Valparaiso, IN
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Reviews 907 total reviews with an average rating of 3.3

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4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: One of the reason I chose this college was for the great little city that it was in. While, it might not be a huge amount of choices there is still fun activities to do like movies, a put-put course in Maryville, and various little shopping centers!

4 College Senior

Campus Dining: I think the food that is served is great for campus food. I would like to see more vegan options but either than that I find the campus pricing decent and fair. More often than not I can find something to eat at least! :)

4 College Senior

Campus Strictness: There's not much I can say about the campus strictness. I don't not feel like the campus has "strict" rules. They all are there for a reason, and if they are to keep the students safe and without chaos and disorder I am all for them. I'v gotten violation for having a candle in my room (even though it was my roommates) but I understand why we needed to be written up if the RA feels like we could have possibly put others in risk of a candle incident...what I'm trying to say is if the rules are keeping me safe, then I'm happy that they are being enforced no mater what.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: My school does a great job of making me feel safe, even when I am walking alone at night from the library or the cafe. They have emergency posts I feel like at every corner on campus and VUPD seems to always patrolling and attentive to their students on campus!

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: I appreciate the variety of campus choices that Valparaiso as a city provides. I would like to see more discount opportunities at more sit-down restaurants like The Tomato bar, Yatz, or even Noodles and Company, if that would be at all possible. As a student on a tight-budget though I do sometimes it find it hard to get vegan-friendly options that don't cost a fortune, still I can't complain to much because there are at least options for me and I am not completely out of luck.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There's definitely enough variety to keep you busy. I still have yet to try a lot of the off-campus restaurants. There's a bunch of cafes and restaurants as well as a few little ethnic places, all of which are pretty close to campus. Some of the places are a little expensive, but there's a few cheaper pizza places, Subway and Jimmy John's right across the street, and my personal favorite, the Dynasty Buffet. So there is definitely something for everyone food-wise.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Valparaiso is a cute little town. There's plenty of little shops and restaurants to go to, not to mention the annual Popcorn Festival. There are a few bars that seem to be pretty popular with the upperclassmen, but I couldn't tell you about those firsthand. If you are really into shopping, the nearest mall is about fifteen minutes away, so unless you have a car it's not the best town for shopping. But there are fun places to go, especially if you have a car. Most of the time we stay on campus though, especially during the winter.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: I'm super grateful I got the chance to live on campus last year. The atmosphere of living in the dorms was one of the biggest reasons I had so much fun here this year. I'd highly recommend living on campus. The majority of my friends lived in Alumni with me. Alumni and Lank are definitely the two best options of the freshmen dorms. Brandt isn't really as bad as everyone says, but if you can avoid living there your first year, do it.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: The people here are great! Really warm and welcoming for the most part.There's a real sense of community. As far as looks go, the guys are pretty decent. Things have changed a little since some of the older reviews. The people are a lot more open-minded than some of the reviews led me to believe.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: The dorms are good considering Valpo makes you stay on campus until you're a senior. The freshmen dorms aren't very good but the upperclassmen dorms are pretty good. Housing is expensive but you don't really have a choice to live off campus until you're a senior.

3 College Junior

Athletics: Valpo athletics are ok but not great. Some of the teams are good but you don't really hear about them except for basketball, which is good, and football, which is horrible.

5 College Junior

Health & Safety: Campus is very safe. I am very comfortable walking around campus at night. Going for runs at night are fairly common at Valpo. Campus has these blue light towers all over campus that call the campus police.

College Junior

Majors: Internships aren't very common in the science fields at Valpo. It is much more common to go do research over the summer. Some of them are paid and others aren't Doing research isn't really about the money. It's about the experience and expanding upon what you've already learned in class. They aren't too easy to find but advisers help students find them. Being pre-physical therapy, I need to shadow different therapists in various settings rather than have an internship. The same thing applies to other pre-med students.

4 College Junior

Majors: I love Valpo's Biology program for the most part. Making sure you have all of the requirements for the major as well as for grad school is frustrating but advisers are helpful with this. I'm not sure if I would pick Valpo again if I was given the choice. It's a great school and I love it here but it isn't the best school for preparing people for physical therapy grad programs. There isn't even a program for it. If it weren't for Valpo not having a very good pre-physical therapy program I would choose Valpo in a heartbeat. I am worried about getting into grad school, but then again who isn't. Even if I don't get in for physical therapy, I know I'll be able to either go to grad school for bio or environmental science or find a job in biology or environmental science.

4 College Junior

Overall Experience: The people and sense of community at Valpo is one of the biggest reasons why I love it so much. Everyone is very friendly and for the most part truly seems to care. There is always someone there when you need it, whether it is a fellow student, professor or someone else on campus.

4 College Junior

Facilities: The chapel makes campus unique and beautiful. The chapel is very involved on campus and is a great place to hang out and do homework between classes. The new buildings on campus are great. The older buildings on campus are going to get rebuilt or renovated in the next 20 years, as campus expands. The academic programs are great too. There are a ton of ways to get involved on campus with all of the different student organizations available.

