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Mid-Year Reports Category

mid year report vanderbilt

Frequently Asked Questions (regarding your Vanderbilt application)

Jan. 12, 2015— Here is an easy source for your frequently asked questions regarding your Vanderbilt admissions application for the 2014-2015.

mid year report vanderbilt

The Waiting

Jan. 23, 2013— Carolyn outlines some next steps for those of you who have completed and submitted your application for admission.

mid year report vanderbilt

Vandy Snow Day and EDII 2010 Update

Jan. 31, 2010— Nashville got blanketed with 4-6" of snow over the weekend. Vandy students promptly went B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Early decision II committee started Friday and it will likely conclude this Tuesday. Last year we mailed EDII letters on February 6, 2009, and we will shoot for a similar early mailing date (early from our publically stated February 15 EDII notification date) as is our general practice. As we did last year, I will make sure to let everyone know when the letters have left the building.

The Road to Resilience: Next steps no matter what letter you received

Dec. 24, 2009— What to do if you were admitted at ED1, not admitted at ED1, incomplete at ED1, or are still pulling together your application materials for ED2 or Regular Decision to Vanderbilt.

Admitted at ED?: advice for approaching the rest of your senior year

Jan. 16, 2009— All admitted students to Vanderbilt will be asked to submit a final transcript once it comes available and it never fails that we see a very small handful of students who packed up the intellectual circus a little early that last semester. At that point our office has a decision to make, and it is a no-one-size-fits-all determination. My general advice is succinct, if not completely predictable, don't risk it.

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Vanderbilt Admissions Information

Vanderbilt University was endowed by Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1873. Since then, the school has become one of the top academic research institutions in the country, with federal research funding of $444 million per year. Vanderbilt has a number of renowned research institutes and centers including the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, the Financial Markets Research Center, the Intelligent Robotics Lab, and the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies. Through the university’s interdisciplinary approach, students have many opportunities to conduct research, create individualized majors, and pursue various minors.

Vanderbilt’s first year experience is highly regarded for the resources and sense of community it provides incoming students. Known as The Commons, Vanderbilt’s living and learning community is made up of 10 residential houses. Each house has a live-in faculty member that regularly engages with students through academic and social programs. There is also a Commons Center which houses a dining hall, coffee shop, recreational rooms, a living room and advising offices. As evidenced by the 97% retention rate from freshman to sophomore year, The Commons creates an enjoyable first impression for the Vanderbilt student experience.

In addition to the university’s comfortable on-campus environment, Vanderbilt is located in the Midtown district of Nashville, popularly known as one of the “most livable” cities in the country. There is easy access to local restaurants, museums and musical venues. Vanderbilt offers students an excellent combination of the urban and campus life experience.


Academic life, campus life, admissions information.

Because Vanderbilt is committed to maintaining a close-knit experience, each freshman class is roughly 1,600 students. Since Vanderbilt receives many applications each year, it is a highly selective institution with an acceptance rate of 20%. Each application is reviewed by 2 or more readers, one being a regional consultant; each application is reviewed holistically with readers looking for particular strengths throughout. After readers assess applications based on academic profile, essays, short answers, extracurricular activities and recommendations, they present the application to the admissions committee on the student's behalf. It is in students' best interest to show the reader what they have to offer the university and what sets them apart from other applicants. Vanderbilt offers Early Decision I and II (differing only in application deadline). While these students are reviewed against a smaller pool of applicants, Vanderbilt is committed to keeping Early Decision acceptances to only one-third of the number of total acceptances.

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mid year school report

<p>does anyone know how important the common app mid year report is to vandy (and other top universities)? obviously i'm studying endlessly for midterms, but how big of a role will the mid year report play in RD admissions?</p>

<p>It's not mandatory, but if you made good grades first semester, I would send it in.</p>

<p>hilsa, what would be your definition of good? i did very well in all of my classes except for span5 AP, got A first quarter, B second, and a C on the midterm:( but all my other 6 aps are straight As! should i send it in?</p>

<p>crystal, I would say send it in unless you had a 4.0 until this semester.</p>

<p>I would send it in. You'd average an A or B in that class anyway.</p>

<p>i had a 4.0 until this semester...</p>

<p>Me too, but if I was in the same position, I would still send it in. You got A's in your 6 other AP classes anyway. That's something to show!</p>

<p>"crystal, I would say send it in unless you had a 4.0 until this semester."</p>

<p>i was just a bit confused by this comment.</p>

<p>well, that grade would slightly drop your gpa i'm assuming. No more 4.0.... If you hadn't taken more than 3 or so AP's before this year, I would send it. That way it proves that you can succeed in AP classes. If you have already proven yourself, then idk If i would send it. If you did send it, it probably wouldn't hurt you. you know what, send it. theyd like to see that your grades are still pretty perfect in hard classes. /rambling post</p>

<p>If you don't send the midyear report, will the admiss. Office contact the school or my counselor? I would rather my poor ss grades be viewed on paper rather than over the phone</p>


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mid year report vanderbilt

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How to get into vanderbilt: admission requirements & tips.

Nashville, TN

Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 9/8/23

Thinking about studying at Vanderbilt University? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to get into Vanderbilt. 

A smiling female student

Vanderbilt University is a private research university located in Nashville, Tennessee. According to U.S. News’ ranking of the top national universities , Vanderbilt claims the #13 spot. The school’s name recognition and prestige make it an attractive choice if you’re building your college list .

In this guide, you’ll find all the information you need to know how to get into Vanderbilt University. Along with an overview of Vanderbilt’s application requirements and class profile information, we’ll also go over the supplementary essays and tips to help you formulate detailed narratives to catch the admissions committee’s attention. 

The valuable information in this guide will help you navigate Vanderbilt’s admissions process and help you give yourself the best chance of acceptance. If one of Vanderbilt’s undergraduate programs inspires you to apply, this comprehensive guide will give you the tools you need for success.

Vanderbilt Acceptance Rate 

Vanderbilt’s prestigious and diverse programs attract students from around the country. Despite being a non-Ivy League school , this school’s acceptance rate is highly selective. Recent data suggests the acceptance rate fell from 6.7% in a past cycle to 5.61% in the 2023 admissions cycle. 

Yield Rate 

Vanderbilt’s yield (or enrollment rate) is approximately 48%. The yield rate can illustrate how competitive a school is and how eager prospective students are to enroll if offered admission. Although this yield rate may not be as high as Ivy League universities like Yale and Harvard, it still demonstrates that Vanderbilt is a competitive and top-ranked university. 

How Hard Is It to Get Into Vanderbilt? 

Many universities across the nation have reported lower recent enrollment rates due to influxes in the volume of applications they receive. Vanderbilt is a highly selective new Ivy school , and you should expend a lot of effort in your application to ensure that it receives the attention and recognition it deserves. 

