Home » Academic Advising » A Love Letter to Transfer Applicants

A Love Letter to Transfer Applicants

Posted by on Monday, February 24, 2014

Dear potential transfer applicants,

I know that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and we haven’t spoken to each other in quite some time, but I just want you to know that I haven’t forgotten about you.

In fact, you’re all I’ve been thinking about lately.  As we wrap up the process of reading tens of thousands of first-year applications and shaping the Vanderbilt Class of 2018, I have been receiving more and more emails and phone calls from those of you who want to move to Nashville and bring your diverse talents and experiences to the Commodore campus.

Because most of you have completed the college application process at least once already, we know that you do not need quite as much direction in that area (though of course your admissions counselors are here to answer any questions you may have).  What most of you want to know is, what will my life be like as a transfer student at Vanderbilt?  How difficult will the transition be?  How quickly will I be able to become a part of the Commodore community?  Will I get a true Vanderbilt experience in only two or three years?

In an attempt to answer these questions, we have put together some information and resources that we hope will give you an accurate picture of the life of a Vanderbilt transfer student:

Transfer Applications:  Students who wish to apply to Vanderbilt as a transfer (a student who has taken at least 12 credit hours at another college or university) will do so through the Common Application.  You can find a list of transfer-specific application requirements on our web site.   The priority deadline for transfer applications is March 15, and we will begin releasing decisions on a rolling basis in mid-April.

Financial Aid:  Students who are admitted as transfers receive the same need-based financial aid consideration as our admitted first-year students: we are committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated need for all U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens through the use of grants, scholarships, and work study (not loans).  You can find more information on our financial aid process and application requirements on the Financial Aid site.

Credit transfer:  The Office of Undergraduate Admissions does not evaluate transfer credit; instead, this process is completed by faculty in your intended area of study after the application and admissions process is complete.  You can estimate how much of your credit will apply and where by exploring the Vanderbilt Course Catalog.  If you find a Vanderbilt course that appears similar to one you took at your current institution, you will likely receive credit for that class – though of course there are no guarantees.

Transfer Housing:  Vanderbilt employs a four year on-campus living requirement for all of its undergraduate students – including transfers.  Students who are admitted through the transfer process will be prompted to apply for housing in early summer and will have the ability to choose from a variety of upperclassman housing options.

Class registration:  Transfer students will register for their fall courses in early June, with the help of their assigned academic advisers.

Academic advising:  All Vanderbilt students are offered a number of academic support services, including the assignment of an academic adviser.  You can find more detailed information on the advising process by reading this crusty old blog I posted back in 2012 – and don’t worry, all of the information is still correct.  Students also have access to the Tutoring Center and Writing Studio, both of which are located in the newly renovated Alumni Hall, where I’m writing this blog right now!

Told you!

Transfer Student Orientation:  New transfer students will take part in Transfer Student Orientation in mid-August, right after move-in day and throughout the first week of classes.  This program will help to connect you with other transfer students, orient you on campus, and provide the support you need to hit the ground running during this exciting transition.

Student organizations:  Student involvement is a hallmark of the Vanderbilt community, and students who are admitted through our transfer application process end up in Nashville in part because they have proven themselves to be active leaders at their current institution and on their high school campuses.  The best place to find out how to get involved is at our annual student organization fair, which takes place every August on The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons.  You can also explore all of our 510+ student organizations online right now through the Anchor Link website.

For a more in-depth look at the life of a Vanderbilt transfer student, check out these posts on our Inside ‘Dores student blog.

Posted in Academic Advising, Application Process, Common App, Information for Incoming Students, Transfer Students, Uncategorized and tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Transfer

    Hello. Does the information on myAppVU matter as long as my counselor confirmed that all my necessary components were received?

    • Hi, thanks for the question. The information in MyAppVU should be an accurate account of what we have in our records, and we want to make sure that it is correct and up to date. I suggest checking it again to see if it matches the information your counselor relayed. If not, please check back in with your counselor. Let me know if you need any other help!

  • Thomas

    I’ve heard some rumors that Vanderbilt is accepting less transfers this year. Is that true?

    • That’s a new one to me, Thomas. Vanderbilt typically enrolls about 200 transfers each year, and we are currently accepting applications. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Potential Junior Transfer

    I submitted my application, but I’m a little uncertain. I talked about an extracurricular experience from high school that was formative for my future college involvement. Does this work against me? Also, I feel like I didn’t get a chance to tailor my essay to Vanderbilt specifically. Is it true that my regional counselor will accept another essay?

  • Chris

    I saw today that the transfer priority deadline was extended by a month. Why was that? And what does that mean for the ones who submitted their application before the original priority deadline? Will they not receive their decisions until later?

    • Hi Chris, thanks for the question. We have extended our deadline for transfer applications in order to give students more time to complete applications with the new Common Application system (which for some applicants has caused delays). The extension will not affect you or other applicants who have already submitted your application. We will start notifying students in mid-April and continue until we have filled the class. Please let me know if you have any other questions, and we’re glad for your interesting in Vanderbilt!

  • Patrick Long

    Does the MyAppVU portal also demonstrate an admissions decision for transfer students once a decision has been made? I am under the (potentially incorrect) impression that freshman applicants can check the MyAppVU portal for admissions decisions, but I have not yet read anything indicative of transfer admission status.
    Thank you!

    • Thanks for the question, Patrick. When transfer admissions decisions are available, applicants will be able to view the decision in MyAppVU, like first-year applicants.

