Financial Aid

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Need-Based Scholarships

Our resolve to make a Vanderbilt education accessible and affordable to all admitted students is stronger than ever. Both our need-based and merit-based scholarships reflect our dedication to making a Vanderbilt education possible. Providing for college is one of the largest single investments a family will make, and we strongly believe that a Vanderbilt education is well worth the investment.

Opportunity Vanderbilt reflects our belief that a world-renowned education should be accessible to all qualified students regardless of their economic circumstances. We make three important commitments to U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens to ensure that students from many different economic circumstances can enroll at Vanderbilt:

  1. Since talent and promise recognize no social, cultural, economic or geographic boundaries, our admissions process is need-blind for U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens.

  2. Vanderbilt will meet 100% of a family’s demonstrated financial need.

  3. Financial aid awards do not include loans. Instead of offering need-based loans to undergraduate students, Vanderbilt offers additional grant assistance. This does not involve income bands or “cut-offs” that impact or limit eligibility.

Opportunity Vanderbilt

Opportunity Vanderbilt’s three commitments place Vanderbilt among a small number of U.S. universities to adopt these philosophies and allocate the resources necessary to make a premier college education a reality for students and their families. Eligibility for Vanderbilt need-based financial assistance is determined by subtracting a family’s calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from Vanderbilt’s estimated Cost of Attendance (COA). The difference is called “demonstrated financial need.”

Experience Vanderbilt

Experience Vanderbilt is a student-led, university-supported initiative that provides undergraduate students who qualify for need-based financial aid with funding for extracurricular activities that have fees. These activities include student organizations, club sports, arts and cultural experiences, service trips, outdoor recreation trips, Greek life, or any official Vanderbilt student organization that has fees associated with participation.

Merit-Based Scholarships

Vanderbilt awards merit-based scholarships to applicants who demonstrate exceptional accomplishment and intellectual promise.

Signature Scholarships

Three signature scholarships comprise the majority of Vanderbilt’s merit-based awards. Recipients of these scholarships are guaranteed full-tuition awards for up to eight semesters, including a stipend for research, study abroad and a creative endeavor.

  • The Ingram Scholars Program recognizes students who plan to combine a professional or business career with an entrepreneurial spirit and an exceptional commitment to civic-minded service, innovation and leadership.
  • The Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship recognizes students who combine outstanding academic achievement with strong leadership and contributions outside the classroom.
  • The Chancellor’s Scholarship recognizes students with outstanding academic records who have worked to build strong high school communities by bridging gaps among economically, socially and racially diverse groups.

Other Merit-Based Scholarships at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt offers a limited number of additional merit-based scholarships in amounts starting from $8,000 per year. Candidates for these scholarships will be identified by the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.

National Merit Scholarships

Vanderbilt provides scholarship assistance for students named National Merit Finalists. Students must be admitted and designate Vanderbilt as their first-choice school with the National Merit Corporation by the final deadline to receive Vanderbilt’s National Merit Scholarship.

Outside Scholarships

Federal Aid

Students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for federal and most state of Tennessee programs. The FAFSA information allows us to determine a student’s potential eligibility for certain federal aid programs and helps us to maximize the overall types and amounts of aid that can then be offered to each applicant.

Veteran Benefits

Students who hope to receive veterans’ educational benefits at Vanderbilt should , who will determine whether or not a student is eligible for VA educational benefits.


There are a variety of jobs available on campus and in the surrounding Nashville area. Wages earned are dependent upon the position obtained and the type of work performed. Students earn a paycheck each pay period worked. Those funds may be saved or applied to living expenses.

Overview of Costs and Deadlines

Estimated Cost of Attendance for One Academic Year

Tuition and Fees$57,974
Room and Board$18,376
Books and Personal$4,196


Need-Based Scholarships (Opportunity Vanderbilt)
CSS Profile and FAFSA
November 4, 2021 Ealy Decision I
January 2, 2022 Early Decision II
February 3, 2022 Regular Decision
Merit-Based & Signature ScholarshipsDecember 1, 2021 All Decision Plans
Veteran BenefitsJuly 1, 2022

Net Price Calculator

Our net price calculator can be used to estimate your need-based financial aid eligibility at Vanderbilt. Please note that this calculator is intended for use by U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens (as defined by the U.S. Department of Education for federal student aid purposes) who will be full-time, first-year undergraduate students. Our calculator will NOT produce any indication of your potential for receiving merit-based Vanderbilt assistance or your potential to be admitted as an entering freshman.

Please keep in mind the information generated by the net price calculator will be an estimate. The results will only be as accurate as the information provided; read instructions carefully and use the help icons as needed. The net price calculator is currenlty applicable to the 2019-2020 academic year.