3 College Junior

Facilities: The fitness center on campus is great, but is too small and gets overcrowded at times. The union is a great place to hang out, do some homework or just relax. The library is wonderful. There are two loud floors and two quiet floors with a Starbucks on the first floor. Although at midterms and towards finals week, don't expect to be able to get a table on the loud floors. It gets overcrowded and students have to find other places to study.

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: A lot of people on campus date, often times pretty seriously. Often times people find their partner at Valpo and get proposed to typically Junior year. Casual dating also happens though. A lot of the girls are hot. There aren't as many hot guys but there are enough. Valpo definitely draws some more nerdy guys because they are well-known for their meteorology and engineering programs. There are also plenty of hookups that happen.

4 College Junior

Academics: I love being a biology, environmental science double major. The professors really work with you and want you to succeed. The professors are also your academic adviser with is very helpful since they are familiar with the field. I have three different advisors. One for biology/pre-med, one for environmental science and one for pre-physical therapy. They make sure you are on track but sometimes if you need something done you can have a hard time getting ahold of them since they are professors and they are busy.They have classes to teach and are often doing research as well. The workload for biology and environmental science are both heavy but easily doable. They actually have complementary majors and minors for some of the majors depending on what it is. My environmental science major is the complementary one, which means that I don't have to take as many classes because of my biology major, since there is some overlap between the two.

4 College Junior

Academics: Valpo is known for having great academic program and they uphold this. The professors are typically wonderful, although there are a few who don't really care about the students and them succeeding. The curriculum can be intense depending on what classes you take together but for the most part the classes are good, with the exception of the Freshmen CORE classes. These two classes were almost a complete waste of my time and not worth the 5 credits each. Registering for classes is normally very frustrating. You have to meet with your advisor(s) first, which I have always found helpful. But then registering itself is awful. You are very lucky if you don't run into problems. It is online and very particular about how you register. If the class is full, you have to get waitlisted and then email your advisor or department chair if it's a class you need. Registering for classes that have labs is very frustrating because you have to register for both at the same time. If either the class or lab is full you can't register for it.

Valpo has a lot of study programs that are fairly unique to Valpo. Their Interlink program is wonderful along with their Chinese/Japanese Study program. Studying abroad is very popular and a lot of students take this opportunity. Studying abroad is required for some of the foreign language programs, and if not required, highly recommended. Other study areas that Valpo is well known for is Meterology, Nursing, and Engineering.

2 College Junior

Campus Dining: Founder's, Valpo's main cafeteria has quite a few options such as pizza, pasta, sandwiches, soup, salad, bbq and burritos along with a main food line, whose food changes for lunch and dinner. The meal plans are mandatory if you live on campus and are pretty expensive, but you will use it all because each item costs something. You have a certain amount of money on your meal plan, not a certain number of meals to use. The options available for people who are gluten free or have other food allergies are not that great. This is something that they are working on but currently the options aren't very good. I often get sick of having to eat only a few of the numerous options.

Cafe is Valpo's other cafeteria. Cafe is more of a grab-n-go place with a small convenience store that has a few groceries and toiletry items. The Cafe also has crepes, smoothies, salads and rice bowls. These are delicious but expensive so you have to be careful not to get them too often. There is also a Starbucks in the Cafe, as well as in the library.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Our athletics draw in a lot of people from the city and surrounding areas but there isn't much to do off-campus at night or on the weekends. I really like the area and think it is gorgeous, especially with being so close to Lake Michigan and the Indiana Dunes National Park.

3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Campus is very strict about some things and not very strict about other things. The honor code and visitation in the dorms extremely strict. The honor code is taken very seriously by the professor and administrators and not so seriously by the students. Visitation in the dorms is kind of ridiculous! The opposite sex can't be on your floor, except for in the lounge after 2am. Quiet hours also start fairly early, at 10pm, but depending on the RA are either majorly enforced or not enforced very much. Underage drinking and drug use happens on campus but typically not in the dorms. Creating a new student organization is supposed to be easy to do at Valpo but there are a lot of different requirements in order to create one.

3 College Senior

Majors: Scheduling of classes can be a bit difficult especially if you have multiple majors and minors.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Majors: Some of the professors are great, while others are horrible. You just have to get to know upper-classmen in your major to get a feel for good and bad professors.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Amber Will
Schofield, WI
Political Science and History
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When trying to determine the best part about their VU experience, most students recount the great friends and the encouraging atmosphere the professors work hard to create. A great advantage to the students at Valpo is the willingness of professors to speak with you, even if you aren’t in their class or even their department. If a change of majors might sound good, any professor from any department is willing to take time out of his/her schedule and talk about the department and its programs. The education and chances to learn from professors, who are there to teach first and research/publish second, is by far the best aspect of Valpo. It feels like a lot of work at the beginning because the classes are designed to make thought and discussion happen on a daily basis, but the work definitely pays off at graduation when you realize how much you've learned.

Students consistently comment that they have left Valpo with lasting friendships and a deep appreciation for learning. Valpo is a one-of-a-kind place that just seems to draw you in. The community aspect is the most commented on portion of life at Valpo because it is so strong. Campus truly becomes your home.

A negative part of the college experience is the strictness coming from VUPD, but most students feel that the positives highly outweigh the feelings of being treated like a child at times. Most students would choose Valpo again if they had to start over. If you are looking for a strong community and caring professors, Valpo really should be on your list. 

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