      • Patrick Long

        Thank you for the quick response!

  • Matthew Wilson

    Hello. How heavily do standardized test scores and college GPA weigh in the transfer admissions process? Furthermore, is a college GPA of 2.9 considered low for transfer students?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Matthew,
      While we do consider standardized test scores in the transfer evaluation process, the majority of our focus will be on your academic performance at the college level. We do not have any cut-offs in regards to college GPAs, but I can tell you that most students who are successful in this process have taken a rigorous course load and earned a 3.3 or higher.

  • Jordan Geyer


    How much do “peer college universities” matter? Is it better to apply as a sophomore with an average college GPA or as a junior with credentials above the average?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Jordan. Thanks for the questions. We consider applicants from all types of
      schools, but that the majority of our transfer students who are admitted are coming from a competitive 4 year university and have done well (about a 3.3 GPA or above) at that school. As for your second question, you’re welcome to apply this year and next year if you’re not admitted – applying as a sophomore this year will not hurt your changes if you also apply next year. Thanks!

  • Chris

    What is your admit process like for transfer applicants? Do you split up into committees, have clear admit/deny standards, etc?

  • Sammy Wu

    Are transfer applicants allowed to retake the SAT’s for a higher score?

  • Sammy Wu

    Does Vanderbilt accept transfer applicants from California community colleges?

    • Hi Sammy. We consider applicants from all types of schools. That being said, the majority of our transfer students who are admitted are coming from a competitive 4 year university, but not all of them.

  • Sammy Wu

    Would coming from a community college serve as a disadvantage when applying to Vanderbilt?

    • From our transfer page, “Preference will be given to students who have been enrolled full-time in college-level coursework at institutions similar to Vanderbilt.” That said, we do admit students from many types of schools.

  • Sammy Wu

    How much does the high school transcript matter when you’re applying as a junior transfer?

  • Sammy Wu

    On average, what percent of transfer applicants are admitted into Vanderbilt?

  • Chris

    Has a date been set for the release of the first round of transfer decisions?

    • thanks for the question, Chris. We will begin notifying transfer applicants in the next couple of weeks and continue until the class is full.

  • Erin Logan

    Will the addition of the new residence halls (Warren College and Moore College) influence the acceptance rate of transfer students for Fall 2014?

    • Hi Erin, good question. The new residence halls will not increase the overall student body size of Vanderbilt, so it will not have an influence over the transfer admit rate. Thanks.

  • Sammy Wu

    How much weight is given to the high school transcript when a student is applying for transfer as a junior? What is the average high school GPA of students who have successfully transferred into Vanderbilt as a junior. Is it required that transfer students submit their high school transcripts?

    • Hi Sammy. Yes, the high school transcript is a requirement of the transfer application. Your question about the average high school GPA of successful junior transfers is too detailed for me to answer. However, we do not have a cutoff score – we evaluate the entire application. Your collegiate academic record is particularly important in the transfer admission process.

  • Dan

    I was recently accepted as a transfer for the fall of 2014 and I was wondering if there was some way to connect with others who are in the same boat! A fb group maybe?

    • That’s a great idea, Dan. I’ll see if I can set something up.

      • Dan

        Good to hear. I appreciate the response.

  • Thomas

    When will the next wave of transfer admissions go out?

    • Hi Thomas, I don’t know specifically when the next notifications are going out, but we are sending notices on a weekly basis. Watch your inbox!

  • PeabodyHopefulFall2014

    When will the next round of decisions be? Is it still on a weekly basis, or are they are going to start to be coming in more frequently?


    • Carolyn Pippen

      We are releasing decisions on a weekly basis, but not every application will receive a decision the week after it is submitted. This depends on the contents of the application and how much time it takes us to evaluate it.

  • Erin Logan

    At what time can we expect to receive an email for this weeks wave of acceptances?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Erin,
      I do not believe there is a specific time that these emails are sent out each week. It will likely vary depending on the application load we have that particular week.

  • CTransferGirl

    I was waitlisted last week, is there any rough estimate of a time period when people waitlisted may know?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Unfortunately not – this depends on how many of our admitted students accept their spots, as well of the quality of applications we receive later in the process. We hope to have the transfer process completed within the next few weeks, but we simply cannot guarantee that that will be the case.

  • Bella

    Hello. Is there anything written about a required amount of time spent at a college before transferring? I am aware that you are to obtain at least 12 transferable credits.

    • Hi Bella, thanks for your interest in Vanderbilt. The 12 credit hour minimum is the only requirement for how long you must have spent at a college before transferring – there’s no additional time requirement. Let us know if you have any more questions.

  • Bob

    Hi- as a transfer applicant would a HS gpa of 3.0 be too low to be considered for acceptance even though I have a 3.94 in college?

    • Hi Bob, thanks for your question. We do not use cut-off requirements for test scores or GPA. Instead we look at the whole application and evaluate based on the entire picture. We would certainly take into account the fact that your college GPA has been stronger than your high school GPA. Again, thanks for your question!

  • Student

    Are transfer students eligible for any scholarships? I’ve talked to the office of admissions (over the phone) and was told I can only qualify for regular financial aid. Would something like the Cornelius Vanderbilt scholarship forever be out of my reach?

    • Thanks for your question. You are correct that transfer students are eligible for need-based financial aid but not eligible for signature merit scholarships such as the Cornelius Vanderbilt scholarship. For more details about transfer financial aid, I suggest you visit the Financial Aid site or contact their office. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/financialaid/



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