University of Mary Washington Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Amy

I have really enjoyed my time at UMW and it has been a great college experience. I enjoyed living in Fredericksburg for the past few years, and I will miss the strong sense of community at this school. I hope in the future that UMW maintains its small size to preserve the 'small campus' feel. I would encourage any student coming here to get involved in the community. Volunteering is something that can bring you closer to the town you live in, show you a world outside of the 'college bubble', and it can help you meet other like-minded service oriented people. Really, in my experience, all the students at UMW are kind, helpful people. You will never find a person lost on campus who can't find ten different people willing to give them directions or even go the extra step and walk them to their destination. Even though, like all colleges, there are groups of people that tend to stick together, most people have at least one friend in all these different groups. People in the same major tend to be friends, but many of my closest friends are not in my major and have nothing to do with my field of study. I would hope to see some more school pride in the future, and maybe one day even a football team. Basically, the college experience is what you make of it but University of Mary Washington can help you make it great.

Rachael

I love Mary Washington. The size was perfect for me: a little over 4,000 students at a public institution in a great neighborhood. I felt right at home. My professors were always fantastic, and the school was small enough that they were all willing to help you out. You never felt like "just a number" at UMW, and I am so grateful for that. I spent the majority of my time with friends, studying, performing on my campus improv comedy team, and giving tours of the campus to prospective students. Needless to say, i was pretty involved. I really only have two complaints about this school: there isn't a lot of school "pride" (I think this is because we don't have a football team) and there isn't a whole lot in the way of parking opportunities. Other than that, the food is good, we are always expanding, and the administration is really open about talking to students. Fredericksburg downtown is cute, quaint, and actually has a decent amount of bar options for students who are 21+.

Kelly

The best thing about the school for me is the small size. It does remind me of high school where every one seems to know everything about each other, but for me seeing people on campus that are in my classes is comforting. There are enough students to make great friends but not too big where I am overwhelmed. I know that there is a lot of push lately to make our school bigger and attract more students; however, I feel that if our school grows any larger that it will lose its small school feel. I feel like this is UMW's greatest attribute. I hope that we keep this size and do not expand to become a college when every student is simply a number. I love the small classes you usually get at UMW. The biggest class I had was about sixty for an intro class. That was a HUGE class for me! If I had to sit in an auditorium with about three hundred kids I would probably fail the class. I like being able to ask professors questions and getting to know some of them. I am usually not in my room much because I have a job and am involved on campus. Mary Washington provides a lot of opportunities to get involved and take leadership roles. I respect the school administration, but like I mentioned up top they are trying to expand the school. Because they are pushing to advertise UMW more and get our name out, I am not too fond of them because I am nervous they will take away UMW's small school environment. Our dorms are very old and sometimes this may turn people off. I live in a dorm that was probably built around the mid-1900s. Although it's very old, I love it. I love having so much history behind our school. We have a lot of rituals and events that have been passed down through the years that we still are involved in. Although no school is perfect, I have to say UMW is as good as it's going to get. I love the campus. It's beautiful. The scenery is relaxing and in the fall it's even more gorgeous. The food of course is not going to be the best, but it's bearable. You learn what you like and don't like.

Megan

There is a lack of school pride, which is one thing I would change. We have no football team so homecoming revolves around the third division soccer team. I like that whereever I go on campus I know people, I'm never in a place where I see all unfamiliar faces. But sometimes, you don't want to see anyone you know and that is impossible. The size is awkward for one night stand hookups because you are bound to see the person on campus the next day and look the other way. Our school is also very white. There is a lack of diversity, and if you see a minority, they stand out because it is rare. I wish more people recognized the intensity of the academics, unfortunately most people have never heard of the damn school. The dorms are hit or miss which sucks, I got the party dorm last year but this year im in an isolated dorm at the bottom of a mountain-of-a-hill. The biggest controversy was our President getting fired for being caught under the influence while driving TWICE... in the SAME DAY. Yea, our President pregames harder than we party, we like to say.

Blake

UMW is great because it is very close to Washington DC, because Fredericksburg has a lot of fun bars, and because it has a beautiful campus. I think the administration has a lot of red tape, which makes it hard to get certain things done. There is some school pride, but the lack of fraternities and a football team kind of limits this. Our basketball teams have been doing very well though, which has helped the athletics department a lot. If I could change one thing I would add at least one more academic building -- even though most classes are small (capped at about 20-25 students) they tend to be cramped because the number of academic rooms has not been increasing at the same rate the student body has.

