Valparaiso University was established in 1859 as the Valparaiso Male and Female College with an inaugural class of 75. As one of America’s first co-educational colleges, Valparaiso offered landmark education coordinated by the Methodist Episcopal Church. After being renamed in 1900, VU was deemed the “poor man’s Harvard” with enrollment second to only the Ivy Leaguer. Endowed for $204 million, the private, nonprofit liberal arts institution was officially purchased by the Lutheran University Association in 1925. Today’s enrollment currently surpasses 3,300 undergraduates and 1,200 post-graduates. Valparaiso University remains located on a 350-acre suburban campus in Northwest Indiana just 19 miles from Gary.
According to the U.S. News, Valparaiso is the Midwest’s fourth best regional college, third most innovative school, and fourth most veteran-friendly university. In particular, VU houses America’s 13th best bachelor’s engineering degrees and 141st top part-time MBA. Valparaiso University is one of three Indiana colleges named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Washington Monthly picked Valpo fourth nationally for “contribution to the public good.” Named a German Center of Excellence by AATG, Valparaiso was among the top 10 most innovative foreign language schools on TheBestColleges.org. Victory Media also distinguished VU as a “STEM Jobs Approved College.”
Valparaiso University Accreditation Details
Preparing for reaffirmation in 2017, Valparaiso University holds institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). The regional accrediting body is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to approve Valparaiso and its Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Other discipline-specific accreditations are:
• Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
• National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
• National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
• Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP)
• Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
• Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
• American Bar Association (ABA)
Valparaiso University Application Requirements
Despite an acceptance rate of 80 percent, Valparaiso University organizes a “more selective” admission process using holistic means. Simply finishing a high school diploma or GED certificate isn’t sufficient for freshmen. Prospective first-years must challenge themselves with a 16-unit, college-prep curriculum and Advanced Placement or Honors courses. A minimum GPA isn’t printed, but admitted students present a 3.67 on average. Freshmen also achieve a mean SAT score of 1647 and ACT score of 26. Students are also encouraged to create ZeeMee portfolios that demonstrate their artistic, athletic, spiritual, and service achievements.
Joining the Crusader community is possible for more than 300 transfers yearly. Incoming students from other regionally accredited institutions must hold 12+ credits, or fulfill the above freshmen criteria. Transfer credits are only accepted with a minimum “C-” grade. Competitive admission means transfers should carry a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. International students must score at least 80 on the Internet-based TOEFL or 6.0 on the IELTS. Graduate admission relies on applicants holding an accredited bachelor’s degree with an overall GPA over 3.0. Specific programs have varying requirements. For example, M.Ed. applicants must score at least 176 on the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST).
Valparaiso University has an Early Action deadline of November 1st, but Regular Admission continues on a rolling basis until August 15th. Interested students should submit:
• Completed Valpo application by mail or online
• Official high school or undergrad transcripts
• College-level standardized test reports
• At least one academic recommendation letter
• One-page essay of professional goals
• Check or money order for the $30 fee
Tuition and Financial Aid
Annual undergraduate tuition for 12 to 19 semester credits will cost $36,280 at Valparaiso. Full-time students must pay a general fee of $1,170 per year for athletics, health services, technology, and Union services. On-campus housing will add $6,660 for standard double rooms and $4,260 for meal plans. VU suggests budgeting $1,200 for textbooks and $1,620 for personal expenses. Total annual cost of attendance is $48,370 for undergraduates. On average, full-time graduate students pay $11,070 for tuition. The ABA-accredited School of Law presently bills $40,372 though.
The NCES states that 96 percent of new, full-time learners are assisted. The mean financial aid package amount is $23,962 at Valparaiso University. Students should begin submitting the FAFSA on January 1st to qualify for Perkins, Stafford, and PLUS loans. Financially needy students could obtain the Federal Pell Grant or FSEOG Grant. Eligibility for the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is also calculated for on-campus employment. Hoosier State residents may receive the Frank O’Bannon Grant, EARN Indiana Grant, or 21st Century Scholars Award. Tuition costs are covered 100 percent with the Indiana National Guard Supplemental Grant. Students could utilize 529 Private College savings plans. Institutional awards like the Board of Directors Scholarship, Lutheran Leadership Scholarship, and Ament-Brenner Scholarship are abundant.
Split into six academic divisions, Valparaiso University infuses liberal arts education into diverse professional opportunities. Students can currently select from five associate, 74 bachelor’s, 31 master’s, and two doctoral programs. Some unique undergraduate degrees include the B.S. in Astronomy, B.A. in Digital Media, B.A. in Geography, B.A. in Modern European Studies, and B.S. in Sports Management. There’s also a Deaconess Plan available for upperclassmen seeking Christian vocations. Graduate programs range from the MBA in Business Intelligence to the M.A. in Chinese Studies. Valpo courses have a 12:1 student-faculty ratio for close professor interactions, especially in the Christ Honors College.
Two-thirds of Crusaders reside on Valpo’s safe campus near Zao Island, Rogers Lakewood Park, and Chicago’s South Shore. Art lovers will enjoy viewing public exhibits of over 2,700 pieces at the Brauer Museum. Faithful students can worship in the Chapel of the Resurrection, the world’s second-largest collegiate chapel, daily with “Morning Prayer.” Budding scientists could pioneer discovery in the Neils Science Center and Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility. Study sessions often occur in the Christopher Center Library, which houses at least 500,000 books. Students can also relax and mingle in Harre Union’s Recreation Center.
Top-notch academics are married with experience through VU’s nearly 200 student-led organizations. More than 25 percent of the student body pledges to nine fraternities and five sororities, including Kappa Kappa Gamma. Students may give back with Engineers Without Borders, write for The Torch, play ultimate Frisbee, find Zen with Meditation Club, and much more. Each year, Valparaiso hosts a Jazz Fest, Popcorn Festival, and Fall Harvest Festival for community bonding. Sports fans also cheer on the 19 varsity sports in the NCAA Division I. Valparaiso University has earned Horizon League championships in men’s soccer, men’s golf, and women’s volleyball.