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James Madison University is a four-year public research university in Harrisonburg, Virginia. U.S. News and World Report ranks the university as the third best college in the South. Here’s pertinent information about the school’s admission requirements, the JMU acceptance rate, tuition, financial aid, and more.
Total Cost of Attendance
In 2021-2022, James Madison University tuition and other expenses are as follows:
• JMU tuition in-state: $12,638, a 2.5% increase over the previous year
• Tuition out-of-state: $29,564, a 1.1% increase over the previous year
• Books and supplies: $1,098, a 1.5% increase over the previous year
• On campus room and board: $11,550, a 1.8% increase over the previous year
• Off campus room and board: $11,555, a 1.8% increase over the previous year
• Other fees: $4,002, a 0.4% decrease from the previous year
Total costs, then, are as follows:
• Total for in-state, on campus: $29,288, a 1.8% increase over the previous year
• Total for in-state, off campus: $29,293, a 1.8% increase over the previous year
• Total for out-of-state, on campus: $46,214, a 1.2% increase over the previous year
• Total for out-of-state, off campus: $46,219, a 1.2% increase over the previous year
JMU is need blind, which means that the university doesn’t base admission decisions on a student’s ability to pay. This can help applicants from lower and middle class families who may not be able to afford college costs without financial aid.
In 2021-2022, 58% of first-time, full-time undergraduates received financial aid. More specifically:
• Grants or scholarship aid: 31% received this type of aid with an average award of $9,594
• Federal grants: 15% received this type of aid with an average award of $5,114
• Pell grants: 14% received this type of aid with an average award of $4,630
• Other federal: 5% received this type of aid with an average award of $1,964
• State/local: 11% received this type of aid with an average award of $5,371
• Institutional: 21% received this type of aid with an average award of $7,908
• Student financial aid: 36% received this type of aid with an average amount of $9,063
• Federal student loans: 33% received this type of aid with an average amount of $5,199
• Other student loans: 8% received this type of aid with an average amount of $18,776
Generally, financial aid is monetary assistance awarded to students based on personal need and merit. Students that qualify for financial aid can use it to pay for college costs like tuition, books, and living expenses.
The federal government is the largest provider of student financial aid. However, aid can also be given by state governments, colleges and universities, private companies, and nonprofits. The different types include:
• Scholarships: These can be awarded by schools and other organizations based on students’ academic excellence, athletic achievement, community involvement, job experience, field of study, and financial need.
• Grants: Generally based on financial need, these can come from federal, state, private, and non-profit organizations.
• Work-study: This federal program provides qualifying students with part-time employment to earn money for expenses while in school.
• Federal student loans: This is money borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education. It comes with fixed interest rates that are typically lower than private loans.
Colleges, universities, and state agencies use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial aid eligibility. The FAFSA can be completed online, but note that state and federal and school deadlines may differ.
You can find other financial aid opportunities on databases such as:
In 2021-2022, 8% of JMU students received private student loans with an average amount of $18,776.
Private loans are funded by private organizations such as banks, online lenders, credit unions, some schools, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations. While Federal student loans have interest rates that are regulated by Congress, private lenders follow a different set of regulations so their qualifications and interest rates can vary widely.
What’s more, private loans have variable or fixed interest rates that may be higher than federal loan interest rates, which are always fixed. Private lenders may (but don’t always) require you to make payments on your loans while you are still in school, compared to federal student loans which you don’t have to start paying back until after you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment status to less than half-time.
Private loans don’t have a specific application window and can be applied for on an as-needed basis. However, if you think you may need to take out a private loan, it’s a good idea to submit your FAFSA first to see what federal aid you may qualify for as it generally may have better rates and terms.
If you’ve missed the FAFSA deadline or you’re struggling to pay for school throughout the year, private loans can potentially help you make your payments. Just keep in mind that you will need enough lead time for your loan to process and for your lender to send money to your school.
In 2021-2022, in-state JMU tuition was $12,638. At that price, the tuition for four years would be $50,552. (It is worth noting that tuition increased 2.5% from the previous year.) Out-of-state tuition was $29,564. At that price, four years of tuition would total $118,256. (However, there was a 1.1% increase in tuition from the previous year.)
In 2021-2022, James Madison University tuition was:
• In-state: $12,638, a 2.5% increase over the previous year
• Out-of-state: $29,564, a 1.1% increase over the previous year
• Total in-state, on campus: $29,288, a 1.8% increase over the previous year
• Total in-state, off campus: $29,293, a 1.8% increase over the previous year
• Total out-of-state, on campus: $46,214, a 1.2% increase over the previous year
• Total out-of-state, off campus: $46,219, a 1.2% increase over the previous year
How does that compare to other colleges? In 2020-2021, the average total costs, in-state, for four-year public universities in the U.S. was $25,700, making JMU’s on campus expenses 14% higher. The average out-of-state tuition was $26,000, which means JMU’s on campus expenses are 77.7% higher.
