University of Virginia-Main Campus Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Homer

Excellent school...very intense...be prepared to do a lot of writing.

Melissa

Thank you so much for involving me with my mother and my family. I'm working on a psych degree in history. Good.

Andrew

The best thing about this school is definitely the community. The community is absolutely great and everyone is always willing to lend a helping hand to other people. The honor code makes it a very comfortable, trusting environment. I transferred in from Virginia Commonwealth University and so whenever I tell people I go to University of Virginia, they are always impressed and assume I'm smart, which gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. Although academics are very rigorous and you need to study hard to do well, what you learn and take from the school is only as much as you put in so all the hard work is worth it.

Dante

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Amanda

I absolutely love UVA. Recently, I was chatting with a couple of friends and we unanimously decided that there is no other place we would rather be. UVA is great because not only is it known worldwide for providing a top notch education, but there are so many awesome traditions that students and faculty are really engaged in. Charlottesville is also a great place to be for young people. There are lots of great restaurants on the Corner or Downtown and the community's music scene is really great. We get some stellar performers like Dave Matthew's Band, Luke Bryan, Macklemore, Lady Gaga, etc. There really is something for everyone! One of tje best traditions at UVA is student self governance, and the administration's respect for us. Recently, President Sullivan was dismissed without a transparent reason by the Board of Visitors, but UVA students fought back and she was reinstated. I think this shows the pride we take in our institution and our academics. The fact that the administration was so supportive of the student body's activism in the situation shows that we are a school whose stakeholders are really engaged. I think one of my best experiences at UVA has been my time in the Cavalier Marching Band. I get to participate in one of the largest groups on Grounds and the students seem to really appreciate what we do at the football games. I love participating at the football games and getting the other students super hyped about our team!

Trisha

I'm so happy I came here. It's strong academically, an ideal size where you will always see new faces, but also always recognize somebody and feel at home, and the traditions are rooted deep in the school. Whether it's singing the "Good Old Song" or storming the field/court after a win, the school pride is incredible. Now I love this school to bits, but I know it's not perfect. The quality of the dining hall food is well, cafeteria food. First year orientation was awkward and slightly directionless. Days on the Lawn could be more interactive and entertaining. I guess one of the greatest tragedies of UVA is how fantastic of a school it is and yet how poor UVA is at conveying its greatness to prospective students.

Courtney

This school is so diverse! You have the opportunity to meet so many different people and expand your horizons. Being one of the top public schools in the country, UVA is an academically stimulating environment as well as a close-knit, trusting community. UVa is the perfect size and Charlottesville is a wonderful town full of great people and history. Other than the questionable weather, UVa is one of the best places to spend your college career!

Bryanna

So I am a transfer student and I absolutely L-O-V-E it here. I honestly couldn't imagine going anywhere but here and being as happy as I am here. I think some of my favorite things about this school is that it is steeped in tradition, the quality of the classes and professors is amazing, and the people are awesome! I think it is so neat to open a book and have my history professor listed as someone who has made significant contribution in his field!

