Vanderbilt University: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Vanderbilt University

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Vanderbilt University is a private research university with an acceptance rate of 9.6%. To apply, students can use the Common ApplicationCoalition Application, or Questbridge Application. Vanderbilt University has an Early Decision program that can improve admission chances for students who are sure the university is their top choice school.

Considering applying to this highly selective school? Here are the Vanderbilt admissions statistics you should know.

Why Vanderbilt University?

  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee
  • Campus Features: Vanderbilt's campus occupies 334 acres just southwest of downtown. The campus is a designated arboretum and National Historic Landmark.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 7:1
  • Athletics: The Vanderbilt Commodores compete in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference (SEC)
  • Highlights: Students can choose from 67 bachelor degree programs offered across the university's 10 schools. Student life is active with 15 sororities, 17 fraternities, and over 500 student clubs and organizations.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, Vanderbilt University had an acceptance rate of 9.6%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 9 students were admitted, making Vanderbilt's admissions process highly selective.

Admissions Statistics (2017-18)
Number of Applicants 34,313
Percent Admitted 9.6%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 49%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Vanderbilt requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 43% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 700 760
Math 750 800
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of Vanderbilt's admitted students fall within the top 7% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to Vanderbilt scored between 700 and 760, while 25% scored below 700 and 25% scored above 760. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 750 and 800, while 25% scored below 750 and 25% scored a perfect 800. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1560 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Vanderbilt.

Requirements

Vanderbilt does not require the SAT writing section. Note that Vanderbilt participates in the scorechoice program, which means that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT test dates. At Vanderbilt, SAT Subject tests are optional.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Vanderbilt requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 64% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 34 35
Math 30 35
Composite 33 35

This admissions data tells us that most of Vanderbilt's admitted students fall within the top 2% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to Vanderbilt received a composite ACT score between 33 and 35, while 25% scored above 35 and 25% scored below 33.

Requirements

Note that Vanderbilt does not superscore ACT results; your highest composite ACT score will be considered. Vanderbilt does not require the ACT writing section.

GPA

In 2018, the average high school GPA of Vanderbilt University's incoming freshman class was 3.83. These results suggest that most successful applicants to Vanderbilt have primarily A and B grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Vanderbilt University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
Vanderbilt University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.  Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Vanderbilt University. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Vanderbilt University has a highly competitive admissions pool with a low acceptance rate and high average SAT/ACT scores. However, Vanderbilt has a holistic admissions process involving other factors beyond your grades and test scores. A strong application essay and glowing letters of recommendation can strengthen your application, as can participation in meaningful extracurricular activities and a rigorous course schedule. Students with particularly compelling stories or achievements can still receive serious consideration even if their test scores are outside of Vanderbilt's range.

In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. As you can see, most successful Vanderbilt applicants had GPAs in the "A" range, SAT scores (ERW+M) of about 1300 or higher, and ACT composite scores of 28 or higher. A large number of applicants had 4.0 GPAs. Clearly, the higher your grades and test scores, the better your chance of an acceptance letter. However, many students with 4.0 GPAs and high standardized test scores are rejected each year. No matter how strong an applicant you are, you should consider Vanderbilt a reach school

The school's selectivity is why applicants need to focus on more than grades and test scores. The admissions folks at Vanderbilt are looking for students who are likely to contribute to the campus community in meaningful ways. An applicant's leadership experience, community service, and extracurricular accomplishments need to suggest that he or she will bring value to the school community.

All admissions data has been sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and Vanderbilt University Undergraduate Admissions Office.