Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Life


What is the size of the Mary Baldwin University campus?
The campus covers 54 acres. It is located one block from the historic downtown district of Staunton, Virginia.
What is the geographical distribution of the traditional age students?
Students come from more than 30 states and eight foreign countries. Approximately 60 percent come from Virginia.
What are the most popular majors?
  1. Sociology
  2. Art
  3. Psychology
  4. Asian Studies
  5. History
  6. Communication
  7. Business
  8. Health Care Administration
  9. English
  10. Political Science
  11. Social Work
  12. Criminal Justice
What are the advantages of attending a school the size of Mary Baldwin?
Small classes provide individualized and personal attention with an opportunity to balance academics and social life. Also, there is increased opportunity to participate in organizations, sports, and school functions.


Student to faculty ratio: 12 to 1.  |  Average class size: 17

Very close association between faculty and students.

More than 200 leadership positions are available on campus and are all filled by women.

Opportunity to do individual research and complete an internship.

What courses do freshmen take?
Freshmen must take the freshman class Mary Baldwin 101. The class is part of freshman orientation and helps students make the transition from high school to college life.


PHED 100 fitness class is also required for graduation, students are encouraged to take it during their first semester.

Otherwise, there are no other freshman requirements. There are, however, graduation requirements. Freshmen are urged to explore and expand their academic opportunities, whether or not they have chosen a major.

How many students go on to graduate school?
20 – 25% go directly after graduation.


45 – 55% go within 5-10 years after graduation.

Are there computer labs on campus?
Yes, every academic building has a lab (see student computer labs.) All residence hall rooms, classrooms, offices and laboratories are connected by a 1 Gigabit Fast Ethernet network using fiber optic and twisted pair cable. In addition, Secure Wi-Fi Network access is available in every building on campus.


Students are encouraged to have their own computers in their rooms. There are more than 200 work stations in the labs outfitted with hardware and software appropriate to current courses.

Do you have the same advisor all four years?
No, you will change advisors when you declare your major.
Is financial aid academic or need based?
It is both. Approximately 99% of students get need-based aid. Virginia residents qualify for a Tuition Assistance Grant from the state of approximately $3,100.
What is the deadline for submitting the FAFSA? School Code 003723
The quicker you and your family do your taxes the better. The priority date is April 15.
Do I need to file the FAFSA to get a campus job?
When is new student orientation?
Weekend of Welcome is held the weekend before the opening of school each fall (see the College Calendar). Placement tests and registration are scheduled as well as dances, mixers, movies, and picnics provided by the Weekend of Welcome Committee. It is also the time that students participate in the Academic Advising Program. The student meets with her faculty advisor, peer advisor and freshmen advisor throughout the first semester.


We also offer BOLD 101. This required course includes information on study skills, motivation, time management, use of the library, and self-esteem. This is a part of continuing orientation in the freshmen halls throughout the year.

Is there a career and placement office?
Our Rosemarie Sena Center for Student Life and Career Development, or Sena Center, is a significant resource for all students. Freshmen are required to spend time there learning all the many opportunities available to them throughout their years here. Workshops include resume writing and time and stress management. Other services include free tutoring, interview preparation and graduate school preparation.
What opportunities are available for study abroad?
Many study abroad opportunities are available to students at Mary Baldwin University. A number of faculty accompany their students to overseas locations for academic study during May Term (an intensive 3 week term).


May Term travel in the last few years have included:

  • Italy – Renaissance Studies
  • London – Theater/ London – Criminal Justice
  • France – French Civilization/Art Appreciation
  • Japan – Modern Japan/Asian Studies
  • Australia/New Zealand – Sociology
  • Spain – Spanish in Madrid or Costa Rica
  • Russia -courses TBA in St. Petersburg
  • Bulgaria/Turkey/Greece – Colloquium

Social and Cultural Life


What do Mary Baldwin students do for fun?
The diversity of Mary Baldwin’s student body (30 percent African American, 7 percent Hispanic, 10 percent other ethnicities, on average) is showcased in the wide array of on-campus activities sponsored by the college and student organizations during the week and on weekends. Baldwin Program Board often coordinates activities with surrounding colleges such as Washington & Lee, Hampden-Sydney, Virginia Military Institute, and the University of Virginia, among others.


Annual events, such as Apple Day, Signature Ball, Spring Fling, theatre, music, and coffee houses offer a richness and diversity of options. Students also have access to larger cities such as Washington, D.C. (2.5 hrs), Richmond (1.75 hrs) and Roanoke (1.5 hrs) where they can enjoy shops, museums, and theaters.

Wintergreen and Massanutten ski resorts are both a short drive from campus. Shenandoah National Park, national forests, and recreation areas present unlimited opportunities to enjoy backpacking, hiking, rafting, canoeing, and camping.

What sports are available?
Varsity athletics include tennis, volleyball, basketball, cross country, softball, and soccer. Mary Baldwin competes in NCAA Division III and participates in the USA South Athletics Conference.


Club sports are fencing, field hockey, dance, riding, swimming, and cheerleading.

What is the town of Staunton and surrounding area like?
Staunton is a town of about 24,000 in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Its economy is based primarily on service organizations, retail sales, and a growing tourism industry.


There is a large and lively artistic community providing many cultural activities. The downtown area bordering the campus, is a historic district that includes restored homes, antique and gift shops, restaurants, professional offices, and a movie theater.