Marcus

The University of Virginia (U.Va.) has transformed me. I write that will all honesty. This school has made me much more politically and socially aware of the realities and social issues that we, as young people, live in, both nationally and globally. In the very beginning I didn’t know much about the University of Virginia, nor about university life in general because I am a first-generation college student in my family. However as more time went by and I began telling other university students that I studied at U.Va. often times the response was shock and excitement because they knew how competitive and well renowned the university is. I can honestly say that I’m very proud of myself for getting through the rigorous course work here at U.Va.I feel academically enriched in a way that has made me appreciate the university so much. One of my favorite things about U.Va. is the emphasis that professors and faculty place on studying abroad. This might seem a bit random but with the globalized world we live in, it is very important for American university students to have a world perspective. International study is a big deal here at U.Va. We have a very rich international student community from all parts of the world. Already enrolled U.Va. students have many opportunities to study abroad because in most of the schools here (i.e. College of Arts and Science, Engineering School, etc.,) there exists some kind of study abroad opportunity. U.Va. makes study abroad affordable for students by providing resources like grants, loans, scholarships, and other financial assistance that caters to study abroad. I studied abroad twice and in that time, financial assistance was always available to me. Hands down, one of my favorite things about U.Va. Although there’s the increasing interest by students to study abroad, we still love to be here at U.Va. and represent our university. The football games, I would say, are when you can see the school spirit the most. Typically the football stadium is blossoming with students wearing blue, orange, and white to represent U.Va. I am not a big football fan but rather I am a fútbol (soccer) fan. Even though I do not follow football as religiously, there’s something about being at the football games, and other U.Va. athletic team, games that inspires me to enjoy watching the game and more importantly being apart of U.Va’s school spirit. Outside of athletics, I see the school spirit embedded into the Charlottesville culture and regularly everyday students. Students are always wearing their U.Va. hads, shirts, skirts, socks, sweaters, back bags and more. U.Va. is a big school, but at the same time it is not. How does that work exactly? When it comes to actual U.Va. territory technically it’s a big school. However depending on your studies it can seem quite small. For example, for many students in the Engineering School, most of the classes are concentrated in one place, meaning they spend most of their time during classes in particular area. I really like this because it gives students the option to be apart of a big school, but without feeling too overwhelmed. Also students build mini-cultures according to students in their major or in their school. U.Va.’s history has greatly influenced the City of Charlottesville, and presents the city as a college town. There are so many things in Charlottesville that cater to university students from U.Va, in the form of school mascot banners posted in store window sills, puns on store names, and student discounts. For example, students can ride public transportation, like buses, for free by only showing their student identification card. This helps students save money and encourages them to explore more of the city without spending too much money. U.Va. is truly an amazing school however no school is perfect. I think the topic of diversity at U.Va. should continue to be address because it still is a concern by many students that my university is predominantly white. To be in a nation that’s so multicultural that also needs to be universities. U.Va. is increasing in diversity but it still has a little bit ways to go. That is definitely one thing I would change about U.Va., is increasing its diversity. Also, the topic of the professors is an interesting one. U.Va. is a research institution, which is great, because it is a school that is always on the cutting-edge. However, for some professors, their research sometimes seems more primarily for them, versus teaching. Most professors are pretty good about being accessible for questions students have however I had noticed, based on some conversations I have had with friends, that professors in the hard sciences like engineering, math, physics, statistics, etc., do not seem as available. One of the reasons being because of the dedication spent in research and less in instruction. Aside from the big emphasize on study abroad, awesome discounts, and the metamorphosis experience at U.Va., it also provides a space that really engages students critically. This engagement is reflected in the public discourses, presentations, programs, and debates that my university houses. These forums provide spaces to courage “hot topics” conversations to take place on grounds (the campus). For example recently one of the biggest debates on grounds, that engulfed Student Council meetings and CavDaily (one of U.Va.’s primary newspapers) articles was the topic of a living wage for employees. This was something that really forced university students to think about the administrative decisions that were taking place that did not increase wages for non-tenure employees, like staff that worked in cafeterias, janitorial services, etc.). The students were successful at strengthening the already established Living Wage Campaign, by marching, writing letters, encouraging more support from general student body, and directly engaging with administration about the topic. I absolutely loved the experience of listening and/or reading speeches and attending events by local and student activists, advocating for equality. I would say that is something that this school is infamous for doing.

Nicholas

I believe strongly that the University of Virginia is far and away the best public school in the United States and is on par with Ivy League institutions. It is unique in that it possesses each of the necessary requirements for an enjoyable and fulfilling college experience: outstanding academics with dedicated professors and researchers, national championship athletic teams, a thriving social scene, and a vibrant and nurturing local community that supplements but is not overwhelmed by the University. The University possesses an undergraduate population of ~21,000, which I believe is a happy medium between the large state schools and small private colleges that allow students to meet new people every day while still maintaining close personal and professional friendships. Students at the University exhibit a large amount of school pride, both for its academics, athletic teams, and the Charlottesville community. Approximately 97% of first-year students return for their second-year, and almost as many leave the University as graduates with fond memories of their time in Charlottesville. The one experience I will always remember is my time as a student-athlete. I played on the Men's Tennis Team from 2005-2009 while earning my Bachelors degree. But I also had the chance to experience the University as a "normal" student while earning my Master of Arts from 2010-2011. My love for the University notwithstanding, there are certainly flaws and some odd traditions. For one, students are not called "freshmen," "sophomore," etc. but instead "first-year," "second-year," etc. Also the University's "campus" is called "Grounds," Ph.D.'s are called "Mr." instead of "Dr.", and Thomas Jefferson and his wishes guide most of the University's decisions. And if I had to change one aspect of the University, I would increase faculty salaries to encourage the best researchers and teachers to come to the University.

Jesse

I do very much like the University of Virginia. My favorite part about it is the Echols Program, which is for the select highest percent of applicants and open to first years who wish to apply. It allowed me to create my own niche at the University, by designing my own major and exempting me from all general requirements. Personally, I prefer smaller classes and smaller Universities, but the wonderful thing about UVa is that the feeling you get depends on your program! Since I am in a smaller program with a handful of people in the major program, I get the feeling of a small University and get to enjoy in depth classes with lots of one-on-one time with the professor. Aside from the academics, UVa is located in the perfect college town of Charlottesville. There are lots of fun things to do, from hiking to apple-picking to exploring the incredible historical sites. There is a lot of school pride as well, with things like "Girls in pearls, guys in ties" at the football games, the Good Ole Song, streaking the lawn, and the strange traditions (incoming freshman need to learn the lingo: Grounds not campus, first-year not freshman, and don't call your professors "professor"!). Personally, my greatest experience here has been with the amazing professors I've had a chance to work with. I've been incredibly lucky in that sense!

