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First-Year Families

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:

A good place to start: The Road to Vanderbilt and Becoming a ‘Dore. Here, you’ll find a comprehensive source of information specifically curated for first-year students and their families.

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.

If you are not receiving our monthly Commodore Connection newsletters, please email us at and we will add you to our distribution list.

The Road to Vanderbilt

The Road to Vanderbilt is a comprehensive source of information specifically curated for first-year students and their families. It outlines the requirements you must complete prior to your arrival on campus, important guidance about your transition into the university, and the many opportunities and resources Vanderbilt has to offer.

The Road to Vanderbilt

Becoming a ‘Dore

Becoming a ‘Dore offers a wealth of information about living in The Commons, resources that Vanderbilt provides, and advice on how your student can succeed in college.

Becoming a “Dore

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 Global Education Office and plan for the best time to study abroad
  • Make use of the great academic enhancement services on campus (tutoring, writing studio, study 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.

2022 Orientation Recording 

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. Here is a comprehensive list of everything you and your student needs to do to set them up for success.

Learn More



Dean Gresalfi of The Ingram Commons hosted two webinars to inform the Class of 2026 of important information for Move-In.

Watch a recording of the webinars below:

Welcome to Vanderbilt Family

Life at The Ingrams Commons

First-Year Housing FAQs

Learn More 


Connect on Social Media

Follow Residential Colleges on Instagram and The Ingram Commons on Facebook



Campus contacts

The Ingram Commons


Office of Student Accounts


Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships

(615) 322-3591 or (800) 288-0204