Any Tips on getting into Vanderbilt or Baylor? Tips specific to each school please.?



Answers:
Both schools are right on the cusp of making it into the "near-Ivy" status of, say, Duke or Virginia. What both schools lack is a widely diffuse and diverse alumni network, and both have better reputations in their own regions than elsewhere. In answering this question, I'll assume you have College Board scores that are average or a little below (I wouldn't use ACT results for either school, by the way).

Vandy is nonsectarian and lets its undergrads have a bit more freedom. I'd play up your desire to do something nontraditional with your education, like inventing or "good works" of social justice -- Vandy has a checkered racial past, and it might help to cite your own comfort with people of different ethnic backgrounds. You might also indicate your excitement over being a possible part of the new residential college system, which has been highly publicized.

Baylor is Baptist, and while it is more secular than, say, Samford or Furman, I'd angle a little more to the right and emphasize your spiritual influences and goals. You don't have to be a born-again Christian to get in, but you might hurt yourself by coming across as believing in literally nothing as far as religion goes. I'd play up your desire to help others, even if it means going far away, in order to respond to a call from a "still, small voice" inside.

In both cases, I'd do everything I could not to make myself look like a rich kid from the old Confederate states who simply wants to go four or more years of glorified "finishing school". The Greek-letter organizations at most Southern colleges are choked with those types, and only the 4.0/2250 kids who can't easily be rejected or children of alumni will usually get in from that demographic. Almost as bad would be an applicant who looks like a rich Northeasterner or Midwesterner who simply wants a safety school in case Harvard or Chicago doesn't pan out.

Good luck! Either school will give you a good education if you apply yourself.
Baylor - know a few Bible verses for your interview;

Vanderbilt - if you know any rich, snobby, overindulged kids, study how they act and then act that way in your interview.
A common farm girl sought membership at a faraway countryclub for swingers. Clearly she possessed looks and body, but her distillery lacked continuous production. A mermaid loves the water, but a jackal can not stand street lamps. Oh that the heavens roar with a gentle rumble whereas Aphrodite scores yet another fine piece of as*.

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