Laura

I was originally enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences at UVA, however I transferred into the School of Nursing BSN/RN program after my second year. Thus, my opinion of the school will pertain to the School of Nursing at UVA because this is where I have spent almost all of my undergraduate career. Overall, I have had an absolutely incredible view of the School of Nursing. I am really proud to be a wahoo here. At the School of Nursing each class is roughly 96 or so people. Because our class is so small and we take all of our classes together we get to know everyone incredibly well. By fourth year, you know pretty much everyone's name in your class. However, your first two years in the school you only take 3 or 4 nursing classes total allowing you the opportunity to take lots of classes outside of the nursing school. This gives you the opportunity of continually meeting new people within the university your first and second year. And even after that, there are so many students working at the hospital, especially in the emergency department that are not in the nursing school allowing you to continually meet new people. Thus, you have this incredible balance of people you are so comfortable with and spend several days a week with, and then the opportunity to constantly meet new people and make new friends. Additionally, the staff at the school of nursing is unbelievable. They are so dedicated to their students. Several of our teachers make it a point to get to know the names of every single student in our entire class! They are always free to talk and willing to meet with you. And our Dean at the Nursing School spoke to our fourth year class and promised to personally assist students in helping find a job. And she stated that last year she met with about 60% of the students to help them out. To me, that is pretty incredible. Outside of the academic world I really like the living situation at UVA. Most students either live in the JPA area (near the hospital) or the 14th street/corner area. Regardless, there are always people around and something going on. And it is nice to be off campus, no longer in a dorm, be able to make your own food and really feel like you have your own place. In terms of groups or organizations there is one for everybody. There are houses dedicated to certain religious groups or different languages or cultures. Also, there are several clubs that could fit just about any interest, some that you may not even have known you had. For instance, I tried fencing my first year – it was a really neat experience! Well, I could go on and on about UVA, but overall it is a wonderful school with a great environment and lots of incredible opportunities. I am really glad that I chose to go to this school.

Jessica

I truly don't feel that there is any University in the world that is run quite like ours. Not because we're any better or worse than anyone, but I truly do believe that we have many unique aspects of life as a UVA student. From our Honor Code to our traditions to our implementation of self-governance and love for our founder Mr. Jefferson, UVA students are ones that have much pride for our school and much respect for each other. The Grounds of this University are treated as somewhat of a sanctuary, and I don't use that term lightly. I truly feel at ease and comfortable walking around this school, and for such a large and research-oriented University, it truly does feel much smaller than it is. The town of Charlottesville surrounding UVA is one that is rich in culture, music, and so much great food! It is very much a college town, and students, faculty, and locals alike have much pride to be part of this atmosphere. It is extremely hospitable, and from the second I started school here, I've known it was a place I could call home.

Nathan

The University of Virginia is a great school in just about every aspect one can think of. First off, UVa is consistently rated, year in and year out, as one of the top public universities in the United States for quality of education as compared to cost incurred from student expenses. The quality of higher education that one receives from the University is almost second to none, considering it is a public university. The faculty at the University are really friendly, extremely smart, and always willing to help if the students reach out and ask them. Second, the school is a rather large to medium sized school. There are approximately 15,000 undergraduate students enrolled at the University. Getting around the UVa is rather simple. It is really bike friendly, with a lot of bike racks all over grounds and bike lanes on the roads. The University also has a great bus system that runs all over grounds in 15 minute cycles. Furthermore, the grounds around UVa are absolutely gorgeous. The college is in fact a UNESCO World Heritage site. The old architecture around grounds is really stunning. If there had to be one thing I changed about UVa it would amount of construction that goes on around grounds. The University consistently has different construction projects going on around grounds that can be rather loud and inconveniencing. Additionally, the party scene at UVa is great. With a huge greek life there is always some fraternity party going on to attend, and the university police are actually rather nice. They are really only there to keep the students safe and do not heckle or trouble the students much. Overall, the University of Virginia is a top tier college in many different categories.

Julie

I really like this University. It was hard adjusting at first because there was just so much to do and it was hard leaving home. I was actually placed in a single my first year so we didn't have the traditional hall style which made my experience a little different then you're typical first year experience. I really like the activities fairs because there are literally so many different groups that you can be a part of and the days of the activities fairs are when you can really get to see all that the school has to offer.

Andrew

I absolutely LOVE UVa and everything about it. The student body is very, very welcoming and respectful and there is a big community of trust. The Honor Committee is 100% student run, which is another unique thing about UVa. During the school week, students are very focused on their classes and on the weekends, there are tons of parties/concerts/school events to attend. I have never found myself bored and unsure of what to do with my time. On Saturdays, the home football games are a blast to (the football team is getting better)!! Charlottesville is a great college town and I have always felt safe there, and there is the downtown mall which has probably a hundred restaurants/shops. There is a lot of school pride at UVa and most people love it there. I would say the student body is roughly 1/3 students from NOVA (Northern VA), 1/3 from ROVA (Rest of VA), and 1/3 from out of state.

