University of Virginia-Main Campus Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?


College will only be valuable to you or your child, if you really want to be here. In the community I grew up in it was expected that the majority of our high school class would continue on to a four year college and while that is the right path for many it isn't right for everyone. That said, college is incredibly valuable. It is a time in your life when you will meet people that you'll remember always and learn things you never thought you could. You'll have an opportunity to learn so much more about yourself and what is truly valuable to you, not just what is valuable to your parents. Every school is different, apply to one you think you'll enjoy, and if you hate it you can always transfer, if anything you'll have learned from the experience. Most importantly, take this time, when your only real responsibility is yourself and making sure you get up for class and take advantage of every opportunity that is offered to you.


Finding the right college is more stressful than you think. In the end, the student will find a niche on the campus. A larger school will cater to this more- the more people, the more interests, the more you might have in common. The important thing to remmeber is to make sure they have all of the programs that you might wan to explore academically.


To find the right college: Know thyself. Those nerdy interests and dorky aspects of your personality that you're ashamed of in high school? Those are the ones that will come out in college, so it is those that you should base your choice on. Find a place where people will share your interests and accept you. If you don't pick a college with the right people, you'll be miserable, and your grades will suffer.


don't just go to the best school for your intended major because they usually change. Find a nice well-rounded place like uva haha


To the students and parents looking for right college and making the most of the college experience, I strongly encourage you to visit the campus and spend some time away from group tours, talking to students and getting to know the area a bit. Books, webpages, and brochures can only take you so far, so try to contact the professors and other faculty members there to better understand possible majors. I assure you, you would be surprised at their willingness to assist (at least, that is the case for those at the University of Virginia). Good luck!


Don't trust the brochure.


When searching for the right school, travel and visit as many as possible. Take a look at the student population, quality of education, cost, location, extracurricular activities, but most of all, try to get a sense or feel for the essence of the school. The college or university you choose is going to be a place you plan on spending a few years, so try to understand not only the campus, but the surrounding town or city. Find someplace you would be proud to call yourself an alumnus or alumna. Many schools offer an overnight program for prospective students, these can provide insights that may not be easy to see on the school website and can show you if you're going to feel at home in this new place. The addage that "college is the best four years of your life" is a little clich?, but why not find a place that will make you happy while furthering your education. This way when you stroll down memory lane you will be reminded of how you got there, as well as your pride, joy, efforts, and successes.


I believe that what should influence your decision about what college you want to attend is clearly the academics. Are you ready to work twice,three or four times more than what you did in high school? If you answer NO to this question don't go to any of the top 50 schools in the nation,and there's really nothing to be ashamed of what really matters in college is how much you get to learn about yourself how much you get to chalenge yourself. What also matters a lot is what you do out of the class,extracurriculars are in my opinion crucial in one's college experience,get out there look for interesting things to do,talk to people from diferent religions/ethnicities and backgrounds for the most you will ever get to learn about yourself will have to involve other people. Enjoy college to the fullest,it is tough and challenging,what a good way to start your life...


The most important thing is going to a school for the right reasons. It is essential to tour the school and get a feel for the enviornment and the students in order to know if the school is the right place for you.


Make friends and parents should hang back and let the student be themselves


Find a group of friends early on, they'll last a lifetime.


It's important to explore a lot of different college options: campuses far from home, rural, urban, etc. It's also important to find out a ton about the college beforehand. Visiting the campuses of the colleges you are applying to is crucial. It's helpful to talk to current students and find out what aspects of their college experience they enjoy or dislike. College is the perfect opportunity to try new things. There is a multitude of activities you've never tried before, and getting involved on campus is the best way to meet people that share the same interests. Academics are important, but it's also important to know that a college has the kind of social life you're looking for. Classwork should be taken seriously, and staying on top of the work is vital. If you get behind it's difficult to catch up, so doing the reading and work as you go along is best. Professors and older students are excellent resources. Getting to know professors personally can make a huge difference in classes. Ultimately, new college students should make the most of their resources on campus, and enjoy the time they have in college.


Know what you're looking for, and then disregard it. Sometimes, the best place for you is the one you least expect.


Just do well and go to a better grad school afterwards.


I attended a college out of pleasing my parents, and it has been one of the most regretable of my life. If there is any advice I could give, it would have to be that students should choose a college that will make them happy. Touring the college, speaking to those who have attended, and seeking out resources to make sure that you are making the right decision is really key. And for parents, your kids will be fine. They have made it this far.


Choose a college that is large enough to offer a lot of opportunities within the community. Find a bunch of clubs, extra-curriculars and activities that interest you, join them all, and then decide which ones suit your lifestyle the best. You'll find the best friends this way - getting to know people who share your interests. If your school is too small, it won't allow you to branch out in ways that are new and different. If you're afraid it's too large, the clubs you join will help you form a smaller circle in which to socialize, and the opportunities will be endless.


