Vanderbilt or Middlebury?

<p>I have been given a choice: Vanderbilt University or Middlebury College. While I knew a choice between one and another college I like more would be much easier, I have been forced to choice between the two. </p>

<p>Vanderbilt definitely has the better social life, girls and climate while Middlebury has more weight given during graduate school admissions, especially business school. </p>

<p>What are your opinions?</p>

<p>What makes you think Middlebury will give you an edge for graduate school?</p>

<p>One is a university; one is a liberal arts college. One is in a pretty large city, and near the downtown; one is in a small rural town.</p>

<p>You should choose the one you want to spend four years at. Both will get good students into graduate school.</p>

<p>These are very different environments. Have you visited? Are you interested in Greek life? An incredible athletic scene? Great music (especially Country)?</p>

<p>They will both get you into good grad schools if you do well. Middlebury doesn't have a remarkable edge in that regards.</p>

<p>Do you want a small LAC in a Vermont town where there are more cows than people, or a university known for its Greek scene. in a fairly happening Southern town?</p>

<p>Both schools are phenomenal, and you'd get a great education at both. Now, putting education aside, where would YOU rather be? A student at a large (perhaps more prestigious to the common man) university, or a member of a community at Middlebury where the prof will be more likely to know your name?</p>

<p>From what I've read (Want</a> to Go to Harvard Law), (<a href="http://www.wsjclassroomedition.com/pdfs/wsj_college_092503.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.wsjclassroomedition.com/pdfs/wsj_college_092503.pdf&lt;/a&gt;) and heard from some professors, the undergraduate-focus given at LACs is looked strongly upon by graduate admissions offices. </p>

<p>The social aspect is very important though. Vanderbilt clearly leads in that category.</p>

<p>I guess this is the "tyranny of choice" I've heard so much about. Thanks for the posts.</p>

<p>As a Vanderbilt student from Vermont, I am familiar with both schools.</p>

<p>If you are planning on being a pre-med, I would shy away from Vanderbilt. I don't know how rigorous the pre-med path is at Middlebury, but the one at Vanderbilt is extremely difficult. </p>

<p>I would definitely say Middlebury has more student intellectualism. </p>

<p>I wouldn't necessarily say Vanderbilt has the better social life (unless you consider a heavily Greek dominated campus "better"). Maybe just more options in Nashville as opposed to the options in rural Middlebury. Burlington, Vermont, the nearest city, is an hour away, so a city is definitely a whiles away.</p>

<p>The two schools are very very different. If you are concerned with your grad school prospects, don't be. Both schools are reputable, and your choice should ultimately come down to fit. Good luck!</p>

<p>Could two schools be any different? One is in a quaint New England town, the other in a large Southern city. One is a residential college with an intimate atmosphere, the other a large university with a substantial frat scene. </p>

<p>I'm biased, but I think Middlebury has a better reputation when it comes to elite grad school admissions. Vanderbilt will have more name recognition among the general population. </p>

<p>Perhaps the most important question you should ask yourself is what you want to do after graduation, and where you want to do it. You mention b-school. Middlebury will open more doors for you in the Northeast, and Vanderbilt will open more doors in the South. If you hope to live in Boston or New York after graduation, Middlebury might be better. If you want to live in Atlanta or another large Southern city, than Vanderbilt might be the better choice.</p>

<p>Middlebury is definitely more prestigious.</p>

<p>
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Originally Posted by MSteve
while Middlebury has more weight given during graduate school admissions

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<p>
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Absolutely untrue. Anyone who says otherwise is biased or deluded.

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<p>That's not what I hear from some insiders in b-school admissions offices. But since I can't name names or provide proof, you can take what you'd like from my comment.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I've never understood Middlebury's appeal with Dartmouth just around the corner, but obviously others disagree.

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<p>You torpedoed what cred you had with a statement like that. They're two completely different schools with distinct personalities, student bodies, and learning environments.</p>

<p>Re the statement,</p>

<p>
[quote]
Middlebury is definitely more prestigious.

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</p>

<p>this is definitely true among people in the NE who send their children to schools similar to Middlebury (cough, cough like Swarthmore). :rolleyes:</p>

<p>The reality for most others is that neither has a clear prestige advantage, especially outside of their home regions. Due to size and scope and athletics, Vanderbilt nationally has a better known name and is widely known as one of the top 3 schools in the South. In the South, its prestige and brand value would be lightyears ahead of Middlebury.</p>

<p>By contrast, Middlebury is not nearly as well known outside of its realm (LACs and geographic) and might struggle to even be considered in the top dozen colleges in its region (eg, vs. the 8 Ivies and AWS). I don't think it matters as I still think Middlebury is a high quality place with excellent students and a wonderful learning environment, but statements like the above reflect a very parochial and ill-informed view of Middlebury's (and Vanderbilt's) place on a national scale. </p>

<p>As others have posted, both can be exceptional choices and both can get any student wherever he or she wants to go, but these are very different environments and visits to each are strongly recommended.</p>

<p>several off-base comments above:</p>

<p>1) Vanderbilt is a Large University vs. Middlebury an LAC --
Actually, Vanderbilt occupies a middle ground. Vanderbilt has roughly 6,500 undergraduate, 5,500 graduate, for a total of 12,000 students. Compare to truly Large Universities like Berkeley (25,000 undergrad, 10,000 grad, 35,000 total) or Michigan (26,000 undergrad, 16,000 grad, 42,000 total), or even medium universities like Harvard (6,700 undergrad, 12,500 grad = 19,000 total), and you will see Vanderbilt is a rather SMALL University.</p>

