VWU First - Parent FAQs

A liberal arts education allows the student to think not only within their course of study but across all disciplines.  Because of this, students who graduate from a liberal arts institution will have an advantage because they have taken courses not only within their major but also in a variety of other disciplines.  Liberal arts institutions have smaller classes with a focus on the connection between the undergraduate student and the faculty.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the employment rate in 2019 for those individuals who had a bachelor’s degree or a higher degree was 87%.  The employment rate for those with some college was 80%, while the employment rate for those who completed high school was 74%.  Research has also shown that a college degree is tied to life expectancy, where individuals who have a bachelors degree live longer and have more prosperous lives than those who do not have a college degree.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities.  Any institution in the United States, no matter if they are public or private, that receives federal funds must comply with Title IX.

Title IX states:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law passed in 1974 that institutions must have a student’s consent, often written, prior to disclosing any educational records after the student is 18 years old.  Another way of stating this is that VWU cannot disclose any information, including educational records, regarding any student to anyone but that student without expressed permission from that student.

Every student has the option to release their records to other individuals by filling out a FERPA Release form in the VWU Portal.

To be considered for need-based aid, it is necessary to file the FAFSA each year. In fact, the FAFSA allows our Financial Aid Office to review any changes in income that may result in an adjustment to your student’s financial aid package. Additionally, your student will receive a $1,000 FAFSA grant renewable each year as long as it is filed by March 1st error free.

Students interested in applying for a job on campus under our Work and Learn Program must complete the FAFSA each year to be considered eligible for work at VWU.

If a family’s financial circumstances (loss of a job, death of a parent, etc) change during the academic year, the student should reach out to the Financial Aid Office so that their financial aid package can be examined.

According to the U.S. Department of Education,

“Since your parents’ citizenship doesn’t affect your ability to complete the FAFSA form, they don’t need SSNs. If your parents don’t have SSNs, they must enter 000-00-0000 when the FAFSA form asks for your parents’ SSNs.

If your parents don’t have SSNs, they won’t be able to create FSA IDs and therefore won’t be able to sign your FAFSA form electronically. You’ll have to print out the signature page from the online FAFSA form so that your parents can sign it and mail it to the address indicated.”  

Please remember if you mail your FAFSA signed forms in for processing it could take up to 11 weeks to be processed so get the application done early.

The process of a student going to college may be overwhelming and every parent feels confused about how to start and where to go and do.  RJ Vega wrote the Advice for Parents of First-Generation Students in order to help first-generation parents deal with their child going to college.  Outside of this, it is important to seek out as much information as you can and ask questions so that you can begin to understand the VWU campus.  Finally, listen to your child and keep an open mind about what they are talking with you about.  You can also check out additional resources.

Virginia Wesleyan University takes pride in our Public Campus Safety Officers.  Our campus is patrolled by officers 24/7. We also feature a gated entrance. Anyone trying to gain access to the campus must pass through our Gatehouse and hold a valid student ID or be registered to visit. In addition, VWU uses the LiveSafe app which provides real time emergency information to our campus community. Students can make a report through the app or request an escort. To sign-up for the LiveSafe app, you must have a VWU email address so your student will have to sign-up for LiveSafe.  Once signed up, a user can enter a phone number for the text messaging service that is other than their own (like a parent or guardian).  Once that is done, they will need to turn on push notifications in order to get it through the application.  After that, the phone number submitted will get the text messages.  Finally, VWU has an excellent relationship with the Norfolk and Virginia Beach Police.

In the summer, students and parents will be invited to participate in Marlin Nation Orientation towards the end of June.  A second session of Orientation will take place in the days prior to the start of the fall (or spring) semester.  At the first summer orientation, sessions will be held discussing campus life, financial aid, student activities/student health, parenting 101, special interest programming, and get important information regarding your student's education at VWU.  You will have the opportunity to get information on the important resources at VWU for your student and to ask institutional officials any questions you may have so that you can have a better understanding of the collegiate experience. 

Yes, WesBridge is available for students that may need to bridge the gap between highschool and college. The program helps students develop the skills necessary to be successful at VWU by taking two courses over the summer prior to the start of the fall semester.

Virginia Wesleyan University’s Work and Learn Program (WLP) is dedicated to providing students with meaningful work opportunities that allow them to better engage with the Virginia Wesleyan University community. Students will develop the necessary skills and experiences to be competitive in today’s job market. The program also gives students the opportunity to actively contribute towards the cost of their education.

WLP consists of four components:  Federal Work-Study, Campus Cooperative, Residential Leadership, and Opus.  Participating students are able to align their academic pursuits and passions with their on-campus employment.

Federal Work Study: Federal Work Study is awarded to students through Financial Aid to eligible individuals.  Participating students provide service to various offices and departments throughout the University, providing various support services. Their award of $2,500 annually is paid through bi-weekly paychecks at the federal minimum wage. The application process begins on the first Monday in August and can be accessed through each student’s financial aid portal located in WebAdvisor .

Campus Cooperative: These opportunities are funded through institutional funds and mainly cover support services in areas like the Learning Center, Batten Student Center, Student Activities, Center for Enrollment, and Marlin Ministries. Students employed through the Campus Cooperative receive a tuition credit of $2,500 annually. Applications for Campus Cooperative positions are ongoing. To learn more about the positions and/or to apply, visit the Campus Cooperative page.

Residential Leadership: The Residential Leadership program encompasses all student resident assistants (RA). Participating students are responsible for building a sense of community in their assigned hall and residential village. To be eligible to be an RA, you must be a sophomore.  RA's also enforce University policy in regards to student discipline. RA's are compensated through a tuition credit of $4,200 annually.

Opus: The Opus program is a privately-funded initiative that assists students, who after exhausting all financial aid, have an outstanding balance on their student account. Students are awarded a grant amount and in exchange, complete a number of work service hours for the University. Students accepted into the program are able to register for the upcoming semester and participate in the housing process, if they are resident students. Qualifying students are invited to apply.

Under FERPA, VWU cannot disclose that information to anyone but the student.  The student can enter WebAdvisor to obtain that information.

Every student has the option to release their records to other individuals by filling out a FERPA Release form in the VWU Portal.