Getting Ready for Vanderbilt

What to Do and When to Do It

 May 2016

  • Bookmark, your portal for all relevant information.
  • Register for your VUnetID.
  • Parents: submit your email address to to receive Parents and Family Programs 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 your VU Gmail frequently for important updates from ISSS regarding visas, travel arrangements, and move-in instructions.
  • Start working on your online housing application, including the living and study habits survey (due by June 1) and, if you wish, start looking for a roommate (due June 15).
  • Submit Commodore Card photo online (between May 15 and June 22). 

June 2016

  • Review the information in your school or college's registration packet and follow instructions about advising and registration carefully (registration period: June 6-24).
  • Finalize your roommate request (by June 15). 
  • Submit Commodore Card photo online (by June 22). 
  • Prepare your housing requests for special accommodations and/or your requests for academic accommodations (students with disabilities, medical, or psychological conditions) to EAD (due by June 30). 

Optional Safety Items

SafeVU is a free app that connects directly with Vanderbilt's Police Department.  To download, go to

Operation ID: Bicycle and Laptop Registration
Operation ID increases the possibility of returning a stolen object.  To register your items, go to

 July 2016

  • 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 or are considering joining a club sport that meets at the time of your Visions group, request a change (by July 19). 
  • Make changes to your class schedule if necessary during the Open Enrollment and Student Change Period (July 20-August 31).
  • Start pre-ordering books and/or room supplies from bookstore for pickup on Move-In Day.
  • Complete Undergraduate Student Account Agreement form (by August 1). 
  • If you plan to waive Vanderbilt health insurance, do so at (before August 1). 

August 2016

  • Look for a letter and/or email from your faculty and student VUceptors.
  • Pack boxes for shipping. (Begin shipping August 11.)
  • Work on completing the Be Smart-Be Safe mandatory online modules (by August 15). 
  • Pay fall tuition, fees, and other charges (by August 17). (See your VU Gmail for billing.)
  • International Students: Inform ISSS of your arrival plans.
  • Move in and begin CommonVU, first-year student orientation (August 20). 
  • Classes for all undergraduate schools begin (August 24).



AlertVU is Vanderbilt's emergency mass notification system.  As a student, you are automatically enrolled to receive email notifications.  To receive notifications to your phone or sign up a parent to receive AlertVU, go to  

Preparing for College: Family Conversations

Getting ready for college is both exciting and stressful, for students and parents. Lots of planning, decisions, and deadlines are ahead—whether for housing applications, academic schedules, student health forms, tuition payments, insurance coverage, or even desk lamps. This guide is designed to outline the steps you need to take between now and August to make this transition to campus as smooth as possible.

At the outset, we encourage you as a family to have an open conversation about shifting responsibilities and lines of communication. As students go off to college, they are expected to manage their academic responsibilities, social obligations, and medical needs. In fact, university and federal policies prohibit sharing certain types of information even with family members. These include first and foremost the e-password that allows access to many university records, including all academic, financial, and medical information as well as the Vanderbilt email address.

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) protects students’ privacy and grants them exclusive rights to view and share personal education records such as grades, transcripts, disciplinary records, contact information, and class schedules. Under the law, colleges and universities may not disclose education records to anyone other than the student. For parents or guardians, FERPA’s legal mandates can be frustrating, but, as College Parents of America suggests, “Rather than seeing this legislation as a barrier to good college parenting, parents might see this as an important opportunity for meaningful dialogue with a student.”

Students and parents should review the websites for the Student Health Center and the Psychological and Counseling Center to prepare for transition of health care needs,both medical and psychiatric, from the home physician or counselor to university resources. Similarly, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) protects all private health information and requires that no third person can access an individual’s health record or health care provider without the patient’s explicit and written permission. In the case of students, this includes parents, guardians, family physicians from home, deans, and others. (For more information on HIPAA, see Private Health Information and HIPAA.)

There are several steps families can take to remain well informed. Students should start checking their Vanderbilt email regularly during the summer. Important information, including access to tuition bills, is sent to that student address. Students can give a parent or guardian permanent guest access to their Student Account and Commodore Card (University ID which also functions as a debit card). The steps to do so are simple and do not require sharing the e-password. See more information about access to Student Accounts and the Commodore Card.

