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The Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is a public military school close to Lexington, Virginia. The school, founded in 1839, offers ROTC for the Army, Air Force and Navy, giving students the opportunity to be commissioned prior to entering military service. The town of Lexington itself is located at a distance from the military institute. But students will still be able to come into the town to find a restaurant or an activity to enjoy when they aren’t studying.

Overview of Virginia Military Institute

The student enrollment is small: only 1,685. It’s made up entirely of undergraduate students; male students make up 87% of the student body while females make up the remaining 13%. The student-faculty ratio is low at 10 to 1, which means that students will be able to see their instructors when they need additional guidance in any of their classes.

Students who wish to work on dual credits (high school and college), as well as students who have passed one or more AP exams can gain credits for these achievements.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 10:1
Graduation Rate 78%
Year Founded 1839

Student Enrollment

Total Students1,685


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,466
Female 219

Graduate Student

Male NA
Female NA

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Male 1,470
Female 298


Male 750
Female 161

Acceptance Rate51%

Male 51%
Female 54%

Enrollment 469

Male 249
Female 239
Application Fee $40
High School GPA Recommended
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Recommended
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations -
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) -
Application Deadline February 1
Common Application Accepted No

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

At VMI, the total cost includes tuition (in- and out-of-state), books, supplies, room/board, and other expenses. This total amount is just over $32,000. In-state tuition is around $19,100, out-of-state tuition is just under $46,000 books and supplies generally cost $1,000, and that other category accounts for as much as $2,150.

This can be expensive for students and families. Even when financial aid is accounted for, the amount that is left is the average net price. For a recent academic year, the average net price was $14,799. Below you will see this remaining cost broken down by family income.

  • Families earning up to $30,000 pay around $11,016
  • Families earning between $30,001 and $48,000 pay around $6,357
  • Families earning between $48,001 and $75,000 pay around $9,389
  • Families earning between $75,001 and $110,000 pay around $16,757
  • Families earning $110,001 and more pay around $25,444

Financial aid for freshman students can help tremendously. In a previous year grants and scholarships helped 290 students (68% of the freshman class) with an average award of $17,188. Institutional grants and scholarships helped 280 students (66%) with an average amount of $14,689.

Average net price 2017-2018
Net Price $14,799
Average Total Aid $17,188
Students Receiving Financial Aid 94%
Room & Board $9,766

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $19,118
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $45,962
  • Books and Supplies - $1,000
  • Room & Board - $9,766
  • Other - $2,150


The retention rate of first-time students at VMI is 89%, which means that 89 out of every 100 students in this class returns for their second year of instruction.

The 4-year graduation rate is 64%, perhaps because of the difficulty of the academic programs or possibly just falling in line with a national trend of students spending longer in their degree programs. The 6-year graduation rate is noticeably higher at 78%.

Neither evening classes nor distance learning (online classes) are offered at VMI. Every student needs to be prepared to attend classes in person and to dedicate four to six years solely to their educational pursuits.

Looking at degree programs, social sciences, which encompasses general economics, and international relations and affairs is the most popular option. Other degree programs include the biological and biomedical sciences, computer and information sciences and support services, engineering, English language and literature/letters, foreign languages and linguistics, history, mathematics and statistics, physical sciences, and psychology.

Student Population Total

Student Population 1,685

Evening Classes : No
Distance Learning : No

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Psychology Majors 25 Total Graduates / 7%
Psychology, General 25 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 90 Total Graduates / 26%
Civil Engineering, General 53 Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 20 Graduates
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 17 graduates
All Social Science Majors 101 Total Graduates / 29%
International Relations and Affairs 53 Graduates
Economics, General 48 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 34 Total Graduates / 10%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 34 Graduates
All Computer Information Science Majors 27 Total Graduates / 8%
Computer Science 27 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 21%

Outcome & Salary

Virginia Military Institute graduates will definitely benefit from a return on investment (ROI) stemming from their years spent in school. Their 4-year cost of education (net price) is an average of $59,196.

The average VMI graduate’s salary is $81,000. Their early-career salary is $65,900 and their mid-career salary is $120,600. For a broader overview, their 10-year salary earnings potential is $810,000 and their 20-year salary earnings potential is as high as $2,016,000. These statistics put a VMI graduate’s 10-year projected ROI at $750,804 and their 20-year projected ROI closer to $1,956,804.

On the other hand, high school graduates who do not go to college have a national average salary of $38,792. Their 10-year projected income is $387,920 and their 20-year projected income is only $775,840. You can easily see here that the VMI graduate will be in a great position in 20 years.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $65,900
College Grads Average Salary $81,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $120,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $810,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $2,016,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $59,196
10 Year Projected ROI $750,804
20 Year Projected ROI $1,956,804
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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