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Virginia Western Community College

Research the Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke, Virginia. Learn about its admission requirements, degree programs and financial aid to make an informed education decision.

About Virginia Western Community College

Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) is a 2-year, public school serving students from 6 counties in the state of Virginia. The school's campus is located less than 10 minutes from downtown Roanoke. Limited classes are available at off-campus locations throughout the region.

Virginia Western Community College was established in 1966 with an initial enrollment of 1,352 students. During the 2011-2012 school year, VWCC had a total enrollment of 12,601 students, which included degree and non-degree seeking students. The college is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Virginia Western Community College offers 66 academic programs through its 3 schools: the School of Business, Engineering & Technology; the School of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences; and the School of Science, Mathematics & Health Professions. The college awards Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science degrees as well as certificates.

Online studies at VWCC are offered through the school's distance learning services, which provide 500 online classes and 3 degrees that can be earned entirely online. Working students can earn an Associate of Science in General Studies in 2 years through the full-time Fridays program in conjunction with taking online classes.


Virginia Western Community College has open admissions, and allows students over the age of 18 with a high school diploma or equivalent to register for classes. Applications may be completed and submitted online, downloaded and printed, or requested from the school. Paper applications may be submitted in person, by mail, or by fax.

Placement testing is mandatory for all students entering the college in pursuit of a certificate or degree, as well as those hoping to receive financial aid. New students are strongly encouraged to meet with a VWCC advisor and to select a program of study before they begin classes, if possible. Students receiving financial aid must also have declared a major.

Tuition & Financial Aid

In 2012, residents of Virginia paid $135.09 per credit hour, while non-residents paid $327.19 per credit hour. VWCC has a separate price for non-residents to take classes online, which is $222 per credit hour. VWCC provides a tuition payment plan option; signing up for the plan carries a $25 non-refundable fee.

Types of financial aid accepted by the college include state grants, federal grants, direct loans, federal work study, and scholarships. Scholarship resources may be found at the school's website, including links to information on private scholarship programs and details about the opportunities provided by the Virginia Western Educational Foundation, Inc. Applications for specific scholarships are available at the financial aid office.

School Type Public, 2-year*
Degrees Offered Associate's degree, certificates *
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Small city*
Student Body 8,557 undergraduates in Fall 2011*
Student Housing None available*
Schools and Programs of Study 3 schools, more than 60 programs of study**
Student-Faculty Ratio 21 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Associate's: General Studies (114)
Less than 2-year certificate: Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities (187)
Less than 1-year certificate: Environmental Control Technologies (36)*
Graduation Rates 6% within normal time
16% within 150% of normal time
22% within double normal time*
Admission Rate Open admissions policy*
Entering Class Size About 1,316 students in Fall 2011*
First-Year Retention Rates 62% for full-time and 40% for part-time students*
Tuition (2011-2012) About $3,615 for in-state students and $8,979 for out-of-state students per year (includes tuition and fee estimates)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of New Students Receiving it) In 2010: Federal grants (52%), state and local grants (33%), institutional scholarship (10%), federal loans (16%)*
Percent of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 70% in 2010*

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics; **Virginia Western Community College.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Chapman Hall Room 108, 3094 Colonial Ave., Roanoke, VA 24038
  • Phone: Admissions (540) 857-7231
  • Website:

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