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I was there, and had a blast. I could write in a narrative everything that happened and what I thought, but I will just list pros and cons below:
The students - the students all went out of their way to talk to me and tell me their own story about how they ended up at Vandy. I was very impressed by the Ambassador program (the program where students can stay with hosts, etc.) and it showed that the students loved the school enough to take an interest in who follows them to Vandy. Everyone was intelligent, friendly, and definitely not lame or ueber-competitive.
Career services - I met several of the CSO people, and they were all fantastic. Becuase of Vandy's size, they know EVERYONE and are in a much better position to give personal advice. They stressed that while Texas's CSO may be designed to funnel people to Dallas, Houston, and NYC; Duke's to NYC and DC; Cornell's to NYC; they are designed to get you anywhere you want to go, be it NYC or Tulsa.
Bar review - I went out with the students on Thursday night and had an absolute blast.
Academic/special programs - these programs (Trial Advocacy, Clinical, Law and Business, and International programs) were something that I didn't know a lot about before I visited, but I left very impressed. The dean's and faculty's vision in creating these programs and their plans to create and improve others was probably what most surprised me this weekend. I definitely feel that if I were to have a degree from Vandy, that the value of that degree will definitely increase in the coming years.
Vandy candy - If you care about girls, Vandy is definitely the place to be. I would say they rival Ole Miss for the best in the SEC. There were also a surprising number of attractive girls in the law school too. And for the ladies, I have to say there were a large number of objectively attractive males around as well. Also, the male students have mixers with the Vandy sororities. To each his own, but I personally like the idea.
Nashville - Nashville is a lot cooler that I expected it would be. There are a million bars in the Vandy area alone, and each of them has something cool to offer. If you are in to going out, you definitely won't be bored. If you are in to cultural stuff, I would say the only city in the south with more to offer than Nashville would be Atlanta. There are also a lot of housing options: cheap, expensive, apartment, condo, house, walking distance, short commute, etc.
Vandy campus - I have to say I was a little disappointed in the campus. It looks a lot like UT Knoxville, which isn't a compliment. However, in Vandy's defense, the student-led tours took us to the uglier part of the campus. If you want to see pretty buildings and quads, go to the Peabody part of the campus. Also, the weather was kind of crappy, too, so that didn't make it look nice either.
The Law Building - The law building is really nice on the inside, but looks like my elementary school from every side except the front. I guess that shouldn't really matter, since you will be IN the law building as opposed to looking at it from outside.
Incoming students - I have to say that I wasn't too impressed with many of the admitted students. There were definitely some cool, smart people, but there were some tools too. I guess that will happen everywhere though, and there was this one girl in particular who colored my perception negatively, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
Again, I have to say that I left very impressed. I went in with high expecations of the student atmosphere, and was not disappointed. I went in with low expectations of their academic programs, and left VERY impressed. I know some people went in concerned about how "national" Vandy is, and I think this weekend did a good job of silencing those fears as well. Perhaps most importantly, I arrived somewhat concerned about how much a Vanderbilt degree would be worth in the coming years as compared to T14 degrees, and my fears were certainly allayed. I have several good choices (including some T14), but I think I will probably be at Vanderbilt this fall.
I'm flying to NYC this week to attend my first admitted students event. My husband is coming with me and I'd like his feedback on the schools I visit. Would it be weird if I brought him to the admitted students events? Or should we just take a quick tour together before the official receptions and then have him go on his merry way? I asked the school about bringing him and got a vague response.
Any thoughts? Thank you!
Vandy originally offered 10K/yr in merit $$, I sent them other offers from W&L & WUSTL that had cost of attendance at about 10K/year, and they said that would match that with an additional 5K/yr NEED $$, that isn't reflected in the Need-based package they will send out this week...which is very strange since I did NOT do need access. I'm disappointed...15k/yr makes tuition alone 18k/yr.
Oh yeah... I'm assuming everyone got the cases to read for the mock class... homework already!