Skip to main content

The Road to Vanderbilt 2021

The Road to Vanderbilt 2021

For the most up-to-date information and updates, please visit the Health and Safety Protocols or call the Return to Campus Helpline at (615) 322-4357.


Welcome to the Vanderbilt family! We are honored you have chosen to join our university and the dynamic community on The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. Whether you are a new student or their family, The Road to Vanderbilt will be an information source for the next several months.

We know some of you may have questions regarding the fall semester. We encourage you to visit the university’s website frequently, as information is updated there regularly. This website will include the most recent and definitive updates to deadlines, processes, and other important dates listed in the print copy of The Road.

In these highly uncertain times, Vanderbilt is committed to keeping you informed as you and your family prepare for Move-In Day. The Road was designed to give you a glimpse into your first year at Vanderbilt and will help guide the decisions ahead of you. On this website, there is key information about the mandatory CommonVU Orientation, fall course registration, and the housing assignment process as well as how and when to turn in required forms. We also introduce you to what students here call “The Commons experience,” meaning the unique communities you will help build in your houses and the faculty heads of house who will live alongside you. The Road will help you learn more about the systems in place to support student health, wellness, and safety, and take a look at the wide range of opportunities that make up Vanderbilt student life.

The Road maps out the requirements you must complete prior to arrival, important guidance about your transition into the university, and the many resources and opportunities Vanderbilt has to offer during your first year. Use the checklist included in The Road to ensure you complete the steps necessary to make a smooth transition to Vanderbilt. This will make certain that you are ready from day one to take your place on The Ingram Commons, which is the first step in Vanderbilt’s growing residential college system with programs and plans intentionally designed to support learning both inside and outside of the classroom.

Again, congratulations to you and your family on your admission to Vanderbilt! Our entire community looks forward to greeting you.


Douglas L. Christiansen, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for University Enrollment Affairs
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
Associate Professor of Public Policy and Higher Education

Vanessa B. Beasley, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Dean of Residential Faculty
Associate Professor of Communication Studies

  • Checklist: What to Do and When to Do It
  • Special Information for the Class of 2025
  • The Commons Experience: Anything But Ordinary
  • Mandatory Immunization and Tuberculosis Compliance
  • Student Health Insurance
  • Be Smart-Be Safe Online Education Programs
  • First-Year Student Meal Plan
  • Housing Application
  • Housing Assignment Notification and Move-In Instructions
  • Course Registration and Reasonable Academic Accommodations
  • Commodore Card
  • Office of Student Accounts
  • Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • International First-year Student Move-In Instructions
  • CommonVU Orientation and Make a Plan for Voting
  • Planning Ahead and Numbers to Know

For the most up-to-date information and updates, please visit the Health and Safety Protocols or call the Return to Campus Helpline at (615) 322-4357.

Checklist: What to Do and When to Do It

May 2021

  • Bookmark the Class of 2025 website your portal for all relevant information.
  • Register for your VUnetID.
  • Families: Submit your email address to the Parents and Family Programs website to receive newsletters.
  • Prepare immunization, tuberculosis, and health information that might require contacting or visiting your health care provider (recommended by May 15).
  • Start checking your VU Gmail regularly for important information, including your bills.
  • International Students: Check the email you used to apply for Vanderbilt admission frequently for important updates regarding visas, travel arrangements, and move-in instructions. (Note: Your VU Gmail may not be accessible in all countries.)
  • Start working on your online housing application (due by June 1).
  • Submit Commodore Card photo online (between May 15 and July 15).
  • Review the information in your school or college’s registration packet and follow instructions about advising and registration carefully (registration period: late May or early June).

June 2021

  • Register as an absentee voter/make a voting plan.
  • Receive your copy of The Commons Reading and begin reading (mail/email).
  • If you plan to waive Vanderbilt health insurance, do so at the Student Health Center website (before August 1).
  • Prepare your housing requests for special accommodations and/or your requests for academic accommodations (students with disabilities or medical or psychological conditions) to Student Access (SA) (due by June 30).

July 2021

  • Submit Commodore Card photo online (by July 15).
  • Select Commodore Cash funds online for Commodore Card (by July 15).
  • Check out your Vanderbilt Visions assignment on YES (mid-July). If you expect a conflict with a class for which you are waitlisted and/or are considering joining a club sport that meets at the time of your Visions group, request a change by emailing (by July 20).
  • International Students: Look for an email from your International Orientation Leader.
  • Make changes to your class schedule if necessary during the open enrollment and student change period (late summer – early fall).
  • Start pre-ordering books and/or room supplies from the Vanderbilt bookstore for pickup on Move-In Day.