Regular conversation between students and parents about their adjustment to new academic and social lives allows families to offer support when students make mistakes, share in the joy of the discoveries they make, and relieve the stress that inevitably surfaces along the way. Supporting students as they learn to take personal responsibility for official documents and financial obligations will help them become independent adults.  Encourage them to be aware of their rights and responsibilities, to take ownership of their education, and to recognize that mistakes are a big part of learning.

And now let’s take the first step…

The Ingram Commons Website

The 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 their faculty heads. You will also find profiles of your faculty and student VUceptors.

Special Information for the Class of 2020

Bookmark and visit often for updates you may need to prepare for your arrival. This website also features a mobile-friendly online version of The Road to Vanderbilt. You will find the same information as in the printed edition as well as the most recent updates and live links that take you directly to the relevant websites. 

The Ingram Commons on Social Media

Follow The Ingram Commons on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You’ll receive frequent updates about what is happening on The Ingram Commons to prepare for your arrival, and you’ll become part of the digital community that connects us all. Be on the lookout for #vu2020 and be sure to join the official Class of 2020 Facebook group

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

Your Vanderbilt IDs


Once your matriculation fees have been processed by Vanderbilt, you will receive an email with instructions to set up your VUnetID and e-password. Write down your VUnetID somewhere handy. You will need it frequently throughout your college career, including this summer. Do not share your e-password with anyone.

Your VUnetID will give you access to these important services:

Commodore ID

The Commodore ID is your identification number used by Student Accounts and other offices. It is also displayed in your YES account. You will need your Commodore ID more rarely than your VUnetID.

Please note!

Your VUnetID can only be activated after your matriculation deposit has been received AND processed by Vanderbilt.

Computing Privileges and Responsibilities

The university’s Acceptable Use Policy addresses a number of issues that pertain to your use of university computing resources, including data networks and online applications. Read the policy in its entirety and become familiar with its contents. The following four items deserve special attention:

Personal Information
You should be very careful in guarding your personal information such as Social Security numbers, PINs, and the like.
Do not share your passwords with anyone, not even family members.
Anti-Virus Software
Viruses and other malware not only degrade the performance of individual machines, but they can also threaten the function of the university network and other elements of its infrastructure. You should take advantage of the software, which is distributed at no charge, to help avoid viruses. See
As a member of an academic community, you must respect the principle of intellectual property and comply with copyright laws and policies implemented to ensure academic integrity. This includes plagiarism as well as downloading protected movies and music.

Vanderbilt Email

When you activate your VUnetID, a VU Gmail “” email address will be automatically created for you. VU Gmail includes Google apps allowing you to create, edit, and share your work online from any device.

Vanderbilt will use this email address for official communications. Make sure you check your VU Gmail regularly throughout the summer for important information, including bills.

Mandatory Immunization Compliance and Health Form

(Due by May 15)

Mandatory Immunization Compliance

The Student Health Center maintains a website that carefully outlines the immunizations that you will need to receive before arriving on campus. Tennessee state law and Vanderbilt University regulations dictate that all students comply with the immunization requirements as outlined on the four-page immunization compliance and health form, which must be returned to Student Health by May 15 for fall admission. A hold is automatically placed on a student’s registration until documented compliance with mandated immunization requirements is received.

For more information about Vanderbilt University's health services, HIPAA, and your private health information, see Student Health and Wellness

Health Questionnaire Forms

The following are required of all students and are due to the Student Health Center by the deadline above. They are also fully detailed on the Immunization Compliance and Health Questionnaire form:

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 or the Psychological and Counseling Center 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 physician. Appointments are available Monday through Friday and on Saturday mornings, including Move-In Day. To contact the PCC, call (615) 322-2571. 

Information regarding the vaccine waiver procedures and links to immunization information can be found at 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.  For more information, see the Student Health Center or the Psychological and Counseling Center.  

Housing Applications

(Due by June 1)

Applying for housing is easy. The First-Year Housing Application will be available beginning April 1 and is due by June 1. After you obtain your VUnetID and password, visit the Office of Housing and Residential Education website and click on the "Apply for Housing" link.

For more about housing, see Housing and Residential Education.

