What Does It Cost to Attend the University of Virginia?

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There are so many variables that go into choosing a college or university, but one of them seemingly looms above the rest: price. For most college-bound students, the price of college will far and away be the most money they’ve ever considered spending—making the high price of college seem even loftier. Another factor that inflates the already-imposing cost of most colleges is that most students compare colleges using their published price.


Although published price gives prospective students a guideline to the overall cost of an institution, the fact is that very few students pay full price for college. Rather, net price—which accounts for any scholarships or grants the student receives and deducts them from a college’s list price—provides a more accurate representation of the real cost of a college such as the University of Virginia (UVA).


Are you interested in attending the University of Virginia? If so, keep reading to learn more about how to find the net cost of the school, and gain some insight into the overall expense of attending the University of Virginia. Also, give our blog The Ultimate Guide to Applying to University of Virginia a read and learn what it takes to be accepted into this distinguished institution.


The List Price of the University of Virginia


The list price of college covers the cost of tuition, room, and board. In 2016-2017, the list price of UVA for in-state students was $31,186, while the published price for out-of-state students was $60,530. However, as previously mentioned, the majority of students do not pay the university’s published price.


The truth is that the majority of full-paying students are from families who earn more than $175,000 a year and who fall outside of the top 30% of accepted applicants at UVA. Illustrating this is the average net price paid by students without financial need. The average net price of UVA for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid is $30,829, while out-of-state students who don’t qualify for financial aid pay an average net price of $60,173—both of which are the approximate list prices.


Financial Aid Net Price at the University of Virginia  


The published price of the University of Virginia minus any financial aid such as grants and scholarships will give students the financial aid net price of UVA. Financial aid net price is a preferred metric to the university’s published price when comparing colleges, as it gives a clearer indication to what the student will actually pay for school. The average net cost figuring in financial aid of a UVA student is $25,242. Out-of-state students receiving financial aid pay an average net cost of $54,586.


Cost Based on Family Income of Attending the University of Virginia


Although students without financial need can expect to pay close to full price for UVA, the majority of students will receive some financial assistance based on family income. Listed below is what a student can expect to pay at the University of Virginia based on their family’s income:


  • Average net price for families with an income below $30,000: $9,463
  • Average net price for families with an income between $30,001-$48,000: $10,684
  • Average net price for families with an income between $48,001-$75,000: $14,374
  • Average net price for families with an income between $75,001-$110,000: $21,964
  • Average net price for families with an income of more than $110,000: $27,814


Merit Aid Net Price at the University of Virginia


Merit aid is awarded regardless of financial need for a variety of reasons including academic excellence, athletic skill, work in the community, or any other of a number of notable reasons. 4.9% of students without financial need receive merit aid at UVA with $357 being the average amount awarded.    

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How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend the University of Virginia?


UVA is committed to the ideal of its founder (Thomas Jefferson) to deliver an institution that values virtue and talent, rather than the wealth or status. With this in mind, UVA is committed to limiting need-based loans for students with financial need—preventing them from graduating with crippling debt. Only 6% of students at the University of Virginia have student loans, while the average federal student loan per undergraduate student is $2,370.


Local Area Cost of Living Considerations


Charlottesville, Virginia, home to UVA, is more expensive to live in than both the average town or city in Virginia and the average town or city in the U.S. as a whole. Charlottesville has a cost of living index of 118.9—making it 5% more expensive than the average cost of living in the state (113.8) and 18.9% more expensive than the U.S. average.


Average Apartment Rental


All incoming first-year students (with the exception of graduate and transfer students) to the University of Virginia must live on campus. While UVA makes many compelling arguments for students to live on campus, it does provide resources for students looking to live off campus offering support of off-campus living (including a full-time property maintenance inspector responsible for enforcing building code and safety issues in residential areas near the University) and maintaining an off-grounds housing service.  


Students who choose to live off campus will find the average price of a one-bedroom apartment to be $1,163, while two-bedrooms on average command $1,347. Apartments are readily available in the Charlottesville area, and prices will vary depending on everything from proximity to campus to amenities.




Minimum wage is currently $7.25 in Virginia, however, retail jobs pay a little better than that around Charlottesville; according to Indeed, the average salary of a retail cashier is $9.24. Front desk agents pay even a little better than that according to Indeed, as people filling those positions earn $11.09 an hour on average.  


Student Outcomes at the University of Virginia


Students who attend the University of Virginia can expect a bright future. UVA graduates a high number of students within six years—93% to be precise—and those students earn, on average, $61,200 a year after 10 years.


Other Ways to Save


Work-study is a popular way for students to contribute to the cost of their education while pursuing a degree. UVA participates in Federal Work-Study, allowing financial aid, for those who qualify, to be earned through employment both on and off campus.


The city of Charlottesville offers numerous opportunities for students seeking part-time employment. The city’s Historic Downtown Mall alone is home to more than 120 shops and 30 restaurants and is considered one of the finest urban parks in the U.S.


UVA also offers Peer Financial Counseling to all of its students. Here, students can work one-on-one with trained counselors to learn about everything from building a budget to managing student loans to creating a financial plane.


Want to learn more about what it takes to get into, and pay for, the University of Virginia? Our College Application Program can give your student their real chance of being accepted and help them increase their odds with our essay help and application themes. Through our College Application Program, students will also gain a better understanding of the return on their investment in college and develop a smart strategy for how to pay for it.

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Timothy Peck
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.