Considering that Vanderbilt’s acceptance rate has trended lower in recent cycles, the numbers can be discouraging to prospective students. However, don’t get too caught up on acceptance rates and statistics—this is quantitative data that doesn’t account for the quality of other applications or your compatibility with the school.

If you want to apply to Vanderbilt, the best thing you can do is focus your energy on polishing your own application rather than worrying over statistics. Although the application process and the wait to hear your admissions decision can be intimidating, submitting a well-constructed and authentic college application will always boost your chances of acceptance.

Vanderbilt Requirements

mid year report vanderbilt

All undergraduate applications require that you compile specific materials for the admissions committee’s consideration. Below we will explore the materials and details that you’ll need to share in your Vanderbilt application before you can hit submit. 

Official Transcripts 

Your official transcripts demonstrate your academic aptitude and show your GPA to the admissions committee. While Vanderbilt reviews applications holistically, it’s always in your best interest to perform as well as you can in your junior and senior years of high school. 

There are no cut-offs for GPA, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to do well and prove your college readiness. Getting a 4.0 can be challenging, but shooting for a high GPA will undoubtedly bolster your application! 

Counselor and Teacher Letters of Recommendation 

Letters of recommendation are a crucial component of any undergraduate application. Your counselor recommendation should come from your assigned guidance counselor, who will have the opportunity to share in what context they know you and describe your character. 

You must provide two teacher recommendations who taught you in a core academic area. Vanderbilt prefers that these recommendations come from teachers who taught your junior or senior years. 

All of these letters help the admissions committee gain a third-party perspective about you—how you adapt to challenges, how you work toward your goals, and your demeanor and personality. 

SAT or ACT Scores 

Vanderbilt implemented a self-reporting and test-optional policy for SAT and ACT scores . You can report ACT or SAT scores on your application, but you must provide your official score reports if you enroll after acceptance. Like your GPA, there is no explicit cut-off for SAT or ACT scores . 

Personal Essay 

The personal essay will be a component of whichever online application you choose, whether the Common Application or the Coalition Application . Vanderbilt suggests that you keep this essay as personal as you can and that they honestly “don’t really care what you write about, as long as you’re writing about you.” 

Don’t write about what you think the admissions committee wants to hear. Let your passions show through instead. This is an excellent opportunity to talk about something you haven’t already explored in the rest of your application and allows you to demonstrate your individuality and personality. 

Extracurricular Activities List 

The admissions committee will want to see a list of all of your extracurricular activities . Vanderbilt states that “admissions counselors will certainly read the entire list,” so be sure not to leave anything out. Include activities such as babysitting a neighbor’s child, having a part-time job, and any other responsibility or time commitment. 

Application Fee or Fee Waiver 

Application fees or fee waivers are a component of every undergraduate application. Vanderbilt requests a nonrefundable $50 application fee or a fee waiver if you qualify for one. 

Additional Materials for Blair School of Music Applicants

Beyond all the materials listed above, you’ll need to produce extra materials if you apply to the Blair School of Music. 

You’ll also need to provide the admissions committee with:  

  • Two artistic recommendations
  • A headshot or photo (it doesn’t have to be a professional portrait, this is solely for identification purposes) 
  • A music resume 
  • Repertoire list 
  • Prescreening video containing an unedited performance of any selection, whether it be vocal or instrumental

Keep in mind that the application for the Blair School of Music can only be accessed once your  Common, Coalition, or Questbridge applications have been submitted.

Standardized Test Scores 

The middle 50% of first-year students entering Vanderbilt scored between 740 and 780 on the SAT’s Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and between 780 and 800 on the Math section. Of those who submitted ACT scores, the middle 50% score range was between 34 and 36. 

Several of Vanderbilt’s first-year students were considered National Merit Scholars. 

Financial Aid and Retention Rates 

Out of all undergraduate students, 65% received some form of financial assistance in a recent school year. The average financial aid package students enjoyed was approximately $55,000. 

The average first-year student retention rate is 96%, indicating a high satisfaction rate among students.

Tips To Get Into Vanderbilt 

mid year report vanderbilt

Because Vanderbilt is a selective school, you want to do everything in your power to make sure that you stand out in the admissions process. Below you will find some top tips to help you put together an outstanding application. 

1. Prepare for College Academics In High School, and Attain Fantastic Grades 

Although the Vanderbilt admissions process is holistic, taking high-level courses and achieving good grades can help your application stand out.

Vanderbilt’s list of recommended coursework includes: 

  • Four units of English 
  • Four units of math 
  • Four units of natural science 
  • Two units of foreign language classes 
  • Two units of social science of humanities 
  • Four units in other areas such as engineering, computer science, science and research, and advanced humanities classes 

This guideline is just a recommendation, but the admissions committee will also be looking at the rigor of your coursework. Although not every high school offers AP classes or the IB Program , you should strive to take the most challenging course load that you can manage without biting off more than you can chew. 

Rigorous coursework can help demonstrate your passion for knowledge and learning, college readiness, and academic aptitude. You may also want to take courses that relate to the field of your interest while you’re in high school. For example, if your goal is admission into the School of Engineering, you may want to take courses relating to engineering, physics, and chemistry. 

2. Request Letters of Recommendation Early and Wisely

Your letters of recommendation are an excellent way for the admissions committee to get to know you through third-party perspectives. 

Remember to request your letters of recommendation as early as possible. Your peers will likely also be looking for letters of recommendation, and you want to allow your recommenders as much time as possible to put together an accurate description of you and your achievements. 

Second, make sure that you choose your recommenders wisely. These people represent you, and you want to make sure that they know you well enough to paint a comprehensive picture of your character. 

The ideal recommender may not be the teacher who gave you the highest grade or a well-liked teacher at your school. Sometimes the best letters of recommendation come from someone who has spent a lot of time with you and can accurately speak on your personal growth, demeanor, and diligence.

Vanderbilt suggests sending your recommenders some additional context surrounding your achievements and activities. While you can’t dictate what your recommenders will write about you, providing them with context can help them write an informed statement about you! 

3. Consider What Vanderbilt Is Looking for in Applicants

While you always want to put forth the most accurate and authentic version of yourself, it doesn’t hurt to consider what Vanderbilt is looking for in applicants and students. 

Vanderbilt is looking for applicants who demonstrate academic aptitude and take rigorous classes, strong SAT or ACT scores, and a list of extracurricular activities that illustrate your initiative and goodwill to positively impact your community. 

Remember to consider Vanderbilt’s mission and values in your application. How have you made an impact on your community and others? What challenges and obstacles have you overcome? Where do your passions and aspirations lie? 

Think about what your presence at the school can contribute to Vanderbilt’s culture and how you would benefit from an undergraduate degree in one of its four schools. 

4. Make Sure That Your Extracurricular Activities List Is Well-Organized and Has Context.

Vanderbilt cares about what you do outside of the classroom and wants to enroll students who contribute to campus culture and participate in various clubs and organizations. 