August 2021

  • Look for a letter and/or email from your faculty and student VUceptors.
  • Pack boxes for shipping (begin shipping August 5).
  • Submit your essay on The Commons Reading on Brightspace (due by August 13).
  • International Students: Finalize arrival plans by submitting your pre-arrival form online.
  • Sign up to receive AlertVU on your phone or other devices before Move-In Day.
  • Move in and begin CommonVU Orientation (August 21).
  • Classes for all undergraduate schools begin (August 25).
  • Pay fall tuition, fees, and other charges (by August 31). (See your VU Gmail for billing.)
  • Enroll in the VANDY Plan (interest-free monthly payment option) for the fall semester (by August 31).

Communication Between May & August

  • Early May Acknowledgement of receipt of the matriculation fee, request to submit photo for your Commodore Card
  • May, June, July Information about health insurance waiver deadline (email from Student Accounts)
  • Late May – Early June Registration materials and instructions from your school (mail/email)
  • Early June Meal Plan (postcard, domestic mailing only)
  • June Instructions to complete The Commons Reading essay assignment (mail/email)
  • July- Early August Information about weekly virtual Q&A sessions featuring Vanderbilt offices (email from the Office of the Dean of The Ingram Commons)
  • Mid-July Vanderbilt bookstore information on ordering textbooks and course materials (email)
  • Late July Be Smart–Be Safe mandatory online modules information (email)
  • Early August Letter from your VUceptors (mail/email)
  • Early August Email from student health insurance provider



  • A valid photo ID to pick up your Commodore Card
  • Tracking numbers for packages and total number of packages (must have Commodore Card to pick up)
  • Move-in information and car hangtag
  • VUceptor letter containing contact information and group number
  • Directions to campus and hotel


Special Information for the Class of 2025



Bookmark the Class of 2025 website and visit often for updates you may need to prepare for your arrival. This electronic version of The Road to Vanderbilt will contain the most up-to-date information regarding fall programming. You should check this website often, and visit the university’s Return to Campus website frequently, as information is regularly updated.



The Ingram Commons website is the news, events, and information hub for all first-year students. Here you will find information about Commons programs, the houses, and the faculty heads.



Follow Residential Colleges on Instagram and The Ingram Commons on Facebook. You will receive frequent updates about what is happening on The Ingram Commons to prepare for your arrival, and you will become part of the digital community that connects us all. Be sure to join the official Class of 2025 Facebook group and be on the lookout for #VU2025! Finally, we encourage you to join the Vanderbilt Admitted Student Community to start making friends before the fall semester begins. Find your personalized invitation link on your MyAppVU portal.

To hear from current VUceptors about the transition to Vanderbilt and your first semester on The Ingram Commons, check out VUcept on Instagram.


The Commons Experience: Anything but Ordinary

Since 2008, when the first class moved onto The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at Vanderbilt, students have found that life on The Ingram Commons is anything but ordinary. The Ingram Commons is a community of first-year students, residential faculty, undergraduate peer mentors, and professionals who live and learn together. With a focus on bolstering intellect, building community, developing skills for personal well-being, pursuing self-discovery, and raising awareness around cultural difference, all members of The Ingram Commons participate in a mutual exchange of ideas and experiences.


On The Ingram Commons, the intellectual and social intertwine to make this residential experience one of the most innovative in higher education today. By joining our community, we believe that you will:

  • Acquire an appreciation for intellectual discovery and creativity outside the bounds of the formal academic curriculum, which will contribute to your academic engagement and success
  • Engage actively in building healthy communities on your floor, in your house, in your Vanderbilt Visions group, on The Ingram Commons, and within the university
  • Understand and learn to utilize the skills necessary for physical, psychological, and sexual well-being
  • Clarify your personal, ethical, spiritual, and civic values through self-discovery
  • Explore, live, and appreciate the diverse community of The Ingram Commons

All you have to do is participate!


The Commons Center is the community crossroads of The Ingram Commons. It includes a 580-seat dining hall and food gallery, a market and café, community space with TVs and pool tables, meeting rooms, an academic support center, group study space, the Office of the Dean of The Ingram Commons, the College of Arts and Science pre-major advising center, an exercise and recreation room, a post office, and, on the third floor, the Department of Political Science. From the layout to the lights, The Commons Center was designed to be eco-friendly and efficient, earning it Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. 


This year’s Commons Reading is When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. All incoming students are asked to complete a reflective essay on The Commons Reading prior to the start of classes. These essays will be given to your faculty and student VUceptors for use within the Vanderbilt Visions program. Instructions on how to complete this assignment will be communicated over the summer. Expect to receive the book in June to read before you arrive. If you have an international mailing address, you will receive a digital copy of the book, along with instructions for completing the assignment.




Vanderbilt Visions is a key component of the educational programming on The Ingram Commons, encouraging students to be empowered and responsible members of the Vanderbilt University community. 

