culture and diversity and promotes creative activities that immerse students in artistic and cultural experiences. Marshall University is dedicated to enriching life in the community through research, healthcare, and economic development. Marshall University offers special tuition rates for online learners.

Number of Online Programs: 4

5. Glenville State College

Glenville State College also qualifies as one of the best online colleges in West Virginia, with two outstanding online bachelor’s degree programs to choose from: business administration and criminal justice. The business administration degree prepares students to become leaders in business. The program has a management emphasis and students learn valuable leadership skills as well as learning about finance, marketing, human resources, and other business concerns. The bachelor’s program in criminal justice familiarizes students with the criminal justice system and prepares them for criminal justice careers at the local, state, and federal levels.

Glenville State College is a public university that is centrally located in the state and is frequently referred to as “the lighthouse on the hill.” The school started as a teaching college, but has expanded to cover other subjects, such as business, music, and human services. Glenville is a small college with small classes, and is proud to be the choice of many first-generation college students. Some of the school’s goals are to improve the working and educational environment of the college, to prepare students for a global workplace, and to increase enrollment. Glenville’s guiding principles are community, student-centeredness, integrity, diversity, innovation, leadership, and service.

Number of Online Programs: 2

What is the Value of Online College in West Virginia?

Today more than ever before students are choosing to earn their undergraduate to professional degrees partially or fully online. The avenue is becoming so popular, and the demand so high, that most colleges and universities across the nation offer some sort of online programs to their students.  This path is particularly beneficial for working adults and traditional students who have other pressing commitments, such as work or family, and need the flexibility of a virtual classroom. Additionally, non-traditional students, such as homeschool students, appreciate the often student-led format of earning a degree online.

Parents can benefit from an online degree because they can complete their coursework around their children’s schedules. They even don’t need to worry about a babysitter. Rural students also benefit because they don’t have to worry about traveling a long distance back and forth to classes, nor do they have to worry about getting back and forth when the roads are slick.

What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in West Virginia?

People can earn anything from an associate’s or bachelor’s to a master’s or doctorate. Although a student was once limited on the major choices he or she had, online degrees in West Virginia, and anywhere really, vary greatly nowadays. Students who choose West Virginia online degrees for an associate’s in subjects like business, healthcare administration, criminal justice, and more.

At a bachelor’s degree level, a student can choose to earn a wider variety of online degrees in West Virginia because some options require a student to complete coursework on campus for an associate’s degree. For instance, a bachelor of science in nursing is one of these West Virginia online degrees. A student must have clinical experience first before earning a bachelor’s in this area of interest. 

A pupil has the option of earning a master’s degree from one of the online degree programs in West Virginia. At this level, a student is often able to specialize in a particular area of their major. For example, a student can earn a master’s degree in forensic psychology. The same concept applies to online degree programs in West Virginia available as doctoral programs.

Some schools offer certificate degree programs in teaching, business, or more. 

How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in West Virginia?

School is expensive, which is why many people don’t believe they can obtain an education, even in an online setting. However, there are ways a person can save money on a degree and make earning one possible. For one, online programs are usually cheaper. Additionally, a person can choose schools that are less expensive by comparison shopping. A public university tends to be less costly than a private one. In addition, a regional campus is usually less expensive than a main branch. 

Another option a person has to save money is to choose a West Virginia community college online. Community colleges are significantly less expensive than both public and private universities. A person can choose to earn an entire associate’s or bachelor’s through a West Virginia community college. He or she then can use that degree or choose to go to another online college or go to a physical brick and mortar school to earn his or her master’s. Another option is to earn general credits at a community college online and switch to a private or public school to earn the rest of his or her degree.

A person may also inquire with his or her employer if there’s an employer reimbursement program. This is when a person completes a degree, and the employer agrees to pay for a portion of it if the student agrees to work for him or her for a specific amount of time. 

Are There Online Public Universities in West Virginia? 

West Virginia does have online public universities. In some cases, these schools are less expensive than many private schools. Often, they’re accredited online colleges in West Virginia for possibly the program as well as the school. Accredited online colleges in West Virginia like these public universities are well respected by employers. Additionally, they offer comprehensive programs that adequately prepare a student for his or her career. In many cases, the public university offers the same program online and on campus. They’re just in different formats. Public universities may have well-established reputations already, so the student benefits from earning a degree from a college that employers respect.

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