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Student Reviews

Virginia Military Institute Reviews

Check out reviews left by other students or leave your own review. You could win a free scholarship.

  • 01/13/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    15 out of 15 people found this review useful. 1 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who want to become the best person they can possibly be and want to get the most out of life. Although VMI is a small school, there are so many opportunities available for anyone who attends. It requires motivation, perseverance, and dedication, but anyone can do much more than they thought they ever could, and VMI proves that to you.

    Tips for prospective students

    Anything worth having requires sacrifice and hard work. But you can not lose your sense of humor in the process. Learning to cope with stressful situations is much easier when you can find the humor in them.

    Bang for the buck

    The lessons one learns at VMI are lessons that are quite rare in today's society. Although it is tough and requires alot of sacrifice, every ounce of effort is worth the outcome of becoming a VMI graduate.

    Am enjoying being here

    This is a difficult time for anyone going through the Ratline, but in the end it is worth all of the hard work and sacrifice.

    Am learning a lot

    This school is definitely one of a kind. The Ratline that all freshmen must experience is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is so rewarding one you get through it. It teaches you the important lessons that are so vital to a successful career in the real world, such as time management, self-confidence, discipline and responsibility.

  • 06/14/2009

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    7 out of 8 people found this review useful. 2 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who wish to pursue the U.S. Military Students who wish to attend a very structured school with great rewards during your school career. Students who wish to attended a small school

    Tips for prospective students

    It is a Military College with uniforms and haircuts included. VMI is a small school located in historic Lexington, Virginia. VMI also less than 1500 students. There is no commitment to military at graduation.

  • 06/27/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 3 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Highschoolers interested in the military or bettering themselves in general. The unlocked room policy is incredible, the 4th I was staying with introduced me to all of his BR's all over the barracks. We would just walk in and it was completely normal. GO KEYDETS!

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you're squared away before going here. The intensity level is off the charts similar to a service academy, so knowing how to drill, being in good shape give you a huge advantage going in.

    Bang for the buck

    Out of state is expensive, but I'm going for the ROTC and NROTC scholarships.

    Will enjoy being here

    Cannot wait. It's going to be hard, but you just have to embrace the suck.

    Will learn a lot

    There's not many degrees to choose from (15ish), but the keydets and cadre referred to it as the toughest education in America.

  • 10/11/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 4 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    This is a one of a kind place. VMI just resonates with honor and respect. From the second I stepped foot on the campus, I could tell that this was a place that people worked to be at and wanted to be at. The military training is outstanding and the academics are as well.

    Am enjoying being here

    It depends on the type of person. I feel at home here, but the first year is a bump that many find hard to get over. Its going to be a rough first year; but after you get used to the schedules, you'll come to love it.

  • 01/24/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 5 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    there is a guard team on duty 24/7 literally.

    Greek Life

    non-existent.

    Great for these types of students

    military focused and people who are in good physical condition.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    the ratline..

    What to do for fun

    watch movies, hangout with friends, or go into town- lexington

    Food and Dining

    the food here really isn't very good, but honestly, what college food is good?

    Dorm Life

    you live in barracks and share a room with about 2-3 people on average. there is heating but no air conditioning.

    Academic Rigor

    the academics here are very difficult. like any thing else in this school, they require a lot of time, effort, and patience.

    Tips for prospective students

    be in good shape become coming here! the ratline will test you in every way possible. stay focused and really pay close attention to your academics; because in the end, that is what is going to get you through here and into a good graduate school or get you a good job after graduation.

    In three sentences

    vmi is a very tough, yet rewarding place to study. it is unlike any other college, you must be physically, mentally, and emotionally tough. as long as you have the drive and determination to be here, you can make it.

  • 07/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 6 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I have walked back to my room at 4am during exams and nothing has happened. Our Post police constantly do patrols around the campus. It is a very safe environment.

    Greek Life

    We do not have this on our campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    If you want to make a club and have enough people to be in it, VMI will help you make it. We don't get much practice time club sport wise in the fall due to all of the parades and other activities, but the spring is a fun time for it all.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are too many traditions to talk about on here. Just go to VMI's school website and you can see albums on their page of ratline activities, Ring Figure, Commissioning Ceremonies, and Graduation.

