What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)
Elizabeth Suneby
5 College Lists

10 Best Colleges in Virginia

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If you are interested in going to college in a state steeped in history as well as natural beauty, Virginia might be the place for you.


Virginia is known as the “birthplace of a nation,” home state to four of the first five presidents of the U.S., Mt. Vernon, Monticello, the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, and Manassas National Battlefield. You’ll also find natural beauty at the Shenandoah National Park, Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, and numerous lakes and other spots across the state.


Our Ranking Methodology


How did we come up with this list? We focused on school quality, outcomes, and return on investment (ROI). We also examined data such as retention rate, selectivity, endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, median earnings, and cost of attendance, among many others. Students can also check out CollegeVine’s ranking of 1518 schools across the country. 


10 Best Colleges in Virginia 


1. Washington and Lee University


Location: Lexington, VA 

Acceptance Rate: 21%

Middle 50% SAT: 1420-1510

Middle 50% ACT: 32-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,800


Washington and Lee, located in the scenic Shenandoah Valley, is the 9th oldest college in the US. This top-ranked university is distinguished by a student-run Honor System that encourages students to take responsibility for themselves as citizens, peers, and leaders in a community of 1800 undergraduates. Students who attend Washington and Lee enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors.


Learn more about W&L and what it takes to get accepted.


2. University of Virginia


Location: Charlottesville, VA

Acceptance Rate: 26%

Middle 50% SAT: 1390-1530

Middle 50% ACT: 32-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 16,700


Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, UVA is ranked by CollegeVine as the 3rd best public university in the country—boasting nationally-ranked schools and programs, research, medical center, and NCAA Division I athletics. Located east of the Blue Ridge Mountains in a vibrant, small city with historic sites (such as Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and James Monroe’s Ashlawn Highland), diverse cultural attractions, and many celebrated restaurants, Charlottesville is a great location for students.


Learn more about UVA and what it takes to get accepted.


3. University of Richmond


Location: Richmond, VA

Acceptance Rate: 30%

Middle 50% SAT: 1420-1520

Middle 50% ACT: 32-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,200


The only college with a spider for a mascot, the University of Richmond also distinguishes itself through an interdisciplinary approach to education–offering synergies among liberal arts, business, leadership, and law. The school also offers every undergraduate student a fellowship of up to $4,000 for an unpaid (or underpaid) summer internship or faculty-mentored research project. 


Learn more about University of Richmond and what it takes to get accepted.


4. College of William & Mary


Location: Williamsburg, VA

Acceptance Rate: 37%

Middle 50% SAT: 1360-1520

Middle 50% ACT: 31-34

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,300


While called a college, William & Mary is a cutting-edge research university, and one of eight US universities designated a “Public Ivy”, that offers an Ivy-caliber education at a much lower cost. The 2nd oldest college in the US – (It was chartered by King William III and Queen Mary of England but severed ties with England in 1776) – William & Mary is known for many firsts: first intercollegiate fraternity in the country, Phi Beta Kappa was founded here; first university to have an elective system of study and an honor system; first college to have a law school… Located in a historic theme park town, the area offers many entertainment options. 


Learn more about William & Mary and what it takes to get accepted.


5. Virginia Military Institute


Location: Lexington, VA

Acceptance Rate: 51%

Middle 50% SAT: 1070-1260

Middle 50% ACT: 22-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,600


VMI is for students looking for a disciplined, transformative college experience. VMI graduates are termed “citizen-soldiers”, prepared for civilian leadership and for military leadership in times of national need. The school offers cadets a challenging four-year core curriculum and 14 nationally-recognized majors in engineering, the sciences, and the humanities, with an array of enrichment opportunities provided through the Institute Honors Program, undergraduate research, foreign study, internships, and the Institute Writing Program.


Learn more about VMI and what it takes to get accepted.


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6. Virginia Tech


Location: Blacksburg, VA

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Middle 50% SAT: 1170-1370

Middle 50% ACT: 25-31

Undergrad Enrollment: 27,800


Virginia Tech boasts a cross-discipline approach to education with a focus on tackling global-scale problems. The institution includes nine colleges and graduate schools including the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Pamplin College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, College of Natural Resources and Environment, College of Science, Corps of Cadets, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Carilion School of Medicine and Fralin Biomedical Research Institute. Virginia Tech students are guided by the motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), and exemplify their service to their community and fellow students.


Learn more about Virginia Tech and what it takes to get accepted.


7. James Madison University


Location: Harrisonburg, VA

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Middle 50% SAT: 1180-1340

Middle 50% ACT: 25-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 19,900


A public research university located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, James Madison University has a longstanding commitment to hands-on learning and a supportive community that encourages collaboration with professors. The most popular majors include health professions, business, management, marketing, communication, journalism, social sciences, and computer information sciences. The school even gets a shout-out for great campus food.


Learn more about James Madison and what it takes to get accepted.


8. Hampden-Sydney College


Location: Hampden-Sydney, VA

Acceptance Rate: 59%

Middle 50% SAT: 1010-1230

Middle 50% ACT: 21-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,000 


Hampden-Sydney is the 10th oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S. and one of the three remaining all men’s colleges in the country. The college has one of the strictest honor codes of any university. Upon entering as a student, each man pledges for life that he will not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do. Another cornerstone of the school is the Rhetoric Program. Every student must prepare for and pass the Rhetoric Proficiency Exam, a three-hour essay that is graded for grammatical correctness and the coherence, quality, and style of the argument.


Learn more about Hampden-Sydney and what it takes to get accepted.


9. Randolph-Macon College


Location: Ashland, VA

Acceptance Rate: 67%

Middle 50% SAT: 1030-1218

Middle 50% ACT: 21-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,400


Located about 15 minutes from Richmond, this small college integrates a liberal arts education, faculty mentoring, and a four year career preparation program called the EDGE. Each student develops a personalized career roadmap to boost their success for graduate studies or career employment.


Learn more about Randolph-Macon and what it takes to get accepted.


10. Liberty University


Location: Lynchburg, VA

Acceptance Rate: 56%

Middle 50% SAT: 1020-1220

Middle 50% ACT: 20-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 45,900


Founded in 1971 by Dr. Jerry Falwell, Liberty University is a socially-conservative Christian university that “trains Champions for Christ with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for impacting tomorrow’s world.” The university includes the College of Arts and Sciences, Helms School of Government, John W. Rawlings School of Divinity, School of Aeronautics, School of Behavioral Sciences, School of Business, School of Communication and the Arts, School of Education, School of Engineering, School of Health Sciences, School of Music, and School of Nursing. 


Learn more about Liberty University and what it takes to get accepted.


What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?


CollegeVine can help you understand your chance of admission at each of the schools listed above, others in Virginia, and colleges across the country. Our free chancing engine uses quantitative data such as grades and standardized test scores along with qualitative factors including extracurricular activities, awards, and achievements to predict your odds of acceptance at hundreds of schools in Virginia and across the US.


Remember to build a balanced school list including safety, target, and reach schools to put yourself in the best position to find the perfect school for you. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
Elizabeth graduated from Brown University with a degree in American Studies and has used the analytic and writing skills she developed in college in various marketing management positions, freelance writing gigs, and as an author of children's books and magazine articles. She has written for a range of clients serving college-age students, including several universities and publications. And she has supported a son and a daughter through the college and graduate school application and selection process.