National Decision Day for high school seniors is May 1. For students (and their parents) who have been accepted into one of Virginia’s universities, congratulations. You’re going to be attending a great institution no matter where you go. Virginia colleges are ranked No. 1 by SmartAsset based on student-to-faculty ratio, average net price, undergraduate graduation rate, in-state attendance rate, and the 20-year return on investment.
Now, that being said, as you ponder your final choices over the next several days, let me give you just three reasons why Mason may be the very best of your options (#ChooseMason).
First, Mason is the largest and most diverse public university in Virginia. That’s another way of saying you’ll meet a lot of students here who are like you no matter your background, and you’ll meet a lot of fascinating students who are not like you and who will expand your life experiences. Mason’s size and diversity works in your favor because it means a greater variety of people, classes, student organizations, and so on.
Another great reason why Mason might be your best option is our outstanding faculty. Because we are a research university (one of 115 currently classified in the top “very high research” tier) you will learn from faculty who are international leaders in their disciplines and nevertheless dedicated to you. And if you’re passionate about your field and do well, you may be able to work side by side with these professors in the field or lab (our undergraduate research program has actually been recognized as a national model!).
Finally, our location doesn’t get much better. Northern Virginia, within the greater Washington, D.C. region, is one of the best places to find a job and also enjoy a vibrant cultural and intellectual life. Mason graduates earn the highest starting salaries among their Virginia public university peers in great part because of the abundance of well-paying jobs in our region and the year-round internship opportunities here that prepare them for those positions. (By the way, SmartAsset says three of the top eight cities where women are the most successful are in our neighborhood!).
So there you have it. If you’ve been accepted to a Virginia college or university, you can relax and know you will go to a great school. And that great school just might be Mason. Good luck!