Nikita

I have a very positive and respectful opinion of my school. The best thing about my school is the wide array of opportunities, networking and other forms of resources available to students. All these can be accessible as a UVA student it just takes some time finding the right opportunity for oneself. Many people react positively when I tell them I go to UVA as they realize the high education standards and the honor code system present at the school. Furthermore, I feel that the school administrate takes care of the students as safety is a top priority at the school. The UVA police, Saferide, and other services are available for students at late hours when trying to reach safely back from their dorm. There is also a lot of school pride especially at home football games. Also, many students uphold the traditions of the college such as the Lighting of the Lawn.

Jose

I love UVA. The academics are top-tier. You learn from the very best and brightest professors, and you get a very prestigious diploma that shows very hard work. The social scene is amazing. There are 27 frats that throw down from time to time. Other student clubs, sports teams, and organizations also throw parties. The size is perfect. It's not as big as places like Penn State or University of Florida, but it's not a small school either like William and Mary. It's big enough so you are always meeting new people, but it's small enough so that you'll at least recognize about half the people in your class year by the end of the first semester. The UVA label carries a lot of weight. When I was applying for seasonal employment, I told the HR people that I go to UVA, and they were all really impressed. Charlottesville is an amazing college town. The 14th street-Rugby Road and Jefferson Park Avenue neighborhoods are just about all UVA students renting out houses and apartments. The Corner and downtown mall mostly caters to UVA students. Overall UVA seems to have good town/gown relations. I really don't like the administration. They never seem to fix the problems with class registration (SIS, hate it!). They also don't seem to understand that some students are on scholarship given through another source, so they will bug your about tuition even if you submitted a late tuition payment form. They're pretty hard to work with. The UVA school spirit is awesome. Gamedays are very big, and there is a lot of support for the team. Everyone is decked out in UVA gear. Some of the streets even have the Cavalier logo painted on them. Love the school spirit. There are also a lot of events for the students. Our first year council has had a first year formal, a hoedown, and a first year tailgate in the McCormick quad. It's really fun being a student here. If I could change anything, I'd give the incoming first years more choices in regard to housing. Your first year dorm is completely luck of the draw, and some of the dorms just downright suck. I'd also improve the quality of the food. The dining halls are pretty bad.

Alexandra

One of the best things about UVA is that although it is a fairly large sized school, I see familiar faces everyday. There are very few commuters and therefore most students live either on or in walking distance to the campus grounds. When I first got accepted to UVA, I was definitely worried about the number of students, fearing that I might get overlooked or lost in the crowd. After a few weeks, I began to recognize people everywhere. As a fourth year, I see at least one person I know on grounds everyday. It really makes you feel at home here. Another great thing about this school is the amount of activities offered and that students actually attend them as well. For example, we have Trick-or-treating on the lawn, where students Charlottesville families can come trick-or-treat on the lawn. Also Lighting of the Lawn is a big tradition during the holiday season where students go to the lawn and watch as the Christmas Lights are turned on for the remainder of the year. Acapela groups sing, which is another popular tradition to watch. The tradition here at UVA is a really unique characteristic, and in my opinion unlike most other schools.

Hannah

I absolutely love UVa. I have wanted to go there since I was in the 3rd grade, so it's really a dream come true for me, and it's even better than I could have possibly imagined. I have made some of the best friends I could ever wish for and I really feel a since of belonging. I don't think there is anything I would change about UVa. The size is just right, not too big or small. When I tell people I go to UVa, they always seem impressed, which gives me a sense of accomplishment. I spend a lot of time in my room studying, because I have a single room, but a lot of people like to study in the library. Even though there is a lot of work to be done, I always have time to go out with my friends on the weekend, and sometimes we take road trips, which is always fun. There is a lot of school pride, particularly on football game days, which are so much fun. There are so many wonderful experiences I've had at UVa, but I think some of the most memorable ones are my first "Lighting of the Lawn," my first "Trick or Treating on the Lawn," and my first party at UVa with the IMP Society.

Carolyn

For starters, UVA is HUGE. It has everything from a swing club to an inner tube water polo team. This can be a good thing, but it can also be not so good. I entered UVA after I graduated from a very small high school, so I found UVA's size a challenge. The important thing to keep in mind is that there is AT LEAST ONE group, club, or even laboratory where you will feel at home. Once you find your niche, UVA can be a great place.

