Vanderbilt University Acceptance Rate, Admission, SAT/ACT, Tuition, Ranking

Vanderbilt University is one of the best private institutions in the United States, but its acceptance rate is a concern for applicants.

In this article, we are going to discuss the admission process and acceptance rate at Vanderbilt University. First-year and transfer admission have also been discussed here, and once you read through, you will discover helpful information concerning the academic requirement for admission.

Getting into Vanderbilt University is very challenging, and applying via Early Decision might increase your chances of becoming the next freshman at VU. We want to ensure you get the latest information about admissions at Vanderbilt University, so we have included the acceptance rate for Early Decision.

Vanderbilt University Acceptance Rate

About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University is one of the earliest private institutions in America. The establishment of Vanderbilt University dates back to 1873. The university is named after Cornelius Vanderbilt, who donated a $1 million endowment for the establishment of VU.

Vanderbilt University is a renowned private research institution in Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt functions on a semester-based academic calendar, with an enrolment of over 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

The university offers about 70 undergraduate majors. Graduate and professional degree programs at Vanderbilt cover a vast area of study in engineering, medicine, nursing and management.

Vanderbilt’s main campus spans 330 acres, with over 100 centres and institutes, including the Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, the Freedom Forum First Amendment Centre, and the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Centre. 

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Schools and Colleges at Vanderbilt University

VU is organized into ten undergraduate and graduate schools and colleges.

Blair School of Music, College of Arts and Science, Divinity School, Graduate School, and Law School. Owen Graduate School of Management, Peabody College, School of Engineering, School of Medicine and School of Nursing complete the list.

Vanderbilt University Ranking

As one of the best private institutions in the United States, Vanderbilt occupies notable positions in recent university rankings.

According to U.Snews and World Report, Vanderbilt University is ranked 14th among national universities, 12th in best undergraduate teaching, and 8th in best value schools. Vanderbilt takes the 40th position in most innovative schools and 36th in best undergraduate engineering programs.

This university is the hardest college to get into in Tennessee. Tops the chart for the best college in Tennessee, best value school, college with the best professor, and top private university in the state ( 

Student Life at the Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University makes life comfortable for students coming through its gate as college beginners. The university provides more than 30 residential halls for students to settle in and get along with cohorts who share the same academic ambition.

There are 18 dining locations on campus for students to treat themselves to healthy meals. VU has over 475 student organizations and 35 clubs and varsity teams.

Vanderbilt prioritizes the health, wellness, and safety of everyone on campus. At Vanderbilt, you have access to resources and services that will reinvigorate your physical and mental health.

The Vanderbilt community is safe for everyone, with over 100 Vanderbilt University Police Department overseeing security.

Vanderbilt University Admissions

Vanderbilt University is one of the highly selective institutions in the United States. The university uses a holistic review process to weigh each application during admission. 

The admission officers at Vanderbilt search for the most important factors when selecting students. What they are interested in is class rank, the rigour of secondary school record, GPA, test scores, extracurricular, and personal character.

Getting into Vanderbilt University is very challenging, and admission will look out for these features in a student. Applicants with impressive academic records have been denied admission into Vanderbilt. The university intends to maintain the number of students it admits in a particular admission year.

To be a strong candidate for admission, you should achieve the best grades and high test scores. Be a student who gets involved with more outside the classroom activity. Possess the quality of a student who is intellectually curious, ready to face challenges and a contributor to the community.

Another essential factor that will help in your quest to get into Vanderbilt is recommendations. A good recommendation from a teacher or school counsellor will boost your admission chances at Vanderbilt University.

What Is the GPA Requirement at Vanderbilt?

Vanderbilt turnout to be a very selective school, and one would expect its GPA requirement to be competitive. High school GPAs are one of the essential academic factors for admission into Vanderbilt University.

To understand what this university expects from an applicant, let us look at the previous admitted class and their GPA performance.

The previous admitted class at VU had a standard high school GPA of 3.86. About 32.8% of the students had an average GPA of 4.0.

For the average high school GPA to stand a chance of getting into Vanderbilt University, you will need to achieve a minimum of 3.83. 

SAT and ACT Requirements

Although Vanderbilt University is test-optional, applicants can self-report their test scores to the school.

The newly admitted students at VU had an SAT mid-50 % range of 1470-1570.