Basically - live your own life. Figure out what YOU want to do, your passions - don't do something you don't feel right doing.


Picking a school is a process, and it should be treated as one. Some people speak of "just knowing" one campus was right for them, but that's not true for everyone, and you shouldn't feel too anxious if you don't fall in love with a school right away. Doing a little research can go a long way in making the best decision. Definitely visit the campus during the school year and take two tours-one offered by the school and another just on your own. Look around. Are people greeting each other? Are you seeing diverse groups of people? Also, ask as many questions as you can think of. No question, small or big, is dumb, and you'd be surprised how happy students and professors can be in helping you make a well-informed decision. Finally, when you do decide, live it up! No matter what school you choose, it is up to you to make the best of the experience! Seek out new experiences and take chances- socially and academically! Join a club or team to meet new people. Volunteer in the community. Enroll in courses not remotely related to your major. Take in everything!


It is more important to do well in the courses you take than to go to a prestigious school. Grade point average is taken much more seriously by employers than where your degree came from. Also, make sure you always double check that the school received any important documents by calling and following up-it could mean the difference between acceptance and rejection from college!


Visit campuses during the school year (not just the summer), talk to students enrolled in the school, and keep your options open.


Try to visit the colleges that you are interested in several times and see if the environment feels right for you. Consider schools that are willing to give you the most money, don't be afraid to ask for more. The worst thing that can happen is they can say we don't have any more money. Try to choose a school that offers the balance that you are looking for, and checkout schools that are strong in your desired field of study. A way to test a school is to call different departments and ask questions to see how they handle your inquiry. Last, if you just can't decide, make a list of pros and cons of all the schools you are considering, rate the pros and rank them accordingly.


Go with your gut feeling and take every opportunity possible!


The right place will simply feel that way: right! I ended up finding two entirely different places that both felt equally right, so I faced a dilemma. I weighed my options, looked at the pros and cons of each school, and ultimately choose the one that just made the most sense. Many people could be happy at more than one place, but if you run into a dilemma like I did, or are just having trouble deciding, go with your educated instinct. And don't be too cautious; cross the country, or the globe, if that's what calls you.


I would advise students not to be devastated if they don't get into their first choice school. Things have a way of working out. If you really end up hating your school, transfer. Be open to new people and new experiences. Try new things. Join clubs and teams. Volunteer and be involved. Work on your time management skills. Don't go every night. Don't drink every night. Get enough sleep. Naps are your friend.


Sometimes, you just get a feeling, and that is not something to be ignored. When you start to apply to college, there are many things you may think you want. These are often influenced by the movies you've seen and the older siblings you admire, and its OK to come into the process with expectations: at the very least, these expectations will help you know what questions to ask at interviews and on college tours. The answers, however, may lead you down a new road of exploration as you start to figure out the kind of college experience you really want to have. Choosing a college, in the end, is not going to be about the school's history, football team (but maybe the basketball team!), or rankings in U.S. News -- your work in high school has already led you to a place where you are choosing from a group of universities where these differences really no longer matter. What does matter is the feeling you get when you stand on campus, and how hard you find it to imagine yourself anywhere else. When you've found it, your university will feel like a long-lost friend.


You never really know what school is "best" for you - sometimes you just need to take a chance on things. But consider: size, diversity, location (will you get homesick easily?), WEATHER(!!), does the school have a major you are interested in? As for making the most out of your college experience, just be more involved in something you are passionate about. If you are contributing to the college, it will give back to you.


I would begin by telling students and parents to heavily consider the price of the institution. With escalating tuition costs, it is very important to minimize the amount of debt one may accrue during their college career. The following steps would be to determine which programs the school has to offer. Often times, many students enroll in a school not having done their research about available degrees and then find themselves having to transfer. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Even if you dont know exactly which field you will be majoring in, atleast research whether your intended school has areas that interest you. By researching the institution you will be very prerpared in making the right decision! Good luck!


Find a school that fits your budget and go with your child to visit the campus. Make back up plans in case of unexpected events to provide options for your child if they find out once they arrive at the college of their choice that they need to be closer to home or aren't fitting in as well as they hoped for.


When looking for a college, do your research first. Consider what kind of college would best suit your needs and interests - if you're undecided as to what you want to major in, and you probably will be, do you really want to attend a small liberal arts college that only offers limited academic programs? Consider location- would you prefer a more rural college town, or a campus in the middle of a bustling city? Consider social atmosphere- is a big Greek scene important to you, or is it something you would rather avoid? These are all important pieces of information , and there are many more facets to compare and contrast. However, once you've done your research, choosing a college shouldn't be all about charts, tables and statistics- in the end, cliche as it may sound, you have to go with your gut. Chances are, one of those schools you've researched will just feel right, for some intangible reason- and that is the school you will be happiest at. Though I wouldn't suggest this for everybody, I never even visited my current university before attending- but now I can't imagine myself anywhere else.


