Best Online Colleges in Virginia

Learn about the best online colleges in Virginia and the most popular, in-demand degrees in the state.
By
Updated on March 8, 2024
Edited by
portrait of Tyler Epps
Tyler Epps
Read Full Bio

Editor & Writer

Tyler Epps is an editor for BestColleges. He writes and edits content about higher education, specializing in degree planning and college rankings. He is passionate about helping students prepare for college and navigate their educational journey. He...
Learn more about our editorial process

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.

Best Online Colleges in Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia is home to many top colleges and universities, some of which have massive student populations. The state also ranks as one of the best to begin your career. But as the world continues to shift to a greater digital presence, colleges must do the same to remain accessible to all students. That's where online programs come in.

Throughout this page, we spotlight the best online colleges in Virginia and dive into some of the most popular majors and fastest-growing careers. Continue reading to learn more about online colleges in Virginia and see what these schools can do for you.

Best Online Colleges in Virginia of 2024

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

  • Browse programs
  • Discover matches
  • Request info
#1 Best Online Colleges in Virginia Best Value

George Mason University

  • Fairfax, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $396
Out-of-State | $1,374 

Credits to Graduate: 120

George Mason University's online degree programs maintain the same academic rigor as in-person classes and give students the flexibility to fit classes into their busy schedules. Whether you're a working professional studying from home, traveling, or stationed abroad with the military, you can earn the same degree as students who learn on campus.

Degrees are offered in 100% online or in a hybrid format. Some programs let you choose which format fits your needs. There's a degree completion program, plus 18 bachelor's degrees and master's degrees. Popular programs include undergraduate courses of study in applied science, cybersecurity concentration, business, information technology, health administration, and psychology.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,510
Out-of-state
$32,970
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,035
Out-of-state
$34,347
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
84%
Acceptance Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
38,628
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
78% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Best Online Colleges in Virginia

Regent University

  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $395
Out-of-State | $395

Credits to Graduate: 120

Regent University has an impressive selection of online degree programs. You can choose from seven associate degrees, 112 online bachelor's degrees, 158 online master's degrees, and 95 doctoral degrees. Regent University was a pioneer in online education, offering its first online Ph.D. program in 1995.  

Regent University offers a streamlined enrollment and financial aid process, charges lower-than-average tuition, has eight-week online course sessions, and maintains military and corporate partnerships to make earning a degree easier. You can also transfer up to 90 credit hours for a degree completion program.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$17,220
Out-of-state
$17,220
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$15,590
Out-of-state
$15,590
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
74%
Acceptance Rate
41%
Students Enrolled
10,330
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Best Online Colleges in Virginia

Hampton University

  • Hampton, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $300
Out-of-State | $300

Credits to Graduate: 120

Hampton University Online offers certificates, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. You can choose from three associate degrees, 11 bachelor's degrees, three master's degree programs, and four doctoral degree programs.

If you want to earn a bachelor's degree online, you can choose from paralegal legal studies, religious studies, aviation management (airport administration), business management, criminal justice, systems organization and management, systems organization and management (human resources), public safety administration, or nursing with a one- or two-year accelerated RN.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$26,198
Out-of-state
$26,198
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,099
Out-of-state
$13,099
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
81%
Acceptance Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
3,317
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

Ranking Methodology Summary

Chevron Down

To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

How Much Is Online College in Virginia?

Cost of College in Virginia (2020-21)
Institution Type Average Tuition & Required Fees
Public, Four-Year (In-state) $13,931
Public, Four-Year (Out-of-state) $36,193
Private, Four-Year $23,220
Source: NCES

Online college is typically more affordable than a traditional campus-based education. However, multiple factors impact the cost of online college in Virginia, and tuition rates vary dramatically from school to school.

This includes whether you enroll online or on-campus, attend a school in-state vs. out-of-state, or even prefer public to private college. All of which impact how much you pay for a degree.

In general, in-state students attending public colleges pay the least, while out-of-state students tend to pay the most. That said, many colleges, especially private colleges and universities, waive the out-of-state tuition rates for their online programs.

Featured Online Bachelor's Programs

Top 5 Most Popular Bachelor's Degrees in Virginia

In this section, we spotlight five of the most popular bachelor's degrees according to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Read on to see which majors top the list.

