Roanoke College, a private college located in central Virginia, was founded by Lutheran pastors in 1842 as a boy’s preparatory school. Over the course of its 170-year history, the institution expanded into four-year liberal arts college, becoming co-educational in 1930, when women were admitted to counter a decline in enrollment caused by the Great Depression. Roanoke College continues to attract undergraduates to student living with its breadth of academic disciplines and steady growth. The school is currently executing a development plan that will expand academic offerings, increase enrollment, renovate school facilities, expand financial aid, and add student housing. In the 2011 academic year, the college enrolled more than 2,100 students, the most in college history, many of whom elected to reside in off campus housing in Salem, Virginia. The city of about 25,000 residents, which is adjacent to Roanoke, offers a comfortable community with frequent events to support the student lifestyle.
Students at Roanoke College may study any of 35 majors, 30 minors, 23 concentrations and pre-professional programs in law, medicine, dentistry, engineering and ministry, offered through 14 departments. The college confers Bachelor’s of Arts, Science and Business Administration degrees, as well as several dual degree programs with Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee that culminate in a degree from Roanoke, and a engineering degree from the partner school. “Central to achieving the purposes of the College is a strong commitment to liberal education and its vision of human freedom leading to service within the human community,” says the Roanoke College statement of purpose.
Students who commute to classes from a college apartment are able to complement their education by becoming involved in the Salem community. Off campus housing is often located near the Roanoke College campus, near the stretch of convenient shops, bars, restaurants and community resources along Main Street, to the south of campus.
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