Home » Academic Life » Early Decision I Decision Letters Mailed

Early Decision I Decision Letters Mailed


Posted by on Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We work in cycles as admissions professionals. Each fall brings its own surprises and new developments, of course, and no one applicant pool (or application for that matter) is the same as the next. But, generally speaking, each cycle ebbs and flows with relative consistency: We travel, we read, we host prospective students and families, we read some more, and then we get together for hours and days on end to decide who will be the first to join the next class of Commodores. (I’m simplifying for the sake of efficiency – we do lots of other things too, like brag on these guys, for instance – but you get the drift.)

This last piece is what defined the last several days in our office as Early Decision I decisions were made with much diligence, patience, and the aid of many gallons of caffeine. The quality of applications reaching Vanderbilt’s doorsteps these days demands nothing less, nor does the integrity of the wider Commodore community that new admits will join. And these decisions get tougher as the sheer number of apps climbs too. But, as Senior Associate Director of Admissions Thom Golden mentioned to me in passing last week, “this process is absolutely a labor of love.”

A few days removed from that weary yet blithe exchange, we are ready to approach the next milestone in our cycle: mailing decision letters to the first members of the Class of 2017, Vanderbilt’s most academically qualified and diverse EDI class yet. A full overview of the Early Decision class will be released in tandem with EDII decisions being mailed in February, but suffice it to say that this applicant pool was nothing short of phenomenal. Our team found inspiration around every corner of the reading and decisioning process – whether in tried and true academic metrics, service-oriented endeavors, or the incredible stories underpinning so many of your journeys.

The bittersweet part of this day is in sending letters to those who won’t receive an ‘admit’ decision. Most applicants to Vanderbilt could successfully handle the rigor required of our student body (hence why the selection process is so difficult), but our policy of bringing approximately 1,600 first-year students to The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons each fall necessitates that we turn down fully capable individuals in the process. If this is you, we hope you won’t see our decision as a rejection, but rather as an opportunity to thrive elsewhere. Everything we read and debated over in this cycle’s applications indicates that no one in this pool should do anything less than amazing work no matter where they attend.

A few housekeeping items before concluding:

  • Applicants living outside the U.S. should receive their decisions via email on Thursday, December 13.
  • In the unlikely event that applicants don’t receive their decisions by mail, they may receive their decisions via phone on or after Tuesday, December 18.

Thanks to everyone who applied as part of this extraordinary EDI pool, and again, congrats to the newest members of the Class of 2017!


Posted in Academic Life, Admissions Committee, Application Process, Commons, Early Decision and tagged: , , , , , ,


  • Anonymous

    did you guys accept people with under 32 ACTs

    • Thanks for your question. As we state in the Quickguide, we do not employ cutoffs for standardized testing or GPAs in the admissions process. We employ a holistic review that includes all parts of the application.

      • valecdisme

        GO GO VANDY!!

      • Anonymous

        Thank you for your timely response, but for this specific ED1 pool, was it highly unlikely to be admitted with an ACT under 32 if the applicant was not a racial minority, legacy, or recruited athlete?

        • cj99

          I think they are reallly trying to stress that your chance of admissions does not directly vary with any single factor such as an ACT score, and therefor nothing can be said about ones chance of admission given only a single factor. Maybe if you gave them your full application and say about a month and 10 days they could give you a more accurate estimation though ;)

  • irishlady

    so would you have accepted someone with not so good grades but good everything else

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Our holistic review takes into account a student’s academic achievement, test scores, recommendations, essay, and extracurricular involvement, along with a number of other contextual factors. Students who fare well in our highly selective process are typically those who have shown strengths in all of these areas.

  • Anonymous

    How much time will it take for us to receive the letters? 2-3 days I guess?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      The time it takes for you to receive your decision letter will vary depending on where you live. If you have not received your letter by Tuesday, December 18, you may call our office and receive your decision by phone.

  • Brian

    Does this mean that some applicants could receive their letters as early as thursday the 13th?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      When your decision arrives will vary depending on where you live. If you have not received a letter from us by Tuesday, December 18, you may call our office and receive your decision by phone.

  • Guest

    From the perspective of the OUA, how does having a larger-than-normal amount of students from a certain school applying early decision affect the group’s chances as a whole?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Every student will receive the same consideration, regardless of how many people from their schools apply. We do not have quotas for specific high schools or geographic regions.

  • interestedparent

    Curious, how many early decision applicants were there? How many did you accept? Finger crossed!!

