National Universities USA – 2016 – Vanderbilt University – Rank 16/100
Vanderbilt University is a private institution that was founded in 1873. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,851, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 333 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Vanderbilt University’s ranking in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 15. Its tuition and fees are $43,838 (2014-15).
Vanderbilt University offers a wide range of student activities. Located in Nashville, or Music City, there are plenty of off-campus options for dining, shopping, music and entertainment. On campus, Greek organizations play a big role in social life, with approximately 40 percent of students affiliated with Greek life. All undergraduate students at Vanderbilt are required to live on campus, and freshmen live together in The Commons, which has six LEED certified green dorms. The Commodores, named for Vanderbilt founder “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt, have teams in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference. About 35 percent of students take advantage of Vanderbilt’s study abroad programs, which are offered in more than 35 countries.
Vanderbilt is comprised of 10 schools and colleges covering disciplines from the humanities to music to engineering. Among its graduate programs are the top-ranked Peabody College of Education and Human Development, which also offers undergraduate programs, and the highly ranked Owen Graduate School of Management, School of Engineering, Law School, School of Medicine and School of Nursing. Vanderbilt is also well known for its undergraduate Blair School of Music, and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center is ranked one of the best in the nation. Former chairman and CEO of Time Inc. Ann Moore, NFL quarterback Jay Cutler and novelist James Patterson all received degrees from Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt University includes four undergraduate schools and six graduate and professional schools situated on a park-like 330-acre campus located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt’s combination of excellent academics, vibrant campus life, and urban location attracts exceptionally talented students from around the world. Vanderbilt’s 6,800 undergraduate students and nearly 6,000 graduate students hail from all 50 states and 88 countries, and represent a rich diversity of backgrounds. Among undergraduates, 6.2 percent are international students, 31.3 percent are minority students, and 65 percent receive some type of financial aid. Vanderbilt offers 68 majors across its four undergraduate schools – Blair School of Music, College of Arts and Science, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, and the School of Engineering. Students are encouraged to take advantage of Vanderbilt’s interdisciplinary approach, and to take classes and explore interests across schools. Close professor-student connections are made easily, not only because of the 8:1 student-faculty ratio, but also because of the Vanderbilt culture. Through Immersion Vanderbilt, students work with faculty mentors to develop and conduct projects that provide opportunities to engage, to create, and to forge change. These immersion projects might involve a senior thesis, an internship, an experience abroad, a creative performance, a design project, or a research project. Nearly 50 percent of undergraduates participate in research across academic disciplines and about 40 percent study abroad. Vanderbilt offers more than 125 study abroad programs on six continents. Vanderbilt students often speak about maintaining a balance between challenging academics, an active social life, and myriad extracurricular activities. With 530+ student-led organizations mirroring the diverse array of interests and backgrounds represented at Vanderbilt, campus is always buzzing with activity. Service is important to Vanderbilt students who engage with the local and global community through a large number of volunteer programs and organizations, such as Alternative Spring Break, which was founded at Vanderbilt. All 1,600 first-year students live on The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, a collection of ten residence houses clustered along one side of campus (seven of the Houses are LEED-certified). A faculty member lives in each of the houses, facilitating easy and meaningful interactions between students and professors. Upperclass students have many housing options including traditional dorms, suites, themed housing, apartment-style, and Warren and Moore residential colleges. Vanderbilt offers a truly residential college experience where 95 percent of students live on campus for all four years. Vanderbilt’s location in Midtown Nashville, in the heart of Music City, provides something for everyone: a rich supply of music from every conceivable genre, and an abundance of restaurants, theaters, shops, museums, and coffee shops, all within walking distance of campus. In addition, Nashville offers volunteer, internship, and job experiences in various industries including health care, publishing, technology, music, finance, auto production, government, and publishing. After Vanderbilt, about 59 percent of graduates go directly into the workforce, 31 percent go directly into graduate or professional school, and 10 percent have other plans such as volunteering or traveling. Through Opportunity Vanderbilt, the University makes three important commitments which reflect a strong dedication to making a Vanderbilt education possible: Vanderbilt is need-blind for all U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens; Vanderbilt meets 100 percent of demonstrated need for all admitted students; and Vanderbilt’s financial aid packages do not include loans. Additionally, students may apply for full-tuition merit scholarships, typically offered to the top one percent of all applicants.
Rankings, Scores & Key Indicators
Score – 84
High school counselor score (out of 5) – 4.7
Average freshman retention rate – 97%
Classes with fewer than 20 students – 66%
Classes with 50 or more students – 9%
Student-faculty ratio – 8:1
Fall 2014 acceptance rate – 13.1%
6-year graduation rate – 93%