1. Psychology

Whether you're pursuing a career in counseling, social work, or research, a bachelor's in psychology can offer the skills needed to thrive. In Virginia, colleges and universities confer approximately 4,500 bachelor's degrees in psychology each year.

The best psychology programs can help you achieve your goals, and, additionally, standout psychology master's programs can help you enhance your earning potential and career options.

Median Salary (BLS, 2021): $53,000

2. Business Administration and Management

An online degree in business administration or business management can open the door to a long list of roles in areas like marketing, finance, and management. Due to the versatility of these degrees, business majors are especially popular — Virginia colleges confer nearly 4,000 bachelor's degrees in this field annually.

Median Salary (BLS, 2021): $69,000

3. Biology (Biological Sciences)

Wondering if you should major in biology? Approximately 2,630 Virginia-based students recently graduated with a biology degree, making this a popular option.

A degree in biology offers pathways to careers in research, environmental science, and countless healthcare roles. Specializations include microbiology, zoology, botany, marine biology, and pre-med studies.

Median Salary (BLS, 2021): $70,000

4. Nursing (Registered Nursing)

In Virginia, over 2,300 students recently graduated with a nursing degree. If you're interested in becoming a nurse, earning a bachelor's in nursing program (BSN) is a great starting point. If you're already a registered nurse, an RN-to-BSN is also a solid choice.

Nursing specializations can vary between programs, but popular options include nursing informatics, psychiatric nursing, and critical care nursing.

Median Salary (BLS, 2021): $65,000

5. Computer and Information Sciences

Given the many different fields of study in computer science, determining which type of computer science degree to pursue is often the most difficult choice. Fortunately, most careers in computer science offer higher-than-average salaries, making them popular options for undergraduates.

Recent data points to about 1,750 computer and information sciences degrees conferred, making it one of the most popular majors in the state. Specializations include game development, data science, cybersecurity, and software engineering.

Median Salary (BLS, 2021): $90,000

10 Fastest-Growing Jobs in Virginia That Require a Bachelor's Degree

The Commonwealth of Virginia not only offers a promising job market but also ranks as one of the best states to begin your career. So if you're interested in working in Virginia, pursuing an in-demand major can help you land one of these fast-growing careers.

The fastest-growing careers in Virginia cover a diverse set of professions, including logistics, financial management, aeronautics, and medical services management. Online programs can offer the flexibility needed to juggle responsibilities while also earning your degree.

Check out the fastest-growing careers in Virginia below.

Note: For this table, we only included occupations that require a bachelor's degree and had estimated employment numbers of at least 1,000 positions in 2021.

Fastest-Growing Careers in Virginia 2020-2030
Job Projected Growth Rate Median Annual Wage (2022)
Medical and Health Services Managers 32.5% $104,830
Logisticians 29% $77,520
Actuaries 28.8% $113,990
Operations Research Analysts 26% $85,720
Interpreters and Translators 25.1% $53,640
Athletic Trainers 24% $53,840
Financial Examiners 23.1% $82,210
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 22.9% $68,230
Financial Managers 19.5% $139,790
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers 19% $148,900
Source: Virginia Employment Commission
Featured Online Bachelor's Programs

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Virginia

What is the easiest online college to get into in Virginia?

Chevron Down

According to NCES data, Old Dominion University has an acceptance rate of 95%, making it the easiest public school to get into. Liberty University, with an admission rate of 99%, tops the list of easiest private schools to get into.

These schools offer an accessible academic pathway through expansive rosters of online programs. These flexible and affordable options allow you to complete course requirements while keeping up with personal and professional obligations.

Do I need to live in Virginia to attend an online college in Virginia?

Chevron Down

No, you are not required to live in Virginia to attend an online college in the state. When reviewing potential schools, be sure to consider how your residency status impacts tuition rates, as these policies vary among schools.

What is the cheapest online college in Virginia?

Chevron Down

The cheapest four-year public college in Virginia is Norfolk State University, which has an annual net price of $14,652. As for the cheapest private college, Regent University has an annual net price of $17,341 — far less than the average cost ($23,220) of all four-year private colleges in Virginia.

College is an investment of both time and money, and cost is often a significant factor when determining which school aligns with your needs. Generally, public colleges and universities tend to charge lower tuition rates than private schools.

Explore More College Resources

View all

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare Your School Options

View the most relevant schools for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to finding your college home.