Vanderbilt University Admissions

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Two former Vanderbilt football players have been convicted of rape.

Vanderbilt University made news in the admissions world when the university opted to extend its Regular Decision deadline recently. But there is more significant news coming out of the Nashville, Tennessee based university this week. As you may know, two former Vanderbilt University football players were found guilty on Tuesday of raping a female former Vanderbilt student. Two more former football players await trial. The duo convicted of rape on Tuesday essentially tried to cower under a defense that they were too intoxicated to know what they were doing, that a college culture of sexual promiscuity and binge drinking contributed to their heinous actions. It sure sounds similar to the absurd “Twinkie defense” used in the trial of the assassin of Harvey Milk. In this case, we’re not quite certain why it took the jury three hours to convict these two young men but we sure are glad that justice was served.

As we write on issues of college admissions, we figured we’d raise the following question: How will this crime committed by former Vanderbilt students impact the university in the years to come, particularly from the standpoint of admissions? Many students and parents unfortunately still associate Duke University with the rape case in which three Duke lacrosse players were falsely accused of rape, an erroneous claim that caused harm to their reputations as well as to the Duke University brand (particularly in light of how Duke handled the case). While the Vanderbilt rape case — in which a rape was actually committed — has not received nearly the attention that the Duke case received several years ago, the national media has picked up on the story nonetheless.

And another highly selective university is in the news now as well because a student has been accused of rape. A (now former) Stanford University swimmer who competed in the United States Olympic Trials in 2012 is being charged with raping an unconscious woman on the Stanford University campus. In this particular instance, two Stanford students riding by on their bicycles saw the alleged assault taking place and intervened. The swimmer took off and was chased down and apprehended by the intervening students. We at Ivy Coach salute those two Stanford University students for stepping up and taking action when they saw a grave injustice taking place.

How do you think the rape case at Vanderbilt and the pending one at Stanford will impact these two universities in the years to come? Do you think people will associate the two universities with these cases, as many still associate Duke with the rape case of several years ago? We’re curious to hear your thoughts on this certainly sensitive topic.

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5 Comments

  • concerned parent says:

    Stanford is Stanford so i dont think its reputation is going to be hurt much by this, epsecially since the school has handled it pretty well so far.

    On the other hand Vanderbilt’s name is being dragged through the mud right now and I believe it is going to hurt the university very much. Vanderbilt doesn’t have the prestige or recognition of the ivies and the other top schools, and it is not even considered in the league of really elite schools (ivies, stanford, mit, chicago, duke.) So this scandal can hurt the school’s reputation much more than it would to an already super-well established elite school. Also Vanderbilt has gone to great lengths to conceal most information about the case, which makes me very skeptical.

    As a parent with a child getting ready for college next year I am quite concerned and I most probably will not let my daughter apply there, even though Vandy had been an option we were considering. Who wants to send their kid to a place that has been constantly on the news for all the wrong reasons?

  • Parent fo a Vandy Student says:

    As the parent of a Vanderbilt student and another son in an ivy school I have to say that unfortunately rapes occur on many college campuses. Some studies show that 1 in 4 women on campuses have been raped…incredibly high and mostly unreported. Finally the issues is getting attention but in the case of Vanderbilt I don’t think anyone should be afraid to send their child there. If fact, it might just be safer since there is a much greater awareness. I would hate to see any school tarnished by the actions of a few….and Football players to boot. Their former football coach is gone (to Penn State) and I understand the school is working hard to make sure the young men are better educated about their behaviors.
    Vanderbilt is a caring place and more so now this has happened. But all the education in the world won’t stop some people.

  • Vandy Law Grad says:

    I totally disagree with concerned parent. Vanderbilt did everything right when the security guards discovered the crime. Unlike other universities such as the football elite schools, Vanderbilt will make sure that this situation is remedied.

  • kayakmom says:

    my child and several others in his school withdrew thei applications from UVa because of the fact sororities were recommended not to attend the fest parties. 2 of the students has reached the funal interviews for the jefferson scholarship so it was a big deal to them to withdraw applications

  • mom of a senior says:

    Vandy is still on our list, although I am definitely concerned that like UVA, there is a dangerous confluence of athletics and alcohol. We’ll see if my daughter gets in. Then we’ll decide.

    We live close to Stanford, and it’s good to see that this is being handled better than the last time. The school had a PR disaster on its hands, including protests at the school.

    I haven’t seen a discussion of the UNC athletics fraud scandal. Maybe I missed it? I was actually hoping it would help my daughter’s chances of getting in out of state. Neither she nor her two friends who applied were accepted EA. I wonder if there applicant numbers were down, though.

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