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Mom0012

University of Richmond

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Does anyone here have experience with this school or know someone that does? This school has been at the top of my daughter’s list but she just unexpectedly was accepted into the University of Virginia’s nursing school. Plus we also recently visited James Madison and she really loved it.

Basically, she needs to decide in the next few days because she switched her application to early decision II for Richmond. She could withdraw her application or switch to regular decision prior to decision releases. After decisions come out, she is contractually obligated to attend Richmond. Academics at Richmond are great as long as she decides against nursing. It is more the social life I am wondering about. I keep reading about the wealth of many of the students and we are not wealthy. It would only be possible for her to attend because they offer such great financial aid.

I’d love to hear any thoughts about Richmond, positive or negative, that I can pass along to her.

Edited by Mom0012

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How comfortable is she in cities? Richmond is a lot bigger/more urban than Harrisonburg or Charlottesville, and you don't have to get far off campus for that to be very apparent.  And yes, at least when I was a kid, Richmond got a lot of their students from private, more affulent schools, so there was a dichotomy between students picking Richmond vs VCU (for example). Having said that, UVA gets a lot of the more affulent, private school crowd, due to being a public ivy. 

Edited by dmmetler
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1 hour ago, dmmetler said:

How comfortable is she in cities? Richmond is a lot bigger/more urban than Harrisonburg or Charlottesville, and you don't have to get far off campus for that to be very apparent.  And yes, at least when I was a kid, Richmond got a lot of their students from private, more affulent schools, so there was a dichotomy between students picking Richmond vs VCU (for example). Having said that, UVA gets a lot of the more affulent, private school crowd, due to being a public ivy. 

Thank you!

We have visited all of these schools. She instantly disliked VCU because of it’s placement in the middle of the city. She loves the URichmond campus because it is actually in the suburbs. That being said, she loves to go to NYC, so it’s not about being uncomfortable in the city. She just wants a campus that feels like a campus and not just a part of the city. She really has wanted a smaller liberal arts college with a close-knit community. That’s what UR advertises, but I’m wondering if that’s really the experience, at least the close-knit part.

This is really just me starting to question this because of her acceptance at UVA. The nursing school has a very low admissions rate and we were not feeling confident at all about her getting in. I guess I’m really just looking for reassurance that UR will be a good experience before she passes on UVA. Thanks for your thoughts!

 

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I guess the main reason I bring up the wealth is because I don’t know if it will leave my dd left out because she wouldn’t be able to afford to do things the other kids are doing? She does have a substantial savings from working over the last couple of years, but I’d hate to see her pressured to blow through it so that she can socialize. Right now, she is very frugal and saves most of her money. I’m not going to be able to give her a lot of spending money.

Edited by Mom0012

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Nursing and not are 2 pretty radical decisions.  What does she see herself majoring in? At UVA if she changed her mind, she would have the entire offering available, but at UR she can't pursue nursing.

FWIW, I don't about UR from the perspective of a college student, but my ds had multiple things that were based on UR's campus and we knew many adult UR grads.  There is definitely a lot of $$ there. I have no idea about the culture, though.   My kids have appreciated having close friend groups who did things on a budget. My dd is always cognizant of asking her friends to do things b/c so many of them have tighter budgets than she does.  For example, Wicked was on her campus this past week.  She desperately wanted to go.  She only mentioned it in passing to several of her friends and specifically talked a couple who she knew could afford tickets. And, dd is on a tight budget.  So, I can see it might cause some problems unless she finds a good cohort of kids who live on a tight budget.

The main thing about UR is its location in the West End.  That is where the $$ is in the area.  UR itself is not in a convenient location and requires driving.  Short Pump is not too terribly far, but definitely requires driving.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Nursing and not are 2 pretty radical decisions.  What does she see herself majoring in? At UVA if she changed her mind, she would have the entire offering available, but at UR she can't pursue nursing.

FWIW, I don't about UR from the perspective of a college student, but my ds had multiple things that were based on UR's campus and we knew many adult UR grads.  There is definitely a lot of $$ there. I have no idea about the culture, though.   My kids have appreciated having close friend groups who did things on a budget. My dd is always cognizant of asking her friends to do things b/c so many of them have tighter budgets than she does.  For example, Wicked was on her campus this past week.  She desperately wanted to go.  She only mentioned it in passing to several of her friends and specifically talked a couple who she knew could afford tickets. And, dd is on a tight budget.  So, I can see it might cause some problems unless she finds a good cohort of kids who live on a tight budget.

The main thing about UR is its location in the West End.  That is where the $$ is in the area.  UR itself is not in a convenient location and requires driving.  Short Pump is not too terribly far, but definitely requires driving.

I agree. She has a wide range of interests and has been having trouble nailing down what direction she wants to go in for a career. To me, if she is not absolutely positive that she wants to go in the nursing direction, then that should be out (for now) and that seems to be the direction she is leaning, with the thought that she could always do a BS to BSN program later if she changes her mind. Not the most efficient route, but the one that may make the most sense for her.

Richmond is actually the better choice for her other areas of interest, I think.

I’m not sure how to weed through the impact of what her financial situation will be on her experience at Richmond, but I appreciate your comments. Thank you.

When you say the West End is a wealthy area, do you mean that it is going to be expensive to do things there? I was surprised to discover that 82% of the students at UR come from outside of Virginia.

Edited by Mom0012

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I went to University of Richmond. I also grew up in Richmond. I loved UR and thought it was a great experience. I’ll share my thoughts, with the caveat that it is all from a long time ago so things may have changed quite a bit.

