Villanova is a lovely suburban Catholic university (6600) founded by the order of St. Augustine, located along the Main Line, just 30 minutes by train to Philadelphia. This classic gothic campus with heavy school spirit is a perfect place for “sporty” students (50% play some type of sport) looking for a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts. Community service is absolutely HUGE there, so it’s a great school for like-minded students.
Villanova is particularly noted for Business, Engineering and Nursing Colleges—and as such, those are the most fiercely competitive. It’s never a good idea to apply to Villanova with a plan to switch to another more selective college as those types of changes rarely work. Villanova’s ROTC program is also notable (especially Army & Navy) ranking 2nd behind Annapolis for graduating the most admirals in the country.
Forty percent of their students study abroad as they follow St. Augustine’s philosophy: “The world is a book and those that do not travel read only one page.” They have excellent stats when it comes to placement of graduates in full time jobs and grad school—fully 96% succeed.
Villanova has a plan to build a new performing arts center by 2020, but generally speaking, students who want to study music, theatre or dance would not be a good fit for Villanova. (They do have a minor in Theatre, but no music or dance department.) However, they have MANY opportunities and a thriving social scene for students wishing to pursue music groups of all kinds as a hobby. Things may change in the performing arts arena however since the current President of Villanova is a former drama professor.
Another interesting feature of Villanova is their student-run ambulance service VEMS—
kind of a cool opportunity for students interested in that. Are you a student who cares deeply about food? Villanova caters their own outstanding menu, uses fair trade organizations and was recently awarded the Gold Award for Dining.