StudentsReview :: Virginia Commonwealth University - Extra Detail about the Comment
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Virginia Commonwealth University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityB+ Faculty AccessibilityA+
Useful SchoolworkF Excess CompetitionA-
Academic SuccessB- Creativity/ InnovationA+
Individual ValueC- University Resource UseB-
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA FriendlinessA
Campus MaintenanceA- Social LifeD-
Surrounding CityA+ Extra CurricularsA+
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable, Broken Spirit

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Useful Schoolwork
Highest Rating
Faculty Accessibility
She cares more about Useful Schoolwork than the average student.
Date: Jan 09 2009
Major: Journalism (This Major's Salary over time)
VCU is what you make of it. I wanted to go to VCU because of all the opportunities for internships in Richmond, and that's exactly what I'm getting. I'm doing a TV internship and I'm doing some reporting for 2 newspapers because I sought those opportunities out (and I'm only a Freshie!). If you're coming for journalism, then you've made a brilliant decision because Richmond is home to about 4 news stations, innummerable radio stations, a smattering of small newspapers, a large paper that overshadows the others (the Times-Dispatch), and a lot of controversy/politics that make for great stories. The Mass Comm teachers are very nice and friendly, and the classes for it have been very informative so far (MASC 103 is a joke, though, so don't expect much, it's just a lab). Just ask the teachers about opportunities and how you can get involved and you'll find enough things to fatten your resume up that you'll forgive VCU for not having a REAL journalism reporting course available to you 1st semester (or 2nd semester, unless you applied for MASC 203).

I also got all As in my 1st semester courses, though that wasn't much of an accomplishment; all of my classes were pretty easy, they just gave out a lot of busy work. I did learn a few things about economics and research papers, but I feel like I got a higher quality education in high school. I've heard, though, that classes get tougher as you get closer to graduating, and apparently I only got easy teachers (hmm, I'm lucky I guess). I'll update this review in the discussion area of my post.

I'm in the Honors College, which I highly recommend that you join if you can because they allow you to register for classes early, you are exempt from the oh-so-stupid Focused Inquiry course that everyone else has to take and get to take more useful writing courses instead, and you get access to some of the best advisors on campus (they really care about you, and they're always trying to help you get a scholarship). You have to do some petty things to remain in the Honors College, like attending 3 1-hour Burgland Seminars a semester and getting your "passport" stamped to prove it, but the benefits are definitely worth it. The Honors kids are really cool, too (in a goofy, dorky kinda way) and they're some of the nicest/funniest people on campus.

What other people said about VCU's offices being extremely unorganized is totally true: I tried to change my major 3 months before school started, and it took 5 months for them to finally get it done, and only after I harassed the office workers and my Honors College advisor to death. They also lose paperwork all the time, so make copies and check up on them often (they lost my transcripts from my DE courses, but I resent them and it's all be sorted out now).

The above quirks, though, aren't really a big deal. Everyone here is very friendly and sociable, and Richmond is a wonderful city. There are some homeless people, but they don't really bug you, though they might ask for cash sometimes (just lie). I wouldn't advise walking around by yourself at night, but I've personally never had a problem when I was walking back from a night class at 9:40. There is a party every night, and the clubs ALWAYS have a college night.

As for school activities, I don't know what everyone else was complaining about. There are, frankly, too many. I wish I could go to everything and be a part of 3 sports teams at once, but I just don't have time to. There's just so much to do, it's hard to limit yourself to being a part of just a few. Of course, you also have the option of doing nothing and just relaxing, though that gets boring really quickly. Make sure you do yourself a favor and sign up for a couple of clubs. (I've heard the Asian clubs are really fun, and you don't even have to be Asian to go… and you get free food!)

Speaking of food, here's the deal with the dining at VCU: there are "swipes" and there are "dining dollars." Swipes are a part of the meal plan. Every swipe on your VCU card is a block from that meal plan. You have to buy a plan if you live on campus (expect if you live in GRC 1), and the minimum number of blocks you can get is 150.

Dining dollars come with meal plans and are just dollars on your VCU card that you can use to buy food in the VCU Commons or other items on campus, without tax.

Neither blocks or swipes carry over, so make sure you use them all up over the semester, otherwise you're wasting your money.

Here the deal with the food places sponsored by VCU:

The main dining court, Shafer=carbs, fats, salads, sandwiches, and expensive "Upper Cuts" (taking and extra swipe or two) like lobster. Also beware of Shafer Shits! You can get it from the "Fanfare" section of Shafer, but only certain foods trigger it, I just haven't figured out which. It doesn't affect everyone, though…

Cary St. Market and Deli (located below the Cary and Belvidere Apartments)=delicious hams, chicken, wraps,

etc. for the same price as a typical Shafer meal(1 swipe). It's slightly out of the way if you live in the Freshman dorms, but it's worth it.

Bleeker St. (Inside the School of Business)= delicious paninis and sandwiches and wraps, also for 1 swipe. Also out of the way (close if you live in GRC), but worth it.

Quizno's (in the B&B on campus, closed on weekends)= a delicious but unhealthy sandwich combo for 1 swipe

Subway (only works with swipes on the weekends, dining dollars or real money otherwise)= Subs, combos, etc.- not phenomenal, but not bad

Generic Chinese, American "restaurants", plus a Chick-fil-A (in the commons)= good, but fattening foods: takes dining dollars during the day and swipes at nigit: closed during the weekends

Remember that VCU always serves better food during Open Houses and parent days. If you're looking for an accurate taste of Shafer, go during a regular school day and pay the $5 to see if you like it or not. After a while, though, you'll get tired of it, regardless of how tasty you think it is at first. That's where those other VCU sponsored establishments come in. :D

I hope my review was helpful and if you have any questions, just ask me!

questionI myself would like to major in mass communications but in public relations. By the looks of it this school has many pro's and con's. I want a school with great diversity and give me the ultimate college experienc and i am highly considering this school. I also want to achieve the highest level of success in my intended field, would you recommend VCU for someone aspiring in PR or would you say there are better options out there?
responseWell, VCU is definitely a diverse college, but if you're looking for the typical college experience, you won't find it here. Frats and sororities aren't as big of a deal as they are in, say UVA. If that's not a huge problem for you, though, then I'd definitely recommend VCU. Not many people around here are as… motivated as you are or as I am, and there are a lot of untapped intern opportunities and scholarships just lying around for the taking. Though I'm not in PR, I know we have a lot of successful PR alumni from VCU who come back and visit during Mass Comm week and who are really friendly and helpful. There's also a PR networking club which I hear helps a lot of people land jobs after college. Just get as much real-world experience as you can before you graduate, and you'll be sure to land a job. Try finding some PR people who graduated from VCU, too, and get in touch with them to get their opinion. I know that the VA ABC's PR person is from VCU: his name is Philip Bogenberger and his e-mail is _email_removed_
He's really nice, and I'm sure he'll answer some of your questions.
responseI'll be sure to do that. Thank you so much for your help!
questionHow is the housing situation in the Honors College? Is it far from classes?
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