All about that SPIRIT – Villanova University Visit

It is hard to deny the draw of Villanova- championship basketball team, strong network of alumni, selective admissions process, and all on a sprawling suburban campus on the Main Line outside of Philly.

Villanova University is inspired by the Augustinian ideal to seek knowledge through truth.


Officially, the “Main Line” was meant to represent the Pennsylvania Railroad’s line from northwest Center City Philadelphia to Lancaster Ave.  Today, the Main Line is known as the collection of some of the wealthiest towns in the country.  Known for its “old money,” the town of Villanova is ranked 39thin the list of America’s Highest Income Neighborhoods, according to


However, Villanova University does not try to impress with its proximity to wealth, rather they emphasize the enthusiasm the staff and students have for their school. Without mentioning the basketball team, the admissions presentation recognizes that as a student, one gets free tickets to sporting events (we learned later that basketball tickets are earned through a lottery system).  They boast their more than 60 academic programs, including those in their prestigious School of Business, School of Nursing, and School of Engineering. And they highlight their Augustinian roots and principals.

The Connelly Center is home to an art gallery, info center, cinema, meeting rooms, a multi-purpose room, lounges, coffee shop, ice cream shop, a dining facility and offices


“Become what you are not yet”

This Saint Augustine’s quote is emblazoned upon the admissions materials and seen throughout the school.  Identifying as Catholic is not necessary to attend Villanova, yet many VU students follow the encouragement of Saint Thomas of Villanova to share your gifts with others.  With that, VU students logged 250,000 hours of community service last school year.  They are home to the largest student-run Special Olympics in the world, an active Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and an annual St. Thomas Celebration offering six days of service events.


Villanova alum can get married here but there is an 18 month waiting list

Hey there, newby!

Villanova is passionate about retaining the students who come to their school.  According to US News and World Report, 78% of US college students return for their sophomore year.  Villanova retains 99% and attributes it to their New Student Orientation and the unique House Calls Program.

In the House Calls Program, each freshman is assigned a staff member who will check in with them during the first month of school.  The staff member will assist the student with whatever might be plaguing them- a lightbulb that needs fixing, suggestions as to get more involved, advice for planning their spring schedule or dealing with a tough professor.

Bradley Cooper had a brief stint at Villanova and lived here

Application time!  How to become a Wildcat

The nitty gritty…

Common App- you cannot escape it.

Villanova is one of the nearly 800 schools that accept it; and like with all Common App schools, you can apply after August 1st.

Each college on the Common App has its own section with questions specific to that school.  VU will ask you to which college are you applying and a question to get to know you better.  This is where your application can SHINE!  Since this essay is specific to Villanova, take this opportunity to let them know what you bring to the school- What are you passionate about?  What sets you apart?  How are you planning to bring your unique traits to VU?

Other application items include the following:

  • SAT or ACT scores- VU will super score and the essay is not required
  • High school transcript, a letter of recommendation from your school counselor and one letter from a teacher

What the admissions rep look for

Every high school is different and the admissions reps at VU recognize that.  If you have been given no AP or IB curriculum options, you will not be penalized.  However, if you were offered 30 AP classes at your high school and you took none, well then….

The main question admissions reps ask – within the scope of your high school, how have you challenged yourself?

Also, depending on to which school you are applying, you will be evaluated differently. For the School of Business, you should have taken Calculus.  For Engineering, high school Physics is important.  For Nursing, Biology and/or Chemistry performance is considered.

2600 students applied at midnight on Halloween

Don’t let that be you!  You can apply to VU using one of the 3 application deadlines:

  • Early Decision- 11/1 deadline, decision by 12/15.  This option is for you only if you 100% know you want to go to there.  You own the entire one of apparel sold at the bookstore.  You are sure your family can afford it.  If you get in, you are legally bound to go there.  58% of admitted students came from the ED pool so this is your best bet but only if you are sure.
  • Early Action- 11/1 deadline, decision by 12/20.  If not ED, I always recommend EA deadlines.  It allows you to get applications out of the way so you can enjoy senior year.  Often, you are still in a smaller pool of applicants which increases your chances for acceptance.  Regardless, you get your decision early.
  • Regular Decision- 1/15 deadline, decision by 4/1.


Admissions stats from the incoming Class of 2022

  • 22,726 applications received
  • Accepted students were mostly in the top 15% of their class with an A – A minus GPA
  • Mid 50% SATs were 1360-1480
  • Mid 50% ACTs were 31-34
  • Accepted students took advantage of the rigor their high school offered


Is VU for YOU?

The message from the admissions reps and tour guides is that students at Villanova are PROUD to be Wildcats.  They want students who will be engaged in student life and contributing members of the community.  Whether it is by participating in community service, getting involved with one of the 160 student life organizations, joining Greek life, or attending sporting events, the goal is for each Villanova student to feel included and to have a place.


What are your thoughts on Villanova?

Leave a reply below!



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