Nashville, TN
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 979 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Work Hard, Play Hard Mentality – If you're intelligent enough to get into Vandy, you should be able to know how to balance a social life with academics, so be prepared to be expected to "be more" by faculty, peers, and upperclassmen. Most students are not only dedicated to their studies, but highly involved in multiple student organizations and maintain very active social lives - be it Greek or Independent.
Vandy's latent southern feel is extremely welcoming, as are most people on campus - be they from Georgia or Manhattan. Geographical diversity is largely present, and racial diversity is too, students really self-segregate by race and ethnicity. The hoards of Malaysian students contribute to Vandy's "diversity," but they are a prime example of the flaws of academia's desire for greater cultural understanding and interconnecting among students. The Commons living-learning experiment as well as the semester-long VuCept first-year orientation program successfuly is able to pull students from different backgrounds into micro-forums of sharing.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: Parking is inconvenient, expensive, and a hassle. Freshmen are not allowed to have cars on campus, though some get away with it by purchasing permits at nearby hotels. Upperclassmen parking has two options: convenient and expensive, or inconvenient and dirt cheap. The office of traffic and parking is a nightmarish, gestapo-like force that is always handing out parking tickets; sometimes you can see them standing in front of a meter that has only a minute left on its time writing the ticket for the exact moment when it expires.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Meal Money Is Good – Meal plans that include meal money are great and a lot of local restaurants close to campus accept it, and it works just like cash. However, there is a large push by students to continually expand the program to other restaurants to compensate for the university dining halls weird hours.

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Follow the Honor Code – The Honor Code is strictly enforced. This is a good thing however, because all of the students work so hard to achieve their best.

5 College Freshman

Greek Life: Go Greek or Go Home – Greek life is huge at Vanderbilt. Even if you are not part of Greek life, almost everyone is down at the fraternity houses to go to parties.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Living on the Commons – The dorms where most sophomores get stuck are all singles, small, and in an awful location. However, the freshman, who all live on the commons, have excellent dorms with their own dining hall and workout facility.

4 College Senior

Nightlife: Music City has something for everyone. Downtown is always lively and very safe.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Many Options – The Nashville area provides many affordable options for off campus housing

5 College Senior

Computers: State of the Art – The computers and infrastructure are all well maintained

3 College Student

Guys & Girls: Everyone Is in a Fraternity/Sorority – Everyone at the school is in a greek club if you want to "fit" in. It's not that bad, but it's whatever. Girls and boys and "preps" who wear lacoste, polo, vineyard vines, etc.

5 College Freshman

Computers: The Best College in the World to Me – i think that the computers at vanderbilt university is not crowded exept for some times when there is exams or other tests.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: You have to make sure to do your work—going to class helps—but it would be a crime if you didn't party and experience all the great things that Vanderbilt offers every day. I've been five feet from the stage at the Jay-Z concert, which I paid $40 for, but I've also been just as content at a frat party where they bring in bands, as well. The school is bustling with activity. Balance is the word that you must remember, though.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Weather: Rain, Rarely Snows – I'm from the north, so I love the climate in the South. It doesn't rain too often, and I haven't heard about any snowstorms. Its great in the spring and fall, especially on such a beautiful campus. Don't expect classes to be canceled for anything.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Transportation: Vandy Van, Cabs, and Buses – The Vandy Van runs from five to five and loops around the campus, its very nice at night when you don't want to walk back in the dark, or walk in general.

Bus system runs around the city, and taxis are everywhere and make it easy to get around. While the buses are free, the taxis might add up.

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Police Only Patrol – The freshman campus is "dry," but the only way that you can get caught is if you are dumb about it, like screaming about drinking or leisurely smoking pot without worrying about the smoke.

Everywhere else is wet, however you cant be obnoxious about it either, just don't be stupid.

The vanderbilt police are there to make sure no one gets hurt. If you are overtly and messily drunk, your going to get taken to your RA, but everything happens on a case-by-case basis, so even if you are caught, doesn't mean your going to be on probation. The police are really nice and don't break up the parties or anything, they just sit outside and keep the peace.

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: Perfect Blend – Greek life is a big part of campus, however it is not dominant. For girls, if you want to party and be independent, its extremely doable. Girls luck out in terms of free alcohol, getting into parties and such. For boys, sometimes you need to know a brother just to get in, and when alcohol gets limited by the end of the night, they get more selective about which boys get the beer.

