I didn't go about researching or selecting colleges properly. I had one school in mind and tossed in a smattering of other schools just in case. When I didn't get into my dream school, I became somewhat indifferent to where I went and arrived at Salve in the fall. That said, I've had a love-hate relationship with the school since I got here.
The school is only "Catholic" on paper, and though there is the odd 'hardcore' Christian, you won't find much religion outside of the two required religious studies courses you'll take. Case in point: seemingly about 15% of students attend mass on a near consistent basis. Campus ministry is awesome, even if you aren't religious. I am agnostic, but the staff there are wonderful and they have decent events. Alternative spring break, a volunteer trip each year, is always an amazing time.
The student body, overall, shouldn't be in college. Most people you meet here are the kind of people that go to college because it's expected, or because their parents want to go. The amount of intelligence is reflected in that, and it will take you a little while to find your niche if you aren't the prototypical well-off popular kid from high school.
The faculty are a mixed bag. There are some brilliant teachers here, but the only nice thing that I can say about at least a third of the professors I've had is that they were nice people. You will take courses you don't want to take, or that seemed wonderful until the first session, but the great courses will make up for it.
Residence here is top notch, and most rooms/room mates/RA's are enjoyable. The food is fine, you're at college (shrug). Be creative and supplement your cafeteria eating habits with some groceries and eating at one of many of the gem restaurants of Newport.
The school is hella expensive. As mentioned before, the cost isn't warranted by the quality of education provided unless you are in the nursing or education programs. The laptop program sucks, you'll pay a little over $2k for a laptop worth a third of that, and they'll say that you're paying for software and support. Anyone with intelligence and patience could save themselves a bundle and not miss out on anything that the school is offering. Too bad the program is obligatory and they tack it on to your first semester bill...
There is plenty to do with Newport a stone's throw away and Providence right next door. On-campus activities are, in my opinion, stellar. A little movie theater in the student center shows movies every Fri-Sat, there are lots of trips, provided by the Campus Activity Board (apply to be on the board, it's a blast to participate and you can go on most of the trips for free), and there are clubs for those who want to get involved further.
There is a bit of bureaucratic nonsense, but again, as long as you are patient and intelligent, as well as mature, you'll be able to solve any managerial issues that come your way.
Join the honors program, it requires a couple of very interesting extra courses and gets you free meals and a network of somewhat knowledgeable people, as well as access to courses with some of the more brilliant faculty.
Visit Newport often, don't be loud at parties or you will get busted for noise ordinance violations. Drinking in Newport/Providence if you are underage is sketchy. Use the free public transportation a lot, it's awesome and it will get you anywhere in Rhode Island at no cost as long as you have your student ID. Don't take Latin, don't come here unless you have the money or financial aid to make the cost seem less daunting, and don't waste your college years. That means enjoying yourself and enriching your mind.Cheers.