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Applications Now Available

Posted by on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 in Application Process, General Information, Vandy Bloggers.

For high school seniors across the country, the college admissions process is about to get real. With applications becoming available, it’s now officially the start of college application season. Seniors, it’s your time to shine.

At Vanderbilt we have four ways to apply:  the Coalition Application, Common Application, QuestBridge Application, and the Universal College Application. We do not have a preference for one application method over any other, but we ask that you select one application method and complete your entire application through that system.

We offer three decision plans:

  • Early Decision I. Apply by November 1, 2016, get your decision by December 15, 2016.
  • Early Decision II. Apply by January 1, 2017, get your decision by February 15, 2017.
  • Regular Decision. Apply by January 1, 2017, get your decision by April 1, 2017.

You can learn more about applying to Vanderbilt through our Application QuickGuide. Also, be sure to follow the admissions blog throughout application season for insight and advice about the process. For starters, our best advice at this point is to begin the process early and learn about each of the application methods to find the one that’s right for you.

As always, feel free to ask questions on the blog or contact your admissions counselor. You can also connect with us on social media at FacebookInstagram, Twitter, or Tumblr. We’re here to help you through the process!

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  • Hannah Wildermuth

    August 2nd, 2016

    I’m so excited to apply ED! I’ve emailed my admissions counselor and haven’t heard back so I thought I would try here. I am debating on if I should retake the ACT. I have a 32 composite but my math score is a 26 which is 3 points lower than my math score on my previous ACT composite of 30. I know Vanderbilt does not superscore but will the admissions counselors at least be able to look back at my lower ACT score to see that I have scored higher on math or would I be better off taking it again? Thank you for your time!

  • Jay Watson

    August 3rd, 2016

    Hi Hannah, I’m glad to hear you’re excited about the opening of application season! Thanks for your question. At Vanderbilt we will consider all of the standardized testing that you submit to us. If you submit both of your ACT scores, then your admissions counselor will be able to see both the higher and lower section scores. Your decision about retaking the test is really up to you — just know that we will consider any scores you send us. Thanks!

  • Hannah Wildermuth

    August 3rd, 2016

    Perfect! Thank you for the response!

  • Jacquelyn Hedrick

    August 3rd, 2016

    Hi there! I am falling in love with Vanderbilt a little more each day, but Vanderbilt does not offer an Early Action decision plan, and both Early Decision plans are binding, correct?

  • Jay Watson

    August 3rd, 2016

    Hi Jacquelyn, thanks for the question, and I’m glad to know that you’re liking what you see in Vanderbilt. You are correct, both Early Decision I and Early Decision II are binding at Vanderbilt. Our non-binding admissions round is Regular Decision. If you want the option to weigh your offers of admission and make your decision, RD is your best bet. But if, after looking into all the details of VU, you decide that you would definitely enroll if offered admission, then ED may be right for you. Hope this helps – if you have more questions feel free to contact your admissions officer or a current student. Thanks!

  • Stay Positive

    August 4th, 2016

    Hello, I have two questions about early decision versus regular decision applications. Vanderbilt is definitely my #1 choice, but the cost of attendance calculator shows that I would have to pay full tuition because of my parents’ income level. Question #1:) Is there a type of early decision agreement I could sign binding me to attend Vanderbilt IF I receive a merit scholarship? #2) Would my chances of receiving a merit scholarship be less if I completed a regular decision application instead of early decision? Thank you for your guidance! – Robin

  • Jay Watson

    August 5th, 2016

    Hi, Robin – love the positive attitude! These are great questions. Regarding #1, we do not offer this kind of ED agreement. If you and your family feel that you will need merit scholarships in order to attend Vanderbilt, then you should apply through regular decision. Regarding question #2, I have good news: you are at no disadvantage in the merit scholarship process if you apply through RD. Decision plans do not affect your merit scholarship application. If you have more questions, feel free to reach out to the Financial Aid office or your admissions counselor. And of course, you can always get more info here on the blog. Thanks!