The houses are pretty small, because only six people live in them, the officers. Its a law in TN that if more than six girls live in a house, it is considered a brothel, so only six girls and boys live in the house. This makes greek life much less exclusive because all the greeks live mixed in with everyone else.

Also, since rush is deferred to second semester, you make friends with people that are not going to be in your sorority or frat. All my friends are going to end up in different sororities, therefore you have your friends and your sorority friends. I think it is a great, inclusive system that controls the party scene, however it doesn't control the options on campus. There are plenty of people who don't participate that are never bored.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Its My Reward – Tuesdays during the week and the weekends start on thursday. However, you can go out any night of the week though. The fraternities are great for an option, and then the nightlife downtown offers a variety and a lot of parties, something is always going on in Nashville and something is always going on at Vanderbilt.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Big City Options – There are so many places that you can walk to, and even more that you can drive to. And the variety is great. If you don't ever want to eat on campus, your not going to be disappointed by the off campus options. Vanderbilt is in a big city, we have big city options in a relatively close proximity to campus.

However, we are in the south, so sometimes its more of a southern feel.

Pancake Pantry has been featured on the travel channel, and its a great pancake place that always has a line out the door, and is walking distance.

You can always spot a celebrity at the starbucks on 21st, or Fido, which is walking distance from campus, since Music Row is only one block from campus.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Repetative, but Yummy – The commons dining room, which is the freshman dining hall is very good. The main campus dining hall isn't always open, so a lot of the upperclassmen will come to the commons to eat dinner, because it is so good. However, the menu repeats every week and can get a little repetitive. Although, I heard that the menu switches each semester which is good. Also, there are some special days where the dining service will do something different, they are very responsive to suggestions and easy to work with. They want to make the experience the best they can.

The options at the other dining hall are great, but it gets very crowded. Also, there are special events over there, like the holiday dinner, which was amazing this year.

Your Vandycard also works at off campus locations, not as a meal, but with meal money. Therefore, you can use money that is on your card and not out of your pocket at some great restaurants off campus.

The meal plan is a little confusing to deal with at first, however after a week or two, its easy to understand.

The diversity of on campus locations is great, there are two dining halls, a vegetarian place, two quiznos, a barbeque place, starbucks, and great cafes. If you don't want dining hall food, there are plenty of other places to go, and most off campus places you can walk to.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Some Places Need Improvement – Some places need improvement, like some of the upperclassmen dorms. However, the freshman campus is brand new and fantastic. The Commons Center is gorgeous and eco-friendly, and the dorm rooms are large for the most part and gorgeous as well. The student center and the dining hall on the main campus are the center, and they have little to complain about. There is a ballroom in the student life center and plenty of events are held there. I am very impressed with the hospitals. The only thing about the school buildings that I don't like is the Stevenson center. Some of the buildings are really nice, some seem a little older. Its also very confusing to navigate at first, however I have become really comfortable with it throughout the semester.

Not a lot needs to be updated, however, there are some places that need a finishing touch.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I've Called Them for a Ride. The Vanderbilt police are awesome. I lost my wallet at a club this past semester, and because I had no money for a cab, I called the Vanderbilt Police and they escorted me back to the club to look for it. They then filed a police report, and my door lock was changed that morning at five as I was sleeping because I had lost my key as well. However, I don't lock my door. To get into the building, you need a card access, and to get onto a hall key access is required as well. At certain times you are restricted from buildings and halls, therefore I feel completely secure. I haven't had anything stolen by another vanderbilt student and the police are always visible, therefore i feel secure, safe, and watched over. Plus, the security staff are really nice and I've had great conversations with them before about things that are irrelevant to their job.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Don't Get Down There as Much as I Want – I love nashville, however I have found myself stuck in the vanderbubble most weekends. Although, I know people who have seen a live show once a week for the whole semester, and the bars downtown are really fun to go to, I just can't seem to motivate myself because the parties on campus are so fun, and free. The local atmosphere is full of professionals, however there is some nashtrash. However, that comes with the honkytonks. However, if the country-thing isn't your scene, you can easily avoid it.
Safety isn't the best, but i've never felt endangered and Vanderbilt does a good job of warning students about whats happening off campus.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: One of a Kind – I found very few schools like Vanderbilt, and I don't think I would be as happy anywhere else.

