VCU will observe Memorial Day

The university will be closed for Memorial Day from Saturday, May 27th through Monday, May 29th.  Information sessions and campus tours will not be held on these dates.  Information sessions and campus tours will resume on Tuesday, May 30th.

VCU’s Spring Commencement to be held on Saturday, May 13

It’s one of the most exciting times of the year to be on VCU’s campus. We are preparing for our spring Commencement exercises, which will be held on this Saturday, May 13, 2017. Nearly 5,000 professional, graduate and undergraduate degrees will be awarded.

While the university’s main Commencement exercise will be held at the Richmond Coliseum, department-specific exercises will be held throughout the weekend on both the Monroe Park and MCV Campuses.

Several ceremonies will take place throughout the day at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, located across from the VCU Welcome Center. Visitors planning to attend our 10:30 a.m. information session at the Welcome Center, which is located across from the Siegel Center, may experience a higher volume of traffic on West Broad Street. Parking in the West Broad Street Parking Deck is free, but may be limited. On-street parking is free in the city on weekends, unless otherwise noted. Visitors are welcome to park on the streets near and around the VCU Welcome Center.

More information on VCU’s May commencement, including the schedule of departmental ceremonies, can be found at www.commencement.vcu.edu. The ceremony will be live-streamed at www.vcu.edu and at www.facebook.com/virginiacommonwealthuniversity/.

 

Now the Ball is in Your Court

You’ve completed the Common Application and applied to your favorite schools, toured campuses and now you’re an accepted student. So what’s next? How do you make the all important decision of what college you will be attending in the fall?

Decide on Your Top Priorities

It’s important to figure out what factors in a university are most important to you. Are you looking for a top of the notch gym or active Greek community? Does each college have certain academic programs important to your the major your may want to pursue? Are there certain clubs on campus that you would be interested in? Do the dining options meet your culinary standards? What are your housing options at each potential college? Revisiting these questions can help you rule out any deal breakers and highlight the pros and cons of different colleges and universities. Overall this process could make your decision more clear.

Weigh the Different Degree Programs and their Prestige 

Just as not all colleges are made equal, not all degrees are earned equally. A degree at one college in a certain field may be worth more than another, and this could make a huge difference once you apply for jobs in the future. You can compare different degrees programs and how they measure up through College Board. Make sure to also consider what programs the university may have in place to help students get jobs and internships in the future. Do they offer an on-campus service with advisors to help you figure out your career path? Do they have a connected alumni network? Both of these can help immensely to ensure that you get headed in the direction that you want to go.

Location, Location, Location

There are many things that you should consider when thinking about the location of your college. Do you want to stay in your home state, or are you willing to go out of state? Are you open to a campus in a rural area, or are you more interested in an urban campus? You should also think about how far away the campus would be from your hometown and how that could affect your decision. Make sure that the environment that you choose also suits you, and your lifestyle. For example, if you thrive in nature you might benefit from a campus with many surrounding parks and trails.

Here at VCU, we are committed to cultivating a diverse welcoming environment and are confident that you can find your home here as a VCU Ram. If you haven’t already done so, take a minute to explore our Accepted Students website. Still have questions about your offer of admission? Call our office to speak with an admissions counselor: (800) 841-3638. You can also e-mail us at ugrad@vcu.edu. I hope to see you around campus this fall!

 

10 Must-See’s When Visiting VCU

Spring is finally officially here, and with it brings a great opportunity for prospective students to visit their favorite colleges. However, not everyone knows what sights they need to see to get a good feel for their future home. Here at Virginia Commonwealth University, we have a lot to see and its easy to get overwhelmed. While certain activities may be specific to your interests some are must-sees that you have to check out to get to know VCU. Make sure to register online if you plan to visit VCU during your high school spring break.

10. TAKE A TOUR

Probably the easiest way to to get the lay of the land is taking a tour of the whole campus. The tour guides are normally students and can answer many questions you may have about campus. This tour will take you to all of the biggest must see’s on campus; the gym, the dining hall and VCU library.

9. EAT AT THE SHAFER DINING COURT

Students generally don’t have the time or space to prepare their own meals, so most eat their meals at the Shafer Dining Court. The average college student eats at the cafeteria twice a day; it’s possible you’ll go less often, but it’s likely you’ll go even more than that, whether for a snack or late-night meal. Check out the main dining hall and taste test our food! However, don’t forget that meal plans at VCU allow you meals at much more than just the dining court. Check out VCU dining services to see what kind of culinary options would be at your disposal.

