Vanderbilt University Acceptance Rate

Acceptance rate for Vanderbilt- Introduction

As you’re preparing to apply to universities, you may wonder about college acceptance rates. College acceptance rates, like the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate, play a role as you build a thoughtful college list and find your dream school. The acceptance rate for an institution can help you differentiate between schools and properly categorize each as a “reach,” “target,” or “safety” school based on the average profile of students admitted.

In this article, we’ll cover the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate and Vanderbilt admissions elements. These include the Vanderbilt GPA requirements and Vanderbilt SAT requirements. We’ll dive into the ways the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate compares to other institutions, how to properly interpret a college acceptance rate, tips on how to get into Vanderbilt, and more!

What is the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate?

Before we tackle the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate, let’s go over what a college acceptance rate is and what it might tell us. At its core, the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate is the percentage of students Vanderbilt admissions accepts out of those who applied.

As the number of applications increases, the acceptance rate for a college typically decreases. This stems from the fact that many schools maintain a consistent number of students in each incoming class. As more students apply, the number of available places stays the same.

With that in mind, let’s explore the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate. That way, we can get a better sense of the role college acceptance rates might play in your college process.

Vanderbilt University acceptance rate

The Vanderbilt University acceptance rate is among the most selective in the nation, with an overall acceptance rate of just 6.1% for the class of 2026. This is the lowest ever in the university’s history. In 2022, 46,717 students submitted applications to Vanderbilt admissions, making the selection process challenging and the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate very low.

While the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate differs by application round, it is clear that strong candidates are applying across the board. Let’s consider the qualities of the Regular Decision pool. Of the 41,610 applications received, Vanderbilt admissions accepted 1,964 students to Vanderbilt. This means the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate for students in this group was 4.7%. 

Among these candidates, 100% were students who received at least one significant honor or held major leadership positions in their extracurriculars. Academically, over 90% of students in the Regular Decision applicant pool ranked in the top ten percent of their graduating class. The Vanderbilt average SAT for these students was well above 1400, alongside ACT scores in the mid-thirties. Students in this applicant pool hailed from 48 different states and represented 49 unique countries. 

Waitlist & deferral processes 

When it comes to Vanderbilt admissions, there are a number of possible outcomes for students. Among those are deferral and waitlist decisions. A defer decision grants Vanderbilt admissions officers the opportunity to review students at a later date. This, however, is not a final admissions decision, which means there’s still hope! For the first time in Vanderbilt’s history, Vanderbilt admissions ended up admitting a “solid portion” of deferred students in the Regular Decision round this year. 

vanderbilt acceptance rate
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

A waitlist decision is similar to a deferral in the sense that students remain in the Vanderbilt admissions pool. However, the timing is different. Waitlisted students often hear back about their Vanderbilt enrollment after the May 1st national decision deadline. As students make final choices about college attendance, Vanderbilt admissions opens additional vacancies in the incoming class for Vanderbilt enrollment. At Vanderbilt, approximately 7-8% of each incoming class consists of students that Vanderbilt admissions initially placed on the waitlist.

The college application process is one that ultimately focuses on you as the student. Remember that you reserve the right to make the final decision about remaining in a school’s application pool when you are deferred or waitlisted. The power rests with you!

What do college acceptance rates say about a university?

So, what do college acceptance rates tell us? As mentioned earlier, college acceptance rates like the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate simply give us the percentage of students admitted from those who applied.

The more students who apply to a university, the lower the acceptance rate will be. We see this clearly with the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate for this year. From this perspective, college acceptance rates indicate how popular a school is among prospective students in any given year.

With this information, you can start to imagine your chances for acceptance. However, a college acceptance rate isn’t the only factor in that process. You should also consider factors like the potential Vanderbilt GPA requirements and Vanderbilt average SAT. Schools consider each candidate holistically. So, Vanderbilt admissions wants to see you as more than just your GPA and test scores. Admissions officers weigh the possibility of that student being both an academic and community add to the incoming class. 

Is Vanderbilt a good university?

The definition of a good university differs based upon the audience. The college application process is specific to the student. What one person thinks is a good fit or good university may be the complete opposite of what you’re looking for. This definition is based on so much more than the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate. While we can’t tell you whether Vanderbilt is the right place for your specific college needs, we can share some helpful facts about what Vanderbilt admissions has to offer. 

