Skip to main content

The Road to Vanderbilt 2020

The Road to Vanderbilt 2020

Announcement: In light of Vanderbilt’s phased approach to re-opening on-campus operations and activities, information on this webpage has been updated to reflect the new timelines for enrollment and orientation processes. Please note that all CommonVU Orientation activities will take place virtually through the Brightspace learning management system. For more information and updates, please visit or call the Fall 2020 Helpline at (615) 322- 4357.


May 2, 2020

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. It 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.

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. In this document, 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.

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.

We know some of you may have questions regarding the fall semester. As Interim Chancellor Susan R. Wente has stated, it is our goal and sincere hope to welcome you to campus in the fall, though no final decisions have been made at this time. We encourage you to visit the university’s Fall 2020 website frequently, as information is updated there regularly. The Fall 2020 website will include updates to dates or processes referenced in The Road.

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

  • What to Do and When to Do It
  • Special Information for the Class of 2024
  • The Commons Experience: Anything But Ordinary
  • Mandatory Immunization and Health 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
  • Shipping Packages for Move-In
  • Course Registration 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

What to Do and When to Do It

May 2020

  • Bookmark the Class of 2024 website 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 and health information that might require contacting or visiting your health care provider (due 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).

June 2020

  • Review the information in your school or college’s registration packet and follow instructions about advising and registration carefully (registration period: June 8–26).
  • Sign up for the VANDY Plan (by August 31). (VANDY Plan payments are due by the 15th of the month. Visit the Payment Options page for more information).
  • Register as an absentee voter/make voting plan.
  • Receive your copy of The Commons Reading and begin reading (mail/email).

July 2020

  • Prepare your housing requests for special accommodations and/or your requests for academic accommodations (students with disabilities or medical or psychological conditions) to SAS (due by July 1).
  • Sign up for the VANDY Plan (by August 31). (VANDY Plan payments are due by the 15th of the month. Visit the Payment Options page for more information).
  • 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 21).
  • 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 (July 22–September 2).
  • Start pre-ordering books and/or room supplies from the bookstore for pickup on Move-In Day.
  • If you plan to waive Vanderbilt health insurance, do so at Gallagher Insurance Company website (before August 1).

August 2020

    • Look for a letter and/or email from your faculty and student VUceptors.
    • Place your pre-arrival COVID-19 test kit order by 2 p.m. CDT (August 5)
    • Complete Student Return to Campus Acknowledgment Form (by August 5)
    • Course schedule readjustment is available in YES (August 6)
    • Download VandySafe app to start mandatory daily symptom monitoring (by August 10)
    • Complete your pre-arrival test via telehealth Zoom meeting between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDT (Aug. 11-12)
    • Drop off your pre-arrival test kit at the UPS store or brown UPS drop box by 4 p.m. your local time (August 12)
    • Pack boxes for shipping (Ship on or after August 10)
    • Submit your essay on The Commons Reading on Brightspace (by August 24)
    • First-year Student Move-in (August 17- 22). Note: International Students should finalize arrival plans by submitting your pre-arrival form online.
    • Sign up to receive AlertVU on your phone or other devices (before your Move-In Day)
    • Classes for all undergraduate schools begin (August 24)
    • Reflective essay on the Commons Reading due on Brightspace (August 24)
    • Pay full tuition and fees or sign up for the VANDY Plan (by August 31).Visit the Payment Options page for more information.
    • Complete online CommonVU Orientation modules (by August 31)
    • Pay fall tuition, fees, and other charges or sign up for VANDY plan (by August 31). Visit the Payment Options page for more information.


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 or email)
  • Early June Meal Plan (postcard, domestic mailing only)
  • Early June Directory of Dining Services (mail, domestic mailing only)
  • Mid-July Bookstore information on ordering textbooks and course materials (email)
  • Late July Be Smart–Be Safe mandatory online modules information (email)
  • July 27 Housing notification, fall semester room assignment
  • Early August Letter from your VUceptors (mail/email)
  • Early August Email from student health insurance provider Gallagher



  • 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 2024



Bookmark the Class of 2024 website and visit often for updates you may need to prepare for your arrival. This website and the 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 Fall 2020 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 2024 Facebook group and be on the lookout for #vu2024! To hear from current VUceptors about the transition to Vanderbilt and your first semester on The Ingram Commons, check out VUcept on Instagram.

theingramcommons | rescolleges


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.


