Your kid is a junior in high school. This summer you'll be college shopping if you haven't already started. You know nothing about Virginia Tech but it should be on your list. Why?
We've got history. We were founded in Blacksburg, VA as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, a land-grant military school, in 1872. Aside from Texas A&M, we're the only other non-military school in the country that has all four branches of the military still represented. When we received accredidation in 1923, we droppped the four year Corps of Cadets requirement to two years. Today it is no longer a requirement, but it is still a big part of Virginia Tech. Over the years we had the name change to Virginia Polytechnic Insitute, then added "and State University", and it's now known as Virginia Tech or VT. (Our official name is Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) Women were admitted in the 1920's and in 1973 we were the first school to allow women to join the Corps of Cadets program.
We have diversity. Currently we have about 27,000 undergraduate students (with a 16:1 student-faculty ratio). We have about 7% Asian population, 7.4% Indian population, and about 4.3% African-American population. We have students from all over the country and the wold- PA, NJ, MA, CT, FA, AL, TN, NC, SC, GA, and OH are some of our most represented states and Austrailia, China, Korea, India, Nepal, and the Carribeans are just a few of the respresented countries. We're pretty evenly split gender wise.
We've got options. With a little over 70 majors in 9 different colleges, chances are we have what your son or daugher is looking for. From Mechnical and Chemical Engineering, to Finance and Marketing, to Food Science & Technology and Biological Systems Engineering, to Residential Property Management and Urban Affairs & Planning... I would probably run out of space on my blog listing everything that we have. Our advisors here are awesome- if you're in something you don't like they'll do whatever it takes to help you find what's right for you.
We're reasonably priced. Total yearly cost living off campus is around $16,300. Total yearly cost living on campus is around $21,700. Apartments in the area range from $700 for a one bedroom to about $1500 for a 4 bedroom.
We're centrally located. A 12 hour drive can have you in Boston, Orlando, St Louis or New Orleans (I've made the Orlando and Boston drives myself). Two hour drive has you at Greensboro or Charlotte airports. There's a smaller airport in Roanoke, Va about 30 minutes away, but most students fly out of the larger NC airports.
We're a sports school. We're known for our awesome football team and our basketball team is really coming into its own these past few years. We have everything from soccer (our women's soccer team is really good), to lacrosse, to volleyball in our ACC division. We also have numerous club sports for those not wanting to be as competitive.
We've got awesome Greek life! We're have a pretty diverse Greek community: 13 NPC sororities, 36 IFC fraternities, at least 20 different co-ed fraternities ranging from professional to academic to service. We also have 8 NPHC (African-American) fraternities and sororities. As part of a sorority myself, I feel Greek life is so important to a college experience- not only do you meet some really awesome people, you make great contacts, your gpa goes up (Greeks on our campus always have higher gpa rankings than non-Greek students), and you get a chance to be really involved on your campus. The average Greek student has a leadership position within their organization, is involved in at least two other organizations, does more community service than the average student and has better job offers leaving college.
We have every type of student group you could ever imagine. Just a few of the organizations I've been involved in: Baptist College Ministries, Residential Property Management Club, New Life Christian Fellowship, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, College Republicans, Pistol and Rifle Club. We have over 600 registered student organizations- everything from academic, sports, music, gaming.... you name it we have a group for it. It's easy to get involved in this campus!
We're number 3 in the country for dining. People never consider on-campus food in their college shopping but it's so important. I work in dining services and I can say our food really is good. We were number 1, but two smaller private colleges beat us. We like to think that doesn't count here, haha. We're still the number 1 public school and that says something. There is nothing you can't eat here- we have EVERYTHING. And we do speical dinners throught the year- one around each major holiday of course, but also things like ice cream sundae nights, Pirate Night, Mardi-Gras, Southern Classics Night, Favorites Night (everyone votes throught the week for what they like)... a lot of others that I'm forgetting.
So. When you're out college shopping, make a trip down to VT. If you come anytime between October and March bring warm clothes- we're in the mountains so it's usually cold and there's some type of wind advisory. It's a great place to live and go to school. I've heard it time and again, "Tech was just on my list, didn't really know anything about it, but as soon as I visited I fell in love." If you visit anytime before May, give me a call. I'd be happy to give you a tour around the place.