Make sure that you list your extracurricular activities in order of importance so that the admissions committee knows which of your commitments you spent a lot of time on or where your passions lie. This is also an excellent opportunity to highlight any leadership roles or impacts that you made. 

Although leadership experience can undoubtedly bolster your application, Vanderbilt states that they “know that leadership titles are not the only way to portray success, and we value any type of involvement that demanded considerable amounts of your time and energy over the last four years.”

You may also want to provide additional context to any activity if you feel that the admissions committee should have a little more information about it. In the additional information section of your application, you can explain more about the activity or the scope of your involvement if you feel that it’s necessary.

Vanderbilt Supplemental Essay

A person typing on their laptop

Supplemental essays are a portion of the college application where you have an opportunity to humanize your application and show who you are aside from your achievements and test scores. 

Remember that these essays are all about you, and you’re the expert in your own life. Writing about yourself can be a little uncomfortable for some at first, but below you’ll find Vanderbilt’s supplemental essay prompt and tips to formulate a stellar piece of writing. 

Supplemental Essay Prompt 

Vanderbilt currently has only one supplemental essay for students to complete as part of their application. Unlike most other top-ranked universities, Vanderbilt doesn’t have a prompt explicitly asking why you want to attend the school. Instead, they ask students to answer one of the following prompts in approximately 250 words:

1. Vanderbilt University values learning through contrasting points of view. We understand that our differences and our respect for alternative views and voices, are our greatest source of strength.cPlease reflect on conversations you’ve had with people who have expressed viewpoints different from your own. How did these conversations/experiences influence you? How did these conversations/experiences influence you?
2. Vanderbilt offers a community where students find balance between their academic and social experiences. Please briefly elaborate on how one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences has influenced you.

How To Write the Vanderbilt Supplemental Essay 

Depending on the type of person you are, you may be ecstatic that you’re not faced with a laundry list of prompts to choose from, or you feel a little limited that there are only two supplemental prompts to choose from. No matter how you feel about it, this in-depth, step-by-step guide will ensure that you tackle your short essay with the right tools for success. 

1. Brainstorm All of Your Activities and Work Experiences That You Feel Are Particularly Meaningful

You’ve likely already listed your extracurricular activities in your application. If you choose to write the second prompt, take some time to go back and look through this list and pick out anything that you deem meaningful. 

This doesn’t necessarily have to be the activity you committed the most time to or what you think the admissions committee would find most important (although it can be if you think it’s something that had a significant impact on your character). 

Think about what you got out of each activity and how your contributions made an impact. Write down what you come up with besides each of your activities, and it should shed some light on which one you should pick to write about in this essay. 

2. Don’t Rehash Something You’ve Already Written About in Your Personal Essay

Whether you choose to apply using the Common, Coalition, or Questbridge applications, you’ll need to write a personal essay. If you’ve already elaborated on a particular activity or experience within that role in your personal essay, don’t reiterate it in your supplementary writing. 

Think of this essay as an opportunity to share more; you wouldn’t want to miss out on offering the admissions committee more information about what drives you and how you spend your free time. 

The more variety you can bring to your application, the better the admissions committee will understand you, your goals, and your experiences. 

3. Create an Outline—You Have a Tight Word Limit

Outlines are helpful tools to ensure your writing stays on track, but they can also help you stay concise when faced with a tight word limit. If you map out what you want your introduction, body, and conclusion to look like, it can help you stay within that 250-word limit. 

Your outlines don’t have to be pretty or neat; just write what comes to you and the main points you want to get across in each part of your writing. It also doesn’t have to be super specific; your ideas are allowed to change and evolve as you write. 

4. Create a Punchy Introduction

Your introduction is the hook of your essay that lures the reader in and doesn’t let them go until you’re finished. Remember that admissions officers read thousands of application essays each admission cycle, so you want to make sure that yours stands out in the best way possible. 

Many prospective students choose to drop the reader right into the middle of an anecdote or your role in a position to immerse the reader through imagery and rich description. Others may want to do a bit of scene-setting to set up the narrative or start with a thought or feeling. 

There’s no wrong way to start your essay as long as it’s punchy, accessible, and makes sense. Remember to keep it appropriate, but don’t be afraid to get a little personal. 

5. Expand on Your Introduction With the Body of Your Essay

The body of your essay is where you expand on the concepts and events you described in the introduction. This is where you have the opportunity to share more details. 

Straying off your narrative path is quite common in the body of essays, so try to keep your writing tight and consult with your outline as needed. However, don’t worry too much if your essay ends up going over the word limit because you can always edit for concision later. 

6. Wrap Up All Your Ideas in the Conclusion.

Your conclusion is where you wrap up your story and ensure you tie up any loose ends. Many writers may want to reiterate the main idea of their essay differently in the conclusion. 

You may also want to relate what you wrote about to your outlook on life now if you chose prompt one, or a club, activity, or organization at Vanderbilt if you chose prompt two. This shows that you’re willing to contribute to the school’s culture and community and that your passions and interests would be nurtured if you were accepted. 

7. Revise Your Work Multiple Times

Remember that your first draft is your rough draft and that most writers won’t be left with a finished and polished product on their first try. You’re going to have to spend a lot of time with your writing, whether it be finding spelling and grammar errors, reworking sentences and transitions, or figuring out the right word choice. 

You’ll need to make several passes through your work to ensure that it’s ready for submission. However, sometimes it’s possible to get too close to your own work and miss errors and inconsistencies that someone else may be able to point out the first time they read it. 

A great way to ensure you’re ready to send off your essay is to seek out the help of an admissions consultant . Not only do they add a fresh perspective, but they can offer suggestions that can help elevate your writing and ideas.

How To Prepare for the Vanderbilt Interview 

Alumni conduct Vanderbilt University interviews via Zoom through Commodore Recruitment Programs (CoRPs) or in-person. These interviews are optional and are not a part of the required admissions process to gain acceptance into the school, but it can be helpful to participate in one if it’s offered to you. 

Vanderbilt states, “Interviews are informational and serve as a tool for students to evaluate their fit with Vanderbilt University as well as to learn about the alumni experience.” 

These interviews will not have you on the edge of your seat waiting to answer the interviewer’s next question as eloquently as possible but are meant to give you more information to assess if you’re a good fit and give you insight into the school’s culture. 

Keep in mind that while these informational interviews will not make or break your application, your interviewer will send an evaluative report to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions that will be attached to your file and considered an additional letter of recommendation. You will also not be negatively impacted if you decide not to participate, but it may be in your best interest to learn more about Vanderbilt and the alumni experience if you’re passionate about attending. 

Remember that not all applicants may have the opportunity to participate in an interview due to high applicant volumes and not enough trained CoRPs alumni interviewers. 

Vanderbilt Interview Questions 

Two people preparing for an interview

These interviews are meant to be informational and less pressured than other undergraduate interviews. Your interviewer may ask you questions about why you want to attend Vanderbilt, what program sparks your interest, and how you plan on contributing to the school’s culture. 