The Person You Mean to Be Book CoverThis year’s Commons Reading is The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh. 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 the book upon your arrival along with different 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. You will meet your Visions group virtually for the first time after move-in.


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 yearlong 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 card-swipe 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 Health Compliance


MANDATORY IMMUNIZATION COMPLIANCE: 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. 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: The Health Questionnaire form is due to Student Health by May 15. Note that other official immunization records (those including a physician signature or from a state, county, or previous undergraduate institution) are accepted as well and are also due by May 15. This is a recommended deadline because undergraduates register for classes in early June.

The VU form is preferred over other documents, because it provides Student Health with fully detailed information before you arrive on campus: 

Demographic information, which includes:

  • Personal contact information
  • Emergency contact information
  • Immunization history (required and recommended vaccinations)
  • Tuberculosis screening survey and necessary testing, if applicable, signed by a health care provider for verification
  • Brief health history, including all significant physical or mental health issues, so providers at Vanderbilt can provide you with the appropriate care

A pre-college physical exam is strongly recommended, but it is not required. If you have ongoing health problems or chronic health conditions, you should contact the Student Health Center (SHC) or the University Counseling Center (UCC) prior to your arrival on campus to assure the continuity of your care.

Call the SHC at (615) 322-2427 to schedule an appointment with a provider. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. CT. To contact the UCC, call (615) 322-2571.

Information regarding the compliance process and checklist can be found at the Student Health Center website. All necessary forms need to be downloaded from the site, completed, and uploaded to the secure Vanderbilt Student Health portal. Forms will not be sent to you.

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 SHC have minimal charges, all students are required to have health insurance coverage in the event that hospitalization or care outside the SHC is required.

In order to ensure that all students have adequate coverage, there is a Vanderbilt-sponsored health insurance policy 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, 2020. 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 websites for the Gallagher Student Health Insurance plan 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 SHC 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, 2020, 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

BE SMART–BE SAFE MANDATORY ONLINE EDUCATION: 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 preventing sexual assault, making safer and healthier choices about alcohol use, thriving in and sustaining a culture of inclusive excellence, and protecting vulnerable populations. Please monitor your Vanderbilt email address throughout the summer for a series of emails more information about the program requirements, access information, and deadlines. For more information about these requirements, visit the Student Accountability, Community Standards & Academic Integrity website or contact


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


HOUSING APPLICATIONS: Applying for housing is easy. The First-year Housing Application will be available beginning April 6 and is due by June 1. After you obtain your VUnetID and password, please visit the Office of Housing and Residential Experience website and log in to the “Student Housing Portal.” Once logged in, please click on the “Applications” menu and complete the “First-year Housing Application.”


First-year students will be assigned singly, one student per room. There will be a number of opportunities for students to connect with one another both virtually and in-person while practicing social distancing. All first-year students will be assigned a virtual roommate.


REQUESTS FOR REASONABLE HOUSING ACCOMMODATIONS: First-year students seeking reasonable accommodations for the 2020–2021 academic year due to a medical, psychological, or disability impairment should contact Student Access Services prior to July 1, 2020.

The SAS website provides information for students regarding reasonable accommodations, documentation guidelines, and other information about the office. All students who request reasonable accommodations due to a medical, psychological, or disability impairment must submit full and current documentation to SAS. If SAS determines that you are eligible for special housing, 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 regarding a student’s medical, psychological, or disability-related condition. The office will make every effort to find appropriate and reasonable assignment as recommended by SAS.

Housing Assignment Notification and Move-In Instructions

We encourage you to visit the university’s Fall 2020 website frequently, as information is updated there regularly. The Fall 2020 website will include updated policies and decisions regarding Vanderbilt University’s operations.


We are excited to welcome you to campus this fall and are eagerly planning for your arrival. While we wish that your arrival on campus would look like our traditional move-in weekend, your health, and that of your family, your friends, and the Vanderbilt community are our highest priority. The move-in process has been developed in close consultation with health experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and our School of Nursing as well as national, state and local public health officials. The success of this approach will require a joint effort from every member of our community as we work together as One Vanderbilt. Please click here to view the key features of this year’s move-in process.