The Living and Study Habits Survey

All students must complete the survey, which is part of the housing application. It allows you to do a thorough self-assessment whether you plan to find a roommate yourself or the Office of Housing and Residential Education determines a roommate for you. Please keep in mind that habits change over time, and students interpret survey questions differently. Because of this, we cannot guarantee that roommates will have similar living or study habits.


First-year students will be assigned to double rooms whenever possible. We invite you to seek your own roommate through friends, acquaintances, and other opportunities to network with incoming first-year students.

Factors to consider when searching for a roommate include your sleep and study habits, 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 match you on the basis of answers to the Living and Study Habits Survey.


Roommate Requests

(Due by June 15)

In order to request a specific roommate, you must provide the VUnetID of your preferred roommate (you do not need his or her 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 first-year students are randomly assigned to houses. Requests for assignment to specific buildings will not be considered.

Requests for Reasonable Housing Accommodation

(Due by June 30)

First-year students seeking reasonable accommodations for the 2016/2017 academic year due to medical, psychological, or disability impairment, should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Program prior to June 30, 2016.

The EAD/DSP website provides information for students regarding reasonable accommodations, documentation guidelines, and other information about the office. All students who request reasonable accommodation due to a medical, psychological, or disability impairment must submit full and current documentation to the DSP. If DSP determines that you are eligible for special housing, it will notify the Office of Housing Assignments, which 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 the EAD/DSP.  For information regarding reasonable academic accommodation, click here

Room Furnishings

For Each Student

may be lofted with 4’ maximum height from floor to bottom of bed surface
height is user adjustable
36”w x 78”l
standard twin sheets will fit most padding
2 per resident
23.5”d x 25.5”w x 29.625”h
each with three drawers, one with lockable drawer
23.5”d x 26.75”w x 29.625”
Desk Chair
metal with upholstered seat and back
1 double outlet per resident
Data Port
1 per resident
Robe Hook
1 per resident
Towel Bar/Hook
1 per resident
Closet Shelves
Wire shelving

For Each Room

Window Treatment
Overhead fluorescent
Full-length Mirror
1 per room
Recycling Bin
1 per room
Trash Can
1 per room

What to Bring

  • Computer (For guidance, see Computer Recommendations)
  • Cell phone
  • 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)
  • An 800-watt microwave, if you wish, with an interior capacity of no more than one cubic foot
  • TV and coaxial cable, 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.

What not to Bring

  • 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 from your room.)
  • A loft or waterbed
  • Fireworks, dartboards, or concrete blocks
  • Firearms and other weapons
  • Pets (except fish)

Housing Assignment Notification and Move-In Instructions

Housing assignments and Move-In instructions are mailed on or about August 1. The assignment information includes your residence hall; room number; private mail box address; the name, address, and phone number of your roommate; as well as complete move-in instructions, including assigned move-in time. To safeguard students’ privacy, housing assignment information is not available by phone. International students will also receive an email with this information.

First-year student Move-In is on Saturday, August 20. Because vehicular access to The Ingram Commons houses is restricted, students will move in at assigned times between 7 a.m. and noon. Complete move-in instructions and your assigned move-in time are included in your room assignment letter. International students will receive separate arrival and move-in instructions from ISSS.

Purchases, Rental Options, and Other Services for Life on Campus

Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt

(800) 288-2665 or (615) 343-2665

Web: (online orders)


Pre-order course materials, school and room supplies or computer products, and they will be available for pickup on The Ingram Commons on Move-In Day. There will also be regular shuttle service from The Ingram Commons to the bookstore on Move-In Day.

Conveniently located at 2525 West End Avenue, Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt is open extended hours and regularly hosts author appearances and other special events. 

Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt Café

Enjoy Starbucks coffees, snacks, and sandwiches in the café while you study.  The café also hosts a variety of events ranging from poetry to comedy nights.

Course Materials

When your register for your classes on YES, you will be able to see a list of required texts. Whether you choose to rent your books or to purchase new, used, or digital (e-books) through the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt bookstore, you are guaranteed to get the correct textbooks and course materials. If you drop a course, you may return your textbook for a full refund during the drop/add period at the beginning of the semester.

School and Room Supplies

Micro-fridges, rugs, microwaves, bed linens, mattress pads, shelving units, towels, laundry accessories, storage bins, and décor are also available at the bookstore.

Vandy Gear

Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt carries the largest selection of Vanderbilt University apparel.  From football to basketball and everything in between, the bookstore is sure to have what every Vandy fan is looking for.

