Location: Newport News, VA
Funding: Public University
Size: 5,094 Undergraduates
Percent Women: 57%
Tuition (one year): $22,280 In-State, $32,608 Out-of-State
Most Popular Majors: Psychology, Biology, Business and Management, Communication Studies, History
Greek Life: Yes
Acceptance Rate: 59%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit CNU’s website at http://cnu.edu/admission/
Why Choose CNU?
“What really drew me to CNU was the amazing campus. I didn’t know much about the school until I visited, but from the moment I saw the Great Lawn and all the beautiful academic buildings, I was hooked. After learning more about academics and housing, I kept comparing CNU to every other college I toured, and ultimately I knew I was meant to be a Captain.”
“I didn’t really know about CNU, but I was visiting another college nearby with a friend and we searched for other colleges in the area online. CNU came up on Google Maps and we decided to come by and tour. After the tour, I applied even though I didn’t think I was going to come, but after looking online and checking out the website, I decided upon my acceptance to come here. After Setting Sail (orientation), I knew I was in the right place."
"The big thing for me was the faculty. I met with some of them before I even toured CNU, and I could just tell from the way they talked to me that they actually cared, and they wanted me to succeed and become the best version of myself I could be."
"The President's Leadership Program makes CNU different than other schools. It provides the opportunity to learn about leadership in the classroom, while also learning through experiences in organizations on campus and through volunteering in Hampton Roads. Being in the program provides many opportunities for involvement and personal growth, something that I didn't see at other schools."
"I chose CNU because the sense of community is unparalleled and the opportunities are endless."
"It's sort of a weird reason, but I got a postcard in the mail one day advertising for CNU, which was really strange since I live in the middle of North Carolina and I'd never even heard of CNU. But I just got a really good feeling about this school, like something was pulling me to go there. So I went and visited for an overnight session and I fell in love with CNU! Everything from the architecture to the culture seemed perfect to me! Another big draw was PLP (the President's Leadership Program) since it was so unique, and the Canon Leadership Scholars program because they both seemed like the type of programs which would allow me to really make an impact upon the world."
"My brother goes here and I visited a lot, so I saw how pretty and welcoming it is. It's just a welcoming community where people treat you as if they already know you."
“I love the sense of community at CNU. I’m able to leave my backpack and laptop at a desk in the library in order to grab a cup of coffee or go to the restroom knowing no one will steal my belongings. And if you’re ever in need of help, you don’t have to look far. Help will always be given to those at CNU who ask for it!”
“After coming here, the one thing I immediately thought was, ‘The people are really nice.’ I couldn’t believe people were this nice. I love the sense of community. It’s a welcoming and caring place, and that was different from what I had back home.”
"I would say I like that CNU is small because you do have that more established sense of community, and you recognize people and are able to get closer to them because of it."
"I think the best part of CNU is how pretty it is. A popular tradition is the President’s freshman dessert reception – it was delicious! I wish I could go back and do it again, and I would eat more this time."
"There's always something to look forward to on campus. There's a carnival on the Great Lawn at the beginning of fall semester and the end of spring semester, with lots of games and free food. On the weekends there are different events, such as movies or concerts. You never have to be bored."
"The leadership program in general and everything that you can get out of it is awesome. Also the fact that they push so hard for people to study abroad."
“Though the food here isn’t terrible, I do wish there was more of a variety. It feels like I’m often eating the same things week in and week out.”
“Overall, student involvement and willingness to take risks – people are reluctant to take chances and no one really wants to be overwhelmed by what they’re doing, so I think sometimes people are scared to get involved in more things. Sometimes it feels like you have to be in Greek Life to be involved, but Greek Life isn’t for everyone.”
"I'd like more community spaces like benches outside and tables in the plaza. Just more places for students to hang out to better foster the sense of community on campus."
"I wish that I could choose how to use my food swipes; I wish they rolled over from week to week because sometimes I don’t eat my allotted number of meals in a week."
"I wish professors took attendance policies more seriously when it comes to classes. You're paying to be here, so why waste your money by not showing up?"
New Collegiette on Campus
"Freshman halls are pretty close-knit and help you start to build your own personal community of friends. Some of my favorite CNU memories are hanging out with my freshman year hall-mates and going to football games and dinners together.”
"Coming to college is super exciting because you’re finally out of high school and you just feel free, but then it hits you that you’re on your own for the first time and actually have to go out and do stuff. I learned quickly that nothing is going to be handed to you – whatever you want, you have to go out and get it.”
"I loved orientation because I got to meet people and spend time at the school so I was more comfortable before the year even started. It was also nice to have friends already when I started the school year."
"Hall bonding is very important. You will meet some of your best friends on your freshman hall."
"I think you take more time to get to know the people you're living with and you start to build strong connections with people you'll be friends with for the next four years. All the events you get to go to as a freshman and experiencing them for the first time is really awesome."
