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.

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
$415
Sophomores
2000-level classes
$768
Junior
3000-level classes
$1038
Senior
4000-level classes
$1038

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

Full-time graduate students pay $1,049.00 per year. Part-time graduate students pay one-half that amount, or $524.50 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 $49 per credit hour for engineering courses. The University of Virginia charges $2,000 per year in differential tuition for engineering undergraduates, as well as $1,228 and $336 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 2016-2017

Per Semester*

Institution

Undergraduate

Graduate

Res

Non-Res

Res

Non-Res

University of Arizona

450-900

450-900

-

-

University of Colorado - Boulder

1572

1363-1409

1866

1296

Colorado State University

170

170

990

990

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign

2502

2502-4640

2779

3063

Iowa State University

1116

1110

640

907

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

908-2230

133-1329

1866

968-3507

Michigan State University

783

758

708

780

University of Missouri - Columbia

599

599

375

375

Ohio State University

589

589

255

255

Pennsylvania State University

950

1005

665

692

University of Pittsburgh

599

1337

1607

2659

Purdue University

1025

-

562

-

Rutgers University

658

1924

-

-

University of Tennessee

756

756

567

567

University of Texas - Austin

447

1415

760

759

Virginia Tech

519

519

524.50

524.50

Average

878

926

1012

1072

*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

3144

2726-2818

3732

2592

Colorado State University

340

340

1980

1980

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign

5004

5004-9280

5558

6126

Iowa State University

2232

2220

1280

1814

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

1816-4460

266-2658

3732

1936-7014

Michigan State University

1566

1516

1416

1560

University of Missouri - Columbia

1198

1198

750

750

Ohio State University

1178

1178

510

510

Pennsylvania State University

1900

2010

1330

1384

University of Pittsburgh

1198

2674

3214

5318

Purdue University

2050

-

1124

-

Rutgers University

1316

3782

-

-

University of Tennessee

1512

1512

1134

1134

University of Texas - Austin

894

2830

1520

1518

Virginia Tech

1038

1038

1049

1049

Average

1775

1845

2024

1832

*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.