Home » Application Process » Vanderbilt Admissions AMA

Vanderbilt Admissions AMA

Posted by on Monday, March 31, 2014

We just finished reviewing 29,500 applications – Ask Us Anything.

On Friday, members of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions gathered for a very special occasion – mailing day. After reading, reviewing, and considering approximately 29,500 applications, it was time to notify students. Now those decisions are out. If you applied to Vanderbilt this year, you can see your admission decision in MyAppVU.

Do you have questions? Now’s the time to ask us anything. Fire away in the comments section and we will do our best to answer your question.  On Friday we’ll be back with a recap of the most frequently asked questions.

Posted in Application Process, General Information, Uncategorized, VU Admissions Statistics, Waitlist and tagged: , , , , , ,

  • Rachel Anand

    I have always been curious… approximately how much time do you spend reviewing an individual application?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Great question! The answer varies quite a bit, depending on the application. A first read might take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, but each application is reviewed at least twice – and sometimes three, four, five, or six times.

  • Pamela Kubek Seethaler

    How likely is it that a person who has been “wait-listed” will actually receive an offer?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Pamela,
      Because the number of students on the wait list fluctuates from day to day (as students accept or turn down their spots on the list), it would be difficult to give you even an estimated chance of admission. However, I can tell you that approximately 10% of the freshman class over the last few years has been admitted via the wait list.

      • Pamela Kubek Seethaler

        Thank you for your prompt reply! Is it possible to learn how far down the wait list a person is, to estimate the chances that he/she might get in? Also, when you do notify students from the wait list, when does that happen? That is, if you don’t hear by, say, May 15, should you assume you won’t get it at all?

        • Hi Pamela! Our wait list is not ranked – as places in the class open up, we will review applicants on the wait list using the same holistic review we used for the initial evaluation. Timing is another hard to answer question – we can’t say when spaces will become available or when the class will be complete. However, we rarely make any decisions about students on the wait list before the beginning of May. And last year we made offers of admission to students on the wait list well into summer.

          • Pamela Kubek Seethaler

            Thank you, Carolyn and Jay. I appreciate your answers.

  • Coloradorunner60

    If a person has a criminal record, does that lessen their chances of being accepted?

    • That is certainly something that we would take into consideration, but we handle such situations on a case-by-case basis. If this is a concern for you, you should contact your admissions counselor.

  • Anthony N.

    If I applied for financial aid, does that hurt my chances of being admitted off the waitlist? Does Vanderbilt need to be need conscious this year when admitting students off the waitlist?
    Thank you

    • Great question, Anthony. We do reserve the right to be need aware when admitting students from the wait list, but at this point we do not know if this is something we will consider this year. In some recent years we have been need aware and in other years we have not been need aware. This is just one of the factors that we would consider when admitting a student from the wait list, with others including academic achievement, standardized test scores, extracurricular involvement, etc.

      • Anthony N.

        Thanks so much for the answer!

  • Sydney Bunch

    What was the acceptance rate for this class?

    • Thanks for the question, Sydney. For Regular Decision, our admit rate was 11.00%. For Early Decision it was 23.01%

      • Emma Nichols

        What was the admit rate for Early Decision 1 vs Early Decision 2?

        • Hi Emma. Because we consider Early Decision 1 & 2 to be part of the same process, we don’t report on them separately. Thus, we have just the one admit rate for ED.

          • Emma Nichols

            Thanks so much! Were there more applicants for one or the other?

          • We received 3,211 applications for ED total. Again, that’s across both EDI & EDII, because those are just two parts to the same decision plan. For Regular Decision this year, we received 26,293 applications.

  • Chandler Bailey

    What should potential VU ’20 students do right after posting this comment in order to establish themselves as a wonderful college prospect? Any habits for success?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      First, give yourself a pat on the back for being so ahead of the game. Academically, make sure that you are taking the most challenging courses that are available (and feasible) at your school and doing well in those classes. Start preparing for those standardized tests – they’re annoying, but still an excellent indicator of a student’s academic success in college, and therefor a big part of our selection process. Outside of the classroom, now is a great time to decide what extracurricular activities you’re really passionate about and start thinking about ways you can show leadership and commitment in those activities. Maintain good relationships with your teachers and counselors, since they will be writing your letters of recommendation. And finally, keep your mind and your options open. You may be dead set on Vanderbilt now – and that’s great! – but there are a ton of other wonderful schools out there, so don’t let tunnel vision limit your options.

