When Do Vanderbilt Decisions Come Out? 2024 Guide

Nashville, TN
April 26, 2024
5 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/26/24

Vanderbilt University, nestled in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, is one of the top universities in the nation, currently ranked No. 18 among National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. The acceptance rate for the Vanderbilt University Class of 2027 is 5.6%, Vanderbilt's admissions process is highly competitive.

This comprehensive guide breaks down Vanderbilt's admission decision release dates for early decision, early decision II, and regular decision applicants. We'll also provide tips on how to submit the most competitive application possible.

Whether you've already hit "submit" on your Common App or you're still preparing your materials, read on to find out exactly when you can expect to hear if you'll be calling Nashville home!

About Vanderbilt

Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt University is a prestigious private research school dedicated to academic excellence and collaboration. This is Vanderbilt’s mission statement

“Our mission lies in the quest to bring out the best in humanity—pushing new ideas into the frontiers of discovery, challenging the limits of what’s possible, and working diligently in the service of others.” 

Vanderbilt’s mission shows it’s committed to nurturing each student’s curiosities, critical thinking skills, compassion, and community spirit. 

Three main pillars summarize Vanderbilt's unique culture: 

  1. Collectively striving to succeed: Immersive learning, integrated research, and collaborative discovery blend together to provide students the opportunity to work as a team to push limits across disciplines. 
  2. Multi-perspective learning: A diverse campus with different perspectives helps cultivate future leaders. The school also emphasizes student involvement with more than 475 student organizations to join and participate. 
  3. A balance between a bustling city and an intimate campus: Nashville's liveliness mixed with its small-town vibe and Vanderbilt's cozy campus offers a unique experience for undergraduate students. 

Vanderbilt has four undergraduate schools, although many students study across disciplines to “feed their passions and inspire new ways to address issues and impact the world.” The schools are: 

If you have an inquisitive mind and long to be a part of a tight-knit college culture, Vanderbilt may be an excellent addition to your school list. If you're interested in Vanderbilt but haven't applied yet, take a look at our complete guide on how to improve your application.

Vanderbilt University

When Do Vanderbilt Decisions Come Out? 

Vanderbilt University offers three decision plans for first-year applicants: Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision. While exact dates can vary by year, for a fall semester students usually receive admissions no later than April 1.

Here is the typical timeline for when Vanderbilt decisions are released:

Decision Plan Completed Application Deadline Merit Scholarship Deadline Financial Aid Deadline Notification Date
Early Decision I Early November Early December Early November Mid-December
Early Decision II Early January Early December Early January Mid-February
Regular Decision Early January Early January Early January Late March - Early April
Transfers Mid-March Mid-March Mid-March Late April (rolling)

What Are the Ways I Can Apply to Vanderbilt? 

There are three main ways you can apply to Vanderbilt University:

  1. Coalition Application: The Coalition Application allows you to apply directly to Vanderbilt. This is one of the three options Vanderbilt accepts.
  2. Common Application: Similar to the Coalition Application, the Common App allows you to apply directly to Vanderbilt through a shared application system.
  3. QuestBridge Application: QuestBridge helps high-achieving low-income students apply to top colleges. If you are eligible, you can apply to Vanderbilt through the QuestBridge Application.

Additionally, those applying specifically to the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt must submit the Blair School of Music Application in addition to one of the three main applications above. This includes submitting a pre-screening audition video.

Early Decision I and Early Decision II 

Applying to Early Decision I or II can provide students with a big advantage. For the class of 2028, 15.24% of Early Decision II and I applicants were accepted into the program.

Regular Decision

The Regular Decision plan is non-binding, meaning applicants can apply to other colleges and wait until receiving all admission decisions before deciding where to enroll. You’ll receive your admissions decision around the same time as all other schools you applied to. 

Transfer Applications

You can apply as a transfer student using the Common or Coalition Application: the choice is yours. You'll apply with mostly the same materials as first-year students, but ensure you double-check your eligibility and requirements before proceeding. 

Pros and Cons of Each Decision

When applying to Vanderbilt, you can choose to apply Early Decision I, Early Decision II, or Regular Decision. Each admissions deadline carries different benefits and drawbacks.

Early Decision I 

The release date for Vanderbilt Early Decision I is mid-December. Although many Vanderbilt applicants will choose to apply through RD, ED I has its benefits and cons. 

