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
$297
Sophomores
2000-level classes
$594
Junior
3000-level classes
$792
Senior
4000-level classes
$792

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

Full-time graduate students pay $792 per year. Part-time graduate students pay one-half that amount, or $396 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 $657 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 2013-2014

Per Semester*

Institution

Undergraduate

Graduate

Res

Non-Res

Res

Non-Res

University of Arizona

300-600

300-600

-

-

University of Colorado - Boulder

1500

1287

1521

1215

Colorado State University

720-960

720-960

990

990

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign

2460

2460

2564

2564

Iowa State University

1083

1042

599

573

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

459-1678

459-1678

1362

1362

Michigan State University

567

567

567

567

University of Missouri - Columbia

940.8

940.8

705.6

705.6

Ohio State University

589.8

590

255

255

Pennsylvania State University

516

582

517

585

University of Pittsburgh

542

1216

1476

2421

Purdue University

900

900

562

900

Rutgers University

594

1759

0

0

University of Tennesse

684

684

684

684

University of Texas - Austin

199

562

848

910

Virginia Tech

396

396

396

396

Average

833.1

959

869.8

941.8

*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

600-1200

600-1200

-

-

University of Colorado - Boulder

3000

2574

3042

2430

Colorado State University

1440-1920

1440-1920

1980

1980

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign

4920

4920

5128

5128

Iowa State University

2166

2084

1198

1146

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

918-3356

918-3356

2724

2724

Michigan State University

1134

1134

1134

1134

University of Missouri - Columbia

1881.6

1881.6

1411.2

1411.2

Ohio State University

1179.6

1180

510

510

Pennsylvania State University

1032

1164

1034

1170

University of Pittsburgh

1084

2432

2952

4842

Purdue University

1800

1800

1124

1800

Rutgers University

1188

3518

0

0

University of Tennesse

1368

1368

1368

1368

University of Texas - Austin

398

1124

1696

1820

Virginia Tech

792

792

792

792

Average

1666.2

1918

1739.6

1883.6

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

Tuition differentials between Virginia Tech and Other Selected Universities (pdf)

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.