Vanderbilt posted a 9.0 percent acceptance rate for regular decision applicants of the Class of 2024, marking the highest regular decision admit rate in the past four years.
The uptick in Vanderbilt’s regular decision acceptance rate was driven in part by a 39 percent rise in the number of admitted students, from 2,088 to 2,907 admits. There was also a concurrent decrease of 591 applications from last year, from 32,967 to 32,376 applications
This year’s increase broke a four-year decline in Vanderbilt’s regular decision admit rate, which had steadily fallen from 8.8 percent for the Class of 2020 to 6.3 percent for the Class of 2023.
Nonetheless, the regular decision admitted Class of 2024 presented the highest test scores of any of the previous four regular decision classes. This year’s ACT middle 50 percent ranged from 34 to 36, an increase from last year’s range of 33 to 36. Additionally, the SAT middle 50 percent for Reading and Writing rose from 730-780 to 740-780. The SAT middle 50 percent for Math did not change from last year. Vanderbilt’s decision to begin superscoring the ACT may have played a role in these changes.
Vanderbilt joined several peer institutions who saw an increase in their acceptance rates. Harvard University, Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University all posted higher admit rates than those seen for last year’s regular decision class.
The Wall Street Journal suggested that the rise in admit rates among several universities resulted from the enrollment certainties imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions declined to comment on the effect of the pandemic on Vanderbilt admissions.
Gus Karas, an admitted student from Atlanta, GA, cited Vanderbilt’s prestige, its location in the South and its warm weather as his primary drawing points for the school. Karas now faces a dilemma shared by many high school seniors across the globe, as the coronavirus pandemic has barred students from visiting the universities to which they were admitted.
“I got to see Vandy in junior year because I was pretty close, but some of the other places I didn’t get to see and never got to see,” Karas said. “I’m doing virtual tours, but it’s obviously not the same. So, I’m kind of going to have to make a decision blind here.”
Vanderbilt has suspended all on-campus recruiting events, but according to Karas, the school has attempted to engage admitted students virtually through information sessions on Zoom.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions publishes separate reports for its regular and early decision admissions plans. Over the past four years and including this year, Vanderbilt has not published its number of early decision applicants outside of its Common Data Set (CDS) report. Data for the Class of 2024 is not yet available on the school’s CDS report. Therefore, without the number of early decision applicants and the total number of applicants, The Hustler cannot determine the Class of 2024’s total acceptance rate.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions declined multiple requests to provide information on the demographic and geographical composition of the regular decision admitted Class of 2024. However, the early decision class included students from 30 countries and 46 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, according to the Vanderbilt Admissions’ website.