I was on a full scholarship (not from UR, a separate private scholarship). I also had a lot of friends on scholarship as I was in a honors/scholars program. I never really felt like most of my friends or people I knew were wealthy. I am definitely not from a wealthy upbringing. I knew going into college that I had to get a scholarship or likely wouldn’t go to school. I honestly can say it was never an issue for me while there. 

Most of the students do come from outside Virginia. When I was there (and I think it’s still about the same even though that was a long time ago now), many people were from New Jersey or New England because relatively speaking UR was much more affordable than the schools up there. 

UR is very much a campus school. We spent very little time off campus and being in the West End really doesn’t impact life.  There is the city (which is way more hip and arty than when I grew up or lived in Richmond) but you will have to have a car to go downtown. You kind of have to drive to go anywhere, so being in the West End doesn’t make things cost more. There is a Greek system and when I was there frat parties were a big thing on the weekends, but not the only thing by any stretch of the imagination. Rush happens in the spring so you have the whole fall to make friends before you join a sorority (or don’t). There are also no sorority houses (at least there weren’t then) so it was kind of just another club. My roommate for most of my time (sophomore through senior year) was in a different sorority than me and our other two roommates were not in the Greek system. 

I was a Biology and Chemistry double major. I had a fantastic experience. I had a lot of friends who went to UVA or W&M and I got into both of them but chose UR for various reasons. When I talked to them and compared our experiences in the sciences, I felt like I had a much more personal experience. At the time, the only large classes I had were freshman bio and chem. Everything else was small. I was able to do fairly significant undergraduate research for three years and two summers. I got paid during the summers for the research. Because there were no grad students, I basically just approached the Biochem professor and asked him I could work with him and he said yes. I knew all my professors really well. We would go to their houses for dinners. One of the Chem professors had us to his lake house every summer, we would all as a department go tubing on the James River. We had Tshirts made one summer and all went to Kings Dominion together (with the professors). I went to Florida with several professors and some other students over Spring Break one year to present at a national conference. Yes, all very geeky...but heaven for me. 

Because of the honors program I was in, I was able to take upper level classes in a lot of other departments and had great experiences in Studio Art, Theater, English (I had enough credits for a minor but not the right classes) and Women’s Studies. 

My roommate was almost exactly the opposite, as far as majors, a Art History, English and Women’s Studies major. She had similar relationships with professors in her fields. I knew other people who had similar experiences in Physics, Math, Psychology, Sociology. 

It’s a great school. I’d be happy if my kids when there. It doesn’t have nursing though, so that is a definite downside if she is interested in going that route. 

 

 

Edited by Alice
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On 2/4/2020 at 3:15 PM, Alice said:

I went to University of Richmond. I also grew up in Richmond. I loved UR and thought it was a great experience. I’ll share my thoughts, with the caveat that it is all from a long time ago so things may have changed quite a bit.

I was on a full scholarship (not from UR, a separate private scholarship). I also had a lot of friends on scholarship as I was in a honors/scholars program. I never really felt like most of my friends or people I knew were wealthy. I am definitely not from a wealthy upbringing. I knew going into college that I had to get a scholarship or likely wouldn’t go to school. I honestly can say it was never an issue for me while there. 

Most of the students do come from outside Virginia. When I was there (and I think it’s still about the same even though that was a long time ago now), many people were from New Jersey or New England because relatively speaking UR was much more affordable than the schools up there. 

UR is very much a campus school. We spent very little time off campus and being in the West End really doesn’t impact life.  There is the city (which is way more hip and arty than when I grew up or lived in Richmond) but you will have to have a car to go downtown. You kind of have to drive to go anywhere, so being in the West End doesn’t make things cost more. There is a Greek system and when I was there frat parties were a big thing on the weekends, but not the only thing by any stretch of the imagination. Rush happens in the spring so you have the whole fall to make friends before you join a sorority (or don’t). There are also no sorority houses (at least there weren’t then) so it was kind of just another club. My roommate for most of my time (sophomore through senior year) was in a different sorority than me and our other two roommates were not in the Greek system. 

I was a Biology and Chemistry double major. I had a fantastic experience. I had a lot of friends who went to UVA or W&M and I got into both of them but chose UR for various reasons. When I talked to them and compared our experiences in the sciences, I felt like I had a much more personal experience. At the time, the only large classes I had were freshman bio and chem. Everything else was small. I was able to do fairly significant undergraduate research for three years and two summers. I got paid during the summers for the research. Because there were no grad students, I basically just approached the Biochem professor and asked him I could work with him and he said yes. I knew all my professors really well. We would go to their houses for dinners. One of the Chem professors had us to his lake house every summer, we would all as a department go tubing on the James River. We had Tshirts made one summer and all went to Kings Dominion together (with the professors). I went to Florida with several professors and some other students over Spring Break one year to present at a national conference. Yes, all very geeky...but heaven for me. 

Because of the honors program I was in, I was able to take upper level classes in a lot of other departments and had great experiences in Studio Art, Theater, English (I had enough credits for a minor but not the right classes) and Women’s Studies. 

My roommate was almost exactly the opposite, as far as majors, a Art History, English and Women’s Studies major. She had similar relationships with professors in her fields. I knew other people who had similar experiences in Physics, Math, Psychology, Sociology. 

It’s a great school. I’d be happy if my kids when there. It doesn’t have nursing though, so that is a definite downside if she is interested in going that route. 

 

 

Thank you so much, Alice! She interviewed yesterday and will find out soon. It’s been one of her very top choices from the beginning, but since we hadn’t heard anything from them until last week (and homeschoolers need to be invited to interview), we had assumed she wasn’t being considered. In preparing for the interview, she was reminded of all the things she loves about the school. The interview went well, so we’ve got our fingers crossed. If she gets in, that’s where she’s going.

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She received her acceptance tonight! I think this school is going to be a great fit for her.

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