 

8. TOUR THE CARY ST GYM 

Most colleges offer some sort of athletic facilities. In fact, sometimes those facilities are just as good as, if not better than, professional gyms! And we like to think the Cary St Gym fits that criteria. So if you’re interested in getting into or staying in shape, make sure to check out all that our gym has to offer including a rock climbing wall, an aquatic center, and a variety of group exercise classes. And if you’re into college athletics, the school’s on-campus fields and other facilities are also something you should visit. Remember that basketball games on campus can be a pretty big draw, and even if you’re not a huge sports fan, they double as a popular social event.

7. VISIT AND MEET WITH A REPRESENTATIVE OF YOUR MAJOR

If you have any inkling whatsoever about what your major in college might be, you should try to make an appointment to meet briefly with a representative in your major’s department during your campus visit. The representative will be thrilled to meet a potential major, and you’ll get some valuable insight into the courses you’d take, professors you’d study under, and academic opportunities that your school and potential major will offer. Don’t hesitate to schedule several of these visits, especially if you’re unsure about your potential major.

6. VISIT THE VCU BARNES AND NOBLE

A big must-see on campus is the VCU Barnes and Noble on Broad St. Stop by and pick up some gear as it’s filled to the brim with lots of VCU merchandise to get you in the Ram spirit! In the future, it will also be a great place to buy your textbooks so if you have any questions about that process then you could ask a sales associate while you are there. It also a quiet place to hang out on campus. With a coffee shop, comfy chairs, and lots of good books it doesn’t leave much to be desired.

5. LOCATE STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES

If you’re lucky, you won’t spend much time in the campus health center. However, should you get sick or injured and are in need of anything from emergency care to DayQuil, it’s always reassuring to know you have access to medical care and technology. Health services are located on the second floor of 1300 W Broad St.

4. CHECK OUT BELLE ISLE AND MAYMONT

If you’re not familiar with the Richmond area you should definitely visit Belle Isle and Maymont when you come to visit VCU. What a better time to check the most beautiful areas in Richmond then spring time anyway? Both are common hang out spots for VCU students and offer a range of activities for the community.

3. TOUR THE LIBRARY

The Cabell Library is one of the main hangout areas at VCU. Here you can see students in their natural habitat; talking, walking, and most definitely cramming for exams. With a Starbucks, five separate floors arranged by noise level, Librarian help desk, and an IT help center it really has everything you would need in a library. Make sure to ask the librarians at the help desks to the right of the entrance if you have any questions about the facility.

2. CHECK OUT THE LOCAL EATERIES AND SHOPS

If you never been to Richmond Carytown is definitely a must-see while on campus. It’s a part of Cary St that has many shops and eateries that the locals love to enjoy, and it’s just a 6-minute drive from campus! Treat yourself to Carytown Cupcakes for one of the best cupcakes in the city, and maybe even catch a movie at the historic Byrd movie theater for just 4$! There are also lots of local eateries close to campus the students love to indulge in. Mama J’s southern comfort food and The Village Cafe of Harrison St are wonderful, just to name and few, but the list goes on!

1. TALK TO STUDENTS

This is a great opportunity to learn about what college life is really like at VCU, an opportunity that many students don’t always take advantage of. If you visit us while school is in session, you should make a point to approach a few students—in Shafer, at the library, or just while walking around campus—and ask them about their experience here at Virginia Commonwealth University. Make sure to be respectful, but most students will be more than happy to stop and chat for a few minutes. Also be sure to ask them what their must-sees at VCU might be!

 

Got plans for this Saturday?

If you haven’t made plans to attend VCU’s Open House on Saturday, there’s still time to do so. Come visit with us and learn about the exciting opportunities that await you here! Meet with faculty and students in the major that you’re interested in; take a campus tour, visit a residence hall and eat lunch in one of our on-campus dining facilities. Did we mention that the weather forecast calls for sunshine and temps near 70 degrees? RSVP online at ugrad.vcu.edu/openhouse. We hope to see you on campus this weekend!

Protecting your identity

We love seeing the social media posts of our new Rams with their acceptance packages, but want you to be safe when posting and protect your identity. Here are a few things to consider before you post:

  1. Cover up your home address.
  2. Don’t post your VCU Student Identification Number (V-number). Protect your V-number much like you would your Social Security number.
  3. Once you obtain your VCU student ID card (typically received during New Student Orientation), do not post your VCUCard number.

Stay safe and happy posting!