    Bang for the buck

    It is extremely expensive, and most of us don't understand why. There are a lot of building projects going on, but we will never see them completed or benefit from them. Yes, we are getting a good education, but the price really shouldn't be that high and rising every year.

    What to do for fun

    You can join a Club Sport if you're not NCAA, go swim in the river, workout, go into town on the weekends and see a movie, eat out, have a movie night with your classmates, etc. It's like a normal college in a way with those activities, but you can't do them often if you want decent grades.

    Food and Dining

    The food is horrible. This year's theme was slop as in taking a ladle and plopping it onto your dish. There are some really good days, but most of the time the food is just bad and not that healthy for a military school.

    Dorm Life

    We all live in a barracks with anywhere from 2-4 roommates. It gets extremely loud at times, but ear plugs help when trying to take a nap or go to sleep at night.

    Academic Rigor

    It is extremely tough because you do not have a lot of time to study in the fall semester. Between football games, parades, and ratline activities, it is extremely hard to get everything done on time, and you barely sleep. The faculty and staff are always there ready to help you out because they understand what we go through and the little amount of time we have to get work done.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do as many things as you can to make yourself stand out from the others, get good grades, and no criminal activity. Community service and playing a sport really helps.

  • 03/28/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 7 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Cadets do not lie, cheat or steal. Enough said!

    Clubs and Activities

    Corps of Cadets is the life of a VMI cadet. Sports, PT, PT, PT and PT.

    Great for these types of students

    Serious, loyal and hard workers.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Deeply historic and rooted into civil war traditions. Rats march across the battlefiled of Newmarket.

    Bang for the buck

    Alumni joke and say VMI is a wonderful school to have graduated FROM. The experience is not typical college life, but a commitment, mind, body and soul to a meaningful education and Brother Rats.

    What to do for fun

    Rats get to strain. PT, PT, PT, PT, sports and club sports.

    Food and Dining

    I ate in the dining hall and the food was good and plentiful.

    Dorm Life

    LOL, if you don't mind sleeping on a rack with a 2 inch mattress then VMI is for you! Barracks life is not a typical dorm, but a brotherhood.

    Academic Rigor

    Faculty tells you to come to VMI prepared to work hard!

    Tips for prospective students

    Read admissions instructions carefully and be prepared for a thick stack of health paperwork. An alumni interview is not required, but I suggest you have one. I interviewed with alumni and made a friend, probably for life.

    In three sentences

    What an amazing institute! VMI is not for the faint of heart and spirit. Beautiful campus, awesome faculty and stunning parades!

  • 05/20/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 8 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It's a military school. They have a guard team patrolling 24/7 on different shifts. My bet is it's very safe unless you manage to fall off the balcony.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is plenty of clubs. Rats are limited to a handful of clubs : glee, rugby, water polo, etc. Many more for upper class cadets.

    Great for these types of students

    Those willing to focus and change. Those looking for a structured learning environment.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Rats strain and salute Jackson statue. There's more though.

    Bang for the buck

    For some of the best education in America, it's quite worth it. I know for me, a New Englander, the cost of coming here or Norwich University was dead even with travel. I chose here because of the atmosphere and the overall feeling of success that every cadet portrayed, the small class sizes and quality of education are a plus.

    What to do for fun

    Football games, talk to your Brother Rats, workout, go to your dyke's room, go to church.

    Food and Dining

    Crozet dining, oh boy. What can I say? It's food. There's plenty of it but not a whole lot of variety. You here the upperclassmen complain about it a lot more. It's not terrible though.

    Dorm Life

    It's on average 3-4 Brother Rats to a room sometimes more. The rooms are small and you have to learn to deal with being in close proximity all the time. As long as you know where to go, your dyke's room or an academic building, it's not bad at all.

    Academic Rigor

    Extremely demanding, trying to balance military demands with academics is a hard thing to do. The cadre always stress that academics come first and it's true. If you ever have to choose between shining shoes and doing homework, you do your homework, take the bone, and get chewed out. It sucks but it's important.

    Tips for prospective students

    When applying here you want to stress your leadership qualities but make sure you also discuss that you're willing and able to be shaped into the model VMI cadet. The Rat line is tough so be expecting a culture shock when you first come here.

