Virginia Tech® home

Applying/Returning to Virginia Tech

cord and hokie stone chip for recovery graduation


We are excited that you are considering applying to Virginia Tech and for those looking to return — welcome home, we are here for you. We have had many students with substance use disorder successfully graduate and have an increasing range of support for you.

Thinking about college or university is an exciting and anxious time for any applicant. If because of substance use your experience of education so far has not been positive, it can be even more challenging to think about getting your degree. We encourage you to think about applying to community college and using the transfer program as a way of building your academic confidence whilst saving money at the same time.

It is up to you whether you disclose your substance use disorder and recovery journey as part of your application to Virginia Tech. You may find that it is appropriate so that the reader understands your background, where you have come from, and your new or renewed commitment to study. On the other hand, you may feel that your recovery is your personal and private journey. Rest assured you are under no obligation to disclose your substance use or your recovery on your application form. However, there are some things that we would like you to do:

  • Reach out to one of the Recovery Community members to set up a confidential conversation to discuss your recovery and education plans.
  • If you are a community college student, take a look at the roadmaps to ensure you have the required courses for your chosen major
  • Reach out to admissions staff at (540) 231-6267 or via email at to get your questions answered about how to apply. You can also ask to speak in person with a senior member of staff.

We hope that you feel like you are coming back home as you make plans to finish your degree at Virginia Tech, but we understand that it is a nerve-racking process. You may worry about what people think, say, or do if and when they learn that you had to take a leave of absence. It will be up to you who you disclose your absence to or the reason for it. Our job in the Virginia Tech Recovery Community is to support you so that you can have both a successful recovery and a successful education. Here are our suggestions:

  • Reach out to one of the Recovery Community members to set up a confidential conversation to discuss your recovery and education plans
  • Set up appointments with the Cook Counseling Center to support your mental health
  • Set up an appointment with your academic advisor to gain expertise on study techniques and time management to help you to stay on track
  • Make use of the full range of Hokie Wellness support, from sleep, nutrition, financial planning, and physical fitness to keep you at optimum wellness
  • If you are financially able, consider taking fewer credits in your first semester back, even if this means extending your course from 4 to 5 years.
  • You may need to set new boundaries with old friends, especially if they don't understand that you now don't use alcohol or other drugs. Think about new hobbies and activities to replace the old habits you had before taking your leave of absence. The friendships you will make in the Recovery Community will support you, but you also need to be proactive.