Focus on opportunities to expand the mind and future as opposed to diluted data and rankings.


Tour colleges until you find somewhere that you feel at home or feel there's a possibility you'll feel at home there in the future. Don't worry about where your friends are going to school because it really doesn't matter. It sounds absolutely cliche but you will meet friends, most often closer friends that you have now just because you're forced into tight quarters and stressful situations. With classes and exams holding you up in the library living off M&Ms, you need the students around you because they're going through the exact same thing and this common stuggle will find you some amazing friends. It's important to give your school a chance. If you come to college believing you won't like it, there's no way that you're going to get the most out of the experience, and after all, you're paying quite a little chunk of change for this experience...make the most of it!!! Weigh your options and what each college has to offer, but once you've chosen, jump head first into the experience and enjoy the next four years. Good Luck!!!


As a second year student at the University of Virginia, my college experience thus far has been an interesting one as I have grown from absolutely disliking my school of choice to more than loving it. In giving advice to parents of future college students and the students, I would emphasize three important points. First, it is important for the parent to allow the child to make their own decision as it is important to the child's happieness and therefore performance in school that they attend a school they will love and a city/town they would enjoy living in. Second, the child should step onto campus with an optimistic attitude and an open mind. Not only should the student be ready to meet a diverse group of people, but he/she should readily volunteer to participate in activities that he/she would not have in high school--he/she will be very surprised in what new joys this may bring. Most importantly, the student must realize that the experience will be what he/she makes it. Step out, volunteer, enjoy campus life, participate, be friendly, study hard, explore, prepare yourself to enrich the world!


Make sure that you absolutely love the school. Don't settle for a school because you hate it the least, go to a school that you absolutely love everything about.


Students need to have an idea of what they want to do. With this knowledge you can then sort out what schools are best for your intended major and future plans (med school, law school, etc). You also need to know what you can afford if scholarships and financial aid doesn't pull through. Also, I feel that your surroundings are very important so go check out what type of setting your colleges are in. For me, I just couldn't be happy at the best school in the world if it were in the middle of say New York City because I'm a small town girl. Making visits to the schools that you would like to attend is expensive, but its a great experience for you and your family. Again, for the students, get your parents input on the schools that you are thinking about. It will be important later in life when you look back and reflect. Utilize some universities' interactive sessions with current students. Ask them what really goes on there and what the social life is like or the academics, etc. There are many options out there and at least one is perfect for everyone.


Visit a school before applying. Despite the reviews by students and other visitors, you have to see each school through your own eyes and experience it yourself before deciding to apply. Apply to a few schools in every ability range; be honest with yourself when classifying schools as "safety", "comfortable" and "reach". Once you're accepted, if possible, give the campus another visit and try to stay with a current student so you are able to get a more realistic picture of your potential lifestyle there. Once you're in college, meet people different from your old high school crowd. Reach out to people who don't live or look like you; try things you've never tried before. College is the time to get involved and discover who you are and what passions you have in life. You will undoubtedly be surrounded by people with different points of view from you: take the time to listen to them. Share yourself with others as well. Have fun, don't worry about a major right away and most of all, keep an open mind.


The old adage "follow your heart" doesn't apply when it comes to selecting your college. Being realistic and goal-oriented will ultimately palce you in the school that can best help you obtain the life that you want. As far as your college life goes, your mindset will determine exactly what you get out of the experience. If you firmly believe that attending the college will help you out in the future, you will find a way to be happy within your chosen environment.


Find the school that fits you. People matter, not brands. Find the right fit, and you will find the right college.


I have not been what is considered a "traditional" college student. I went to college for two and a half years before taking time off for personal and financial reasons. During my five years off, I continued to take classes part-time while working full-time. I have finally reached the point where I am able to return to school for one final full-time semester in order to graduate. I think that my experiences have given me a very different view on the college experience. Being back in school, I am trying to enjoy the experience to the fullest. I've learned that college really is a once in a lifetime experience. It is the only time in a person's life to get to experience anything and everything. I think that the best advice for making the most of the college experience is to get involved. The opportunities that are available when you are in college will very seldom come around again. College is the chance to take classes and learn about things that interest you, and to get involved with groups and meet new people that could become your friends for life.