James

I love UVa. I would recommend it to anyone. I'm not in a fraternity, I wouldn't consider myself upper middle class, but I've certainly found a lot of people with whom I've grown very close. Generally-- and especially in Virginia-- people scoff a bit when you tell them you go to UVa, especially if they didn't. The general regard for the university within the state is that it's erudite and elitist (not the case!). I'm majoring in English, and I haven't had a professor I haven't loved. The education has been amazing. It's incredible to think that I spend my weekdays discussing literature with some of the foremost experts in their respective fields. The college town is amazing. After visiting many friends, I've realized how lucky I am to live in a community of students. There's a huge neighborhood that's almost solely student housing. If I could change one thing, it would probably the demeanor towards UVa. It's unfair that it gets the reputation of an elitist university because everyone stereotypes the student body as either from wealthy New England or old money South. The next would probably be the sports culture. In recent years, UVa has adopted a losing culture in football and basketball, despite being top tier in almost every other program. If more students came out to support the teams, I think the added confidence might reflect in weekly performances. Obviously, the biggest controversy on campus in the last several years is the George Hugehly's murdering of Yeardly Love. And it is in situations like this that I believe UVa is stereotyped-- a small contingent of wealthy individuals can make a bad name for the University as a whole.

Nicholas

The homogeneity of the social scene at UVa can be stifling. At times it seems like everybody is on a stage, being fake to try to impress each other, and not talking about anything of interest. It is frustrating at times, and for this reason, I had a difficult time during my first semester at UVa. However, once I settled in and made some genuine friends with similar interests, I quickly saw that the school had so much to offer and I fell in love with it. The level of scholarship is the best thing about UVa. I feel like I am getting a high-class education. I learn so much, and I am taught in a very active and enthusiastic way. The school is large, about 14,000 undergraduates, which can be difficult at times, especially when looking for a core group of friends. However, the size is definitely a benefit. The resources at UVa are endless. They have elite facilities in every department: not just athletic, but academic as well. Jefferson's ideal of an "academical village" thrives today, with students and professors doing enthralling and innovative research side by side. UVa is regarded as a "good" school, and I have the utmost pride for it. We have many traditions, like wearing suits to football games, and use quirky lingo like "grounds" instead of campus. It gives me that old-time feel of solidarity with my colleagues and makes me feel like I belong to something huge, and that is a powerful feeling. The Honor System is something I largely appreciate at UVa. People follow it strictly, and as a result, there is hardly any lying, cheating, or stealing: take-home finals are common and bike locks are not necessary. With 7 libraries on grounds, there is never a shortage of research resources or cozy places to study. Charlottesville is an exceptional college town. It is small enough that it has a great close-knit community vibe, but large enough that it has many of the resources of a large city. It is teeming with culture: there is an abundance of music, theater, art, and literature being created in Charlottesville, and it is very easy to get involved as a participant or spectator. The community members are liberal and friendly, and the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains are a short drive up the road. Hiking is a common student activity. The historical aspect of Charlottesville brings a neat air to the city--there is again a certain pride and self-conscious awareness of being old and important. I feel like the University is what makes the town so vibrant. If you like sports, the athletics at UVa are a huge deal, and it is always very fun to attend events, which are always free for students. Students tend to complain that their courses are too hard or they have too much work--but everyone always gets through it in the end smiling.

Jesse

Great education with great teachers in a great city. Superb school. My complaints are as follows: The whole academic system is so bureaucratic that a dumbass can just as easily get a 4.0 gpa as a genuis. Getting into classes is ridiculous because of the wait list and everything else. I was in a fraternity though and that was hella fun.

Ajamu

Best thing about this school is: Work Hard Play Hard! One thing I would change is that I wish it could be closer knight, but what you can do when there are about 14,000 undergraduates. The school size is just right! When you tell people you go to UVA, they react as if you told them you went to any other great university like Georgetown or Dartmouth, or any other IVY or prestigious Universities. I mean to get into UVA especially out of state is equivalent to getting into the top private and prestigious universities in America. I spend most of my time on Campus at the Commerce School (The prestigious and well known business school ranking 1 or 2 for best undergraduate business school in the US, consistently every year.) The school’s administration is awesome in all departments. The advisors actually help you, and the professors are top caliber and the faculty always makes sure you are welcomed, which is one of the reasons why I go here. We have lots of school Pride. For the Maryland Game the Student Council body set up Coach buses to take students to Maryland support the team, also there are websites and Facebook notifications of every team and when they compete and against who. Not to mention everyone knows the Wahoo Song. The only unusual thing is we don’t call it a campus we call it grounds, and we don’t address years as freshman, sophomore, juniors or seniors, rather there are First years , Second years, Third and Fourth Years(like Hogwarts). One experience I will always remember is the B.O.B concert my first year which was free, and then the Block Party after wards. The one complaint by students is that the grades they are. Also that High school is about regurgitating and College is about the knowing why of something, people get tripped up on that all the time.

