Richmond, VA
Tuition (in-state)
$23,913 ($9,886)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 2821 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: They're really strict about parking and drinking and doing drugs in the dorm. Don't get caught doing either, especially in the dorms. When cracking down on parties they usually drive by on with their lights on as a warning, then come by the house. Attendance is strict, and varies in strictness depending on whose class you're in. In the School of the Arts, attendance is very strict. Miss four classes and you automatically fail the class. Some classes don't require actual attendance. However, most who do that find other ways to know you're not skipping class through pop quizzes, clicker points, etc... Visitation in dorms can be annoying for people with more than 2 visitors. Parking in the city is a nightmare during the week. Most times they require payment through parking meters. It's free on weekends though.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: It's the city. Monroe Park is where everyone lounges around when it's warm. The scenery by Cabaniss Hall and Jonas on the Medical Campus MCV is nice and quite (a little too secluded but nice) There are a bit of homeless and shady people in Monroe Park, Main St./Cary St (on the way to CaryTown) and Broad Street. Broad St. is okay to walk alone during the day, just be aware of your surroundings, especially near and in Rite-Aid and near Lowes. Most of the homeless are nice and/or keep to themselves. Others like to hit on girls - pay them no mind. As an advisory you might want to invest in some mace. A few of my friends have key chain sized mace. CaryTown is nice and has nice shops. It's a 30-60 minute walk from campus. You can also take the bus to it. A few blocks down from CaryTown is the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) All art students know about this place, and any freshmen art students should get acquainted with it. Sometimes art classes have class at the VMFA to observe art. It's a really nice museum. Kroger's is on Broad St near Lowes. In that area there is a GameStop (for you gamers) Starbucks, a Dollar Tree, and various fastfood eaterys. Further down Broad St there's the DMV, Children's Museum and Science Museum. Take the bus and you can get to Target. To get to Short Pump Mall you'll need a car, or a very generous friend with a car.

1 College Junior

Scholarships: This year the process dragged on and on until finally I got my package. It took them over 3 weeks to review one document less than 50 words. They also don't update E services in a timely manner. You find out things quicker when you call them. Instead of waiting for them to update Eservices on the status of your financial aid process (which they advise you to do). They gave me the bare minimum package - nothing but federal loans for my aid. I'm an out-of-state student with high need. I received much more aid in previous years. My need was definitely not met. Only 5.6% of students get their need fully met. (Collegeboard.com) If you don't have any scholarship money or no way to get additional loans, be very weary. This school doesn't have much money. (Even though they're renovating Cabell library...)

4 College Junior

Athletics: The Cary Street Gym is really nice for students. The basketball team is really big here. They have their own training facility near the Siegel Center. A lot of students go to the games when they can. I've even seen people skip class for the games. (I totally don't recommend that). School spirit at games is nice.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Off-campus housing can vary. Sometimes it's way cheaper (and most of the time higher quality) than living on campus in the apartment dorms. Other places can be really pricey (but still a higher quality). Most houses and apartments are within walking distance to campus. Parking is always an issue since VCU is in the city. If in off-campus housing, be very careful at night. There are quite a bit of robberies near the town homes near Clay St., Franklin St., Grace St. and Main St. Don't go out alone at night and remember to lock your doors and valuables up.

4 College Junior

Diversity: VCU is very diverse. No matter who you are, what you are, and what you believe in there are many people at VCU who will accept you for you. People from all over come to VCU. Even mind sets of students and faculty are diverse. You could be a die hard nerd and be friends with a socialite.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Greek life isn't very big at VCU. Even so there are a variety of different sororities and fraternities. They do hold parties but they're mostly for people who have a Greek life. Generally Greek students are pretty nice, though some greeks can be snotty.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: VCU is all about diversity. Don't be surprised by the range and variety of people you see on campus. There are a number of events and clubs and small demonstrations showcasing the diversity of VCU students and their beliefs. If you want a campus that will bring you closer to people regardless of race, creed, color, socio-economic strata, etc. then come to VCU.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: VCU isn't big on Greek Life. We have a few sororities and fraternities that keep the Greek Life up and running. Recently, however, there has been a surge in Greek Life. The probates are always interesting and fun to attend. If you are interested, find out early on, because sometimes it's easy to miss.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Handle financial aid ahead of time. It's hard to get regardless of what school you attend so be sure to fill out all the required forms and documents. The financial aid office is a hassle near the beginning and end of a semester but is somewhat like the DMV (get there at a good time and you'll be okay).

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: You'll be more aware of campus strictness as a freshman because they want to ensure you're not drinking in the dorms (or period for that matter) nor doing drugs. Other than that, the campus police and policies are there to help you be safe and enjoy your campus experience.

Since it is the city, you can expect it to be noisy almost always. Expect house parties to get shut down quickly because even when it's noisy, house parties can get a little crazy. VCU is big on not letting your social life take over your academic life so don't miss too many classes and don't turn your dorm into a party or kickback every chance you get.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Get your general education courses out of the way. They're generally easy and getting into upper level courses is hinged upon finishing your general education courses. Professors are hit or miss. Just use the rate my professor site when picking courses and find out what other students have to say. The classrooms are pretty new (depending on the building) so just diversify your schedule. VCU's class sizes are generally lecture hall sized so expect at least 30-50 people (minimum) and around 100 people. There are a lot of different courses, and professors with a range of teaching styles. Do your homework before registering with a professor that doesn't meet your learning style.