VanderBIKES Rentals or

VanderBIKES offers several different bike models for rent on a semester-long or yearlong basis. Bike rentals include free maintenance and a U-lock for the duration of your rental. Order your bike before August 14 and pick it up before classes start! 


Refridge-a-Dore offers a cost-effective and energy-friendly method to have a microwave, refrigerator, and freezer combination in your room. You can rent the units at a discounted rate with guaranteed delivery and pickup. Renting simplifies purchasing coordination with roommates and eliminates the need for shipment and summer storage.

Operation ID

The Vanderbilt University Police Department offers Operation ID to register your bicycle or laptop. By registering your property, you increase your chances of having it returned if stolen. To register, visit Operation ID. For more information, see VUPD.

Laundry Facilities and Service

All house residents have access to laundry facilities on The Ingram Commons. Washers and dryers in these laundries accept payment with the Commodore Card and coins. You may wish to opt for an on-campus laundry service with your choice of three different plans. Sign-up is available in The Commons Center on Move-In Day. 
For more information about the service and prices, see

Summer Storage

While you are planning what to bring to campus, you may also consider storage options for future summers:

Campus Storage

Limited storage space is available on campus on a first-come, first-served basis. No more than two personal items—which must be flame retardant and may not include bicycles, cardboard boxes, electronics, or furniture—may be stored.

UPS Store Storage Services

The UPS Store is Vanderbilt’s preferred vendor for shipping and storage.

Technology on Campus


Information for New Students: 

Visit our New Student webpage for the latest information about technology recommendations, student discounts, and what to bring to campus.

Many university services are available on the Vanderbilt University network (VUnet), and more are added every year. ResNet provides one active data port for each Commons resident and extensive wireless coverage. These continuous connections are fast, reliable, and offer access to VUnet from the comfort of your room. Each of The Ingram Commons houses features wireless access to the network. Please do not bring a wireless printer, switch, or router. Personal wireless access points are prohibited because they interfere with existing wireless service and may unnecessarily expose the campus network to security vulnerabilities.

University Software Store

(615) 343-3919 •

Software vendors, such as Microsoft, offer deep discounts through the university software store. Anti-virus software is distributed free of charge.

Video Network (TeleVU)

Vanderbilt operates its own cable television system, TeleVU, which offers many popular local and cable network channels, as well as Vanderbilt student-produced programming. Each room has a TeleVU connection that you may use at no charge.

Video cables will not be provided. If you wish to connect your TV to the campus cable television network, you will need to bring your own coaxial cable, or you may purchase one at our university bookstore.

Course Registration

(June 6-24) 

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 current class schedule for fall 2016 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 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. Find them at

For detailed information on YES, see YES. For a general overview on advising in the four undergraduate schools and college, see Academic Advising.

Open Enrollment Period (July 20-August 31)

The registration system reopens July 20 so you can make adjustments to your schedule, if necessary. Open enrollment ends August 31, a week after classes start. That first week of classes is commonly referred to as the add/drop period.  

Your Vanderbilt Visions Assignment in YES

In mid-July, your Vanderbilt Visions group will be added to your course schedule on YES. Visions groups meet on Monday or Tuesday afternoons for one hour. For more on Visions and your faculty and student mentors (VUceptors), see Vanderbilt Visions.

Up until July 20, you might notice changes to your assignment as we balance groups and resolve conflicts with your class schedules. This is the time for you to request a group change if:

All such change requests must be made by July 19. After that date, the groups are finalized, and your VUceptors will be notified of their group members so they can contact you.

From July 20 until the end of the add/drop period on August 31, change requests will be honored for academic reasons only. If you want to change your class schedule, you may request to be switched to another Visions group, so you can enroll in the class of your choice. Requests to change group assignments may be sent to

Requests for Reasonable Academic Accommodation

First-year students seeking reasonable classroom and academic accommodations for the 2016/2017 academic year due to a medical, psychological, or disability impairment should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Program prior to June 30, 2016.

The EAD/DSP website provides information for students regarding reasonable accommodations, documentation guidelines, and other information about the office. All students who request reasonable accommodation must submit full and current documentation to the DSP.

