Local Atmosphere

Tuition (in-state)
$21,141 ($8,976)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Radford does not have a lot to do.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There's not a lot of things that college kids can do around the campus.

5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: I love living in the New River Valley. It's quiet here but there is much to do, little traffic, and beautiful scenery.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Lots to do off-campus. The locals are friendly. We're a short distance from Christianburg and Blacksburg. It's a great area to go to school.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Small town atmosphere. Blacksburg and Christiansburg nearby add a lot, but it is a great place to come if you want to be able to just be a walk away from the hustle of the school.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Kerith Rae
South Africa
Business Management/Public Relations
View all previous student authors

Radford is in Southwest Virginia, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The school has an incredible view of the New River and the mountains surrounding it. But in terms of things to do, Radford's closest shopping mall is 20 minutes away and the closest club is in Roanoke. With the majority of entertainment outside of town limits, many students spend their weekends away. The school has been nicknamed a "suitcase school" by students, as many prefer to stay at Virginia Tech or return home on the weekends.

The town of Radford offers movie theaters and many dining options. The campus also provides bowling, pool, and pingpong for students. However, most students do not stay on campus during the weekends and usually head out into the surrounding area to enjoy the many outdoor activities that the mountains have to offer. In the spring and summer months, many students stay in town to go tubing down the New River or to spend the day playing games or relaxing in Bisset Park. There are opportunities for hiking and camping, and the Blue Ridge Mountains offer Skyline Drive and many locations for scenic picnics and day hikes. Also, less than an hour away is Smith Mountain Lake, which offers many cute cottages, perfect for a weekend getaway with friends.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. The Radford Arsenal employed 20,000 people—the town's population was 12,000—during the war-time boom in the '40s.
  2. Radford University was a women's college until 1972.
  3. There are 14 parks in Radford.
  4. The Blue Ridge Mountains are named after the blue-colored haze that covers the area, which is caused by an organic compound released by the trees.
  5. Radford was home to Mary Draper Ingles, a pioneer who was kidnapped by Indians. She later escaped and trekked more than 500 miles back to Virginia. The farm where she lived is still a working farm today.
Notable Natives
  • Gary Clark – former NFL player
  • John Dalton – former governor of Virginia
  • Shayne Graham – NFL kicker
  • Mike Williams – professional baseball player
Local Slang
  • C-Burg: Christiansburg
  • The Noke: Roanoke
  • NOVA: Northern Virginia and the residents from that area
  • Tech: Virginia Tech
Points of Interest
  • Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Skyline Drive
Shopping Centers
  • New River Valley Mall
  • Valley View Mall in Roanoke
Movie Theaters
Radford Plaza Cinemas
7463 Lee Hwy.
(540) 633-2460
Movie Theaters
Regal New River Valley Stadium 14
110 New River Rd.
(540) 381-0854
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Charleston: WV: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Charlottesville: VA: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Roanoke: VA: 50 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 47 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 47 responses

  • 0% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 21% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 55% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 4% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 19% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 47 responses

  • 91% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 0% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 9% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 47 responses

  • 9% Totally.
  • 34% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 57% No way.


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