Housing assignments and move-in instructions are mailed around August 10. The assignment information includes your residence hall and room number; private mailbox address; the name, address, and phone number of your virtual roommate; and complete move-in instructions, including your assigned move-in time. All first-year students will spend at least one semester on the Ingram Commons and will be assigned a Faculty Head when they live in either Branscomb or Towers. To safeguard students’ privacy, housing assignment information is not available by phone. International students will receive an email with this information.

  • 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 and coaxial cable, necessary for connecting to TeleVU, if you wish
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • Wireless routers or wireless access points (These are prohibited because they degrade the university’s wireless network.)
  • 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, dartboards, or concrete blocks
  • Firearms and other weapons
  • Pets (except fish)
  • 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.)

Shipping Packages for Move-In


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

  • Packages must be shipped via UPS or FedEx GROUND SERVICE ONLY.
  • Packages should be shipped on or after August 10 so that they arrive up to ten days before your scheduled move-in.
  • Using the correct shipping format (see below), the student’s full name and the 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 Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt/Mail Services 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 ID (Commodore Card) 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 10 so that they arrive up to ten 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 Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt/Mail Services tent at the following time during Move-In Weekend:

8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. CT

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

Any remaining packages will be transferred to the Station B post office inside Rand Hall. 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 will receive your four-digit private mailbox (PMB) number in early August (with the mailing of your housing assignment). 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 37235-XXXX
(X = four-digit PMB number)

Course Registration Reasonable Academic Accommodations

JUNE 8–26

COURSE REGISTRATION: After you have applied for housing by June 1, you can begin to focus on course registration. YES (Your Enrollment Services) allows you to see the class schedule for fall 2020 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 reopens July 22 so you can make adjustments to your schedule, if necessary. Open enrollment ends September 2, a week after classes start. That first week of classes is commonly referred to as the add/drop period.


REQUESTS FOR REASONABLE ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS: First-year students seeking academic accommodations for the 2020–2021 academic year due to limitations related to disability should contact Student Access Services (SAS) prior to July 1, 2020. All students who request reasonable accommodations because of functional limitations due to disability must submit current documentation to SAS. Although requests for accommodations are reviewed throughout the semester, you are encouraged to contact the office by July 1 to avoid delays in service.

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


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. Visit the Card Services website for more information



Commodore Cards for new students are made in advance of fall move-in. Your photo is needed for the 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 at 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, Varsity Markets, the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt bookstore, mail services, laundry, 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 | Website


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. On your Account page, click “Add New” in the Other Payers section.
  3. Enter the information that is requested and click “OK.” (You must enter the username that your additional payer will use.)

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.

Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships

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

The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships 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 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 2020–2021 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. 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, Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt. 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 Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt, 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


We encourage you to visit the university’s Fall 2020 website frequently, as information is updated there regularly. The Fall 2020 website will include updated policies and decisions regarding Vanderbilt University’s operations.

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. International undergraduate move-in for fall 2020 will be in The Commons Center Atrium. International Student Orientation 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 at the Residential Colleges 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 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


During CommonVU Orientation, you begin to experience the university by building new communities. 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 the Office of Active Citizenship & Service website.


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.

We encourage you to visit the university’s Fall 2020 website frequently, as information is updated there regularly. The Fall 2020 website will include updated policies and decisions regarding Vanderbilt University’s operations.

  • August 24 First day of classes
  • November 20 End of in-person classes
  • November 21–29 Thanksgiving Break
  • November 30 First day of online instruction
  • December 4 Undergraduate classes end
  • December 5–13 Reading day and undergraduate examinations
  • January 8 Residence halls open at noon.
  • January 11 First day of classes
  • March 6–14 Spring Break Residence halls close at 9:00 a.m. on March 6. Residence halls open at 9:00 a.m. on March 14.
  • April 26 Last day of classes
  • April 27–May 6 Reading day and undergraduate examinations
  • May 8 Residence halls close at 9:00 a.m.