Best Colleges in America 2022
college_name
Prev RANK: 23, Best Selective Colleges Next
Overall Score: 79.84

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt's elegant Tennessee campus is widely recognized as one of the nation's most beautiful. Home to forests containing scores of species of trees, it also has been designated a national arboretum. Although fewer than half of Vanderbilt's students are from the South, alumni like Al Gore, Lamar Alexander and Rosanne Cash make up a who's who of Southern politics and culture. The university has a world-class medical school, and its pre-med undergrads receive advising, research opportunities and other assistance, leading to a 70% medical school acceptance rate for first-time applicants. Vanderbilt's liberal arts, humanities, and education programs are also strong. Recent graduates of Vanderbilt earn about $79,900 annually, according to the College Scorecard. The Division I Commodores sports teams also stand out: The men's baseball squad won the national championship in 2019, and the women's tennis team has appeared in 26 NCAA Tournaments. Fraternities and sororities play a significant part of the social life on campus at Vandy, and many students take advantage of Nashville's vibrant music scene. The school also has over 500 organizations, including clubs for training in kung fu and a cohort for students who are gluten free.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$78,200
% of students who get any grants
65%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$27,200
Average price for low-income students
$3,180

Admissions

Acceptance rate
9%
Median SAT/ACT score
1510/34
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
6,870

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
98%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit grants
10%
Average merit grant
$25,030

Student Success

Graduation rate
93%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
$14,509
Early career earnings
$79,870
% earning more than a high school grad
83%

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

More From Money’s College Team

  • Recent College News

    Recent College News

    Read the latest Money coverage on paying for college, succeeding on campus and transitioning to the working world.
  • How to Apply for the FAFSA

    How to Apply for the FAFSA

    The application is the gateway to billions of dollars in financial aid for college.
  • Best Student Loans

    Best Student Loans

    Learn all about private student loans with Money's expert guide.