2020 Best Online Community Colleges in Virginia

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 5/7/2020
2020 Best Online Community Colleges in Virginia Badge

These 12 community colleges in Virginia are all great options for students hoping to earn an online associate degree or certificate from a school in their state. Ranked #9, Tidewater Community College offers 12 different online associate degrees, more than any other school on this list. Rappahannock Community College, ranked #4, offers one of the most affordable tuition rates at only $4,394 per year.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Locations
# 1 #1 Southwest Virginia Community College $5,329 Richlands
# 2 #2 Northern Virginia Community College $4,690 Annandale
# 3 #3 Reynolds Community College $4,901 Richmond
# 4 #4 Rappahannock Community College $4,394 Glenns
# 5 #5 Lord Fairfax Community College $4,774 Middletown
# 6 #6 Virginia Western Community College $5,354 Roanoke
# 7 #7 New River Community College $4,620 Dublin
# 8 #8 John Tyler Community College $4,800 Chester
# 9 #9 Tidewater Community College $4,859 Norfolk
# 10 #10 Thomas Nelson Community College $4,836 Hampton
# 11 #11 Mountain Empire Community College $4,396 Big Stone Gap
# 12 #12 Blue Ridge Community College - VA $4,774 Weyers Cave

2020 Online Community Colleges in Virginia - Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.

#1 Southwest Virginia Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $5,329
  • Locations: Richlands
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Southwest Virginia Community College offers several Career Studies Certificates online. Options include a management specialist certificate, which helps students develop their management skills; a cybersecurity certificate that teaches students how to defend networks and recognize threats; and a computed tomography certificate, which prepares students to become contributing members of an allied health interdisciplinary unit. Associate degrees offered online by SVCC include an Associate of Applied Science in Administrative Support Technology and an Associate of Arts & Sciences in Early Childhood Development.

#2 Northern Virginia Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,690
  • Locations: Annandale
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Northern Virginia Community College offers a number of online associate degrees, including an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts. This liberal arts program is designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year school to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree, and students who choose this program have the option to concentrate in English, communication studies, or international studies. Online certificates offered by NVCC include bookkeeping, which provides instruction on how to qualify for entry-level jobs in accounting; and administration of justice, a program designed for students who want to take only courses related to law enforcement.

#3 Reynolds Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,901
  • Locations: Richmond
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Reynolds Community College aims to help students reach their academic and career goals by offering both campus-based and distance learning opportunities. The school's online portal, Reynolds Online, provides a variety of associate degree and certificate programs that prepare students for employment or transfer to a four-year institution. Fields of study include business, education, science, and information systems technology. Online coursework is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. Though learning is mostly asynchronous, students have the opportunity to interact with instructors and peers through discussion forums, group workspaces, and other interactive features. Distance learners have access to an extensive list of support services, including tutoring, academic advising, the library, and career services. Reynolds also provides an online readiness questionnaire, an orientation to online learning, and a blog with additional resources for online learners.

#4 Rappahannock Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,394
  • Locations: Glenns
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Rappahannock Community College’s online offerings include certificates in accounting and law enforcement; career studies certificates in computer applications specialist and game design and development; and Associate of Applied Science degrees in criminal justice, health-STEM, and business administration. All of the Associate of Applied Science degrees offered at Rappahannock are transfer degree programs, meaning that they are designed to give students the classes required to transfer to the institution of their choice. Two-year transfer degrees provide a cost-effective way for students to earn their undergraduate degree.

#5 Lord Fairfax Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,774
  • Locations: Middletown
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Lord Fairfax Community College’s online educational programs consist of Associates of Arts and Sciences degrees and certificate programs. Associates of Arts and Sciences degrees are available in business administration, which focuses on accounting, economics, and finance; education, which prepares students for teacher licensure; general studies, which is a comprehensive, two-year general degree program that requires no declaration of a major; and liberal arts, a program that allows students to major in a wide range of fields in the liberal arts or social sciences. Five online certificate options are also available at LFCC: health science, general education, general business, pre-allied health, and education - early childhood education.