Michelle

I think the size of Mary Wash is perfect - it's small enough that you can get to know people, and class sizes are great, but large enough that you can still walk down campus and see people that you don't know.

Mallory

I think the best thing about UMW is the people. The students, professors, staff-- you name it, they're pretty amazing. I also think its size is perfect. I was constantly meeting new people, but yet I wasn't just a number in the classroom. With the size of the school, you can establish personal relationships with the professors, and I think that's how I learned as much as I did. They're absolutely brilliant and extremely helpful. There is a considerable amount of school pride at UMW-- but that doesn't necessarily always translate into sporting event attendance. I think well above the majority of students have pride that they go to UMW-- I judge that by the amount of UMW "stuff" people wear-- and it's a good amount. Fredericksburg isn't a college town in my estimation. I think it's a medium sized town that does love our school, though. It's a fun place, small enough to where it's not overwhelming but big enough that there are things to do. And, I'm going to steal an answer from one of my fellow classmates in what I'd change about UMW: it's a Pepsi school, and I'd much rather it be a Coke school. As for an experience I'd always remember, I just can't narrow it down to one. There were far too memorable moments, but I can list a few: Devil/Goat Day, Junior Ring Week, Basketball Games, Grad Ball...

Sarah

I personally think that the best thing about UMW is its size. I love the atmosphere created by a small school, and that is exactly what UMW has to offer. Every time you walk down campus you will see someone you know, whether it be a classmate or professor. A lot of people think that UMW is an all-girls school, but believe me, it's not! There are more girls on campus, which should be even more of an incentive for guys to come! If I could change one thing about UMW, it would be to offer minors. UMW is one of the few schools I know of that does not offer minors.

Melissa

best thing about umw: the community, and knowing people on campus giving the family feeling, but still meeting new people every day. one thing i'd change: the housing selection. the lottery SUCKS. size? just right. leaning towards the small side if youre used to living in a big city or large highschool. small little town seemingly unaffected by the outside world. biggest recent controversy: Bring our president back! lol Kegger at Frawley's! school pride? needs to be more. Anything unusual? A lot of buildings are old, so there are a lot of stories about certain buildings being haunted. one experience I'll always remember: its tradition to swim in the fountain, but campus police don't like that :) frequent student complaints: too small of a campus with nothing going on. (not true...if you know where to look, but a complaint nonetheless). complaint #2: odd smells around Seacobeck and the Nest...not to mention Seacobeck's food..although its getting better.

Connie

Number one, the campus is absolutely beautiful. It is one of the main reasons I chose to go to Mary Wash. It's just the right size, you can walk to all your classes, it's very green, lots of really nice landscaping, big lawns, fountains, and a pretty campus walk running through the center of campus. Not only are the buildings very nice-looking with the red brick and white columns, but there is an architectural consistency which is very admirable when you compare to other schools that may have beautiful old buildings but when they build new ones they are boring and ugly and look nothing like the historic buildings around them. The dorms are nice and while they are built in the same style on the outside (all buildings on campus built in the same style, academic, adminstrative or dormitory), they vary a lot on the inside, which is fun when "dorm-shopping" for dorms for the next school year. The school also offers apartment housing for juniors and seniors, these are great, I lived there for one year and while you're still close to campus, it feels like you're living in a real off-campus apartment, which is cool. The size in my opinion is great, it's not a tiny school, but the class sizes are small, the professor knows who you are, you feel comfortable asking for help. People are often impressed when I tell them I go to UMW because most likely they are aware of its excellent academic standards, sometimes they've been to the campus and know of its beauty, or they appreciate the historic background of the town of Fredericksburg. Downtown is very picturesque, lots of fun, quirky stores, cool coffee shops, taverns, bars, it's also close to the Rappahanock river, where you can go swimming when it's warm. People sometimes complain that there are no chain food restaurants or eateries on campus and while that could be nice, if you own a car or know someone who does, it doesn't really matter too much. The food on campus is alright, depending on your tastes. The standard fast food cuisine is prominent, such as burgers, burritos, pizzas, there are also deli style sandwiches and a salad bar so there are actually a bunch of options. Seacobeck, the large three-roomed campus cafeteria with each room serving different cuisines is great value for your meal plan as it's all-you-can-eat buffet style. The Saturday and Sunday brunches are great.

