Frequently Asked Questions

Location

Where is Valparaiso University?

Valparaiso University — known as Valpo to those who know and love our school — is in Valparaiso, Indiana, a thriving city of about 31,000 people. We are in Northwest Indiana, about one hour southeast of Chicago, two and one-half hours north of Indianapolis, and 20 minutes south of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Admission

What do you consider in the admission review process?

We consider the many facets of you: your strength of classes in high school, the trend in your grades, your personal essay, what kind of activities you are involved in, and your test scores. We ask that all of our students enter Valpo with a minimum of four years of English, three years of math (through advanced algebra), three years of lab science, three years of social studies, and two years of a foreign language by the end of senior year.

The biggest question we ask is: Can this student be successful at Valpo? Students enroll at Valpo with a wide variety of GPAs, test scores, essays, and extracurricular involvements.

Do you consider or use weighted grades? Are high school honors courses weighted differently in the GPA?

We do consider weighted grades, though students with unweighted grades are not at a disadvantage. Honors, AP, and IB courses are taken into serious consideration in terms of admission, and the strength of your schedule plays a large part in whether or not you are admitted. Because we have so many students from such a wide variety of schools, we evaluate a student’s GPA and class curriculum based on what their individual high school offers.

Can I transfer any credits I’ve earned elsewhere or through AP testing?

Valpo accepts transfer credits. The general rule is that (a) as long as you took the classes at an accredited institution, (b) they were English, math, science, social studies, or foreign language courses of at least 100-level, and (c) you received a C grade or better, they will typically transfer. We also accept AP and IB tests; simply send a copy of your official score report to us. We require different minimum scores for different AP subjects, typically a score of 4 counts as collegiate credit. For the IB exams, a score of 5 or greater is typical for credit. Please contact your admission counselor for the specific scores needed.

What is the average incoming freshman GPA?

The average admitted student typically comes in with a 3.65. This is based upon your top high school GPA.

What is the average SAT and ACT for admitted students?

Our ACT middle 50% range score is between 23 and 29. This ACT midrange does not include the writing portion of the ACT, but we strongly recommend taking the writing portion once. Our middle 50% SAT scores range from 1510 to 1790, including Critical Reading, Math and Writing subscores. We evaluate the ACT or SAT according to your “superscore”, which is a composition of your best subscores regardless of test date. Be sure to send in all your test scores for consideration.

When will I receive a decision regarding my application?

If you have a complete application submitted by December 1, your file will be reviewed by the Christmas holidays, and you will be notified shortly thereafter. We do, however, accept applications at any time on a rolling basis. After your application is complete, you will typically find out your status about four to six weeks later.

A complete application typically includes the completed and signed application form, personal statement or essay, standardized test scores, and official high school or college transcript. We cannot process your application without all components.

Financial Aid

How much does it cost to attend Valpo?

For a summary of the current estimated costs click here.

To be considered for maximum scholarship and financial aid, please complete your admission application by December 1 and have your FAFSA filed by March 1.

What are the types of financial aid?

All of our admitted students are considered for our academic merit-based scholarships. Those are based solely upon your test scores (ACT or SAT that are superscored) and your current GPA. We consider your best ACT or SAT subscore composite, regardless of test date, so it is in your best interest to submit all test scores.

After you file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), we will consider you for possible grants, loans, and work study. You don’t have to pay back grants. Although you repay loans, educational loans are not only low-interest (with favorable repayment options), but an important investment in your future.

More information on scholarships and grants

More information on loans

Graduation

Can I graduate in four years?

All of our programs are designed for you to graduate within four years. With careful faculty advising and planning, this is very easy to do. For example, most of our students accomplish this and still study abroad or even pursue a double major. Those interested in law school may be considered for the 3 + 3 program through the Valparaiso University School of Law. This allows the student to complete the Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate degrees within six years (12 semesters), thereby saving one year of tuition. Business students can also complete their MBA in just one year.

Not only do Valparaiso University students graduate in four years, but the graduates have enjoyed a 90%-plus placement rate each of the last 18 years. The most recent graduating class from the 2009 -2010 year (who are over six months out) had a 93% placement rate. This placement rate describes the percent of students who enroll in graduate school or find job placement within 6 months of graduation.

Majors

Can I major in two areas of study?

Yes, you can definitely double major. Actually, a lot of our students do. Our advisers are great about working with you to develop the curriculum that suits you best. With careful advising and planning, most of the time you can still graduate within four years.

What are the most popular majors?

With more than 70 academic programs of study, we have quite a lot to choose from. Our more popular majors tend to be biology, engineering, nursing, meteorology, education, business, and communication. Our pre-med and pre-law programs are also very popular. For a complete listing, click below.

Complete listing of areas of study

Requirements

Are students required to live on campus?

The university housing policy requires all freshman, sophomore, and junior students to live in University-operated residence halls. With senior standing, you’re free to live off campus, but keep in mind that upperclassmen have the choice of living in a triple, quad, fraternity house, or apartment. Local students may also commute from their parents’ home (within 50 miles of campus). And even though our seniors can move off campus, 25 percent of students with senior standing elect to stay on campus.

Is chapel service attendance required?

Chapel is not required. There are many religious opportunities in and around campus, but you decide how involved you want to be. Some of our students go to chapel every day and some choose not to attend – it is entirely up to you.

Are religion courses required?

Sometime during your four years at Valpo, you will be required to take two semester-long theology classes. Those classes can include offerings such as ‘Understanding the Bible’, ‘Understanding Islam’, ‘Topics in Religious Ethics’, and ‘Black Theology and Black Church’.

Students

What is the size of the undergraduate student body?

We have approximately 3,000 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate and law students, totaling just over 4,000 students.

What is the average class size?

The average class size at Valpo is about 22 students. The range you might encounter can be anything from an 80-student psychology lecture (with a smaller lab) to a class of three students in a course for your major. Our student-to-faculty ratio is 13 to 1, creating an atmosphere of personal attention and care in which you get to know your professors directly and they will know you by name. We never have graduate students teaching classes, and more than 90 percent of our professors have terminal degrees in their field (such as a doctorate).

Where do Valpo students come from?

About 30 percent of our students come from Indiana and 35 percent come from Illinois. The rest of the Midwestern states also have strong populations on campus (Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, and Iowa). We also have a number of students from New York, California, Colorado, and Texas. Most states and more than 50 countries are represented on campus.