Valparaiso College Prowler Essay


Where is Valparaiso University?

Valparaiso University — known as Valpo to those who know and love our school — is in Valparaiso, Indiana, a thriving city of about 32,000 people. We are in Northwest Indiana, about one hour southeast of Chicago, two and one-half hours north of Indianapolis, and 20 minutes south of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.


What do you consider in the admission review process?

We consider many facets: your strength of classes in high school, the trend in your grades, your personal essay, what kind of activities you are involved in, and your test scores. You can check out the high school course requirements for admission into each of our colleges on this page.

The biggest question we ask is: “Can this student be successful at Valpo?” Students enroll at Valpo with a wide variety of GPAs, test scores, essays, and extracurricular involvements.

Do you consider or use weighted grades? Are high school honors courses weighted differently in the GPA?

We do consider weighted grades, though students with unweighted grades are not at a disadvantage. Honors, AP, and IB courses are taken into serious consideration in terms of admission, and the strength of your schedule plays a large part in whether or not you are admitted. Because we have so many students from such a wide variety of schools, we evaluate a student’s GPA and class curriculum based on what their individual high school offers.

Can I transfer any credits I’ve earned elsewhere or through AP testing?

Valpo accepts transfer credits. The general rule is that (a) as long as you took the classes at an accredited institution, (b) they were English, math, science, social studies, or foreign language courses of at least 100-level, and (c) you received a C grade or better, they will typically transfer. We also accept AP and IB tests; simply send a copy of your official score report to us. We require different minimum scores for different AP subjects, typically a score of 4 counts as collegiate credit. For the IB exams, a score of 5 or greater is typical for credit. Please contact your admission counselor for the scores needed on specific exams.

What is the average incoming freshman GPA?

The average admitted student typically comes in with a 3.67 on a 4.0 scale. This is based upon the top high school GPA.

What is the average SAT and ACT for admitted students?

Our ACT middle 50% range score is between 23 and 29. This ACT midrange does not include the writing portion of the ACT, but we strongly recommend taking the writing portion once. Our middle 50% pre-March 2016 SAT scores range from 1510 to 1780, including Critical Reading, Math and Writing subscores. Our middle 50% redesigned SAT concorded scores range from 1090 to 1290, including Evidence-Based Reading/Writing and Math subscores. (For more information about how Valpo intends to use the new SAT, please visit our 2016 Resigned SAT page) We evaluate the ACT or SAT according to your “superscore”, which is a composition of your best subscores regardless of test date. Be sure to send in all your test scores for consideration.

When will I receive a decision regarding my application?

If you have a complete application submitted by December 1, your file will be reviewed by the Christmas holidays, and you will be notified shortly thereafter. We do, however, accept applications at any time on a rolling basis. After your application is complete, you will typically find out your status about four to six weeks later.

A complete application typically includes the completed and signed application form, personal statement or essay, standardized test scores, and official high school or college transcript. We cannot process your application without all components.

Financial Aid

How much does it cost to attend Valpo?

For a summary of the current estimated costs click here.

To be considered for maximum scholarship and financial aid, please complete your admission application by December 1 and have your FAFSA filed by March 1.

What are the types of financial aid?

All of our admitted students are considered for our academic merit-based scholarships. Those are based solely upon your test scores (ACT or SAT that are superscored) and your current GPA. We consider your best ACT or SAT subscore composite, regardless of test date, so it is in your best interest to submit all test scores.

After you file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), we will consider you for possible grants, loans, and work study. You don’t have to pay back grants. Although you repay loans, educational loans are not only low-interest (with favorable repayment options), but an important investment in your future.

More information on scholarships and grants

More information on loans


Can I graduate in four years?

All of our programs are designed for you to graduate within four years. With careful faculty advising and planning, this is very easy to do. For example, most of our students accomplish this and still study abroad or even pursue a double major. Those interested in law school may be considered for the 3 + 3 program through the Valparaiso University Law School. This allows the student to complete a bachelor of arts and juris doctorate within six years (12 semesters), thereby saving one year of tuition. Business students can also complete their MBA in just one year.

Not only do Valparaiso University students graduate in four years, but more than 90 percent of graduates have secured employment or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation for more than 20 years.


Can I major in two areas of study?

Yes, you can definitely double major. Actually, a lot of our students do. Our advisors are great about working with you to develop the curriculum that suits you best. With careful advising and planning, most of the time you can still graduate within four years.

What are the most popular majors?

With more than 70 academic programs of study, we have quite a lot to choose from. Our more popular majors tend to be biology, engineering, nursing, meteorology, education, business, and communication. Our pre-med and pre-law programs are also very popular. For a complete listing, click below.

Complete listing of areas of study


Are students required to live on campus?

The University housing policy requires all freshman, sophomore, and junior-standing students to live in University-operated residence halls (unless they commute from home). With senior standing, you’re free to live off campus, but keep in mind that upperclassmen have the choice of living in a triple, quad, fraternity house, or apartment. Local students may commute from their parents’ home (within 50 miles of campus). And even though our seniors can move off campus, 25 percent of students with senior standing elect to stay on campus.

Is chapel service attendance required?

Chapel is not required. There are many religious opportunities in and around campus, and you decide how involved you want to be – it is your decision.

Are religion courses required?

During your four years at Valpo, you will be required to take two semester-long theology classes. Those classes can include offerings such as ‘Understanding the Bible’, ‘Understanding Islam’, ‘Topics in Religious Ethics’, and ‘Black Theology and Black Church’.


What is the size of the undergraduate student body?

