College Spotlight: Vanderbilt University

The picturesque, 330-acre campus of Vanderbilt University sits in midtown Nashville, TN, a city most famous for it's music scene. With towering trees, plenty of green space and a rumored 3:1 squirrel to student ratio, you can easily forget that the campus is tucked away in a bustling city. 

Residence halls range from freshman doubles to single rooms and multi-room suites with shared baths. Students are overwhelmingly happy with the housing and dining choices, with 95% of students remaining on campus all four years. Freshman dorms (all with a faculty member in residence) are clustered together around a shared common to encourage a sense of community and cohesiveness. Our tour guide told us that that sense of community extends beyond the first year, and we noticed a genuine sense of southern hospitality on campus. Greek life tends to dominate the social scene (more than 40% pledge), but sororities and fraternities don't keep separate housing. The school has plenty of non-Greek traditions, from an annual Rites of Spring music festival to "Anchor Down," where first-year students lead the football team on the field at home games. With more than 500 registered student activities, there is something for everyone at Vanderbilt, from a Capella groups to Quidditch club. Students at Vanderbilt are (increasingly) diverse, in both backgrounds and interests, as reflected by the number of unique double majors (Music and PoliSci, for example) you will find at the university. Students here tend to give back, as well, with more than 70% volunteering in the surrounding community at some point during their tenure.

Students don't dream of attending Vanderbilt just for the great scenery and social scene, however. Ranked #15 among national universities, academics are serious business at Vanderbilt. With a 12% acceptance rate (20% among early decision applicants), academic rigor and intellectual curiosity are the norm. General ed requirements vary between the four undergraduate schools, but all include a significant course load. Econ, Social Sciences, Math, Political Science & Government are some of the most popular majors, and the Peabody School of Education has the highest-ranked undergraduate education program in the nation. Together with Tulane, the university maintains a unique distinction of being one of only two leading southern institutions offering both Engineering and Business. 17% of students opt to double-major, and there are four pre-professional tracks for undergrads. Student internships are plentiful and the university law and medical schools contribute significantly to the intellectual buzz on campus. Alums are fiercely proud of their college, and with great reason: combining the academics of a small private school with the research opportunities of a much larger institution, Vanderbilt has struck a magical academic balance (with a stunning campus in vibrant city as a bonus!).

Fast Facts:

  • 7,000 undergraduates; 6,000 graduate students
  • 50% of freshman admitted through Early Decision (no wait/defer list for those not admitted via ED)
  • 8:1 student to faculty ratio; 91% of classes have fewer than 50 students
  • 100 research centers and facilities on campus
  • 71% of students are accepted at first-choice grad school
  • Interquartile SAT range (25%-75%): 2200; Interquartile ACT range: 32-34
  • 91% of incoming students in top 10% of class
  • 100% of demonstrated financial need will be met 

Fun Facts:

  • 40% of student body hails from the south
  • Only private school that competes in the SEC athletic conference
  • There is a lecture hall on campus named, "Jacobs Believed in Me Engineering"
  • Notable alums include: VP Al Gore, Actress & Model Molly Sims, Cy Young-Winning pitcher David Price, country singer Jill King and ESPN journalist Skip Bayless.

If you'd like to learn more about Vanderbilt, give us a call!