Virginia Colleges Summary

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.

Higher Education Initiatives in Virginia

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.

Online Education in Virginia

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.


  • The Official Site of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Accessed April 2018,
  • National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator, Accessed April 2018,
  • U.S. News & World Report, Accessed April 2018,
  • Virginia SARA, Accessed May 2018,
Education Institutes in Virginia
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in Virginia
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,