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Student Financial Services

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

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  3. Understanding tuition and fees

Understanding tuition and fees

What does tuition cover?

The revenue from tuition goes toward Virginia Commonwealth University’s instructional and student support programs (75%), institutional support (16%) and building/grounds maintenance (9%). 

Instructional and student supportInstitutional supportBuilding/grounds maintenance
Student supportITLighting 
Faculty supportHuman resourcesUtilities 
ScholarshipsSafety and securityBuilding maintenance
InstructionFiscal supportGrounds maintenance
Public serviceReserves and contingencies Recycling 

What do fees support?

Program and course fees

Students are charged additional fees based on programs of study and academic courses.

Mandatory fees

VCU charges mandatory fees to students to pay for items not covered by tuition, including technology support, universitywide events, recreational activities and athletics — all of which help create your full VCU experience.

Much of the funding for the new construction of classroom and instructional buildings comes from state funding provided specifically for each project. Virginia law does not allow shifting the funding for capital projects to other uses; in other words, funding for capital projects cannot be shifted to hire faculty or pay for other operating costs. In recent years, most of the capital projects funded by the state have been financed with state bonds, the proceeds of which are reserved under state and federal law for capital projects (i.e., new construction) only.

Housing, dining and parking fees

In addition to mandatory fees and program/course costs, students may pay additional fees for housing, dining and parking.

Factors determining tuition and fees

Virginia Commonwealth University tuition and fees, as outlined in the 2020-2021 Adopted University Budget Plan and Tuition and Fees document, are determined by the student’s residency status, classification level, number of credit hours and course of study.


The student’s residency/domiciliary classification determines whether tuition is billed at the in-state or out-of-state rate. Eligibility for in-state tuition is governed by the Code of Virginia. Residency/domiciliary classification is determined at the time of admission to VCU. To request a review of the initial residency/domiciliary determination, contact the Office of Records and Registration.

In-state students who exceed 125% of the credit hours needed to complete their program will be assessed a tuition surcharge.

Classification and credit hours

Your classification and number of credit hours also determine your tuition and fees.

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