Frequently Asked Questions
No, Vanderbilt‘s merit-based scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen only. However, transfer applicants are eligible for need-based financial aid.
All Early Decision and Regular Decision candidates who submit completed applications by the appropriate deadline, including a completed scholarship application, will be considered for merit-based scholarships at Vanderbilt. There is no advantage or disadvantage to applying Early Decision in regards to scholarship awarding. However, all merit-based scholarship consideration occurs in February and March, so students admitted to Vanderbilt Early Decision will not be notified of any merit-based scholarship offers until late March (when Regular Decision candidates are also notified).
Most merit scholarships at Vanderbilt are offered without regard to any specific intended major. However, a number of major-based-scholarships are offered to students admitted to the Blair School of Music.
Yes, our three signature merit scholarship programs—the Ingram Scholarship Program, the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship Program, and the Chancellor’s Scholarship Program—all require an application. You may apply for merit scholarships via MyAppVU after submitting your application for admission. More information can be found on the Scholarships website.
Yes. As a Division I athletic program that competes in ten women’s and six men’s sports, interested students should refer to our official athletic site for more details about how the scholarship process works for their particular sport.
Yes, Vanderbilt provides scholarship assistance for admitted and enrolled students who are named National Merit Finalists. Students must designate Vanderbilt as their first-choice school with the National Merit Corporation by the deadlines set by the National Merit Corporation and enroll as an entering first-year student to receive Vanderbilt's National Merit Scholarship. For those finalists who also receive one of Vanderbilt's merit scholarships, we guarantee an additional $2,000 in National Merit total scholarship dollars per year from all sources (with Vanderbilt supplementing any smaller corporate or one-time National Merit Corporation awards). Those finalists who do not receive an additional merit scholarship from Vanderbilt will receive a total of $5,000 per year in National Merit scholarship from all sources (with Vanderbilt supplementing any smaller corporate or one-time National Merit Corporation awards).
Scholarship funding received from organizations outside of Vanderbilt will typically be added on top of any merit-based scholarship award from Vanderbilt up to the cost of attendance (COA).
If a student is receiving need-based financial assistance, outside scholarships/sources must be taken into account as part of a student‘s total need-based aid package and cannot be counted as part of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If an adjustment to a need-based financial aid package is necessary, the outside scholarship will be used first to replace a student‘s earnings expectation before reducing Vanderbilt need-based assistance.
For specific questions about outside scholarship awards, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Undergraduate Scholarships at 800-288-0204.
Each of our scholarship programs maintains different criteria --therefore the available funding is awarded to students with different “profiles.” First and foremost, students must excel within the highly competitive and holistic admissions review process. The Ingram Scholarship is awarded to students who plan to combine a professional or business career with an exceptional commitment to community service. The Chancellor’s Scholarship is awarded to students who have sought to build bridges between various economic, racial, social, or cultural groups in their communities. The Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship recognizes the “best of the best” in terms of leadership and academic achievement.
Each year, Vanderbilt awards about 300 merit-based scholarships to incoming freshmen who demonstrate exceptional accomplishment and high promise in intellectual endeavors. These awards range from partial to full tuition and are renewable through four years of undergraduate study as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic performance. Financial need, unless otherwise specified, is not a factor.
Vanderbilt awards a number of scholarships to students choosing to enroll in any of the four undergraduate schools, including our three signature, full-tuition awards: The Ingram Scholarship, the Chancellor’s Scholarship, and the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship. Detailed descriptions of these awards can be found on the Scholarships website.
Additional awards include: the Carell Family Scholarship for students who have held part-time employment during their high school years; the John Siegenthaler Scholarship for outstanding minority students interested in a career in journalism and/or public policy; the Fred Russell-Grantland Rice Scholarship for students interested in pursuing a career in sports journalism; and the Curb Leadership Scholarship for students who place creativity and innovation at the center of their lives and use their talents and leadership to create new possibilities. Vanderbilt also awards specific scholarships to qualified students residing in Houston, Texas, and selected counties in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. To ensure consideration for these awards, students must apply for admission to Vanderbilt and should also complete the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship application.