    In three sentences

    Regimented college offering some of the best education south of the Mason-Dixon line. Known as the West Point of the South. if you go here you know you will build awesome relationships with future employers and colleagues.

  • 01/28/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 9 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    24 hour cadet guard team, coupled with its remote location and cadet honor system makes for an atmosphere of ease.

    Greek Life

    None!

    Great for these types of students

    Military-oriented. Serious about their careers.

    Bang for the buck

    A bit expensive for out of state, but a LOT of scholarships given by this school's amazing alumni association.

    What to do for fun

    Club sports, NCAA, hiking, anything else goes. Surrounding area (Lexington) is a bit dull though . . .

    Food and Dining

    The food is terrible, but there is a lot of it. You pay up front in the tuition costs per semester for the food, and you can eat whenever you want. Good for those who aren't picky, as food choice is very limited as well.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms and furniture are very primitive, but only to keep VMI's historical significance, as well as build young men and women into potential military or civilian leaders. For new freshmen, the barracks (dorms) are shared with the rest of the corps of cadets, including your cadre (instructors), making for a very stressful living experience. Also, the amount of food and electrical appliances as well as decorations are extremely limited.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are interesting and challenging. You interact with your professors directly as the student to professor ratio is somewhere in the area of 20:1 or smaller for some classes. Classes are mandatory to attend, and there are usually graded homework assignments. Cadets also follow the VMI Honor Code, and therefore do not lie, cheat, or steal, which means grades earned at VMI are, in fact, earned, and an accurate indication of where you stand in terms of your understanding of that class.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come with an open heart, mind, and attitude to change. Take the experience fully and embrace it - it's a very challenging, but rewarding process that few others rarely get to experience. Also, come prepared for the academics, as well as the physical fitness aspect: VMI's academic programs are very underrated, and only because VMI isn't very well known throughout the nation yet.

    In three sentences

    VMI is a rigorous school that's not for everyone. The demands placed on its students will leave you with very little free time and an impaired social life, but are well worth it for the benefits of graduating from this institution. Whether you're there for the military or for a job in the civilian sector, VMI is the one place guaranteed to make you a success wherever you go.

  • 01/27/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    0 out of 2 people found this review useful. 10 of 16

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    i know almost nothing about the academics here and def need to.

  • 03/19/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    11 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Rat Line.... Look it up for more information

    What to do for fun

    Join a sport or club

    Food and Dining

    Food and Dining isn't that bad but it gets old eating there after awhile.

    Dorm Life

    Initially, Dorm Life is rough, but once you break out it isn't that bad

    Academic Rigor

    Academic Rigor is tough, but teachers are willing to with you after class or during their office hours.

    Tips for prospective students

    Prospective students need to come prepared to work hard, and prepared to be challenged physically and mentally on a daily basis.

    In three sentences

    Virginia Military Institute, commonly referred to as VMI, is a great place for developing favorable traits. My peers at home have noticed that i am a lot more determined to achieve my goals. I would rate this school a 4/5.

  • 05/08/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    12 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    none

    Clubs and Activities

    rugby. glee club.

    Great for these types of students

    athletic. outgoing. challenged.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    the ratline.

    What to do for fun

    run. watch movies.

    Food and Dining

    could be worse. but could be much better.

    Dorm Life

    barracks........

    Academic Rigor

    first and second year is the hardest

    Tips for prospective students

    stay positive throughout the ratline. dont let people get to you and dont let anyone change who you are during the first year.

    In three sentences

    VMI is competitive. VMI is disciplined. VMI is not for everyone.

  • 05/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    13 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There is a 24/7 guard team within Barracks, as well as Post Police patrolling the campus.

    Greek Life

    Non-existent.

    Great for these types of students

    Motivated, honest, hardworking students prepared for a challenge. VMI will certainly give you one.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are far too many to describe, VMI is founded and runs on the traditions and odd habits of its history. The Ratline, and the entire system of the school is in itself unusual, unlike anything you'll find anywhere else!

    What to do for fun

    VMI has a largely closed campus, so there isn't much to do during the week. However, clubs offer wide-ranging activities, many of which involve off-post trips. But on a day to day basis, it's simply hanging out with friends or working out that I enjoy.

    Food and Dining

    VMI's mess hall has edible food, but it's not particularly palatable, especially day after day. Cadets survive by balancing the basic food with snacks kept in their rooms and takeout.

