Small Town and Rural Students

Vanderbilt University recognizes our responsibility and commitment to rural students, families, and educators. Because of our location in Tennessee, a top-five state for percentage of rural high school students, we are uniquely positioned to work with these talented students who live in our own backyard. To elevate and empower rural populations, Vanderbilt will implement a comprehensive, integrated statewide outreach plan including on-the-ground outreach, programming on the Vanderbilt campus, webinars, and professional development opportunities for rural educators. We know that students who live in small towns and rural areas play a unique role at Vanderbilt as we dare to grow!

In Tennessee, rural students make up 29 percent of the population; compared to the national median, our state has three rural students to one. We have a responsibility to engage with these students and their families to help them prepare for college and understand their options, whether they choose Vanderbilt or not. We must also ensure that the rural students admitted to Vanderbilt have no doubt that they belong here when they arrive on our campus.

headshot of Chancellor Daniel Diermeier Chancellor Daniel Diermeier
group of Vanderbilt students in graduation regalia
aerial view of campus in the fall showing historic campus center


Small-Town and Rural Virtual Series: Financial Aid 101

June 13, 2023

Join us for a virtual session describing the world of scholarships and financial aid. Along with discussing Vanderbilt’s merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid, we’ll also discuss federal aid and state aid for those in Tennessee.  

Small-Town and Rural Virtual Series: Admissions 101

July 25, 2023

Curious about how to navigate the college search process? In this session, we’ll discuss various types of postsecondary institutions to help you discover your best college fit using practical tools like creating a college list.