All About Academics
"The workload isn’t terrible. To be honest, it’s easier than high school, which for me consisted of all AP courses. There are plenty of classrooms/study rooms on campus to work in, but I also just really like the vibe of the library. A lot of people go there to study and hang out, and it’s a central location close to the academic buildings.”
"Personally, I haven’t had any trouble with the academic side of CNU; I think there are a lot of people here willing to help you academically and with specific classes. I took AP classes in high school and coming into college I actually thought it was easy. It’s not that classes are hard, there’s just a good amount of work you have to do.”
"I’d say biology and communications are the popular majors. The course load is different depending on what major you choose because some majors require more papers and some require more exams or labs, so it’s all in what you pick. People spend time in the library, but there are also study rooms in the residence halls, which is convenient."
"It’s more challenging than high school but it all depends on what classes you take and what your major is. Having a good advisor is important. Nothing in college is unmanageable. They try to scare you in high school, but it’s not that bad. If you do your work, you’re fine."
"After the first quiz you take in a new class, you realize you need to take it more seriously and you get a better understanding of how you need to grow as a student. You learn how you need to study and take notes, and also to make sure you're putting forth the effort to do well in a class."
Learn from the Best
"Professors here really care about getting to know the students. More than knowing our names, they form relationships with us. I've had a professor invite our class over to her home to make Chinese dumplings, and my study abroad group had a cookout at our professor's house before our trip."
"One of the most popular professors is Dr. Hasbrouck, along with Dr. Spiller. They’re both in the business school. People definitely go to professor’s office hours, and they get one-on-one help and also just go to hang out and chat. My favorite class has been digital marketing because I’m really into graphic design, and I also really liked interpersonal communication.”
"I’ve learned some of the most valuable life lessons in my leadership classes. You get what you put into it, and I think that’s true for any class."
"I definitely have my favorite professors and people I’ve taken more than one class with. It’s nice to know them and to go to office hours. They know your face and name, and it helps you to succeed because you feel comfortable talking to your professors."
"My favorite professor hands down is Dr. Lisa Spiller. She teaches marketing courses, but she also has an honors seminar usually during the fall semester. She is genuinely interested in helping her students prepare for the future and represents what CNU is all about. Her positive attitude and eagerness to help in any way possible is everything I could want in a professor!”
"Through the endless number of times professors offer up their time to students, it's clear they want us to utilize their office hours and it shows they really care about us and want us to succeed."
Interests & Involvement
"It is very rare to find someone here who isn’t involved in multiple student organizations. CNU is a place for people who don’t just sit on the sidelines and who want to be an active member of their community. We have plenty of clubs to choose from, and if you don’t find the perfect fit you have the ability to found your own organization on campus.
"I’m involved in multiple organizations, and people are definitely involved in extracurricular activities. Every year we have club fair, and that’s a big event where students can come and check out the over 250 organizations we have at CNU. What I enjoy about my campus involvement is that I’m able to make a difference, make friends and connections, start new traditions because CNU is still young, and even learn about job opportunities.”
"Joining a Greek organization is really helpful and opens you up to other clubs and organizations you could join. You’ll meet people through Greek Life who are in other clubs, and it helps you to feel more comfortable in putting yourself out there because your sisters or brothers are in these other organizations and it’s different than joining a club where you know no one."
"Greek Life is pretty big. There’s just so much stuff – whether you’re interested in food, music, Greek Life, etc. There’s something for everyone. You will find somewhere with people who are like you, but I recommend also finding people who aren’t like you because that’s how you get different perspectives and that’s really refreshing."
"CNU is very much about getting involved in the community through service. The Center of Engagement wants people to utilize them in order for students to serve the entire time they're here. They impress upon us that service is important."
"There are hundreds of clubs to get involved in. Most people are involved in at least one."
"I have yet to meet anyone at CNU who isn't involved in at least one extracurricular. From Greek organizations to RUF to Biology Club I feel like there's something for everyone on campus. One of my favorite events of the semester is club fair, when all of the major organizations on campus come together and advertise to recruit people for their organization. I think some of the most popular organizations are (of course) Greek Life. Although I'm not in a social Greek, my participation in a service Greek Organization (Alpha Phi Omega) has become a big part of my life and has given me many friendships and great leadership opportunities!"
"I would say our basketball games are pretty big, especially against UMW. It’s fun to go watch games because people go all out during basketball season."
"A lot of people are in intramurals. Some popular sports are men’s soccer and football."
"Football games and tailgating in the fall are always super fun. Though we don’t have huge sporting events like bigger schools, we have spirit. And the firework shows at halftime don’t hurt.”
"Overall our sports teams are really good. CNU has one of the highest winning percentages in the state of Virginia. When it comes to the popularity of the sporting events, our attendance could use some work. Many students don’t see the excitement in attending a Division 3 school’s sporting events. Even when students do come out to events, there is sometimes a lack of spirit. CNU does offer intramural and club sports and they seem to be pretty popular, though.”
"I think we have a good amount of team spirit. And we're all very proud to be Captains. I don't really know a lot about athletics, but people get pretty hype for different games."
