Vermont, University of (UVM)
College review by Lisa Bleich
UVM is located in the heart of Burlington, Vermont. The campus is lined with red brick buildings all in a row. When approaching the campus from College Ave. it is very pretty with a large, grassy area across the street. This area was given to the college as a land grant and will not be developed. When walking the campus, the buildings seem less connected because a road runs through the central area of the campus with the buildings on one side in a row and the grassy area across the street. There is a new, state-of-the-art student center. The medical school and nursing building also connect with the campus on the other side of the student center. Biking seems to be one of the main ways to get around campus with bike racks peppered throughout. Although in the dead of winter, it’s unclear how handy a bike would be.
I met with Emanuel Tejada, a Senior Admissions Counselor, who covers New Jersey as well as other states. He is also a UVM alumnus and found coming from the Bronx to be eye opening and refreshing. UVM received approximately 23,000 applications last year. UVM looks for rigor in curriculum and strong test scores. The average for last year’s incoming class was 26 ACT (for one sitting, UVM does not super score the ACTs) or high 500’s in each section of the SAT. Students in the top 25% of their class and 620 for each section of the SAT or 28 ACT are automatically considered for merit aid. While academic rigor is most important for admissions, students test scores also weigh heavily for determining merit aid. The most competitive programs are Nursing and Engineering. Nursing students must be in the top 10% of their class with 2100 SAT/31 ACT. Engineering students are required to have 4 years of math and science and have taken physics. The curriculum in the School of Engineering is also very structured. However, they recently introduced a hybrid liberal arts/engineering program that is slightly less competitive than straight engineering.
The other colleges are Education, Business, Rubinstein School of Environmental Sciences, and Arts and Sciences. The Rubenstein School is extremely strong given the school’s location and commitment to sustainability and the environment. There are lots of opportunities for research in environmental science.
We had a diverse student panel ranging from a Social Work major on the crew team to a Film and TV studies major minoring in Chinese and Politics to a Psychology major minoring in Theater in the juggling club to an Animal Science Pre-Vet major who was President of the Outing Club. The thread that tied the students together was their friendliness, relaxed, but passionate approach to their education, willingness to take risks, and love of the outdoors. They also all changed their major at least once during the first two years. The pre-vet student talked about her excellent relationship with her advisor and how he guided her to what internships, classes, research, etc. to pursue for Vet School. The overall acceptance to Vet school is an impressive 85%, however, the acceptance to medical school is only 55%. While this is above the national average (40%), I would have expected a higher acceptance given the excellent nursing program and hospital right on campus. Students also get advising as a freshman through the Teaching Advising Program (TAP), where all freshmen are assigned an advisor who teaches them their first year seminar. This was designed to help students acclimate better to college.
UVM is a great school for students who want a friendly, relaxed environment with a beautiful setting, enjoy the outdoors and active music scene. UVM is not a particularly rah-rah school, but there is a strong hockey team. Greek life is also present, (10%), but not dominant.