Ranking in the top 15 universities in the nation, it’s clear that Vanderbilt University has plenty for students to enjoy. Acceptance rate for Vanderbilt aside, there are many reasons a student might be drawn to the Commodore community. Vanderbilt has an 8:1 student to faculty ratio. This means undergraduate students at Vanderbilt are guaranteed exciting personal classroom and research experiences. 

With more than 70 majors across 4 schools, 475 student organizations, over 40 intramural sports, and endless volunteer opportunities, there’s a great chance Vanderbilt has opportunities that catch your eye. Vanderbilt’s graduation rate is over 92% with a retention rate of 96%. This makes it clear that Vanderbilt is a place where faculty and staff invest in students regardless of their interests. Top majors at Vanderbilt include Economics, Liberal Arts and Humanities, Computer Science, Political Science and Government, Psychology, Mechanical Engineering, and English, to name a few. 

Considering all of these exciting opportunities, it’s no surprise that the acceptance rate for Vanderbilt is a little lower each year as more students learn about all that Vandebilt has in store.

For more detailed information on all things Vanderbilt, consider checking out our webinar featuring current students and alumni!

How does the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate compare to other schools?

The Vanderbilt University acceptance rate is comparable to that of its peer institutions. With rankings closest to Brown University, Washington University in St. Louis (WashU), Dartmouth College, Rice University, and Cornell University, Vanderbilt is one of many top-tier schools.

Among these institutions, the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate was right behind Brown for the class of 2026. The Vanderbilt Early Decision acceptance rates and Regular Decision acceptance rates fall in the middle of the schools previously mentioned.

Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, and Northwestern University experienced outcomes similar to that of the acceptance rate for Vanderbilt this year, admitting 6.2% and 6.5% of applicants, respectively. Northwestern’s acceptance rate was slightly higher than the acceptance rate for Vanderbilt with 7% of applicants admitted overall.

Vanderbilt early decision acceptance rate: should I apply early?

Each year Vanderbilt fills approximately 50% of its incoming class with applicants from Early Decision I and Early Decision II rounds. The combined Vanderbilt Early Decision acceptance rate for the class of 2026 was 17.6%. 

The Vanderbilt Early Decision acceptance rates tend to be higher than Regular Decision for a few reasons. The most simple of these reasons being that the same number of students are accepted in these two groups, but fewer students tend to apply in the ED rounds. For example, 5,107 students submitted their Vanderbilt application via ED in comparison to 41,610 students in the RD pool. This has a direct impact on the overall acceptance rate for Vanderbilt.

vanderbilt university acceptance rate

Additionally, given that Early Decision is a binding agreement, students who apply in these rounds tend to be certain of their interest in Vanderbilt. This means these students may have conducted research earlier, compiled their applications and set their sights on Vanderbilt enrollment early and with intention. Naturally, this might lead to a greater portion of applicants being a strong match for the University. 

That being said, the Vanderbilt Early Decision acceptance rate has fallen in the past few years.  While there looks to be an advantage to applying ED on the surface, this is a decision that should not be made lightly. If you are a student who would like to keep your options open, whether for financial reasons or otherwise, then regular decision is just as great an option for you. 

Leadership at Vanderbilt admissions note that the admissions process remains holistic regardless of when a student decides to apply. The Vanderbilt University acceptance rate is simply a function of the number of applications the team receives. So, what is the Vanderbilt admissions team looking for in a good candidate? 

Vanderbilt acceptance rates and the Vanderbilt admissions process

Above all else, it’s important to remember that college admissions is a process with individuals at its center. While it can be tempting and even easy to get caught up in the numbers—rankings, college acceptance rates, test scores, and GPAs—the application process is about who you are as an entire person. This is true whether you’re considering the Vanderbilt application or any other university nationwide. Admissions teams want to gain an authentic understanding of their applicants as people with many facets, varied interests, and unique talents. 

The truth is that when it comes to the college admissions process, a one-size-fits-all formula simply does not exist. But, we’re here to help you put your best foot forward. Let’s jump into some of the factors you may want to consider when applying to Vanderbilt.

