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If you choose to become a student at Norfolk State University, you’ll be one of around 5,600 students. You can visit the campus to take a look around and get acquainted with the area. While there are large spaces between buildings, the campus is still compact enough that you’ll be able to make it from your dorm to your classes fairly quickly. When you go off-campus, you’ll find yourself in the town of Norfolk, Virginia. This is a midsize city and the home of the well-known Norfolk Naval Station. As the presence of the Navy base suggests, you’re close to the water. The Elizabeth River and the Atlantic Ocean border Norfolk on two sides. With the city so close by, you’re likely to be leaving campus to go shopping and to visit some of the restaurants.

Overview of Norfolk State University

The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 16 to 1, which is a bit high but not overwhelmingly so. However, you may want to act fast to see professors if something about one of your classes is difficult to understand as their time will be at a higher premium.

You may have reached higher than other high school students, which gives you additional opportunities. For instance, you may have taken Advanced Placement classes and passed a few of the exams, which can earn you extra credits. The same goes if you enrolled as a dual-credit student; you may be able to request and receive additional credits there, as well.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Midsize
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 16:1
Graduation Rate 36%
Year Founded 1935

Student Enrollment

Total Students5,601


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,687
Female 3,425

Graduate Student

Male 161
Female 328

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Male 2,260
Female 4,904


Male 2,034
Female 4,561

Acceptance Rate92%

Male 90%
Female 93%

Enrollment 1,254

Male 420
Female 834
Application Fee $25
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Required
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline May 31
Common Application Accepted No

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Because Norfolk State University is a public university, your tuition won’t likely be as high as it would be if you were attending a private school. The sticker price combines all charges and fees into one amount—this includes in- or out-of-state tuition, room and board, books, supplies, and other various fees. In a recent school year this total was $26,710.

However, the university doesn’t require you and your family to pay all of this, but helps you find and apply for financial aid. This may help you pay significantly less. The average net price, or the cost that was left for families to pay in a recent school year was $12,645. The university also tracks students’ charges based on family income, which is how most financial aid is awarded. For example, families that earned less than $30,000 in a year paid around $11,277, which families that earned more than $110,000 paid closer to $17,800.

The percentage of beginning students receiving financial aid was 78% in recent year. A slightly smaller number (76%) received grants or scholarships averaging $12,190 and 46% received institutional grants and scholarships at an average of $4,647.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $12,645
Average Total Aid $12,190
Students Receiving Financial Aid 78%
Room & Board $10,844

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $9,622
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $20,790
  • Books and Supplies - $2,235
  • Room & Board - $10,844
  • Other - $4,009


If one of your scheduled classes conflicts directly with your job you may have one option. Norfolk State University offers some online sections, though evening classes aren’t an option and NSU doesn’t offer evening classes.

Getting acclimated to your college may happen quickly or slowly for you. However, if you decide that you like your dorm, you have friends, and your roommate is pretty cool, you might decide to keep attending Norfolk State. When you return to the university for your second year of classes, you’ll be included in an important statistic: the retention rate, which is 74% for NSU. The 4-year graduation rate is 20% and the 6-year graduation rate is 36%.

Regardless of the major you plan to declare, the five most popular degree programs at Norfolk State include social sciences; health professions and related programs; business, management, marketing and related support services; psychology; and public administration and social service professions.

Student Population Total

Student Population 5,601

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Social Science Majors 74 Total Graduates / 12%
Sociology 55 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 19 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 71 Total Graduates / 12%
Health/Health Care Administration/Management 42 Graduates
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 25 Graduates
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 4 Graduates
All Business Majors 70 Total Graduates / 11%
Business/Commerce, General 58 Graduates
Accounting 12 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 67 Total Graduates / 11%
Psychology, General 67 Graduates
Public Administration and Social Service Professions 61 Total Graduates / 10%
Social Work 61 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 44%

Outcome & Salary

Once you graduate, you’ll likely be hoping that your income will increase due to your education. This is true for most Norfolk State University graduates whose early-career salaries average $47,300. Their mid-career salaries increase to $69,100.

High school graduates who don’t go to college generally do not earn as much, though there are outliers. Their national average salary is $38,792. Their 10-year projected income is $387,920 and their 20-year projected income is $775,840.

NSU graduates have 10- and 20-year salary earning potentials of $604,120 and $1,292,120, respectively. If you subtract their 4-year cost of education ($50,580 on average), their 10-year projected return on investment (ROI) is $550,540 and their 20-year projected ROI is $1,241,540.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $47,300
College Grads Average Salary $60,112
College Grads Mid Career Salary $69,100
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $601,120
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,292,120
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $50,580
10 Year Projected ROI $550,540
20 Year Projected ROI $1,241,540
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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