Yes there is always the risk of some level of snooping happening on a public WiFi network like that.
You could in actual fact be connected to a rouge access point that is impersonating the university WiFi. There are tools like the WiFi Pineapple and even open source projects like Snoopy that can be run on a Raspberry Pi to create these rouge access points. Both of these tools could easily be run by "other good computer students".
If you are not comfortable with that risk and you must access resources that you consider very confidential, I'd advise you to use a VPN service (these usually have small subscription fee. Here and here and here are examples) in order hide your information from any potential snoopers by sending it through an encrypted tunnel.
Even if you do that you must still make sure that when you access sites like Facebook or Paypal, the sites have valid SSL certificates by looking for the "Green Address Bar" and "Padlock" icons and that these certificates are signed by a trusted certificate authority. The point of this is to make sure you are connecting to the real facebook site and not a fake facebook login page served from the rouge access point you could be connected to.
The main risk here is that of your traffic being intercepted but it can extend to someone installing malware on your computer by directing you to click on some malicious link. This malware can then get up to all kinds of nasty things on your computer, including opening up some sort of remote access to your computer.
If you follow the suggestion above it should be safe to use the university WiFi.