|VMI ranks a surprising 20th.|
Beyond that, William and Mary, VMI and James Madison rank 16, 20 and 47. That may be the biggest upset of all, especially VMI at 20.
These colleges are all relatively affordable, all 50, ranging in retail cost of $19,000 to $36,000 a year. Beyond that, they give need-based aid and aid based on grades. The Virginia schools' need-based aid ranges from Virginia's 27 percent of students, Virginia Tech 32, W&M 28, VMI 43 and JMU 18. None gives academic aid beyond 5 percent of students.
As an aside here, I ran into three young actors Saturday at Overnight Sensations (a Hollins-Mill Mountain Theatre production) who either are or will be JMU arts students this coming fall. One is already there, one is transferring from Hollins and one will be a freshman in the fall. Those are only the ones I know about. Could be more. All gushed about the quality of the theater program (and the fact that is far enough away from home--Roanoke--for them to be relatively free.)