Many talented individuals have to go elsewhere for higher education due to the prohibitive costs associated with attending the best colleges in the world. The truth is that there are many reasonable educational options right there in your state. If you are looking for the cheapest colleges in Virginia, we are here to help you.

Virginia State University

It boasts a lovely historic campus and is one of the country’s few institutions that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first state-funded historically black college or university in the US, this institution is notable for providing excellent programs in engineering, family and consumer sciences, agriculture, and the armed forces to its student body.

Washington Monthly Magazine recognized the institution as among the Southeast’s best value for the money and dubbed it the most cost-effective four-year option in Virginia.

James Madison University

The university, which has been in operation since 1908, provides more than 130 different majors for new students to choose from. These include fields as diverse as business, communications, education, health and behavioral studies, technology, engineering, science, mathematics, the humanities, and the arts. As of the 2022 edition of Best Colleges, James Madison University is positioned third among regional universities in the South.

The university has the provision that families with lower yearly incomes will pay less than those with higher or considerably higher incomes. This is because people with greater financial needs get help before those with more disposable income. Therefore, the average net price for students with greater financial needs will be lower.

Radford University

Radford University is known for its gorgeous campus, exciting student life, and close relationships between staff and students.

Graduate degrees in business, health, and the arts are among the more than 150 available at this institution. Sixty-five percent of Radford University’s full-time students receive need-based financial help.

Numerous student services are available to those enrolled at Radford University, such as nonremedial tutoring, a placement service, and health service.

Longwood University

It is the third-oldest public institution in Virginia, opening its doors in 1839. Internships are a crucial part of the undergraduate experience at Longwood, which offers more than a hundred majors and minors throughout the schools of Education & Human Services, Arts & Sciences, and Business & Economics.

Most of Longwood University’s full-time students (61%) receive some need-based financial help. It is regularly recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as a top public university in the South.

University of Mary Washington (UMW)

Concerning public liberal arts institutions in Virginia, the University of Mary Washington (UMW) ranks among the best. It offers certified study abroad programs in over 120 destinations worldwide. The institution is proud of its strong employment rate (almost 91%), and its graduates earn more than double the national median salary.

It is ranked #16 in Regional Universities South by US News and #7 in Top Public Schools by US News for 2021. Forbes magazine ranked school #205 among the best in the US for 2021.


These colleges and institutions, both big and small, are adept at making the most of Virginia’s beautiful setting. Discover the grandeur of the Commonwealth’s college attractions by touring the grounds of a handful of these educational treasures.

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