Frequently Asked Questions


If you are a new student, you should start with our online application. Returning students who have discontinued or deferred their enrollment for one or more semesters are generally not required to submit a new application. They should contact their admissions advisor for specific instructions on how to re-apply

Start Your Application

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 advisor and he or she will complete the application with you over the phone.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Student Life

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.

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.

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.

Nearly even: 52 percent women, 48 percent men.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Financial Aid

Current, up-to-date information regarding tuition and fees is available on our Tuition page.

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.

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 the academic scholarship.

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.

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.

There is no application for an academic scholarship; the university awards them automatically based on your GPA and standardized test scores. Learn more about the academic scholarship

The code is: 003738. It should be entered into the college release section of the FAFSA.

To be an independent student you must meet one of the following qualifications:

  • Be at least 24-years-old
  • Be married
  • Have dependents
  • Be an orphan, ward of the court, or a veteran

All others are dependent.

The Department of Education does not allow any corrections to the FAFSA based on a change in marital status, so both students should wait to file their FAFSA until after they’re married. For assistance, contact Financial Services.

Yes. The FAFSA is required for all students who want any federal aid (grants or stafford loans).

There should be no fees or charges to file the FAFSA. The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Visit the official FAFSA site.

Unfortunately the Department of Education does not make any exceptions for this situation. Contact Financial Services for information about other available funds.

If you received a housing grant you may forfeit that if you move off campus. There are no other financial aid awards that are based on where you live, but it will make a difference to your budget (how much money you can have in aid). If you have any questions, contact Financial Services.

On a subsidized loan the government will pay the interest that accrues while you are in school. However, you are responsible for interest that accrues on an unsubsidized loan. Learn more about Stafford Loans.

There are federal limits set on Direct Stafford loans, but you may borrow as much as you want in an alternative loan, up to the cost of attendance.

All federal student loans, including Parent PLUS loans, are administered by the federal government through the Department of Education. This is the only institution through which students and parents can receive federal student loans. Learn more about student loans.

A PLUS loan is a loan that parents take out for their son or daughter to help pay for educational expenses. Learn more about PLUS loans.

Yes, you must meet the requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to keep your financial aid. Learn more about Satisfactory Academic Progress.

If a you drop a class before the add/drop period ends, and it makes you less than full time (12 credits), then you will lose any university aid. It also will affect any federal grants you may have. If you withdraw from a class after that date, you will not lose any financial aid.

Be sure to check out through the Registrar’s Office and visit all the required offices. Learn more about leaving Southern Virginia University.

Student Account

Yes. To access your account, log in to MySVU and go to the Finances tab. Go to the My Financial Info page and click on My Account Balances. To see the detail in your account click on the Amount Due link.

You can cash your paycheck at any bank at which you have an account. Most of the banks in Buena Vista will allow students to establish accounts with them.

A negative balance on your student account means that all of the charges on your account have been paid and that there is money left over. In most cases the left-over amount may be refunded to you. Learn more about refunds.

Any student who owes Southern Virginia University will receive a billing statement each month. In this case it serves as a reminder that you still have a balance that you are working to pay off.

Students will need to set up a new payment plan come spring semester. Financial arrangements for the spring semester are due by December 1st.


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.

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.

Yes, but it is not necessary.

The Roanoke Regional Airport is only 50 miles from campus. The university provides shuttles to and from the Roanoke Airport for $35 each way.

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.

Yes, we are very active on many social media sites. Read our blog, the Scoop, and follow Southern Virginia on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and SoundCloud.

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.

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.