    Dorm Life

    Everyone lives in Barracks, an open-air hub of activity, the definite heart of the Institute. Rooms usually house 2-3 people. There's heat but no air-conditioning. But as noisy or crowded as Barracks can be, much of the character and experience of VMI is there.

    Academic Rigor

    Academics at VMI aren't easy by any stretch, a factor that is only multiplied by the other stresses on a cadet's time and mind. Finding time to focus on academics can be difficult with the demands of leadership opportunities, sports and military ever pressing. However, the faculty are patient and helpful. With a small student-to-professor ratio, the faculty get to know cadets by name, and are prepared to help them.

    Tips for prospective students

    Prepare for the Ratline! VMI isn't for the faint of hearted. Brace yourself mentally for the trial you will endure if you choose to attend here. PT beyond what you think could ever be enough. Be prepared for a tough experience, a challenge. But know that it will make you stronger, once you succeed.

    In three sentences

    Don't do ordinary. The combination of the academics, physical activity and military professionalism results in an experience that will change you for the better. VMI is unlike any other school you'll ever encounter, but it isn't for everyone.

  • 12/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    14 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus police plus the BR spirit makes me very safe there.

    Greek Life

    Non-existent

    Clubs and Activities

    Many people can join clubs and activities.

    Great for these types of students

    People wanting to commission in the Armed Forces.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Marchdowns, military-life, near Washington and Lee University

    Bang for the buck

    Huge out-of-state costs, but it has lots of benefits

    What to do for fun

    Extracirriculars

    Food and Dining

    It's ok, but not great.

    Dorm Life

    Not great amenities, but a good environment

    Academic Rigor

    With the Ratline, this is all harder.

    Tips for prospective students

    Extracurriculars, volunteer, interview, recommendations

    In three sentences

    A military structure college that is in the top 100 universities in the nation. Located in Virginia, it is out of the ways for some people, but in an optimal location if willing to go at least an hour one way.

  • 02/05/2014

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    15 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Those who want to obtain a commission as an officer in the military. Those who want a degree in engineering. Those who want a challenge and think that the regular college life would be boring.

    Food and Dining

    I can't say the food was amazing, but it was more than ok, considering the fact that you actually get to choose what you want to eat!

    Dorm Life

    the barracks are ok, and for those masochists who like the whole military experience, just like myself, they just rock. Although the cadets could use a little more privacy. But what would you expect, it's a military college after all.

    Academic Rigor

    The business and economics major did not convince me entirely because it does not appear to have a strong scientific foundation. The engineering programs however, seem to be very good. The electrical engineering professor has degrees from MIT and West Point.

    In three sentences

    VMI is nor for everyone, but at the same time it does not seem as tough as some people portray it. Their engineering program is top-notch and the classes are ridiculously small-which is a good thing. The cadets are very friendly, They even bought pizza for all the prospect cadets that were staying over at the barracks.

  • 02/17/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    16 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Extremely safe.

    Greek Life

    None

    Great for these types of students

    physically fit and interested in military training and leadership. Also, small class sizes and small student body so private school feel at a public college - while it is rigorous and spartan compared to my friends at other colleges, I am achieving things I did not know I could and am proud of my accomplishments. I do not waste one second of my day, and am focused on school and training - I do not have a choice if I want to stay here, and I do. My four years here will not be wasted and will be a real personal and academic accomplishment.

    What to do for fun

    sleep

    Food and Dining

    okay.

    Dorm Life

    Spartan, especially in the beginning. For example, in the first several months you must put your bed up each morning, so there is no napping during the day, etc. During the week you cannot use your cell phone or computer, except for homework. No privacy. Room must be spotless at all times and strictly ordered.

    Academic Rigor

    Class sizes are small and expectations are high.

    Tips for prospective students

    This school is tough- don't underestimate just how tough it is, especially the first six months when you must follow very strict rules, including during all meals and weekends. Downtime is almost non-existent. Students go to church on Sunday for a break.

    In three sentences

    This school is personally rigorous and demanding with leadership training and regular physical challenges. There is a deep camaraderie among class for getting through it together. This school is for people who strive to be exceptional both academically and physically and have strong mental health, too, because you start with very few freedoms and are challenged on a personal level.