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Top Virginia Colleges

17 of the Top Colleges in Virginia

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Top Ranked Colleges: Universities | Public Universities | Liberal Arts Colleges | Engineering | Business | Women's | Most Selective

Virginia is a strong state for higher education. From large research universities to small liberal arts colleges, from military colleges to single-sex campuses, Virginia offers a little of everything. The 17 top Virginia colleges listed below vary so much in size and mission that I have simply listed them alphabetically rather than force them into any sort of artificial ranking. That said, Washington and Lee, the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary are probably the most selective and prestigious schools on the list.

Compare Top Virginia Colleges: SAT Scores | ACT Scores

Christopher Newport University

Christopher Newport University Ferguson Center for the Arts
jeredb / Flickr
  • Location: Newport News, Virginia
  • Enrollment: 4,952 (4,786 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public university
  • Distinctions: $500 million in campus improvements in recent years; rated as an "up and coming" school by U.S. News & World Report; excellent center for the arts; active student life scene 
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Christopher Newport University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Christopher Newport

College of William and Mary

William and Mary
Lyndi&Jason / flickr

George Mason University (GMU)

George Mason University
funkblast / Flickr

Hampden-Sydney College

Hampden-Sydney College Gilmer Hall
deeleywoman / Flickr

Hollins University

Horse Fields at Hollins University
drewsaunders / Flickr
  • Location: Roanoke, Virginia
  • Enrollment: 1,057 (796 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college for women
  • Distinctions: 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio; 475-acre campus near the Blue Ridge Parkway; strong international learning and internship programs; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; good financial aid
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Hollins College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Hollins

James Madison University (JMU)

James Madison University
taberandrew / Flickr
  • Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Enrollment: 18,971 (17,281 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public university
  • Distinctions: high rankings for value and academic quality; attractive campus features a lake and arboretum; member of the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association and Eastern College Athletic Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the James Madison University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for JMU

Longwood University

Longwood University
basbarnowl / Flickr
  • Location: Farmville, Virginia
  • Enrollment: 4,832 (4,086 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public university
  • Distinctions: emphasis on hands-on learning (all students are required to take part in an internship or research project); average class size of 21; athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division I level
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Longwood University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Longwood

Randolph College

Randolph College Recital Hall
taberandrew / Flickr
  • Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Enrollment: 500 (488 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 8 to 1 student / faculty ratio and an average class size of 12; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; high marks for student engagement; located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains; good financial aid
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Randolph College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Randolph

Randolph-Macon College

Randolph-Macon College
Photo Credit: Randolph-Macon College

Roanoke College

Roanoke College
mlctuckerphotography / Flickr

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