  • Sidd Somayajula

    Will students who received an acceptance packet through MOSAIC received another one now?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Yes, you should receive an official admit packet in the mail this week. You can also view your admissions status on your MyAppVU account.

  • Yeri Yang

    I got rejected this time so I am looking forward to transferring. What is the average GPA of transfer student to get into Vanderbilt ? And is there anything else that I need to get accepted to Vanderbilt?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Yeri,
      Unlike the freshman application process, the transfer process is focused mostly on a student’s academic performance at the college level – namely your classes, grades, and GPA at your current institution. While we do not have any numerical cut-offs or requirements in these areas, most students who are successful in this process have taken a rigorous course load at a 4-year university similar to Vanderbilt and earned a 3.3 or higher.

  • Emily Torwirt

    I logged into my account and it says my application is incomplete. The only thing that has not been marked off is the academic evaluation. Might you be able to elaborate?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Emily,
      The Academic Evaluations are the recommendation letters that must be written and submitted by two instructors at your current institution. These forms are sent electronically to your instructors when you input their contact information in the Common Application.

      • Emily Torwirt

        Is there anyway I can find out if either instructor has submitted their recommendation? I have talked to one instructor who said she filled it out. Can I get back on the common application and send it again?

  • Sammy Wu

    How many transfer students applied to Vanderbilt this year? Of those applicants, how many were accepted? Is there such thing as early decision for transfer applicants?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Sammy,
      We are actually still in the beginning stages of the transfer admissions process, so we do not have these numbers for you quite yet. The priority deadline for transfer applications is April 15, and we will begin releasing decisions on a rolling basis around that time.

  • Kim Pham

    For low income families, what are the chances of VU offering financial aid for qualifying students?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Kim,
      Vanderbilt is committed to meeting 100% of every admitted student’s demonstrated financial need without the use of loans.

  • Juliana da Cruz

    Hi! When can we expect to receive financial aid information? Thanks!

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Juliana,
      If you applied for need-based financial aid by submitting the FAFSA and the CSS Profile, you should be able to view your financial aid package on your MyAppVU account. If that information is not viewable, or if you did not apply for aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 615-322-3591 or finaid@vanderbilt.edu for information on your next steps.

  • Ryan Barack

    Why did the university in music city sell WRVU, the radio station? Why did they do everything they could to silence the students and alumni? And why did the president refuse to address the issue?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hey Ryan,
      These are great questions, but unfortunately as admissions staff we don’t know enough about this issue to answer them properly. I would suggest contacting WRVU, which still operates as an online streaming station on campus.

  • Monica

    How do you guys decide to admit a student? I’ve seen on Youtube videos where the admissions officers gather on a table, all have stacks of applications, the person in charge of a stack reads one by one for the others, and the admissions people raise their hands to whether the students should be admitted, wait listed, or rejected. Is that how Vanderbilt did it?

  • Monica

    I was admitted for ED2 and received a different packet from the ones in the pictures above! Will I be getting another one? Or are ED and RD packets just different?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Monica,
      You will be receiving one of the larger packets in the mail this week. It will contain some helpful information on life at Vanderbilt, as well as your official financial aid package (if you applied for need-based aid). Congratulations!

  • Colbe

    Do you have statsistcs for the wait llst admittance rate/numbers of the individual colleges? I’m particularly interested in the College of Engineering.

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Colbe,
      Unfortunately we do not have any wait list admit rates, as they are very difficult to calculate. The number of students on the wait list fluctuates from day to day, as people accept and turn down their spots on the list. I know that about 10% of the freshman class each year is admitted from the wait list, but how that 10% breaks down between schools will vary from year to year depending on how the numbers shake down on May 1.

      • Colbe

        Okay thank you very much.

  • Monica

    For dorm assignment, it says that I need to submit my matriculation fee by May 1st to be considered 1st priority. Is matriculation fee referring to the $400?