To make the right choice when choosing where to attend college, be sure to visit as many campuses as possible. In my experience, when you set foot on the campus that is right for you, you will know it. When I first visited the grounds of UVA, I just had a strange feeling that I knew this is where I wanted to go and I somehow knew this was the place for me. I hope you will get that same feeling, because it makes the decision much less stressful. As for making the most of your college experience, try new things. Join clubs, play sports, and try out anything the school has to offer that may interest you. Stick with what you like and it will be an amazing four years.


Before committing to a college, it's very important to talk to students who actually go there. They will give you the most accurate representation of what campus life is like from a student's perspective. The admissions office or faculty will not know whether there are good places to study on campus, what the food is like, how friendly the student atmosphere is or which ones of their colleagues are more attentive than others. Look into the classes offered and the grading systems. If you are not a good multiple-choice test-taker, it may not make sense to go to a big school that can only get grading done by scantron. If you are anxious in groups of small people, a class size of 20 probably won't be as comfortable as one of 100. The important thing to realize once you're there is that there are other people around who share your interests and passions. You just have to find them. Stay on top of your school work but get involved in extracurricular activities and continue developing the person you want to become.


My advice to parents and students is to first take a deep breath and relax. In my opinion you land up where you were meant to be even if originally you had desired to go somewhere else. For me, I did not really know what I was looking for in a college. If you can, visit the places you are considering and research the schools to see what type of programs and student activities they have. If you cannot visit, take time to look at their website or talk to alumni. I found more than just the perfect school, I found myself in my first year. I learned my true passions and realized that now is the time to gain the knowledge that will help me fulfill my goals. The biggest piece of advise is not to let the college process take over your junior and senior year of highschool. Parents, this is the last time you have your kids with you every night of the year and students, though you may be really excited to start college and meet new friends, home is where your family is. It is easy to forget, but that is the most important part.


Visit every campus you possibly can! You don't know if you will like the atmosphere of a college by looking at a brochure or a pamphlet. Also, look into extracurricular activities similar to those that interested you in high school. Most campuses have tons of clubs and teams to get involved with. Last but not least choose the school that just feels right. When you walk onto a campus or into a classroom and can see yourself being there, you know its the right school for you.


Make sure you look deep down and recognize what you want out of a school. Not what your friends want, not what your parents or family wants, what YOU want. And once you get there, make the best out of your time there. There will be times where you'll miss home, or bogged down by stress, but keep moving forward and you won't regret getting a college degree.


Looking at colleges is a daunting process?size, scholastic opportunities, and GPA become all-consuming, and SAT scores are the only door to your future. It is important to keep in mind, though, that College exists for you, and not the other way around?it is a time for you to find a home for the next four years where you will be comfortable, where you will be challenged intellectually, and where you can grow into the person that you want to be. I spent much of my college search looking at numbers?incoming GPA and size. I made the mistake of not putting enough energy into other issues, like the way the students felt about their school, the kinds of extracurricular activities in which I could become involved, or the atmosphere and attitude of the University itself. In four years, you will have received a great education, no matter where you go. No one will remember your high school GPA or your SAT score. But you will be a different person?you will be older, wiser, and hopefully a proud member of the alumni family of an University that offered everything you needed to be a better person.


I would advice students and their parents to seek out a school that offers the most varied experience the student can recieve. Coming from the South, there were a lot of people and lifestyles that I had never encountered or had an oppertunity to understand. There is so much education to be had in college outside the classroom. I am of the opinion that it is ever the more rewarding to leave college the best person you can be and not the best student. Grades are importatnt, but so is growing as a person. Everyone knows that the college years can be very confusing times. Basically, a student is trying to set the course for the rest of their life in a couple of years. Anything that can help ease the stress, such a social network, volunteering, or athletics is necessary. Making the most of the college experience is realizing that one day the student will leave the college. The student's course of study extends far outside the classroom, the subject matter isn't always in textbooks, and the term is the rst of their lives.


ask the students that already go there.


Though there are better and worse colleges for some students, there may not be a "best" college for anyone. Each college offers a different experience from the next, and the key is to find a college that offers all of the activities, both academically and socially, for which you are looking.


Look outside your gepgraphical area and keep an open mind about living in different parts of the country.


Visit the campus and make sure the people are compatible with your goals and personailty


I think the most important thing to look for is academic counseling, class sizes, programs for diversity, housing, and financial aid packages. Parents and students should ask the university to give them information not only for incoming students but information that is available to upperclassmen. Many times I think schools get so caught up in trying to get students to come that they only provide information available for first year students. It is important to find a school that nurtures a student's education all four years because some schools only do this your first year. Also I encourage students to actively seek out all the opportunities that their prospective school has to offer. I can say that I didn't realize a lot of opportunities until it was either almost too late or too late. Everything happens for a reason so go with the punches and be proud of your acceptance into which ever school you go to. Don't believe people when they say a bachelor's degree is the new high school diploma because it's not true. If you take pride in your education, you will go far.