Virginia College tours

Written by Lisa Bleich

We spent a fabulous week touring seven Virginia Universities, six public and one private. Each school is unique and impressive in its own right. Virginia offers outstanding college opportunities to meet every type of student.

Most Selective

The University of Virginia. Ambitious, academically and socially driven students vying for leadership roles throughout campus. Several exclusive clubs and opportunities including tour guides, secret societies, debate club, and lawn rooms. Magnificent campus complete with student body fresh out of “collegiate” casting. Surrounding town with cute restaurants, bars, shops, and the like. Pervasive feeling of history and traditions.

Highly Selective

The College of William and Mary. Highly intellectual, collaborative, creative, quirky students. Set in historic Williamsburg. Sprawling, understated campus rich in natural beauty and historic building. Ancient, Old, and New are ways to describe the three parts of campus. Quiet, contemplative setting.

The University of Richmond. High touch academics. Commitment to leadership and mentorship. Bucolic, residential, storybook campus setting on a Lake, but 15 minutes from downtown Richmond. Top notch undergraduate business school with limited barriers to entry once you’re there.


The University of Mary Washington. Tranquil, suburban setting set amidst historic town and backdrop. Stand out programs in mixing liberal arts with technology. Stand out majors in historic preservation, Geography Information Systems (GIS). State of the art Integrated Technology Building. Kind, accepting, community oriented student body with no Greek life.

James Madison University. Practical doers, focused on group work and applied knowledge. Down-to-earth, somewhat homogeneous. Picturesque older campus coupled with newer, high-tech science campus. Small town feel.

Less Selective

Christopher Newport Academy. Conservative student body, magnificent new facilities with aspirational goals. Creating a new brand of leaders under the leadership of a paternalistic president. Suburban, commercial setting.

Virginia Commonwealth University. Eclectic, urban, high-energy campus set within the city of Richmond. Multi-cultural, highly diverse student body. Pre-professional focus of programs throughout the various colleges including strong pre-health science, visual and performing arts, business, communications and engineering.

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