Graduate Tuition and Fees
In 2021-2022, JMU tuition for graduate students was:
• In-state tuition: $11,184
• In-state fees: $1,330
• In-state total: $12,514
• Out-of-state tuition: $27,888
• Out-of-state fees: $1,858
• Out-of-state total: $29,746
In 2019-2020, the average graduate school tuition and fees in the U.S. was $12,410.
Cost per Credit Hour
In 2022-2023, in-state students who take one to 11 credit hours will pay $435 per credit hour. Out-of-state students will pay $1,003. For graduate students in-state, the cost per credit hour is $533; for out of state students, it’s $1,251.
Campus Housing Expenses
In 2021-2022, housing costs were as follows:
• On campus room and board: $11,550, a 1.8% increase over the previous year
• Off campus room and board: $11,555, a 1.8% increase over the previous year
James Madison University Acceptance Rate
In fall 2021, 21,176 students applied to the university. The JMU acceptance rate was 86%.
JMU looks for applicants who took rigorous high school coursework in core academic areas and reviews grades in core areas rather than the student’s GPA. Transcripts are required with the following being optional:
• SAT/ACT Scores
• Lists of extracurricular activities
• One letter of recommendation
• Personal statement
• November 1 of the prior year for early action, non-binding
• January 15 of the academic year for regular decisions
SAT and ACT Scores
JMU no longer requires SAT/ACT scores. Students who do not submit them are not penalized. In fall 2021, 26% of applicants submitted an SAT score and 5% submitted an ACT score. The 25th and 75th percentile numbers of those who submitted were:
SAT Evidence-Based Reading/Writing
Popular Majors at JMU
In 2021, 4,827 undergraduates received a bachelor’s degree from JMU. Here are some of the most popular majors.
1. Community Health Services
Health science students learn about disease causes and wellness strategies, analyzing health concerns and more. This degree can prepare students for medical and dental careers, including public health and veterinary careers. In 2021, 10.4% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
2. Speech Communication
Students can choose between a BA and a BS degree, which will prepare them to further their education in speech/language audiology or pathology. In 2021, 8.6% of graduating undergraduates earned a speech communication degree.
3. Liberal Studies
Referred to as “general education” at JMU, students in this program complete five interconnected areas of study to receive a broad, integrated education, One key goal: for a student to develop sound reasoning habits and communication skills. In 2021, 5.4% of graduating undergraduates received this degree.
4. Registered Nursing
JMU prepares students to become professional registered nurses with courses in biology, chemistry, nutrition, math, psychology, and more while also providing a strong liberal arts foundation. In 2021, 5.3% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
Students study psychology as their main focus in a liberal arts education or use it as a foundation for graduate programs in education, counseling, clinical psychology, social work, criminal justice, and more. In 2021, 4.9% of graduating undergraduates earned a psychology degree.
Undergraduates study a range of sciences, including botany, genetics, evolution, and medicine, with access to labs. Biology research projects can range from genome sequencing to microbiology. In 2021, 4.6% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
In this program, students learn traditional and digital forms of sales and marketing as well as communication and problem-solving skills. They will develop broad expertise that will be valued in business settings. In 2021, 3.6% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
8. Sport and Fitness Administration
Students are provided with theoretical courses alongside innovative activities and mentoring opportunities. This degree helps to prepare them for working with commercial fitness companies, professional sports teams, and more. In 2021, 3.5% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
9. Business Administration
Undergraduates choose from multiple specialties: accounting, computer information systems and business analytics, economics, finance and business law, international business management, marketing, and quantitative finance. In 2021, 3.5% of graduating undergraduates completed this degree.
10. Information Science
Students learn how to solve problems through business and technical skills as they help to design and build computer-based solutions. Course work includes app development, networking and security, business intelligence, and more. In 2021, 3.4% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
JMU Graduation Rate
Graduation rates at JMU are as follows:
• 4 years: 65%
• 6 years: 82%
Post-Graduation Median Earnings
Graduates of James Madison University earn a median annual salary of $61,268. Compared to the average annual earnings of college grads in the U.S of $47,891, the salary of JMU graduates is 28% higher.
JMU is a respected research university that offers degrees in a number of programs. The school’s acceptance rate is high, and the admissions process is need blind, which can benefit students. Graduates of James Madison University go on to earn a good salary, and the school has been named the university in Virginia with the highest employment rate post-college.
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