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Nashville, Tennessee's Vanderbilt University is one of the top academic institutions in the South, and in the nation. Their tradition of excellence dates back to 1875 when the school was founded as a true university that offered degrees beyond their baccalaureate program. Nowadays, Vanderbilt averages around 6,800 undergraduate students each year who are in pursuit of one of 70 bachelor's degree programs. Vanderbilt also has another 69 master’s degrees available and a whopping 58 doctoral degree programs.

Overview of Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt's undergraduate students can earn bachelor's degrees in fields such as accounting, cognitive studies, computer science, engineering, as well as the full range fields within the humanities. Since Nashville is a thriving city, students are sure to find businesses that will take them on as interns. Students also find that Vanderbilt's campus life offers many opportunities to enrich their college experience.

Student organizations run the gamut from having a pure academic focus to intramural and club sports. Students can unwind and find fellowship over a board game such as Settlers of Catan or chess, while others get sweaty in a game of ultimate frisbee. Students also love the Recreation and Wellness Center, which is home to group exercise classes, a climbing wall, bowling alley, squash and racquetball courts, and a well-appointed fitness room for individual workouts.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 7:1
Graduation Rate 94%
Year Founded 1873

Student Enrollment

Total Students12,824


Undergraduate Student

Male 3,362
Female 3,499

Graduate Student

Male 2,922
Female 3,041

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Vanderbilt Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 16,793
Female 20,517


Male 1,679
Female 1,641

Acceptance Rate9%

Male 10%
Female 8%

Enrollment 1,578

Male 781
Female 797
Application Fee $50
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Recommended
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline January 1
Common Application Accepted Yes

Vanderbilt Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Vanderbilt is a private not-for-profit institution. As such, its tuition rates are a bit higher than its publicly funded peers. In fact, a year of tuition, books, supplies, and other academic fees totals around $53,000. When living expenses are tallied, the gross cost of a year at Vanderbilt is $73,000 for on-campus living, and Vanderbilt didn't offer an estimate for off-campus students. However, this is before financial aid is calculated.

In fact, Vanderbilt's financial aid assistance is able to offset more than half of the total cost. The average net cost for a year at Vanderbilt is a mere $26,000. However, those from the lowest income bracket can pay staggeringly little, around $3,000. The highest earning households, on the other hand, still save quite a bit and pay and average of $37,000. This top figure is competitive with many state universities.

Average net price 2017-2018
Net Price $23,596
Average Total Aid $43,796
Students Receiving Financial Aid 72%
Room & Board $16,910

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $52,070
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $52,070
  • Books and Supplies - $1,294
  • Room & Board - $16,910
  • Other - $2,874


It almost goes without saying that Vanderbilt has one of the nation's best academic reputations. Since its founding, Vanderbilt has been synonymous with academic excellence, which is made evident in the educational statistics. For example, Vanderbilt retention rate is among the top in the nation. A full 97% of their first-time, full-time students return for a second year. That number is topped by the part-time students, 100% of whom return for a second year.

Vanderbilt students remain far beyond their first year. In fact, they have an amazing 93% overall graduation rate. This means that the friendships that form in the first-year dorms can persist clear through graduation, and for a lifetime.

These stellar retention and graduation numbers are surely supported by one key statistic: the student-to-faculty ratio. Though Vanderbilt has nearly 7,000 students, there is a faculty member for every seven students. This statistic is unmatched by even the smallest liberal arts college and indicates that Vanderbilt students receive personalized, focused instruction from their first days in class through their senior seminars.

Student Population Total

Student Population 12,824

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Social Sciences Majors 542 Total Graduates / 32%
Economics, General 255 Graduates
Social Sciences, General 216 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 50 Graduates
Sociology 11 Graduates
Anthropology 10 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 267 Total Graduates / 16%
Mechanical Engineering 77 Graduates
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering 53 Graduates
Chemical Engineering 39 Graduates
Engineering Science 33 Graduates
Civil Engineering, General 23 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 201 Total Graduates / 12%
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 163 Graduates
Cognitive Science 27 Graduates
Science, Technology and Society 6 Graduates
Classical, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies and Archaeology 3 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 130 Total Graduates / 8%
Neuroscience 79 Graduates
Molecular Biology 21 Graduates
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 12 Graduates
Biochemistry 10 Graduates
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 8 Graduates
All Computer Information Science Majors 95 Total Graduates / 6%
Computer Science 95 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 27%

Outcome & Salary

Students, by and large, have great things to look forward to. Employers recognize their stellar academics and offer top salaries for Vanderbilt University alums. Among the top-earning majors, computer science students start out with the top salaries. Their median earnings are a whopping $97,000. Of the top-ten earners, the political science graduates bring up the rear with starting salaries of around $40,000. However, since Vanderbilt graduates have such a solid academic background, they can also easily enroll in graduate school and reap even greater financial rewards.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $65,400
College Grads Average Salary $80,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $119,100
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $800,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,991,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $94,384
10 Year Projected ROI $705,616
20 Year Projected ROI $1,896,616
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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