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The University of Virginia

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA- Faculty AccessibilityA-
Useful SchoolworkB+ Excess CompetitionB
Academic SuccessB Creativity/ InnovationB+
Individual ValueA- University Resource UseB+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA+ FriendlinessB
Campus MaintenanceA+ Social LifeB
Surrounding CityA Extra CurricularsA
SafetyA-
Describes the student body as:
Arrogant, Snooty, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

Male
SAT1430
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Excess Competition
B
Highest Rating
Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty
A+
He cares more about Academic Success than the average student.
Date: Aug 06 2003
Major: Chemical Engineering (This Major's Salary over time)
As a recent graduate, I believe that the University, overall, is one of the best in the nation, but certainly not the best, which some students think. I would say that overall, UVA is comparable with Michigan and Berkeley (though very small in comparison), but decidedly a notch below Duke, Princeton, and Stanford. All of the programs, even seemingly BS majors like Art History, are rigorous and highly competitive, and definitely offer a rewarding intellectual experience that will accompany you to whatever you do after graduation. It's all about
the illimitable freedom of the human mind,
as TJ once said; indeed, your college education is what you make of it. You can go Greek and party continuously all 4 years, like many UVA students, and not take full advantage of the intellecual goldmine that UVA actually possesses.

Unfortunately, much about the student body and social life at UVA is true. There's no question about it: if you are not truly preppy, not Greek, not from Northern Virginia, and not in the Comm School or College, you're going to have a hard time fitting into this school. I was a first-generation college student (the first from my family to go to a 4-year college) from a rural town south of Richmond, and I had a very tough time fitting in initially. There are a lot of snooty, arrogant people at this school, especially the women, and there are a lot of classless, supersexist, racist people. Indeed, a majority of the student body is from Northern Virginia, and they tend to be WASPy, middle/upper-middle class, and somewhat close-minded. However, not everbody at UVA is like this, and if you look carefully and wisely (joining clubs and playing IM sports, of which there are many, are very helpful in accomplishing this), you will find many unique people, in various groups, who don't possess these qualities. Just like your education, UVA leaves it up to you to take the initiative in determining which group you want to associate with during your time here.

E-school gets a bad rap because it's not ranked nearly as high as other schools at UVA (38th according to USNWR). I've heard people joke about its relatively high acceptance rate (about 45%), and I've seen hints of discrimination against it and its students in the Cavalier Daily and the Declaration. Please disregard all of this, because the E-school is in fact a very tough program and is highly respected in industry and in academia (grad schools really like the BS thesis requirement). It's grad school placement is very good, and it often finds itself on a short list with MIT, Princeton, and other top-notch programs when small high-tech companies recruit each year. It's a small program compared to Virginia Tech (1600 versus 6000), but despite the disparity in rankings, I would say that both programs are about even. Tech's engineering students, despite being more humble than UVA's, are not as smart and not as competitive as E-schoolers, overall, but their research facilities are much larger and fancier, and their classes are easier. UVA's research facilities are improving though, and someday, they will offer a comprehensive co-op program, which is already available at Tech, to provide more real-world experience. It's true that only 65% of E-schoolers graduate from the E-school (with the others dropping out to go into the Comm School or College, for the most part) because of the "ungodly" courseload, but if you have good time-management skills, you can do well. With humanities electives abound, numerous research opportunities, and a good Career Services program, E-school definitely allows you to make the most of your engineering education. Your social life will suffer, unless you've perfected the "work hard/play hard mentality," but you will have a valuable degree (believe it or not) upon graduation.

I turned down Cornell for E-school, and despite some complaints about the atmosphere here, I had a great 4 years at UVA. I made the most of my time here, and I saved my parents $130,000. It was rough at times, and I often wondered what my time would've been like at Cornell or Virginia Tech. However, I never doubted that UVA was truly the right place to be, and I don't think you will either.

Responses
questionWhat were your SAT I scores, SAT II scores and GPA? What year did you graduate from high school? I am very interested in UVA, and I am pretty sure I want to go into engineering. However, I do not want to risk my admission to UVA because I decided on applying to the engineering school. What do you think?
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