Engineering Departments

Engineering Fee

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Virginia Tech charging an engineering fee?

The engineering fee is need-based and important for ensuring the continued availability of the necessary resources to support engineering students including: the continuing need for modernization of instrumentation and materials for instructional laboratories and student projects, improvements to instructional space and aging facilities, and adequate staff support to ensure the effective maintenance of instrumentation and technology in the daily operation of the instructional laboratories.

Is the money collected from the Engineering Fee passed to the College of Engineering?

Yes. The money collected from the Engineering Fee is passed to the College of Engineering. The revenue does not supplant the College’s current base funding.

How is the Engineering Fee used?

The money collected from the engineering fee is used to improve the instructional program in engineering. Expenses include equipment used in the instructional program, facility improvements related to instructional labs, or personnel support for people working in instructional labs.

A description of how the engineering fee has benefited a number of departments can be found can be found in the 2009 Engineering Now.

As a student, will I see an immediate benefit?

Yes.  The College has been making improvements with engineering fee funds since 2007.

How was the engineering fee phased in?

Beginning in Fall 2007, $30 per credit hour was charged for all 1000-level engineering courses. At the undergraduate level, the engineering fee was phased in over a four year period. Beginning in Fall 2008, all students taking 1000- and 2000-level courses were charged the engineering fee. Students taking 1000-, 2000-, and 3000-level courses were assessed the engineering fee in Fall 2009. Beginning in Fall 2010, all engineering courses 1000-4000, were assessed the engineering fee.

How was the graduate engineering fee phased in?

The graduate engineering fee was phased in over a 3-year period. In Fall 2007, incoming graduate students were assessed a flat fee of $270 per year. The flat fee increased to $540 per year beginning in Fall 2008, and $720 per year beginning in Fall 2009.

What is the estimated cost of the engineering fee to an undergraduate student?

The current tuition and fee structure can be found on the University Bursar's website. The engineering fee charged to each student is based on the number of engineering courses taken during the academic year. The table below provides an estimate of the annual fee by class.

Undergraduate (per academic year)
Freshmen
1000-level classes
$324
Sophomores
2000-level classes
$648
Junior
3000-level classes
$864
Senior
4000-level classes
$864

What is the estimated cost of the engineering fee to a graduate student?

Full-time graduate students pay $871 per year. Part-time graduate students pay one-half that amount, or $436 per year.

Why, at the undergraduate level, does it make sense to charge an engineering fee per credit hour?

To ensure costs are equitably distributed to all students taking engineering courses and students in joint degree programs, the undergraduate engineering fee is applied in relationship to the number of engineering courses taken. Off-campus students and online students equally participate. Charging the engineering fee per credit hour means a lower total cost for freshmen and sophomores and a greater charge for juniors and seniors based on the expected number of engineering courses taken and thus the demand on instructional services which drives costs.

Why, at the graduate level, does it make sense to charge a flat engineering fee?

At the graduate level, the declaration of major is very stable, thus a flat charge can be created based on the average number of credit hours expected at the full-time and part-time level. This ensures the least complexity on the graduate tuition remission program for graduate students on assistantships.

Do other institutions in Virginia charge more for an engineering education?

Yes. Virginia Commonwealth University charges a $643 per semester tuition premium for Engineering, plus $65 per course for lab fees. George Mason University charges an additional $15-$19 per credit hour and/or lab fees from $75 to $130 for Information Technology & Engineering courses.

Tuition Differentials between Virginia Tech and Other Selected Universities

Engineering Fee 2014-2015

Per Semester*

Institution

Undergraduate

Graduate

Res

Non-Res

Res

Non-Res

University of Arizona

450-900

450-900

-

-

University of Colorado - Boulder

1500

1323

1566

1251

Colorado State University

996

996

990

990

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign

2502

2502

2651

2651

Iowa State University

1083

1060

610

591

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

468-1706

122-1227

1395-1710

1230-1586

Michigan State University

590

590

590

590

University of Missouri - Columbia

940.8

940.8

705.6

705.6

Ohio State University

589.2

589.2

255

255

Pennsylvania State University

731

800

533

603

University of Pittsburgh

563

1264

1533

2515

Purdue University

1025

1025

562

562

Rutgers University

607

1829

0

0

University of Tennesse

720

720

540

540

University of Texas - Austin

434

1374

1012

1070

Virginia Tech

432

432

435.5

435.5

Average

905.64

1094.79

851.86

904.65

*Based on a 12-credit hour semester Undergraduate, 9-credit hour semester Graduate

Per Academic Year*

Institution

Undergraduate

Graduate

Res

Non-Res

Res

Non-Res

University of Arizona

900-1800

900-1800

-

-

University of Colorado - Boulder

3000

2646

3132

2502

Colorado State University

1992

1992

1980

1980

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign

5004

5004

5302

5302

Iowa State University

2166

2120

1220

1182

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

918-3356

918-3356

2724-3340

2394- 3088

Michigan State University

1180

1180

1180

1180

University of Missouri - Columbia

1881.6

1881.6

1411.2

1411.2

Ohio State University

1178.4

1178.4

510

510

Pennsylvania State University

1462

1600

1066

1206

University of Pittsburgh

1126

2432

3066

5030

Purdue University

2050

2050

1124

1124

Rutgers University

1214

3658

0

0

University of Tennesse

1440

1440

1080

1080

University of Texas - Austin

868

2748

2024

2140

Virginia Tech

864

864

871

871

Average

1811.29

2189.57

1703.73

1809.30

*Based on a 12-credit hour semester Undergraduate, 9-credit hour semester Graduate

Will additional financial aid be available to assist with the cost of the engineering fee?

Yes. Additional resources will be provided through the student financial aid office to ensure accessibility.