    • Yes, the $400 deposit you paid to officially claim your spot is your matriculation fee. After you’ve officially matriculated, you’ll get an email from the Registrar’s Office with info about setting up your Vanderbilt “VUnetID,” which will give you the online access to do things like register for housing.

  • Ninja

    Hello, I wanna know if all the graduate applicants have been reviewed. I applied the school of engineering, but still don’t get final decision. Thank you.

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Ninja,
      We actually only work with undergraduate applicants. For information on the graduate application process, please contact gradengineering@vanderbilt.edu.
      Best of luck!

  • jt

    Does the admission process take in to account legacy applicants? If a sibling of a current student applies, is that considered?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Yes, we do take legacy connections into consideration, but it is a comparatively small part of the admissions process. In other words, having a sibling that is a VU alum or current student will never be the sole reason someone is admitted, but it might help move them along.

  • Ryan Higgins

    Hello, and thank you for doing this! I was wondering how many students were offered a spot on the wait list?

    • Hi Ryan, thanks for the question. We no longer report the number of students offered a spot on the waiting list. That number is not very helpful since the number of students who are actually on the wait list fluctuates as applicants claim spots on the wait list or drop off the wait list to claim a spot at another school. A more useful number is 9% – that’s the approximate percentage of the first-year class that came from the wait list in recent years.

  • Sammy Wu

    Are there some students who take longer than 4 years to graduate? Can you take more than 4 years to graduate?

    • Hi Sammy. Yes, some students do take longer than for 4 years. Approximately 87% of Vanderbilt students graduate in 4 years.

  • Sammy Wu

    How do transfer students get the full Vandy experience, if they’re going to be there for only two years?

  • Jinming Yu

    Hi! I am an international student from China. Is it common for international students to get scholarships and good part-time jobs on campus? I did not get any financial aid when I am admitted, but is there a chance to get some aid during the four years of college? According to the official website, the cost of attendance is about 62 thousand, but what is the actual cost after I subtract scholarships and salary?

  • Harsha Ramesh

    Just wondering, after turning in our deposit and claiming our spot in Vandy’18, how long should we expect to wait to receive our ___@vanderbilt.edu emails?

    Thanks so much! Excited to be a future Commodore:)

    • Hi Harsha! First, congratulations on becoming a ‘Dore! We’re excited to welcome you to Vanderbilt. To get your Vanderbilt email address, you’ll have to activate your VUnetID, basically your Vanderbilt online identity. As we process matriculation deposits, the University Registrar is sending out emails to new students with activation information. This started last week with Early Decision applicants and will continue as students claim their spot in the class. I’d give this process a few weeks. If you haven’t heard from the Registrar by late April, check back in.

      Again, Congrats!

  • Matthew Garvin

    Hi! I am a transfer applicant hoping to come to Vanderbilt next fall. I know the website says decisions will start going out on a rolling basis in mid April but I was just wondering if any decisions have been made yet and when you think decisions will start to be sent out. Thanks!

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Matthew,
      We have begun releasing transfer decisions, and we will continue to do so on a rolling basis (typically once a week) until the transfer class is full.

  • Monica

    I’m going to be a freshman in fall and I want to register for courses.
    Are there any required courses? Are there any required hours?
    For grading basis, what are “graded” and “P/NP”?

    I’m a secondary education major!

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Monica,
      First of all, congratulations! Unfortunately I’m not going to be much help in regards to your required curriculum – our job is just to get you in the door :-)
      I would suggest exploring the Peabody Handbook for info on Secondary Education courses: http://peabody.vanderbilt.edu/docs/pdf/registrar/2013_Peabody_Handbook.pdf. Please also feel free to reach out to Peabody faculty with specific questions regarding the curriculum, but keep in mind that your academic adviser will be in touch with you over the summer to help you plan your first-year courses.

  • Monica

    I heard that the international students get to go into dorms earlier. If I do that, will there be welcoming people to help me with moving my things, or would I have to do the work by myself?
    Is there going to to be the same welcome process with students out in the street?

  • Monica

    when is the tuition due?

