U of Richmond vs. Davidson

Richmond and Davidson are in the final group of colleges being considered by my son. I have searched threads from prior years regarding a compare-and-contrast analysis of these two schools. I’d like to hear more up-to-date input to highlight the pluses and minuses of Richmond and Davidson. I’m looking for more of the softer, nonspecific factors to consider, as we’ve been through all of the available statistics for each school. Any useful input would be much appreciated.

Congrats to you!!

I think there’s a lot these colleges share in common. Richmond is bigger so that’s a difference, but you know that I’m sure.

I can share that my D is a very happy Davidson student. She values the warm, strong community, the beautiful campus, the amazing new science building (she’s bio major), the intellectual climate, and caring profs.

I think the Davidson name may carry more cache than Richmond – but I’m obviously biased. :slight_smile:

Biggest difference is that one is primarily a business school while the other is a true LAC.

P.S. Are you still considering SMU or Wash & Lee ?

In what way is Richmond “primarily a business school?” My son’s final 4 include Davidson, Richmond, SMU, and W&L.

Just under 40% major in business at the University of Richmond. Just over 25% at SMU. Just under 25% at Wash & Lee. No business related major at Davidson College with economics being the closest.

I would say what separates Richmond from many other LACs is that it is a great Liberal Art college with a top business school. Foy our S being undecided going in having the option of a top business program was a big factor. Calling it primarily a business school is not necessarily that accurate. Because of its size there are more non-business students than total students at Davidson. Plus also consider that 60% of Richmond students take a double major so it’s far from a Babson or a Bentley.

Richmond is not primarily a business school, though it does have a top b-school, which gives kids a major additional option, given that so many kids change majors. Take our S18, he chose Richmond intending to major in ppel and leadership. He’s now majoring in a business area. Had they not had the b-school, he could have majored in Econ, but there are so many other interesting classes he wouldn’t have had access to (you can major in Econ through the b-school, with doing the business core, or through A &S). But, most of his friends are not B majors. That being said, I do hear that Richmond has a pre-professional vibe compared to many LACs (several of his friends are pre-Med, though some are religious studies, philosophy, etc).

We’ve been very impressed at the amount/level of research going on at Richmond, in all fields. Richmond is consistently among the top Fulbright producers for baccalaureate institutions as well.

We didn’t look at Davidson as my impression was that it was too conservative (from what I read) for us. There is a difference in geographic diversity between the 2, with Davidson drawing more heavily from the south. Richmond draws more from the midatlantic/NE and also leans slightly more left (though to me, very center). There is also more diversity in general at Richmond, with a larger percent of international students.

Greek life is big at Richmond. There is getting to be more school spirit around sports. The school has a great relationship with the city and lots of kids do internships/community service in well established partnerships. In some of the majors this is built into the curriculum (like leadership).

The administration is 100% on top of things and very nice to work with.

It’s hard to compare when we didn’t visit Davidson.


Very helpful, thank you… Keep 'em coming…

Very helpful.Thank you for the info. My S is considering both of these!

My son ended up choosing Davidson over Richmond & is VERY happy there – even though all his classes happened to be online, he lived in the dorms, made good friends, met in person with his advisor, as well as a few profs, and even got an on campus job. It was quite a surprise to me that he went with Davidson, as he really loved UR when we visited, but was luke-warm on Davidson after the visit. I think what won him over in the end was the proximity to a big city with lots of sports/data analytics opportunities & an airport where he could fly non-stop easily to the west coast. UR seemed a bit more “preppy”/Northeastern, whereas Davidson is a bit more laid back. One thing that was surprising to me was that although both schools “meet needs”, Davidson was about $8k cheaper for us (came in at our FAFSA EFC, while UR was $8k over the EFC). I’m guessing that Davidson has a lower cap on home equity than UR. My view on this is that either school would have been a great choice, but I’m happy he’s happy with his pick.

My S is a freshman at Richmond and is super happy. The two main factors were Richmond having a strong business school as an option and having more students than the other LACs we were considering. His comment was Richmond is small but not too small. We felt Richmond offered the resources of a bigger school with the small class sizes and individual attention of a small school.