Vanderbilt University Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know

Overview of Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University is a private research institution situated in Nashville, TN. The institution has a large selection of over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students to select from. A robust student/faculty ratio backs students, and professors take a personalized approach to the teaching and learning process. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via the university’s over 500 clubs and organizations.


  • Total Enrollment: 12,824 (6,861 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 49 percent male/51 percent female
  • 99 percent full-time

Cost of Attendance Information

  • Tuition and Fees: $52,070
  • Books: $1,294
  • Room and Board: $16,910
  • Other Expenses: $2,874
  • Total Cost: $73,148

Financial Aid Information

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 72 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 66 percent
    • Loans: 13 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $41,444
    • Loans: $5,807

Academic Programs Offered

  • Most Popular Majors: Economics, General; Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other; Social Sciences, General; Mathematics, General; and Computer Science

Retention and Graduation

  • First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 97 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 89 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 94 percent

NCAA Athletic Programs

  • Men’s Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Tennis
  • Women’s Sports: Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field
  • The Vanderbilt Commodores play in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Overview of Vanderbilt University Admissions

Vanderbilt University has a competitive admissions pool, but students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. Applicants must complete an online application and send test scores from either the SAT or ACT and high school transcripts. Glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a challenging course load. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside of the admissions offices mean range. After applying, students will receive a message from an admissions counselor about the application process’s next steps. Interested students should check out the university’s website, which has helpful tips and contact information for the admissions offices.

Admissions Data                        

Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, Vanderbilt University had an acceptance rate of 10%. For every 100 students who submitted applications, 10 students gained admission, making Vanderbilt’s admissions procedure highly selective.

SAT Requirements and Scores

Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, 43% of admitted students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of Vanderbilt’s admitted students fall within the top 7% nationally on the SAT. 50% of admitted students scored between 700 and 760 on the evidence-based reading and writing part, while 25% scored under 700 and 25% scored over 760. 50% of students scored between 750 and 800 on the math part, while 25% scored under 750, and 25% scored a perfect 800. Applicants with a cumulative SAT score of 1560 or higher will have a competitive advantage at Vanderbilt.

ACT Requirements and Scores

Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, 64% of admitted students provided ACT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of Vanderbilt’s admitted students fall within the top 2% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of admitted students to Vanderbilt received a cumulative ACT score between 33 and 35, while 25% scored over 35, and 25% scored under 33.


In 2019, the average high school GPA of Vanderbilt University’s incoming freshman class was 3.83. Successful applicants to Vanderbilt have A and B grades primarily.

Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission

If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for Vanderbilt University, it should be easy to gain admissions to the schools below. If Vanderbilt University is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.

Boston College, Boston University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission

If you’re a competitive candidate for Vanderbilt University, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.

Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Tufts University, Northeastern University, New York University, University of Michigan

Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will be More of a Challenge

These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than Vanderbilt University. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, then you’ll be a competitive candidate for these schools.

Yale University, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University

Applying to Vanderbilt University

Application Deadline: January 1

Undergraduate Admissions Website:

Undergraduate Application Link(s):

Graduate Admissions Website:     

Graduate Application Link(s):

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