School Profile: Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University opened in 1859 as Valparaiso Male and Female College, one of the nation’s first co-educational colleges stressing Christian faith. After the Civil War, the college was acquired by Henry Baker Brown and transformed into a business institute. Another subsequent name change in 1906 created Valparaiso University as the second largest school nationally behind Harvard. Today, Valpo stands proudly as a private, non-profit higher learning institution affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. It’s located on a beautiful 350-acre suburban campus in Valparaiso, Indiana, just 50 miles southeast of Chicago. Valparaiso enrolls around 3,300 undergraduates and 1,200 post-graduates annually in five colleges. The university has a freshmen retention rate of 84.5 percent, which indicates student satisfaction.

According to the U.S. News, Valparaiso University is the 5th top regional college, 1st best value school, and 5th best college for veterans with the 168th best nursing school nationally. Forbes ranked Valpo as America’s 182nd best private college and 241st top value with a “B-” financial grade. College Choice honored Valparaiso as the nation’s #1 overall Christian college. Washington Monthly magazine gave Valpo a perfect 100 score as the top U.S. master’s-level institution for civic engagement. Victory Media has listed Valparaiso University among its top 15 percent of “Military Friendly” schools with the 2015 STEM Jobs Approved College Award. Valpo is also on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Valparaiso University Accreditation Details

Last reaffirmed in 2008, Valparaiso University is institutionally reviewed by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). This regional accreditation is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Valparaiso is professionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Required chemistry coursework is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Nursing programs also align with the standards of the State of Indiana Health Professions Bureau and Indiana State Board of Nursing for RN licensing.

Valparaiso University Application Requirements

Even with an acceptance rate of 82 percent, Valparaiso University has a selective admissions process for nursing students. First-year applicants to the BSN program must hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent. A college-prep curriculum with at least four years of English, four years of math, and four years of lab science is suggested. On average, admitted students have a high school GPA of 3.67 and SAT score of 1647. Registered nurses transferring to Valpo must have at least 50 credits from a regionally accredited college. Only nursing courses with a minimum GPA of 2.0 are acceptable. Accelerated BSN applicants must hold a non-nursing baccalaureate degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

On a rolling basis, the Admission Office at Valparaiso University accepts the online or paper Common Application from BSN applicants with the following materials:

• Official high school or college transcripts
• Standardized testing scores (SAT or ACT)
• Advanced Placement test results
• Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)
• Two letters of recommendation
• One-page personal statement of purpose
• Payment for the $30 application fee

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduates taking 12 to 19 credits per semester will pay $36,280 for yearly tuition at Valparaiso University. General fees, including health services, athletics, technology, and student activities, cost $1,170 per year. Standard double occupancy rooms add $6,660 annually for housing. Undergraduate meal plans are estimated to cost $4,260 per year. Valpo suggests students budget $1,200 for textbooks and $1,620 for personal supplies annually. Annual cost of attendance for fall and spring is $48,370 (on-campus) or $37,450 (off-campus). During summers, undergraduates will pay $795 per credit for nursing courses. Starting the sophomore year, BSN students must pay the nursing insurance, lab, and test fee of $939 per semester.

The NCES reports that 96 percent of beginning, full-time Valpo students earn financial aid. More than $62.1 million is shared for institutional awards. Students can earn the Board of Directors Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, Honors Scholarship, Transfer Scholarship, Lutheran Leadership Scholarship, and more. Financially needy learners may qualify for the Federal Pell Grant or FSEOG Grant. In-state residents should apply for the Frank O’Bannon Grant, 21st Century Scholars Award, EARN Indiana program, or Part-Time Grant. BSN students could receive the federal NURSE Corps Scholarship. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is available with part-time campus employment. If needed, students can borrow Federal Direct Subsidized, Federal Direct Unsubsidized, or Federal Perkins loans. There’s also tuition remission for Valparaiso University employees and their dependents.

Accredited BSN Options at Valparaiso

The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Valparaiso University offers three tracks for earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The traditional, four-year BSN program is accredited by the CCNE to prepare freshmen for becoming registered nurses. With a natural and social science background, the 122-credit curriculum fosters the intellectual growth for competent professional nurses. Coursework will delve into biology, chemistry, psychology, kinesiology, theology, and English before beginning major nursing classes. Student nurses fine-tune their clinical skills and therapeutic interventions with clinical practicum in Valparaiso. Simulation training is delivered in the state-of-the-art Virtual Nursing Learning Center in LeBien Hall too.

Registered nurses with an associate degree can further their education with Valpo’s RN-BSN program. Coursework in Phase I can be transferred from other NLNAC or CCNE accredited nursing degrees to accelerate promotion. Registered nurses licensed in Indiana will complete 30 to 60 credits using flexible daytime, evening, and summer course times. Topics addressed include human nutrition, lifespan development, Christian tradition, global health, psychiatric mental health nursing, geriatrics, community nursing, and nursing leadership. Five credits of applied clinical practicum is included. Past RN-BSN students have interned at Porter Regional Hospital, Elkhart General Hospital, IU Health Goshen Hospital, and more. RNs have a reduced tuition rate of $510 per credit.

Lastly, there’s an Accelerated BSN option for graduates who have completed a bachelor’s degree in another field and wish to career change into nursing. Students transfer at least 58 credits of general education and science to speed up their second degree. The program begins every May and can conclude within just 15 months full-time. Accelerated BSN students catch up on courses in health assessment, community nursing, gerontology, nursing research, psychiatric care, adult health, pediatrics, public health, and nursing supervision. Simulation training and clinical practicum is also featured. Graduating with the BSN can prepare nurses for the Master of Science in Nursing program at Valparaiso University.

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