Caltech vs. Vanderbilt


Should I go to California Institute of Technology or Vanderbilt University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Caltech or Vanderbilt is the better college for you.

Caltech Comparison

California Institute of Technology vs. Vanderbilt University comparison
Caltech Vanderbilt
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Location Pasadena, CA Nashville, TN
Setting Midsize City Large City
Students 2,233 12,824
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $50,487 $48,600
Tuition (Out of State) $50,487 $48,600
Room & Board $15,525 $16,234
Avg Net Price $24,466 $23,295
Avg Grant Aid $41,408 $41,359
% Receiving Grant Aid 52% 65%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 6.6% 9.6%
Avg High School GPA 3.97 3.76
Admissions Standards Elite Elite
Applicant Competition Extreme Very High
ACT Range 35/36 33/35
SAT Range 1530/1580 1450/1560
Application Deadline Jan 3, 2020 Jan 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 87% 92%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $85,800 $83,100
Making Student Loan Payments - 83%
Median Student Loan Debt $14,350 $14,000
Median Loan Payment $148 $144
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Comparable Facts

  • California Institute of Technology is larger than than Vanderbilt based on total student enrollment (2,233 students vs. 12,824 students)

Caltech vs. Vanderbilt Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Caltech or Vanderbilt?

  • California Institute of Technology is 3.9% more expensive to attend than Vanderbilt for in-state tuition ($50,487.00 vs. $48,600.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 3.9% higher at Caltech than Vanderbilt University ($50,487.00 vs. $48,600.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Vanderbilt University than Caltech ($23,295 vs. $24,466)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at California Institute of Technology are 4.6% lower than costs at Vanderbilt University ($15,525 vs. $16,234)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Vanderbilt University than California Institute of Technology (65% vs. 52%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by California Institute of Technology students is 0.1% larger than aid received Vanderbilt University ($41,408 vs. $41,359)

Caltech vs. Vanderbilt Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Caltech or Vanderbilt? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between Vanderbilt or Caltech .

  • The average SAT score at California Institute of Technology (1544) is 46 points higher than at Vanderbilt (1498)
  • Incoming Caltech students have a 1 point higher average ACT score (35) than students at Vanderbilt (34)
  • Vanderbilt has a higher acceptance rate (9.6%) than Caltech (6.6%)

Caltech vs. Vanderbilt Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Caltech or Vanderbilt? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between Vanderbilt and Caltech.

  • The graduation rate at Vanderbilt is higher that California Institute of Technology (92% vs. 87%)
  • Graduates from California Institute of Technology earn on average $2,700 more per year than Vanderbilt graduates after ten years. ($85,800 vs. $83,100)
  • Vanderbilt University students graduate with a $350 lower median federal student loan debt than Caltech graduates. ($14,000 vs. $14,350)
  • Vanderbilt graduates are paying $4 less per month on federal student loans than Caltech graduates. ($144 vs. $148)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education IPEDS and College Scorecard