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Wake Forest or University of Richmond?

SaSmithSaSmith Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
I am wondering if anyone has personal opinions or experience regarding general opportunities and college life at these schools.
I have posted a similar compare/contrast question on the Richmond page and have received many helpful detailed responses. I am a easy going CA guy, Greek and preppy is ok, Money is not an issue.
I am interested in Psychology or Political Science and am wary of grade deflation because I most likely will be considering graduate or law school.
I have also been accepted to BC and Emory as well as Tulane, but am most interested in these two. I am not yet certain of my Wake acceptance but I feel I have an excellent chance based on Naviance and I need to consider my options closely ahead of time because I have few opportunities to visit because of limited time and budget.
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Replies to: Wake Forest or University of Richmond?

  • WFUparentWFUparent Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    @SaSmith, My daughter is a Sophomore at Wake Forest and she also wants to go to law school. You can get excellant grades at Wake but you are going to have to work hard. My daughter has a 3.95 but she has work long and hard for her A's. She does have time for other interests and is not overwhelmed. The key in my opinion is time management and self discipline. Good luck in what ever you decide. Wake is a fabulous school but only you can decide what is best for you. Go DEACS.
  • bankdaddybankdaddy Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    I visited both on the same trip. My D got into both but has other options she prefers. My take is that both were just a bit too Southern and too preppy for our taste. Richmond campus was stunning, fairy tale stunning, but when we went into the cafeteria all the boys were wearing pink and salmon shorts, polo shirts and watching golf on tv! The vibe was definitely more country club than serious university. Wake on the other hand made me feel a little uneasy. The area around the school was not very nice, certainly not as interesting or as attractive as the area around Richmond. The vibe was again very preppy, very southern and it felt like Greek life had a complete hold on all social activities. I understand some 75% of female students join Greek life. It felt like the kind of place students would dress up and wear pearls to football and basketball games. What really bothered me about Wake was the gates and security guard at the entrance. I had just never seen this at any of the other 20+ colleges and universities I visited around the country for my kids. IF my D had to pick one, she'd probably pick Richmond. Personally, I feel that the North East, weather notwithstanding, has better versions of that type of college.
  • lbflbf Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    @SaSmith my son is a freshman at Wake Forest and we are also from CA (northern). I agree with @WFUparent that it is a work hard school. My son went to a HS with grade deflation and he had better grades at Wake than he did in high school, that being said he worked hard. My son is not greek and has really had an enjoyable experience. He plays a club sport and is a student manager for one of the D1 sports teams. He has made nice friends who are from all over the country. The teaching and professors are excellent and his biggest class so far this year has been 30 students. It is a very supportive and the administration really cares about the students. As you can tell I can't say enough good things about Wake Forest. California is in the top 10 states where Wake Students come from so it is getting more popular. Good luck wherever you decide to enroll!! Go Deacs :)
  • ASKMotherASKMother Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    @SaSmith have you received your acceptance to Wake?
  • SaSmithSaSmith Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    @ASKMother
    Welll..... I was waitlisted at Wake.....so....back to a few of my other options. Emory, BC, SMU, Tulane, or Richmond.
    Based on my research I am favoring Richmond for cool city nearby (and over-all location), small class size, ease of study abroad, and beautiful campus.
    It is quite a bit smaller than my other options and I am wondering if that might be a problem down the line?
    Also, SMU is also still in play, I was accepted into the Honors Program, but the cost of attendance is $6000/year more than Richmond.
    BC and Emory cost wayyyy more, and I am also re-thinking My Ole MIss Honors admission which-with the $27,000/year merit scholarship comes to about $7500/year net price, out of state, including room and board.
    I kind of dismissed it at first, but maybe it's something to seriously consider.
    Oxford Mississippi seems a little small but kind of cool in a Southern way (which doesn't bother me at all.)
  • ASKMotherASKMother Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    @SaSmith my D18 was also waitlisted at Wake ... disappointing however she got into Vandy and Wm&Mary (OOS) on this RD round and was accepted EA to UVA (OOS), URichmond and Furman so she's going to be fine. But we just loved Wake! The reason I asked (and this may not really help you but...) we just did an Into the Web admitted student visit at Richmond (it was spring break so we did UR and UVA) and honestly I would have put a deposit down then and there if we weren't waiting on the RD decisions. UR is such a fantastic school! The people are just so genuine and nice. Neat collaborative vibe, very accepting and truly friendly. The campus is well thought out and we liked the living on campus for 4 years idea (it's not guaranteed but 90% do). The Dining Hall food was great! And Richmond is a really vibrant city with tons of history but also some great eclectic new places (I spent time at the Fine Arts museum while she attended classes.) and it is super close to DC and just a train ride from NYC. Richmond and Wake favor in that they have these bubble campuses (which as a parent I equate to very safe!) D18 is now torn between Vandy (her dream school since the beginning), UVA and URichmond. So she is in the same boat as you... Cost is about the same on all of them... Vandy actually the least. It will be interesting to see how she narrows them down! Good luck with your decision... if you have a chance to visit before deciding I recommend it.
  • byeretirementbyeretirement Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    @ASKMother your D got into Vanderbilt and UVA and you're disappointed about Wake?