Beth

Whenever I tell someone instate that I go to Mary Washington, they get it confused with Mary Baldwin. And anyone from out of state? William and Mary, which is very flattering and I hate to correct them. Mary Washington is just too small. I had never heard of the school, after living in VA, until I was looking for colleges. As a vegetarian, the food is lackluster. There's not enough choices! I love salad, but I cannot eat it every day for every meal! The campus is very beautiful, very very beautiful. However, I wish they'd spend more money on a better food plan or on a better working internet system than they do on the damn landscaping.

Paige

At UMW honor is a huge deal. We live/work by our Honor Code, and everyone takes it seriously. I love it as you know that you can trust people and you don't have to worry as much as things such as cheating or theft. The campus is pretty small, but not too small. One of the things that made me choose UMW is the fact that the students and faculty are extremely friendly, trustworthy, and helpful. Literally everyone goes to UMW; every "stereotype" is represented. The campus is really diverse, but extremely accepting and open-minded.

Taylor

I love the size of Mary Wash. It's perfect for me; I love that it is small enough to not get lost but large enough to not know EVERYONE (although there are people who do). There is a lot of school pride even though we don't have a football team.

Stephan

UMW is definitely a medium sized school. Due to the status of being a Division III sports school there isn't the fervor over athletics that you would get a larger University, but the lack of fraternities creates a social atmosphere that is centered around the clubs and sports the school offers. There has been recent problems with selecting presidents but hopefully the new President will last a long time and put those issues to rest. Furthermore the faculty and board of visitors stepped up in a potentially volatile environment in order to keep the university on course. Overall Mary Washington is a medium sized extremely friendly and open atmosphere to go to college and no matter what type of person you are you will find a niche to fill because it is large enough to accommodate diversity while it may not be ethnically representative of the state as a whole.

Jenny

There is not enough to do on campus! THe administration at UMW doesn't want to help us and they always tell you to go see someone else and that they can't help you

Kyle

The administration is terrible and does not use any student input for any decisions that effect our school.

Laura

The school size is perfect for a small school-but also can be too small in the social scene. Because there is a smaller crowd of party-goers, and such it can seem like a second-high-school environment. I spent most of my time off campus, living and 'playing.' I found myself quite bored on campus-I come from a town right outside Boston so I was more accustom to more activities/concerts/etc. to go to in the city, which Fredericksburg could not really offer. The best thing about the school is the beautiful campus, and I think the programming surrounding History. I was a historic preservation major and decided against transferring because I was so enthralled with the program and the professors. When I tell people I went to UMW they often laugh, and tell me that everyone they knew who went there hated it, transferred or dropped out. To be honest, most of my friends from freshman year did drop out or transfer, and I definetely humored the idea of transfering many times. I stuck it through, and found a program that I cared about and a new group of friends! There needs to be more school pride-and will most likely grow when the sports teams have a stronger following, and maybe better facilities?? I found that Homecoming weekend was quite fun, more so because of the heightened party scene-rather than the actual sports games! People joke that homecoming weekend is when we actually act like every other college, and everyone is out and doing things-mostly party-related!

Allison

Mary wash has a great student body, everyone's laid back and has a good sense of humor. It's academically challenging but not as hard as William and Mary. The campus is gorgeous and small, you can walk anywhere / everywhere. Most parties occur in peoples' houses and apartments off campus. There's a TON of gorgeous girls. Everyone's in good shape, Mary Wash ranked as one of the most fit schools in VA. The on campus food sucks.

Katy

In one word I can define Mary Washington: Community. Usually a college community is associated with schools with less than a thousand students, but at 4000 strong, Mary Wash has a sense of unbreakable community. You may not know everyone you pass, but the ones you do know will say hello as you go by them on campus walk. When something happens, you can count on the students of UMW to bond together for support, whether it be honoring the memory of Virginia Tech or coming out to watch the Annual Underwear Run. In our community, there is also a sense of trust. A student can leave their bookbag/laptop/jacket sitting around at Seacobeck (the main cafeteria) and it will still be exactly how you left it when you return. A community is a powerful thing, and with each person, they are able to find their niche and blend seamlessly in the community that is Mary Washington.

