There are many top-rated Virginia colleges, from large research universities and midsize colleges to smaller liberal arts schools. Some of the Commonwealth schools ranked highly in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report include Washington and Lee University, the University of Richmond, and the University of Virginia Charlottesville, founded by Thomas Jefferson.
There are 16 public four-year universities in Virginia, including Virginia Polytechnic Institute, State University ("Virginia Tech") and the College of William and Mary, the second oldest college in the U.S. Students may also consider any of Virginia's 23 community colleges.
Private colleges are plentiful, with 79 four-year colleges in Virginia. They include faith-based schools, military colleges, and health care-focused universities. There are also 50 private vocational and technical colleges in the state, where students can train for careers in aviation, health care, technology, beauty, and more.
One way the state supports the education of its residents is through the Virginia Education Wizard. This tool can help current and prospective students explore education and career paths through community colleges in Virginia. It also provides information about transfer agreements between the state's two- and four-year schools.
Many Virginia colleges make their courses and programs available online. The state also participates in the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus, an online database of thousands of courses and programs from schools throughout the South. Virginia takes part in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which makes it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in other states.
For more information visit the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.