Higher Education

As of 2010, there are 167 colleges and universities in Virginia. In the U.S. News and World Report ranking of public colleges, the University of Virginia is second and The College of William & Mary is sixth. James Madison University has been recognized as the number one regional public master's university in The South since 1993. Virginia Commonwealth University is ranked the number one public university in Fine Arts in the United States according to "U.S. News and World Report." The Virginia Military Institute is the oldest state military college and a top ranked public liberal arts college. Virginia Commonwealth University is also the largest university in Virginia with over 32,000 students, followed closely by Virginia Tech and George Mason University. Virginia Tech and Virginia State University are the state's land-grant universities. Virginia also operates 23 community colleges on 40 campuses serving over 260,000 students. There are 120 private institutions, including Washington and Lee University, Hampden-Sydney College, Roanoke College, and the University of Richmond.

Virginia law requires each public college or university to publish the amount of its fees separate from its tuition. As reported in the Washington Post, athletic fees have grown in recent years. Athletic fees typically go to a separate fund to pay for intercollegiate athletic teams. Over the past 10 years, the average athletic fee at 14 public universities has doubled from $530 to $986. All students at an institution must pay the athletic fee, whether or not they participate in sports:

Virginia Public University Athletic Fees University Tutition and fees Athletic Fees % of Total
George Mason University $8,584 $476 5%
Old Dominion University $7,708 $1,133 15%
University of Virginia $10,628 $657 6%
Virginia Commonwealth University $8,817 $559 6%
Virginia Tech $9,589 $257 6%
College of William and Mary $12,188 $1,422 12%
Christopher Newport University $9,250 $1,147 12%
James Madison University $7,860 $1,114 14%
Longwood University $9,855 $2,022 21%
University of Mary Washington $7,862 $350 4%
Norfolk State University $6,227 $1,441 23%
Radford University $7,694 $1,077 14%
Virginia Military Institute $12,328 $1,362 11%
Virginia State University $6,570 $791 12%