    • Thanks for your question. As we’ve done in the past, we’ll likely release a more comprehensive overview of Early Decision stats in tandem with mailing Early Decision II decisions.

  • Lori

    Will the “yes” letter be thicker than the “no” letter? The suspense is killing this mom and I will have to stare at it all day until my daughter gets home from her track meet. Thank you!

    • Carolyn Pippen

      For our Early Decision applicants, the “Yes” letters and the “No” letters will come in the same sized envelope. Sorry for the added suspense, parents!

    • anonymous

      my acceptance letter was thicker because it contained financial aid information etc./ if you hold it up to the light you can see through it.

      • LoriC

        My son got his in the mail today (we’re in Norman, OK) and holding it up to the light is not working !!! :-) It is thicker than a one page letter.

  • NervousApplicant

    Very random and detailed but how does the acceptance letter begin and how does the rejection letter begin (i.e. congratulations, after much review, we regret to inform you, etc.)?

  • kathy garner

    are the letters sent via priority/first class mail?

    • Hi Kathy, all Early Decision I letters were sent via first class mail.

  • Anonymous

    Did you guys admit people who were not racial minorities or legacy that had test scores in the bottom 25th percentile of your range? I don’t know why I can never get an answer for this. I though the OUA prided itself on being extremely transparent. I know it’s a holistic review, but why can’t you just tell us if you accept those kinds of kids who maybe aren’t “hooked” applicants but have good GPAs and extracurriculars and a lower percentile test score?

    • Disqus_9D1e2sYVly, I can appreciate your desire for additional information about the kind of students we admit. It’s an important question and one we work hard on this blog to answer. But the honest truth is that we don’t report the kind of data you are asking for (i.e., a testing profile for various demographics or categories of admitted students). We only report it in the aggregate and at the completion of ED2. If I can interpret the spirit of your question a little bit: do we admit students who have “good GPAs and extracurriculars and a lower percentile test score?” Simply put, yes we do. In fact that is why we have a holistic admissions process to begin with. Hope this helps.

  • Brian

    If I live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is there a possibility that i could receive my letter tomorrow? Or when would you think is the most likely date?

    • Hi Brian, all letters were sent regular first class mail. I cannot guarantee a day you will receive it, but, if for some reason you do not receive your decision by December 18, you may call our office and receive it over the phone.

    • Guest

      Did you get your letter yet? I live in Texas and got mine this afternoon.

  • McDougalsFan9

    If the letters were mailed out on December 11th, does this mean that some applicants (depending on where they are geographically located) may receive their admissions letters earlier than the anticipated December 15th date?

    • The December 15 date is not the date we promise letters will be received, but the date we say letters should be mailed. We were able to get them out earlier than that this year thankfully.

  • Will C

    I just got mine today, and I live in Nashville! I am now officially a Commodore! Anchor Down!

  • Jack

    Has anyone from NY heard yet?

  • blah

    Is there no deferral for early decision? I thought there was.

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Generally speaking, we do not defer students from Early Decision to any later deadlines. If you are not admitted to Vanderbilt at Early Decision, you are effectively released from the binding commitment and free to pursue your options at other institutions.

  • Justin M

    Just got my acceptance letter. So excited to be heading to Nashville next year!! Will be rooting for the football team in the Music City Bowl!

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Congrats Justin! Anchor down!

  • Anonymous

    I am a Vanderbilt alumnus and my daughter received her upsetting decision today for ED. It is said to say that a double legacy with an additional 3 Vandy alum relatives holds no importance anymore. I loved my time at Vanderbilt, but it is clear that the respect for alumni is not honored like it once was. Vanderbilt will not be receiving any more generous donations from me.

    • Guest
  • Jared S

    Officially a Vanderbilt Commodore!! Here I come Nashville!

    • Congrats Jared!

    • Hey Jared! what state are you in? I am dying to know how much longer I have to wait for my letter to get to Maryland

      • Jared S

        I live in East Tennessee, so I got the letter two days after they were finished!

  • Nimi

    Are oriental asians considered as minorities at Vanderbilt?

    • Thanks for your question, Nimi. When we report the percentage of minority students enrolled at Vanderbilt, we include the following cohorts as defined by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS): Hispanic/Latino; American Indian/Alaska Native; Asian; Black/African American; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Original Peoples). However, students who are not U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens are reported separately in our international student count. For example, a student with Chinese citizenship is reported as international; this student would not be reported as Asian in our minority counts.