“Visions” is a required fall-semester, university-core program that places small groups of first-year students with an experienced faculty member and undergraduate peer mentor, known as faculty and student VUceptors. All first-year students must participate in the Vanderbilt Visions program. Visions groups meet weekly through mid-November for hourlong discussions and activities that explore the transitions students experience in their first semester. 


VUcept, a student organization supported by the Office of the Dean of The Ingram Commons, provides peer mentorship during CommonVU Orientation and Vanderbilt Visions. Look for a letter in early August from your student VUceptor. 

Make sure you have your student VUceptor’s name and contact information, your group number, and the place and time of your first meeting handy when you arrive on campus. 


Melissa GresalfiMelissa S. Gresalfi (she, her, hers) is a professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and has been dean of The Ingram Commons since 2019. Dean Gresalfi’s research considers issues that are also central to incoming Vanderbilt students: the development of identities in relation to academic disciplines. Her research explores how to transform the practices of school mathematics that so frequently alienate students, especially students from socially marginalized backgrounds. Her projects consider how focusing on play, exploration, and design can create learning environments that are more inviting and create deeper and more meaningful opportunities to learn. Her current projects look at middle school math classrooms, textile art, coding, and even state fairs for examples of playful mathematics learning. Dean Gresalfi looks forward to getting to know all of you better through events on The Ingram Commons and at the Dean’s Residence, including dinners, programs, and informal gatherings.


Living on The Ingram Commons lends itself to evenings of conversations and camaraderie in each of the ten houses. Each house is led by a faculty head of house, who opens their apartment for students to converse with visiting guests, discuss hot topics on campus, explore professional interests, or relax at a game night. Just as often, you may find the faculty head of house will be present in the house with their family or colleagues. It is these spontaneous encounters that make The Ingram Commons a truly exceptional experience. You may learn more about each faculty head of house by visiting The Ingram Commons website.


Design Your VU is a year-long program in which all members of the residential college system are automatically enrolled. This program allows you to chart your own course at Vanderbilt, selecting from a menu of events and activities offered across campus, all with the intent of helping you to find your path and develop your skills. Events are broken into five tracks focused on intellect, community, personal well-being, self-discovery, and cultural awareness. 

Participation in Design Your VU is tracked via attendance at eligible events, and your progress is automatically displayed through the Paths dashboard of Anchor Link. To complete the program, you need to participate in two items per track (ten total). By Design[ing] Your VU, you can experience the wide range of activities available at Vanderbilt, make new friends, challenge yourself to try new things, and explore your own personal and professional development.

Mandatory Immunization and Tuberculosis Compliance

For the most up-to-date information and updates, please visit the Health and Safety Protocols or call the Return to Campus Helpline at (615) 322-4357.



The Student Health Center maintains a website that outlines the immunizations that you are required to receive before arriving on campus. Tennessee state law and Vanderbilt University regulations dictate that all students comply with the immunization requirements. In addition, students are required to submit a tuberculosis screening survey and testing (if applicable). Students will not be able to register for classes until their immunization and tuberculosis documents have been received, reviewed, and approved for compliance by Student Health. 

IMMUNIZATION COMPLIANCE AND HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE FORMS: Information regarding the compliance process can be found at the Student Health Center website. All necessary Health Questionnaire forms can be downloaded from the site, completed, and uploaded to the secure Vanderbilt Student Health portal.

The comprehensive Health Questionnaire form contains demographic information, emergency contact information, detailed required and recommended vaccinations, and a brief health history documentation so that Student Health Center providers can provide you with the appropriate care when you arrive on campus. 

We recommend you follow the “New Student Checklist” on the website and complete this upload by May 15 so that the staff at the Student Health Center can review, approve, and communicate that all requirements have been met before the registration period begins. This health form review process may take up to seven business days. 

If you are unable to schedule an appointment with your provider for a pre-college physical exam to have the Student Health Center form completed, you may also submit other official immunization records (those including a physician signature or from a state, county, or previous undergraduate institution). Please follow the New Student Checklist at the Student Health Center website for steps on uploading your records and tuberculosis screening survey documents. 

If you have questions regarding immunizations, please contact us at or review the Frequently Asked Questions. 

If you have ongoing health problems or chronic health conditions, you should contact the Student Health Center (SHC) at (615) 322-2427 or the University Counseling Center (UCC) at (615) 322-2571 prior to your arrival on campus to assure the continuity of your care. 

Immunization documents and tuberculosis screening must be submitted, be verified, and meet requirements in order to register for classes. Forms will not be sent to you. 


New and returning students will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic school year. The requirement applies to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students this fall, and it will be handled in a manner consistent with other university policies governing student vaccine requirements. Accommodations for medical exemptions can be requested through the Student Access office and religious exemptions can be requested through the Equal Opportunity and Access office.

COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be  safe and effective  at preventing infection by the virus, and experts believe getting the vaccine prevents serious illness and reduces potential transmission to others even if you do get infected. The rapid development and expansion of the vaccine is an unprecedented achievement in the history of medicine and is one in which scientists and clinicians at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center  played  leading roles. This underscores the power of our university’s relentless pursuit of innovation and our mission to be of service to our community.

In partnership with VUMC, the university has worked to offer students, faculty and staff ongoing opportunities to receive the vaccine, including making appointments available to all students beginning in mid-April. The Student Health Center has also announced that it will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine beginning Monday, May 24, by appointment only. Students staying in Nashville for the summer are encouraged to call Student Health at 615-322-2427 to schedule an appointment. Time slots will be available 1–3 p.m. Mondays and 9–11 a.m. Thursdays. All World Health Organization-authorized vaccines will be acceptable; Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson are included. Information will be provided for international students with difficulty accessing vaccines in their home country before they come to campus this fall.

More details will be shared throughout the summer about how to provide proof of vaccination,  requesting an accommodation  to be exempted from the vaccination requirement and additional changes to safety protocols.  The deadline for submitting an accommodation request is June 15.

As always, the university’s public health experts, in conjunction with the COVID-19 Safety Protocols Working Group, will monitor the status of the pandemic and share updates as soon as they are available.

For the most up-to-date information and updates, please visit the Health and Safety Protocols or call the Return to Campus Helpline at (615) 322-4357.

Student Health Insurance


STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE AND INSURANCE WAIVER: All students have access to the Student Health Center. While office visits are free and other services at the Student Health Center have minimal charges, all students are required to have health insurance coverage in the event that hospitalization or care outside the Student Health Center is required. 

To ensure that all students have adequate coverage, there is a Vanderbilt-sponsored health insurance plan (SHIP) available to students. The cost of the policy is automatically billed to your student account unless you submit an approved online waiver by August 1. The online waiver process requires that you submit documentation of other comparable insurance coverage. International students are not eligible for the waiver process of the student health insurance plan. 

Upon waiver submission, you will receive a reference number that the waiver request has been received. Each waiver is verified for comparable coverage outlined by Vanderbilt University. You will then receive confirmation, via the email(s) you provide in the waiver request, of whether your waiver request has been approved. Once it is approved, the charge for the policy will be removed from your student account. 

By mid-May, the website for the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) will be live. You can visit the Student Health Center website to learn more about the plan and the waiver process. An insurance representative can be reached at the Student Health Center at (615) 343-4688, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. CT, to answer any questions.

Insurance waivers must be completed by August 1, if you do NOT wish to purchase (and be billed for) the student health insurance plan. All necessary forms need to be downloaded from the site, completed, and uploaded to the site to submit. Forms will not be sent to you.

Be Smart-Be Safe Online Education Programs


Vanderbilt devotes considerable resources to assisting students in making intelligent choices regarding their own health and safety, as well as the health and safety of other students and the larger Vanderbilt community. Among these resources are online education programs designed to provide critical information about our community’s expectations around topics such as campus safety, preventing sexual assault, making safer and healthier choices about alcohol use, and protecting vulnerable populations. The Office of the Dean of Students will contact you via your Vanderbilt email address with information about the program requirements, access information, and deadlines when the modules are available.

For more information about these requirements, visit the Student Accountability, Community Standards & Academic Integrity website or contact

First-Year Student Meal Plan

Students Dining

Campus Dining Meal Plans

The First-year Meal Plan can be used for dining in The Commons Center and 22 other locations across campus. All first-year students are automatically enrolled in the First-year Meal Plan, which includes the following:


A “meal” is a combination of items from the menu, which may differ from one on-campus dining location to another, depending on the menu and type of service offered. At each location, signs will define the items that compose a meal at that particular venue.


Commodore Cash is the primary spending account used by students. It can be used to make debit purchases at any campus retail location that accepts the Commodore Card as a method of payment.

Meal Money is used as an enhancement to the VU Meal Plan. Meal Money is an additional debit spending account available for isolating funds for food purchases. Meal Money can be used at on-campus dining locations, vending machines, and off-campus participating local Taste of Nashville restaurants.

For more information on the Commodore Card, to make a Commodore Cash selection, or to add funds to your Commodore Card, please visit the Card Services website. Click on “University,” then “First-Year Students” for an overview. 


This program allows you to use your Commodore Card at local partner restaurants, just as you would a debit or credit card. Purchases at Taste of Nashville locations are debited from your Meal Money. “Meals” cannot be used off campus. Visit the Campus Dining website for the list of participating restaurants.


Vanderbilt Campus Dining can assist you in making wise choices to meet your nutritional goals and is happy to help you navigate food allergies, health conditions, or other dietary restrictions. Several resources are available, including registered staff dietitian Emily Suttle, an online nutrition calculator, an executive chef, and more.

