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Your New VU

Your New VU 2021

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


Welcome to the Vanderbilt family! We are honored that you have chosen to join our university. Whether you are a new student or their family, Your New VU 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 to begin your Vanderbilt journey. Your New VU 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 Transfer Student Orientation, fall course registration, as well as how and when to turn in required forms. Your New VU 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 Your New VU 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 campus as a Commodore.

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

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
  • The Transfer Student Experience
  • Mandatory Immunization and Health Compliance
  • Student Health Insurance
  • Housing Application
  • Housing Assignment Notification and Move-in Instructions
  • Student Meal Plans
  • Preparing for Classes
  • Be Smart-Be Safe Online Education Programs
  • Card Services
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • Student Accounts
  • International Transfer Student Move-in Instructions
  • Transfer Student Orientation
  • Campus Connection Program
  • Planning Ahead and Numbers to Know

What to Do and When to Do It

* Please note that the deadlines listed throughout Your New VU are preferred deadlines. Students admitted after one or more of these dates should contact the specified office directly and submit their information as soon as possible.

May 2021

  • Bookmark the Transfer Students website and check back often for information on Transfer Student Orientation and ongoing programming for transfer students.
  • Register for your VUnetID. After you pay your matriculation fee, you will receive an email from the Office of the University Registrar with instructions on how to do so.
  • Prepare immunization, tuberculosis, and health information that might require contacting or visiting your health care provider.
  • Start checking your VU Gmail regularly for important information, including your bills.
  • Start working on housing application (submit by June 15).
  • International Students: Determine if you will attend International Student Orientation. If so, email to be placed in an international orientation group (by June 30).
  • International Students: Check the email you used to apply for Vanderbilt admission frequently for important updates regarding visas, and travel arrangements. (Note: Your VU Gmail may not be accessible in all countries.)
  • Families: Submit your email address to the Parents and Family Programs website to receive newsletters.

June 2021

  • Receive electronic access to the Campus Reading and begin reading.
  • Make a plan to vote either with an absentee ballot or in Tennessee.
  • Prepare your housing requests for special accommodations and/or your request for academic accommodations (students with disabilities or medical or psychological conditions) to Student Access (by June 30).
  • Be on the lookout for course registration information from your school or college.

July 2021

  • Submit your Commodore Card photo online (by July 15).
  • Select Commodore Cash funds online (by July 15).
  • Sign up for a meal plan.
  • 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.
  • If you plan to waive Vanderbilt health insurance, do so at the Student Health Center website (by August 1).
  • International Students: Look for an email from your International Orientation Leader, if you have signed up for International Student Orientation.

August 2021

  • Look for an email or letter from your Transfer Student Leader.
  • Submit your reflective essay on the Campus Reading on Brightspace (by August 13).
  • Sign up to receive AlertVU on your phone or other devices.
  • Move in and begin Transfer Student Orientation (August 20).
  • Classes for all undergraduate schools begin (August 25).
  • Pay fall tuition, fees, and other charges (by August 31).
  • Enroll in the VANDY Plan (interest-free monthly payment option) for the fall semester (by August 31).
  • International Students: Finalize arrival plans by submitting your pre-arrival form online.

Communication Between May & August

  • Early May Acknowledgement of receipt of the matriculation fee and request to set up your VUnet ID
  • May Request to submit a photo for your Commodore Card
  • May-July Information about health insurance waiver deadline (email from Student Accounts)
  • June Registration materials and instructions from your school or college
  • June Meal plan information from Campus Dining
  • June Instructions to complete the Campus Reading essay assignment (email)
  • June-Early August Information about virtual Q&A sessions featuring Vanderbilt offices
  • Mid-July Vanderbilt bookstore information on ordering textbooks and course materials (email)
  • Late July Be Smart–Be Safe mandatory online modules information
  • Late July-Early August Letter from your Transfer Student Leader
  • 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
  • Transfer Student Leader contact information and transfer group number
  • Directions to campus

The Transfer Student Experience

The division of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs offers several academic and community-building programs for transfer students, designed to help this important population develop a sense of belonging within the Vanderbilt community. Following Transfer Student Orientation, new transfer students have the opportunity to receive one-on-one mentorship from their Transfer Student Leader, attend social events for new and returning transfer students, engage in discussions on the Campus Reading, and more.


