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Vanderbilt Admissions

If you want to apply to Vanderbilt, the regular decision application deadline is January 1 and the fee for the application is $50. Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students with financial need may be eligible for fee waiver for their application.

Students who apply for Fall should hear back from Vanderbilt by April 1.

Applying Early to Vanderbilt?

Vanderbilt University offers early decision but not early action Early decision is binding, meaning you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing. Early Decision 2 applications are due 1/1.

The early decision acceptance rate at Vanderbilt is 21%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 12%. In 2021, Vanderbilt admitted 872 of the 4240 students who applied early decison.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

How To Get Into Vanderbilt University

Getting into Vanderbilt is extremely difficult. Vanderbilt evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, Vanderbilt accepted 12% of all applicants., around 4,259 of the 36,646 students who applied.

Schools that are extremely difficult to get into, like Vanderbilt, accept fewer than 30% of all applicants. At least 75% of admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1310 on the SAT or over 29 on the ACT.

Transfer student admissions is extremely difficult.

What Does Vanderbilt Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college determines which factors are they consider most important in the admissions process. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengthsand any possible weaknesses in your application, and choose schools that prioritize the admissions factors where you shine.

Admissions Factors at Vanderbilt

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Very Important
Geographical Residence Considered
Class Rank Very Important
Work Experience Considered
Extracurricular Activities Very Important
Level of Applicant's Interest Not Considered
Application Essay Very Important
First Generation Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Recommendation(s) Important
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Not Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
State Residency Considered
Talent/Ability Important
Standardized Test Scores Very Important
Volunteer Work Considered

Vanderbilt Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to Vanderbilt must submit the following items. Double check with Vanderbilt's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for some Details (if any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Other Requirements 3 letters of recommendation (2 from teachers in core subject areas and 1 from counselor)
Letter(s) of Recommendation 3
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Vanderbilt?

Students admitted to Vanderbilt have an average unweighted GPA of 3.9.

Out of all students that were admitted, 27.2% submitted a class rank. At Vanderbilt 89.6% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 96.8% were in the top 25% and 99.1% were in the top 50%.

Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0.

At Vanderbilt University, students GPAs fall in the following ranges
4.0 GPA 27.2%
3.75 and 3.99 48.7%
3.50 and 3.74 12.4%
3.25 and 3.49 4%
3.00 and 3.24 1.5%
2.50 and 2.9 0.6%
2.00 and 2.49 0%
Vanderbilt does look at standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

Vanderbilt has a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2021, 44.8% of Vanderbilt's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 56.4% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What's a Good SAT Score for Vanderbilt?

To be competitive with other Vanderbilt applicants, you should strive to earn between 1470 and 1570 (or higher!) on the SAT. At Vanderbilt 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1570 and 25% of scored lower than 1470, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Vanderbilt students scored 800 or higher and 75% of students scored 720 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Vanderbilt students scored 770 or higher, and 75% scored a 720 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for Vanderbilt?

To be most competitive at Vanderbilt, you should strive to earn between 33 and 35 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 35 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Vanderbilt's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 35, and three out of four students scored lower than 35 on the ACT.

A 33 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Vanderbilt students. Only one out of every four students scored below 33.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to Vanderbilt University

For transfer students, it is extremely difficult to get admitted to Vanderbilt.

For transfer students wishing to start in the Fall, the deadline to apply is March 15.

Transfer students can enroll in Vanderbilt during the following terms: Fall Term

Vanderbilt Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Vanderbilt?

Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Vanderbilt.

Does Vanderbilt accept transfer credits?

Vanderbilt accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Does Vanderbilt accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

Vanderbilt accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) creditsand Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Vanderbilt?

No, Vanderbilt is test optional, so you can choose if you want to to send your standardized test scores. If you have higher than average scores, you should strongly consider submitting them. If you scored lower than a school's average,, you it might make sense to leave them out of your application..

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about Vanderbilt

Explore other colleges in Tennessee or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Vanderbilt Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty



How hard is it to get into Vanderbilt? Vanderbilt is a selective institution. The Vanderbilt acceptance rate is 12%. This means that the institution accepts 11 out of every 100 applicants.



Wondering what your chances are of getting into Vanderbilt University?

Complete your profile to get your personalized, AI-calculated prediction score.

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Vanderbilt Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 1

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 15

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Vanderbilt is Jan 1.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Vanderbilt is Mar 15.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Vanderbilt ACT Scores


ACT Range

33 - 35

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

35 and Above


33 to 35


33 and Less


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Vanderbilt SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1470 - 1570


Math SAT Range

750 - 800


Reading SAT Range

720 - 770

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Vanderbilt GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)


GPA Needed to Get Accepted

At Vanderbilt, the average unweighted high-school GPA for admitted students is 3.86. This is the average, which means that some applicants submit GPAs lower than this and some applicants submit GPAs above this level. If your GPA falls below the average, strong test scores or other qualifications may help you make you a more competitive applicant.

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

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