Commodore Card

First-Year Student Information

The Commodore Card is your official Vanderbilt ID. It is used for identification, for access to residence halls, academic buildings, and sporting events, and as a debit card for meal plans and other purchases on and off campus.

Photo Submission for Commodore Card 

(Due by June 22)

You received a request and instructions how to submit a photo to be used for the Commodore Card in your admissions packet acknowledging receipt of your matriculation fee. Commodore Cards for new students are made in advance of fall move-in. Your photograph is needed for the Commodore Card and The Newcomer, the university’s annual publication of photos and biographical information about the new student class.

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.

Simply click on the "Photo Submissions" link at

Commodore Cash Selection 

(Due by July 15)

Commodore Cash consists of funds added to your Commodore Card to make debit purchases at dining locations, Varsity Markets, the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt bookstore, mail services, laundry, printing and copying sites, taxis, off-campus restaurants, sporting venues, and other locations.

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 return the completed Undergraduate Student Account Agreement form which is available online at the Student Accounts Office website.

Commodore Card Management

You can manage your card online at to view spending activity and account balances, report a card lost or stolen, to add funds to the card, and to set up low balance notifications or to send a PDF statement of spending to a parent.

If you elected not to add funds during the fall selection period (February 6–July 15), you may add funds for immediate use and have additions billed to the student account from the Commodore Card website.

If you did not make the selection to have funds pre-billed, there is a $35 deferred payment fee for each addition until September 15. To prevent this fee for the spring semester, log on to until November 15.

To avoid a deferred payment fee, selections can be made during the following time periods: 

For Fall 2016
Through July 15
For Spring 2017
Through November 15

Note: The Commodore Card accepts personal checks at any time free of charge and without fee. Checks should be made payable to Vanderbilt University with the student’s birth date noted and mailed to:

Vanderbilt University Card Services Office
PMB 407813
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7813

Add Commodore Cash for Immediate Use

You must have completed the Student Account Agreement form to be able to add funds. 

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

Reporting your Commodore Card Lost or Stolen

(615) 322-2273 •

Report a lost Commodore Card as soon as possible either by phone or via the website above.

Debit spending accounts and access privileges are suspended when a card is reported lost. If you find the lost card, it can be reactivated on our website. If it is not found, there is a $20 replacement card fee that is payable by cash, check or Commodore Cash.

Commodore Cash vs. Meal Money

Commodore Cash is the primary spending account used by students. It can be used to make debit spending 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 and off campus at participating local Taste of Nashville restaurants. 

For the First-Year Student Meal Plan, see First-Year Student Meal Plan.

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

Undergraduate Student Account Agreement

(Due by August 1)

Office of Student Accounts â€¢ (615) 322-6693 or (800) 288-1144 â€¢

A financial agreement form is required to allow Commodore Cash additions to be charged to your Vanderbilt student account. This form is also required for parents and guardians who wish to discuss your financial account with the university.

You will receive an email from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions with a link to where you can download and complete the Student Account Agreement.

If a signed agreement is not on file by August 1, Commodore Card additions must be made by check or up to $40 in cash.

Student Account e-Billing

(Fall Tuition, Fees, and Other Charges Due by August 17) 

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.

Access for Parents or Guardians

  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 e-mail. 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 invited payers’ email addresses with the subject line “Your new 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

Student Health Insurance and Insurance Waiver

(Due by August 1)

All students have access to the Student Health Center. While most 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, 2016. The online waiver process requires that you submit documentation of other insurance coverage.

Upon waiver submission, you will receive a reference number that the waiver has been received. Each waiver is verified for comparable coverage outlined by Vanderbilt. You will then receive confirmation, via the email(s) you provide in the waiver, of whether it 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 Health Insurance plan will be live. You can visit here 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 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT, to answer any questions.

See more information on Student Health and Wellness.

Be Smart-Be Safe Mandatory Online Education Programs

(Due by August 15)

As part of your preparation for campus life, Vanderbilt University requires you to complete the AlcoholEdu, Haven, Campus Safety, Fire Safety, and Protection of Minors mandatory online modules prior to Move-In Day. You will receive email notifications with instructions and links for each of the modules in late July. Your deadline for completing all five modules is August 15.  For questions regarding completing the modules, email


AlcoholEdu is a science-based, non-judgmental education program. Parents are also encouraged to take the AlcoholEdu for Parents course. AlcoholEdu Part 1 takes approximately two hours to complete. Part 2, which takes about 15 minutes, becomes available 45 days after Part 1 is completed. The deadline for Part 2 is Monday, October 17.

