Richmond Scholar

Our D has just been accepted as a Scholar at UR but also has offers from Pomona, Tufts and Claremont McKenna (25% scholarship). She is really torn because of the higher rankings of the other schools compared to UR. Any tips on how UR compares to the others with regards to campus life and Grad/Career prospects? Would love to hear what you think.

@samalek Hello, we are in same situation, admittedly a good “problem” to have. UR is a top 25 liberal arts school and I can say we have been impressed with the UR virtual events and contacts, especially in planned STEM related major. UR rates very highly on academic experience and quality of life in various guidebooks and online sites, but on our end also a bit too high on the greek and party aspects than desired. A lot depends on planned major, I think business and leadership programs are a strength at UR, and may be equal or stronger than your other choices (note I don’t know these fields or schools overly well, just an impression). STEM related are smaller departments at UR but still good quality. Hard to match Tufts breadth of sciences but it is also more of a university than LA school. If you want to compare students, UR ACT range in Niche is 30-33 for middle 50%, your other schools are all 31-34. Best of luck in your decision!

My daughter is a Richmond Scholar, finishing her sophomore year right now. She has been very happy overall with her experience (although not so happy about having to finish the semester online, lol! - Of course, that is happening at all schools.) It is unfortunate that the Richmond Scholars visit had to be canceled due to coronavirus, as that visit would have been very helpful for your daughter. If she still has contact info for the Scholar who was going to be her host, I recommend she contact them with questions to get a current student’s perspective.
I understand that the Career Services department at UR is excellent. Check out the website ( for more info. I don’t have personal experience with the other schools on your list, so I can’t knowledgeably provide comparisons.

There’s a reason your daughter was picked as a Richmond Scholar. If she wants to go the top ranked LAC college, by all means pick Pomona. No LAC ranked only 23 could possibly offer her a fabulous education, for free. Nothing like being a small fish in a big pond. (Google Fulbrights for UR and Claremont McKenna and drinking).

Well, I have to say that I completely disagree with @havenoidea. The idea that “no LAC ranked ONLY 23 could possibly offer her a fabulous education” is completely ridiculous! My daughter is getting a fabulous education at UR (for free!). Her classes have generally been excellent. @havenoidea, do you actually have any direct experience with UR?

Thanks STEMFocus … that really helps!

Really helpful advice cmfl11 … she is planning to talk to an Alum to get their perspective. Yes, the Scholars’ visit would have helped put things in perspective but it’s a crazy year sadly!

I detected a bit of sarcasm in @havenoidea post…

@cmfl11 I apologize, I was was being sarcastic (had just had a row with 1 of 3 of our kids now online schooling). Prior to posting that, i had been in the middle of a reply earlier extolling the virtues of Richmond.

Our eldest attends Richmond (not as a scholar!), and if either of our younger kids had the amazing chance to be a Richmond scholar, I told them they wouldn’t even have the choice to pick another, more expensive option.

@STEMFocus I was blown away by the science faculty presentation during accepted student day s couple yrs ago (S considered a science major). I’m extremely impressed by all the research going on, and the school in general.

Congrats to your obviously amazing kids! Go Spiders!?

UR is academically very challenging for top students. The professors/advisors and the career center at UR are top notch.

2 of my kids were Richmond Scholars (we won the lottery twice!!), and were both science majors. One is already in
A PhD program and one is starting her PhD program at Johns Hopkins in the fall (corinavirus permitting…)

They were both extremely well prepared and competetive for graduate school programs and loved their time at UR.

They both started lab research as freshmen, had great internships, traveled abroad (completely paid for by scholarship, with extra funding for travel and enrichment activities), participated in the Sophomore Scholars in Residence program (no cost to students), participated in fun club and service activities, and had wonderful friends.

Richmond is a fun city, too, with lots of great food, festivals, parks, museums, and outdoor activities. It also has a decent airport and 2 amtrak stops, so travel is fairly easy. Our whole family really enjoyed our many visits to the area!

UR is a top 25 LAC, @samalek, and has a lot of top students. Your D would certainly be challenged academically at UR. Whether or not the extra $$ needed for the CA colleges would be a burden (what is difference in cost? $40k per year?) UR for zero $ seems like a no brainer to me!

UR would be an excellent choice for your D. We were blown away by all of wonderful opportunities that our kids experienced as Richmond Scholars.

Thank you @mamag2855 for your lovely response. Couldn’t convince her unfortunately, looks like we’re going to Pomona.