Attend the Special Dietary Accommodations Meeting (date and location TBD) if you have specific needs. Visit the Campus Dining website for more details.

Housing Application



Applying for housing is easy. The First-Year Housing Application will be available beginning April 12 at 8:00 a.m. CT and is due by June 1. After you obtain your VUnetID and password, please visit the Office of Housing and Residential Experience (OHARE) website and log in to the Housing Portal. Once logged in, please click on the Applications menu and complete the First-Year Housing Application.


First-year students are assigned to double rooms whenever possible.

Factors to consider when searching for a roommate include your sleep habits (are you an early riser?) and study habits (when and where do you plan to study?), how you maintain your living space (tidy or casual), the ways you socialize and recreate, and your cultural interests and preferences. If you would like to have a roommate assigned, we will attempt to match you on the basis of answers to the living and study habits questions.



In order to request a specific roommate, you will need the VUnetID of your preferred roommate (you do not need their password). Each student in the pair must request the other in order to be considered. If you do not make a specific roommate request, we will assign a roommate to you. Please note that Vanderbilt cannot guarantee that roommate requests will be honored. Only mutual roommate requests are considered. First-year students are randomly assigned to houses. Requests for assignment to specific buildings are not considered.

The Living and Study Habits Questions

The questions are part of the housing application and all students must answer them. Please keep in mind that habits change over time and students interpret questions differently. Because of this, we cannot guarantee that roommates will have similar living or study habits.



First-year students seeking accessible housing accommodations for the 2021-22 academic year due to a chronic illness, mental health, or other disability-related limitation should contact Student Access (SA) prior to June 30.

The SA website provides information for students regarding reasonable accommodations, documentation guidelines, and other information about the office. All students who request an accessible housing accommodation due to a disability-related limitation must submit documentation from their diagnosing physician to SA. If SA determines that a housing accommodation is needed for access, they will notify the Office of Housing Assignments, who will contact you about your assignment.

Please note that the Office of Housing Assignments will not accept directly any documentation or housing requests related to the student’s disability. The office will make every effort to find an appropriate and reasonable assignment as recommended by SA.

Housing Assignment Notification and Move-In Instructions

For the most up-to-date information and updates, please visit the Health and Safety Protocols or call the Return to Campus Helpline at (615) 322-4357.


Housing assignments and move-in instructions are mailed on or around August 1. Your assignment information includes your residence hall name and room number; private mailbox address; the name, email address, and phone number of your roommate; and complete move-in instructions, including your assigned move-in time.

To safeguard students’ privacy, housing assignment information is not available by phone. International students will receive an email with this information.

Because vehicular access to The Ingram Commons houses is restricted, first-year students will move in at assigned times between 7:00 a.m. CT and noon. International students will receive separate arrival and move-in instructions.

  • Computer (For guidance on what type of computer to bring, visit the VUIT website.)
  • Cellphone
  • Headphones for stereos and amplified musical instruments
  • Sheets (regular twin), towels, pillows, pillowcases, blankets, and mattress cover
  • Toiletries, bathrobe, personal items, books, alarm clock, task lighting, and study lamps (Halogen lamps are prohibited.)
  • A three-way adapter for electrical outlets
  • A multi-outlet strip with surge protection (minimum ratings of 15 amps and 1800 watts)
  • A microwave oven (800 watts or less), if you wish, with an interior capacity of no more than one cubic foot
  • TV (Vanderbilt provides all residents with Xfinity On Campus streaming service. It can be accessed with internet-connected devices and smart TVs. A Roku device may be required for TVs that do not have streaming capabilities built in.)
  • A bicycle and U-lock, if you wish (Bike racks are located outside residence halls and many classroom buildings. U-locks are strongly recommended as cable locks are easily cut.)
  • Nondisposable straws and cutlery
  • Hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, cleaning Supplies
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Broom
  • Face masks/coverings
  • Wireless routers or wireless access points (These are prohibited because they degrade the university’s wireless network.)
  • Wireless printers (These are prohibited because they degrade Vanderbilt’s wireless network; Vanderbilt provides a networked printing program that allows students to print wirelessly through Vanderbilt’s network of printers in their residence halls.)
  • A hot plate, toaster oven, portable grill, popcorn popper, or any utensil with an exposed heating element
  • Halogen lamps
  • A powerful stereo system (A personal-size system with headphones is fine.)
  • A mattress (University-issued mattresses and box springs may not be removed.)
  • Furniture (University-issued furniture may not be removed.)
  • A loft or waterbed
  • Fireworks
  • Firearms and other weapons
  • Pets (except fish)
  • Dartboards
  • Concrete blocks