Ajamu

Best thing about this school is: Work Hard Play Hard! One thing I would change is that I wish it could be closer knight, but what you can do when there are about 14,000 undergraduates. The school size is just right! When you tell people you go to UVA, they react as if you told them you went to any other great university like Georgetown or Dartmouth, or any other IVY or prestigious Universities. I mean to get into UVA especially out of state is equivalent to getting into the top private and prestigious universities in America. I spend most of my time on Campus at the Commerce School (The prestigious and well known business school ranking 1 or 2 for best undergraduate business school in the US, consistently every year.) The school’s administration is awesome in all departments. The advisors actually help you, and the professors are top caliber and the faculty always makes sure you are welcomed, which is one of the reasons why I go here. We have lots of school Pride. For the Maryland Game the Student Council body set up Coach buses to take students to Maryland support the team, also there are websites and Facebook notifications of every team and when they compete and against who. Not to mention everyone knows the Wahoo Song. The only unusual thing is we don’t call it a campus we call it grounds, and we don’t address years as freshman, sophomore, juniors or seniors, rather there are First years , Second years, Third and Fourth Years(like Hogwarts). One experience I will always remember is the B.O.B concert my first year which was free, and then the Block Party after wards. The one complaint by students is that the grades they are. Also that High school is about regurgitating and College is about the knowing why of something, people get tripped up on that all the time.

Joel

My overall opinion of the school is that it is a very good place to get an education. As a business student I am fortunate to be a part of one of the best undergraduate business programs in the world. Charlottesville also has one of the highest restaurants per capita. The surrounding area is definitely a college town and there is a lot of school pride, especially at sporting events. There is always plenty to do during my free time and there is an excellent, free bus system that can get you almost anywhere you want to go.

Juliana

I love UVA. It is competitive but not extremely competitive to the point that it will make you uncomfortable but to the point that you will push yourself to become a better student. I love that the student body is big yet not huge like 40,000 students. Because of this you have many opportunities to get involved with all kinds of groups and organizations. It is located in a small city so you will not get easily distracted but there are enough things going on that you will not get bored. Plus you live very close to Richmond and DC. UVA is the best school in Virginia and teh second best public school in the country that speaks for how amazing it is.

Allison

UVa has a wonderful campus, a fun atmosphere, and amazing educational opportunities. The campus is very diverse, yet you still feel at home. The teachers are very personable, and are always willing to help you to truly master the material presented. Teachers do push you, but the end result is always satisfying. Even with tough academics, there is always something to do every night of the week. If you need to stay in and study one night, you know you can always go out the next, even if it's a Tuesday. UVa is really the whole package.

Maria

UVa is not only your "school" it is your life. Very rapidly you will realize that the sense of community and school pride grows in you. Sometimes I was so involved in the activities happening inside the school and the intense class schedule that I realized I had not thought about leaving Charlottesville for weeks in a row! You will be happily absorbed in the UVa world, one that is very entretaining and dinamic, considering Cville is a small town. Be pround of walking down the Lawn, as Jefferson will be your hero for the next 4 years of your life.

Iris

My overall opinion of the University of Virginia is that it is an incredible incredible opportunity for everyone. It is an extremely liberal college but with relatively conservative traditions so it fits all sorts of people. The diversity is also very notable, with students from all walks of life, from all parts of the world. The professors here are the best of the best and they are my favorite part of the school. As a Psychology major, this school fits me perfectly because it is continuously ranked among the top schools in the nation for Psychology. The professors are all so nice and smart and important! The size of UVA is just right, not too large but not too small. The city of Charlottesville is relatively small though, and quaint and adorable. The restaurant life is very rich, it is the second city with the most restaurants per capita with the first city being NYC. The Downtown Mall is so cute and has really nice stores and the Corner is really cute too! UVA is a very good university and consistently ranked highly in the nation. I am always very proud to tell others that I go to this school.

Christine

UVa is a school which makes its students completely fall in love with its history and tradition. Charlottesville is a perfect, safe, beautiful college town with lots of things to do and great hikes in the area. Students are open and friendly and the campus itself is beautiful, especially the iconic Rotunda and Lawn. Student governance makes a huge difference, as every organization on grounds is run entirely by students, and the honor system creates an amazing community of trust, the committee for which is also run by the students. Greek life definitely has a big presence but it is not "Greek or die" like at more southern schools; there is so much to get involved in. The professors are in general fantastic and the classes well-organized and interesting. The students are motivated but not excessively competitive; rather, they inspire each other to do well, to get involved, and to contribute to the University. I didn't originally intend to come to UVa, but I'm convinced no other school could have given me such a wonderful all-around university experience.

Stephanie

I absolutely love UVA!

Jessica

I absolutely love everything about UVA! It is just the right size where I was seeing atleast 2 people I knew everytime when walking to class within the first month, and yet I can get away from everyone if I need to at the same time. The charlottesville area is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! That is one of the main reasons I even chose it. It is right in the mountains and yet not too secluded. Also, UVA has a student-run government. I myself am a part of this government for my school and it is different at first, but allows students to take more responsibility for themselves and is a good way to get involved. Also, Charlottesville is a very school-spirited community. Going to football games all you see is a stadium full of orange Wahoos and those of the community around it. One of my favorite things about UVA also is the terms it uses for campus- "grounds" and instead of saying freshmen, sophomores, etc. we use first years, second years, etc. I feel like these different terms for describing UVA makes the college experience completely different in a whole new way! My favorite experience so far has been going with my friends and playing a big game of capture the flag in the gardens down on the lawn. There are so many different things to do on grounds that you can never be bored!