Protection of Minors 101 

Vanderbilt is committed to protecting minors on its campus and in its programs. As part of that commitment, you are required to complete Protection of Minors 101, a 30-minute self-paced module. It outlines the requirements for those who interact with minors through volunteer, service, co-curricular or academic activities and provides information about the obligation to report instances of known or suspected abuse or neglect.


Haven Sexual Violence Prevention Module

As part of Vanderbilt’s ongoing efforts to enhance awareness of the university’s initiatives and resources to prevent power-based personal violence, you are required to complete Haven, a 45-minute interactive module. It educates you about the types of power-based personal violence, warning signs, and bystander intervention, as well as relevant laws, policies, and campus resources.

Fire Safety

Fire prevention is everyone’s responsibility. The 15-minute Fire Safety module connects students to procedures and resources to help prevent fires and explains how to respond appropriately in the unlikely event of a fire.

Campus Safety

The university is committed to helping students stay safe and secure and provides this 15-minute Campus Safety module to give students options for responding to weather events, medical emergencies, and active threats.

Student Financial Aid

(615) 322-3591 •

The Office of Student Financial Aid and Undergraduate Scholarships is responsible for providing:

Information regarding these available programs and funding sources can be found online at

Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

To be considered for need-based financial assistance, you must apply each year by filing both the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Financial Aid PROFILE. To be considered for federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs, you must apply each year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Application instructions and deadlines can be found under the “How to Apply” section of Signed copies of parent and student federal income tax returns must also be mailed to the College Board’s Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC).

Will I receive the same financial aid package every year?

While Vanderbilt’s costs typically increase from year to year, if your family’s circumstances (income, assets, family size, number of family members in college, etc.) remain relatively unchanged and if you continue to make normal academic progress, you can expect to receive a comparable amount of assistance during each year of enrollment.

What jobs are available to students and how does one find them?

There is a variety of jobs available on-campus and in the surrounding Nashville area. Your pay rate is dependent upon the position obtained and the type of work performed. Students earn a paycheck each pay period for the hours worked and typically will use their earnings to help pay for miscellaneous living expenses.

Every fall, a Virtual Online Student Job Fair is held where open positions are promoted. Federal Work Study jobs, institutional (non-FWS) jobs, and off-campus/community jobs are listed at and at You must be an enrolled student to access HireADore. For more information regarding student employment, visit  

Does Vanderbilt offer ROTC scholarships?

ROTC scholarships ranging from $3,000 to full tuition plus a $6,000 per year Vanderbilt supplement, are available to eligible students. For more information regarding these scholarships, please call the following numbers:

(615) 322-8550
Air Force ROTC
(615) 963-5931
(615) 963-5980
(615) 322-2671

What if my outside scholarship does not arrive in time to meet the payment deadline?

Vanderbilt encourages students to apply for outside scholarships, and the Office of Student Financial Aid and Undergraduate Scholarships will add these funds to the financial aid package. If you are a scholarship recipient, you are responsible for notifying our office as soon as possible of the name and amount of the outside scholarships. These will normally be part of the anticipated aid displayed on the first invoice of each semester.

Please note that you are responsible for the delivery of funds to the Office of Student Financial Aid for proper credit to your student account. If the funds do not arrive during the first weeks of scheduled classes, a late payment fee may be incurred. We therefore encourage families to initially “cover” the scholarship amount in order to prevent such late fees. Once the scholarship funds arrive and are posted to your student account, which usually creates a credit balance, a refund of that credit balance may be requested from the Office of Student Accounts.

May I use my financial aid for a study abroad program/semester?

Students who receive aid and plan to study abroad through an approved Vanderbilt program may use their financial aid for such programs offered during the academic year (fall and/or spring semester). Students wishing to attend a study abroad program during the summer months and needing financial assistance will have to consider federal loans, parent loans, or alternative loans. In addition, limited funds are available through the Vanderbilt Summer Global Fellows Program.

I am an International Student. What applies to me?

Please contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for information on financial aid.