Shipping Packages for Move-In


To ensure that packages are available for pickup on The Ingram Commons on Saturday, August 21, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Packages must be shipped via UPS or FedEx GROUND SERVICE ONLY.
  • Ship packages on or after August 5 so that they arrive up to 14 days before your scheduled move-in.
  • Using the correct shipping format (see below), the student’s full name and the four-digit private mailbox (PMB) address should be clearly marked on all packages. Packages should be numbered (e.g., 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3).
  • Please make note of the number of packages shipped and any tracking numbers.
  • Bring this information with you to the package pickup tent on The Ingram Commons when picking up packages.
  • We recommend insuring packages for the value of the contents.
  • Package all items securely and add extra protection for fragile items.
  • You will need your Vanderbilt mobile credential or photo ID to pick up packages.
  • You may wish to use boxes that are sized for easy carrying.
  • International Students: Packages should be shipped on or after August 5 so that they arrive up to 14 days before your scheduled move-in date. PLEASE LABEL ALL PACKAGES WITH “Early Arrival.” You may pick up your packages on International Student Move-In Day; check your email for the package pick-up location.

Package pickup for first-year students on The Ingram Commons will be available at the Vanderbilt bookstore/Mail Services tent at the following time during Move-In Weekend:

Saturday, August 21, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CT

Hand trucks will be available to help transport packages to residence halls on this day on a first-come basis, and a valid ID must be left to ensure the return of all hand trucks.

Any packages remaining after 4:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 21, will be transferred to the Station B post office inside Rand Hall. Station B will also be open on Sunday, August 22, 10:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. CT. Packages that have not been picked up within ten days of the date of arrival will be returned to the sender without further notice.


You can get your four-digit PMB number in early August by visiting our website ( On the right side of the main page, click on mail forwarding and log in, your PMB will be listed. Follow the addressing format below. Please address mail and packages to your PMB address, using the format shown below. Mail and packages should never be addressed to residence halls.

Student Name

PMB 35XXXX (X= four-digit PMB number)

2301 Vanderbilt Place

Nashville, TN 37255-XXXX

(X=four-digit PMB number)

Course Registration and Reasonable Academic Accommodations


COURSE REGISTRATION: After you have applied for housing you can begin to focus on course registration. YES (Your Enrollment Services) allows you to see the class schedule for fall 2021 and to store your class selections in a shopping cart. 

You will receive a registration packet from your school in late May or early June that will include the exact dates of your registration windows, information on how to match your class choices to requirements in your school, and how to contact an adviser for assistance in choosing your courses. Please read your registration packet carefully when it arrives and follow the directions and timeline provided. Your packet will either be mailed to your home address or emailed to your VU Gmail address. 

Tutorials, printed instructions, and online help will be accessible from YES to assist you in using the registration system.


OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD: The registration system typically opens late in July so you can make adjustments to your schedule, if necessary. Open enrollment will end two weeks after classes start. More details about the exact timing of the open enrollment period will be available this summer. 



First-year students seeking academic accommodations for the 2021–22 academic year due to limitations related to disability should contact Student Access (SA) as early as possible, or prior to June 30; however, Student Access reviews requests throughout the semester. All students who request reasonable accommodations should complete a connection form through the Commodore Access Portal. 

The SA website provides information for students regarding reasonable accommodations, documentation guidelines, and other information about making the transition to Vanderbilt.

Commodore Card

The Commodore Card is your official Vanderbilt ID. It is used for identification, for access to residence halls, academic buildings, and campus events, and as a debit card for meal plans and other purchases on and off campus. You will receive a digital Commodore Card on your iOS or Android device which you can pre-load prior to arriving at Vanderbilt, so you are all set the moment you step foot on campus. You will also receive a plastic card for some activities such as using Nashville public transit.



Commodore Cards for new students are made in advance of fall move-in. Your photo is needed for the digital and physical Commodore Card.

Photos must include a shoulder pose (no hats or sunglasses) on a neutral background with no other people in the photo. The online submission website will be active on May 15. You will need your VUnetID and password to upload your photo. The photo is used for more than just your Commodore Card so remember that your professors will see it on class rosters.

Simply click on the “Photo Submissions” link on the Card Services website.


You must agree to the terms and conditions of the online Student Account Agreement form within the YES portal to be able to add funds.

  1. Go to and click on “Add Commodore Cash for Immediate Use.”
  2. Log on using your VUnetID and password.
  3. Select “Add Funds” and follow the prompts.
  4. Submit and log off. Funds will be available immediately.


Commodore Cash consists of funds added to your Commodore Card for debit purchases at dining locations, Munchie Marts, the Vanderbilt bookstore, mail services, printing and copying, transportation services, off-campus restaurants, sporting venues, and other locations.

Printers that accept the Commodore Card are located in most residence halls and across campus. You can conveniently send print jobs from anywhere on campus and then tap your Commodore Card at the printer to release print jobs.

To ensure that funds are ready for your use when you arrive on campus, the deadline for making a Commodore Cash selection is July 15.

