Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vandy Fly-In

This last weekend I got a chance to attend a Vanderbilt fly-in event with 98 other counselors from around the country. It was my first time to both Nashville and Vandy. I couldn't have asked for better weather on the day we toured the campus. I was struck by the grand, colonial-style buildings with the red brick and white pillars.
Time magazine did a feature article on Vandy's new Commons. These living quarters house freshman and faculty. It's a bit of a social experiment to try and create a deeper sense of community among the students and professors. It's not "uncommon" (no pun intended) for students to watch ESPN game day on Saturday morning in their PJ's with their professor of sociology. One minute they are talking SEC football. The next they are talking about racial and socio-economic issues.

I had a chance to sit in on two classes. The first was a Modern Philosophy class. The lecture was on the Enlightenment Project, specifically the theological movement called deism. What I loved about this class was watching the students. As I watched this young man go from typing notes, to checking his Facebook, to shopping for a new polo; I realized that Vandy kids aren't that different than Casady kids.
The Vandy highlight for me was visiting Dr. Baldwin's class, "MLK and the Role of Social Religion". Dr. Baldwin's lecture unpacked Dr. King's metaphor of the "global house". I was reminded once again that, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
This is one of our Vandy officers. I called him JT because he looks like Justin Timberlake.

Admissions this year to Vandy were BRUTAL.

Here are a few statistics.

Vandy admitted about 38% ED.

Vandy admitted overall only 17.5%.

Cornell admitted around 17%.

Vandy is quickly becoming the "Ivy of the South".

Ten years ago Vandy admitted 60%.

My oh my. How times have changed.

Many assume that Vandy favors legacy student applicants.

This year 2,300 alumni kids applied to Vandy.

Only 22% were admitted.

So what I learned was this: if you want Vandy, you jump on the Early Decision Train.

Otherwise you better have an ACT of 34 and high (or SAT equivalent) in regular admission. If you don't, you just aren't getting into Vandy.