<p>2) Middlebury will better prepare for grad school.
I don't see anywhere that Middlebury, or Pomona, or Bowdoin will better prepare a student for grad school than Vanderbilt, Emory, Rice, Hopkins, Cornell, or other similarly ranked Universities with similarly statted students.
It is undoubtedly true that a higher % of the WASWMPB LAC students in fact go on to earn Ph.D. degrees, but this is more a factor of a higher average family income that LAC students have access to, than any educational pedegogy employed at LACs vs the smallish Universities I referenced above that possess a similar academic rank to Middlebury.</p>

<p>Prestige: well, this is a more difficult issue to resolve. I put the trio of Amherst, Williams and Swarthmore on a par with Chicago, Penn, Columbia, Brown, Cornell. Next you've got WashU, Northwestern, Hopkins, Rice, Emory, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame. So where do Middlebury, Pomona, Bowdoin, Carleton fit in my two groupings? In the first group? In the second? In the middle? And notice they are MY GROUPINGS, as that's the beauty of prestige, it is found only in the eye of the beholder.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Vanderbilt is a Large University vs. Middlebury an LAC

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<p>We're comparing Vanderbilt University to Middlebury College in this thread. For comparison purposes, Vanderbilt University, with 12,000 students, is a large university. Middlebury College, with 2,400 students, is a smaller LAC. No one is comparing Vanderbilt to Berkeley or Michigan. </p>

<p>As for elite grad school admissions, love it or hate it, one of the better analysis out there was done by the Wall Street Journal several years ago. It's outdated at this point and had a very narrow focus, but it's worth noting that Middlebury did well in this survey, while Vanderbilt didn't crack the top 50.</p>

<p>The list: <a href="http://wsjclassroom.com/pdfs/wsj_college_092503.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://wsjclassroom.com/pdfs/wsj_college_092503.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>The explanation: The</a> Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition</p>

<p>you missed my point arcadia -- obviously I didn't communicate it well. </p>

<p>ds143 framed it as:</p>

<p>Vanderbilt, a "large (...) University", vs. Middlebury, an LAC where professors know you.</p>

<p>My point is that Vanderbilt occupies a middle ground, occupied by SMALL Universities, a size at which professors still have a good chance of getting to know the student.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I wouldn't necessarily say Vanderbilt has the better social life (unless you consider a heavily Greek dominated campus "better").

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<p>For me, the social life edge would definitely be Middlebury. I'd choose intimacy over frat parties any day. But if the OP says that Vandy has the better social scene, that's his call.</p>

<p>There's a lot more to Vanderbilt social life than frat parties, although there are plenty of them! There is all that goes with SEC sports, an incredible music scene and tons of restaurants and clubs.</p>

<p>gadad, </p>

<p>I know you know there is more to Vanderbilt than fraternity parties. </p>

<p>I get more than a little tired of saying this, but I'll cough it up again: my son loves Vanderbilt and Nashville, turned down one of those "uber-intellectual" schools for Vandy, and has never regretted his decision to attend for one minute. He does not belong to a fraternity, and while he may attend some of their campus-wide functions such as concerts, he is most definitely not dependent on the Greek part of Vanderbilt for his entertainment. He is a very sociable guy, with a lot of friends who also do not belong to fraternities, and a beautiful girlfriend who does not belong to a sorority.</p>

<p>While Middlebury is a small school, and one might wish to be careful about fitting into a prevailing stereotype, Vanderbilt is a medium-sized university with room for a lot of different kinds of students. As long as they are not snooty stick-in-the mud types, that is.</p>

<p>
[quote]
For comparison purposes, Vanderbilt University, with 12,000 students, is a large university. Middlebury College, with 2,400 students, is a smaller LAC.

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<p>Comparing the undergraduate school sizes, Vanderbilt does NOT have 12,000 students. 12k would include all the graduate schools. The size of Vandy's undergrad is about half that. In addition, if Midd has over 2k students, that would make it a larger LAC considering other LACs like Amherst and Swarthmore have around 1.5k students.</p>

<p>I'm not sure where people saying Middlebury is much more prestigious than Vanderbilt are coming from. Vanderbilt IMO has much more reputation because it's a major research institution and has athletics. I don't think that just because Midd is a LAC that it will give you a significant edge in graduate school admissions than Vanderbilt.</p>

<p>You may also want to take a look at the PR rankings to see how the students themselves rate their experience. </p>

<p>For Vanderbilt:
Rank List </p>

<h1>18 - Little Race/Class Interaction</h1>

<h1>6 - Major Frat and Sorority Scene</h1>

<h1>17 - School Runs Like Butter</h1>

<p>For Middlebury:
Rank List </p>

<h1>2 - Most Popular Study Abroad Program</h1>

<h1>14 - Best Campus Food</h1>

<h1>14 - Best Career Services</h1>

<h1>4 - Professors Get High Marks</h1>

<h1>2 - School Runs Like Butter</h1>

<h1>6 - Students Study the Most</h1>

<h1>10 - Best Classroom Experience</h1>

<h1>6 - Best Quality of Life</h1>

<h1>19 - Best Athletic Facilities</h1>