  • Stephen

    August 30th, 2016

    Hi, I’m in the process of applying to Vanderbilt, and I just have one question: what sort of weight does an out of school suspension have? Not for a major charge (like fighting or drugs) but possession of alcohol. Would that significantly impact my admissions chances? I have a high ACT score and a very good GPA as well as a strong schedule.

  • Jay Watson

    September 2nd, 2016

    Hi Stephen, thank you for your question. Our admissions process is holistic, considering all aspects of the application together. That holds true for discipline issues – we consider them in the context of the application. If you’d like to talk more about your personal circumstances, I suggest you contact your Vanderbilt admissions counselor. You can find your counselor at Again, thanks for your question.

  • Farce Frace

    September 5th, 2016

    Hi. Does Vanderbilt have a Writing Supplement in the Common Application, or we just have to submit the Common Application Essay?

  • Jay Watson

    September 6th, 2016

    Thank you for your question. Vanderbilt does not have a writing supplement for the Common Application. Just complete all the portions of the Common Application.

  • Kalpana Panwar

    September 9th, 2016

    Hi Jay ! Thanks for sharing these information with us I’m excited to apply, Vanderbilt is my 1st choice.I have a question does merit scholarship is affected by any of decision plan.Thanks and waiting to hear back :-)

  • Jay Watson

    September 20th, 2016

    Glad to hear you are excited to apply! Thank you for your interest. Your chances of selection for merit scholarship are not affected by the decision plan you choose. You will get the same consideration for merit scholarships as an Early Decision applicant that you would as a Regular Decision applicant. Again, thanks for your question!

  • Nanako Norimoto

    October 14th, 2016

    Vanderbuilt is my 1st chose and I am plankng to apply early decision. I am Japanese and my TOEFL score is a quite below 100 and my SAT reading score is low as well. Can I still apply? The admission office will see my whole application essay, recommendation letters and GPA etc…?

  • Jay Watson

    October 19th, 2016

    Thank you for your interest in Vanderbilt. We recommend a minimum score of 100 on the internet-based TOEFL for applicants who first language is not English. If your score is significantly below this, I suggest you contact your Vanderbilt admissions counselor to learn more. You can find your counselor at

  • Michelle

    October 25th, 2016

    Hi! I am sorry to post my problem under the thread of the freshman application but I am a college student and I am considering transferring from my current institution. It’s kind of late for me to build a deeper relationship with my professors. So I am wondering whether it is possible to ask for and hand in the letters of recommendation from professors in the next spring semester who haven’t known me for a full semester if I build a good relationship with them? Or can I ask for the letter from the employer as I may enter the lab as undergrad RA next semester? Thanks!

  • Jay Watson

    October 26th, 2016

    Hi Michelle, thank you for your interest in Vanderbilt. For transfer admission we require two academic letters of recommendation and we prefer that at least one of those is from a college professor or instructor. It is your choice if you would prefer to work with a professor from the fall semester or the spring semester. I suggest you work with the professors who can best speak to your academic abilities, and who know you best as a student. You can learn more about transfer admissions at

  • Hannah Wildermuth

    November 14th, 2016

    Hi Mr. Watson! I can’t believe there is only 1 month, 20 hours, 8 minutes, and 42 seconds until decision day for ED1 (that’s with them being released at 5:30 pm on Thursday, December 15th)! What are your thoughts on them being released earlier? Perhaps, based on my research of past posts on this blog, maybe 12/9, 12/10, or 12/11? Or should I play it safe and leave my countdown clock as is? Thank you!

  • Jay Watson

    November 16th, 2016

    Hi Hannah! I appreciate your close reading of the blog and your excitement for the EDI decision release. Can I give you more more specific info on when that will be? No, no I can’t. But keep following the blog for updates – as you have seen, when it is time to release decisions we make an announcement here.