Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Enrollment Info

Located in the small city of Blacksburg, Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a public, research-based facility that offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University the School for You?

More commonly known as Virginia Tech, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University was established in 1872 in Blacksburg, Virginia. Although some might consider a town of 41,700 people small, information from Virginia Tech's website indicates that Blacksburg is quite an exciting town to live and learn in. Check out the following information to see if Virginia Tech is right for you:


  • Nationally ranked university at #72 by U.S. News & World Report in 2013
  • The acceptance rate is 1.5 percentage points higher than the national average
  • Graduation rates at Virginia Tech were 16 percentage points higher than the national average


  • Average total college expenses were $6,726 more than the national average (2011-2012)
  • Closest major international airport is an hour away in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Not an ethnically diverse campus

Ranking & School Analysis

According to U.S. News & World Report, Virginia Tech was once a military school. As a result of its military background, the university places a heavy focus on technology and science-related research. As a leader in the field of research, Virginia Tech hosts six different research institutes. Two of the most notable research facilities include the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. According to U.S. News & World Report, some of the highest ranked academic departments in the nation in 2013 were at Virginia Tech, and they were as follows:

  • Industrial/manufacturing engineering (#10)
  • Engineering physics and engineering science (#5)
  • Civil engineering (#9)

Information from the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) showed that 75% of students at Virginia Tech in 2011 were White. However, in attempts to address the lack of ethnic diversity, Virginia Tech has established a task force on race and the institution as well as the Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

Student retention rates at Virginia Tech were 91% in 2011, per the NCES. Student graduation records reported to the NCES showed that 56% of Virginia Tech students who started in Fall 2005 graduated within 4 years, while 82% graduated within 6 years. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as postgraduate certificate programs. Doctoral research programs are also available to graduate students. There are more than 70 majors and minors available for undergraduate students at Virginia Tech, according to their website. For the graduate program, Virginia Tech states that they offer 62 doctoral degree programs and 76 master's degree programs.

Admissions & Financial Aid at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Tech prefers that students submit their admissions applications online, although they still accept paper submissions, provided that students have submitted the appropriate fee waivers. In addition to the normal admissions requirements, such as SAT or ACT scores and high school transcripts, Virginia Tech requires incoming freshmen to submit high school counselor supplemental forms. Students also have to submit a mid-year high school report along with their admissions applications.

Out of the 20,828 applications received in fall 2011, the NCES reported that 67% of applicants were admitted, and only 38% of those accepted actually enrolled. In the 2011-2012 school year, the NCES showed that the average cost of room and board was only $7,080, which is actually less than the national 2012-2013 average by $2,235. Nevertheless, overall average expenses for room and board, projected living expenses and tuition at Virginia Tech were still high at $23,869, and the national average for that same school year was only $17,136. Even though total expenses were higher, information from College Board showed that student debt after graduation in 2012 was actually $2,340 less than the national average.

Applications & Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2013-2014) January 22*
Priority Financial Aid Application Deadline (2013-2014) March 1***
Admission Notification Date (2013-2014) April 1*
Application Fee (2011-2012) $60**
Acceptance Rate (2011-2012) 67%**
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $10,509**
Average Financial Aid Package (2012) $11,634***
Percent of Students with Need Met (2012) 62%***
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2012) $24,320***
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 1.8%**

Student Life at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The university is spread across 2,600 acres and there are 125 buildings on campus, according to Virginia Tech's website. Virginia Tech hosts many of its own research centers on campus, but they also have relationships with corporate research centers off-campus. Virginia Tech's fiscal records from 2011 indicated that the university raised $450 million to go toward university research programs. The school has one main library, the Newman Library, and three additional library branches, including the Art and Architecture Library, the Northern Virginia Center Resource Center and the Veterinary Medicine Library.

Although the Virginia Tech campus is not very ethnically diverse, the campus recognizes that they have students from different cultures, religions, political groups and sexual orientations, and they do offer multicultural support for these students. For example, information from their website shows that Virginia Tech promotes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and faculty. Through an organization known as Safe Zone Training, university administrators and on-campus LGBT club members collaborate on how to educate the community about important issues for LGBT students and allies. Other multicultural organizations include Dialogue Across Differences and Each One Reach One Multicultural Peer Connection.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Small city**
Student Population (2012-2013) 28,836*
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 58% male to 42% female**
% of Full Time Students (2011) 98%**
% of In-state Students (2011) 68%**
% of International Students (2011) 2%**
Retention Rate (2011) 91% (full time)**
Campus Housing Available Yes*
Number of Libraries 4*

Article Sources: *University website, **NCES, ***College Board.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Virginia Tech, 965 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24061
  • Phone: (540) 231-6267