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6th to 10th Grade Students

Students on The Ingram Commons

Preparing for the Future

It's never too early to begin thinking about and preparing for college, especially if your sights are set on a top-tier school like Vanderbilt. In the years leading up to your college search process, be sure to take full advantage of academic and extracurricular opportunities available in your school and wider community. Use these years to explore all kinds of interests and to challenge yourself academically and otherwise. As you prepare to apply to colleges, these experiences will help you determine the schools that represent the right "fit" for your particular interests, and your proven and sustained curiosity could be beneficial to you in the application process.

When planning your high school curriculum, know that selective colleges and universities seek students who are intellectually curious, having challenged themselves with the most rigorous courses offered at their high schools. Ideally, your schedule should also allow for a variety of non-academic pursuits, such as athletics, community service, part time work, academic clubs, research, the arts, and more. Students should use the years prior to the college search process to explore who they are and where there particular passions and talents reside, a process that can only occur by trying a wide array of activities and pursuits.

Helpful Links

Use the links below to dive deeper into the unique balance of academics and social life offered at Vanderbilt, information on pre-college programs, campus and virtual tour visit opportunities, our hometown of Nashville, and more.