A student rests a hand on the Ram Horns outside The Commons in front of a plaza.

At VCU, our support for students is unrivaled

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About 5 ways VCU is uncommon: In this series, we explore how VCU students learn, grow and challenge the status quo at one of the nation’s premier urban universities.

You may be in the middle of it all on our urban campuses, but at Virginia Commonwealth University, you’re not alone in your journey. VCU’s culture of care centers support for students.

At VCU, you’re automatically assigned a financial counselor who works with you to help you navigate paying for college and coordinates with your academic adviser to offer support and help keep you on track.

From 2019 to 2022, VCU had a:

24% increase
increase in scholarship funding for students
12% increase
increase in grant funding
7% decrease
decrease in student loan borrowing

Our First Year and Second Year Experiences and Transitions program offers student success courses to help you learn how to navigate college and look ahead to navigating the real world. These courses are tailored to your interests, aspirations and career goals. They include courses on financial literacy, well-being, belonging and how to thrive in your major. In fall 2022, 80% of first-year students enrolled in at least one first-year success course. Students who complete these courses historically earn higher GPAs and graduate faster with less debt.

Career Services has services available to you as a student and after you graduate. We offer a minor in career readiness and Major Maps to give you an opportunity to engage in experiences to maximize your courseload and plan your degree, get connected with your community, build cultural agility, explore careers, develop essential skills and prepare for life after college.

A doctoral student receives a hood at a hooding ceremony, as two professors lift a piece of fabric over their head on the stage in front of a large VCU banner.
Thousands of members of the VCU community gather to celebrate the success of our graduates at VCU's commencement ceremonies each May and December. (Kevin Morley, Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

We offer support for life outside the classroom, such as recreational and well-being services. Our mental health resources, such as the 24/7 service TimelyCareUniversity Counseling support groups and more, offer options to get you the support you need. Our Rams in Recovery substance use recovery program, which has served as a model for other universities in Virginia, provides resources to support students in recovery during their college experience. Students also have access to Ram Pantry and our little free pantries around campus.

VCU’s Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity office supports students with disabilities, mental health concerns and chronic health conditions who may be seeking accommodations or related supports. We offer an Assistive Technology Lab, first-year transition SAEO Scholars program and services to assist with accommodations. VCU TRiO provides additional support services to first-generation college students, students who are low-income and students with disabilities.

All that support is there to give you the space and security you need to prepare for what’s next – life after VCU. The final installment of our 5 Ways VCU is Uncommon series focuses on the unique ways VCU makes sure you are ready to start your career as soon as you graduate, if not before.