The average SAT score to compete with other applicants to Vanderbilt University is 1505 on the 1600 SAT scale.

On the ACT, the previous admitted class had a mid-50% range of 33-35. The average ACT score to get into Vanderbilt is 34. An ACT score below 34 will hinder your chances of admission, while a score above 34 will make you a strong candidate for admission.

What Is the Acceptance Rate at Vanderbilt University?

Vanderbilt is the most selective university in the state of Tennessee. Vanderbilt University is one of the hardest private institutions to get into, with an acceptance rate that only admits below one-quarter of its overall applicants.

In the past few years, the acceptance rate at Vanderbilt University has become more selective than ever. In a particular admission year, Vanderbilt had an admit rate of 10.7%, followed by a 10.9% in the next admission cycle. After that, the acceptance rate at Vanderbilt University reduced to single digits at 9.6%.

Recently, the number of applications submitted at Vanderbilt University increased by 28.5%. The university admitted 3,162 students from an applicant pool of 47,174. This shows how challenging getting into Vanderbilt has become over the past few years.

By admitting 3,162 students, the acceptance rate at Vanderbilt University was reduced to a low 6.7%. This is the overall admission rate at Vanderbilt.

The university received 41,610 Regular Decision applications and only admitted 1,964 students. VU accepted 4.7% of applicants who applied in Regular Decision.

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Vanderbilt University Early Decision Acceptance Rate

VU offers Early Decision I and Early Decision II admission plan. With the acceptance rate at Vanderbilt University below 8%, applying in Early Decision might be a better alternative to get into this school.

The statistics coming out of Vanderbilt shows that the university accepted 24.1% of Early Decision I and 10.3% of Early Decision II applicant.

5,107 students applied for both Early Decision admission plans and about 900 of those applications were successful. The overall acceptance rate for Early Decision at Vanderbilt University is 17.6%.

First-Year Application Process

Vanderbilt University is the ideal institution for most high schoolers. A renowned private university that offers top-quality education accosted with intensive academic research. Vanderbilt meets the standard of a prestigious institution in today’s society.

Vanderbilt University will accept applications from first-year applicants who have graduated from high school and earned a diploma or equivalent.

Before you start the application, ensure you have the essential application materials to avoid setbacks during the process.

Application Options

Vanderbilt University accepts the Common Application or the Coalition Application. None of these application platforms is preferred over the other, and please do not apply through multiple systems.

Application Fee

Apply to Vanderbilt and pay a non-refundable application fee of $50. Fee waivers are available for qualified applicants.

Submit Official High School Transcript

During the application, you are required to submit an official high school transcript. The transcript should include grades from 9th through 12th grade. 

Letter of Recommendation 

A counsellor’s letter of recommendation is needed to complete the application. Vanderbilt University also requires two academic teacher recommendations. The two teacher recommendations can be obtained from teachers who have taught you in core academic subjects.

Submitting Standardized test scores is optional. Vanderbilt University is test-optional through the fall term of 2024.

You can self-report test scores if you think it will boost your chances of admission. 

School codes

  • SAT: 1871
  • ACT: 4036

Please note: There are more application requirements for Home-schooled applicants and applicants applying to Blair School of Music. Click here to head to the application requirement page.

Also Read: NYU Transfer Acceptance Rate By Major | All You Need to Know

Transfer Application Process and Admissions

Just like any other private institution, Vanderbilt University accepts transfer students from different colleges. Vanderbilt encourages students who want to complete their education at the university and will only admit those that meet the requirement for transfer admission. 

Students who are eligible for transfer admission are those that have graduated from high school and enrolled in a college. Transfer applicants to Vanderbilt must have completed one semester in a college.

How Can I Apply to Vanderbilt University as a Transfer Student?

Transfer applicants to Vanderbilt University apply through the Common Application or the Coalition Application.

Next, pay the non-refundable application fee of $50. Fee waivers are available for eligible students.

Submit official high school transcripts from institutions attended, with dates of graduation indicated on the transcript.

Submit official college transcripts from every institution attended.

Transfer college report from the school you are transferring from.

  • Common Application transfer college report 
  • Coalition Application transfer college report

Letter of recommendation from two academic teachers. Vanderbilt strongly recommends that one of these letters should come from a college professor.

Vanderbilt is test-optional through the fall term of 2024 and will accept self-reported test scores. SAT code 1871 and ACT code 4036.