They may ask you personal questions about your hobbies, favorite subjects, personal strengths, books, music, and food. As much as your interviewer will ask questions about you, make sure that you come equipped with things you want to know. Below are some great questions you can ask your interviewer to help ensure that Vanderbilt is an excellent fit for you: 

  • Why did you choose to attend Vanderbilt? 
  • What was it like living in Nashville and on campus? 
  • Is there anything specific about the school’s culture or vibe that I should know?

As you move along in the conversation, you may find that you can naturally ask follow-up questions that touch on these themes. Remember to stay engaged and make sure you ask questions, too—you don’t want your interview to be too one-sided!

How To Apply To Vanderbilt 

You can apply to Vanderbilt by using the Common, Coalition, or QuestBridge online applications. Using these online applications, you’ll be able to submit all of your necessary documents and materials in one convenient portal. 

Application Processes and Deadlines 

Application deadlines are crucial to keep in mind as you navigate acquiring all the materials you’ll need to submit. Below is a list of deadlines if you apply under Regular Decision that you must meet to be considered (note that these dates may be subject to change from year to year). 

  • December 4 : Preferred last day to take the SAT 
  • December 11 : Preferred last day to take the ACT
  • January 1: Blair School of Music Application deadline
  • January 1: Deadline for completed application
  • Late March : Admission decisions available

Early Decision Dates and Acceptance Rates 

Vanderbilt offers two other decision plans: Early Decision I and Early Decision II. Both of these plans are binding and indicate that you’re committed to attending Vanderbilt if you are accepted. The dates for each plan are as follows: 

Early Decision I

  • October 2 : Preferred last day to take the SAT
  • October 23 : Preferred last day to take the ACT
  • November 1 : Blair School of Music Application deadline
  • November 1 :Deadline for completed application
  • Mid-December : Admission decisions available
  • December 31 : Deadline for matriculation deposit

Early Decision II

  • December 4 : Preferred last day to take the SAT
  • January 1 : Blair School of Music Application deadline
  • January 1 : Deadline for completed application
  • Mid-February : Admission decisions available
  • March 1 : Deadline for matriculation deposit

According to recent data, the admit rate for both Early Decision programs combined was 15.7%. 

Should I Apply To Vanderbilt? 

The choice to apply to any university is ultimately up to you. Many factors can help you decide—how much a particular program appeals to you, if you think you’ll fit in well with the school’s culture, and what an education from Vanderbilt can do to help you realize your goals. 

Vanderbilt is a prestigious school and a great choice to pursue your undergraduate degree. 

Think about what attracts you to Vanderbilt. Does one of the programs match your educational and professional interests? Are there any clubs or organizations that you would love to join? Does the prospect of living in Nashville fill you with excitement? These questions are essential to ask yourself to figure out what you want out of your undergraduate experience. 

The short answer is that if you want to apply to Vanderbilt, you should. 

If you’re concerned about the low acceptance rate, try not to get too caught up in the numbers and statistics. When you apply to any school, your polished and well-constructed application and personality should shine through. Make your application memorable and stand out in the best way possible, and you’ll certainly boost your chances of acceptance! 

FAQs: How To Get Into Vanderbilt

Still have questions about how to get into Vanderbilt? Take a look at our answers to some frequently asked questions to learn more!

1. What Is Vanderbilt Looking for in Applicants?

Vanderbilt is looking for students “who have demonstrated strong academic skills and intellectual curiosity, and who have engaged in activities outside the classroom that have nurtured their growth as leaders.” 

The admissions process is holistic, meaning that your entire application is considered, not just your test scores, GPA, and class rank. 

2. What GPA Do You Need for Vanderbilt University?

Successful Vanderbilt applicants have GPAs of 3.8 or higher. The closer you are to 4.0, the better.

3. Does Vanderbilt Accept Transfer Credits?

Yes, but the eligibility of transfer credits is evaluated on a course-by-course basis. The Office of the University Registrar has more information on transfer credits and the evaluation process. 

4. What Happens if I Don’t Participate in an Interview?

If you don’t participate in an interview, it will not negatively impact your admissions decision. Alumni interviews are offered on an availability basis and are meant to be informational sessions where you can ask your interviewer questions about their personal experiences at Vanderbilt. 

If you choose to participate in an interview, your interviewer will fill out an evaluation form that serves as an additional letter of recommendation to your file. 

5. How Do I Stand Out in the Admissions Process?

There are numerous ways you can stand out from the crowd in your application. Firstly, try to perform well in your high school classes and achieve good SAT or ACT scores. 

Your essays are another component that you should pay special attention to. Because there’s no certainty that you’ll be able to participate in an alumni interview, your essays may be the only chance you have to “speak” directly to the admissions committee. 

6. When Should I Start Preparing for College Applications?

You should start preparing for your college applications in your freshman or sophomore years of high school. Start thinking about meaningful extracurricular activities you can engage in and take your SAT/ ACT early, like in your junior year, to give yourself enough time for a potential retake. 

7. Is There a Difference Between Early Decision I and Early Decision II?

Both of these decision pathways are binding, meaning that if you’re accepted into Vanderbilt, you are obligated to enroll. These decision pathways may be an excellent option for anyone attending Vanderbilt as their first choice school. 

The only difference between these two pathways is the date and deadline changes.

8. When Do Vanderbilt University's Early Decisions Come Out?

Vanderbilt’s Early Decision I notifications come out in mid-December, and Early Decision II notifications come out in mid-February. 

9. When Does Vanderbilt University Release Regular Decisions?

Vanderbilt’s regular admission decisions are released in late March.

10. What Should I Do if I Get Rejected From Vanderbilt?

If you receive a rejection notice , that doesn’t mean that you or your application wasn’t good enough, the school simply has limited seats and thousands of applicants. Take some time to process the news before moving on to actionable next steps. Consider writing an appeal , accepting another offer and then transferring, or taking a gap year to boost your application.

Final Thoughts

Applying to college is a significant change and can offer exciting new avenues for personal and professional growth. Know that assembling your application doesn’t have to be a stressful experience if you start early and take on one task at a time. The information in this guide shows you what to do and how to get into Vanderbilt. 

Now that you know more general information about the school, admissions requirements, supplemental essays, and class profile information, you can confidently put together a stellar application. Every piece of your application shows the admissions committee a piece of you, so make sure that you compile it with care. 

By dedicating yourself and expending effort in your application, you can certainly boost your chances of acceptance into Vanderbilt!

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School Name: Vanderbilt University School Location: Nashville, TN School Type: Private Research University

Vanderbilt university admissions rates class of 2026.

Applications: 46,717 Admitted: 6.1%

Vanderbilt University Map | Command Education | Schools

General Info

Sat/act scores, test optional for 2021-2022 admission cycle.