The amount you select will be applied to your Commodore Card for BOTH the fall and spring semesters. Funds are fully refundable if not used and will roll over at the end of every semester. These funds will be billed along with tuition, housing, meal plans, and other university charges.

You also must acknowledge the terms and conditions of the online Student Account Agreement form, which is available when logging into the YES portal. Please note that the acceptance of these terms and conditions is mandatory and will be required on an annual basis.

Office of Student Accounts

(615) 322-6693 or (800) 288-1144 |


All Vanderbilt University students are required to acknowledge the terms and conditions of an online Student Account Agreement form when logging into the YES portal. The acceptance of these terms and conditions is mandatory, and it will be required on an annual basis. Failure to agree to these terms will prevent access to the YES landing page. Once the terms have been accepted, a copy of the most recently accepted form will be available for viewing and printing within the YES portal. Please read these terms and conditions carefully. 


A Guarantor Authorization and Debt Repayment Agreement allows Vanderbilt University to release pertinent financial information to the guarantor(s) listed on the form (usually your parents or guardian). Without proper signatures, no financial information can be disclosed to anyone other than the student. You will receive an email from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions with a link to the Student Accounts website, so you can download and complete the Guarantor Authorization and Debt Repayment Agreement.



Fall Tuition, Fees, and Other Charges: Vanderbilt student account statements are sent electronically to students’ VU Gmail. You are responsible for granting parents, guardians, or other payers access to e-billing.


  1. Log into your YES landing page and click “Billing Portal.”
  2. Click on “My Account” in the sidebar. 

  3. Click on “Send a Payer Invitation” and complete the information. 

Once completed, the username and temporary password will be sent to your additional payer via email. Simply repeat this process to add more than one additional payer to your account.

In each month that items are posted to the account, an email will be sent to your VU Gmail address and other payers’ email addresses with the subject line “Your Vanderbilt e-bill is now available for viewing.”

You and your other payers can view your bill and make payments simply and securely. Each time an online payment is made, a confirmation email will be sent. If you prefer to mail your payment, print your e-bill and remit the top portion with your payment.

For more information, visit the Student Accounts website.

The deadline to enroll in the VANDY Plan (interest-free monthly payment option) is August 31 for the fall semester (payments begin May 15) and December 31 for the spring semester (payments begin October 15). For more information, please visit the Student Accounts website.

Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships

(615) 322-3591 or (800) 288-0204 |

The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (OSFA) is available to all students and families to discuss options for financial assistance. Please visit our website at for information and additional FAQs.

  • What are my next steps to receive my financial aid? OSFA will communicate with you through your Vanderbilt email address; be sure to check regularly for updates. Review your Financial Aid Checklist on your YES student portal regularly and submit any requested documents as soon as possible. Requested verification documents must be completed online and tax returns must be sent through IDOC (College Board’s Institutional Documentation Service). Financial aid will not pay to your student account if your checklist is incomplete. 
  • Will I receive the same financial aid package every year? Your 2021–22 financial aid offer is for this year only; you must reapply for need-based financial aid each year. If you are not eligible for need-based aid this year, and your financial circumstances change, you may apply for aid in future years. 
  • How do I maintain financial aid eligibility? All students receiving institutional need-based aid and/or federal Title IV financial assistance must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. The course credit hours attempted/completed and your cumulative GPA will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Maximum time frame to receive institutional aid is four years (eight semesters or the equivalent) of full-time enrollment. 
  • What if I have an outside scholarship? If you will receive an outside scholarship, you are required to inform the OSFA by completing the Outside Scholarship Notification Form available at under Downloads. Scholarships must be taken into account as part of a student’s overall need-based aid and cannot replace what the family is expected to contribute. Scholarship checks must be sent directly to the OSFA.
  • How do I get my Work-Study money? Your financial aid offer may include Academic Year Earnings or Federal Work Study. These funds will not be added to your student account; students must earn these funds through a work-study job, and earnings will be paid in the form of a paycheck. There are numerous jobs on campus. Students can find and apply for jobs at 
  • How do I use financial aid to purchase books? If you received financial aid over and beyond your direct costs, you may add these funds to your Commodore Card by July 15 to purchase your books via the Vanderbilt bookstore. Through the Student Registration page of the YES portal, you can order your books and opt to pay for them using your Commodore Card. Although students can use Commodore Cash for books only at the Vanderbilt bookstore, the bookstore matches competitors’ prices through the first week of classes to ensure students receive the best price. 
  • Are loan options available? It is our firm belief that families should borrow only when absolutely necessary. Federal Direct Loans and a limited number of private loans are available. Please review loan options and if you want to add a loan to your financial aid award package, request the loan amount by emailing 
  • Are there resources to help me with financial planning?
    Vanderbilt’s Dore Money Smarts program offers a free tool called GradReady. This tool is available to all students and includes information for managing tuition, budgets, and bills.

