Villanova: Much More Than March Madness
By Kate Clemenz
When most people think of Villanova University in Pennsylvania, they will think of the defending NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions. However, Villanova is so much more than that.
On Thursday, Sept. 13, a representative from Villanova came to speak to Northsiders in the conference room after school. Mr. Matthew Harris, Associate Director of the Office of University Admissions, spoke to the two students who came to listen to his presentation about Villanova University.
Throughout the presentation, Mr. Harris shared many important and interesting details about the university. When applying to Villanova, prospective students must apply to one of its four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, or the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. However, students do not have to declare a major until the end of their second year. For the 2018-2019 school year, the estimated cost for a freshman was $67,328, with tution composing $52,578 of the total cost. Around 48% of full-time undergraduate students receive financial aid, and Villanova has a 90% graduation rate. Students are also lucky enough to have plentiful opportunities to study abroad as “over 50% of students study abroad for at least one semester,” said Mr. Harris.
Mr. Harris shared other important facts about Villanova as well. The average class size is twenty-two students, and the ratio of students to faculty is 11:1. There are around 7,000 undergraduate students. Of those, approximately 53% are female and 47% are male. Although the overall acceptance rate is around 48%, the exact percentage may vary depending on if students decide to apply early.
Villanova does its best to ensure that students are comfortable and happy while living on campus. There are plans for a new suite-style residence hall, set to open in summer of 2019. Students are never required to live on campus, but they are guaranteed housing for three years. Nearly 100% of freshmen live on campus, and around 85% of juniors still live on campus, since it is often cheaper than finding an apartment. Villanova also boasts award-winning dining services that can serve all dietary needs. Opportunities for Greek life are “more low-key than at other schools,” said Mr. Harris. He explained that sororities and fraternities do not have housing on campus, but they are still a nice way to make friends and get involved in a group. He also said that students do not “rush” (travel around to different sororities/fraternities to see which fits best for them) until the second semester so that they have some time to settle in.
The campus also offers various other activities outside of academics, particularly service opportunities that form a unique part of the Villanova experience. Mr. Harris was very proud of the service the students have done, and said “approximately 75% of students are involved [in service], and it is a very big part of campus life.” Around 75% of the students at Villanova are also involved in athletics, including at the varsity, intramural, or club level. Villanova has 24 D1 sports and students have access to free tickets for every game or sporting event. There are also 260 clubs and 30 club sports available for students looking for a way to get involved in the Villanova community.
When asked about religion, Mr. Harris admitted that it is an important part of the university, but students do not have to be Catholic to fit in. He said “we are very proud of [our religion] but we won’t shove it down your throat.” All students must take two theology classes during their time at Villanova, but they are not expected to take more than two classes. Daily masses are offered for all students, but attending mass is never a requirement. Mr. Harris said religion is “not an overwhelming presence, but it’s there if you want to embrace it.”
“Villanova” is a name of Latin origins that means “new home,” which is an idea that Villanova takes to heart. Community, friendship, and service are all important parts of the Villanova experience. Mr. Harris told Northside’s prospective students all about the incredible opportunities and benefits that Villanova presents, and urged them to consider applying. He truly believes that “everyone has a place at Villanova.”
Private or public: Private
Size (only undergraduate): 6,966
Male to female ratio: 53%:47%
Student to professor ratio: 11:1
Price: $67,328 (total estimated cost for a freshman)
% of financial aid: 48%
Endowment numbers: $645 million
Environment/location: Villanova, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia
Acceptance rate: 48% on average, but decision dates change it
Graduation rates: 90%