Roanoke College is most popularly known for its Biology, Business Administration and History majors, is one of the leading liberal art colleges in the nation. Students can appreciate the solid liberal arts foundation while taking advantage of a variety of to the program interests that help them prepare for their professional careers. Providing a well structured selection of programs is a priority of Roanoke College which is why the College continuously strives to receive accreditation for new programs. Students can expect faculty members to e attentive, supportive and understanding to their needs while simultaneously providing a vigorous academic structure that they need to achieve their goals.
The faculty and staff members at Roanoke College believe that education should be taught first-hand, not dictated in a classroom. Many classes are held outside on campus or in the field to enhance the learning experience. Students are required to maintain a vigorous academic curriculum that enriches their education both professionally and socially though developing relationship and learning hands-on. Many Roanoke College alumni graduate to become leaders in their fields with the skill set and unique qualities learned during their Roanoke experience.
Founded in 1842 and originally named the Virginia Institute, the College was operated as a prep school for boys founded by two Lutheran pastors. Based on the foundation of preparing boys to attend Gettysburg College, in route to the Seminary as well. However by 1845, the school was chartered as the Virginia Collegiate Institute, incorporating college classes into the curriculum. As the College grew larger, the faculty grew accordingly, welcoming future leaders and civic icons. In 1853, under the presidency of founder David Bittle, the school received its complete collegiate charter to operate under the name Roanoke College. Surviving the Civil war was an obstacle that not many schools had accomplished. In fact, Roanoke College was one of the few colleges that were able to stay open during the war. Shortly after, Roanoke College established the Alumni Association to celebrate the bonds and ties of students.
Roanoke College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
By the late 18th century, Roanoke College had solidified a stable financial system that enabled them to offer students affordable tuition and sufficient facilities to attend. Acting president, Julius Dreher strived to increase enrollment at steady paces, ensuring that students remained with a challenging curriculum and supportive atmosphere. In 1876, the school adapted its international study abroad program, enrolling the first foreign student to attend Roanoke College. Over the next few years, the school developed further and be tested more frequently through both World War I and II.
Campus life at Roanoke College creates a home away from home for students, helping them to adjust and transition into college life easier. With the majority of students living on campus, the atmosphere is always lively and filled with performances, fundraisers, rallies and sports games that attract and engage students. Many students participate in the political groups offered by the school such as the Student Senate, debate teams, as well Student Government and Residence Life Staff committee. The Office of Student Services is able to assist students with their scheduling, housing and off campus travel needs, as well as counseling and career guidance services. This enables students to develop a strong sense of community with the peers and faculty.
Students are able participate in their choice of over 50 organization and clubs that meet on campus. Most of these organizations were established by students from the founder’s generation and are still running strong with school pride today. Many Roanoke College students and alumni prefer to get involved with the community service organizations that actively work within the community and abroad to spread the Roanoke traditions globally. To ensure students are provided with all facets of the college experience, Roanoke College also offers an extensive study abroad program that enables students the opportunity to study in over 10 foreign countries each semester.
In most cases, first year students that live on campus reside in the residence halls that accommodate mainly 2-3 students per unit. However many students move on to the apartment complexes and townhouses that are available on and off campus upon returning to school. Members of the residential life staff are available in the office as well as in the housing facilities to ensure all regulations and safety codes are being followed at all times. .
Being dedicated to the needs of students academically also requires a healthy understanding of the various financial aid options as well. Staff and faculty members at Roanoke College are experienced both first hand and as educators in exploring the realm of funding opportunities available to students. Many choose to apply for standard government funding such as TAP and FAFSA loans, while others prefer to apply for grant funding instead. Roanoke College accepts all forms of financial aid programs to help students get through the college experience stress-free. Students are encouraged to apply for all funding opportunities in which they qualify to ensure they are able to maximize their education and program requirements.
In addition to the financial aid accepted by the College, it also offers students independently funded aid to alleviate the burden of loan repayments. Roanoke College provides qualifying students with academic, merit, athletic and artistic scholarships as well as need based and special circumstance grants and funding assistance. Students with disabilities, military or veteran status may also be eligible for private funding as well. All students are encouraged to participate in the work study and internship programs available through the school to help reduce the out of pocket costs such as books, supplies and personal needs.