Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How do I apply to Southern Virginia University? down-arrow

A: If you are a new student, you should start with our online application. If you are a returning student, you should follow the necessary steps for re-admittance to the university.

Start Your Application

Q: Do I have to apply online? down-arrow
A: Yes. Southern Virginia does not have a paper application; all applications must be completed online. If you do not have access to a personal computer, you may call your admissions counselor and he or she will complete the application with you over the phone.
Q: How do I contact Admissions at Southern Virginia? down-arrow

A: Mailing address:

Mailing Address Phone, Text & Fax Email

Office of Admissions
Southern Virginia University
One University Hill Drive
Buena Vista, VA 24416

Phone: 540-261-8401
Toll Free: 800-229-8420
Text: 540-570-2277
Fax: 540-266-3806

Q: What is the application deadline? down-arrow

A: Southern Virginia University uses a rolling admissions process that encourages students to complete their applications early and incentivizes those who do so with guaranteed decision notification dates and discounted registration deposits. Students who apply after the third admission decision deadline may still be admitted according to classroom space and residence hall availability. However, students who complete the admissions process early usually have more options for their class schedule and residence hall selections.

Fall 2014 Admission Decision Deadlines
  1. January 1, 2014: Applicants who complete and submit their applications (including test scores and/or transcripts) will receive notification of an admissions decision by January 15, 2014.
  2. April 1, 2014: Applicants who complete and submit their applications (including test scores and/or transcripts) will receive notification of an admissions decision by April 16, 2014.
  3. June 1, 2014: Applicants who complete and submit their applications (including test scores and/or transcripts) will receive notification of an admissions decision by June 11, 2014.

Applicants may be admitted after June 1st according to classroom and residence hall availability.

Fall 2014 Registration Deposit Deadlines
  1. January 31, 2014: Registration deposits paid on or before January 31, 2014 are $150. Students who deposit early usually have more class schedule options available to them.
  2. March 31, 2014: Deposits paid on or before March 31, 2014 are $200.
  3. April 1, 2014: (Standard Deposit) Deposits paid on or after April 1, 2014 are $250.
Q: I want to serve a mission before attending Southern Virginia. Can I apply before my mission? down-arrow

A: Yes. At Southern Virginia, we value missionary service and want to help you make plans now so you can transition smoothly from your mission to your undergraduate experience. Learn more about our mission deferment options.

Q: I was homeschooled. Can I apply to Southern Virginia? down-arrow

A: Absolutely. Homeschooled students are encouraged to apply and are accepted to Southern Virginia University on a regular basis. Review the Homeschooled Student application procedures.

Q: Can I fax or email my transcripts? down-arrow

A: It depends. Southern Virginia University requires that all incoming students submit official transcripts for all institutions attended prior to Southern Virginia. However, in order to expedite the admissions process, the Office of Admissions will accept transcripts sent via fax or email in order to make an admissions decision. Students who fax or email transcripts must also mail official transcripts prior to enrollment, or they will not be admitted to Southern Virginia.

High school senior applicants must submit official, final transcripts that reflect final senior grades and graduation. Official transcripts must be mailed directly to Southern Virginia University in an envelope sealed by the institution providing the transcripts or emailed through a certified third-party such as

Send transcripts to:

Office of Admissions
Southern Virginia University
One University Hill Drive
Buena Vista, VA 24416
Fax: 540-266-3806

Q: Is the Ecclesiastical Endorsement required for everyone? down-arrow

A: The Ecclesiastical Endorsement is a requirement for all students seeking admission to Southern Virginia University, regardless of their religious affiliation. A student who does not sign the Student Pledge or receive an endorsement from an ecclesiastical leader will not be considered for admission to Southern Virginia. Ideally, an Ecclesiastical Endorsement for the fall semester should be submitted by May 1.

Q: My GPA and/or test scores are below the minimum requirements. Can I still apply? down-arrow

A: Students with a GPA below 2.5 on an un-weighted scale or a test score lower than an ACT 18 or three-part SAT 1210 may be offered provisional acceptance. Students accepted with provisional status are required to meet all the requirements of the academic success course in their first semester before they can be granted full acceptance to the university. Failure to meet the contractual requirements of this course may result in dismissal from the university.


