Virginia College is the name given to a chain of schools operating across the southern half of the United States and an online school. Established in 1893, the college opened its first campus in Roanoke and quickly became popular with local students. It offered unique classes that met on weekends, in the evening hours and at other times that students could work around their own personal schedules. After Education Futures, Inc. purchased the campus in the late 1980s, it decided to open several new campuses, including two campuses in Alabama. There are now 25 campuses in states like Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Virginia. The name also appears on separate institutions devoted to topics like golf and cooking.
While still in its early days, Virginia College noted that a large number of students wanted to take classes but either couldn’t afford the tuition costs or couldn’t move to one of its campuses. That led to its parent company founding a group of distance learning classes that students took at home. They completed workbooks and did other work that they mailed back to their professors. As the popularity of the Internet grew, VC established an online campus that offered more opportunities for students to take classes from home. Virginia College now boasts a population of more than 5,000 students and has an active and thriving online community of students.
Virginia College Accreditation Details
Students sometimes focus more on the student body and what dorm rooms look like than important factors, including the reputation and accreditation of a college. Virginia College has primary, also known as general, accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. This is a national organization that the United States Department of Education recognizes, which means that you can get financial aid when you enroll. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation also granted approval to the college. VC can grant diplomas, degrees and certificates to students who successfully complete their studies at the school.
Though you can take dozens of classes online from your home, you may want to look at the accreditation that the college has in your specific state. Ten states in the country, including Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi, provide accreditation to the college. Some of the organizations that gave the college accreditation include:
- Alabama State Board of Pharmacy
- Mississippi Commission on Proprietary School and College Registration
- Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy
- South Carolina Board of Pharmacy
- State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
Virginia College Application Requirements
Virginia College encourages all potential students to meet with an enrollment specialist before applying. The enrollment specialist will talk with you about the benefits of taking classes through the college, discuss the types of courses and programs available and answer any questions you might have about the application process. Once you decide to apply, you will need to create a free online account on the official VC website. Your account features a personal profile that you need to fill out. Each section asks you for a short description of the classes you took in high school, whether you attended any other college in the past, your future aspirations and your hobbies and interests.
After filling out your profile, you can complete the online application itself. This gives you the chance to showcase the skills you have, talk about your grade point average and explain why you want to go to college. Virginia College charges a $100 application fee that you must pay at the time you submit your application. Most students receive an answer from the college within three days of applying. If the college accepts your application, you can immediately go online, select the major you want to study and begin adding classes to your schedule. Students can apply for and start classes in just a few short weeks.
Tuition and Fees
Virginia College offers different tuition rates for online students as it does for those who decide to take classes on one of its campuses. Students can expect to pay around $22,000 a year, which includes tuition rates for full course loads taken during the two semesters offered and any miscellaneous fees. Those who decide to live at home and take online classes will find that the cost of their tuition and fees comes in at around $14,000 a year. As the college has a network of campuses in different states, it does not charge in state or out of state tuition rates. The tuition rate remains the same for all students.
Even if you planned for college, you may find that you need some financial help. As Virginia College is an accredited college, you can seek financial aid through the federal government when you fill out and submit a copy of the FAFSA online. VC uses your responses on that official form to determine the amount you need and the type of aid suitable for you. You may qualify for a combination of different government loans and one or more grants. Financial aid counselors working for the college can help you complete the FAFSA and understand the package you receive.
Online Degrees Available
Virginia College offers more than 20 online degree programs at the associate, bachelor and graduate levels of study. The Associate’s in Culinary and Pastry Arts helps you develop the baking and cooking skills needed to run your own bakery or work in a restaurant. You’ll have the chance to take classes online, read informative articles and even watch videos that show you how to cut, slice, measure and do hundreds of other tasks. If you have an interest in the criminal justice system, you might enroll in the college’s Bachelor in Criminal Justice program. This program looks at the legal system from the point of view of all professionals involved.
Another popular online program is the college’s paralegal studies program. Paralegals assist attorneys and lawyers in different ways. They file paperwork, conduct research and even meet with clients and sit in on cases in the courtroom. Courses in this program teach you more about legal ethics, the law in general and various research methods you will need on the job. Virginia College lets you take courses to start your career off in the right way from the comfort of your own home and pairs you with an adviser to help you along the way.