Dylan

The school size is just right and the campus is so beautiful - that's what really drew me to it. Every teacher that I have come in contact with has been beyond helpful and I have bonded close friendships with many of the professors within my major. The academic expectation are incrediably high, which creates a very intelligent atmophere around campus. I wish sports were held in higher appreciation by the facutly and administration. Also, the town of Fredericksburg is a town with a college not a college town, which leads to some tensions between the citizens of the Fredericksburg and the students.

Connie

I think Mary Wash's small school-size is extremely beneficial. You tend to keep close ties w/ those roommates and friends you meet within your first year here throughout college. The school is small enough where you will run into people that you know already and can strike up a conversation at any time, but large enough where you will meet new students when you sign up for a new class. The small size becomes advantageous when you decide your major and get to meet your professors. Class sizes start becoming smaller and you develop good relationships with your teachers, which is helpful when you need tutoring or applying to graduate schools/jobs.

Stephanie

I love UMW! It is a beautiful school, not too big, not too small. It is located in a wonderful town that is very accomidating. I have not had any issues with the school.

Mia

no one knows about umw, which is a dissapointment the town of fredericksburg is a very dead town absolutely nothing to do

Elizabeth

The best thing about UMW is the people you will meet. Mostly everyone is down to earth, kind, and considerate. We all respect each other. It's not too "prepy" like UVA, everyone is just being themselves. There are no TAs so professors are helpful and take an interest in their students (unless you're in a large, gen. ed. class). There's a lot to do on campus, you just have to look for it. Join clubs, meet as many people you can - it is possible to know almost everyone on campus. Get involved in activities, even if they're sponsored by a group that you're not a part of.

Harper

Best things about umw - beautiful campus, awesome student professor interaction and generally great professors, generally nice student body, small size makes it feel more cozy and comfortable Worst things - the food. Also the internet is really slow and there is no wireless (apparantly they are fixing it though), the diversity is terrible, everybody is white, the dorms are shit (and freshmen get stuck in temporary triples sometimes, which means they have to have 3 people in a double room), the stupid students, the small size can make it feel kinda like highschool and if you ever want to avoid somebody (thankfully this is rare) its impossible, the shitty school newspaper, Finally, the PARTIES SUCK!!! The parties are the worst, mary wash doesn't have frats except for one, so the parties are at the sports houses (rugby, soccer, baseball) along with other random people who have parties. They only have beer almost every time, they are crowded as shit, the girls are either really good looking and tight or really slutty (and ugly), and they get broken up alot. other thoughts: when I say I go to umw, people are either like Whaaaat? or they look down at me. fredericksburg is shit, there is nothing there, but the river is nice we have spent alot of time there the administration is terrible, they spend money on the worst things. school pride is nil

Bethany

I love the size of Mary Wash- with 4,000 undergrads, you see familiar faces almost everywhere you go, but its not like everyone knows everybody else. You can definitely meet new people all the time. As an out of state student, I have to pay higher tuition and fees than students from Virginia, but UMW is still a great deal compared to the cost of private schools near me, in New England. Schools like Boston College charge almost $50,000 for one year, while I get just as good of an education for half of the cost! Guess the joke's on them.

Chelsea

The best thing about UMW is the sense of community. Since it is a small school, when you walk on campus, you'll more than likely know more people that you don't. This is great because you always see your friends and everyone is very friendly. Unless you like to disappear in crowds, you'll feel right at home at UMW. One thing I'd change about UMW is the course offerings. Although a good variety of courses are offered, when I look at the courses offered at schools such as UVA, there seem to be far more mind-expanding and unique classes offered, instead of general educational topics. UMW is small, but it is just right for me and most everyone I know, even people who had considered going to larger schools, are very happy with it. When I tell people that I go to Mary Washington, most people don't know where it is, and often confuse it with Mary Baldwin, a big mistake, as they are nothing alike. The old town section of Fredericksburg definitely has the feel of a college town, but the city in no way depends on the University to function. The administration has received a great deal of criticism lately with the scandal with Dr. Frawley, but other than his mess-ups, we have a very strong administration that strives to be personal with the students, which I feel is an important aspect of being a part of the University. The biggest recent controversy on campus was definitely President Frawley's repeated DUI's. However, to my knowledge he in no way damaged the University as a whole. There isn't the strongest sense of school pride at UMW since we don't have a football team, but nearly everyone that I have known to have gone to UMW loved it and considers the time spent there some of the best times of their life. There is nothing unusual about UMW that I can think of. An experience I will always remember is my first event as a member of Class Council my freshman year. As a member, we preserve the traditions of UMW and my event was Devil Goat Day, one of the biggest events of the year. It is a carnival-like celebration spent outside in the spring when it gets warm. Students always love to come out and play games and eat free pizza and I was proud to have planned such a big event for the student body. The most frequent student complaints are the food. UMW does not by any means have the best quality or selection of food, but you get used to it, and it only makes you look forward to home-cooked meals that much more.

