Vanderbilt Road Warriors
You’ve heard us say it before, and I promise you’ll hear it again – the students who apply to Vanderbilt are growing more numerous and more qualified with every passing year. In the last 5 years our application numbers have more than doubled, our admitted student testing ranges have steadily increased, and we continue to see incredible amounts of involvement and leadership among our applicants.
How is this happening? Have the teenagers of the world suddenly gotten smarter? Has there been an unprecedented boom in high school seniors wanting to become country stars? Did everyone go out and see The Last Song and decide to devote their lives to stalking Liam Hemsworth? (Sorry girls, he’s not actually here.)
All perfectly viable ideas, but we think a lot of the growth stems from our office’s approach to admissions. We believe that any of the world’s high-achieving students can find a home at Vanderbilt, and it is our job to go out and find each and every one of them. If you think our football coaches are the only ones who recruit for our university, you are sadly mistaken.
Last fall, our 28 admissions counselors completed 197 trips to cities, states, and countries all over the world, attending college fairs, visiting high schools, talking to counselors, holding information sessions, and doing our best to get the word out about Vanderbilt to anyone who wanted to hear. We went from Nashville to San Francisco, from Europe to the Far East, and everywhere in between – all in search of future Commodores.
In the world of high volume, highly selective admissions, our travel-happy recruitment philosophy is somewhat rare, but it won’t be going away any time soon. In order to accommodate the significant increase in interested students, we put eight new counselors on the road this year, including our regional counselor Jan Deike, who is permanently stationed in NYC.
We’re now over halfway through reading season and the many weeks of travel look to have paid off. Our Early Decision application pool has once again proven to be the largest and most competitive in the university’s history, and our Regular Decision applications are looking just as strong.
Last week we celebrated the closing of another successful travel season with the second annual Travel Awards. First-year counselor Alexandria Lovelace had the most airplane takeoffs and landings, while Dean Christiansen flew the most miles. Ben Gatlin hosted the largest domestic high school visit, and John Nesbitt was caught in the most school fire drills.
If you’re wondering, I won “Most Likely to Almost Meet Mark Cuban and Almost Touch the Mavericks’ Championship Trophy.” Thanks, anonymous Dallas high school. You know who you are.
While the bulk of our travel occurs between August and November every year, most counselors will be making a stop or two in their territories during the spring, so look out for college fairs and events coming to your area in the coming months.
Hope to see you soon!