International First-year Student Move-In Instructions

International Students


For the most up-to-date information and updates, please visit the Health and Safety Protocols or call the Return to Campus Helpline at (615) 322-4357.

While most information in The Road to Vanderbilt applies to international students, move-in for international students differs from the move-in instructions that domestic students receive. You may notice that the I-20 form you receive via email indicates that immigration check-ins begin on August 16. Please note that these individually scheduled check-ins take place virtually after your arrival to the U.S. and are unrelated to your move-in date. International undergraduate move-in for fall 2021 will be on Wednesday, August 18, 8:00 a.m. to midnight, in The Commons Center Atrium. International Student Orientation for undergraduates begins on August 19 and is required for all new international first-year undergraduates. At the conclusion of International Student Orientation, you will join your domestic peers to participate in CommonVU Orientation. 

Please make sure to complete the pre-arrival form online before you arrive on campus so that we can prepare for your arrival. More information about move-in and orientation, including the link to the form, can be found on the International Student Orientation website.

You will also receive communications regarding visa information, immigration regulations, and other support services that pertain to international students from the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office. Be sure to check your email frequently throughout the summer for these important updates. 


All new international first-year students will be assigned to an International Orientation Group of eight to ten students. These groups are led by International Orientation Leaders (IOLs) who are part of the student organization iLEAD. Your IOL will guide your International Orientation Group through several activities and discussions over the course of your first days on campus. Look for an email in July from your IOL. 

CommonVU Orientation and Make a Plan for Voting


This weeklong orientation to The Ingram Commons and Vanderbilt takes place immediately prior to the start of classes. During CommonVU Orientation, you begin to experience the university by building new communities – in your house, across The Ingram Commons and the university campus, and in classes. You will engage in activities with other first-year students, peer mentors, upper-division students, faculty heads of house, academic advisers, and other professors. You will begin to discover the personal, academic, intellectual, and social opportunities of life at Vanderbilt—and make your first friends.


Make your voice a part of the political process by creating a plan for voting during your time at Vanderbilt. If you are an out-of-state student, decide if you plan to register in your home state or in Tennessee. If registering in your home state, consider registering in person before Move-In Day. If registering in Tennessee, you may register online at or with a form available on campus. For more information about voting while at Vanderbilt, visit


For the most up-to-date information and updates, please visit the Health and Safety Protocols or call the Return to Campus Helpline at (615) 322-4357.

Planning Ahead and Numbers to Know

Before you book your flights for breaks, confirm your class and final exam schedules, both of which you will know at the end of the first week of classes.

  • August 21 Residence halls open for first-year students
  • August 25 First day of classes
  • October 14 – 15 Fall Break for undergraduate students
  • November 20–28 Thanksgiving Break. Residence halls close at 9:00 a.m. CT on November 20 and open at 9:00 a.m. CT on November 28
  • December 8 Reading Day
  • December 10 Last day of classes
  • December 11–18 Undergraduate examinations and reading days
  • December 19 Winter Break begins. Residence halls close at 9:00 a.m. CT

Your commencement in 2025 is May 9.



Blair School of Music (615) 322-7651

College of Arts and Science (615) 322-2844

Peabody College (615) 322-8407

School of Engineering (615) 343-3773


Office of the Dean of The Ingram Commons (615) 322-4948

Office of the Dean of Students (615) 322-6400

Office of Housing and Residential Experience (615) 322-2591

Office of Student Financial Aid (615) 322-3591

Office of Undergraduate Admissions (615) 322-2561 | (800) 288-0432

Office of the University Registrar (615) 322-7701

Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center (615) 322-2524

Career Center (615) 322-2750

Center for Student Wellbeing (615) 322-0480

Commodore Card Office (615) 322-2273

Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries (615) 322-7100

LGBTQI Life (615) 322-3330

Schulman Center for Jewish Life (615) 322-8376

Student Accountability (615) 322-7868

Student Care Coordination (615) 343-9355

Student Center for Social Justice and Identity (615) 322-5089

Student Health Center Appointments (615) 322-2427

Insurance Representative (615) 343-4688

University Chaplain and Religious Life (615) 322-2457

University Counseling Center (615) 322-2571

Vanderbilt Campus Dining (615) 322-2999

Vanderbilt Police (Non-emergency) (615) 322-2745

Vanderbilt Police (Emergency) (615) 421-1911

Vanderbilt Police (Lost and Found) (615) 343-5371

Vanderbilt Ticket Office (Athletics) (615) 322-GOLD (4653) | (877) 44-VANDY

VUIT Help Desk (615) 343-9999

New Student Hotline (615) 322-4948

Parent and Family Helpline (877) 887-2736

Return to Campus Helpline (615) 322-4357