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Virginia Highlands Community College

Research the programs offered at Virginia Highlands Community College in Abingdon, VA. Learn about its academics, and get admission and financial aid info to decide if this is the right school for you.

About Virginia Highlands Community College

Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) was founded in 1967. Located in Abingdon, VA, near Roanoke, VHCC is a 2-year, public school. It has approximately 3,000 students who pursue vocational training and associate's degrees or take college-level courses that can later be transferred to 4-year colleges. As of 2011, the college had 57 full-time and 137 part-time faculty members.


VHCC offers certificates and associate's degrees in 6 major areas: engineering and industrial technology, human service and law enforcement, arts and education, science and horticulture, health, and business/information technology. Additionally, VHCC has a career studies program, which allows students to earn certificates in aesthetics technology, fire science technology, American Sign Language, culinary arts, and automotive technology. The career studies program also offers workforce development and continuing education courses in business management, health care, pharmacy technology, industrial safety, and real estate. Some workforce development courses prepare students to sit for licensing and certification exams after completion.

VHCC offers a dual-enrollment program for local high school students who wish to earn college credit or take career/technical courses during their secondary school studies. Online distance education courses are available every semester, as are hybrid courses that combine distance learning with some classroom attendance.


VHCC has an open admissions policy, though students must submit high school and college transcripts and take placement exams in English and math before they can enroll in courses. Students who have previous college credit or who have taken the SAT or ACT might be exempt from the placement exam requirement. Application for admission can be completed online, although nursing and allied health programs require additional admission paperwork.

As of 2011, the racial and ethnic breakdown of the student population was 95% White, 2% Black or African American, 1% Asian, 1% Hispanic/Latino, and 1% multi-racial. That same year, 42% of students attended full-time, and 59% of students were female.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition was $127 per credit hour for Virginia residents as of the 2012-2013 school year, while non-residents paid $319 per credit hour. These rates included mandatory technology and student activity fees. Tuition costs can vary depending on a number of factors, and special rates may apply for students who live within 30 miles of campus, are in foster care, or have parents who work within Virginia but live outside the state. During the 2012-2013 academic year, total yearly expenses were estimated at $12,270 for Virginia residents and $17,624 for non-residents. This estimate included tuition, fees, room and board, personal expenses, transportation, and books.

VHCC offers an interest-free monthly tuition payment plan. Payment plan enrollment and transaction fees vary depending on the number of payments scheduled. In addition to federal financial aid, scholarships are available to both new and returning students. Scholarship eligibility depends on factors such as financial need, academic performance, intended major, and future career plans.

School Type 2-year, public**
Degrees Offered Career certificate, certificate, diploma, and associate's degree**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Rural town**
Student Body 2,823 in 2011**
Student Housing None available**
Programs More than 35 career certificates, 18 certificates, 2 diplomas, and more than 30 associate's degrees*
Student-Faculty Ratio 17 to 1 in 2011**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
1 year certificate: Electrician (26)
1- to 2-year certificate: Liberal arts and sciences/general studies and humanities (60)
Associate's: Liberal arts and sciences/liberal studies (88)**
Graduation Rates 2007 entering class:
13% within normal time for program
21% within 150% of normal time for program
24% within twice the normal program time**
Admission Rate Open admissions**
Entering Class Size 352 in Fall 2011***
First-Year Retention Rates 60% for full-time and 30% for part-time students (2010-2011)**
Tuition $127 per credit for state residents, $319 per credit for non-residents (2012-2013)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2011: Grant or scholarship aid (51%), federal loans (0%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid In 2011: 89% for full-time beginning students**

Sources: *Virginia Highlands Community College, **National Center for Education Statistics, ***IPEDS Data Center.

School Contact Information

  • Address: 100 VHCC Drive, Abingdon, VA 24210
  • Phone: (276) 739-2529
  • Website:

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