University of Dayton for a shy/non-partying kid?

My daughter got accepted EA to UD and received a very generous merit aid scholarship. I’ve heard great things about the school and the community. However, my daughter is a pretty quiet person and not at all a drinker. I’ve seen some youtube videos of the student neighborhood on the weekends and it looks pretty wild. I’m just wondering what the student experience is like for the non-party folks. I should note that I KNOW that EVERY school has a party element. I’m just wondering whether anyone could speak to the experience at UD for those who might not be participating in the drinking culture. Thank you.

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@EconPop could probably give you tons of info, hopefully he will see this!

okay. Thank you.

I wish I could answer your question but I don’t have any experience with UD. However, I can relate to your concern because I sent 2 daughters to Providence College, a school with a very similar vibe.

I think you’re right to seek insights from those who to have first hand experience at UD. If I were in your shoes, I would call Admissions, tell them that your daughter is quiet and not a partner, and ask if they can put you in touch with a few young women who are students and can give you some insights about life on campus. Admissions offices will generally honor this kind of request. Even if you’ve already toured the campus, you might consider going back for a second visit but focused specifically on your concerns. I’d try to engage random students in conversation as well as the tour guide to see if you can learn more that way. Or are there other students from her high school or your local community who have preceded her to UD.

I understand that UD owns a lot of off campus houses. I’d be interested in finding out which students live there - seniors? Juniors? Are there trends, such as all juniors and seniors living off campus in these houses? Or is 4 years in an on campus dorm a viable option? I would think that this is much less of a problem on campus.

I’ve seen the articles and pictures. You can’t be the first one to have this concern. We dads have a mission in life to protect our daughters. So, you should be unapologetic in getting answers to this question from sources on campus, i.e. female students.

I must say that the write up of UD on the Princeton Review suggests that there are a lot of positives about the UD community. Princeton Review does extensive surveying of college students across the country and their articles are based on those surveys, so there is some legitimacy to what they have to say. You might want to check it out.

@Dad_McG ,

My son is a sophomore at UD. From what he’s told me and from several visits to campus myself, I’d say the biggest common denominator among the students (besides schoolwork related things) is a general sense of helpfulness and contentment. The campus feels very social in many ways.

As on any campus, there are parties and some students also gather in non-party social situations. There are university-owned on-campus houses for Juniors and Seniors. These are single family homes lined in rows close to each other. The way this is situated, almost all of these houses are a part of the campus layout/community and do not seem off campus in any way. From what my son tells me, there are a couple of blocks with houses that host more parties, and other blocks where practically no parties take place. There are also apartment and houses for rent immediately adjacent to all sides of campus.

In addition to my son, I have two younger daughters and I completely understand your desire to find a safe place for your daughter. My feeling is UD would not be any different than any other college in regards to safety. I told my son and I’ll tell my daughters about making sure they know what they are drinking and to be proactive in their personal safety in social situations.

My son has met several students whose siblings also attend(ed) UD. One of his current roommates has a sister at UD who is an upperclassman. One of the first guys he met as a freshman had an older sister on campus. One of his original freshmen roommates had an old brother who was a senior. The fact that so many families send multiple children to UD indicates to me that the parents see UD as a very safe place.

My son knows several students who don’t drink at all. Some are friends who attend parties for the interaction, and some are friends who don’t like parties at all. There is a lot to do on campus for students who don’t want to be a part of the parties. There is a new gym on campus that my son uses several days a week. When I picked him up a few weeks ago, we visited the library and there were many kids there happily studying in groups. There are a couple of coffee shops on campus that are always busy when I visit. One of my son’s freshman roommates was active in the theatre group on campus.

I think the party rating thing is overdone when it comes to UD, while underplayed when it comes to other schools on party lists, like Wake Forest, Colgate and Tulane. UD also ranks highly on other lists that I thought was important for me to consider when helping my son choose a destination. On PrincetonReviews, UD ranks highly for “Happiest Students”, “Great Run Colleges”, “Most Loved Colleges”, “Colleges That Create Futures” and several other metrics.

