James Madison University

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#T-126, overall score 44.92/100

Fun Fact:

A large chunk of limestone in the middle of the Quadrangle is known as the “Kissing Rock.” Legend has it that the person you kiss on the rock is the person you’re going to marry.

Why should Jewish students attend James Madison University? James Madison University is a unique and great place to live. Whether you are interested in sports, hiking, the arts or anything in between JMU is a great place to be. Additionally, the Jewish community is growing and inclusive. You can always find things to eat and places to go. Whether for the high holy days or a typical Friday night, you always have a place to go and be Jewish safely. JMU is a great place to be! - Alison Sall, president, JMU Hillel


  • Location: Harrisonburg, Va.
  • Region: South
  • Campus type: College town
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 19,548
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 1,200
  • Jewish population share: 6%
  • Student origin: 77% in-state / 23% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: The Breeze
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Dukes
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Hellfish / Bitchmonkeys

COST & AID Score: 6.17/15

  • Score: 6.17/15
  • In-state tuition: $10,830
  • Out-of-state tuition: $27,194
  • Room & board costs: $9,822
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $8,415
  • Average loan debt: $27,656
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: No

ACADEMICS Score: 3.33/20

  • Score: 3.33/20
  • Acceptance rate: 75%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Median SAT range: 1100-1260
  • Jewish Studies program: No
  • Jewish Studies major: No
  • Hebrew major: No

ISRAEL Score: 11.33/20

  • Score: 11.33/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 26
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel Studies center: No
  • Israel-related clubs: None
  • Jewish Agency for Israel fellow: No
  • BDS vote in last four years: Never introduced

SAFETY Score: 9/11

  • Score: 9/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 0
  • Campus crime rate: 1.79/1,000 students (low)
  • City crime rate: 22.96/1,000 people (medium-low)
  • LGBT center: No

JEWISH LIFE Score: 15.08/34

  • Score: 15.08/34
  • Hillel: James Madison Hillel
  • Chabad: JM Jews
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi
  • Jewish sororities: SAEPi
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Hillel Friday night services: 1
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 20
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 1 (Reform)
  • Eruv: No
  • Where do Jewish students come from? All over the country.
  • Kosher food details: Every dining hall has many options. There are many kosher style options and kosher options. Additionally, Chabad offers kosher dinners for holidays and Friday nights.

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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