There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges, including this week’s School Spotlight, Vanderbilt University. Named after its original benefactor, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt is a major research university with outstanding undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences, engineering, education, and music. The majority of the University’s 6,900 undergrads are enrolled in the College of Arts & Science pursuing majors in everything from Communication of Science & Technology to Public Policy Studies. But students interested in fields such as biomedical engineering, child development, and music composition will find a home at the University, too. All students, regardless of their major, can apply for VUSRP, the University-wide undergraduate research program that places students with faculty mentors for 10 weeks each summer. Summer research at Vanderbilt is a full-time commitment, and participating students will earn a $5,000 stipend! Located just outside of Nashville’s downtown, Vanderbilt boasts a busy on-campus social scene. Next month alone, students can cheer on Commodores basketball as they take on the Southern Methodist University Mustangs and the Florida Gators, enjoy performances of music, dance and art at the January cultural series, participate in a 30-minute meditation sponsored by the Center for Student Wellbeing, volunteer at the MLK Joint Day of Service with Tennessee State University, and attend a seminar on designer genes through Vanderbilt’s Center for the Humanities.

Written by Erica Braley