Vanderbilt University

class=”MsoNormal”>What do you think of recent decisions by Smith & Wake Forest to eliminate the SAT and how likely is that at your institution?

Right now our position is that we will continue with our SAT score requirement because the way we use it, it is one of many variables and it’s a factor that helps us in normalization from area to area where grades and GPA are more specific to that high school.

How does your institution attract minority students? What is it doing to improve diversity efforts?

There is a whole host of things that we have. For all students we’re one of the handful of the schools in the country that are 100% need blind and meet all need. We have a whole host of outreach programs, publications, events and seminars, things on campus that bring the students all the way through campus. Twenty-five percent of our undergraduate population is students of color and African American and Hispanic have been the fastest growing of that population

Once students are enrolled, what benefits will they receive by being at your school and not its competitors?

Some of the biggest benefits are the focus they will receive being at one of the top institutions in the United States, one of the top research institutions, but having such a strong undergraduate program. We bring in over 400 million dollars in our research enterprise and that amount of research is sometimes at the cost of undergraduate but that here is first and foremost. We have a new commitment to the freshmen commons of $150 million and it’s just for entering freshmen. Approximately 1,550 that will live there with faculty members and their families, it’s a whole 24/7 learning experience. The entire class is in a new complex of 10 houses. There’s a new dean of the commons, he lives right there and each of the halls have faculty their families in addition to RAs. Really trying to make our educational experience not [just] inside of the classroom but a full experience.

What are parents and students overlooking when they prepare and apply for college?

At times they get caught up in the prestige or ranking of an institution instead of the best fit. Where are they going to be most successful? A lot of times parents and students get caught up in things that maybe there’s not one right institution there are so many good colleges in the United States. They spend more time figuring out how to get in than really understanding if that’s where they want to go.

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