Charlottesville, VA
Tuition (in-state)
$38,228 ($12,216)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 1616 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Freshman

Computers: Mac World – You can honestly tell who is not an engineer because everyone else for the most part has a Mac. There is wireless access everywhere on grounds which is awesome... when it works. The internet can be crazy slow sometimes, especially when everyone is signing up for classes.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The Corner and Beyond – You can't really beat living in Charlottesville. It's beautiful, the people are friendly, and the food is great. If you want to go somewhere for a nicer meal, the Downtown Mall is just a short bus ride away and also houses the Jefferson Theater, one of my personal favorite spots to go hear music, as well as some pretty cool stores. If you want some yummy late night food, the Corner is the place to be. From a sub at Little Johns to a big juicy burger at the White Spot to awesome pizza at Christians you really can't go wrong. In regard to safety, it's honestly about being smart.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Lots of Different Options – There are lots of different options as far as on-"Grounds" housing at UVA. The main dorm areas for "first-years" are Old Dorms (hall-style) and New Dorms (suite-style). I live in New Dorms, and I like the setup of having a common room and less people sharing a bathroom, but a pretty common sentiment is that people prefer the hall setup. Echols and Rodman Scholars, the honors programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Engineering School, live together in New Dorms as part of a "shared first-year living experience."

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Mixed Feelings – Dining at UVA is ok if you do it right. The biggest overarching complaint is that while the food is mostly pretty good, the selection is always very repetitive. There are 3 dining halls where you can use meal plan swipes: O-Hill, Newcomb, and Runk. I suppose I'm a little biased in favor of O-Hill since my dorm is right next to it, but I think it has the best selection during the week, and brunch on the weekends is quite solid. Newcomb is a major disappointment; despite it being the most centrally located dining hall, its food is easily of the lowest quality. People close to Runk rave about it, but I've been there several times, and for the hike it is to get there, the quality is not all that appreciably better than O-Hill. As far as flex ("plus") dollars, the best places to use them are in The Pavillion (at Newcomb Hall), which has a Chick-fil-A, a deli, a sushi place, and a burrito place, the Fine Arts Cafe (great food, although no one goes unless they're in the A-School building for whatever reason), and at Crossroads (on the ground floor of O-Hill), a convenience store that also houses a grill area, a Sbarro, and a deli. You may be tempted to use your plus dollars at Crossroads to stock up on stuff to keep in your dorm, but in my opinion, you get better value taking the bus to Barracks Road Shopping Center and spending your money at Harris Teeter or Kroger.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Easy, but Keep up With It! It was relatively easy to get financial aid, and the financial aid office will answer any questions you have pretty quickly. Just make sure you submit everything before the deadline, and if you have any questions, you can also call the financial aid office.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Very Satisfying Restaurant Scene – There are plenty of restaurants around the Charlottesville area worth checking out. From eccentric establishments like the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar to more traditional college fare (pizza and beer) from the College Inn, you can find anything you're looking for in between. You might need to travel a bit, which can be a hassle for first-year students, who aren't allowed to have cars.

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: Historical but Adapting – Some of the buildings are old-- like Thomas Jefferson old-- while others are from like the 70s and others are very recently built or remodeled. Alderman library is like a huge maze of very old (but useful) books while Clemons library is a place people just go to hang out and even rent DVDs. There's quite a mix of old and new so while some facilities are lacking, you can generally find what you're comfortable with somewhere.

2 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Pot and Binge Drinking – Drinking is very visible, and not particularly controlled by personnel. Pot is also prevalent, but no other drugs seem to be as popular or visible.

1 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Don't Do It – I refused to get a meal plan this year, and it was the best decision I could have made regarding my diet.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: I did not apply for financial aid because I had a sibling apply for FAFSA the year before, and they did not receive any financial aid. However, applying for scholarships is encouraged. They are really helpful, though a lot of work at times.

University of Virginia offers many scholarships and websites to find even more scholarships. The tuition for universities are rising each year, so make sure to look at any scholarships available!

4 College Freshman

Weather: Adapting to Each Day – The weather at University of Virginia is usually amazing. The beauty of the campus really shows through when the sun shines brightly and the days are warm. Most of the days are sunny and nice, however there are plenty of days where there is rain. This is not a large problem though because the campus is not too big and there are plenty of buses that run through campus. Also, many students have taken to purchasing rain boots, a handy pair of shoes that really heightens the fun when walking to class or the dining hall. There has also been some snow, and this is absolutely beautiful at University of Virginia. You find students excited to go sledding or start a snowball fight.

No matter the weather, people are out and about at some point of the day, especially when it is sunny - you will find plenty of students lounging on the grass, enjoying the college life.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Make Your Own Fun – Nightlife at University of Virginia depends on what scenes you enjoy. There are plenty of places to go or people to see; how you manage them and how much you enjoy them depends entirely on you.

