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Vanderbilt scholarships, student loans and grants
Compare in-school financing options to foot that $73K bill.
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How much does it cost to go to Vanderbilt University?
|Cost of attending Vanderbilt||Annual cost|
|Room and board||$16,910|
|Books and supplies||$1,294|
|Total cost for the 2019–2020 academic year||$73,148|
As you can see, tuition is only part of the cost of attending Vanderbilt University. Housing, textbooks and health insurance also factor in to how much you might pay while in college. And there’s a chance you might have to pay even more.
For example, international students have to pay $3,650 more for the required health insurance plan. First-year students are also required to pay a “First Year Experience Fee” of $836. And engineering students are often responsible for paying lab fees.
Even more, these estimates don’t include the cost of transportation if you live off campus.
What’s the average student debt load for Vanderbilt students?
Vanderbilt students graduated with a median federal student loan balance of $22,854 in 2017, according to the Department of Education.
Does Vanderbilt offer a tuition payment plan?
It does. Students who are unable to afford tuition and fees upfront can enroll in the Vandy Plan. The Vandy Plan is an interest-free installment plan that allows you to pay off your tuition over several months. Borrowers pay a small fee to enroll and can pay by bank transfer or credit card.
Payments aren’t due until the semester after you receive funding. So, Fall semester payments don’t start until May 15 of the following year, while Spring semester payments begin on October 15. Contact the Vanderbilt Office of Student Accounts for any questions about the enrollment process.
Vandy Plan enrollment period
- Fall semester: May 1 through August 31
- Spring semester: October 1 through January 31
Vanderbilt University scholarships, grants and fellowships
In addition to Tennessee and federal funding, Vanderbilt University has a handful of scholarship and grant programs. Only the top 1% of the first-year class can qualify for its merit-based scholarships for undergraduates. And grants are generally only available to graduate students.
Ingram Scholars Program
The Ingram Scholars Program is meant to fund undergraduates who aim to make public service a part of their careers. In exchange for tuition, Ingram Scholars are required to make a substantial community service or outreach commitment during the semester and over the summer.
There are no fixed eligibility requirements, though you might have a leg up on getting accepted if you’ve spent part of your high school career volunteering or working with community outreach programs. And while an application isn’t necessary, those who fill one out are given preference.
Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholars Program
The Russell G. Hamilton Scholars program is a tuition scholarship for master’s and PhD students. It’s often paired with a fellowship like the University or Provost’s Graduate Fellowship Program. You don’t have to apply to be considered.
University Graduate Fellowships
The University Graduate Fellowship is a stipend for new, highly qualified masters and PhD students. You must apply by January 15 to be considered for the following academic year and your department must nominate you. Vanderbilt announces fellows in March.
The fellowship extends to two years for master’s students and three years for PhD students. At the end of the third year, PhD candidates can apply for an additional two years of funding. This fellowship comes with a Russel G. Hamilton tuition scholarship.
Provost’s Graduate Fellowships
The Provost’s Graduate Fellowship is intended to encourage diversity in Vanderbilt’s master’s and PhD programs. Minority students who plan on pursuing an academic teaching career can qualify for a $5,000 yearly stipend in addition to full tuition coverage through the Russell G. Hamilton Scholarship Program.
Fellows qualify for three years of funding, though they have the option of applying for an additional two years once the third year is up.
Graduate Student Council Travel Grant
The Travel Grant is meant to help graduate students present their work at academic conferences, symposia, workshops and other scholarly settings. The funds can cover transportation and housing for travel domestically and abroad. Students can only qualify for one travel grant per budget year, which spans from July 1 to June 30.
In addition to this, your department might offer grants and scholarships for travel or specific types of work. There are also several fellowship programs available to graduate and PhD students that can cover part or all of your tuition.
Are there other scholarship and grants available?
There are. In addition to Vanderbilt funding, you can also apply for federal grants like a Pell Grant and Tennessee scholarships and funding. You also might be eligible for even more local funding sources, depending on where you attended high school.
Does Vanderbilt offer student loans?
No. However, Vanderbilt students that are unable to cover the cost of tuition can apply for federal or private student loans. Vanderbilt recommends students first apply for federal loans by filling out the FAFSA before turning to private loans.
Vanderbilt’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships has a searchable list of private providers that students have used in the past called FASTChoice. Or you can use the table below to find a lender that meets your needs.
Compare private student loan offers
You need be a strong student to get into Vanderbilt — and an even stronger one to qualify for scholarships to pay for it. Vanderbilt offers very few need-based programs, making it potentially unaffordable for those who can’t qualify for federal or state funding.
Learn more about your financing options by checking out our guide to student loans.
Frequently asked questions
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