Virginia College Trip

The Old Dominion

Why Choose A Virginia School?

Virginia is #6 on the list of most educated states (MA, MD, VT, CT, and CO round out the top 5). The workforce is diverse and the area is booming (think future jobs). Virginia is also the 8th wealthiest state in the country according to US News and World Reports. In addition to education and wealth they have a diversity of topography and depending on the college a student chooses he/she can be at the ocean or in the mountains within an hour. Virginia has several notable colleges including: The University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, William and Mary and the University of Richmond. However, this newsletter highlights two of the lesser known, hidden gems.
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James Madison University (JMU) Dukes

JMU is a large, highly ranked public university serving almost 21,000 undergraduates and 1,888 graduate students. JMU is nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and the campus is stunning! There is a lot of school spirit here and students across campus will greet fellow students with the chant of "JMU" to be followed by the response of "DUKES."


JMU is the #2 public university in the south, and the #1 most recommended university in the US (Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Ed). They have a great retention rate and students are highly satisfied. In fact, JMU was ranked #5 for "students who made the right college choice."


This is a big division 1 school with 133 majors. JMU not only has a lot of academic opportunities, but hosts a lot of social and cultural events. They have a large quad area where students like to sit, read, play sports and attend outdoor concerts.


JMU also has some of the best college food in the country (ranked #8 nationally). It is a social campus that is safe and resides within a small, friendly town.

Randolph Macon College - Where Everyone Does Know Your Name

Randolph Macon is the perfect place for students who like small classes taught solely by professors (no teaching assistants here). In addition to teaching their own classes, professors conduct research WITH their students. It is not uncommon for an undergraduate to receive notations in research or textbooks that they have assisted a professor with.


This is a small, private college where everyone really does know your name. Professors and staff will recognize you on and off campus. There are no large lecture halls and students must come to class prepared because there is nowhere to hide. This is such a caring campus and I was impressed with how they meet the needs of students with disabilities. When it snows, they personally call each student with a mobility issue to address any needs or concerns. Thankfully it does not snow often since the campus is located a short drive from Richmond VA.


RMC has much to offer and the career services office is exceptionally strong. The proximity to DC provides many opportunities for students to learn cultural competence and basic employment skills. For example, career services will teach students about the culture of another country and then bus them to the accompanying embassy in DC to practice these newly learned skills. The trimester schedule also allows students to engage in overseas credit bearing opportunities with their own professors.


Amtrak stops on campus making for easy accessibility to DC, Richmond, New York Penn and beyond.