TJ

Our school is the perfect size. It's not so small that you don't meet a variety of people, but it's small enough that you get proper attention from your professors, and it's nice to be able to recognize many of the people you pass on Campus Walk. I spent a lot of time in my room, because I had a fantastic dorm, but the library is very nice and the Wash Room was a good place to hang. Fredericksburg has a life of it's own, so it doesn't just die when school's out of session, but many of the stores and restaurants do close quite early, which is a pain on the weekends. It does have many convenient places to walk to. The administration is mildly obnoxious, like any school administration, but many of the individual people are very nice. The biggest recent controversy involved a comic that many perceived as racist. There was a lot of discussion in classes, and there was a community forum held one evening. There isn't a ton of school pride, probably due to our lack of a football team. Many people complain that there isn't enough to do on the weekends, but I completely disagree. There are movies every night and many school clubs have activities on the weekend. The Loft in Fredericksburg frequently has concerts. There's plenty to do if you take the time to find them. College is a place to learn. It's not there job to provide us with constant entertainment, but they usually do a pretty good job anyway.

Ashley

I love the size of Mary Washington. I can see the same people on campus everyday but I still meet new people often. The class sizes are wonderful. The biggest class is probably around a 100 people and some of my classes have been no more than 20. Its a nice student/teacher atmosphere that makes me feel like I'm getting a great education. I spend most of my time in the dorms with my friends. I do wish more of the dorms were central air conditioned though, because in August, people were becoming sick from the heat. Also, the slow internet has been a hindrance the entire year, making it hard to communicate with others, much less write a paper. However, that is supposed to be fixed this coming year. The administration hasn't really impressed me. I think a lot of issues, including that of the ex president, picking of the new president, racial issues, and sex offender issues were not handled in the ideal way. However, I absolutely love the school.

Devin

Granted our school is small and in a very quiet and historically important area of Virginia, therefore we can accept the lable of being a more conservative campus in terms of typical college campuses. We don't have greek life, but it's also not needed because of our small 4,000 population. We dont have a football team, but plenty of sport teams on multiple levels (varsity, club, intermural) to join, and we dont have huge raging parties, but that's why I decided UMW would be a good fit for me. The size leads to a tight close community where all students are involved in extracurriculars and therefore everyones social circle is huge. You know at least 5 people when leaving your room, and you can bet on having friends in every class you take. It makes the transition into college a little easier when you can make friends easily. On the down side being a smaller liberal arts school we dont have as much funding as larger schools would have so it leads to only two choices for food on campus, 40 majors, limited campus jobs and a library and gym that close "early".

Blake

UMW is a small school, with a very pretty campus, and some other good qualities. Central Park is located only a few miles from school and houses every store or restaurant you could ever want. It's not a "college town" and the college is actually pretty cut off from the surrounding community (not by walls, but just through lack of interaction). Academically it is very tough, though its name does not carry much weight outside of Virginia. There is not much school pride to speak of and no football team, or other big sport team to rally around (though basketball is pretty popular). Its biggest fault is the administration who are incompetent to say the least.

Christina

UMW is a pretty small school, so you'll get to know the people on campus (not necessarily by name, but you'll get to know the faces). I like that, I like knowing the people around me and not getting lost in the masses. Some people say that because the school's so small, there's never really anything to do on campus or on the weekends, but that's just not true. We have so many clubs and so many activities - you just need to try to get involved. Also - there's drinking, trust me. We're not a party school, but that doesn't mean we don't know how to have a good time.