ED I Pros ED I Cons
Generally higher acceptance rates
(15.7% acceptance rate in a recent cycle)
You’re up against fierce competition and generally impressive applications
You’ll receive your admissions decision sooner You have less time to work on your application materials
No need to worry about school selection if you’re accepted You can’t back out if you change your mind
Receiving your admissions decision sooner means less stress and more time enjoying your senior year You won’t be able to compare financial aid packages from other schools

Source: Vanderbilt

ED I is best for students who know that Vanderbilt is their first-choice college, can start their application early and submit it on time, and who are comfortable with Vanderbilt's financial aid package. 

Early Decision II

The release date for Vanderbilt Early Decision II is mid-February. ED II is similar to ED I but is pretty unique as far as Early Decision programs go. 

ED II Pros ED II Cons
Generally higher acceptance rates than RD, but lower than
You’re up against fierce competition and generally impressive applications
You’ll still receive your admissions decision sooner than RD You have more time to work on your application
No need to worry about school selection if you’re accepted You can’t back out if you change your mind (ED II is also binding)
Receiving your admissions decision sooner means less stress and more time enjoying your senior year You won’t be able to compare financial aid packages from other schools

ED II is unique because you’ll submit your applications in the same timeframe as RD applicants, but you’ll receive your admissions decision sooner. This program is also binding, meaning you must accept your offer if you’re accepted: you can’t choose another school. 

Regular Decision

Most applicants choose the Regular Decision pathway. Regular Decision pros and cons include:

RD Pros RD Cons
You have more time to craft a stellar application and decide which school you want to attend Generally lower acceptance rates, but you’re up against more applicants
You’re not bound to attend if you’re accepted and can keep your options open Choosing which school to attend can be challenging
You can compare financial aid packages from other schools You’ll need to wait longer to receive an admissions decision

If you’re not confident that Vanderbilt is your first choice, Regular Decision is a better option for you. This pathway is best for students who want to keep their options open. 

Transfer Applicants

Vanderbilt has a selective transfer process with a 17-37% acceptance rate historically. Applying by the March 15 priority deadline is strongly advised to have the best chance of admission.

Year Acceptance Rate
2024 9%
2023 6.3%
2022 9.2%
2021 17%
2020 37%
2019 23%
2018 25%
2017 16%

Given Vanderbilt’s relatively small undergraduate population, the school is transfer-friendly, accepting approximately 220 to 240 transfer students each fall. 

Vanderbilt Decisions FAQs 

If you have more questions about when Vanderbilt decisions come out and more, check out these FAQs. 

1. What Time Do Vanderbilt Decisions Come Out? 

Vanderbilt decisions are distributed on the notification date at 5:00 p.m. Central Time. Applicants can log in through the MyAppVU portal to view their admissions decision.

2. Does Vanderbilt Submit Likely Letters? 

It is very rare for Vanderbilt to send likely letters. Typically, only 10% of students will receive likely letters from Vanderbilt

3. What Is Vanderbilt’s Regular Decision Acceptance Rate?

Recent class profile data shows that Vanderbilt’s Regular Decision acceptance rate is 4.2%.  

4. What Is Vanderbilt’s Early Decision Acceptance Rate? 

Vanderbilt’s Early Decision acceptance rate is 15.24%. As a highly selective school, Vanderbilt’s acceptance rate proves that it's very competitive to get in.

5. Is Vanderbilt Transfer Friendly? 

While selective, Vanderbilt does have an extensive infrastructure to support admitted transfer students. Vanderbilt states the school is "always looking to add dynamic, academically motivated students to our residential community – and transfer students are no different.”

6. How Likely Is It to Get Off the Vanderbilt Waitlist? 

Historically, Vanderbilt has admitted an average of 11% of the incoming first-year class from the waitlist. For example, 11% of the Class of 2027 (around 176 students out of 1,600) is expected to be admitted from the waitlist

7. What’s the Difference Between Vanderbilt Early Decision I and II? 

The key difference is the earlier deadlines for Early Decision I. It allows students to complete the admissions process sooner if they know Vanderbilt is their top choice school.

8. What Happens If My Vanderbilt Application Is Deferred? 

Vanderbilt may defer an Early Decision I or Early Decision II application to be considered in the Regular Decision applicant pool instead. Being deferred indicates your application may be competitive for admission when reviewed again in Regular Decision.

Final Thoughts 

In summary, Vanderbilt releases admissions decisions on a rolling timeline from December through April depending on the application plan. While the wait can feel long, applicants should prepare for decisions anytime from mid-December to early April. 

We wish all students the best of luck as they await admissions decisions not just from Vanderbilt, but all of their college options. With the decision release dates in mind, applicants can make plans for the future while staying busy and engaged in their academic, extracurricular, and personal pursuits as they wait.

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