Skip to main content

Affording Vanderbilt


Investment. This is one word that is rarely mentioned during the college search process, and once the search is completed, it is exactly how college is and should be viewed. As with any investment you should do your homework, including understanding what Vanderbilt can do for you:

  • Vanderbilt is one of a small number of universities that do not consider ability to pay when determining admission.
  • We are committed to meeting 100 percent of demonstrated need to help make this investment in your future a reality.
  • Currently, 60 percent of Vanderbilt students receive some form of financial aid.

Before you let “sticker shock” hinder the possibility of investing in a Vanderbilt education for your son or daughter, check out these easy tips on understanding the financial aid process.

Estimated Cost of Attendance

Please visit our Estimated Cost of Attendance page within our Financial Aid category.


  • This might not be the easiest learning experience, and the process won't be quick, but knowledge is power, and the more familiar you become, the easier affording a Vanderbilt investment will become.
  • Once you understand the basics of financial aid, you should ascertain what your expected family contribution might be. This can be done on Web sites like and The College Board.


  • Read the articles in weekly magazines, local newspapers, and college guides in bookstores.
  • Visit Web sites like and that will help you better understand need- and merit-based financial aid opportunities.
  • Utilize the college resource office at your local secondary school if such an office exists.
  • Contact the Vanderbilt Office of Student Financial Aid and Undergraduate Scholarships with any questionsÉtheir experts can help you through the process.


  • You should attend any and every free financial aid seminar offered in your community.
  • Many secondary schools host junior nights where they discuss issues regarding college admissions and financial aid. They may have representatives from regional or national institutions.


  • Encourage your child to apply for scholarships as early in the junior year as possible, and you should start researching scholarship and need-based aid investments as early as freshman year of high schoolÉit is never too early!
  • Don't make assumptions about financial aid because “that's what you've heard.” You will be surprised how the savvier you get, the more opportunities to save money become apparent.

Vanderbilt, and college in general, is a very real prospect for any family. Like any investment it requires the time and effort to ensure it will pay dividends in the future. There is no question a Vanderbilt education will in itself be valuable, but if your son or daughter can graduate and become a proud Commodore alum with minor debt, now that is priceless.

Quick Reference Resources:

In addition, your school, newspapers, magazines, college guides, and counselors should all be major resources.