Q: Is Southern Virginia University accredited? down-arrow

A: Yes. Southern Virginia University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the oldest, largest and most prestigious accreditor of colleges and universities in the southern United States. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia certifies Southern Virginia University to operate and grant baccalaureate degrees. Additionally, Southern Virginia is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in federal financial aid programs.

Q: What is a liberal arts education? down-arrow

A: The liberal arts are the cornerstone disciplines of education: the humanities, sciences, social sciences and mathematics. The purpose of a liberal arts education is to help students hone their capacities to speak and write effectively, analyze and interpret information, and form and then express enlightened opinions. Learn more about liberal arts at Southern Virginia.

Q: Are classes difficult? down-arrow

A: We cannot say whether you will find our classes difficult, but we can tell you that Southern Virginia courses are meant to challenge you to work hard and to help you develop critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and persuasive writing skills.

Q: What help is available if I get behind in my classes? down-arrow

A: The first lifeline in every class is your professor. Each faculty member has office hours during which you can visit and ask additional questions—something many of our students take advantage of. We also provide a tutoring center where students can receive individual instruction in writing, math, science, the humanities and other disciplines.

Q: Will my credits transfer? down-arrow

A: No matter which university you attend, students who choose to transfer will almost always lose some credits. Southern Virginia has formal articulation agreements with Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University that help with the transfer of credits for students who transfer from or to those institutions. We are currently pursuing similar agreements with other institutions.

It is up to each individual school to decide whether they will accept credits from any particular institution. As is common with many schools, students may occasionally experience difficulty trying to transfer credits from Southern Virginia to another school. In those situations, we will do our best to work with those specific universities on a case by case basis to help our students transfer their credits.

Q: What credentials do Southern Virginia professors have? down-arrow

A: Southern Virginia University professors are highly qualified to teach. Four-in-five have the terminal degree (Ph.D., M.F.A., etc.) in their fields.

Q: Will a Teacher's Assistant be teaching my classes? down-arrow

A: Unlike large universities, highly qualified faculty members, not teaching assistants, always teach courses at Southern Virginia University.

Q: How long will it take me to graduate? down-arrow

A: Southern Virginia University offers students a four-year graduation guarantee. Students who follow our academic plan and do not graduate in four years can take any remaining classes for free. Students who take summer courses and Institute can graduate in as little as three years.

Q: What Travel Study trips are available? down-arrow

A: Our nationally recognized and innovative Travel Study program offers 10-15 foreign and domestic trips each year. Learn more about Travel Study.

Costs and Financial Aid

Q: How much does Southern Virginia cost? down-arrow

A: Current, up-to-date information regarding tuition and fees is available through Student Financial Services.

We also offer a variety of scholarships, grants and discounts. Ninety-eight percent of our students receive some form of institutional, federal, or state financial aid. Learn more about types of available aid.

Q: How can I get more scholarships? down-arrow

A: In addition to the scholarships and grants offered by the university, there are many scholarships offered by private organizations. We encourage our students to apply for as many private scholarships as possible. Learn more about available scholarships.

Q: Does Southern Virginia offer athletic scholarships? down-arrow

A: Because Southern Virginia is a provisional member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III, the university does not offer any athletic scholarships. Athletes are encouraged to apply for other institutional scholarships and grants.

Q: Can I find jobs on campus? down-arrow

A: Many students find jobs on campus or in the local community. Explore the listings of current job openings. Preference for on campus jobs will be given to those students eligible for work-study. Work-study will be awarded as part of your financial aid package with Student Financial Services.

Student Life

Q: What is there to do for fun on campus? down-arrow

A: Southern Virginia regularly hosts a variety of activities to allow students to get involved and have fun. In addition to movie nights, dances, theatrical performances, athletic events and other activities, students find countless ways to get involved on campus in student clubs and organizations. When no activity is scheduled, The Kimball Student Center provides a relaxed atmosphere with pool tables, ping-pong, air hockey, video games, and other ways to kick back and have a good time.