What about transportation to and from Staunton?
Staunton is conveniently located at the intersection of two main interstate highways – I-81 and I-64.


  • Our nearest airport is the Shenandoah Valley Airport 15 miles away in Weyers Cave.
  • The Charlottesville Airport is 45 miles away.
  • The Roanoke Airport is 85 miles away.
  • The Amtrak Train Service is available at the downtown station.

Application Process


What are the requirements for applying to Mary Baldwin?
You need to submit:


  • high school transcript
  • SAT/ACT scores or TOEFL (Mary Baldwin code for SAT: 5397, Mary Baldwin code for ACT: 4374)
  • Mary Baldwin University application for admission (see above)
Is a formal interview required?
No. However, we encourage you to make an appointment to meet with an admissions counselor when you visit the campus.
What is the deadline for submitting an application?
Mary Baldwin University makes admissions decisions on a rolling basis.


The deadline for transfer applications is August 1. Spring application deadline is December 1.

How important are the grades before my senior year?
Grades in the junior and senior years are weighed most heavily.
Is it better to get an A in a regular course or a B or C in an AP or IB course?
It is better to take the more difficult course load and get a slightly lower grade.
What are the GPA requirements?
Mary Baldwin College for Women does not have specific GPA requirements, as each student is looked at holistically, including but not limited to high school transcript, test scores, personal statement, letters of recommendation, etc. However, the average GPA for the Fall 2015 incoming class was a 3.4.
What is the required SAT score?
Mary Baldwin College for Women does not have specific SAT requirements, as each student is looked at holistically, including but not limited to high school transcript, test scores, personal statement, letters of recommendation, etc. However, the average SAT score (3 score) for the Fall 2015 incoming class was 1500.
Do you accept the ACT instead of the SAT?
Mary Baldwin College for Women does not have specific ACT requirements, as each student is looked at holistically, including but not limited to high school transcript, test scores, personal statement, letters of recommendation, etc. However, the average ACT score for the Fall 2015 incoming class was 22.
Does Mary Baldwin superscore?
Yes. Mary Baldwin College for Women superscores (takes the highest in each sub-category of the standardized test) both SAT and ACT scores.
Are achievement tests required for Admission?
How do AP and IB credits count?
The scores needed are 4 or 5 on AP, 5, 6 or 7 on IB.
Can I spend the night on campus?
Yes, but you should arrange an appointment in advance. Contact
To what other schools do Mary Baldwin applicants apply?
Some of the top institutions to which Mary Baldwin applicants applied were:


  1. James Madison University
  2. Virginia Commonwealth University
  3. George Mason University
  4. Radford University
  5. Old Dominion University
  6. Christopher Newport University
  7. Longwood College
  8. Hollins University
  9. Mary Washington College
  10. Howard University

Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid


What is the yearly tuition at Mary Baldwin?

The tuition for the 2016-17 year is $30,240.

What is the cost of room and board?

Room and board for 2016-17 is $9,230, including local telephone service and long distance access as well as an Internet hook-up.

What is the student organization fee?

This fee, $395, provides seed money to the Student Government Association and the over 30 student-run organizations that create so much vitality — and such great opportunities for leadership skills development — on the Mary Baldwin Campus. The breakdown is $275 for the student activities fee (mentioned above) and $120 for a technology fee.

What is the total, comprehensive fee for one year?

The direct cost for 2016-17 is $39,865.

99% of students receive some form of financial aid, with an average aid package of more than $22,000 including loans

What about financial aid? Fees? Scholarships? Campus job opportunities?

Mary Baldwin offers a number of merit-based scholarships valued up to $20,000 a year.

There are on-campus work-study job opportunities available in the dining hall, mail room, and administrative offices, among others. These are included as part of the financial aid packages. Financial aid funds earned on working are not applied to the tuition, room and board bill from the Business Office. Students receive a monthly check for hours worked.

More Financial Aid Information.

Application Process


How are residence hall rooms chosen?

After a student makes her housing deposit ($300) to the Admissions Office, she receives an incoming housing form in May. This form asks several questions about personal habits and also describes all the housing available for freshmen. Freshmen students have a choice of two residence halls: Woodson and Spencer.

May students request specific residence halls?

Yes, students can list their first choice.

Transfer students will room with other upper classwomen.

May students request to room with someone they know?

Yes. Both students must make the request when filling out their housing forms

Can students have visitors in their rooms?

Up to three guests per student can visit for up to 72 hours (three days), afterward guest(s) must leave campus for 72 hours. There is NO visitation during exam weeks or in designated study areas on campus.

What can be done if my roommate and I don’t get along?

The first option is to try to work out your differences. If there is no solution, both students must request a change and meet with the director of residence life.

Are freshmen allowed to have a car?

Yes, all students may have cars on campus. There is a designated parking lot for freshmen. Each year students must pay a fee for a parking permit. Parking Information and fees.

Do students need a computer?

Computers are recommended but not necessary. There are several well-equipped computer labs on campus.

Is the campus safe?

Mary Baldwin provides 24-hour security. Security phones are located in parking lots and near dormitory doors. The surrounding area and Staunton provide a generally safe environment. Mary Baldwin has one of the best campus safety records in the country.

What about alcohol and drugs?

Federal and state laws are supported by the college’s policies.