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Valparaiso University

Research the degree and certificate programs offered at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. Learn about its academics, and get admission and financial aid info to decide if this is the right school for you.

About Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University is a private, 4-year independent Lutheran university located in Valparaiso, Indiana. One of the first U.S. coeducational colleges, Valparaiso was originally founded by a group of Methodists in 1859 as Valparaiso Male and Female College. The school later closed in 1871 in the wake of the Civil War, and it eventually reopened as Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute in 1873. In 1900, the institution became Valparaiso College and five years later became Valparaiso University. The Lutheran University Association bought the institution in 1925.

Today, students from all over the United States and from approximately 50 countries come to study at Valparaiso's 320-acre campus. The school's NCAA Division I sports teams include women's volleyball, tennis, track, swimming, soccer, and softball. Men's teams include football, basketball, swimming, track, tennis, and golf.


Valparaiso is made up of five colleges: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Nursing, and Christ College, the school's honors college. Valparaiso also operates the Graduate School and the Law School. Undergraduates can choose from upwards of 70 majors, and graduate students can enroll in one of more than 40 different degree programs. Healthcare, business, and law are all popular fields of study at Valparaiso. Around half of the university's graduates go on to earn graduate degrees, and pre-med students from Valparaiso are accepted into medical school at a rate of 85%.


To apply, students should first complete either the online application found on the school's website, a paper application, or the Common Application with the Valparaiso supplement. Students should submit their personal statements, standardized test scores, AP or IB or other related exam scores, and official high school transcripts to Valparaiso. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

In 2012, the average high school GPA for a Valparaiso freshman was 3.6. The average SAT score was better than 1650, and the average ACT score was more than 25. More than 65% of 2012 freshmen were in the top 25% of their high school class. In 2011, around 5,000 students applied for admission to Valparaiso, and more than 70% were accepted.

In 2012, about three-quarters of the student body was White; 6.6% of students were Hispanic, 4.9% of students were Black or African American, and 1.6% were Asian. Lutheran students made up one-fourth of the student body, 21% were Catholic, and 27% were members of other Christian faiths. Along with Indiana, the states with the highest representation of students at Valparaiso in 2012 included California, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Tuition and Financial Aid

In the 2012-2013 academic year, tuition for a first-year undergraduate was $31,170. Students living on campus paid $5,564 for room and $3,600 for board. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are required to live on-campus, although there are exceptions for qualifying students.

Students should complete the FAFSA in order to qualify for financial aid, available through state and federal government programs and through the university itself. Valparaiso University awards a number of academic, need-based, and merit-based grants and scholarships to qualifying students. Examples include the Board of Directors scholarship, which awards $22,500 per year for up to four years, and the Founders scholarship, which offers full tuition. There are also departmental scholarships in Chinese and Japanese studies, foreign languages and literatures, physics and astronomy, art, chemistry, theatre and music.

The school offers a tuition payment plan. In the 2010-2011 academic year, 98% of first-time Valparaiso University students received financial aid, and all of those students received institutional scholarships. 71% supplemented their funding with student loans.

School Type 4-year, private, not-for-profit**
Degrees Offered Certificate, associate's, bachelor's, post-baccalaureate certificate, master's, post-master's certificate, doctorate (research/professional) **
Religious Affiliation Lutheran Church in America**
Academic Calendar Semester*
School Setting Large suburb**
Student Body 4,081 (2,983 undergraduates, 578 graduate students, 520 law school students; 2012)*
Student Housing Eight residence halls*
Schools and Programs Five colleges, two graduate schools; roughly 70 undergraduate programs, approximately 40 graduate programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 12 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Associate's: Humanities/humanistic studies (2)
Bachelor's: Registered nursing/registered nurse (96)
Master's: International business/trade/commerce (36)
Doctoral: Law (179)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates In four years: 63%
In six years: 71%**
Admission Rate 74% (2011)**
Entering Class Size 780 (2012)*
First-Year Retention Rates 81% (2011)**
Average SAT and ACT Score of Admitted Students SAT 1651, ACT 26 (2012)*
Application Due Date Rolling admissions*
Decision Notification Date 3-4 weeks after application submission*
Tuition (2012-2013) $31,170 per year*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Full-time Beginning Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011: federal grants (30%), state and local grants and scholarships (15%), institutional grants and scholarships (98%), student loans (71%)**
Percent of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 98% (2010-2011)**

Sources: *Valparaiso University, **College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admission, 1700 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso, IN 46383
  • Phone: (219) 464-5011
  • Website:

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