Reese

Coming to the University was the best decision I have made thus far. When I was applying to schools, I looked pass UVA because I thought it didn't have a good engineering school and people were stuck up. I focused on schools such as Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt. My parents made me apply here just to test the waters and I had no intentions of ever coming to UVA. When I got my letter of acceptance in April, my parents wanted me to give UVA a look and go down to visit the school during their big prospective week called Days on the Lawn. It was during this visit where I realized that UVA was the school for me. I was told that UVA students were stuck up and absorbed in their own world, but when I talked to students, I realized that I was wrong. The students here were anything but snobbish; they were open and willing to talk about their experience at the University. I stopped to ask a girl where I could find the Biomedical Engineering Building, and she ended up talking to me for about 15 mins and even took me to that building. My experience at UVA has made me realize that there is much more to life than academics. Yes, everyone here has the same academic credentials, that's why we are here. However, there is a balance between academics and outside clubs/activities and social life. There is a strong mentality of "work hard, play hard", which defines the well rounded student UVA produces at a consistent basis.

Danny

Its the best education around. That's why I'm there and that's why I love it. The classes are large, but some of my best have been broad lectures (such as macroeconomics, and western art history), and with just a little work it is so easy to get into small discussions. The school is also not just about thought, but activity. Despite its great books and intellectuals, UVA is nothing without the productive energy that buzzes around grounds, and while there you are not just expanding your mind, but simultaneously preparing yourself for a lifetime of productive work, responsiblity, and well rounded fulfilment. The administration is large and confusing, and the expectation is that you will be responsible for yourself, and will take care of yourself. However this is a wonderfully valuable and needed lesson in maturity, and at any time, when needed many of the staff are very friendly and always willing to help. There is a ton of school pride. How can there not be - its UVA. Oh, and about tradition: as you know, the school was envisioned and founded by Thomas Jefferson, and his legacy so lives on that somtimes as I pass through the colonial architecture amongst people chatting about the most exciting advancements of the day, I can feel the revolutionary spirit of the founding fathers, and know their dreams have become reality. With statues ranging from Homer to George Washinton, its nice to feel like you're truly a part of the big picture - still the tradition keeps it personal, with rituals and celebrations for individual achievement and recognition.

Jake

Charlottesville is an awesome college town because it truly revolves around the University. You will develop a passion to know everything about the Corner and Downtown, which places to eat at and which to avoid. There is a great sense of pride in being a UVA student as shown by the many strong traditions. Reflecting back on my first year, I can't picture myself anywhere else. The people I've met and the friends I've made have made me realize what a great place it is to be.

Kate

School spirit and tradition make sports games, club events, orientations, etc. more than worth-while. Charlottesville is definitely a college town and it can be a lot of fun to find quirky places throughout it that have such a tie to the university and its history (example the tavern). There are a ton of choices of what to do with your time, academically and free time, and there is little judgement about your choices made - just do what makes you happy!

Ashley

When I went on a tour before my first year, one of the group leaders told us that UVA is as big or as small as you want to make it -- and it's absolutely true. If you want the feel of a large, anonymous university where no one knows you and you can sit in the back of large lecture halls without ever speaking up, you can find it. But if you want a tight community, real friends, and interesting small classes, you can find that too. Sometimes you have to look around a lot, but I really think there's something for almost everyone here. I also love the town of Charlottesville. It's a great college town with tons going on -- even has a pretty good bus system, which is important when you don't have a car! I love meeting up with people to go to The Corner or the Downtown Mall, but if you drive just a few minutes in the opposite direction, you're in the middle of rolling hills and rural peace and quiet. I love how just about anything you want is all right here.

Reed

UVA is a fantastic school in a great city. The campus, or 'grounds' as we call it, is absolutely stunning. I contstantly tell myself "I can't believe this is my school" when walking down the lawn. The Academics are certainly challenging, but life is certainly fun. This past semester I took nineteen hours and had mono, while pledging a fraternity, and still had a great time. The students here couldn't be nicer, and Charlottesville is a great town with a lot to do. Many people consider Austin a great place to go to school, so go to Austin but then take out, oh, a million or so people, and you've got Charlottesville. The negatives are there too. Out of state, UVA can get really expensive, and scholarship money is harder to come by than a real Blonde in Las Angeles. I find drinking to be a little excessive at UVA, but then again, I find drinking to be a little excessive everywhere. It dominates a lot of the social life, but only if you let it. There's plenty to do without drinking, of course, and the good far outweighs the bad.

