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Paying for school

Navigating the maze of financial aid programs can be daunting; however, armed with the right knowledge, you’ll find that it’s not as complicated as it appears. Eligibility for financial aid varies depending on a student’s academic and financial circumstances. In most cases, students will qualify for some form of financial assistance to be used for expenses directly related to the cost of their education.

When applying for financial aid, you should consider all of your options — from private loans and government-backed loans to grants and scholarship funds. Keep in mind that you don’t have to accept all aid offered to you. You should understand the difference between the types of aid because some do not require repayment, while others do.

Financial aid, scholarships and financial advice

Financial aid

There are several types of financial aid: grants, federal work-study, loans and scholarships. The only application for financial aid that VCU requires is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Most students are eligible for some type of financial aid regardless of family financial circumstances. 

Before you submit your FAFSA, you will need to know the Federal School Code for each college or university to which you are applying. The code tells the government where to send your FAFSA information. VCU’s financial aid school code is 003735.

For more information about how to apply for financial aid and links to important financial literacy resources, visit Student Financial Services.


There are many types of scholarships available to students, including those awarded by VCU, as well as those from various groups such as civic and community organizations, nonprofit agencies, local businesses and the military. Most scholarships are restricted to paying all or part of tuition expenses, though some scholarships also cover room and board.

Generally, scholarship awards are granted to students who demonstrate academic excellence, but there may be other criteria a student needs to meet in order to earn a particular scholarship. Scholarship awards do not require repayment.

For a list of scholarships, visit the scholarships page on the Student Financial Services website.

Altria Scholars

The primary goal of VCU’s Altria Scholars program is to help first-generation students in designated engineering and business majors succeed at VCU, persist in their studies and graduate on time with decreased debt.

The program offers progress coaching for first- and second-year students. These sessions provide intensive support and tools for success. Need-based scholarships are provided for qualifying first-generation juniors and seniors who face financial barriers to persistence and degree completion.

For more information about VCU’s Altria Scholars, email Daphne Rankin, Ph.D., at

Additional resources

Temporary expansion of SNAP eligibility

Effective Jan. 16, 2021, college students who are enrolled at least half-time are temporarily eligible to receive monthly benefits to purchase groceries through the Supplemental Nutrion Assistance Program (SNAP). For more information, visit the Temporary SNAP Eligibility for College Students website. To sign up, visit the CommonHelp website

Career Services

VCU Career Services can help you define your career and professional goals, as well as create a plan for achieving them. The Career Center offers a number of services to help you prepare for a career or graduate school.

Visit Career Services to see how they can help you achieve success.

Tuition calculator

College is an investment of time and money. Each year the VCU Board of Visitors sets the tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year.  To get a perspective of what your tuition and fees covers, how it’s spent by the university and how VCU works to be sure you get the best education for the best value, visit the Student Financial Services understanding tuition and fees page.

 Use the tuition and fees calculator to estimate the per-semester cost of attending VCU.