Robin

I love almost everything about the school. Its good academically, athletically, socially etc. The one problem: THE FOOD IS ABSOLUTELY DREADFUL. Our cafeteria serves a good meal, over THREE rooms mind you, maybe once a week. That includes breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. The food sucks. Our cafe, (the nest) isnt much better. The food is very expensive and the price is not indicative of quality. Not to mention the employees in there are all lazy and slow.

Brian

If you want a small school with personal interaction and attention from professors come here. Its a close community and its easy to get involved. There isn't offical greek life so take that into consideration, I enjoyed not having it. Classes are very high caliber, I'm getting a better quality education than my friends at bigger universities. I know all my professors and they know me. Classes are small and personal. The administration is improving and the general direction of the school is very positive. If you want to go into teaching, business, political science, historic preservation, or many of the better programs its hard to do better than UMW.

Claire

UMW is a great place to go to school. The school has only one problem -- the administration. The way the administration treats the students is disgusting. People -- like at the registrar, career services, bookstore, places like that -- are often rude and unhelpful. And EVERY semester my father (who paid for my education) received a bill for tuition that he had already paid. It was a real hassle, too, because then he'd have to call in to speak with someone which was difficult cause he lives overseas and it's expensive to call the US. And every time they'd just be like, "Oh, my bad" and barely apologize. The administration needs to respect the students a lot more. Before graduation, they painted over the temporary walls that line campus walk in front of Lee Hall. So rude! That is the work of students. Students use the wall as a forum, as a platform for issues they want to promote. To paint over it right when people are coming to see the school is so insulting. The administration completely patronizes the students. Treats us like children. And it's pretty ridiculous that UMW still has the zero tolerance policy on marijuana. A TON of UMW students smoke pot and every year, kids are kicked out for it. It's so sad -- college is a time of experimentation and learning. It is preposterous to think college kids won't try a little weed. It's just crazy to kick them out for pot, but then watch so many students act like freakish drunken idiots around town. Maybe MW should watch out a little more for its drunks and worry a lot less about its mellow, non-problem-causing, non-destructive potheads. But other than the administration, UMW is a wonderful place. The campus is GORGEOUS -- the most beautiful I've ever seen -- and the town of Fredericksburg has a lot to offer -- restaurants, coffee shops, thrift stores, boutiques, antiques, bars, live music, among other things. And there are a lot of cool people at MW and in Fredericksburg. I have met some of the most interesting, intelligent, passionate, fun, and considerate people at MW.

Lindsay

When I tell people I go to UMW, they take a minute to remember which one it is, and then say "Oh, that's a good school." It may be on the smaller side, which is just the right size for me, but it is known for being a good school. The town of Fredericksburg is so cute! But most shops only stay open during the day which is unfortunate. However, there are a few really good restaurants and shops downtown that are always open and VERY welcoming to students! I wouldn't say we have the most school spirit, but I think that has a lot to do with the size of our sports teams. But I think our facilities are on the brink of getting a lot bigger with the new convocation center plans and all of our sports are really fun to go watch. The Homecoming soccer game/weekend is huge! I guess I at least have a lot of school pride:)

Mike

UMW is an insanely beautiful campus with a student life administration dedicated to making college life as fun as possible in spite of the half-antique shop/half-crack house town in which it is located. If you don't have a car, or know someone with a car, you'll be stuck on campus for the most part because the bus service is incredibly slow and full of very sketch townsfolk. If you get acquainted with the Office of Student Activities, you can organize events so that you'd never need to leave campus anyway.

Megan

Way too small, I am transferring becuase there was too much drama. Not many people have heard of UMW and when i tell them I go to Mary Washington they ask "ohh, is that that all girls school... Mary Baldwin?" not a lot of school pride and definitely not a big college town.