3 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Study hard, and make sure you go after a degree in a field you actually want to work in. VCU provides a number of resources for internships and work experience so just go for it. A lot of things on campus (and in life) are like that, part of the challenge is you being willing to go the extra mile to get what you want. Things are not guaranteed at VCU, though they are presented to you. Work hard, study hard and invest in the future and you'll come out on top.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: If you become a VCU Ram, you better be ready for the HAVOC! VCU is relatively big on school spirit, even though we don't have a football team. Sports are big here, so find one to either join or support. Share the love and spread the havoc.

The gym, beautiful. Cary Street Gym is one of the best in the area. I'd go to Cary Street before a Gold's or American Family. If you want to meet interesting people, beat the freshman 15 or even just burn off some steam, head to the gym. Check it out online and see for yourself how great this place is.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: There are always a range of students on college campuses. Where you go and hang out definitely changes the type of girls/guys you come in contact with. There are a ton of gorgeous people on campus (professors included). Don't be swayed by the casual or bummy look when guys/girls head to class. Keep an open mind, and an open heart; don't be shallow and you'll find someone attractive within 5 minutes of walking around.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Understand the dining plan early on. VCU has way more than some other colleges/universities so be thankful. Off of the top of my head, there's a Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, IHOP, Chick-fil-A, and the ever faithful dining hall. Sometimes the food is great, sometimes you get what you pay for. The meal plan is a mix between swipes (a swipe for a meal) and dining dollars (essentially regular dollars). It's convenient and you're required to get a plan as a freshman, but after that I would invest in some cookbooks, pay attention to the whomever knows how to cook back home and hope your residence hall has a kitchen. It's probably cheaper, and healthier to walk to Kroger (10 minutes away) and cook for yourself.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I grew up in Richmond so when I moved on to campus, I knew a little bit more than those who weren't familiar with the area. With that in mind, make friends with the local students. They know the way to the James River (20 minutes away) and the $2 theater/shopping center (another 20 minutes away). You don't need a car to get to the awesome places RVA has to offer, if you're willing to walk, then you can have a good time. There are museums and small eateries and a plethora of other things to see, just keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. The "college experience" doesn't have to be all about partying, Virginia is rich in cultural history and attractions. Get out of the dorm, and off the campus and you'll see a whole new world.

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: VCU is a city school. Don't expect it to be as sheltered as a suburban neighborhood. VCU is always pushing and reminding students (both male and female) to be conscious of their surroundings. There are occasional robberies, but from my experience, nothing too out of the ordinary. Walk with a purpose, don't text and walk obliviously, don't walk leisurely while alone in the middle of the night and you'll be fine. This is the time to acknowledge that the world isn't all rainbows and unicorns. Take advantage of well lit streets, the over-whelming VCU police presence and you'll be fine.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Typically, dorm rooms get a bad rep. However, at VCU they're constantly working to build a better campus, so there is a variety of resident living options. While West Grace North/South are some of the best, Rhoads (with it's community style bathrooms and double rooms) ranks among the least desirable. Either way, you're never more than 10 minutes away from classes or 10 minutes away from having a good time. Just keep an open mind, it could always be worse--you could be one the few people without a place to live on campus.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: We have an amazing gym, a final four basketball team, and a student body that loves to exercise.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: There are many food choices available. some better than others.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: It is a very beautiful campus with a friendly student body.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Lots of choices-not the best quality of food.

3 College Junior

Guys & Girls: pretty average. Very preoccupied with status.

4 College Junior

Athletics: The gyms are great with many machines and classes.


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VCU Student Commons
VCU Student Commons

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Carrie Lefler
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Students who attend VCU either love it or hate it. If they hate it, they most likely transfer or don't stay around campus on the weekends to find out everything the city has to offer. VCU has several nationally ranked academic programs and is continuing to grow and expand the classes offered to students. There are so many different fields that a student can major in that there's no need to decide right way on a major. More and more students are enrolling at VCU, and instead of being a backup school, it's becoming the first choice for a majority of the incoming freshmen. While outsiders may consider it an art school, VCU students know that it is too diverse to label as any one type of school. Although VCU is in a city and some consider that a danger, the VCU security and police systems are arguably some of the best in the state. 

VCU offers several opportunities for students to join clubs, fraternities, and sororities and even to travel abroad for a semester. They strive to give students the best opportunities knowing that once they leave college they may never be given them again. There are many different ways to socialize with fellow students, from going to athletic events to attending a house party down the street. The city has many different bars and clubs for people to let go of the stress of class and work. VCU has more than 32,000 students, which may seem crazy, but spread throughout the city, it's not an insane amount. It is not uncommon to see someone who may have gone to your high school or someone you randomly met once at a party. Students who love and support VCU the most are active in some aspect and are happy with the decision they made in choosing their major. VCU has a lot to offer, but it's up to each student to take advantage of it and make his or her experience here unique.

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