I was a 4th generation student of at Richmond, my family of origin’s school, and my daughter, had she not gone to UVA, her father’s school and my aunt’s school, would have been the 5th.
You get different things at each school.
One thing better at U of R than UVA is the student-teacher ratio where students are more prone to be taught by a professor than a TA, consistently. I was in a Reformation Seminar my senior year with one other student with a Fulbright Scholar from Yale teaching it. That type of teaching/discussion is more like what one would get at Oxford. One has to keep up with all the reading to make viable comments in class, and there is “no hiding” if underprepared.
My mentor at UVA told me I had had a great undergraduate education, though, truthfully, I leaned critical thinking as much if not more in my family of origin and extended family gatherings around the dinner table before I went to college.
When I was at Richmond, it had a strong church affiliation, something that appealed to me. That went the way of the wind when Richmond started jockeying to be the next Duke
or a school that might attract students would might go to an Ivy. I suppose it felt that being affiliated with a church was a thing of the past, and to be like Yale or Harvard or Brown, all schools that were founded to educated ministers but had throw away that past, so followed Richmond.
For that reason, I’d say to anyone who had a choice and didn’t care about going to yet another secular college, to choose UVA. It costs much less, and the school is very fair in honoring diversity of thought without the PC pressure to ditch family of origin beliefs.
Also, professors in the religion department actually belong to the faiths they teach about, so it’s not necessarily a sometimes sterile academic approach only to teaching such a course but one that emanates from experience.
U.VA, on the other hand, is considered to be a public Ivy, and its rating is on par with that of Berkeley. A degree from UVA with a strong GPA MIGHT earn a student entrance into any top university in the world for graduate school, and I am talking about a 3.7 up. (No room for partying even one weekend to keep that up. Everyone at UVA was at the top their class, as most in Richmond are, too. Some, for the first time in their lives in both schools will be in the middle or bottom of the class, so better be prepared to compete.
For those considering medical school, one likely would be taught better in first year science courses at Richmond. Again, student teacher ratios factor into this appraisal. At Virginia early science classes are huge and in large halls with one professor having told my daughter’s class he would not even attempt to know their names. Not too friendly an environment to learn in, imho.
She often had a TA in lab, and she found that a lot, though not all, of what she learned had to be self-taught, which, on one hand is not all bad for certain students but horrible for others. I had told her that if she wanted to go to medical school to go to a school such as St. Olaf’s in Minnesota, where she was accepted in addition to Richmond, Georgetown, and Edinburgh, which was much smaller and also a church school, something in sync with our family’s identity. I felt she would be better taught in the sciences in a good smaller school by full professors whose recommendations might be very good to certain medical school.
Her early science classes were disappointing to her, though she relished others, but not the party scene at UVA.
She did though find a “safe space” (for her) in the Bonhoeffer House and the Russian House where she lived for three years. Very much a WASPs by genetic background and looks, she loved the international and more cosmopolitan flavor of living with students from Tibet, Russia, and Turkey to be stimulating.