We have approximately 3,200 undergraduates and 1,350 graduate and law students, totaling more than 4,500 students.

What is the average class size?

The average class size at Valpo is about 21 students. The range you might encounter can be anything from an 80-student psychology lecture (with a smaller lab) to a class of three students in a course for your major. Our student-to-faculty ratio is 14 to 1, creating an atmosphere of personal attention and care in which you get to know your professors directly and they will know you by name. We do not have graduate students teaching classes, and more than 90 percent of our professors have terminal degrees in their field (such as a doctorate).

Where do Valpo students come from?

About 30 percent of our students come from Indiana and 35 percent come from Illinois. The rest of the Midwestern states also have strong populations on campus (Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, and Iowa). We also have a number of students from New York, California, Colorado, and Texas. Most states and more than 40 countries are represented on campus.

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Valparaiso is an amazing university, due to the fact that there are so many options given to students and many resources. There are many jobs a student can apply for on campus, scholarships, people to talk to for anything, fun opportunities, food places around the campus, etc. The classes are small, which gives personal attention to students when needed. Student counselors are usually available to talk to the students and have flexible office hours.
My experience at the university has made me experience school, friends and professors differently for the better. Being at Valpo, I've thought about my life and who I want to become. I currently major in criminology to learn more about the problems of the world, many kinds of people and where we go wrong as humans. Also, learn about the role of higher government with law enforcement. Valpo is challenging me and making me enjoy ever challenge everyday.
Valparaiso is a smaller school, but it is no less valuable than larger schools. Valparaiso's key goal for students is to help you reach your full potential and help you build a strong foundation before entering "the real world". Apart from Valpo's extensive academic course selection catalogue, they have many courses, clubs and organizations that help it's students learn about different religions and cultures, become better students as well as better people overall and prepare for life after graduation. Everyone on campus is friendly and helpful. This is an amazing university to attend if you value community, family and religion.
I really like my first year at Valporaiso University. It is very different from high school. I have met alot of new people from all over, and tried alot of new things. I really like the option to be a commuter student, so that I can save money on living expenses.
I am a commuter and don't spend much time on campus but as a local i can tell you the surrounding area is amazing. it has the best downtown just down the road and is a 1 hr train ride or bus ride from Chicago.
I'm only a freshman so things may get better. The staff and resources here are outstanding, it's just the students that are the problem. The diversity is LOW but according to the native Hoosiers it's high? It just depends on what you're used to. The students aren't interested in interacting with people of different ethnicities, this goes for both Caucasian and ethnic groups here. The food is terribly bland and the surrounding area doesn't have much good food to offer. Like people literally tell you the same 4 places that actually have good food. But aside from the students and the food, the staff and townspeople are quite friendly, and the environment, despite it's lack of diversity, greatly encourages and welcomes it. The clubs are wack, the dorms( your beds are about 5 ft apart) and showers(3x4ft maybe) are WAY too small.
I love the community. The academic departments are great. They have an amazing ROTC program. I am current students who enjoys his classes.
Valparaiso university has very clear strengths and minor weaknesses. The campus is beautiful. The professors are friendly and very willing to help and the student body is very welcoming. There is definitely room for improvement though. Many professors do not post grades frequently enough, and some of the course and campus required events feel tedious. If you aren't a Christian/Lutheran you may not want to come here because they are very open about it. All in all its a great school with some minor problems that can be a little aggravating at times. And if you are in engineering, your second and third week will be tough.
They give a lot of importance to Greek life and athletes. If you're not part of any of these you might feel like you don't fit in. However, academics are great and offer many tutoring options.
Valparaiso University is a fantastic school. The professors love helping their students and there are so many different ways to find help for a course.
A small, close-knit college which gives the feeling of a community. The professors are amazing at their jobs and will help you find your career wants and goals. I believe they could improve in their Physics department.
Valparaiso University gave me lots of opportunities to thrive and build my leadership and communication skills. The only thing I would like to see change is to provide more funding for student organizations and get more advertising for them.
I enjoy the small class size and the professors that truly want to see you succeed! The business program is EXCELLENT. You never feel unsafe on the campus. All facilities are very clean. The student life regarding the party scene could be better, but overall a fun university to attend!
Valparaiso University is a great mid-size campus. Everyone is very friendly and has no problem with helping others.
I love the fact that this is such a close knit community, everyone is nice and awsome. There is no risk of bullying and everyone is there to support you.
The Valpo community is very diverse and a pretty tight knit community. The campus is beautiful. Academics are taken seriously and the professors are great. There are many clubs and activities to get involved in. Our basketball team is good, so it's always fun to go to games. One thing I would change about Valpo is the food choices.
Valpo gave me experiences that I will never forget, and it set me up to have the successful life I have now. I could not be more grateful for the small class sizes, personal connections with professors, and beautiful campus that made me feel at home for 4 years of my life!
Very easy to get involved in more than simply academics. If you're going to college just to study, then you're spending way too much money. Valpo can give you book smarts as well as help you develop skills that can only be obtained through experience.
Valparaiso University is very different than any other college I have visited. I am now a sophomore at Valparaiso and can easily say that choosing to attend this university was the best decision I could have made. Valpo goes above and beyond the average college expectations. They genuinely care about each student and provide them with all the tools and knowledge they could need in order to succeed. The only downside to Valparaiso University would be the expenses that some people cannot cover. Often students are forced to leave, not because they want to, but because they have to. Student debt is a reality that most who attend a private university have to face. Unfortunately, if you are not able to afford a private university such as Valpo, you must withdraw and enroll in another school.

Valparaiso University Reviews

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