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Frequently Asked Questions


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International students are eligible to apply for any of our merit scholarships. Information on our merit scholarships and the application process can be found on the Financial Aid website.  Please note that scholarships are extremely competitive and full tuition awards are rare.  Interested students must complete the appropriate merit scholarship applications; applying for admission will not automatically place you in consideration for these awards.

No, international financial aid is only available to incoming freshmen.

Vanderbilt does not require the TOEFL if you have completed three of your last four educational years in a majority English-speaking curriculum. However, if you are enrolled in an English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Learner (ELL) program, the TOEFL is recommended. Students are also exempt from the TOEFL if they score a 600 or above on the critical reading section of the SAT reasoning exam.

Yes, we do offer need-based financial aid to international students. For those offered need-based financial aid, Vanderbilt will meet full need for four years of undergraduate study.  Competition for these funds is intense, and we are not able to offer financial aid to every student who would be successful at Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt considers you an international student if you are a citizen of any nation other than the United States of America. You are not considered an international student if you are a dual U.S. citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident, refugee/asylee, or a U.S. citizen living abroad.

Interviews with admissions officers are not part of the admission process for Vanderbilt. Anytime you speak or meet with an admissions officer, it is simply an informative conversation, not an evaluation. Some applicants may choose to participate in our optional alumni interviewing program, known as the CoRPs Interview Program. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that alumni interviews will be available in every part of the world. 

Your citizenship determines how we process the paperwork for your application, but not how we review your application. Any student who attends school outside the U.S. will work with his/her international admissions officer so that cultural and educational differences are kept in perspective throughout the review process.

No. We cannot accept substitutions to the testing requirements. All applicants, freshman and transfer, need to submit scores from either the SAT Reasoning Exam or the ACT.

Vanderbilt does not offer conditional admission. We do have an English Language Center, but it is separate from our degree programs. Students applying to Vanderbilt University should be prepared to enter directly into our English-speaking classrooms.

Please notify our office as soon as you receive approval for U.S. permanent residency. Once you obtain this status, you are no longer considered an international student in our process and may then be eligible for federal and/or institutional financial aid.

No, if you are currently attending or have previously attended a university full time as a matriculated student, you must apply for admission as a transfer student. You may only apply for freshman admission if you have completed the equivalent of 11 credit hours or fewer (usually three college courses).

Yes. If you attend a school that can provide accurate predicted IB scores, we will need them for review.

Yes, financial aid is available to international students who apply Early Decision. Learn more about need-based aid for international students.

For international students who qualify for need-based financial aid and who are admitted, Vanderbilt will meet full need for four years of undergraduate study. Your financial need is determined by the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. More information can be found here.

Not if a student applies for need-based financial aid. In that case, a family‘s ability to finance the cost of attending Vanderbilt is a factor in the admissions process for international students. It is possible that the more assistance a student requires, the less likely it will be for that student to gain admission. 

To be considered for International Financial Aid, you should complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE available from the College Board.

After students are offered admission, they will work with Vanderbilt‘s International Student Services and Scholars Office (ISSS) on visa issues. ISSS will contact students regarding necessary documentation, orientation and other relevant information for international students.

Vanderbilt will waive the application fee if it proves to be a financial burden for the applicant. Please have your school counselor or another school official request a waiver on your behalf.