      • Enen

        Hi Ryan,
        If a child half Asian(Filipino) and half white American is this child consider a minority?

        Thank you.

  • John Z

    Has anyone else from Texas received their letters yet? I have a friend who already got his but I haven’t.

    • Allie

      I live in Dallas and got mine this afternoon. I was accepted to the Blair School of Music.

      • Guest

        Guest – I also live in Dallas.

    • Guest

      I live in Dallas and received my acceptance letter today

  • Sania

    If you were not admitted ED1, can ayou still apply for ED2 or regular decision?

    • Hi Sania, no, applicants not admitted at EDI are unable to apply EDII or RD.

  • Sania

    If you were not admitted ED1, can you still apply for ED2 or regular decision?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Sania,
      Students who are not admitted ED1 cannot reapply for ED2 or Regular Decision, but are released from the binding agreement with Vanderbilt and free to pursue their options at other institutions.

  • Guest

    ive got to say, as much are our daughter wants to go to vandy, this process of notification by mail is tainting our outlook. every other kid we know who has applied ed is getting notified by email. we still haven’t received our letter and no one in our house is sleeping at night. it would really reduce the stress level (which is large enough as is) if notification was made to everyone at the same time via email. just saying.

    • Jane Dane

      I also have not received my decision letter by mail, however everyone else in my district has. Waiting until Tuesday is frustrating because I need to know if I have to start sending out applications to other schools. Notification via email would be much appreciated.

  • From Virginia

    Hi, has anyone living in VA received their letter yet? On tenterhooks here!

  • Sunshine Ogojiaku

    I didn’t receive any financial aid papers with my acceptance letter. Does it mean I won’t get any?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Sunshine,
      All students who completed the CSS Profile on time and qualified for need-based aid should have received this information with their admit letters. If you have questions about your specific application or the aid you are receiving, feel free to contact our financial aid office at (615) 322-2561 or via email at finaid@vanderbilt.edu.

  • Gloria Nlewedim

    A neighbor of mine recieved her letter two days ago, but I have not…should I be concerned?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Gloria,
      We have no way of knowing when specific letters will get to specific areas, but I can assure you that if you applied ED1, you have been sent a letter. If you still have not received anything by Tuesday, you can call our office and receive your decision by phone.

  • Henry

    If other prospectives in my area received their letters two days ago and mine has so far not reached my house, should I e-mail the admissions counselor of my area or wait until the 18th to call?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Henry,
      Your counselor will not be able to give you your admissions decision or any information about your letter until the 18th.

      • Henry

        Ok. Thanks for the reply.

  • I received my decision letter and it said I didn’t turn in all of my application materials, but I received a conformation email from Vanderbilt and the common application stating that I did. How do I find out what else I need to turn in?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Cailtyn,
      If you call or email your admissions counselor, he or she will be able to check on the status of your application and let you know what you are missing. You can find your counselor’s contact information here: http://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/your-counselor/

  • Ann Potter

    My daughter received her disappointing no yesterday and we both cried. She was so very disappointed. After receiving many invitations to apply, scholarship information and many mailings for visiting the school she applied. Even with a 4.3 GPA, community service, extracurricular sports with accolades as well as high test scores, she was denied admission. My heart is broken for her as we do not understand. Good luck to you all.

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I know that if you are rejected ED1 you can’t reapply ED2 or RD. However, could you apply to a different school? For example, if you were rejected from the College of Arts and Sciences ED1, could you then apply to Peabody ED2?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Students who are not admitted at ED1 cannot reapply at a later deadline in the same year, regardless of which undergraduate school you select each time.

  • Anonymous

    If you were rejected ED1, but already submitted applications for Ingram, Cornelius Vanderbilt, or Chancellor’s Scholarships, what happens?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Students who are not admitted at any deadline will be removed from scholarship consideration.

  • NKorouri

    Received my acceptance letter on Friday to the College of Arts and Sciences–this is beyond surreal. For any of the previous posters who have doubted Vanderbilt’s admissions process, I am living proof that it IS truly as holistic as they claim it to be. Thank you, Vanderbilt OUA, for considering all parts of my application and maintaining an unprecedented amount of dedication, integrity, and open-mindedness throughout this entire process. I am truly proud to be a Commodore.

  • I applied for RD and i was wondering when i could look forward to getting my decision letter in the mail? The wait is driving me crazy!

    • Hi Madison! Decision letters will be mailed to RD applicants by April 1.

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