Transfer Student Leaders (TSLs) are rising third- and fourth-year students who support incoming transfers during their transition to Vanderbilt. While the 28 TSLs are all transfers themselves, they represent a wide range of backgrounds, majors, and experiences on campus. Each TSL guides a group of approximately 10-15 transfer students, known as a transfer group, through Transfer Student Orientation and serves as a peer mentor to their group members throughout the fall semester. More information about the 2021 TSLs can be found on the Meet the TSLs website.


Connecting to VU was launched in fall 2020 as a six-week program designed to build upon the topics introduced at Transfer Student Orientation and encourage long-standing community among transfer students. In 2021, Connecting to VU sessions will invite new transfer students to meet transfers outside their transfer group and develop a stronger understanding of how to leverage the opportunities afforded to them as Vanderbilt students.

Connecting to VU sessions will feature a Vanderbilt faculty member, staff member, or panel of upper-division students who will discuss how transfer students can engage with different aspects of the Vanderbilt experience. Each guest speaker will be an expert in academic planning, experiential learning, health and wellness, or student involvement.


The Campus Reading serves as a shared experience for all new undergraduate students to introduce them to the vibrant intellectual life at Vanderbilt.  Transfer groups will address the Campus Reading during Transfer Student Orientation, and transfer students will be invited to attend an annual lecture about the book during the fall semester.

This year’s selection of When Breath Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanithi offers readers an intimate look at the profound moments that shaped a young doctor’s life before and after his cancer diagnosis. Through this work, Kalanithi offers his views on achievement, mortality and the meaning of life.

More information about the Campus Reading and the reflective essay assignment due on August 13 can be found on the Campus Reading website.


Transfer Connect is the student organization that oversees the 28 Transfer Student Leaders (TSLs). The members of Transfer Connect are dedicated to welcoming new transfer students to Vanderbilt and providing opportunities for new transfers to build community with one another throughout their first year at Vanderbilt. The organization accomplishes its mission by hosting social programs, such as ice cream socials, game nights, and speed friending events. Additionally, Transfer Connect aims to help transfer students integrate within the larger Vanderbilt community by building partnerships with other student organization on campus.


Follow @TransfersofVU on Instagram and join the Transfer Hub, found within the Vanderbilt Admitted Student Community, to connect with other fall 2021 transfers and Transfer Student Leaders. Find your personalized invitation link to the Admitted Student Community on your MyAppVU portal. Reminders about summer deadlines and information on fall programming will be posted to these platforms.

Mandatory Immunization and Health Compliance

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


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.


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. 


Information regarding the compliance process can be found at the Student Health Center websiteAll 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 offer you the appropriate care when you arrive on campus. 

We recommend you follow the “New Student Checklist” on the website and complete this upload as soon as possible 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. 

Student Health Insurance



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 websites 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 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, 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.

Housing Application



The Housing Application is now open to transfer students and should be completed by June 15. 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, click on the Applications menu and complete the Housing Application.


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.


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.


Transfer students seeking accessible housing accommodations for the 2021–2022 academic year due to a chronic illness, mental health, or other disability-related limitation should contact Student Access (SA) as soon as possible.

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


Transfer student housing assignments and move-in information will be sent via email on or before August 10.

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 participating in International Student Orientation 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.)
  • Non-disposable 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

To ensure that packages are available for pickup on Friday, 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 6 so that they arrive no more than14 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 when picking up packages (Note: You will receive a package pick-up notification via email when you package has arrived. This notification will indicate the package pick-up location (Station B or Student Life Center)).
  • 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 4 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 transfer students will be available at the Station B post office in Rand Hall OR at the temporary package pick-up location in the Student Life Center at the following times during Transfer Move-in Weekend:

Friday, August 20, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CT

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

Sunday, August 22, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CT (Station B only)

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 private mailbox (PMB) number in early August by visiting the Mail Services website. On the right side of the main page, click on mail forwarding and log in. Your PMB will be listed. 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)

Student Meal Plans

Students Dining


Meal plans are available to all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff. All Vanderbilt students living on campus are required to participate in a meal plan based on their cohort year. Visit the Campus Dining website for more information on meal plans.


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.

Preparing for Classes


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 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.


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. 


Transfer students seeking academic accommodations for the 2021–2022 academic year due to limitations related to disability should contact Student Access (SA) as early as possible, preferably 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.


