right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Will I get into Vanderbilt University? What can I do to help me get in?

pineapple426pineapple426 0 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hello! I'm a high school sophomore studying at a STEM magnet school in Northern Virginia. My dream college is Vanderbilt University, where I want to study biochemistry and creative writing. My weighted GPA is 4.06 (I don't know what it is unweighted), and my PSAT score from last year was in the upper 1300's.
This is what my course history will look like when I graduate high school:
Freshman year: Honors English 9, Design and Tech, Honors Biology, Honors Statistics 1 (sem), Honors Algebra 2 (sem), Spanish 2, PE 9, Journalism 1
Sophomore year: Honors English 10, Honors World History 2, Honors Chemistry, Honors Trigonometry (sem), Honors Precalculus (sem), Spanish 3, Honors Computer Science, Honors History of Science
Junior year: Honors English 11, AP US History, Honors Physics 1, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Spanish Language and Culture, Honors DNA Science 1 (sem), Honors Statistics 2 (sem, AP credit)
Senior year: AP English Language and Composition, AP US Government, Honors Geosystems, Multivariable Calculus (sem, college credit), Linear Algebra (sem, college credit), AP Biology, Honors Biotech Senior Research Lab, Honors Bionanotechnology (sem), Intro to Organic Chemistry (sem, college credit)
As far as extracurriculars go, I was in newspaper, quizbowl, and creative writing club last year. I'm dropping quizbowl, continuing newspaper and creative writing club, and starting to do literary magazine and chemistry team this year. I've written a book and am currently writing a second in my free time. My plans for next summer are to become a teen volunteer at the Museum of Natural History and to take a college credit course at UMD College Park.
If I continue getting good grades, being involved in these extracurriculars, and doing things like the ones I listed above with my summers, will I get into Vanderbilt? What can I do to make myself a more attractive applicant for Vanderbilt or just overall? Am I on the right track? Thanks!
4 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Will I get into Vanderbilt University? What can I do to help me get in?

  • Faline2Faline2 4208 replies40 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    one of the first things you need to do is make an Excel chart and start connecting colleges with costs. If your family can afford private pay full price, you have a luxury that few high school kids enjoy. With Virginia's excellent public colleges, you should always have a plan to attend one of your state schools that is realistic. (Some Virginia state schools allow in near 40% of out of state students with top scores who are often full private pay.) This OOS factor complicates (unfairly! to state taxpayers) admission for our fine in-state students who are often unsuccessful at getting seats in the freshman classes of UVA, VA TECH and James Madison. VA TECH famously overenrolled this year by a huge margin and is putting up students in triples in the Holiday Inn Express. (they messed up their algorithms!) Pull up what is called the "Common Data Set" in the search menu of every college and get a quick look at the number of applicants and their stats vs the number admitted vs the number who deposited and enrolled (yield). Vanderbilt is a reach college for students with top stats due to receiving 30 thousandish applicants for 1600ish seats. Build a list of colleges based on costs you can afford if admitted, and based on level of difficulty for admission compared to your stats. Understand the differences between words like Blind Admissions and No Loan financial aid vs. variations on admissions. Understand the differences in Early Decision and Early Action. Understand that private schools like Vanderbilt require that you fill out extensive forms on your personal holdings, land and assets along with the usual FAFSA. Once you grasp this playing field and you get a sense of your parental financial support, you can make a shrewd plan for "safety schools" for your admission and throw in your reach colleges. Your PSAT is fine but you would have to up your performance considerably for schools like Vandy or UVA. Get the red book of ACTS and the Real SATs and see which of these exams suit you better and work it at home with timed tests. Mastering the exam structure is part of the challenge. Once you feel you have reached your best standardized testing, quit!
    and be your best self and focus in essays and a smart college list. Neat that you are writing. I hear that true writers....write! Best wishes~!
    · Reply · Share
  • northwestynorthwesty 3445 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 20
    1. Max out your standardized test scores. Vandy digs high test scores -- a lot. So figure out if you are a better SAT kid vs. an ACT kid before the end of junior year. Then seriously prep/cram for the preferred test over the summer, and hope to hit your max score in August/September of your senior year.

    2. Apply early decision.

    3. Make sure your parents are on board with the $$$. UVA, VT and WM in-state are among the best price/value propositions that exist in U.S. higher ed. Vandy has great financial aid, but it is hard to compete with your in-state VA options. There's a reason why so many of your high school (TJ by any chance?) classmates end up staying in-state.

    Good luck!

    edited August 20
    · Reply · Share
  • BearCommodoreBearCommodore 7 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    UVA and VA tech are great choices for you and your family financially. Why is Vanderbilt your top choice (for Biochemistry)? Are you planning to go to medical/pharmacy/dental school? It is difficult to find a job with an undergraduate Biochemistry major if you are not in a biotech hub (speaking from experience). Also, there is no biotech hub in Nashville for life sciences majors. If you want to leave VA, then take a look at IUPUI and, with high test scores, UNC and Duke.
    · Reply · Share
  • HamurtleHamurtle 2445 replies32 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 5
    Based on the projected class schedule, OP likely goes to TJ. And that weighted GPA does seem low for TJ. And what is the breakdown on the PSAT 9/10?

    It is kind of early to try to project what college to attend at this point. Writing a book won’t get much of an impression if it is unpublished by published by a vanity publisher. It would be more impressive if a legitimate national publisher decided it was a work worthy of publication.

    Wait until junior year when you have more substantive achievements to ask your questions. Sophomore year is too early for anyone to give you a chance based on projected class schedule/ECs.
    edited September 5
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity