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.

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
$355.50
Sophomores
2000-level classes
$711
Junior
3000-level classes
$948
Senior
4000-level classes
$948

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

Full-time graduate students pay $958 per year. Part-time graduate students pay one-half that amount, or $479 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 $902.50 per semester tuition premium for Engineering, plus $100 per course for lab fees. George Mason University charges an additional $15-$41 per credit hour for engineering courses. The University of Virginia charges $2,000 per year in differential tuition for engineering undergraduates, as well as $2,596 and $3,278 per year in engineering fees for in-state and out-of-state graduate students, respectively.

Tuition Differentials between Virginia Tech and Other Selected Universities

Engineering Fee 2015-2016

Per Semester*

Institution

Undergraduate

Graduate

Res

Non-Res

Res

Non-Res

University of Arizona

450-900

450-900

-

-

University of Colorado - Boulder

1500

1368

1575

1251

Colorado State University

1044

1044

990

990

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign

2502

2502

2784

2784

Iowa State University

1083

1073

621

598

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

481-1753

127-1273

1433

1264

Michigan State University

620

620

620

620

University of Missouri - Columbia

988.8

988.8

741.6

741.6

Ohio State University

589.2

589.2

-

-

Pennsylvania State University

831

924

547

621

University of Pittsburgh

577

1301

1571

2588

Purdue University

1025

1025

562

562

Rutgers University

622

1891

-

-

University of Tennessee

744

744

558

558

University of Texas - Austin

434

1099

1018

910

Virginia Tech

474

474

479

479

Average

926.63

1063.63

843.73

872.91

*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

2736

3150

2502

Colorado State University

2088

2088

1980

1980

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign

5004

5004

5568

5568

Iowa State University

2166

2146

1242

1196

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

962-3506

254-2546

2866

2528

Michigan State University

1240

1240

1240

1240

University of Missouri - Columbia

1977.6

1977.6

1483.2

1483.2

Ohio State University

1178.4

1178.4

-

-

Pennsylvania State University

1662

1848

1094

1242

University of Pittsburgh

1154

2602

3142

5176

Purdue University

2050

2050

1124

1124

Rutgers University

1244

3782

0

0

University of Tennessee

1488

1488

1116

1116

University of Texas - Austin

868

2198

2036

1820

Virginia Tech

948

948

958

958

Average

1853.26

2127.26

1687.46

1745.82

*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.