Cody

The size is just right. The campus is almost entirely enclosed within 4 streets, which makes it a very pleasant place to be. With no thru streets, you never have to watch for traffic, or be slowed down by it, trying to get to class. The campus is amazingly beautiful. It's incredibly wooded, with trees everywhere. I ahve severe allergies, but surprisingly, I'm fairly alright on that here. Fredericksburg is a town with a college in it, but is increasingly becoming a college town. That period of transition (albeit slow) is a very fun time, because everyone knows about the school (the locals), is connected to it, is impacted by it, but their lives don't revolve around it

Harper

-The best thing about UMW is the campus, in my opinion. In addition to the many acres of beautiful buildings and lawns, UMW has some awesome professors, and also a great weekend social life. -If I could change one thing about UMW, it would be to have Greek life instated at the school. Although it seems contradictory to my previous answer, it would provide a nice social addition for students who don't affiliate themselves with sports teams (who typically throw parties etc.) -UMW is the perfect size for me. Around 4500 people is plenty for me, and although you see many familiar faces around, there's always someone to meet everywhere you turn. -I get mixed reactions when I tell someone that I goto UMW. At home in NJ, many people don't recognize the name, but those that do are well aware of its high academic merit and the level of education provided there. Around the VA area, UMW is much more well known, and I am always proud to announce where I go. With the reputation it has in the VA area, I can see why so many kids from in-state attend here. I can recall one kid at a party at Catholic University in DC asking me where I went, and when I responded "University of Mary Washington" he was blown away. "Wow that schools hard as hell to get into, I didn't get in there, man!" Things like that are great little morale boosters when discussing UMW. -Most of my time is spent on campus. I'd say thats a pretty big consensus for most students, including those who live off-campus. UMW has done a great job making the atmosphere extremely student oriented, with hundreds of activities going on all the time. With so much going on it's not a "pain" to stay on campus, on the contrary, it's very enjoyable. I love going out to Ball Circle on campus walk and throwing a frisbee or football around with my buddies, and it's an added bonus that there are tons of girls (~70% of the school) that are always out there. -College town: yes, but not in every traditional sense. If you picture the gigantic Fraternity houses lining the streets like seen in the movies, UMW may be a slight disappointment. But, Mary Washington's surrounding area is very college oriented. I catch myself smiling sometimes when I'm off campus and I see beer can's in the street, or garbage piles of bottles outside houses on trash day. Fredericksburg has a small town feel to it definitely, but it surely has a strong college sentiment around it. The downtown streets are lined with "UMW" banners on all the light posts, and everyone knows that if you look around college age, that you're a student at the school; which has a great respect in the community, for obvious reasons. -The biggest recent controversy on campus was an incident involving a "racist" student in one of the halls. The student left a sign with a pro-slavery slogan on it in one of the hall's fridges. Many students responded strongly against the situation, making sure that UMW wasn't perceived as a campus full of racists. Another notable event was the recent push by many students to have marijuana moved to a 3-strike policy, versus the current one-strike policy. -UMW has extreme pride, but not exactly like a Virginia Tech or Penn State style school has. Students like myself are extremely proud of their school, but I think it stems more as a pride overall, not just for a football team, or similar notable trait. I would bet that in any given week, every student wears at least one shirt or other piece of UMW insignia apparel, showing that we are proud of UMW and all that it stands for. -I don't think there is anything unusual about UMW. I think that term implies negativity, where as the differences at UMW just make it better than other schools that its students applied to. -One experience I'll always remember was homecoming Freshman year. I think this was when I really fell in love with my school. My friend who goes to Rutgers came down to visit, and we both had the times of our lives. Keeping with past school tradition, "Kegs and Eggs" started at 9am on Saturday, followed by a seemingly mandatory attendance to the men's lacrosse game, and men's rugby games. After that, an exodus of kids moved to a 10 keg party that lasted into the early hours of the morning. Sunday morning rolled around, and by noon the festivities continued with parties at every student house around campus.

Kate

Just right size but growing fast. Fredericksburg is amazing if you're looking for a small-town, quiet place to live with lots to offer a history buff. Not a huge amount of school pride due to a lack of a football team, but your college experience is what you make of it.

Devin

too small, too close for NOVA kids, like high school

Brett

I spent most of my time in duPont, being a theatre major and all. The biggest controversy was certainly when Dr. Frawley got his DUIs. I found UMW to be the perfect size for me, because I really wanted a smaller school. Most people asked if I went to an all-girls school, but they usually though I went to Mary Baldwin. The town was great, especially the historic downtown.

