Villanova is a Roman Catholic university that takes pride in tradition while recognizing that making continuous improvements to their facilities and educational and co-curricular programs will help their graduates be competitive in the workplace and the world. Founded in 1842 by the Order of St. Augustine, Villanova is set on a well-kept 260-acre campus featuring a mix of old stone and newer LEED-certified buildings. Recent construction includes new residence halls, eateries, a bookstore and performing arts center.
Here are a few quick facts about Villanova:
Freshman retention: 96%
Freshmen out of state: 82%
Most popular majors: business/marketing, engineering, nursing
4-year Graduation rate: 89%; 6-year: 92%
Student Community Diversity: 5% Black, 8% Latino, 2% International
Housing: Even though Villanove students are guaranteed housing for three years, only about 66% of students live in the dorms.
First-year students take a yearlong Augustine and Culture Seminar (ACS) and are housed with their classmates or in optional themed learning communities in the dorms. Most seniors move to houses and apartments in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Academics: All Villanova students follow a liberal arts core curriculum, through one of the four colleges: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Villanova School of Business, College of Engineering or Fitzpatrick School of Nursing. Students study works from ancient, medieval and Renaissance periods as well as those from Early Modern, Enlightenment, Romantic, Modernist and Contemporary eras. Courses are rigorous and often discussion-oriented and reading- and writing-intensive. Many classes are smaller with 42% of undergraduate courses having fewer than 20 students.
Each year, 40% of Villanova students participate in study abroad programs and students in the communication and computer science programs can apply for semester-long internships at the Vatican.
Similar colleges to consider: Boston College, Fordham, Georgetown, Lehigh
Social: Weekend social life at Villanova centers around campus events and parties, some of which are hosted by Greek fraternities and sororities, where 17% of men and 32% of women pledge, respectively. The student center is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights with the Late Night at Villanova events – which include bands, comedians, open-mic nights and dance parties.
Nearby Philadelphia offers an abundance of entertainment and cultural opportunities with pro sports, museums and shops. Many students also participate in events at the other local colleges and universities.
Men’s basketball brought home Division I national championship titles in 2016 and 2018. Recent Big East Conference champions include men’s and women’s track and field and women’s cross country. Club and intramural sports are also a big deal on campus, especially basketball, flag football and soccer.
Villanova students believe in giving back to others and clock roughly 250,000 hours of service each year. Students have the opportunity to participate in service trips during fall and spring breaks and in projects to build houses and help victims of natural disasters. Villanova hosts the largest student-run Special Olympics each fall.
Financial: Villanova offers need-based aid, as well as non-need based merit aid and 290 athletic scholarships. The average percentage of need met is 80%, with 14% being fully met. Although the tuition and fees are $77,000, the average financial aid package is $32,400. 55% of students receive some type of financial aid.