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Overview & Philosophy

Vanderbilt uses a holistic admissions process — we do not employ cutoffs for standardized testing or grade point averages. Rather we look 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. Most successful applicants have taken a very rigorous course load and have challenged themselves at the highest levels of the available curriculum. Note that Vanderbilt does not consider demonstrated interest in the admissions review process.

Three Ways to Apply:

Choose the application system that is right for you - we do not prefer one over the others. Do not submit an application through more than one system. Choose one application, and submit all required materials through that method.

Please note: In addition to submitting the application for admission, applicants to Blair also submit the Blair School of Music Application, which includes a pre-screening video.

*Because of Blair’s audition timeline, students applying through the QuestBridge National Match program may not select Blair as their first-choice school.

students showing the anchor down hand sign
kirkland hall with spring blooms

Access & Diversity

In the spirit of Vanderbilt admissions, we consider each individual within the context of a high volume, highly selective admissions process. Every applicant is treated with dignity and respect, and we train our readers to find reasons to admit each candidate rather than reasons to deny. 

We believe that a Vanderbilt education should be accessible to all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic background. As the university continues to implement ongoing initiatives to promote social justice and equity, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions reaffirms this commitment. Our office recognizes that by recruiting and building a class of diverse students of all backgrounds, and from all over the world, Vanderbilt continues to grow as a community in which every student brings their individual perspectives and imaginations to work, innovate, and create together. 

We also understand that families in many areas of the world are dealing with the impacts of natural disasters, public health crises, or other events. If your family is experiencing a serious hardship in your community, please know that our thoughts are with you, and that we realize that your health and safety is your first priority. As you turn toward the college admissions process, please contact your admissions counselor if you have difficulty submitting required materials by published deadlines. As is always our policy, we will be as flexible as possible regarding our deadlines, and we will work with you to help you complete your application. 

To support prospective students and their families during the ongoing global pandemic, we did not require scores from the SAT or ACT exams for students applying to enter the university in fall 2021. This policy will stay in place for students applying to enter in fall 2022. Read the full statement regarding our test-optional policy for fall 2021 applicants. 

Decision Plans

Vanderbilt offers three decision plans for first-year applicants: Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision.

Early Decision I and II are binding decision plans and are appropriate for students who are committed to attending Vanderbilt if they are admitted. The applicant, a parent or guardian, and the high school counselor must sign the Early Decision Agreement, indicating the student’s commitment to attend Vanderbilt if offered admission. If the student is admitted to Vanderbilt, they must immediately withdraw applications to all other colleges and universities.

Regular Decision is non-binding and permits students to apply to any number of schools and to make their matriculation decision in the month of April, after all admission decisions are known.

Early Decision applicants undergo the same thorough review for need-based financial assistance and merit scholarships as Regular Decision applicants.

Note: Applicants may change their Vanderbilt decision plan via the MyAppVU portal.  Decision plan changes can be submitted only up to 2 weeks after the decision plan deadline. The Early Decision Agreement is required for students who change their decision plan to Early Decision I or II. 

E. Bronson Ingram College
roommates sit together in a VU residence hall

Dates and Deadlines

Early Decision 1

ADMISSIONS

  • October 2, 2021 — Preferred last day to take the SAT Reasoning Test*
  • October 23, 2021 — Preferred last day to take the ACT*
  • November 1, 2021 — Blair School of Music Application deadline
  • November 1, 2021 —  Deadline for completed application
  • Mid-December — Admission decisions available
  • December 31, 2021 — Deadline for matriculation deposit

FINANCIAL AID AND MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS

  • November 4, 2021 — Priority filing deadline for CSS PROFILE and FAFSA
  • December 1, 2021 — Deadline for completed  merit scholarship applications
  • Mid-December — Preliminary financial aid awards available
  • Late March — Updated financial aid award available

Early Decision II

ADMISSIONS

  • December 4, 2021 — Preferred last day to take the SAT Reasoning Test*
  • December 11, 2021 — Preferred last day to take the ACT*
  • January 1, 2022 — Blair School of Music Application deadline
  • January 1, 2022 — Deadline for completed application
  • Mid-February — Admission decisions available
  • March 1, 2022 — Deadline for matriculation deposit

FINANCIAL AID AND MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS

  • December 1, 2021 — Deadline for completed  merit scholarship applications
  • January 2, 2022 — Priority filing deadline for submitting CSS PROFILE and FAFSA
  • Mid-February — Preliminary financial aid awards available
  • Late March — Updated financial aid award available

Regular Decision

ADMISSIONS

  • December 4, 2021 — Preferred last day to take the SAT Reasoning Test*
  • December 11, 2021 — Preferred last day to take the ACT*
  • January 1, 2022 — Blair School of Music Application deadline
  • January 1, 2022 — Deadline for completed application
  • Late March — Admission decisions available

FINANCIAL AID AND MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS

  • December 1, 2021 — Deadline for  merit scholarship applications
  • February 3, 2022 — Priority deadline for filing CSS PROFILE and FAFSA
  • Late March — Financial aid awards available
  • May 1, 2022 — Deadline for matriculation deposit

Transfer

ADMISSIONS

  • March 15, 2022 — Priority deadline for submitting completed application. Transfer applicants will be considered on a rolling basis throughout the spring.
  • Beginning Late-April, 2022 — Admissions decisions available on a rolling basis

FINANCIAL AID

  • February 1, 2022 — Priority deadline for filing FAFSA and CSS PROFILE

* For students applying for fall 2022 entry, SAT or ACT scores are optional.