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Wood County colleges among top 20 ‘most affordable’ in West Virginia

PARKERSBURG — Two area colleges are among the top 20 most affordable bachelor’s degree programs in West Virginia, according to a survey list released this week.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg was ranked third and Ohio Valley University ranked tenth on the list by Affordable Schools. The listing can be found at affordableschools.net.

Affordable Schools ranked colleges offering bachelor’s degrees by awarding points in three areas: tuition rates, student-to-faculty ratios, and graduation rates. Colleges could earn three points per category, for a maximum of 9 points.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg earned six points and was noted for having the lowest tuition on the list, with an in-state tuition of $3,722 and an out-of-state tuition of $8,234. The student-to-faculty ratio averaged 16-to-1 and the graduation rate was 39 percent.

WVU-P President Chris Gilmer said the college was “honored and delighted” to be ranked so high on the list.

“We attribute our ranking to our commitment to keeping tuition low while providing a high quality, personalized education that rivals any in the state or nation, including much larger schools,” he said Thursday in a written statement. “Among the 20 schools ranked, our bachelor’s level tuition is the lowest in the state by far. Students can earn certificates through associate and bachelor’s degrees at WVU Parkersburg while accumulating little or no debt to pay back after graduation. Many of our bachelor’s programs have the same high level national accreditations that students would expect at the larger schools, so we are very proud to offer the perfect combination of high quality and low price.”

Ohio Valley University earned six points with a tuition of $21,900, a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-1, and a graduation rate of 46 percent.

Officials with OVU could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The number one West Virginia college was West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Beckley with seven points. West Virginia University ranked ninth with six points, Marshall University was 14th with 5 points and Alderson Broaddus University rounded out the list at number 20 with four points.

Michael Erb can be reached at merb@newsandsentinel.com.

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