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Higher Education Policy at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt’s Office of Federal Relations advocates on behalf of a wide range of higher education policies, programs, and funding levels. This includes federal student aid programs (such as Pell Grants, campus-based aid programs, and federal loans), accreditation policies, and federal regulations that impact institutions of higher education as well as policies that could impact graduate education, international education, and international students, scholars, and staff.

Our resolve to make a Vanderbilt education accessible and affordable to all admitted students is stronger than ever. Opportunity Vanderbilt encompasses three important commitments that reflect our dedication to making a Vanderbilt education possible:

  • Vanderbilt’s admissions process is need-blind for U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens.
  • Vanderbilt will meet 100 percent of a family’s demonstrated financial need.
  • Financial aid awards do not include loans. Instead of offering need-based loans to undergraduate students, Vanderbilt offers additional grant assistance.

Vanderbilt is among a small number of U.S. universities to adopt these philosophies and allocate the resources necessary to make a premier college education a reality for students and their families. Our commitment is part of the reason why we were ranked number one by The Princeton Review in 2021 for having the best financial aid in the nation. The university was also named as one of the "best values" among national universities by U.S. News and World Report, ranking it ninth in the nation for 2021.