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2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia

51 Colleges
$45,172 Avg Salary*
59% Avg Grad Rate*

Non-traditional students have to weigh their education options carefully. College Factual was founded to give every student the clear and understandable data they need to make this critical decision.

We analyzed 51 colleges and universities across Virginia to determine which were the best for non-traditional students. Our ranking methodology focuses on over 20 different objective factors - such as degree completion, loan default rate, post graduate earnings, as well as factors important to non-traditional students such as distance learning and flexible learning options.

For our ranking, we define a non-traditional student as anyone who is part-time or returning, or an adult learner (over the age of 24).

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

Filtering this list by location or field of study and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as veterans or international students.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

Our analysis found George Mason University to be the best school for non-traditional students in Virginia in this year’s ranking. Fairfax, Virginia is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 5,866 students in 2018-2019.

As an adult learner you’ll be in good company. 38% of the school is older than 24. The school charges $524 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. During the early years of their career, graduates from GMU make an average of $59,900 a year.

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#2

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, Virginia

Out of the 51 schools in Virginia that were part of this year’s ranking of the best schools for adult learners and non-traditional students, University of Virginia - Main Campus landed the #2 spot on the list. University of Virginia is a public institution located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The school has a large population, and it awarded 5,167 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school boasts a 6-year graduation rate of 93%, which is excellent when compared to the national rate of 62%. Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $471 per credit hour. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $61,200 a year.

Full University of Virginia - Main Campus Report

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#3

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Adult learners and other non-traditional students will be in good company if they decide to attend James Madison University. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia list. Harrisonburg, Virginia is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 4,665 students in 2018-2019.

The student loan default rate at the school is 2.3%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $241 per credit hour. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from JMU make an average of $56,600 per year during the early years of their career.

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#4

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia

A rank of #4 on our Best Colleges For Non-Traditional Students in Virginia list means Virginia Tech is a great place for adult learners and/or non-traditional students working on their bachelor’s degree. Virginia Tech is a public institution located in Blacksburg, Virginia. The school has a large population, and it awarded 7,156 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Bachelor’s degree students at the school tend to finish their degree on-time. The 6-year graduation rate is 83%, which is impressive compared to the national rate of 62%. The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $476. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech go into careers with an average salary of $62,500 during the early years of their career.

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#5

Radford University

Radford, Virginia

Adult learners and other non-traditional students will be in good company if they decide to attend Radford University. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia list. Radford, Virginia is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,910 students in 2018-2019.

The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $472. During the early years of their career, graduates from Radford make an average of $43,000 a year.

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#6

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, Virginia

With a ranking of #6, Virginia Commonwealth University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia list. This large public school is located in Richmond, Virginia, and it awarded 5,372 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

As an adult learner you’ll be in good company. 27% of the school is older than 24. Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $422 per credit hour. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $44,000 a year.

Full Virginia Commonwealth University Report

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#7

Marymount University

Arlington, Virginia

With a ranking of #7, Marymount University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia list. Located in Arlington, Virginia, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 551 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

There are 1,199 adult students enrolled in the school, which is 36% of the student body. The school charges $1,050 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Marymount is $53,600 during the early years of their career.

Full Marymount University Report

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#8

College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, Virginia

College of William and Mary did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking, coming in at #8. William & Mary is a public institution located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 2,072 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The 6-year grad rate at the school is 90%. That’s impressive when you compare it to the national rate of 62%. The school charges $425 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $58,500 a year.

Full College of William and Mary Report

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#9

Mary Baldwin University

Staunton, Virginia

Mary Baldwin University came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking. Staunton, Virginia is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 226 students in 2018-2019.

The school charges $460 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Mary Baldwin go into careers with an average salary of $37,200 during the early years of their career.

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#10

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

Old Dominion University landed the #10 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking. Old Dominion University is a large public school located in Norfolk, Virginia that handed out 3,987 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $356. During the early years of their career, graduates from Old Dominion make an average of $43,700 a year.

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#11

Regent University

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Regent University came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking. Regent is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It awarded 705 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $605 per credit hour. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Regent go into careers with an average salary of $41,600 during the early years of their career.

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#12

University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, Virginia

University of Mary Washington landed the #12 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking. This small public school is located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and it awarded 1,087 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.7%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The school charges $467 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UMW make an average of $51,400 per year during the early years of their career.

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#13

Eastern Mennonite University

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Eastern Mennonite University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking. Located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 350 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 3.8% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $1,400 per credit hour. During the early years of their career, graduates from Eastern Mennonite make an average of $40,300 a year.

Full Eastern Mennonite University Report

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#14

Longwood University

Farmville, Virginia

Longwood University came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking. Located in Farmville, Virginia, the small public school awarded 996 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.2%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $459. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Longwood make an average of $41,500 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Longwood University Report

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#15

Bluefield College

Bluefield, Virginia

Bluefield College did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking, coming in at #15. Bluefield, Virginia is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 247 students in 2018-2019.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $970 per credit hour. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Bluefield College is $40,900 during the early years of their career.

Full Bluefield College Report

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#16

Shenandoah University

Winchester, Virginia

Shenandoah University came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking. Shenandoah University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Winchester, Virginia that handed out 570 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

A high percentage of the school is made up of adult learners. 41% of the students are 25 years or older. The school charges $930 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $45,800 a year.

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#17

ECPI University

Virginia Beach, Virginia

ECPI University landed the #17 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking. ECPI University is a fairly large private for-profit school situated in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It awarded 1,230 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $691. During the early years of their career, graduates from ECPI University make an average of $34,600 a year.

Full ECPI University Report

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#18

Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

With a ranking of #18, Liberty University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia list. Liberty University is located in Lynchburg, Virginia and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 9,140 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $390 per credit hour. During the early years of their career, graduates from Liberty University make an average of $36,700 a year.

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#19

Virginia Wesleyan University

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Wesleyan University came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking. Virginia Beach, Virginia is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 288 students in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 4.8% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. The school charges $1,500 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from VWU is $40,700 during the early years of their career.

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#20

Norfolk State University

Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk State University landed the #20 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking. This medium-sized public school is located in Norfolk, Virginia, and it awarded 612 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $437 per credit hour. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Norfolk State make an average of $35,800 per year during the early years of their career.

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#21

Christopher Newport University

Newport News, Virginia

With a ranking of #21, Christopher Newport University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia list. Located in Newport News, Virginia, the small public school awarded 1,172 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 1.6% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $622. During the early years of their career, graduates from CNU make an average of $46,900 a year.

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#22

Wytheville Community College

Wytheville, Virginia

Wytheville Community College came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $154 per credit hour. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from WCC is $27,800 during the early years of their career.

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#23

Northern Virginia Community College

Annandale, Virginia

With a ranking of #23, Northern Virginia Community College did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia list.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $180 per credit hour. During the early years of their career, graduates from Northern Virginia Community College make an average of $42,000 a year.

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#24

Hampton University

Hampton, Virginia

Hampton University came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia ranking. Hampton, Virginia is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 640 students in 2018-2019.

The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $634. During the early years of their career, graduates from Hampton make an average of $44,700 a year.

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The University of Virginia’s College at Wise ranked #25 on this year’s Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Virginia list. Wise, Virginia is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 266 students in 2018-2019.

Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $236 per credit hour. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from UVa - Wise go into careers with an average salary of $38,400 during the early years of their career.

Full The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Report

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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