Vanderbilt is a national arboretum in the middle of a major metropolitan area. Therefore, you have a beautiful, stereotypical college campus with a big-city feel. Also, the graduate schools, such as the medical school, are top rated. I always feel that I am at a very impressive place when I hear the medical helicopters transporting people to and from our impressive hospital and childrens hospital.

The freshman program is really special at such a large school. We have our own campus, a five minute walk to the other campus on the other side of the road, we also have a freshman program called VUcept, which is the group that you are with during orientation and meet with once a week with for the first semester. Its a really nice way to be introduced to the school and a good way to ask questions, for there is a faculty and student leader assigned to each group.

The athletics are division one, however the athletes are not isolated from the rest of the school. I have had classes with, and sit next to athletes at meals and such.

Finally, the party-hard, play-harder atmosphere. The party scene is great, I feel safe and secure on campus. The fraternities hold open parties, and I have a great time every weekend. The tailgates were always my favorite, and they are so good most of the students never end up going to the football games. However, when it comes time to study, the students do study. Its a really smart school, but full of kids who like to rage.

Its the best balance of city/school, party/work, extracurriculars/free time that I could ever imagine. Balance is truly the key word. Its a perfect number of students, not too big but not too small, its a global player, but you don't feel like you are a number. Vanderbilt is truly a unique and fantastic school.

4 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Diversity: The campus definitely seems more diverse than it used to be, and my class boasts the most diversity yet. I have never met so many people of different religions, and people are coming from all over. There is definitely an acceptance of racial minorities. Most people seem pretty wealthy, and if they are poor they don't really show it. However, I don't think there is any bias based on economic background. As a liberal, I feel like there is definitely a more conservative overtone around campus, and I tend to not speak out about being liberal. However, most of my friends are conservative and I have never felt that I was singled out because of my political beliefs nor excluded. The only problems I have seen is with sexual orientation. There are rumors of a fraternity for homosexual men being started next year, which I think is excellent, and most people do accept gay students. However, there are some fraternities that will discriminate against people of minorities being allowed in and such. I have a gay friend who is thinking of transferring because of the lack of other gay students on campus, so the social aspect is just not there for him. However, he doesn't feel as though he is persecuted, just excluded from a very small portion of the social life, maybe one or two frats.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: Satisfied So Far – Its only my first semester at Vanderbilt, but I have not been unsatisfied with my classes and professors. They all have offered office hours and so have the TAs. The only time a TA taught a class is when the discussion was relevant to his graduate thesis, so he was more knowledgeable than the professor about the subject. The teachers all seem very excited about teaching, and I have found even in my 130 person lecture I can still relate to the teacher and he can engage the whole class.

I found that ratemyprofessor.com was really helpful and pretty true and I used it extensively for chosing my classes both semseters.

However, I'm mostly in social sciences and I know friends in math classes have not been so successful or happy with their professors and TAs.


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Stambaugh House
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Christopher McDonald
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Any student beginning a college career will pass through the phase of questioning his or her decision. For Vanderbilt students, this phase is a short one. The beauty and excitement of campus quickly pushes away any negative thoughts. Southern hospitality is alive and strong around Vanderbilt, and for those out-of-towners, it’s usually a welcome surprise. Taking the time to meet new people, whether they are Southern natives or people from across the country, will make the transition from high school to college a lot smoother. Finding your niche at any college is the most important thing to having a successful four years. Vanderbilt is big enough to accommodate almost anyone’s desires and small enough to make this campus feel like home for the years you spend here. 

While Vanderbilt has a lot of positive qualities, it isn’t the best choice for everyone. Choosing Vanderbilt means choosing to be in a situation where name-brand clothes and high-end cars have a certain amount of importance. Most students come from white upper-class families, and while they may not all fit the stereotype of wealthy snobs, money is in abundance for most on campus. More than anything, however, choosing Vanderbilt means choosing an extremely difficult and intense academic institution. You will pull your share of all-nighters, sit through any number of obvious “weed-out courses,” stress out over harsh grading curve, and panic when professors refuse to move deadlines despite countless other exams and papers. But thankfully, Vanderbilt embodies a work-hard, play-hard lifestyle. The second you make it through the more hellacious periods of school, there will be countless opportunities to throw all cares aside and enjoy your time at Vanderbilt.

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