#6 Virginia Western Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $5,354
  • Locations: Roanoke
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Virginia Western Community College offers a variety of online programs that are designed to meet the needs of adult learners. Certificates and associate degrees can be earned entirely online or in a hybrid format in majors such as business, health, information technology, and liberal arts and sciences. Virginia Western's associate degree programs prepare students to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor's degree. Coursework is delivered online using interactive and collaborative features, including discussion boards, video conferencing, and test proctoring. Students enrolled at VWCC are also able to take online courses from other Virginia Community Colleges through the Shared Services Distance Learning (SSDL) Program. Remote learners have access to the school's complete list of support services, including academic advising, technical assistance, the library, and career services.

#7 New River Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,620
  • Locations: Dublin
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

New River Community College offers online associate degrees such as an Associate of Applied Science in Administrative Support Technology, which is designed to prepare students for careers as administrative assistants, receptionists, or office managers. This two-year, 66-credit program offers concentrations in medical administrative support and paralegal administrative support. NRCC also offers an online Accounting Certificate, which gives students enough background to qualify for an accounting job within a year; and a Word Processing Certificate that trains students in basic-level word processing and prepares them to meet the technological demands of the office.

#8 John Tyler Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,800
  • Locations: Chester
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

John Tyler Community College offers seven online Career Studies Certificates, including museum studies, which provides an introduction to the museum field and development for those already employed by museums; supervision, which helps students develop skills required for supervisory roles in organizations; and business information management, a cross-discipline curriculum that provides a foundation in information technology and business management. JTCC also offers various online associate degrees, including Associate of Applied Science degrees in business management and Associate of Science degrees in business administration and general studies.

#9 Tidewater Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,859
  • Locations: Norfolk
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Online associate programs offered by Tidewater Community College include an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice with concentrations in forensic science, homeland security, and public law; and an Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Technology with specializations in occupational safety, industrial supervision, quality assurance, and industrial maintenance technology. Students can also earn online certificates in accounting specialist, general education, and law enforcement. The law enforcement certificate provides a foundation in criminal justice and includes courses such as Criminal Law and Ethics and The Criminal Justice Professional.

#10 Thomas Nelson Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,836
  • Locations: Hampton
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Thomas Nelson Community College is a public, two-year institution that offers online community college courses through its academically rich eCampus Distance Learning program. Its eCampus program includes a variety of flexible web-based certificate and associate degree programs that range from Business Administration to Web Design Specialist. Virtual classes are taught by the same faculty that teaches classes on campus. Online community college courses are delivered through Canvas, an Internet-based course management system that enables students to take tests, manage documents, and communicate with their instructors through video conferencing and discussion boards. The eCampus Distance Learning program also includes productivity tools, virus protection, online access to the bookstore, remote proctoring for exams, virtual technology assistance, and online tutoring, tutorials, and study aids. Summer classes are also available.

#11 Mountain Empire Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $4,396
  • Locations: Big Stone Gap
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Mountain Empire Community College is a public institution that offers a variety of online learning paths and online community college courses. This includes its MECC Online Courses, Shared Services Distance Learning Courses (SSDL), Hybrid Courses, and Water/Wastewater MOOC courses. The SSDL are online courses that are provided in conjunction with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA)'s Extended Learning Institute (ELI). MECC offers its Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies degree entirely online, and the Associate of Allied Health in Pharmacy Technician program is a hybrid format with one class requiring on-campus participation. MECC is also a leader in the e-learning industry, offering career training courses as well as online courses for contractor licensing, exam prep, and certification & continuing education. Online community college courses are delivered through Canvas.

#12 Blue Ridge Community College - VA

  • Annual Tuition: $4,774
  • Locations: Weyers Cave
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Blue Ridge Community College - VA offers two online degrees. The first is an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting, a degree for students seeking jobs or professional improvement in the business or accounting fields. Required courses for this 67-credit-hour degree include Principles of Accounting, Business Mathematics, Psychology of Personal Adjustment, and Cost Accounting. The second degree is an Associate of Applied Science in Management, a program designed for those wanting to develop their business skills. This 61-credit-hour program includes courses such as Principles of Management, Database Fundamentals, Business Law I, and Financial Management.

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