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Vanderbilt Acceptance Rate 2023: All You Need To Know

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With a low acceptance rate of 6.1% in 2023, Vanderbilt is the most selective University in Tennessee, United States.

If you do the math, you will find out that 6 students out of 100 are admitted to Vanderbilt University.

The reason for this low acceptance rate might be because of Vanderbilt’s beautiful campus, high research activities, and quality undergraduate teaching.

A University with these features is quite attractive to students.

If you are interested in applying to Vanderbilt University as an undergraduate, it is necessary to know its acceptance rates in every category.

That’s why on this page we will look into Vanderbilt acceptance rates for different application modes, and regular and early decisions.

Also, in this article are Vanderbilt’s admission requirements and clues to getting admitted.

You can also take a look at Carnegie Mellon Acceptance Rate and How to Get in Easily.

Vanderbilt University Building

An Overview Of Vanderbilt University 

Historically about 149 years ago, Cornelius Vanderbilt donated a $1 million gift to build and endow Vanderbilt University.

This University is a private research university in Nashville, Tennessee.

Currently, Vanderbilt University informally called “Vandy” has about 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

There are four schools and colleges namely; the College of Arts and Science, the School of Engineering, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, and Blair School of Music.

About 70 undergraduate Vanderbilt majors are offered in these schools and colleges which include Nursing, Audiology, Education, Medicine, Law, and Clinical Psychology.

Above all, this university has been ranked for its research and academic functions.

Vanderbilt was also ranked first for happiest students, second for quality of life, fifth for the most beautiful campus, and fifth for best-run college by The Princeton Review.

Interestingly, Niche ranked Vanderbilt the 12th hardest college to get into in America as of 2020.

About Vanderbilt Acceptance Rate 

The Vanderbilt acceptance rate has gradually decreased from year to year.

Historically, when Vanderbilt received about 10,000 applications in 1999 more than 50% were admitted.

As of 2008, the Vanderbilt acceptance rate dropped from 32.8% in the previous year to 25.3%. 

This may have been a result of the increased number of candidates from 12,910 in 2007 to 16,944 in 2008.

Similarly, the class of 2015 received a total applicant pool of 24,756 and 15.45% were accepted.

For the class of 2026, there were 46,717 applicants of which 6.1% were admitted.

An important thing to note is that every year, applicants tend to present with the strongest academic performance as well as skills than the previous years.

Also, over the years there has been a significant difference between Vanderbilt’s early decision and regular decision acceptance rates.

Read this article next; NYU Transfer Acceptance Rate [How To Gain Admission Fast].

Vanderbilt Early Decision (ED) and Regular Decision

It is necessary for you to be aware of Vanderbilt’s early decision and regular decision acceptance rates.

That is to say, with this information you will know which Vanderbilt application decision will be suitable and favorable for you.

We will begin by understanding what each of the decision plans means.

Vanderbilt offers three decision plans for first-year applicants.

1. Vanderbilt Early Decision (ED) 1 and 2:

These are binding decision plans for students who are committed to attending Vanderbilt once admitted whether or not accepted by another school.

2. Vanderbilt Regular Decision:

This is a non-binding decision plan for applicants who are not certain that they will attend Vanderbilt once admitted.

Vanderbilt Early Decision (ED) vs Regular Decision Acceptance Rate

Here are a few comparisons between the Vanderbilt ED acceptance rate and RD acceptance rate.

In 2016, Vandy accepted 23.6% of early decision (ED) applications while the regular decision (RD) admit rate was 8.8%.

As of 2018, the early decision acceptance rate was 20.5% while the Vanderbilt regular decision was 7.3% out of the 30,146 RD applications.

For the class of 2024 (in 2020), 24.1% of ED and 9.0% of RD students were admitted.

ED acceptance rate for 2025 was 18.1% while RD was 5.5%.

The Vanderbilt acceptance rate for  ED was 17.2% out of 5,107 while RD was 4.7% out of 41,610 for the class of 2026 (2022).

If you notice, the acceptance rates for both early and regular decisions have been on a downward trend.

This is a result of the increased number of applicants annually.

