@Rue4 I don’t think wealth is the driving factor of UR’s toxic culture, that said, there are some very wealthy students on campus who make it very easy to spot (not that it’s a bad thing they just flaunt quite a bit). I don’t think being on a scholarship would be a social issue for your D, especially as there are quite a lot of students either on scholarship and/or are more lower/middle class. To me, the toxicity of the culture stems from both Greek life and the fact that a lot of people, as the saying goes, “never left high school”. There’s a huge focus on a social “hierarchy” and even though I am not in Greek life, I have seen those in so called “bottom tier” sororities/fraternities not be given a chance because of the stigma surrounding them. There’s this vibe on campus that everyone’s watching you, at least for me and some people I’ve talked with. I mentioned in my last post that the dining hall was an issue on campus, and that’s because there are three rooms to which the first is Greek, second is athletes and the third is everyone else/those with nowhere else to go. A huge thing for me is that I’m pretty social, however, I find that other students are so dead set in their friend groups they won’t even think about bringing someone else in (i.e. including someone else in plans for the weekend, going to the dining hall with other people and just reaching out in general). I find that for a lot of people, including myself, you have “class friends” which is basically that you have those people you only talk with in class but friendships don’t go beyond that. This isn’t to say that all people are like this, but I’ve found it to be a pretty good amount. I think the school would benefit immensely by having people who genuinely want to make a lot of friends and don’t just want to have a group of 5-10 people for 4 years.
In my opinion Richmond is a very hit or miss university. You can come in and have an absolutely amazing experience or you might end up wanting to transfer out/just have to suffer through some things because there are only so many people. I do believe in the saying that “life is what you make of it,” but it can be hard to have a social life when a good majority of people/friendships are one sided. Good luck to your daughter and let me know if you have any other questions!