    To each his/her own, personally don't see how UR can possibly compete with either Vanderbilt or UVA.
  • lbflbf Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    Sometimes it is about fit for the student and not reputation/ranking of the school.
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,019 Senior Member
    ^^^ Let's face it, these are all great schools.
  • lbflbf Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    Agreed!!
  • SaSmithSaSmith Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    So, my brother attends Vanderbilt and I was denied ED-I also attended a summer program there and obviously liked it a lot.
    However, the thing my brother likes the most about Vandy is his friends, Nashville and the ease of study abroad......the FA is great, but the classes and professors have only been soso...nothing exceptional.
    Colleges all have their pros and cons for sure.
    Anyway, this maybe the wrong forum but how does SMU (Honors program) fit in with these?
    The cost is higher but I want to consider all my options at this point.
  • azmomof3azmomof3 Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
    Have you visited SMU? My daughter was accepted to Wake Forest (no merit), Tulane (very good merit), and SMU (pretty good merit) - and quite a few others but they aren't relevant to this conversation. Since Tulane was an amazing offer, we thought that was where she would end up ... but the visit did not go very well and it just wasn't a great fit for her, no matter how hard she tried to love it. She ended up visiting SMU with just weeks before decision time and it really all clicked for her. She is a freshman there now and really enjoying it. I have heard good things about Richmond but she had good options closer to home. Since you are coming from CA, you might consider travel distance / time. One thing we love about SMU is that Southwest flies to Love Field 10 minutes from campus and she can be home (AZ) on a 2 hour direct flight. She doesn't come home often but it isn't a big ordeal (or expense) when she does. She is really liking all that Dallas has to offer too. Sorry I can't comment on the Honors program.
  • ASKMotherASKMother Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    edited April 3
    @lbf thank you for that comment... that's exactly the approach my D18 is trying to take (well that and which one is the best deal! $$ doesn't grow on trees!) She is in the IB program in HS and is mostly concerned about continuing her strong academic foundation in a place she feels she can have a voice (collaborative not competitive), can get hands-on experience and ultimately where she feels 'at home'. A helpful notation: she wants to major in Chemistry and Psych with a Education minor or MEd in 5 year path; being involved in research is important to her to have practical experience to bring to the classroom - so short answer she wants to be a chemistry teacher. I think all of her choices have their own special merit although they are each different and approach her career goal differently. @byeretirement I can see where some might just be fine with the name of a school, but Wake was a fantastic fit for her - Honor Code and their commitment to their motto Pro Humanitate really spoke to her (she is super into service and giving back to the community); so yes, even with Vandy and UVA in-hand she was still disappointed, but not devastated (there is a difference!). Also your comment makes me think you haven't toured UR recently (we were JUST there a week ago) and then gotten a local whose lived there for 30 years (a friend of a friend) to drive you around to point out all the hot spots and history! Richmond the city is amazing and Richmond the college is a great fit for my girl - small classes, fantastic professors teaching (not TAs) who know who you are, research opportunities first year, Sophomore Scholars in Residence Program is amazing, pretty diverse, absolutely beautiful campus that feels super safe, there is some fun to be had and a definite Greek community but also lots of non-party things to be involved in and to do (D18 doesn't drink, or at least not yet) and the kids are just so very nice and welcoming - I even asked the Dining Hall staff what they thought of the kids and all three I spoke with said they thought they were truly great people that you would want your child to hang out with. @SaSmith SMU is a great school... has a little more of a party atmosphere than some of your other choices. I would say SMU and Ole Miss are really similar in the general style of student, social atmosphere, and maybe on the same level academically. I think it's really what you want to get out of the next four years - good times with friends, networking, solid foundation for grad school/med school/law school? It can all be achieved at each of your choices but maybe in different ways.
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,019 Senior Member
    ^^^The Pro Humanitate motto at Wake is a real thing. It is a focal point in communication, events, recognition, etc. Very different than kids having to do community service in high school. In fact, no one HAS to do any type of service but the administration truly gets behind it and positions it in a way that's quite motivating. There are several campus wide events that benefit from large participation. Not only does service get done, but the kids have a blast so everyone wins. These are events that the student body look forward to, form teams, etc. I also love the speakers they frequently bring in to share their story. Incredibly successful individuals that live a life of Pro Humanitate. They embrace technology and broadcast these events via the internet so kids studying abroad, alumni, and even parents can connect with the message. Tremendous community feel throughout campus at Wake.
  • ASKMotherASKMother Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    @rickle1 yes, that is how my D18 saw it, love it, wanted to be a part of it and will sadly be missing out on it. She has a huge servant's heart (President of the Girls Service Club). But alas, she will have to choose from what is available to her, which fortunately are also very good academic options and campuses with great community aspects. Good luck to @SaSmith on your decision ... you have great options and could certainly be happy at any of them!
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