  • Annalee Schuck

    How long should it take after paying the matriculation fee to receive a confirmation email? I payed mine a week ago today and haven’t heard anything yet.

    • Hi Ammalee. You shouldn’t worry yet if you haven’t received a confirmation email after paying your matriculation fee. You can check to make sure the payment went through by logging in to your MyAppVU account. If your status says “Member of Class of 2018” then your payment has gone through. We will be sending more communications to matriculated students in the coming weeks. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Tammy Langas

    Hi! If students aren’t accepted for their first choice major listed on the application, will they be considered for their second choice? For instance if they indicated Engineering as their first choice but aren’t chosen, is there still a chance to be accepted to Arts & Sciences if listed as their second choice? Are students admitted to their second choice very often?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Tammy,
      If a student is not accepted to their first choice school, they will also be considered for their second choice, but students are very rarely admitted to their second choice, as the competition between the four schools is fairly comparable.

  • Carolyn Pippen

    Hi Mohammad,
    You can send any application updates to your admissions counselor (http://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/your-counselor/). I would suggest contacting the Office of Financial Aid (finaid@vanderbilt.edu) to ask if they need any more information in regards to your financial status.

    • Mohammad Al Haj Asad

      Thank you for your advice.

      Yup, I got that sorted through them.

  • Paige

    I applied as a transfer, and sadly did not receive admission. If I were to write an appeal to this decision, does it have to be sent via regular mail? I am in Europe so no doubt it would take longer than we all have to reach Vanderbilt and then the right desk. Also, my professors had immense trouble with the Common App portal and were unable to submit their recommendations; is it uncommon to submit recommendations along with the appeal?

    Thank you

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Paige,
      You can submit your appeal letter by email or fax if that is more convenient. You are also welcome to add additional recommendations to your file in the meantime.

  • Anthony Bautista

    Is there a given time frame for when the first round of wait list applicants receives an answer?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Anthony,
      We have begun making wait list offers, and we will continue to do so on a rolling basis until the class is full.

  • Sam Stanford

    I wonder how much percent of classes in Vandy is “curved” since I myself really don’t like curved classes and consider them kinda unfair. Do we have any statistics? BTW, how can we know how many people get As in a specific class?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Sam,
      I don’t believe that there are campus-wide statistics on these questions, since they will vary greatly between classes and between academic departments. I would suggest contacting a faculty member in whichever department you are interested in to see if they can give you an idea of the “curve” tendencies and average grades in that area.

  • Annie Lee

    Will an international student applying for financial aid hurt their chances of getting accepted? Also, do the admission counselors mainly focus on test scores and GPA as the main important part of the application and the student or do they also put extra- curriculars, recommendation letters, and specific characteristics into consideration and list them under the same category as test scores?

    • Hi Annie, thanks for your question. For international students who are applying for need-based aid, a family‘s ability to finance the cost of attending Vanderbilt is a factor in the admissions process. It is possible that the more assistance a student requires, the less likely it will be for that student to gain admission. We also consider extra-curriculars, recommendations, and the personal statement as important parts of the application. We use what we call a holistic approach, meaning that we consider each of the parts of the application you submit in order to evaluate the whole application – not just test scores. Thanks for your questions.

  • Rob Simkins

    As a sophomore planning to apply in the future, what looks better: being involved lightly in several extracurricular activities (eg: if im in service, latin, computer, science, and drama club, but all i do is attend most of them meetings – i have little importance in them) or being heavily dedicated to a small number of extracurriculars? i currently follow the latter method and i am a devout member of my school’s academic bowl team + i am in boy scouts and will soon achieve eagle rank and am currently a member of the order of the arrow honor society (do honor societies look good?) and have held and will continue to hold major leadership positions within the troop

    • Hi Rob, thanks for your question. When comes to looking at your extracurricular involvement, we look for meaningful participation and contributions. That usually means a “depth vs breadth” approach where a student commits a significant amount of time and effort to one or a few activities. It sounds like you already have some meaningful involvement. As you get further along the path toward application, feel free to reach out to your admissions counselor for any more specific questions about extracurricular involvement. Again, thanks for your question.




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