Families of First Year Students

Welcome to the Vanderbilt Community!

Your student is about to embark on an incredible journey full of personal growth and self-discovery, as they work toward earning a degree.

This isn't just a big change for your student - it's also a major transition for your family. Vanderbilt Parents & Family Programs is here to offer support, guidance, and resources every step of the way. Reach out to us anytime: parents@vanderbilt.edu.

First-Year Parent Commodore Connection Newsletters

Over the summer, the Parents and Family office will send dedicated emails to first-year families, each with important information about your student's upcoming arrival on campus. Starting in September of your student's incoming year, you will receive a monthly newsletter that goes to all undergraduate parents until your student's graduation.


What Communications You Can Expect to Receive From Vanderbilt

In the coming months, you and your student will receive communications from several Vanderbilt offices. 

Please note that any email communication listed below will be sent to your student's Vanderbilt email account, including bills.

  • Students

    Archive of incoming student communications found here

    Please note the current communications listed are from the 2023-2024 incoming class. 


    • Vanderbilt Admitted Student Community email invitation - an online platform to connect admitted students with each other and with the Vanderbilt community (email address on file in MyAppVU)


    • Open 'Dores publication - includes information about Vanderbilt and how to start joining our community (mail)


    • Acknowledgement of receipt of the matriculation fee (email)
    • "Welcome to the Vanderbilt Family" webinar
    • Summer Action Items (email)
    • Welcome from the Chancellor (email)


    • Applying for roommates, move-in, insurance, and more (email)
    • Advising and course registration information sent from your school or college (mail or email)
    • Campus reading distributed and instructions sent out (mail or email)


    • Student orgs, orientation, shipping packages, meal plans, and more (email)
    • Be Smart-Be Safe module information (email)
    • Directory of Dining Services (mail, domestic only)
    • Information from the bookstore about ordering textbooks and course materials (email)
    • Safety resources (email)
    • "Life on The Ingram Commons" webinar


    • Notification of housing and room assignment, roommate information, mailbox number and Vanderbilt address, shipping instructions, move-in time, and instructions from the Housing Office (mail)
    • Letter from VUceptor (mail or email)
  • Parents

    These emails will be sent to the email address that your student submitted with their application. If you are not receiving our parent emails, please fill out this form or email our office at parents@vanderbilt.edu.


    • Commodore Connection e-newsletter (email)


    • Information on-campus resources 
    • Commodore Connection e-newsletter (email)


    • Commodore Connection e-newsletter (email)


    • Welcome letter from Parents and Family Association Board chairs (email)
    • Commodore Connection e-newsletter (email)

Admitted Student Programs

Admissions offers several programs exclusively for admitted students including Anchor Day, webinars, and Vanderbilt & You events.

First-Year: Adjust to College

  • Meet the Career Center coaches during walk-in hours at The Ingram Commons to learn more about their services
  • Create a resume and have a coach review it
  • Academics and Course Selection: Focus on exploring interests, values, and skills and completing AXEL (general education) requirements
  • Take a seminar course to start thinking about your Immersion Vanderbilt project
  • Explore co-curricular opportunities and get involved in organizations and clubs
  • Create a profile on AnchorLink to learn more about the various groups on campus
  • Visit the Office of Experiential Learning & Immersion Vanderbilt and plan for the best time to study abroad
  • Make use of the great academic enhancement services on campus (tutoringwriting studiostudy skills)
  • Practice time management! The flexible schedule of college life can be hard to adapt to!

More to Explore

  • Parents & Family Orientation

    Orientation offers activities and programs for first-year students to introduce them to the living-learning communities of their houses and The Ingram Commons, the faculties and academic classes of their schools, the norms and values of the Vanderbilt community, upper-division students and their organizations, and Nashville. Additionally, there will be Parent and Family Orientation sessions for parents to learn about the intricacies of Vanderbilt University.


  • Checklist - What to Do and When to Do It

    We realize there are a lot of things to check off your list when sending your student to college.

    The 2024-2025 comprehensive list of everything you and your student needs to do to set them up for success is coming soon


  • Webinars

    Residential Colleges is proud to offer a variety of webinars this summer for all incoming new students and their parents and families.

    Dean Gresalfi of The Ingram Commons hosts two webinars to inform the Class of 2028 of important information for Move-In.

    Find out more here

    Watch 2023 recordings of the webinars below:

  • Connect on Social Media
  • First-Year Housing FAQs
  • Room Measurements

    Room sizes, dimensions, and shapes vary within buildings and among buildings. The measurements provided represent the range of room sizes on The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. We recommend that students wait until after move-in to purchase items where exact room dimensions are required. We cannot honor requests to measure specific rooms.


Campus Contacts

There are many resources available at Vanderbilt. Here are some of the most frequently used resources in an easy-to-access list.

Still need help finding what you're looking for? We'll be happy to point you in the right direction! Feel free to send us an email at parents@vanderbilt.edu.