How to get into Vanderbilt 

There are many factors to consider when compiling your Vanderbilt application. The more you prepare, the better chance you’ll have at beating the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate. Of course, you have to think about the Vanderbilt application—whether you will apply using the CommonApp, Coalition App, or QuestBridge Application. You must also consider the Vanderbilt GPA requirements and Vanderbilt SAT requirements. How do you stack up to other applicants and current Vanderbilt students? This can help you contextualize where you fall in your admissions chances. 

Additionally, you have to write a strong, compelling Vanderbilt supplemental essay for the Vanderbilt admissions team. Your essay is a great opportunity for admissions officers to learn more about who you are as a student and a person, not just another applicant. Finally, you should think about the requirements for Vanderbilt merit scholarships. If financial aid is an important part of your college application process, see if you could be eligible for a merit scholarship that could help ease the burden of paying for college. Now, let’s dive in more in-depth with the Vanderbilt application requirements. 

Vanderbilt SAT requirements & Vanderbilt GPA requirements

When it comes to Vanderbilt GPA requirements and Vanderbilt SAT requirements, there are no cutoffs. In terms of Vanderbilt GPA requirements, the admissions team is looking for students who take full advantage of the academic rigor available at Vanderbilt. This doesn’t mean that every admitted student has a 4.0 GPA. It simply means that the Vanderbilt GPA requirements are not requirements, but rather, an expectation that students are doing their best work and improving in rigor and performance each year.

vanderbilt university acceptance rate
Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash

This also applies to any Vanderbilt SAT requirements. If you are hoping to submit test scores to Vanderbilt, consider the middle test ranges of admitted students as well as the average testing of students at your high school. In last year’s class, the Vanderbilt average SAT scores were 1470-1570 or an average ACT score of 33-35. If your test scores don’t match the Vanderbilt average SAT or ACT, fear not. Vanderbilt has extended its test optional policy through fall 2024 with no penalty to those who withhold their scores.

To stand out in other ways, leverage the resources available to you. Whether this means meeting with your high school counselor or seeking external support, do what works for you. You can even calculate your chances of admission to make an informed decision as you build your college list. 

At CollegeAdvisor, we offer a wide range of resources for students interested in applying to Vanderbilt. From one-on-one sessions with college experts admitted to Vanderbilt, to tips on writing the Vanderbilt supplemental essay and merit scholarship essays, we’re here to help!

Deadlines & application fees

The deadline for submitting your Vanderbilt application to Vanderbilt admissions depends on the round you choose to apply. The Early Decision I deadline is November 1st with a possible decision by mid-December. Both the Early Decision II and regular decision submission deadlines fall on January 1. Those who submit the Vanderbilt application through ED II are notified in mid-February. Regular Decision candidates can expect a decision from Vanderbilt admissions in late-March. Students looking to transfer to Vanderbilt must submit all materials by March 15. 

To apply to Vanderbilt, there is a $50 application fee with an option to waive this fee through your chosen application platform.

Funding your Vanderbilt education

The sticker price for Vanderbilt enrollment can be intimidating at first glance. However, the financial aid team works hard to ensure affordability for those who wish to join the Commodore community. In 2021, the Princeton Review ranked Vanderbilt #1 for best financial aid in the country.  

More than 60% of the undergraduate population at Vanderbilt receives some form of financial assistance. For an in-depth estimate of what it might cost for you to attend Vanderbilt, complete the NetPrice Calculator. This will help your family make an informed decision about potential Vanderbilt enrollment. Whether federal, need-based, or merit-based, remember to submit all required materials by the deadlines outlined by Vanderbilt. Pay close attention to these dates as they may differ for various Vanderbilt merit scholarships and federal requirements.

Vanderbilt University acceptance rate- Final Thoughts

As you prepare to submit your application to Vanderbilt admissions, keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, be yourself. The Vanderbilt admissions application review team is interested in you and what you might contribute to the Commodore community. Don’t be discouraged by the low Vanderbilt University acceptance rate. As we discussed, the acceptance rate for Vanderbilt reflects increased interest in the school from talented students like yourself.

Put your best foot forward, set realistic expectations, and get input from trusted people in your life who know and support you. And finally, remember that it can be done!

vanderbilt university acceptance rate

This guide to the Vanderbilt University acceptance rate was written by Kyra Green, Davidson ’16. If you want to learn more about UCLA including how to get into UCLA, we’ve got you covered.’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes graduates from universities like UCLA. Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 576-0953.