Profile: University of Richmond (VA)
Imagine a 3,000 student liberal arts college with the resources as well as the endowment of a much larger school. Travel to Virginia and you’ll find that at the University of Richmond (UR). I did, and gathered enough information to write a profile as well as many photos of this attractive campus to make a Pinterest page.
Walk around this campus for an hour and you’re likely to meet anyone from practically anywhere. While Virginia is the largest sending state, the Southeast is only the second-largest sending region. Approximately one-third of UR students are men and women of color. One-ninth are first-generation college students.
While classified as a National Liberal Arts College, the University of Richmond (UR) has not only the liberal arts, but also a business school, a leadership institute and a law school—all of which offer courses to undergraduates within various academic programs. There are over 100 possible majors in combination with minors and concentrations at UR, far more than you will find at liberal arts schools of this size and larger such as Bucknell or Colgate. There are some interesting academic options, especially for students interested in the arts, International Business, pre-law and pre-med that you will not find at other schools.
UR is one of the more supportive colleges when it comes to financial aid with many merit and need-based sources as well as stipends through the Bonner Scholars program, Army ROTC and most prominently, the Richmond Guarantee. Any student, regardless of need or GPA, can apply for the Guarantee to receive a one-time $4,000 stipend to work in research on campus or accept an internship with an approved employer.
UR has a unique campus culture in that it has “coordinate colleges,” Richmond College for men and Westhampton College for women. The university is a product of their merger in 1971. However, some of the traditions of each college remain. The students who enter in 2018 will be the first freshmen to be assigned to halls that will be co-ed by alternating floor. Freshman halls have long been single-sex residences. While the community is quite diverse ethnically and geographically and quite accommodating to all views and faiths, prospective students should learn about the traditions that continue on as well as the Greek system. Greek life involves the majority of the women, as well as 40 percent of the men, although the social organizations do not have their own houses.
But students do not need to participate in Greek life to have a rewarding social experience. In addition to activities on campus, there are many things to do in Richmond, a city of over 220,000 residents. While Richmond is smaller than other cities that host other universities that students consider, it has a thriving arts, cultural and culinary scene as well as First Friday festivals each month and ethnic festivals throughout the year. Departures magazine called Richmond America’s Next Great Food City in 2014 . The city was also named a top world food travel destination by National Geographic two years later.
If you prefer a school where undergraduates are the higher priority and want to be in a diverse and interesting city, the University of Richmond is well worth consideration.
Report Card: University of Richmond
- Four-Year/Six-Year Graduation Rates: A
- Freshman Retention: A
- Costs: A
- Curriculum: A
- Community: A
- Comforts: B+
- Connections: A
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