* In-state, two semesters' tuition and required fees. Source: U.S. News Best Colleges 2012
Vanderbilt University was established in 1873 with a $1 million gift from Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. His wife’s cousin, Methodist Bishop Holland N. McTyeire, chose the VU site, supervised the construction of buildings and planted many of the trees that make the campus a national arboretum.
Town: Nashville, Tenn. (pop. 1,712,358)
Nickname: Commodores, after the nickname of the school’s founder, is also a term for what was once the U.S. Navy’s highest rank.
Colors: Black and gold
Traditions: Fans often truncate the nickname and shout “Go ’Dores!” Basketball aficionados will recognize Memorial Gymnasium’s baseline benches that create an unusual court configuration.
Eats and treats: City House is known for its ribs and inventive pizzas. Swett’s is one of the locals’ favorites for rotisserie chicken, fried fish, meatloaf and squash casserole. Village Pub & Beer Garden was voted the city’s best neighborhood bar by Nashville Scene magazine.
Places and spaces: Campus is 21 blocks from the downtown riverfront, six miles from the Green Hills shopping district and close to historic neighborhoods such as Hillsboro West End, Belmont and Music Row. The Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry also make their homes in Nashville.
Take in the Nashville skyline from the Shelby Street Bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world.