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Virginia State University is spacious and full of green spaces. You’ll also find plenty of student parking throughout campus. If you visit and go for a walk through the campus, you should easily be able to figure out where your classes will take place. VSU does offer campus housing, and many people say it’s a good idea to opt for dorm life for a year or two. This way, you’re able to be involved in campus life and events. The student population isn’t very large: just under 4,400 students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 13 to 1.

Overview of Virginia State University

VSU is a public university and you’ll be living in a large suburb called Petersburg, Virginia, just a half hour south of Richmond, so you won’t have any trouble getting off-campus for shopping or the occasional meal in a restaurant.

Students can graduate from VSU with bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees (research and scholarship), and post-baccalaureate certificates. VSU also offers Reserve Officers Training Corp (ROTC) opportunities to students who are interested in military service. Depending on your high school experiences, you will be able to request additional credits for successfully passing your AP exams; if you took part in a dual credit opportunity, you may also receive credits for this.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Suburb: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 13:1
Graduation Rate 38%
Year Founded 1882

Student Enrollment

Total Students4,365


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,691
Female 2,335

Graduate Student

Male 143
Female 197

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Male 2,515
Female 5,200


Male 2,314
Female 5,044

Acceptance Rate95%

Male 92%
Female 97%

Enrollment 1,099

Male 441
Female 658
Application Fee NA
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 1
Common Application Accepted No

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The total sticker price at Virginia State University is $23,673. This price rolls every fee and charge up together and includes in- or out-of-state tuition, room and board, books, supplies, and other various charges.

If you qualify for financial aid, you probably won’t have to pay that whole amount. Instead, you’ll pay the net price, which is the remaining cost to the student and their family after all financial aid is applied. At VSU, in a recent school year, this was $18,034.

Even so, this is the average, and what you will be responsible for depends heavily on how much financial aid you are eligible for. Virginia State tracks a net price by income because most financial aid is applied depending on your family’s annual income. In a recent year, if a family earned between $30,001 and $48,000, that amount was $16,410.

About 92% of beginning students qualified for financial aid at Virginia State. These students received an average of $6,552 in grants or scholarships. A lower percentage (62%) received $1,414, on average, in institutional grants and scholarships.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $18,034
Average Total Aid $6,552
Students Receiving Financial Aid 92%
Room & Board $11,544

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $9,154
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $20,909
  • Books and Supplies - $1,300
  • Room & Board - $11,544
  • Other - $1,675


Whether you know what you plan to major in or not, it might be helpful to know what your options are at any school you are considering. The most popular degree offered at Virginia State University are business, management, marketing and related support services; communication, journalism and related programs; homeland security, law enforcement, firefighting and related protective services; biological and biomedical sciences; and psychology.

As you sign up for classes each semester, be careful that the sections you choose won’t conflict with other classes or with any job you may choose to hold off campus. VSU doesn’t offer opportunities for evening classes or distance learning.

The retention rate is a statistic that universities maintain every year that tracks the percentage of first-year students who return to Virginia State for their second year of classes. At VSU, this number is 65%. The 4-year graduation rate is 24% and the 6-year rate is 38%. However, these graduation rates do not take into account the students who transfer and graduate from another institution.

Student Population Total

Student Population 4,365

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : No

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 114 Total Graduates / 17%
Business Administration and Management, General 54 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 22 Graduates
Accounting 16 Graduates
Management Information Systems, General 11 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 64 Total Graduates / 10%
Mass Communication/Media Studies 64 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 61 Total Graduates / 9%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 61 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 57 Total Graduates / 8%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 57 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 54 Total Graduates / 8%
Psychology, General 54 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 48%

Outcome & Salary

College graduates earn more than high school graduates with no college degrees from the beginning of their careers. A graduate from Virginia State University earns an early-career salary of $46,900 and their mid-career salary goes up to $80,200.

You can compare this to the national average salary of a high school graduate, which is $38,792. Their 10-year projected income is $387,920 and their 20-year projected income is $775,840. That’s quite a difference.

A VSU graduate’s 10-year salary earning potential, based on the income numbers mentioned previously, is $591,860. Their 20-year earning potential goes up to $1,393,860. Now, if you subtract the 4-year cost of education, an average of $72,136, their 10-year projected return on investment (ROI) is $519,724 and their 20-year projected ROI is $1,321,724.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $46,900
College Grads Average Salary $59,186
College Grads Mid Career Salary $80,200
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $591,860
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,393,860
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $72,136
10 Year Projected ROI $519,724
20 Year Projected ROI $1,321,724
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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