Q: What is there to do off campus? down-arrow

Students can visit the United States Capitol Building, the Washington D.C. Temple, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and a number of other historic sites and attractions located only a few hours away from campus. Locally, there are movie theaters, restaurants, art galleries, shops and museums. With two other colleges in a 10-mile radius, there is always something happening. There are also a number of opportunities for those who enjoy the outdoors including hiking the Appalachian trail, biking, camping, and exploring the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Q: What types of housing are available? down-arrow

A: Southern Virginia offers several housing options for students including traditional residence halls, houses shared by multiple students and townhouse-style apartments. On-campus housing options for married students include the Gayle Smith Apartments. View housing options at Southern Virginia.

Q: What's the percentage of guys and girls at Southern Virginia? down-arrow

A: Nearly even: 52 percent women, 48 percent men.

Q: How can I get involved on campus? down-arrow

A: There are many ways for you to get involved on campus and make friends. Here are just a few ideas: audition for a play or choir, sign up for intramurals, join a club, serve in the community, and attend university and Institute activities. Learn more about campus life.

Q: What is the Code of Honor? down-arrow

A: The Code of Honor is a set of standards for personal conduct that encourages members of the university community to live as leader-servants. The Code of Honor is based on the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. By signing the Student Pledge on their Ecclesiastical Endorsement, all students, as a condition of admission, commit to abide by and uphold the Code of Honor while they are enrolled at Southern Virginia University regardless of their religious affiliation. Learn more about the Code of Honor.

Latter-day Saint Environment

Q: How many student wards are there? down-arrow

A: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates six wards for young single adults at Southern Virginia University.

Q: Do I have to take Institute classes? Are religion courses required? down-arrow

A: Institute courses are not required at Southern Virginia University, but all students are highly encouraged to enroll in an institute class. Students can receive up to eight hours of elective credit by taking Institute classes without any additional costs. Learn more about the Buena Vista Institute of Religion.

Q: What if I'm not Mormon? down-arrow

A: Although the majority of our students are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, anyone who is willing to live by the Code of Honor is welcome on campus. Students who are members of other faiths are encouraged to be active in their own faith.


Q: Do I need a computer? down-arrow

A: Laptops and computers are not required but are highly recommended. Computers with Internet access and printers are available in the Library and in the computer lab for students who are unable to bring their own computer.

Q: Do I need a car? down-arrow

A: No, you do not need a car at Southern Virginia University. Many services are available within walking distance of campus. The library shuttle transports students to and from the libraries at nearby Washington & Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute and to other locations, such as Walmart, for $1.

Q: Can first-year students have cars? down-arrow

A: Yes, but it is not necessary.

Q: Where's the nearest airport? How do I get to campus from the airport? down-arrow

A: The Roanoke Regional Airport is only 50 miles from campus. The university provides shuttles to and from the Roanoke Airport for $25 each way.

Q: What if a student has a medical emergency? down-arrow

A: In addition to having a full-time nurse on campus in the Student Health Center, the university employs two full-time athletic trainers for athletic injuries. There are medical clinics and physician’s offices near campus, as well as a full-service hospital only seven miles away.

Q: Does Southern Virginia have social media accounts? down-arrow

A: Yes, we are active on many social media sites. Read our blog, the Scoop, and follow Southern Virginia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.

Q: What speakers have you had on campus? down-arrow

A: We welcome a wide variety of excellent and inspirational speakers to our campus for our weekly forums and devotionals as well as the Leadership Lecture Series. Past speakers include Sister Julie B. Beck, Stephen R. Covey, Robert Millet, Clayton M. Christensen, and others. Download audio from recent speeches.

Q: Are there internship opportunities? down-arrow

A: There are a growing number of internship opportunities on campus for interested students. In addition, our Career Development Center can introduce students to internships at organizations off campus that will prepare them for life in the workplace.