Virginia Military Institute

2014 Quick Stats
VMI Parade

Lexington, VA 24450-0304

Phone: (540) 464-7207
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
Feb. 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#65 Overall Score: 62 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Virginia Military Institute is a public institution that was founded in 1839. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,664, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 200 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Virginia Military Institute's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 65. Its in-state tuition and fees are $14,404 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $35,392 (2013-14).

Located in Lexington, Virginia, the Virginia Military Institute is the oldest state-supported military college in the United States. Students admitted to the college are known as military cadets and are required to participate in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Unlike the federal service academies, Virginia Military Institute cadets are not required to serve in the military upon graduation. Cadets have about 80 academic, professional and social clubs and organizations to choose from upon entering the college.

Freshmen admitted to VMI are immediately exposed to the Rat Line, which is a system designed to create equality among all cadets and prepare them mentally and physically for their career in the Corps. This is done through a series of team-building exercises and stringent regulations. The housing situation is very different from most universities' campuses. In the Barracks, cadets live modestly, with limited space and multiple other occupants, and are expected to maintain cleanliness and order at all times. The Virginia Military Institute Keydets participate in 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs and are members of the Southern Conference and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Students who have been accepted to the Virginia Military Institute have the opportunity to take part in the Summer Transition Program, which helps incoming cadets improve both academically and physically. This program takes place during the last four weeks of the college's second summer term. VMI follows an honor code and strictly enforces its practices upon its cadets. When cadets first arrive on campus, they are issued their first cadet haircut at the VMI barbershop. Notable alumni include George Marshall, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former U.S. secretary of state; Benjamin Franklin Ficklin, one of the founders of the historic Pony Express; and actor and comedian Fred Willard.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

VMI is a challenging curricular and co-curricular undergraduate experience, producing educated and honorable men and women who will be leaders in all walks of life. Its 1,664 cadets pursue BA and BS degrees in 14 disciplines in the fields of engineering, science, and liberal arts. VMI combines a full college curriculum within a regimen of military discipline that emphasizes the qualities of honor, integrity, and responsibility. The undergirding in all aspects of cadet life is the VMI Honor Code, to which all cadets subscribe.

General Information

School type public, coed college
Year founded 1839
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting city
2012 Endowment $308,958,261


When applying to Virginia Military Institute, it's important to note the application deadline is February 1, and the early decision deadline is November 15. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due May 1. The application fee at Virginia Military Institute is $40. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 46.3 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 46.3%
Application deadline February 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by May 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Virginia Military Institute is 12:1, and the school has 60.3 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Virginia Military Institute include: Economics, General; International Relations and Affairs; History, General; Psychology, General; and Mechanical Engineering. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 84 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 12:1
4-year graduation rate 56%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Economics, General 19%
International Relations and Affairs 17%
History, General 14%
Psychology, General 11%
Mechanical Engineering 9%

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Student Life

Virginia Military Institute has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,664, with a gender distribution of 90 percent male students and 10 percent female students. Virginia Military Institute is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 1,664
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity N/A
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority N/A
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

Virginia Military Institute offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring and health service. Virginia Military Institute also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Virginia Military Institute, 19 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is not permitted for students of legal age at Virginia Military Institute.

Students who have cars on campus 19%
Health insurance offered No

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Paying for School

At Virginia Military Institute, 49.9 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $18,863.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $14,404 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $35,392 (2013-14)
Room and board $8,088 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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