"I feel very comfortable as a woman on this campus. At some schools there are lots of instances of catcalling and things of that nature, but that really isn’t a part of CNU culture."
"I feel safe. I know there are a lot of campuses that aren’t necessarily safe, but I’ve never felt in danger or unprotected at CNU, even walking around alone at night on campus. I also think there are a lot of opportunities on campus for women too. I don’t think being a woman is a disadvantage at all here."
"There are just as many opportunities for women here as there are for men. I'm on the women's club soccer team and I attend women's small group. The distribution is pretty even when it comes to men and women."
"There are a lot of opportunities to bond with other great women on campus outside of the classroom, such as through Greek Life or classes at the gym."
"I feel like my voice is heard. I don’t feel threatened, and I feel safe here as a woman."
Food & Drink
"My favorite things about CNU dining have to be the awesome staff and theme meals. For every major holiday or event, we have these meals that consist of amazing food specific to the occasion and usually a chocolate fountain. It’s perfect."
"CNU has two dining halls - The Commons and Regatta's - and several restaurants on campus and within walking distance. The food tends to be really good and I enjoy the theme meals."
"The food is good, especially at Einstein’s. I love their coffee!"
"I think dining is very accommodating. For a school our size, we have good options, and you can always find something good. They also have a big emphasis on having healthy options available, which is a big thing for college students. P.S. We have Chick-fil-a."
"I love that we have the option to eat in the dining halls or get to-go! It makes it really convenient if you’re having a busy day and need to eat while you’re in class or catching up on homework. Also when it’s nice, you can eat with friends in the Trible Plaza or on the Great Lawn."
"There are parties on the weekends for people who want to do that, but there are also plenty of people who just chill and hang out in the residence halls with friends. It can be kind of boring during the winter, but when it’s warmer it’s a ton of fun to head to the beach with your besties."
"The social scene at CNU can be a little exclusive at times. There is usually something going on all the time. I don’t think people feel pressured to do anything at CNU; people are definitely understanding and chill when it comes to partying."
"There’s always something to do. Parties get kind of crazy sometimes, but that’s college. I would never regret a night spent going out with my girls; just bring friends with you."
"Fraternities here have designated drivers to get people back to campus from parties and that makes it easy to safely get to and from parties. I think that’s different from other universities."
"There are parties on the weekends and bars in the area if you’re into that, but there is also plenty of stuff to do without leaving campus. The Campus Activities Board hosts events on the weekends, such as game nights and musical events. During the week, Greek organizations sometimes have philanthropy events that are really fun to go to, such as a LipSync competition and a Dance Crew contest."
"Our residence halls are some of the top ones in the country – no joke. And no communal bathrooms. Which is a major plus in my book. Also, your freshman year, members of the CNU community come together to move all your stuff in for you. I definitely didn't object to the football team carrying my stuff to my room."
"The freshmen dorms are actually designed to better build a sense of community. CNU has some of the top residence halls around and safety is a top priority here. Yes, you can pick your roommate for freshman year if you really want to, but most people are randomly paired to live together, which often works out well."
"You get used to bringing your ID everywhere because you can’t go home to your room if you don’t. It’s kind of like living in a hotel with all your friends. Which can be great and terrible at the same time. Just make sure to clean your room."
"I loved living in the residence hall as a freshman because you get to know your peers well and there are always activities that your RA puts on in order for you to bond. Most people are required to live on campus, but you can request to live off campus as an upperclassman. Most people just stay on campus, though, because CNU has such nice residence halls."
"At CNU you don’t even have to move yourself in on Freshmen Move-In Day. There are volunteers from Greek Life, clubs, and athletic teams that will unload everything from your car when you pull up and take it to your room so all you have to do is unpack. It just really shows our sense of community here."
Exploring Newport News
"Newport News itself doesn’t have a lot going on, but there’s a lot of fun stuff in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Williamsburg, etc., all of which are a fairly short drive away. I personally love going to the nearby beaches, like Huntington or Buckroe. Also, the Noland Trail is literally right next to campus and it's beautiful for a walk or a run."
"One of my favorite places to go in Newport News is City Center. It's a hybrid of a shopping center, apartments, and corporate offices, all surrounding a fountain. There are a lot of unique shops and restaurants, and it has the closest movie theater (with a student discount!). In December they have an event called Hollydazzle, where they light up the Christmas tree and have a huge fireworks show. It's a tradition for my friends and I to go and we love it!"
"It’s not what I expected it to be. I hadn’t heard a lot of good things about Newport News, but it’s actually pretty lively and there’s a lot of fun and historical/cultural things around here."
"There are a lot of opportunities in Newport News, and CNU has a great relationship with the community. A lot of people get internships locally, especially at the Virginia Living Museum and the hospital because they’re so close. A big selling point for CNU is that the beach is very close!"
"Newport News is improving. Compared to where I’m from, there is quite a bit that Newport News offers."
HC's Complete College Guide: Christopher Newport University
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