For Parents and Families

At Sweet Briar, you’ll get the personalized attention that results in long term success.

Kaia Rokke '23 checks in on Move In Day. Kaia Rokke '23 checks in on Move In Day.

We know that parents and families often have different questions than prospective students do. The Sweet Briar Admissions team is here to work with your whole family and get you the answers you need.

Making the Right Choice

Q: Why Sweet Briar?

Learning by Doing

Our classes historically average about thirteen students. We can focus on mentoring and hands-on learning in all majors. Our innovative academic calendar includes two 3-week terms designed for internships, research and other experiential learning opportunities. 60% of our students do research with faculty, a key credential for graduate admissions, which is maybe why we average 100% admittance into veterinary school!

We’re particularly committed to increasing the number of women in STEM fields, from environmental stewardship to engineering. We have an ABET-accredited engineering science program — along with other STEM programs.

Women’s Leadership

The best way to prepare for leadership is to become a leader. Eighty percent (80%) of our students hold a formal leadership role in a student organization. Our four-year, innovative Core Curriculum focuses on women’s leadership to help Sweet Briar alumnae carry their leadership experience into the broader world.

Alumnae Network and Employment

Within six months of graduation, 90% of our students have jobs or are in graduate school, and 80% of our students complete at least one internship. 

Our long tradition of women’s leadership has led to a particularly strong alumnae network. Our alumnae are famous for being generous with their time. For example, our seniors have the opportunity to be paired up with an alumna mentor who can offer career advice, assist with graduate school or job applications, and provide guidance on life after graduation.

Q: Why a women’s college?

Supportive environment, experiential learning and  leadership opportunities

Sweet Briar’s learning environment is supportive, collegial and free from misogyny. Classes feature hands-on learning and discussion. Students have multiple opportunities to be engaged with their college and the broader community through leadership experiences, internships and research.

Satisfied graduates

  • More women’s college students graduate in four years or fewer than at coed institutions (which means fewer years of college expenses).
  • There is a higher level of satisfaction with their experience and preparation for life after college than alumni from co-ed institutions.
  • Women’s college have a higher emphasis on their academics and provide a more comfortable classroom atmosphere.

A strong commitment to access and affordability.

  • 94% of first-year students enrolled full-time at a women’s college receive some form of financial aid.
  • 48% are eligible for Pell Grants.
  • The average annual institutional aid is more than $15,000.

*Statistics taken from the Women’s College Coalition website.

Families Weekend Families Weekend

Practical Questions

Why should we submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)? How can we access the application?

We encourage all families to submit the FAFSA. You have to submit the FAFSA to be eligible for federal government aid. If you live in Virginia, you are eligible for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG), but you must apply by July 31. 

You can complete the FAFSA several ways:

Wanda Spradley, director of Financial Aid, has been working at the College for more than 25 years, so she knows her stuff. Check out this blog Wanda wrote for details on filling out your FAFSA. And don’t be afraid to reach out to our Financial Aid Office if you have questions!

We’re proud that only a very small number of Sweet Briar graduates default on their student loans. Partly, that’s because our financial aid office does a great job meeting with students one-on-one and educating them about student loans and what they need to do to stay current on their payments. It’s also because our students graduate and get jobs that enable them to pay their loans back.

Where do students live?

Over 90% of students live on campus, in one of seven traditional residence halls or in our apartment style living, Green Village. They’re supported in the residence halls by resident advisors, resident coordinators and peer academic mentors.

Learn more

What are the dining options?

Sweet Briar is known for our food! Our dining services partner is Meriwether Godsey, a local, women-owned small business. They provide nutritious meals that are sourced from our greenhouse and other local providers. Our meals are made from scratch daily, with diet and allergy-sensitive options. You can learn more about them and see daily and weekly menus here.

How do I stay involved and informed, as a Sweet Briar parent?

We encourage parents and families to be involved with life at the College. We host Families Weekend every year, generally early in October. We have a Parents’ Council, made up of parent volunteers, who help keep our families informed about events on campus and who regularly meet with folks on campus to speak about issues important to parents. The council also has a closed Facebook group, just for current parents, where folks can ask questions of other parents and of members of the College administration.

You can also check out our news site, which features student and faculty news, upcoming events, feature stories and more.

What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as FERPA and the Buckley Amendment, helps protect the privacy of student education records. The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records. Students who are currently or formerly enrolled, regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency, are protected. Educational records are generally defined as any record that is directly related to a student from which a student can be personally identified, and that is maintained by an education agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. You can read more about Sweet Briar and FERPA in the college catalog.
What is the course catalog?

Sweet Briar’s Undergraduate College Catalog, updated annually, contains just about every piece of information you need to know about Sweet Briar, including a list of members of the administration, college fees, general information about the College and the services available to students, and detailed information about courses and requirements for graduation.

The most commonly sought-after information is the list of courses and requirements for each major.

Visit Sweet Briar during Virginia Private College Week! We can’t wait to see you and to show you why Sweet Briar is “Home!”

Learn more on our website

Sweet Briar College hosts counselors for our Admission’s Counselor Open House. For more information, contact our admissions office at

Sweet Briar College hosts counselors for our Admission’s Counselor Open House. For more information, contact our admissions office at