Vanderbilt's elegant Tennessee campus is widely recognized as one of the nation's most beautiful. Home to forests containing scores of tree species, it also has been designated a national arboretum.

Although fewer than half of Vanderbilt's students are from the South, alumni like former Vice President Al Gore, former U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott make up a who's who of Southern politics. The university’s liberal arts, humanities and education programs are all strong. Thanks to its world-class medical school, Vanderbilt’s pre-med undergrads receive advising, research opportunities and other assistance, leading to more than 70% of first-time applicants getting into medical school after they leave Vanderbilt.

The Division I Commodores sports teams also stand out: The bowling team has won two national championships in the past six years, the men's baseball squad won the national championship in 2019, and the women's tennis team has appeared in 27 NCAA Tournaments.

Participation in Greek life has dropped in recent years, but more than a third of students still join a fraternity or sorority. The school also has some 475 organizations, including clubs for training in kung fu and a cohort for students who are gluten free, and many students take advantage of Nashville's vibrant music scene.