Class of 2026 Test Scores SAT SAT Evidence-based Reading & Writing Range: 740-770 SAT Math Range: 770-800 ACT Range: 34-36


Early Decision I: November 1 Early Decision I Results: Mid-December Regular Deadline: January 1 Early Decision II: January 1 Early Decision II Results: Mid-February Regular Results: Late March

School Information

Schedule:  Semester Curriculum Type: Core General Education Curriculum Greek Life:  Yes Athletics:  D1


Vanderbilt application requirements, admissions tips, and university guide.

Vanderbilt is consistently ranked as one of the top 20 universities in the United States. Based in the heart of “Music City” Nashville, Tennessee, this private university hosts a park-like campus in the middle of a thriving urban center. Home to 7,057 undergraduate students, Vanderbilt has nearly 70 undergraduate majors in four schools, 500+ student organizations , and endless research and internship opportunities.

Where is Vanderbilt?

Vanderbilt is located in the heart of Nashville, one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. As a Vanderbilt student, you have access to this city’s rich musical history. You can see a show at a honky-tonk on Nashville’s famous Broadway strip or at music venues such as the Ryman Auditorium, Ascend Amphitheater, and the Basement. Nashville is also home to many sports teams, and you can attend a Tennessee Titans or Nashville Predators sports game. You can also explore the Nashville Farmers’ Market, discover Nashville’s increasingly renowned food scene in Nashville’s restaurants, or see a movie at the Belcourt movie theater.

What does the Vanderbilt student body look like?

Admitted students to the Class of 2026 hail from all 50 states and at least 27 countries and 49 citizenships. For the class of 2025, the racial breakdown of the students is: White: 39.5% Asian/Pacific Islander: 18.8%, Black: 11.5%, Hispanic: 11.1%, International: 8.8%, Two or more races: 5.7%, Race unknown: 4.1%, American Indian: 0.4%.

Where do students live at Vanderbilt?

Due to Vanderbilt’s belief that on-campus living increases academic and social success, all undergraduate students are required to reside on campus, though seniors may apply for off-campus housing.

To support undergraduates in their successful transition to Vanderbilt, all freshmen live together in The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, a collaborative learning environment comprised of 10 houses and The Commons Center, where students live with their faculty heads of house, and have access to a dining center, a gym, seminar/study rooms, public spaces, pre-major advising, and other resources for underclassmen. All freshmen also participate in a meal plan during their first year of enrollment.

What is the Social Life like at Vanderbilt?

Vanderbilt’s not all work and no play. Most students consider the school culture to encourage a “work hard play hard” attitude as Vanderbilt has one of the most active social scenes amongst top schools in the country. Vanderbilt’s tight-knit community begins forming when students are freshmen living in the Commons. Among 500+ student organizations , Vanderbilt offers ample communities to explore and organizations for students to join, such performing arts, community service, and intramural sports and Greek life. Students also explore everything the city of Nashville has to offer. Vanderbilt’s thriving Greek life includes fraternities, sororities or co-ed organizations. Freshmen officially rush in the spring to join a sorority or fraternity starting the fall of their sophomore year. No matter the club students choose to become involved in, there are a plethora of opportunities for students during their time at Vanderbilt.

What are academics at Vanderbilt like?

Vanderbilt is comprised of 10 schools and colleges, four of which are undergraduate schools covering disciplines from the humanities to music to engineering. Vanderbilt’s four undergraduate schools are the top-ranked Peabody College of Education and Human Development, the School of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, and the Blair School of Music. While students must apply to one of our four undergraduate schools, they are encouraged to take advantage of Vanderbilt’s interdisciplinary approach to taking classes and explore your interests across schools.

Students have 70 Bachelor Degree programs to choose from and are not required to declare their major until the end of their sophomore year. Vanderbilt prides itself on its 8:1 Student to Faculty ratio. Each of the four undergraduate schools (The College of Arts and Science, the Blair School of Music, School of Engineering, and Peabody College of Education and Human Development) has its own advising system. In addition to advising, Vanderbilt offers students tutoring, walk-in advising, critical thinking and writing workshops, and pre-professional advising in pre-medicine/health professions, pre-business/managerial studies, pre-law, pre-architecture, and pre-nursing. Vanderbilt is also proud of Immersion Vanderbilt , which gives undergraduate students the opportunity to undertake an intensive learning experience in and beyond the classroom with choices in the following pathways: civic and professional, creative expression, international, and research.

On the research side, most faculty at Vanderbilt are engaged in scholarly research. Research and teaching at the intersection of traditionally diverse disciplines are prevalent at Vanderbilt, which is home to more than 120 centers and institutes dedicated to research. These include the Center for Latin American & Iberian Studies, the W.M. Keck Free—Electron Laser Center and the Vanderbilt—Ingram Cancer Center. You can research Vanderbilt’s research centers and institutes here .

If you’re interested in learning abroad, you must apply to one of Vanderbilt’s 150+ study abroad programs across six continents or to participate in Vanderbilt’s Alternative Spring Break through Vanderbilt’s application process

What extracurricular opportunities do students have at Vanderbilt?

Whether it’s performing arts, sports, media or civic engagement, there are tons of clubs and student-run organizations to get involved with at Vanderbilt. Students have the opportunity to participate in more than 500 student-run organizations and 40+ intramural programs. Vanderbilt is a NCAA Division I school and Vanderbilt students can frequently be found at sporting events as spectators or athletes. Vanderbilt cheers on sixteen varsity athletic teams; their baseball team consistently ranks as one of top in the country.

As for arts and cultural activities to get involved in at Vanderbilt, first look to the historic Dyer Observatory . Students can get involved in one of Vanderbilt’s many arts extracurriculars from the Rhythm and Roots Performance Company to Vanderbilt’s University Band Program. Students interested in media and communications can write for the school newspaper, The Vanderbilt Hustler, or participate in a variety of other student-run media outlets .

Vanderbilt also has a large number of student-run service organizations celebrating the diverse cultures and identities that make up Vanderbilt’s student body. If students can’t find a club they want to join, they are encouraged to start a club of their own.

What do I need to apply to Vanderbilt?

As a checklist, here’s a list of what you’ll need to apply to Vanderbilt:

  • Common Application or Coalition Application or Questbridge
  • Vanderbilt-specific Essay
  • School report
  • Official High School transcript
  • Counselor recommendation
  • Two teacher recommendations
  • Mid year report
  • $50 application fee
  • While not required, Vanderbilt will accept SAT subject tests if you submit them

*Note: In addition to submitting the application for admission, applicants to Blair School of Music requires several additional items:

  • Two artistic recommendations
  • Headshot or photo
  • Music resume
  • Repertoire list
  • Pre Screening video

When Do I Apply to Vanderbilt?

Vanderbilt offers three timelines for application; Early Decision I, Early Decision II or Regular Decision. The deadline for Early Decision I is November 1st, and you’ll find out whether you were accepted by mid December. The deadline for Early Decision II is January 1st, and you’ll find out whether you were accepted by mid February. Early Decision I and II are a binding commitment, meaning that you commit to attending Vanderbilt if they admit you. The ED I acceptance rate was 24.1% and the ED II acceptance rate was 10.3%, these are much higher acceptance rates then the RD acceptance rate (4.7%). If Vanderbilt is your top choice, applying early will show admissions how serious you are about attending Vanderbilt if selected.