What Is the Acceptance Rate for Transfer Students at Vanderbilt University?

The acceptance rate at Vanderbilt University is selective even for transfer admission. Every year, Vanderbilt University admit about 210 transfer students.

Recent transfer admission statistics show that about 79.7% of transfer applicants got into the university as second-year undergraduates, 11.2% were admitted as juniors, and 9.1% started classes at Vanderbilt as freshmen.

The acceptance rate for transfer students at Vanderbilt University is approximately 25%. Transfer students who have been successful to get Vanderbilt had an average GPA of 3.8, with high standardized test scores.

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Application Process for International Students and Admissions

Vanderbilt University shares a diverse community with students from over 80 countries on campus. Vanderbilt will accept applications from international applicants who have graduated from secondary/high school and earned a certificate appropriate for university admission in their home country.

All first-year applicants are treated equally regardless of citizenship, race, religion or language.

As an international, ensure you have the essential materials to start the application. You will need an official secondary/high school transcript, counsellor and teacher recommendation, and the application fee.

English Proficiency

International applicants from countries where English is not an official language or applicants who received instructions in a different language are required to submit English proficiency test scores.

Vanderbilt University will accept test scores from TEOFL iBT, TOEFL iBT Home Edition, TOEFL Essentials, IELTS, Duolingo or PTE Academic.

Here are the required scores for each English proficiency test.

  • TOEFL iBT: minimum score of 100
  • TOEFL Essentials: minimum score of 10.5
  • IELTS: Minimum score of 7.0
  • PTE Academic: minimum score of 70
  • Duolingo: minimum score of 120 

How Do I Apply to Vanderbilt as an International Student?

International applicants follow the same application process as domestic applicants.

  • Apply through the Common Application
  • Pay the non-refundable application fee of $50
  • Submit official secondary/high school transcripts
  • Counsellor recommendation
  • Two teacher recommendation

The official result of TOEFL iBT, TOEFL iBT Home Edition, TOEFL Essential, IELTS, Duolingo, or PTE Academic (for applicants who are non-native speakers of English). 

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What Is the Acceptance Rate for International Students at Vanderbilt University?

On average, international applicants from over 70 countries apply to Vanderbilt University each year. International students at Vanderbilt are enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

In terms of the acceptance rate for international students at Vanderbilt University, they had 12.4% for the graduating class of 2018 and 8.8% for the class of 2024.

The previous admitted class of 1,626 students had 10.4% of international students. During each admission process at Vanderbilt University, about 10.5% of international students are admitted, which is close to the university’s overall admit rate in the last few years.

Vanderbilt University Tuition and Fees

Here is the estimated cost of attendance at Vanderbilt University.

Books and Supplies$1,194
Student Services Fee$1,480
Student Health Fee$738
Personal Expenses$3,008
TOTAL $84,412

Vanderbilt University Contact Address

  • School address: Nashville, Tennessee 37240
  • Phone: 615-322-7311 

FAQs about the Acceptance Rate at Vanderbilt University

Below are some of the frequently asked questions regarding the acceptance rate at Vanderbilt University.

What is the average GPA to get into Vanderbilt University?

Vanderbilt is very selective when it comes to admission. The average high school GPA to get into Vanderbilt is 3.88. Students who were admitted to Vanderbilt had an average GPA of 3.86.

Is Vanderbilt University as good as an Ivy League school?

Vanderbilt University is the best college in Tennessee. A private research institution ranked 14th among national universities in the United States, tie with Brown University and ahead of Cornell in 17th position.

Is Cornell or Vanderbilt harder to get into?

Looking at the acceptance rate of both schools, Vanderbilt University is more challenging for students to get into. Vanderbilt only accepts 7 students out of every 100.

How hard is it to get into Vanderbilt?

Currently, the acceptance rate at Vanderbilt University is 6.7%, which is very selective. The academic requirement to get into Vanderbilt is a GPA average of 3.88 an SAT score of 1505 and an ACT score of 34.


Vanderbilt University is an institution where high schoolers want to study to build a reputable career for themselves. Vanderbilt chooses the best students who are prepared academically and has more to offer to the community on campus.

If you are certain that Vanderbilt is your preferred university, then you should obtain the best grades and highest test scores in other to be a strong candidate for admission.



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