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Northwestern with Loans or Vanderbilt with merit $?

leadfooterleadfooter 63 replies7 threads Junior Member
edited May 2006 in Parents Forum
Tough decision and down to the wire! Interested in pre-med possibly with lots of performing arts involvement. Also want a social college experience (non-drinking variety). Anyone have advice between these 2 schools? Don't want to be locked into living in one area upon graduation - are connections etc. negligible? Academic reputation significantly better at one? Can anyone speak to the student climate - cut throat vs. supportive? How about the wealth of the student body at Vandy - is this a big issue in terms of "fitting in"?

Thanks for any insight - feeling quite conflicted!
edited May 2006
10 replies
Post edited by leadfooter on
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Replies to: Northwestern with Loans or Vanderbilt with merit $?

  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 threads Senior Member
    Read up the posts from Evil Robot in the archives. He was accepted early at Yale but ended up going to Vandy because of better finaid. He is very happy at Vandy and not regretting not being at Yale.
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  • jmmomjmmom 8916 replies168 threads Senior Member
    One person's opinion: you will not be locking yourself into a geographic are upon graduation from either of these schools; both have excellent academic reputations (difference not significant imo). I know kids going to both, happy at both. Stereotypes be damned, the Vandy kids I know are not wealthy/preppy. I'm still waiting to find a cutthroat academic environment - not sure it really exists except in urban legend. I would think you could get what you want at either. Don't know how much of a loan burden you'd be taking on. What is your gut feeling?
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  • reasonabledadreasonabledad 847 replies38 threads Member
    With the limited info in the title, I'd say go to Vandy. Don't take on extra debt. These two schools are equivalent.
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  • momofthreemomofthree 1416 replies70 threads Senior Member
    As a Tennessean who went to Peabody (became part of Vandy the year I got my Master's) and having as a spouse one who attended Northwestern, I would say, Vandy. The medical field is fantastically well served there, and you would be able to have wonderful exposure to some of the best teaching in the country. Since medical school can be so high, it seems to make sense to go to a school where you are not going to be indebted to start with.
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  • myheartisinohiomyheartisinohio 360 replies15 threads Member
    Vandy hands down... I live in TN right now and there are quite a few wealthy kids at vandy but not all are rich.. also if u are a guy, the girls at vandy are AMAZING....
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  • Faline2Faline2 4208 replies40 threads Senior Member
    You can look up my posts on our devotion to Nashville as a great city in the under-rated central part of the USA. Spouse did Vandy Law and the hospital there is truly a place with a mission in a region of the USA..huge employer in Nashville, a city where the economy is quite lively on many fronts. Peabody takes great advantage of the many many places for student internships and service work for clinical practice all over Nashville, and is a point of pride in the community. Blair has a whole new venue augmented by HCA money that is lovely, and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra is building a new performance center on the river. Nashvillians are devoted to all forms of music.
    My college roommate got her performance and conducting degree at Northwestern and I used to visit her up there. Nashville's quality of life is much warmer and less expensive and much much more diverse than people realize. However, if you want to see the Chicago Symphony perform...well..stay in Chicago which is full of solo quality performers of every kind. If you want a life that is more general foundation and mixed academically and you want to be a participant as a performer, you will be surprised at how rich the cultural offerings are in Nashville and at how many interesting studio musicians teach at Blair. Chicago is a great urban center of culture, Nashville is fun and liveable and welcoming to newcomers.
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  • AlumotherAlumother 6109 replies130 threads Senior Member
    Hey, even out here in CA we say go Vanderbilt all the way if it's just a reputation thing.
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  • mmaahmmaah 908 replies36 threads Member
    I did grad work at Northwestern and never thought it seemed like a very nurturing or welcoming setting for undergrads. (Of course there are thousands of happy alumni who did their undergrad work so this is just one mom's impression.) What I do think might be relevant is that the theater/drama program is highly competetive--and the medical school is on a separate campus (downtown, not in Evanston). I'm not sure how easy it would be for an undergrad to get actively involved in both communities/cultures, just from a geographical/demographical perspective. There's always the option, I suppose, of undergrad at one and graduate work at the other...Good luck with the decision.
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  • ariesathenaariesathena 5072 replies16 threads Senior Member
    A thought from the grad student...

    If he's thinking of grad school, GO TO VANDY. Do not, please do not, think of higher education as being four years only. If med school is a consideration, realize that there is very little (if any) merit money or need-based aid available - those loans from Northwestern will be added into the med school loans. In four years, your family's obligation to pay for education (however it is distributed) will not end if there is grad school in the picture, especially medical, law, or business school.

    I cannot emphasize this enough. I don't know how much in loans it would be for NW, but please consider that those loans will just accrue interest during med school.

    By the way - it is not uncommon, at all, for the tuition alone (no fees, room, board, etc) at med school to be about $35,000 - $40,000 alone. Over four years. Do you really want to add in undergrad loans from that... just for a bit of reputation? We're not talking Northwestern and Slippery Rock here!
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  • cathymeecathymee 2350 replies34 threads Senior Member
    S's friend is finishing freshman year at Vandy.Jewish boy from NY suburb. He's so so happy. Not as preppy/rich as he was initially led to believe.Loves being in the South,loves the locale and facilities of the school.Loves not needing layers and layers of clothing all winter long.
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