Alternatively, you can also choose to apply Regular Decision. The deadline for Regular Decision is January 1st and you’ll be notified by late March.

How Difficult Is It to Get Into Vanderbilt?

For the 2021-2022 application cycle, Vanderbilt’s overall acceptance rate was 6.1%, regular decision acceptance rate was 4.7%, making it one of the most competitive schools in the country. Applicants who are admitted to Vanderbilt typically take the most challenging course load with AP and IB classes and are academic standouts in high school.

Vandebilt isn’t just looking for students with strong grades and standardized test scores, they want to see students who are passionate, driven, and committed to contributing to the greater Vanderbilt community. Highlighting your extracurricular, leadership involvement, and unique experiences is what will set you apart from the other high quality applicants also applying to Vanderbilt.

Can I afford Vanderbilt?

Vanderbilt offers both need based and merit based financial aid . For the year 2022-2023, Vanderbilt’s annual estimated cost for room, board, and other fees is $84,412. While the cost of attending Vanderbilt seems astronomically expensive for the average family, Vanderbilt’s undergraduate financial aid program meets 100% of demonstrated financial need. Through Opportunity Vanderbilt , Vanderbilt states any student can enroll at Vanderbilt:

  • Your ability to pay is not part of the admission decision. (For U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens only.)
  • We meet 100% of your family’s demonstrated financial needs.
  • Your financial aid award will not include loans. Financial aid packages for undergraduate students include only grant assistance and a reasonable work expectation.

You can also try out Vanderbilt’s Net Price Calculator to estimate your family’s costs and potential financial aid funding here:

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Vanderbilt Admission Rates

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How to Get Into Vanderbilt: Acceptance Rate and Strategies

May 23, 2023

vanderbilt acceptance rate, how to get into

In 1999, Vanderbilt received under 10,000 applications and sported an acceptance rate of 61%. The turn of the millennium saw annual incremental increases in selectivity that led to the Vanderbilt acceptance rate hitting an all-time low of 5.6% in 2023. If you are a regular reader of our content, you know that we frequently point out staggering drops in admit rates at elite universities over the last decade or two. We cite these statistics not to scare you, but to make sure you and the influential voices in your lives (parents, family friends, peers, older siblings, teachers, and counselors) are up to speed on just how competitive many top schools are today.

If you told an adult who was a Commodore alum from another era, or even just a decade ago, that you have a 1400 SAT and mostly ‘A’s in AP courses, they would instantly congratulate you on joining the Vanderbilt family. Based on old criteria, their optimism would be warranted. Yet, today, a student with a 1400 SAT would find themselves well below the 25th percentile of attending freshmen.

Given how rapidly the admissions landscape at Vanderbilt has shifted, the aim of this article is to provide you with an understanding of the following topics:

  • Vanderbilt University acceptance rate
  • Vanderbilt ED acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, and class rank of accepted Vanderbilt University applicants
  • Admissions trends
  • The demographics of current undergraduates
  • How Vanderbilt University’s admissions officers evaluate candidates
  • Tips for applying to Vanderbilt University
  • Vanderbilt essay advice 
  • How to assess whether applying to Vanderbilt is even worth the $50 application fee (for you)

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

Vanderbilt University Acceptance Rate – Class of 2027

The Vanderbilt acceptance rate was 5.6% for those vying for a spot in the Class of 2027. There were 47, 120 total applications received. The Regular Decision rate was only 4.2%.

Over the last few years, the Vanderbilt acceptance rates were as follows:

  • Class of 2026: 6%

Vanderbilt University Early Decision Acceptance Rate – Class of 2027

Any applicant who views Vanderbilt as their top choice should definitely consider applying via binding early decision . This school offers an ED1 and ED2 option. The Vanderbilt Early Decision acceptance rate was 15.7% for the Class of 2027. The university has not yet released any data on ED1 vs. ED2 for this cycle. However, the ED 1 acceptance rate for the Class of 2026 was 24.1%, a much higher figure than the ED2 acceptance rate of 10.3%.

Vanderbilt University Admissions – SAT, ACT, GPA, and Class Rank

Accepted students into the Class of 2027 (different from enrolled) earned ACT Composite scores of 34-36 and an SAT range of 1520-1580. In one recent cycle, 80% had an unweighted GPA of greater than a 3.75 and all but 6% earned at least a 3.5 GPA. The average GPA of all entering first-year students was 3.86 and 89% placed in the top decile of their graduating class; 97% landed in the top quartile.

Admissions Trends & Notes 

  • Vanderbilt will remain test-optional through at least the Class of 2028.
  • The acceptance rate declined slightly from 6.1% to 5.6% for the Class of 2027.
  • 54% of students submitted test scores with their application.
  • Admitted students into the Class of 2027 hail from all 50 U.S. states and 61 countries around the world.
  • To highlight just how competitive the school has become, the admissions dean stated, ““Our waitlist students today would be like our Cornelius Vanderbilt scholars four years ago.”

Who Actually Gets Into Vanderbilt University?

Let’s look at the demographics of the Vanderbilt University student body:

  • Midwest: 15%
  • Mid-Atlantic: 8%
  • Southwest: 9%
  • New England: 14%
  • International: 10%

The states sending with most current undergrads are:

  • Massachusetts

As at any highly-selective university, competition is toughest among those hailing from states with endless streams of qualified applicants (the entire Northeast & the West Coast). If you hail from a less populated state like Alaska, North Dakota, or Montana, your location is more likely to provide a boost to your admissions chances. The states with the fewest current Vanderbilt undergrads include:

  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia

Looking at ethnic identity, the breakdown of all current undergrads is as follows:

  • Asian American: 18%
  • Hispanic: 12%
  • African American: 11%
  • Multiracial: 6%

The breakdown by gender of all current undergraduates is almost completely even:

  • Female: 52%

The type of high school attended by recent freshmen was as follows (most recent data available):

  • Public: 64%
  • Private: 34%

Vanderbilt University’s yield rate—the percentage of accepted students who elect to enroll, divided by the total number of students who are admitted– was 48% for the Class of 2026. For comparison, many other top private universities have superior yield rates such as Notre Dame, Northwestern, Duke, However, Vanderbilt has a higher yield than USC, Carnegie Mellon, and Emory.

How Vanderbilt University Rates Applicants

Vanderbilt receives tens of thousands of applications to fill a first-year class of approximately 1,600 students. Every application at Vandy is reviewed by at least two readers. Typically these are admissions officers assigned to your geographic area, but sometimes other officers weigh in on students outside of their traditional territory. The process is genuinely holistic with readers “looking for students who have performed well within the context of their high school’s most challenging academic programs. We evaluate activities outside the classroom in terms of depth of involvement, roles and responsibilities, and leadership. We also evaluate applicants’ writing through the application essay and short answer.”

