Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Virginia Commonwealth University tuition is $12,094 per year for in-state residents. This is 68% more expensive than the national average public four year tuition of $7,203. The cost is 41% cheaper than the average Virginia tuition of $20,673 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 20th in Virginia amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 39th most expensive 4 year college in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition is $32,742 which represents a 171% premium.

The school charges an additional fees of $2,399 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $14,493.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $11,506 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Richmond should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $2,860.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $3,182 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $3,182 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state Virginia residents to go to VCU is $32,041 for the 2018/2019 academic year. Out-of-state students who don't have Virginia residence can expect a one year cost of $52,689.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 IPEDS survey response for Virginia Commonwealth University and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for Virginia Commonwealth University
Estimated Budgets
Virginia Resident Total Budget $32,041
   In-State Tuition$12,094
   Other Fees$2,399
   Room and Board$11,506
   On-Campus Other Budget$3,182
   Books and Supplies$2,860
Non-Resident Total Budget $52,689
   Out-of-State Tuition$32,742
   Other Fees$2,399
   Room and Board$11,506
   On-Campus Other Budget$3,182
   Books and Supplies$2,860


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $32,041 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported VCU net price for in-state students is $20,741* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

68% of Virginia Commonwealth University students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $9,187. 30 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,520. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Virginia Commonwealth University, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Virginia Commonwealth University
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$20,741*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid68%
Average Total Grant Aid$9,187
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants30%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,520

Average Net Price for In-State Students by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$14,233
$30,001 to $48,000$18,394
$48,001 to $75,000$22,307
$75,001 to $110,000$24,528

Average Financial Aid Mix - $32,041 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $32,041. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 32% - $9,187

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, Virginia Commonwealth University or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 19% - $5,433

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 49% -  $14,239

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Public Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. Virginia Commonwealth University
Towson University43.6% less expensive
Penn State Mont Alto5.2% more expensive
Millersville University of Pennsylvania20.9% less expensive
Penn State Harrisburg17.5% more expensive
West Virginia University26.8% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at VCU is $128,164 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $14,852 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $59,408**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $160,205 or $74,260 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Virginia Resident Tuition Per Semester$6,047
Virginia Resident Total Cost Per Semester$16,020
Non-Virginia Resident Tuition Per Semester$16,371
Non-Virginia Resident Total Cost Per Semester$26,344

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at Virginia Commonwealth University are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at Virginia Commonwealth University
Price per credit hour for Virginia residents$417
Cost for one class for Virginia residents (3 credit hours)$1,251
Price per credit hour for out of state residents$1,129
Cost for one class for out of state residents (3 credit hours)$3,387
Cost for one class for out of state residents (4 credit hours)$4,516


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 54% of Virginia Commonwealth University students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $5,433. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $29,462.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Virginia Commonwealth University? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $59,408, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $73,711.70. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 68% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $14,852. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Virginia Commonwealth University student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

Virginia Commonwealth University Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$614.26
Amount Borrowed$59,408.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$14,303.70
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$73,711.70

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend VCU? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending Virginia Commonwealth University, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $73,711.70 would be needed to afford a $614.26 monthly payment in the example $59,408.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to Virginia Commonwealth University in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $7,860 to $12,094. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 10.8%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current in-state 4 year cost of $128,164.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Virginia Commonwealth University.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2025$44,064$176,255
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2030$56,238$224,952
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2035 $71,775$287,101
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2038 $83,089$332,356

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Virginia Commonwealth University to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Business/Commerce, General Bachelor's Degree 373 40% costlier
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Bachelor's Degree 290 47% costlier
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 148 26% costlier
Marketing/Marketing Management, General Bachelor's Degree 119 45% costlier
Health Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 106 49% costlier
Information Science/Studies Bachelor's Degree 81 35% costlier
Fashion/Apparel Design Bachelor's Degree 79 16% costlier
Music Performance, General Bachelor's Degree 64 32% costlier
Biological and Physical Sciences Bachelor's Degree 59 31% costlier
Illustration Bachelor's Degree 58 16% costlier
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 56 24% costlier
Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree 52 30% costlier
Photography Bachelor's Degree 42 17% costlier
Business/Managerial Economics Bachelor's Degree 41 31% costlier
Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer Bachelor's Degree 38 60% costlier
Environmental Studies Bachelor's Degree 36 8% costlier
Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Bachelor's Degree 32 42% costlier
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist Bachelor's Degree 32 48% costlier
Art Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 31 45% costlier
Painting Bachelor's Degree 30 18% costlier
Interior Design Bachelor's Degree 26 36% costlier
Sculpture Bachelor's Degree 26 12% costlier
Design and Applied Arts, Other Bachelor's Degree 23 23% costlier
Computer and Information Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 23 43% costlier
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration Bachelor's Degree 20 65% costlier
Area Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 20 4% costlier
Chemical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 20 15% costlier
Dance, General Bachelor's Degree 18 16% costlier
Bioinformatics Bachelor's Degree 16 28% costlier
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 15 27% costlier
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 15 30% costlier
Real Estate Bachelor's Degree 14 27% costlier
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services, Other Bachelor's Degree 14 49% costlier
Computer Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 10 24% costlier
Forensic Science and Technology Bachelor's Degree 7 38% costlier
Foreign Languages and Literatures, General Bachelor's Degree 7 32% costlier
Religion/Religious Studies Bachelor's Degree 5 11% costlier
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 4 31% costlier
Cinematography and Film/Video Production Bachelor's Degree 3 24% costlier
Finance and Financial Management Services, Other Bachelor's Degree 3 46% costlier
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 3 28% costlier
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 2 17% costlier
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 2 27% costlier
Women's Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 11% costlier
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Bachelor's Degree 2 25% costlier
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 1 30% costlier
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 20% costlier
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 1 3% costlier
African-American/Black Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 12% costlier
Urban Studies/Affairs Bachelor's Degree 1 13% costlier
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 28% costlier
Mass Communication/Media Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 39% costlier
Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 1 24% costlier
Art History, Criticism and Conservation Bachelor's Degree 1 7% costlier
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 1 17% costlier
Accounting Bachelor's Degree 1 42% costlier
History, General Bachelor's Degree 1 29% costlier
Crafts/Craft Design, Folk Art and Artisanry Bachelor's Degree 1 16% costlier
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 52% costlier
Social Work Bachelor's Degree 1 46% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for Virginia Commonwealth University or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford Virginia Commonwealth University in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a Virginia Commonwealth University student loan.

Prepayment Option

About Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University is a four year public college located in Richmond, Virginia.  Full time enrollment is 25,301 and part time is 5,396. Learn more about getting accepted at Virginia Commonwealth University at CollegeSimply.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Virginia Commonwealth University
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, Virginia

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Virginia Commonwealth University is a public not for profit institution. Public schools often represent the best value for your education dollar, especially when students qualify for in-state tuition.

Virginia Commonwealth University cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=234030 IPEDS survey data.