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Rank: 15

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 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 66% medical school acceptance rate. Vanderbilt's liberal arts, humanities, and education programs are also strong. The average graduate at Vanderbilt earns about $63,800 annually within three years, according to PayScale. The Division I Commodores sports teams also stand out: The men's baseball squad won the national championship in 2014, and the women's tennis team won a title in 2015. The football team often gets bowl invitations, playing in 2018 at the Texas Bowl (it lost). 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 2019-2020
$70,400
% of students who get any grants
65%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$24,900
Average price for low-income students
$1,170
admissions
Acceptance rate
11%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1510/34
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
6,856
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
98%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit* grants
10%
Average merit grant
$24,444
student success
Graduation rate
92%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Average student debt
$14,500
Average salary within 3 years
$63,800
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
59%
key deadlines
Early decision application
Nov 1
Regular application
Jan 1

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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