I live right near Valpo. Don't know a ton about the University, but if you have questions on the town, feel free.
The town itself is fairly small, however, it is growing in leaps and bounds. New businesses, shopping plazas, etc are constantly being built. It is about 25 min from Merillville/Hobart/Scherillville which is the big entertainment/shopping/business area. Merillville/Hobart/Scherillville all runs into East Chicago and eventually Chicago. I would says is about a 45min to an hour drive into Chicago, and you can train into the city as well.In my own personal opinion Valpo is growing so much because it is getting many of the people who are opting to move out of the crowded areas, I guess you could say the flight from the city. It has a great atmosphere and the people for the most part are extremely friendly. The town has some really beautiful homes and the downtown has that small town feel with the Icecream parlor idea/nice storefront thing. VU is pretty well respected in the area, although as an undergrad its viewed as extremely expensive and somewhat snotty by the general population, however, I can not really agree or disagree with that. The law school is extremely well respected in that area (despite what you might read on this board), however, outside the area, I couldnt tell you.