Villanova University - Comments and Student Experiences|
To be honest, I am deeply conflicted about how I feel about my time here. The campus is beautiful, historic, well-maintained, and you feel proud to show off the St. Thomas of Villanova Church to friends and family when they come to visit. The business school (VSB) is top-notch when it comes to career opportunities and promotional endeavors. The professors care about the subjects they teach and are very understanding about personal situations and help outside of the classroom. I loved being in VSB, I loved the academics at Villanova, and I knew that I would have no trouble finding a job due to the alumni connection and good reputation the school has. But beware, if you want a job off the East Coast, Villanova most likely won't get you it....
Where I really struggled at Villanova was with the kids. I hated being on south campus (where the freshmen live) because it was a very unfriendly atmosphere. Roommates are hit or miss, because a lot of kids choose random selection and there is no questionnaire to ensure you get someone you like. I lived in Stanford Hall my first semester and I hated it. It is old, the rooms are small, and I knew nobody in my hall besides my roommate. You pretty much only know your next-door neighbors on a personal basis, but if they are not your "friend group" you really won't talk to them that often. In the other dorms, the floors of students seem to get along much better, so aim to be put in St. Monica's, Katharine, Caughlin, or McGuire Halls.
What I really want to stress to prospective students is that the kids you see that are giving you tours, and leading orientation, and talking to you on the phone are the premier students the University has to offer. I was a tour guide, I was a VSB Ambassador, and I know how exclusive and difficult those organizations are to gain acceptance to. The students that represent Villanova are the most ambitious and passionate about the school, so they're going to lie to you, or at least not give you an honest perspective about your time there. One thing that is important thing to have is a set group of friends that you can eat with, go to parties with, and be in a sorority with. If you don't have one (like I didn't) you're pretty much alone all day every day. I was in over twelve clubs, both related to my personal interests and academics, and I didn't have friends.
Not having friends takes its toll on you. As does the interest in not partying. I didn't go out much because I enjoy relaxing on the weekends and don't drink. All of the kids here go out on Fridays and Saturdays. And they are very open about talking about their evenings in class the next day or at dinner, which gets old very quickly unless you were there.
Bottom line (because I think this is very long):
1. Don't go to Villanova if you don't drink or like to stay in. There are some kids who don't do that, but they were very hard for me to find.
2. Join a learning community so you get put in the newer, smaller dorms
3. If you are not from Pennsylvania, New York, or New Jersey, seriously consider the benefit to you coming here versus a school closer to your home state. I'm from Massachusetts and I regret going to school in PA simply for the fact that it is not easy to travel back home, you can only go home during holidays, and you probably won't know anybody at the school.
4. Be prepared for everyone at the school to be rejects from Penn, BC, Notre Dame, or Georgetown.
5. Rankings aren't everything! The business school and the engineering school are highly ranked (which is partially why I came) but they may not be the best fit for you.
6. If you do come, get involved, and make sure you know how to "market" yourself, because organizations like Special Olympics, Ambassadors, and Blue Key are pretty exclusive.
7. Basketball is easily the biggest thing on campus, and nothing can beat when the team is having a good season. Again, if you don't have a lot of friends, it's hard to watch games or go to them. There is a lottery system, so make sure to attend as many games as you can and keep your "points" in check so you can be rewarded when the rival/important games come along.
8. Service is big here. Religion isn't in your face, but if you're not Catholic, you will notice its presence here.9. Kids are smart here, but it's not an intellectual-type school. No one will be talking about politics and science at dinner.
My professors were approachable and always ready to answer any questions I had.
What was intimidating about Villanova was its size: it's a huge campus. Rosemont's tiny campus could be put into it at least five times. So you will have to do a lot of walking. There is a shuttle that comes through every hour, but I found it easier to just walk. And judging by the crowds, so did most people.
Another reviewer mentioned that most of the students were from the Mid-Atlantic states, and this is true, as most of the people I met were from New Jersey and New York. Also, the student body seemed very affluent. (Try to count the number of Hunter rain boots you see on rainy days; it's impossible.) Given this fact, it's no big surprise that sorority girl/frat boy culture is huge here. I can't comment further on Greek life, as I was only a cross-registrant, but if that's something you're into, this seems to be the right school for it.
Villanova is a good school, and I have no complaints about the education I received or the people I met there.