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Vanderbilt vs Cornell

premed4premed4 Registered User Posts: 944 Member
edited August 2011 in Vanderbilt University
Both are great schools, but I am trying to decide which to do ED for. I am looking for a school that would be good in preparing me for Med school, but also allow me to have a social life, and be a relatively good party school.
Post edited by premed4 on

Replies to: Vanderbilt vs Cornell

  • kje4532kje4532 Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    im in the same situation as you! can someone help please?
  • barefootbarefoot Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    since they are pretty similar, i think it's down to the small features of each school. location, student body, sports, etc. i think those will push your decision to apply to just one ED.
  • silversparkles18silversparkles18 Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    Do you have to apply ED? Also, is financial aid a concern? Since you have two great schools, it might be better to go RD and see who gives you the better offer.
  • PancakedPancaked Registered User Posts: 3,355 Senior Member
    Cornell has a reputation for being more rigorous/stressful than Vanderbilt. On one hand, might provide you a better pre-med education. On the other hand...

    "How many Cornell students does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Two--One to change the lightbulb and one to crack under the pressure."

    Keep weather in mind too. Ithica is... Cold.
  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 4,601 Senior Member
    Southern schools minus Duke and Rice apparently (yes, I'm counting places like WF and high ranking public schools) tend to grade harder than most Ivies (including Cornell) and schools in the NE though, so I don't know how you measure academic rigor/stress. Cornell students seem to be doing better than Vandy students GPA wise and I thought Vandy students, stats. wise (not to claim that correlates too well w/college GPA) are the same or even a little better than Cornell.

    This indicates that it is likely Vandy is grading a tad harder than Cornell (note that Cornell's is only an estimate, they probably took the medians and chopped .1 off as mean is normally lower than median): National Trends in Grade Inflation, American Colleges and Universities

    Perhaps behavior can explain the difference (I doubt it). For example, it may be possible that Vandy is more of a party school and this affects grades (negatively), however, I'm just betting that the hearsay regarding the difference in academic rigor between two schools is not justified and is perhaps over-exaggerated. At an elite school, if you put students in a large science course meant to weed students out, unless the school super inflates (say curves to B+), the result is the same.....pain if you don't know how to study.

    As for pre-med education, that's hard to judge. Aren't both really good in biological science?This is a tough call. I would consider them very similar except the location and prestige factor I guess (as soon as you're an Ivy, it matters not that you are equivalent to a similar-lower ranking non-Ivy. Still an Ivy). Best to feel them out first via a visit (in which case, if I were the person, I would still choose Vandy. From the south, couldn't tolerate weather no matter how beautiful Cornell/Ithaca is).

    Yeah, just visit early enough if you can and try to find one to apply ED at as they are both very hard to get into.
  • kje4532kje4532 Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    bernie12- thanks for such a thorough answer. if they're so similar like everyone says, will the accpetance rates be similar also? does cornell consider certain things on an app higher than vandy? and vice versa?
  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 4,601 Senior Member
    Similarity doesn't determine the admit rate. The ability to market (we, Emory, fail in this dept.), get more apps, types of students applying, or capacity determines that. I for example, think UChicago is perhaps better academically than many top 20s, yet receives less apps. than most. Johns Hopkins is good and receives less apps. than most. We're fine and we receive signficantly less apps. than the other top 20s (then again, we're kind of different and not as prestigious as some). Rice also receives less. About all Ivy Leagues receive more than Duke and Duke is awesome and more selective than most. MIT only receives the amount of apps. as Emory and yet we know MIT is much better than us and most of the top 20, yet their admit rate is comparable to Vandy, Washu and Cornell (a little higher or the same). The applicant pool in that case is self-selected as is most engineering schools and places like UChicago (though Chicago's new admission scheme may change the "niche"/intellectual applicant pool focus some).

    Admit rates depend on how many apps+how much schools think they'll yield. If they think they can raise or maintain yield, they'll accept less (if only slightly) students. That compounded w/more apps. makes the percentages low (and perhaps makes selectivity look more intense than what it actually is. Like if a school receives 3-4k more apps. and merely accepts 30-100 less than the year before, the impact is profound). And yes, currently, Vanderbilt's admit rate is catching Cornell's, however, that doesn't mean your chances are significantly less for getting into either (Vandy, accepted only 85 less than the year before, and I don't think that includes waitlist. Vandy's admit rate is moreso explained by increased interest, same w/Cornell). I think the trickier thing about Cornell is that they actually require two SAT subject tests whereas Vandy encourages you to submit them if you want to. Also, I'm thinking some students must interview for Cornell.

    Don't look blindly at admit rates, that's silly. For all we know, increased interest could be among those who normally believe they have no chance of admission and view admission as a crapshoot (or among those really afraid they won't get in somewhere else), so say:"Heck why not just send and ap." See if you fit in last years "admitted" middle-50 if this is published. Most schools admit higher than they yield, so you'll want to be close or w/in that area. If only enrolled stats. show, then you want at least the smack-dab middle of those. Also, use common data for that (enrolled stats. That way it gives you an idea of who they yield, and gives you hope on who is also accepted. You'll find that many people fell far below the admitted 25% percentile so that the 25% of enrolled falls upwards to 70-120 points below admitted students. Normally 75% is about 10-50 points off at some schools), not admission websites for enrolled SAT/GPA data. Many admission websites show admitted students which is often a very, very scary range.

    * Anyway, if you fit in or near (even if falling in the 25%, especially if about 20-30 points from it) it, give it a shot if you like the school.
This discussion has been closed.