Emmerson

The best thing about UVA is the people. Most people are kind and willing to help. It's also a great location (if you like the small town setting and beautiful views). There are plenty of trees and hills/mountains that you can enjoy looking at. However, the one thing I'd change is the honor system. The honor system is a great tradition to the school but they need to loosen up with the rules; especially the rules about the no second chance. Once you've been caught cheating or breaking the honor code, you get expelled.

Bobby

My life has improved profoundly since coming to UVA. I owe this to the challenging, thought provoking courses led by stellar professors, each of which has displayed a strong personality, willingness to help, and a deep, seemingly intuitive grasp of and love for the material. I also owe my increased quality of life to the sheer beauty of the campus and of Charlottesville as a whole; it has been the perfect college town. Charlottesville has a lot going for it: a rich history, natural beauty, a lively art and music scene, and a safe community (safe compared to my hometown, at least). Though you may beat yourself up studying, you never feel secluded by your studies; there's always somewhere to go unwind and plenty of people willing to join you.

Rachel

UVA is full of opportunities. I actually transferred to UVA from a smaller Virginia school because UVA offered the only Jewish Studies program in the state. Such a large school (but large in the best way-- you still feel a part of the community and the faculty has a great relationship with the students and big means there's plenty to do) is able to sustain and build on smaller programs such as Jewish Studies, so we had some of the best scholars in the country in the program. Even for a small program we were able to host conferences and have huge events that the whole student body was able to appreciate. There is a never ending list of things to do and see and learn from at UVA. Plus, Charlottesville is an awesome town that really appreciates the students, and I really felt at home there. Everyone is proud of UVA, even if it is not just rooting at football games, but in other ways such as how they talk about UVA and what they do there.

Patrick

It's gorgeous here. It feels right to be here. We really don't have as much a rivalry with Virginia Tech as they have with us -- shows they're trying to constantly prove they're better, when we KNOW we are. If you come here, do an extra-curricular, or you'll be bored. When people find out you go to UVa, they'll think higher of you.

Casey

The best thing about UVA is the freedom. We don't have a curfew or any extremely strict rules about visitors of either gender. One thing that I would change is the limit of stuff you're allowed to have on your walls. The school is pretty big, and being a first year without a car can be challenging. The buses USUALLY run on time, but there are those other difficult days. I spend most of my time in class and my dorm or the library during the week days, and on the weekends I'm usually visiting other people or just out with my friends. There is plenty of school pride, especially at the sports events. An experience I'll always remember is when my friend, Halima, and me got on the wrong bus at the beginning of the year trying to get back to our dorm, and we had to ride it for an hour and a half before we could get off at the right stop. I found the most student complaints to be about the noise (in old style dorms) because the walls are anything but sound proof. People should really buy earplugs before the get to the university if noise is a big issue for them.

Alex

I love the beautiful campus!! It's hard to pick a favorite spot around Grounds, and every season there is different and gorgeous in its own way. Coming from Northern Virginia, Charlottesville is a little bit small for me, but it's a cute college town nonetheless. I spend most of my time in the libraries, at Starbucks on the Corner, or at my sorority house. One thing I love about the students at UVA is that they will go all out partying on the weekends, but come Sunday mornings the libraries are packed. I definitely feel that a great majority of students are able to play hard yet still work hard.

Tina

A lot of school pride. A few problems with racism and how the honor system is handled. Frats & sororities are kind of big, which I hated. Charlottesville is an awesome town...So much to do. It's a small town with a big city feel. The 'corner' was my favorite...A street with shops, restaurants, and bars. The bar scene at UVA is better than a lot of other schools (like JMU). One of my favorite things to do was hit up the corner and go to bars (they're getting A LOT stricter with underage kids though... don't risk it. You can wait a few years to stumble out of bars).

Reese

School size: Just right. Best thing about UVA is the quality of life and overall "college experience" you get from education to greek life to sports (ACC!) to any kind of club or volunteer activity and lastly TRADITION! People always react with respect when I say I go to UVA. Most of my time spent on GROUNDS (not campus) is Rugby Road/The Corner. Charlottesville (or C'Ville) is a great college town in which life centers around the University. Tons of school pride (although we carry ourselves with class). The most frequent complaints from students is poor food and the stuck-up attitudes some people have.

Claire

This is an institution where you get bang for your buck (if you're in-state). The faculty are generally very impressive in the liberal arts, less so in the sciences. The courses are certainly more demanding than many other Virginia colleges and universities. I am proud to be a recent graduate of UVA. The best thing about UVA is the campus. It is beautiful and inspiring, especially outdoors. Brick buildings and sidewalks; lots of greenery, flowers, and trees; neoclassical architecture; tradition. Inside buildings, spaces are mostly about functionality, except in the libraries, where each library has a different atmosphere, so students can study in spaces that suit them best. The campus is walking distance to many good, inexpensive places to eat.

Ben

Great social life Fun and easy classes Nice people Administration not the most reliable Housing not the greatest