Seven factors are rated as being “very important” to the Vanderbilt admissions process: rigor of secondary school record, class rank, GPA, standardized test scores (test-optional for now), the essays, extracurricular activities, and character/personal qualities. Application components deemed “important” are recommendation letters and talent/ability. “Considered” items include the admissions interview (more on this in a moment), first-generation status, alumni status, geographical residence, state residency, racial/ethnic status, and volunteer work. It definitely helps if you are recruited as an athlete to join one of Vanderbilt University’s 14 Division I sports teams . Over 350 undergrads are varsity athletes. Those who excel in a given sport can gain an edge in the admissions process .

Tips for Applying 

If you plan on joining the 47,000+ Commodore hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • Vanderbilt University offers Early Decision I and Early Decision II.  As cited earlier in the blog, ED acceptance rates are typically double that of the Regular Decision round.
  • Vanderbilt University does offer optional alumni interviews . These are interviews conducted through the Commodore Recruitment Programs are mostly informational in nature, but an evaluative report of the interview is included in the student’s application file.
  • Vanderbilt University does not consider “ demonstrated interest ” in the admissions process. Still, given that their yield rate is under 50%, it is still worth taking the simple steps of following them on social media, signing up for a virtual tour, or emailing an admissions officer with any questions you may have.
  • Make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the supplemental essay required by Vanderbilt. In the 2021-22 cycle it is as follows:

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (200-400 words).

For detailed advice on tackling this essay, visit our blog: Vanderbilt University Essay Prompt and Tips .

Vanderbilt University Acceptance Rate – Final Thoughts 

With overall acceptance rates as low as 5.6% in recent years, Vanderbilt is a school that is looking for students that are at the 97th percentile or above on standardized tests and among the very top of their high school class. Just about all “A”s in an AP-heavy curriculum are expected. If Vanderbilt University is your aim, make sure to also have multiple other schools on your list where you are more likely to gain acceptance. All students need to make sure that they formulate an appropriate college list , containing a complement of “target” and “safety” schools. You’ll also definitely want to get your counselor’s input during this process.

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Dave Bergman

Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent educational consultant. He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).

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Last updated March 9, 2023

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Blog > Application Strategy , Private University > How to Get into Vanderbilt

How to Get into Vanderbilt

Admissions officer reviewed by Ben Bousquet, M.Ed Former Vanderbilt University

Written by Kylie Kistner, MA Former Willamette University Admissions

Key Takeaway

If you've got your heart set on attending Vanderbilt, then you've got a lot of work ahead of you. In this guide, we'll show you how to use your time on the parts of your application that will have the greatest impact.

Ah, Nashville. The music, the food, and Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt—or Vandy, as it’s endearingly called—is Tenneesee’s rival to the Ivy League. And with an acceptance rate of 7.1%, it’s just about as hard to get into.

In this guide, I answer your questions about applying to Vandy, and I walk you through creating an application strategy that will increase your chances of admission.

Here we go.

How to Apply to Vanderbilt

You can apply to Vanderbilt through—you guessed it—Common Application, Coalition, or QuestBridge. No matter the application you use, you’ll have several items on your application checklist:

  • Application, including extracurricular activities list and personal statement
  • Vanderbilt supplement
  • Official high school transcript
  • School report
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Standardized test scores (optional)

You also might do an admissions interview or submit additional materials, depending on what you’re applying to study.

Vanderbilt Application Options

You’ve got three options when it comes to applying to Vanderbilt: Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision.

Remember that any Early Decision application you submit is “binding,” which means that you’re contractually bound to go to Vanderbilt if you get admitted (though there are a few ways to break the agreement, like inadequate financial aid). So to apply ED, you really have to know that Vanderbilt is the place for you.

Applying ED may also tip those elusive admissions scales just a little in your favor, too. As we already covered in our Vanderbilt Common Data Set post, the Vandy ED acceptance rate is about 10% higher than the RD rate. It’s nearly 18%. That’s a huge jump, so weigh your ED options wisely.

While it may seem tempting to apply ED with that boosted rate, also remember that there’s a whole strategy behind where you should apply ED. (If you’re not already sure what that is, check out our ED strategy post.) If Vandy isn’t the right ED choice for you, then applying Regular Decision is a great option, too.

Vanderbilt Application Deadlines

Early Decision I: November 1

Early Decision II: January 1

Regular Decision: January 1

How hard is it to get into Vanderbilt?

Vanderbilt isn’t a “Southern Ivy” for nothing. It’s difficult to get into. Really difficult. At 7.1%, Vandy ranks alongside schools like Northwestern , Johns Hopkins, and Pomona in terms of admissions difficulty.

If you want to get in, you’ll need top-tier grades, the most challenging coursework, and extracurriculars that will blow your Vanderbilt admissions officers away. You’ll also need smart application strategy, so you’ve come to the right place.

What does Vanderbilt look for in applicants?

Take a quick gander at Vanderbilt’s admissions page . Notice anything?

When I look at that page with application strategy in mind, there are a few things that stick out to me.

Values like intellectual curiosity, out-of-classroom engagement, personal growth, willingness to take on a challenge, and leadership skills are all core traits of successful Vanderbilt applicants.

And to be a successful Vanderbilt applicant yourself, you’ll want to embody the values that resonate most with you.

So what does that actually mean for your application?

It can be helpful to think of your application like a marketing plan. You need to know who your target audience is so you can serve up the most compelling sales pitch. That’s not to say that your Vanderbilt application should be inauthentic, but it is to say that strategic application writing means curating your strengths into a cohesive, easily digestible (but still genuine!) narrative for your admissions officers.

In particular, when you write your Vanderbilt supplement, you’ll want to think about how Vanderbilt’s institutional values play out in your own life. What makes you intellectually curious? How have you shown out-of-the-classroom engagement? And why did it matter? In what ways have you grown the most? Why? In short, how do you already act like a Vanderbilt student?

Of course, you won’t necessarily be answering these questions directly in your Vanderbilt application. But reflecting on them before you begin your application will help put you in the right mindset.

Vanderbilt GPA requirement

Because of their holistic application review process, Vandy doesn’t have any GPA cutoffs in place. That means that your application won’t get auto-kicked to the curb just because you have a 3.0.

However. Your application probably won’t make it to the admit bin if your GPA isn’t up to par. Vandy students are high achievers, both in and out of the classroom. In fact, 40% of enrolled first-year students had a perfect 4.0 high school GPA. And 85% were in the top tenth of their graduating classes.

To put it bluntly: Vanderbilt has a lot of great students to choose from. Your GPA helps you immensely. The stronger, the better.

Vanderbilt SAT Scores

The good news is that Vanderbilt is still test-optional, at least for the time being. The bad news is that test-optional means you have to decide whether your scores are good enough to submit.