Preparing for Move-In

International First-Year Student Move-In Instructions

International Student and Scholar Services is the office that handles visa information and other services that pertain only to international students. While most information in The Road to Vanderbilt applies to international students as well, move-in for international students is coordinated through ISSS and differs from the move-in instructions that domestic students receive.

As an international student, you will check in through the ISSS office, which will inform you of the times, procedures, services, and special events for international students. Please make sure you are aware of their check-in times and inform the office of your arrival plans.

Shipping Packages for Move-In on The Ingram Commons

To ensure that packages are available for pickup on The Ingram Commons on Saturday, August 20, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Packages must be shipped via UPS or FedEx GROUND SERVICE ONLY.
  • Ship packages on or after August 11.
  • Using the correct shipping format (see box to the right), 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.
  • We recommend insuring packages for the value of the contents.
  • Package all items securely and add extra protection for fragile items.
  • You may wish to use boxes that are sized for easy carrying.

Picking Up Packages During Move-In

Package pickup for first-year students on The Ingram Commons will be available at the Bookstore/Mail Services Tent on Saturday, August 20, 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. 

You will need your Vanderbilt ID (Commodore Card) or photo ID to pick up packages. Make sure to also bring information on the number of packages and any tracking numbers. 

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. on Saturday, August 20, will be transferred to the Post Office located inside Rand Hall. Packages that have not been picked up within 10 days of the date of arrival will be returned to the sender without further notice.

For general information about mail and special deliveries, see Mail Services on Campus.

Address Format

You will receive your four-digit Private Mail Box (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.

(#### = four-digit PMB number)

Student Name
PMB 35####
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-####


SunTrust ATM machines are conveniently located around campus, including at The Commons Center and Sarratt Student Center. Representatives of several major banks will be available on Move-In Day for to help students open accounts.

Banks within walking distance of The Ingram Commons include:

SunTrust Bank

1605 21st Avenue S.
(615) 750-8463
Regions Bank

1604 21st Avenue S.
(800) 734-4667
Fifth Third Bank

2000 Wedgewood Avenue
(615) 320-4950
Bank of America
2121 Blakemore Avenue
(615) 291-2890
US Bank
1711 Broadway
(615) 742-6365

Select Hotels Within One Mile of Vanderbilt

For easy booking, special rates, and additional hotels see

Transport from Nashville International Airport and Vanderbilt

CommonVU (Orientation Week)

This weeklong orientation to The Ingram Commons and Vanderbilt begins with Move-In Day on Saturday, August 20. During CommonVU, you begin to experience the university by building new communities—on your floor and 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, Vanderbilt upperclass students, faculty heads of house, academic advisers, and other Vanderbilt professors. You will begin to discover the personal, academic, intellectual, and social opportunities of life at Vanderbilt and make your first friends.

Founders Walk

Founders Walk



CommonVU Schedule

Look for continuous updates at

Friday, August 19
International Student Pre-Orientation

Saturday, August 20
Move-In Day

  • Receive Commodore Card and room key
  • Move into house
  • Meet faculty head of house and house residential staff
  • University Resource and Services Fair
  • Parent/student meetings with 
school deans
  • Various information sessions
  • House dinners

  • Mandatory floor and house meetings 
with resident advisers and faculty heads (students only)

Sunday, August 21
Family Farewells and Commons Community Building

  • Dean's Breakfast
  • Family Orientation
  • Departure of parents and families
All events after Family Orientation are for students only
  • Vanderbilt Visions group meetings
  • House community building activities
  • Founders Walk and picnic
  • Floor meetings

Monday, August 22
Introduction to Academic Life at Vanderbilt

  • Academic adviser meetings
  • Information, testing, and introductory sessions with colleges and schools
  • Honor Code signing

Tuesday, August 23
The Ingram Commons and Our Community

  • Class photo
  • True Life presentation—Vanderbilt Visions groups discuss the challenges of life on your own at Vanderbilt
  • Profs in the House

Wednesday, August 24
First Day of Classes

Friday, August 26
Showcasing Student Involvement

  • Student Involvement Fair
  • Spotlight Showcase
  • Dean of Students Special Event

Saturday, August 27 and
Sunday, August 28
Community Responsibility and Celebration

  • Workshops on student accountability, conduct, and community responsibility
  • The Class of 2020 Celebration