Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges

The Value and Impact of the fifteen
VFIC Member Schools
Students at Bridgewater College

Our 15 close-knit, residential schools TEACH…

  • … a broadly pragmatic liberal arts and sciences education.
    • Students learn critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration -- precisely the durable, transferable and flexible skills that businesses demand.
  • … in environments where ethical leadership and responsible citizenship are valued.
    • Small class sizes and ample clubs, community activities and collegiate and intramural athletics expand student leadership opportunities to develop skills inside and outside the classroom.
  • … needed Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Health (STEM-H) programs.
    • 27% of undergraduate degrees conferred at VFIC schools are STEM-H.
    • Fourteen of our member schools prepare the next generation of teachers.
  • … with award-winning faculty who continue a distinctive tradition of academic challenge.
    • Eight of the 14 Virginia chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s top honor society, are located at VFIC schools.

Our 15 independent schools REACH…

  • … ethnically, economically, and globally diverse students and faculties.
    • 65% of undergraduate students enrolled at VFIC schools are eligible for need based aid.
    • Enrollment of ethnically diverse students ranges as high as 46%.
    • On average, 1 in 4 students at VFIC schools are ethnically diverse.
  • … high-achieving students of all backgrounds who benefit from the experience.
    • VFIC member schools shatter the stereotypical image that independent colleges are reserved for the privileged, or an elite few.
    • 28% of undergraduate students at VFIC schools receive Pell Grants compared to 26.5% at 4-Year public state schools. These federal need-based awards made to low-income students promote access to education.
  • … faculty among the best in their fields.
    • Since 1987, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has recognized the classroom excellence of 65 individuals at VFIC schools with Outstanding Faculty Awards.

Our 15 competitive schools are

  • They educate students at minimal taxpayer cost.
    • Through the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) students enrolling at VFIC schools only cost the Commonwealth of Virginia $3,200 compared to $7,000 if they enrolled at an in-state public school.
    • VFIC member schools serve 28,866 undergraduate, graduate, and first professional students providing access to a liberal arts education throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • They invest in the promise of succeeding generations.
    • VFIC schools provide $419 million a year in institutional & endowment aid to their students.
    • 80% of students at VFIC schools receive generous aid packages.
    • Over 5,200 bachelor’s degrees and 1,700 graduate, doctorate and first professional diplomas are awarded each year by our member colleges.
    • Undergraduates at VFIC colleges complete bachelor’s degrees in four years more often than students at public institutions in Virginia.
    • VFIC member schools offer a variety of options for students to continue their education. One has a pharmacy school, two have law schools, six offer MBA programs, eleven provide master’s programs and four serve doctoral candidates.
  • They contribute to a prosperous Commonwealth and to global awareness.
    • Not only are our member schools major employers in their communities, but their graduates add to the state’s vitality.
    • International students and faculty members along with multicultural & inclusivity programming and study-abroad programs raise cultural understanding and encourage tolerance and globalism.
    • Energy-saving and conservation programs at our member schools enhance and improve environmental stewardship.
Mary Baldwin College
Member Institutions
Bridgewater College
Emory & Henry College
Hampden-Sydney College
Hollins University
Mary Baldwin College
Marymount University
Randolph College
Randolph-Macon College
Roanoke College
Shenandoah University
Sweet Briar College
University of Lynchburg
University of Richmond
Virginia Wesleyan College
Washington and Lee University

Wind Tunnel test at Sweet Briar College