The External Education Unit will review previous course work for newly admitted students once official final transcripts from any prior institution(s) are received. Courses that are already listed in the Transfer Credit Search tool, available through Your Enrollment Services (YES), will be posted to your Vanderbilt record. For courses taken elsewhere that have not been evaluated by Vanderbilt, the External Education Unit will seek course syllabi and facilitate the evaluation process for you. In the event that a course syllabus cannot be found, the External Education Unit will send you an email notifying you that you will be responsible for obtaining a detailed syllabus. You can then submit the detailed syllabus and course through the Transfer Credit Submission application in YES. Visit this user guide for more information on the transfer credit submission process.

Read more about transferring course credits on the Registrar website.


Each undergraduate college has its own guidelines and deadlines for students to declare majors. Incoming transfer students who have a major on their application are assigned faculty advisers from that department. Students can also refer to the academic advising information and FAQs for each undergraduate school for information:

Blair School of Music

College of Arts and Science*

Peabody College

School of Engineering

*The College of Arts and Science’s Pre-major Academic Advising Resources Office (CASPAR) is available to provide support, advice, and perspective to transfer students who have no major selected. Advisers work with students to ease the transition from high school to college, as well as offer guidance during the major selection process.


The degree audit is an online tool that allows students, advisers, and administrators to track students’ academic progress toward completion of degree requirements. The audit is available through the YES suite of applications. Course catalogs can also be accessed for your reference. Class standing is regulated and determined by each undergraduate school.


Immersion Vanderbilt is a degree requirement for all undergraduate students in the Class of 2023 and all subsequent years. This intensive learning experience provides students with the opportunity to pursue their passions and cultivate intellectual interests in and beyond the classroom, culminating in the creation of a final project. Make an advising appointment with the Office of Immersion Resources as soon as you can to discuss your options, ideas, and how to get started on your very own project. You will give your Immersion Vanderbilt project its own unique title that will go on your transcript, so plan ahead and seek help to make the most of this opportunity.

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 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 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

Card Services

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 the first day of classes. 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.

Photos can be uploaded 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 the Card Serves website 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 refers to optional funds added to your Commodore Card for debit purchases at dining locations, Munchie Marts, the 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 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 adding Commodore Cash to your Commodore Card, if you wish to do so, 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, 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.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

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

  • 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 2021–2022 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.

Student Accounts


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.



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 side bar. 

  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.

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

International Transfer Student Move-in Instructions

International Students


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

While most information in Your New VU 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 optional for new international transfer students. At the conclusion of International Student Orientation, you will join your domestic peers to participate in the required Transfer Student Orientation program. If you would like to attend International Student Orientation, please email to be assigned an International Orientation Leader (by June 30).

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 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 students who participate in International Student Orientation 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.

Transfer Student Orientation

This weeklong orientation to Vanderbilt takes place immediately prior to the start of classes. During Transfer Student Orientation (TSO), you will receive a robust introduction to life at Vanderbilt, including informational sessions and small-group discussions that will help you navigate your academic program, campus resources, extracurricular activities, and student life on Vanderbilt’s campus. Through TSO, you’ll also have the opportunity to connect with Transfer Student Leaders (sophomores, juniors, and seniors who transferred to Vanderbilt themselves) and other incoming transfer students.

More information about fall 2021 Transfer Student Orientation will be available on the Transfer Student Orientation website over the summer.

Campus Connection Program

The Campus Connection Program provides all undergraduate students with personalized support and guidance as they navigate the various experiential learning opportunities and campus services that are part of their collegiate experience at Vanderbilt. Every Vanderbilt student is assigned a Campus Connector, a professional staff member from Academic Affairs, who directly supports their personal and professional development from enrollment to graduation. Alongside the support provided to transfer students by their TSLs, Campus Connectors are educated on transfer student support programs, and they are committed to supporting the integration of their transfer connectees within the Vanderbilt community.

Learn more about the Campus Connection Program by visiting MyVU. If you have questions about the Campus Connection program or have not heard from your Connector by August, please email

Planning Ahead

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.

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

  • August 20 Residence halls open for transfer students
  • August 25 First day of classes
  • October 14-15 Fall break for undergraduate students
  • November 20-November 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-December 18 Undergraduate examinations and reading days
  • December 19 Winter Break begins. Residence halls close at 9:00 a.m. CT

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



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