Southern Virginia University is a college of the liberal arts that is affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is located in Buena Vista, Virginia. Southern Virginia University is only liberal arts college that embraces and promotes Mormon values. This allows students to obtain meaningful education while enjoying the atmosphere of Christian support.
Currently, distance education is not offered by the university. It could be due to the fact that the university is small and wants its students to benefit from the campus environment. Nevertheless, colleges and universities of all religious affiliations and agendas have succumbed to the demand of distance learning. Distance learning at SVU is not a question of if, but when.
SVU takes a more traditional approach to the liberal arts, being defined as Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Mathematics. The intrinsic quality of the liberal arts, SVU believes, is that it teaches students to articulate, engage in critical thinking, and interpret information from multiple perspectives.
Through this model of learning, Southern Virginia University trains a small, elite class of individuals to handle the issues of tomorrow with enlightenment and specialized knowledge. The university enrolls only about 700 or 800 students in any given semester. This allows them to engage in focused, personalized classrooms for superior education.
The model is strengthened with a core curriculum that creates a common intellectual foundation for students to build upon. Students learn about the arts, they leaf through great works of literature and philosophy, they study the sciences, and human history. This is then brought together with insights of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Combining classics with forward thinking has created a truly unique experience for SVU students.
Another unique feature of the college is that, prior to graduation, a given student must demonstrate, at least, intermediate grasp of a foreign language. Students are encourages to go beyond the limits of Western thought and the English language to explore other domains and schemes. Latin, Spanish, French, Greek, and German are offered as language options for the students.
With the university’s roots in Mormon values and community, it has much support to work with. An example of this is that 95 percent of the student body receives financial aid from the university itself to help lower the cost of tuition. The average amount received by any given student is $4,500.
The cost of education, even without grants and aid, is not very high. For a year of education, provided that the student is taking more than 11 credit hours per semester, the price is $16,500. Otherwise, a student is considered part-time and will pay $920 per credit hour. The sticker price, of course, is not the net amount paid. Instead students pay much lower amounts per year, usually below $10,000. This is due to the collective contributions of federal, state, local, and institutional grants allotted for the purpose of tuition.