Mason vs. VMI


Should I go to George Mason University or Virginia Military Institute? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Mason or VMI is the better college for you.

Mason Comparison

George Mason University vs. Virginia Military Institute comparison
Mason VMI
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Location Fairfax, VA Lexington, VA
Setting Large Suburban Distant Rural
Students 37,316 1,685
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $9,060 $9,284
Tuition (Out of State) $32,520 $36,128
Room & Board $12,426 $9,482
Avg Net Price $18,629 $16,085
Avg Grant Aid $8,567 $14,434
% Receiving Grant Aid 61% 69%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 81.1% 51.3%
Avg High School GPA 3.66 3.61
Admissions Standards Very High Very High
Applicant Competition Low
ACT Range 24/30 24/30
SAT Range 1120/1320 1100/1310
Application Deadline Jan 15, 2020 Feb 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 64% 69%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $61,900 $62,100
Making Student Loan Payments 73% 84%
Median Student Loan Debt $19,750 $25,000
Median Loan Payment $204 $258
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Comparable Facts

  • George Mason University is larger than than VMI based on total student enrollment (37,316 students vs. 1,685 students)

Mason vs. VMI Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Mason or VMI?

  • Virginia Military Institute is 2.5% more expensive to attend than Mason for in-state tuition ($9,284.00 vs. $9,060.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 11.1% higher at VMI than George Mason University ($36,128.00 vs. $32,520.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Virginia Military Institute than Mason ($16,085 vs. $18,629)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Virginia Military Institute are 31% lower than costs at George Mason University ($9,482 vs. $12,426)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Virginia Military Institute than George Mason University (69% vs. 61%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Virginia Military Institute students is 68.5% larger than aid received George Mason University ($14,434 vs. $8,567)

Mason vs. VMI Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Mason or VMI? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between VMI or Mason .

  • The average SAT score at George Mason University (1153) is 14 points higher than at VMI (1139)
  • Incoming Mason students have a 1 point higher average ACT score (26) than students at VMI (25)
  • Mason has a higher acceptance rate (81.1%) than VMI (51.3%)

Mason vs. VMI Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Mason or VMI? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between VMI and Mason.

  • The graduation rate at VMI is higher that George Mason University (69% vs. 64%)
  • Graduates from Virginia Military Institute earn on average $200 more per year than Mason graduates after ten years. ($62,100 vs. $61,900)
  • George Mason University students graduate with a $5,250 lower median federal student loan debt than VMI graduates. ($19,750 vs. $25,000)
  • Mason graduates are paying $54 less per month on federal student loans than VMI graduates. ($204 vs. $258)
  • More VMI graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Mason students, three years after graduation. (84% vs. 73%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education IPEDS and College Scorecard