For example, there are Greek parties, house parties, or a bar/club. Each party has a different setting, whether it is dancing and meeting new people at Greek parties, chilling with your friends at a house party, or getting dolled up to go out clubbing.

Of course, about half the students in an undergraduate university are underage. Being a first-year, or freshman, at University of Virginia entails that I am unable to drink. Therefore, my nightlife is more about seeing friends and having movie nights. Although, there are times when you find yourself invited to a house party, or a large Greek party is being thrown.

On the nights that I do find myself going out, I begin to truly appreciat the transportation and campus at University of Virginia. The bus schedule runs until 2 A.M. and most of the Greek parties or house parties are on the edge of the grounds of UVA. Also, walking home from these parties is an adventure and bonding experience that is an experience like no other.

Overall, the nightlife can be amazing, as long as you are willing to just have a mindset that your night will be fun. The nightlife is there and it is up to you whether you want to be a part of it or not.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Very Helpful – The advisor I talked to was very helpful. She made sure that I had all the forms needed for financial aid. Things went smoothly, even though I received a small amount of aid.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Pretentious Stereotype – The university is known for being pretentious because of its academic reputation. This can be seen often in the Greek Life members; however, the rest of the students do not really follow this stereotype.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Rigorous Courses – I came to the University of Virginia because overall education is rigorous. The courses are no joke. Professors take their job seriously, as well as the students. Everyone seems to want to do well, which helps everyone else strive to do their best.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Be Persistent – My tuition is almost totally paid for, but only beginning in my second year because I was so persistent with the financial aid office. You have to stay on them!!!

1 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life at UVA is definitely very prominent. Although it doesn't dominate the scene, every time I meet someone new, they ask me what sorority I'm in. I didn't rush, but all of my friends are in sororities. Most people in sororities do not judge people who aren't; however, some fraternities and sororities are more exclusive than others.

2 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Some Incidents, but Plenty of Resources – There are a couple incidents every year, especially ones which occur to females walking alone at night. Personally, I've never seen or been bothered, but I know it happens. Other than that, there are few problems. Cops are friendly, but are often patrolling the areas closest to campus to keep students safe.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: First years (freshman) are not allowed to have cars on campus. The best parking on-campus is across from the E-School, but there is a lottery for these parking spots. Gooch/Dillard parking is available but during football games you will have to find another place to park in favor of ticket holders returning. Other parking available is at the JPJ, U-Hall, or closer to the buildings. If you park at JPJ or close to Cabell Hall and if an event is happening at the JPJ, you won't be allowed to park there during the event unless you purchase parking specifically for that event. Parking at the JPJ or U-Hall, you will most likely have to catch the bus back to campus.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Not Bad, but Not Great – Gooch/Dillard wasn't too bad. It's next to the stadium to go watch football games and across the street from the Student Activities Building. Heading to classes is about a 15 or 20 minute walk, if you take the bus it will be about 5-7 minutes. However, when winter weather gets bad, the buses will get delayed and you may have to walk to get to class. There's a residence hall that's right behind the building so that's extremely convenient along with a laundry room on the first floor.

5 College Junior

Facilities: Engineering and Business – You might be considering to major in Engineering but you also like th business field. Well, at UVa you can major in any Engineering discipline and minor in Engineering business.

4 College Junior

Overall Experience: Great Experience!!!! I love UVa. It's a different type of school than the rest. If you learn to balance academics and social life...im sure you will have a great Experience!

2 people found this useful Report
1 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Punishments Are Very Severe. you better stay out of trouble or you will get kicked out!

3 College Junior

Scholarships: Please Give My Money – middle class students barely get any financial aid

5 College Junior

Computers: Computer Labs Are Crowded During Final and Midterms Only – Your laptop can be used to do all your assignments

1 person found this useful Report

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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Haley Bryant
London, UK
Media Studies
View all previous student authors

Most students talk about the wonderful experiences and positive feelings they associate with UVA. The University has some of the most devoted alumni in the country. Of course, there are those who wished they had gone somewhere else and those who were turned off by things such as the lack of diversity, the prominence of Greek life, student naïvety, or the pretentiousness that is, in fact, present on campus. Those who really like UVA appreciate its traditions, the friendly and outgoing atmosphere, the beautiful setting, and the outstanding academic environment. Students definitely have their share of rough, sad, or aggravating moments at UVA, but when all is said and done, many claim that they couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

There are so many different experiences here—putting together an unorganized, student-run play with remarkable self-motivated students, studying abroad, drinking wine and chatting with a favorite professor in his/her home, tutoring at a local school, or sunning out on the lawn with friends—that, in the end, are some of the many reasons why students are happy at UVA. If you come to UVA, be prepared to take the good with the bad. In my view, the positive aspects of the University outweigh the negatives, and the environment is as vibrant and intelligent as it was when Thomas Jefferson founded it well over a century ago.

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