On the other hand, the ED acceptance rate has always been significantly higher than the RD acceptance rate due to the larger number of RD applicants.

Although, whether or not you apply as ED or RD the Vanderbilt admission process is the same.

The only advantage for an ED applicant is that you have fewer students to compete with.

Amidst Vanderbilt acceptance rates another important factor, you should consider before applying is the Vanderbilt admission requirements.

What are Vanderbilt’s Admission Requirements?

Written below are the general Vanderbilt admission requirements.

  • $50 nonrefundable application fee, or fee waiver for qualified students
  • Official high school transcript
  • Counselor letter of recommendation
  • Two academic teacher letters of recommendation
  • SAT and ACT tests (optional till the class of 2028).

Vanderbilt First-Year Admission Requirements 

As a freshman applicant, you must begin your application through the Coalition Application or Common Application.

Then you proceed with the general Vanderbilt admission requirements.

Vanderbilt Transfer Admission Requirements

As a transfer student, you have to begin your application via Coalition Application or Common Application.

In addition to the general admission requirements, you are to send

1. An official college transcript from the previous institution you attended.

2. A Transfer College Report from the institution you are transferring from.

Also, Vanderbilt’s admission team expects every transfer applicant to choose a major or apply to one of the four schools and colleges.

Vanderbilt International Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements, international applicants will have to complete an international section of the Common Application.

Also, if you were not taught in English or English is not your first language, you have to apply with an English test result.

You can choose to write any one of the following:

The testing agent or high school official must send the official English proficiency test results directly to the school.

What is the Vanderbilt Average GPA Requirement?

You can apply with an average GPA of 3.8 or a minimum of 3.5.

Vanderbilt Average SAT and ACT Requirements Score

The Vanderbilt average SAT score for the class of 2026 is between 1510 – 1580 and the average ACT score is between 34 – 36.

What Does Vanderbilt Look for in a Student?

In the words of Vanderbilt’s Dean of Admissions Doug Christiansen.

“It’s really about, what are they [the applicants] doing as a person? What are they doing with their time that is making a difference, and how will that translate into being a good citizen here at Vanderbilt?”

The following are facts about students who were admitted to Vanderbilt;

  • Each admitted student held leadership roles or received one or more significant honors in high school.
  • Over 90% were top ten in their graduating Class.
  • They had a high GPA.
  • A large number either applied with or submitted test scores.

You might be thinking about your chances of getting admission to Vanderbilt, but you are not alone.

What are the Chances of Getting Into Vanderbilt?

The possibility of you getting into Vanderbilt is 6%.

Yes, it’s competitive because Vanderbilt University admission statistics are solely dependent on the number of applicants.

This also means that a lot of qualified students are aiming for limited spots.

Therefore it is important for you to know how you can get into Vanderbilt

Tips on How to Get into Vanderbilt

Below are some tips to guide you before and during your application process.

  • Aim to be among the top ten in your class.
  • Ensure you have good grades and a high GPA.
  • Plan to write an SAT or an ACT test.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities like sports and community service.
  • Take up leadership roles and ensure you are good at what you do.
  • You can plan to take some AP or IB classes.
  • It is advisable for you to apply with Early Decision than with Regular Decision if you are certain about going to Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt fills each incoming class with about 50% of ED applicants.

This means your chance of getting in is higher due to the few ED applicants yearly. 

Conclusion on Vanderbilt Acceptance Rate

Vanderbilt acceptance rates should not be a cause of intimidation; rather, they should prepare you for the next academic level.

With an acceptance rate of 6.1%, Vanderbilt is competitive and selective.

The difference between the ED and RD acceptance rates as well as the application pool gives us a clue that applying via the ED is more promising although both Vanderbilt Decisions have the same admission process.

Frequently Asked Questions about Vanderbilt 

  1. What GPA do you need for Vanderbilt?

    You need an average GPA of 3.8.

  2. Is Vanderbilt a hard school to get into?

    The possibility of you getting into Vanderbilt is 6%.

  3. Can I get into Vanderbilt with a 3.5 GPA?

    Your chances of getting into Vanderbilt with a GPA of 3.5 is small.
    You will need to enroll in AP or IB classes to support your application.


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