Madeleine

UMW is pretty small, so you see a lot of the same people pretty often, but you also see new people too. The dining service is dreadful and it's generally hard to effect change on campus as a student. The Student Government seems to be disinterested in the students, other than hosting the same events as always and acting important. The administration can be lofty and the Board of Visitors is entirely disconnected and not at all transparent about decisions. The price is good, but it sometimes seems that you get what you pay for. Still, the professors can be great, especially the further you get in your major. There are loads of clubs for all sorts of interests, both academic and otherwise. School pride is not part of the package, which can be most evident by the lack of a football team. People are more interested in their individual activities than a larger community.

Kat

UMW is a great place for some people, but others won't find their place here. UMW is a small school without a Greek life, and it never advertized itself as a party school. If you are looking for an extravagent party life, you should look elsewhere. The college town is pretty quaint. A lot of the students go home for the weekend, so that can leave the campus feeling dead sometimes. One of the worst issues is that a lot of students want to transfer out, perhaps because they feel that the school lacks a social life or because they feel locked out by the university's administration. The school is 2/3 female, 1/3 male. At least you can be guaranteed on-campus housing for all four years, which is a major plus. There are little more than 4000 students on the undergraduate campus, so indeed it is small, but not so small that you will feel confined. In general, most of the classes are small. The exception would be the introductory classes in the sciences and the social sciences, where classes could contain 50-100 students. But other than those lectures, I have never had a class larger than 40 students. Another perk of the size is that there aren't any TAs, and the professors (for the most part) really seem to care about teaching. So you can definitely get a good education here. Most of the classes are challenging, so you will be spending a lot of time studying if you want to get good grades and make the most of the learning experience. But the coursework isn't so challenging that you won't have time for fun, either. One common complaint about this school is that it is very hard to get the courses that you want, but I suspect it wouldn't be any better at other universities.

Andrew

I think Mary Washington is a great school, not only because of the small class sizes and the professors who actually see you as an individual and not just a number. While you may think the admissions office is just saying that, it is true. It might not be apparent right off the bat as a freshman, but I have developed great relationships with many of the my professors. The one downside to the school i would say is the sense of pride in the school. As an athlete, we support each other by going to other team's games, but I feel from people not involved through friendship directly with athletes or being on a team, there is no sense of school pride shown through athletics. This is something that disappoints me because it is something that could be made fun year round for the entire student body.

Samantha

The best thing about mary washington is the closeness of the students. Everyone knows everyone else and all their drama. It's pretty easy to walk down College Avenue and see people you know and be able to gossip about them ;-) Reactions to me saying i go to umw are "wow....I heard that school is super boring." And it's mostly true. I don't have that much fun. Most of my time on campus is spent in the academic halls. I don't live on campus so I don't hang out there or eat there, and the library is entirely too depressing to spend more then the bare minimum there. Frequent student complaints include: administrationk, PARKING, the unfair-ness of the campus police, lack of activities on campus.

Jeff

The school is small, but not too small. It has enough people that you will know a good portion of the people you walk by, but you will always get to meet new people. I think the best part about UMW are the people, the faculty, staff, and students. You have some bad professors here and there, but for the most part, they come here because it is a teaching oriented college and they love to teach. A lot of the students reflect these desire for knowledge, which results in a pretty large activist community. Unfortunately, there isn't much to do on campus, but you can find lots of stuff to do downtown. I am amazed by the stuff I keep finding in Fredericksburg. The administration of UMW is like a lot of bureaucratic institutions that like to point blame elsewhere for practically everything. However, you have some compassionate people who are interested in what students have to say, but they are a rare find. I would say the biggest complaints that I hear are bad food, no minors, and the unfair drug policy.

Laura

I like the size of Mary Washington because it's not too big or small. It's not too big that I never see people I know and it's not too small that I only see people I know and cannot get away from them. There are a lot less guys here and it is seen in the classes.

Mary

Perfect student body size if you want smaller classes and yet not a tiny school. I would like to see more parking - they changed the parking lots which is upsetting because students can't park in certain areas anymore. Most people that I mention that I go to UMW tell me they haven't really heard of the school before. I wish the school had a better reputation than it does, and I wish it were more well known. I think that the academics are great, the school is selective, and I'm getting a great reputation; it would be nice if more people recognized that. Biggest recent controversy on campus: Our former president got arrested for DUI, while driving a car after blowing an entire wheel off the car! We're getting a new president this year!

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