I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have, either in this thread of via PM.


Thank you, I appreciate the suggestions. We do know one female student at UD and plan to have my daughter spend some time picking her brain on the school.

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Thank you for your very thoughtful and thorough response. This really made me feel a lot better. Ultimately, my daughter will be the one making the decision on what school she’ll attend, but I will certainly share your feedback with her. I agree ratings like “happiest students” should be weighted more, particularly these days when kids are over-stressed and many suffer from anxiety as well other mental issues. Thanks again.


I have no first-hand knowledge of UD. However, I wanted to mention that my shy/non-partying kid attended another Catholic college (Fordham) and lived in wellness housing during his freshmen and sophomore years – that proved to be an excellent way for him to make friends with like-minded students (although yes, he did “learn” to drink (modestly) at college LOL). I’d suggest you or your D check to see if UD offers any type of wellness housing for freshmen.

Congrats on a great acceptance!


I’d like to add that UD was open and had students on campus throughout 2020-now. In 2020, UD had mostly virtual classes for fall semester, but by spring semester my son had about a 60/40 mix. By fall 2021, I think all his classes were in person. Because he was on campus and had several in-person events/classes, my son was able to have a more normal transition to college than many 2021 freshmen. I think that ability to have an in-person transition played a huge part in his being happy with his destination. YMMV

This statement isn’t an opinion on any Covid protocols. Instead, for parents/students would would rather be on campus and in-person as much as possible, UD has already proven they will make the extra effort to keep campus open rather than shut down. If you and/or your daughter feel she would be happier with an on-campus experience, knowing each university’s stance about this will help her/you make a more informed decision.


My brother is a recent graduate ('21) of Dayton. He loved the school and could not have made a better choice.
Having visited several times and now a sophomore at the University of Michigan, I would say Dayton has a community feel that you really don’t get at most schools. Everyone was extremely nice and welcoming which is harder to come by than you would think. The connections he gained from Dayton were huge in helping him get a job and the school seems to have a great rep in the Chicago area.
The party scene is definitely a big deal and an attribute for many, but with any school there are always other things to do. Intramural sports are great and there are basketball games which can be really exciting. I know a few people who did the club lacrosse programs and loved it as well. There are many student organizations and the dorms are a great way to meet people. The school is big but small enough where by the end of his senior year, my brother felt like he knew the majority of his peers.
I will say that apart from the campus, Brown street, and the Oregon District, there really isn’t much to do and explore in the city.
My brother was involved with greek life as was his girlfriend. They both enjoyed it and made friends through it but it was not a big deal or commitment. They both dropped out of it after their Sophomore years and had friends both in and out of greek life.
I think what I am getting at is that there is something for everyone, whether that be partying or not. I’ll end off by saying that the ghetto is always partying and Dayton is known for its St. Patrick’s day celebrations so there’s no shortage of fun, but it can definitely be avoided if need be.


Freshman live in the dorms. Sophomores usually live in apartment style dorms. Juniors tend to move off campus, but there are on campus options. Most seniors try hard to get a house in the “ghetto” or student neighborhood.

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My son is a Sophomore Chem E major at UD. He was surprised at how big the party atmosphere was at Dayton. With that said, he has found like minded friends who enjoy staying in and the school does offer lots of other activities to get involved in if you are willing to get out there. I will say, I was very impressed with Dayton trying to accommodate everyone during covid (the students who needed to be in person were given that choice, like my son who knew he needed to be there for his labs),the students who wanted to be online had that choice. We are from IL who’s colleges were extreme with their restrictions and I was pleased with how Dayton handled the pandemic. That is a huge consideration as we look at colleges for his sibling. They say you really feel the sense of community which my son finally has experienced more this year with most of the restrictions being lifted.

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