We’ve written elsewhere about test-optional strategy , so I’ll keep it quick here. In general, you want your test scores to be within (or, preferably, on the higher end of) the middle 50% range. Here are Vandy’s:

SAT Composite: 1480-1570

ACT Composite: 34-35

Middle 50% ranges sound confusing, but they’re actually easy to read. The middle half of enrolled first-year students scored between a 1480 and a 1570 on their SATs. From these numbers, you can also tell that 25% scored at or below a 1480, and 25% scored at or above a 1570.

If your stats are at the higher end of these ranges, you should consider submitting them.

Does Vanderbilt superscore?

Yep. Vanderbilt will take all your best section scores, no matter which test date you earned them, and combine them to make one “superscore.” Thank you, Vandy!

What high school coursework do I need to get into Vanderbilt?

Vanderbilt doesn’t have a set required high school curriculum, and admissions officers will always evaluate your transcript within the context of your high school.

Here’s what Vanderbilt recommends , though:

English: 4 years

Math: 4 years

Natural science: 4 years

Foreign language: 2 years

Social science/humanities: 2 years

Plus four more courses in these areas or other academic areas like computer science.

For prospective engineering students, Vanderbilt admissions officers will prefer that you’ve taken calculus, advanced physics, and chemistry.

But as with any highly-selective school, there’s one golden rule: you need to take the most challenging classes you can as often as you can. In particular, you should think about adding any AP, IB, or dual-enrollment classes if your school offers them. We in admissions call these classes “rigorous”—that is, they signal that you’re ready for college coursework.

Successful Vanderbilt applicants typically have transcripts full of rigor. If you want to be a Vandy student, yours should be, too.

What extracurriculars do I need to get into Vanderbilt?

Extracurriculars are an important part of Vanderbilt’s admissions process. They’re so important that one of their supplemental essay questions is all about your extracurriculars.

We’ll go over your Vandy supplemental essays in our Vanderbilt Supplemental Essays post, so for now, we’ll focus on the activities themselves.

More eye-catching activities will, of course, catch your admissions officer’s eye. If you’ve been to space, won an international award, or built a new invention, you’ll undoubtedly stand out from the crowd. At Admit Report, we call these measures of “reach” and “magnitude.” The bigger the reach and magnitude, the more impressive the extracurricular. But that’s not the only way to have extracurriculars that matter.

In Vanderbilt admissions, what matters is your impact . Your extracurriculars, no matter what they are, should show that you’ve made a difference in your own life, the lives of those around you, or in your community more broadly. That’s why it’s important to communicate the meaning and impact behind your activity, no matter what it is. Did you cook dinner for your family every weeknight? Or volunteer with your local animal shelter? Amazing! Now ask yourself: Why were those activities meaningful to me? How did they impact other people? How do they show that I’m a good community member? In your activities list, resume, and (possibly) supplemental, you’ll want to carefully write about your extracurriculars in a way that shows your reach, magnitude, and impact.

Finally, your activities should also clearly connect to who you’d be at Vanderbilt. Being able to make connections between your activities and what Vanderbilt offers, especially if you write about an extracurricular in your supplemental essay, will help your admissions officer see that you already belong on campus.

Final Takeaways + Vanderbilt Supplemental Essays

And with that, you’re ready to apply to Vanderbilt. By this point, you should have a solid idea of what your application needs to communicate for you to be a strong candidate for admission. If you want to go to Vandy, your strategy is essential.

The next part of your strategy is writing excellent supplemental essays. For all the details you need to know to write a successful Vandy supplement, check out our Vanderbilt Supplemental Essay guide next . See ya there.

Every week, our team of former T15 admissions officers sends out an email with the best application tips based on your grade level. No BS—just our best advice straight to your inbox.

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Vanderbilt University


Located in the heart of Nashville, TN, Vanderbilt is a mid-sized, high-level research university, that attracts a diverse group of highly talented students from around the country and the world. In an inclusive residential environment, students take advantage of more than 70 majors across four undergraduate schools, 475+ student-led organizations, and all that Nashville has to offer. The Opportunity Vanderbilt financial aid program helps make a Vanderbilt education affordable for all admitted students regardless of their economic circumstances. 60% of students conduct academic research, 50% study abroad, and over 70% participate in at least one internship while at Vanderbilt.

Academic programs.

  • Engineering
  • Liberal Arts
  • Communication
  • Art & Design
  • Finance/Accounting
  • Government/Political Science
  • Health Science
  • Performing Arts
  • Social Science
  • Visual Arts

Student experience

  • Co-op/Internship Opportunities
  • Disability Services
  • Intramural/Club Sports
  • LGBTQIA Services
  • Military/Veteran Services
  • On-Campus Housing
  • ROTC Program
  • Study Abroad
  • Undergraduate Research

Application information

Find out about requirements, fees, and deadlines

Vanderbilt seeks students of all backgrounds who have demonstrated strong academic skills and intellectual curiosity, and who have engaged in meaningful activities outside the classroom. For details about how to apply, visit .  Vanderbilt considers you a first-year student if you have not completed the equivalent of at least 12 semester hours of credit after completing high school (high school degree or GED). Courses taken as dual-enrollment do not count towards these hours if those credits are being used to graduate from your high school program.

Students from accredited institutions are welcome to apply for transfer admission. For transfer applicants, Vanderbilt seeks students of all backgrounds who have demonstrated strong academic skills in high school and college, and who have engaged in meaningful activities outside the classroom. Vanderbilt considers you a transfer student if you have completed the equivalent of at least 12 semester hours of credit after completing high school (high school degree or GED). Courses taken as dual-enrollment do not count towards these hours if those credits are being used to graduate from your high school program. For details about how to apply, visit


Additional Information

Visit campus to experience Vanderbilt's 340-acre, park-like setting in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more and register at . You can also explore Vanderbilt through  VirtualVU , online offerings spanning a wide variety of topics.

I chose Vanderbilt for the collaborative and friendly environment/people! Everyone here is extremely supportive and always wants to help. I don't think I ever walk anywhere without stopping to talk to someone I know on the way, and love how I'm constantly meeting new people and making new friends! Remi Bristol, Biomedical Engineering major, '26

School seal

Admissions office

School location

2305 West End Ave Nashville , TN 37203-1727 , United States of America

[email protected]

Phone number

(615) 322-2561

For first-year students

Admissions website.

Financial aid website

Undocumented or DACA students

For transfer students

View more in this region

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  1. 2010-11 Vanderbilt Athletics Annual Report by Vanderbilt Commodores

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  2. Vanderbilt University ranked 14th in 2021 ‘U.S. News & World Report’ rankings

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  3. Vanderbilt assessment: Fill out & sign online

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  4. MID YEAR PROGRESS REPORT Rev 1015 Plain Well Schools

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  5. Vanderbilt Assessment Scale-Parent Informant #6175

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  6. Vanderbilt test: Fill out & sign online

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  5. Mid-Year Reports

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