Vanderbilt University

2014 Quick Stats
Nashville, TN 37240

Phone: (615) 322-7311
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 3
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#17 Overall Score: 84 out of 100. National Universities

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Vanderbilt University is a private institution that was founded in 1873. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,796, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 333 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Vanderbilt University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 17. Its tuition and fees are $42,978 (2013-14).

Vanderbilt University offers a wide range of student activities. Located in Nashville, or Music City, there are plenty of off-campus options for dining, shopping, music and entertainment. On campus, Greek organizations play a big role in social life, with approximately 40 percent of students affiliated with Greek life. All undergraduate students at Vanderbilt are required to live on campus, and freshmen live together in The Commons, which has six LEED certified green dorms. The Commodores, named for Vanderbilt founder "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, have teams in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference. About 35 percent of students take advantage of Vanderbilt’s study abroad programs, which are offered in more than 35 countries.

Vanderbilt is comprised of 10 schools and colleges covering disciplines from the humanities to music to engineering. Among its graduate programs are the top-ranked Peabody College of Education and Human Development, which also offers undergraduate programs, and the highly ranked Owen Graduate School of Management, School of Engineering, Law School, School of Medicine and School of Nursing. Vanderbilt is also well known for its undergraduate Blair School of Music, and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center is ranked one of the best in the nation. Former chairman and CEO of Time Inc. Ann Moore, NFL quarterback Jay Cutler and novelist James Patterson all received degrees from Vanderbilt.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Comprised of four undergraduate schools and six graduate programs, Vanderbilt University offers students a world-class liberal arts education that includes both a high level of intellectual engagement and myriad extracurricular and research opportunities. Vanderbilt students -- who hail from across the country and the world -- speak often about maintaining an excellent balance between academic challenge and campus involvement. With 350+ student-led organizations, mirroring the diverse array of opinions and backgrounds represented at Vanderbilt, campus is always buzzing with activity. From Greek life to religious organizations and everything in between, there is never a shortage of opportunities to get involved. Designed to foster a sense of community for first-year students making the transition to college, The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons offers a living-learning residential experience, and has often been cited as a key source of friendship and camaraderie among our students, who keep in touch well after that crucial freshman year. Seven of The Ingram Commons buildings have been LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, making it one of the largest collections of LEED-certified buildings planned on a single campus in the Southeastern United States. Moreover, Vanderbilt Visions enhances The Ingram Commons by facilitating conversations about the college experience among first-year students, peer mentors, and faculty advisers. Vanderbilt's study abroad program offers more than 100 direct-credit programs in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, China, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, and Spain, among others. Service is also important to Vanderbilt students, who engage with the local and global community through a large number of volunteer programs and organizations such as Alternative Spring Break, which was founded at Vanderbilt and has since become a staple at many other universities. Well-known speakers and musical acts always draw a crowd on campus through the popular Rites of Spring festival, which takes place on Alumni Lawn, as well as IMPACT, Commodore Quake and other events conceived of and executed almost entirely by students. Indeed, Vanderbilt's location in Midtown Nashville, in the heart of Music City, provides something for everyone: a rich supply of music from every conceivable genre, and an abundance of restaurants, theaters, shops, museums, and coffee shops, all within walking distance of campus. Outside Nashville, the state of Tennessee is home to the Great Smoky Mountains and state parks featuring beautiful lakes and prime hiking trails. Regarding financial aid, Vanderbilt practices a need-blind policy for all U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens, and promises to meet 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted students. Students' need-based aid includes a combination of grant monies and federal work-study funding and does not include loans. Additionally, the university offers merit aid to approximately 3% of applying students. The three signature merit programs -- the Ingram Scholarship Program, Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship Program, and Chancellor's Scholarship Program -- require a separate application and each award includes full tuition plus a summer stipend.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1873
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting urban
2012 Endowment $3,360,036,000


When applying to Vanderbilt University, it's important to note the application deadline is January 3, and the early decision deadline is November 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due January 3. The application fee at Vanderbilt University is $50. It is most selective, with an acceptance rate of 14.2 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity most selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 14.2%
Application deadline January 3
SAT/ACT scores must be received by January 3

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Vanderbilt University is 8:1, and the school has 63.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Vanderbilt University include: Economics, General; Social Sciences, General; Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other; Political Science and Government, General; and Psychology, General. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 96.3 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 8:1
4-year graduation rate 87%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Economics, General 14%
Social Sciences, General 10%
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 9%
Political Science and Government, General 8%
Psychology, General 6%

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Student Life

Vanderbilt University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,796, with a gender distribution of 50.4 percent male students and 49.6 percent female students. At this school, 83 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 17 percent of students live off campus. Vanderbilt University is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 12,710
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity N/A
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority N/A
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

Vanderbilt University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. Vanderbilt University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Vanderbilt University.

Students who have cars on campus N/A
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Vanderbilt University, 47.9 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $38,577.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $42,978 (2013-14)
Room and board $14,094 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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