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Should I Transfer to Vanderbilt?

transferguyyytransferguyyy 17 replies5 postsRegistered User Junior Member
I am currently at a T20 liberal arts school. I decided that I wanted to transfer after the first semester because the school was small, I was not having much fun, and I felt that I could be at a more challenging school. However, I ended up making some pretty good friends at my current college and having a pretty good time. I still think that I may enjoy a bigger and better school like Vanderbilt more, especially since it is in a great location like Nashville. I guess I'm just worried that it may be difficult transferring to a new college and I was not sure if it is worth it or not.
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Replies to: Should I Transfer to Vanderbilt?

  • PublisherPublisher 7613 replies79 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Depends upon your major & on your career goals as well as your current school & activities at your current school. In short, not enough information is given in order to offer meaningful advice.
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  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 155 replies6 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    What’s your current school?
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  • bernie12bernie12 5429 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 14
    I am with @Publisher on this:
    "... I may enjoy a bigger and better school like Vanderbilt more" To make an informed decision and to get better advice, the latter half of this assumption needs to go. Just because a school is more well-known/prestigious does not mean it is "better" FOR YOU, and damned sure doesn't ensure it is stronger academically in your areas of interest. Do not let things like ranking/prestige fool you. Lots of the top 30 or so research universities are more statistically selective and are better known than the top 5-10 LACs, yet the level and style of academics may be better at a lot of those LACs as well as those ranked below this very top tier of LACs. Never make assumption about academic differences between your school and the one you will transfer to (especially if coming from a well-ranked LAC). Unfortunately, you may end up quite surprised that you sometimes find the opposite.

    And some of it comes from the increased size: Often larger section sizes and increased enrollment will not yield the most intellectual challenge possible (instructors may want to provide a certain level of challenge, but also don't want to overly burden themselves and TAs with grading of really complex work and exams in larger classes.), depending on how you define that. I define it as amount of work, and how cognitively complex the work/assignments and assessments are. and larger class sizes often do not correlate well with any of that. Trust me when I say that most faculty aren't asking what the rank of the school is and the median SAT/ACT of the cohort they are teaching is when determining the design of their course (perhaps a few faculty interested in teaching innovation may consider the general level of the student body when considering these things, but a top 20 LAC is going to have mostly high achievers like top 20-30 research universities). If they did, they would change every 3-5 years or so, and it just doesn't happen.

    edited June 14
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  • transferguyyytransferguyyy 17 replies5 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I am trying to double major in economics and mathematics. I want to ultimately go into investment banking. I’m currently at a top 20 LAC in a very rural areal. I just feel that I would be better off in a city. I also was not sure if Vanderbilt May provide more opportunities for investment banking
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  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 155 replies6 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Again, it really depends on the specific LAC. Some LACs are great for investment banking while others are not. Naming the LAC you’re going to right now would be helpful.
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  • bernie12bernie12 5429 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 15
    @transferguyyy : Nah, the rankings to WS feeders are inconclusive on that and I suspect that they would also correlate some with if you considered say other good firms and boutique firms. It seems to correlate more with which schools are having insane amounts of students throw applications at IBs on WS and elsewhere. Here, take a look, there is also a spreadsheet with the real data and there are some surprises. Certain locations (like UVa being in Charlottesville. Wanna go to BYU in Provo, Utah? Michigan is Ann Arbor..and they are killing it!) are not inhibiting students from whatever opportunities or recruitment). There is also not a complete correlation with rank, "selectivity", nor prestige (and even if there was, it may just be that students who chased prestige or were more concerned about it when selecting an undergrad. institution are more likely to continue chasing it. Some schools will have more of those types of students than others).

    Interest/application levels to IBs correlates with success in landing them. Based upon these rankings, I would say just stay or get somewhere, do well in the courses, and start applying to internships. Being at 'bigger and better" schools isn't necessarily going to help you. If you wanna go elsewhere for other reasons, do as you please. Just don't go under the illusion that simply being there in the new location/school is specifically going to enhance YOUR chances of landing these positions. Again, there may just simply be more people interested in IB at these(and schools ranked right below them) than usual. Other schools may be more consulting heavy, or students may have other goals on average altogether.

    Here is P&Q's most recent update to its WS feeder school ranking: https://poetsandquantsforundergrads.com/2018/05/21/top-feeder-schools-to-wall-street/

    To me, it just puts into question into what makes a feeder school other than having lots of students who want to be fed to them.
    edited June 15
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  • transferguyyytransferguyyy 17 replies5 postsRegistered User Junior Member
  • bernie12bernie12 5429 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 16
    @transferguyyy : Is Colgate the place you were referring to when you said "I felt unchallenged" or did you transfer to it? I hate to say it, but you are likely in a pretty good academic position now (as in, if I was worried about consistent academic quality, there are only perhaps a few research universities I would consider in your areas for an "upgrade" and they are the ones with smaller than average undergraduate enrollment and the ones that don't hardly allow any transfers). Colgate isn't going to hinder you. I just imagine that it doesn't have as many people interested in your path which makes sense. Again, if you want larger size and "more fun", that is on you. I am sure that you can make IB or whatever happen from there while also receiving great academic/intellectual development (but you may not value that as much, and that is fine. A lot of students don't, even good ones that do at least care about their performance). It was sort of unfair to criticize the first year experience as it is possible that you weren't even enrolled in courses meant to be that challenging (again, some divisions are less likely to have particularly challenging 100 level survey courses). Again, as long as you aren't holding top research universities up on some undergraduate academics pedestal, you can probably make a better decision.
    edited June 16
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  • PublisherPublisher 7613 replies79 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Your current school, Colgate University, has approximately 2,900 undergraduates while Vanderbilt University has roughly 6,800 undergrad students (90% of whom live on campus) and thousands of graduate students.

    Both schools have high fraternity & sorority participation.

    Vanderbilt has a much more diverse student body than does Colgate.

    Both are excellent for economics majors.

    Based on the fact that you find 2,900 student Colgate too small & too rural, you should give Vanderbilt strong consideration due to a larger, more diverse student body located in a city.
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  • bloomfield88bloomfield88 104 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @transferguyyy
    Did you decide to stay at Colgate or transfer to Vanderbilt?
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