Welcome, Vanderbilt Families!

We are so excited you are joining the Vanderbilt community! Learn more about key due dates and deadlines for parents and families, what you should be doing this summer to help prepare your student for move-in, and advice on the college transition.

This isn’t just a substantial change for your student—it’s also a major transition for your family. Vanderbilt Parents & Family Programs is here to offer support, guidance, and information on resources every step of the way. Reach out to us anytime: parents@vanderbilt.edu or at (877) 887-2736.

Getting Started

Parents and Family Commodore Connection Newsletters

Over the summer, the Parents and Family office will send dedicated emails to incoming families, each with valuable information about your student’s upcoming arrival on campus. Starting in September of your student’s incoming year, you will receive a monthly newsletter that goes to all undergraduate parents until your student’s graduation.

Starting in May, if you are not receiving our monthly Commodore Connection newsletters, please fill out this form or email us at parents@vanderbilt.edu and we will add you to our distribution list.

Informational Webinars

Residential Colleges will host informational webinars during the summer to help families and students prepare for their arrival. Dates for the summer 2024 webinars are below. The dates will also be shared in the Incoming Families Commodore Connection newsletters. 

First-Year Families and Students
Links for the webinars will be available in May.

  • Welcome to Vanderbilt
    May 22 | 6:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.

    Dean of The Ingram Commons Melissa Gresalfi

  • Life on The Ingram Commons
    July 17 | 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

    Featuring panelists from Campus Dining, Housing and Residential Experience, the Office of the University Registrar, Residential Colleges, Student Affairs, and the Student Care Network

  • Preparing for CommonVU Orientation & Vanderbilt Visions
    August 7 | 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

    Director of the First-Year Experience Natalee Erb & VUceptors

Learn more about the First-Year Webinar Series and watch last year's recordings here

Transfer Families and Students 
Links for webinars will be in the welcome emails to students and Commodore Connection.

  • Welcome from Residential Colleges and Transfer Credit Course Review
    June 12 | 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

    Presented by Melissa Gresalfi, Ph.D., Dean of Residential Colleges and Residential Education; Roshaunda Ross-Orta, Director of Upper-Division Engagement, Residential Colleges; Molly Thompson, Senior Associate University Registrar

  • Fellowship Opportunities for Transfer Students
    June 26 | 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

    Presented by Elizabeth Harrington Lambert, Ph.D., Associate Director, Career Center

  • Being YOU at VU: Exploring Your Identity on Campus
    July 10 | 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

    Presented by Roshaunda Ross-Orta, Director of Upper-Division Engagement, Residential Colleges; Identity Center Leaders

  • What I Wish I Knew as a VU Transfer Student: Tips from TSLs
    July 24 | 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

    Presented by Grace Hollis, Program Coordinator, Residential Colleges; Transfer Student Leader Panelists

  • Transfer Student Orientation and Transition Programs
    August 7 | 12:00p.m. - 12:45p.m.

    Presented by Roshaunda Ross-Orta, Director of Upper-Division Engagement, Residential Colleges; Grace Hollis, Program Coordinator, Residential Colleges

Learn more about the Transfer Webinar Series and watch last year's recordings here

International Families and Students 
Links for the webinars will be available in May.

  • Welcome International Students
    May 29 | 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. CT


    Featuring the English Language Center and International Student and Scholar Services.
  • Preparing for International Student Orientation
    July 10 | 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. CT

    Assistant Director Michael Wallace & iLEAD Executive Board Members
  • International Meet & Greet
    July 24 | 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. CT


    Join the iLEAD Executive Board and other new international students for a virtual meet and greet!

Learn more about the International Webinar Series and watch last year's recordings here

Health Care Considerations

We encourage your student to arrive to campus with an understanding of:

  • Their health insurance plan, including insurance card
  • Their allergies and associated reactions
  • Their medications, including doses
  • How to use a thermometer (pack one for them)

Staying in Nashville

Coming to campus for Move-In or for another visit? We’re here to help. Several local hotels offer discounts to our parents and families when they come to visit their students. While there are hundreds of lodging choices in Nashville to fit multiple needs, those closest to the campus will be in the West End neighborhood of Midtown.

Connect with the Vanderbilt Community

Commodore Launch

For more than 50 years, Commodore Launch events have taken place across the country and internationally to welcome incoming undergraduate students and their families into the Vanderbilt community.

As this hallmark series offers many events across the country this summer, there’s sure to be one near you!

Vanderbilt Chapters

As the family of a Vanderbilt student, you are invited to Vanderbilt Chapter events! These events provide a wonderful way to connect alumni, parents, students, and friends worldwide in the name of Vanderbilt. Hard-working volunteers—with assistance from the Alumni Association—plan and implement a full calendar of events and programming for each chartered Chapter.

Become a Vanderbilt Parent Ambassador

Our parent community is a vibrant and critical part of Vanderbilt’s story and success. From supporting your student throughout their time here to financial contributions that help provide essential programming, our parents bolster our community each day.

By being a Vanderbilt Parent Ambassador, parents can be involved where and when they want. We have opportunities in your local area, virtually, and on campus. We hope you will join our team!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should I be doing right now?

    Ensure you’re familiar with important dates and deadlines this summer for both you and your student.

  • What emails have been sent to new families and students?

    The archive of monthly parent newsletters is on our Commodore Connection page.

    The latest information sent to students is on our Incoming Student Communications page.

  • I am not getting the family newsletters. How do I sign up? 

    If you have not been receiving our monthly Commodore Connection newsletters, please fill out this form or reach out to parents@vanderbilt.edu to be added to the distribution list. 

  • How can I get involved with Vanderbilt? 

    There are many ways to get involved with the Vanderbilt community. Visit our Volunteer page to learn more about the different opportunities.

  • When is Family Weekend? 

    We are excited to invite all of our Vanderbilt parents and family to Family Weekend 2024 on September 6-8! Join us for a full weekend of events including Conversation with the Chancellor, tours, panel discussion, tailgate, and much much more!

  • What is a Commodore Launch?

    Commodore Launches are important joining opportunities for our incoming families! Join local alumni and current families for the opportunity to meet other incoming students and families, and make connections prior to Move-In!

  • Are there any Vanderbilt Family Hotel discounts?  

    Several of our local hotels have partnered with us to offer discounts to our parents and families when they come to visit their students; however, when staying at any hotel in Nashville, always ask if they offer a Vanderbilt discount! 

    Learn more about hotels offering discounts

  • When is parents and family orientation? 

    The date for Parent and Family Orientation for all new undergraduate and transfer students has not yet been announced. Once the student move-in dates and orientation schedules are released there will be more information! 

    There will be several virtual orientation sessions for first-year, transfer and international parents and families this summer.

    Information about first-year and international webinars

    Information about transfer webinars

  • What is the orientation schedule? 

    The orientation schedules are published in early August.

  • What size bedding do I need to get? 

    The bed size is 36 X 78. Twin sheets will fit the bed. 

  • What are the room measurements? 

    Room sizes, dimensions, and shapes vary within buildings and among buildings. The measurements provided represent the range of room sizes on The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. We recommend that students wait until after move-in to purchase items where exact room dimensions are required. We cannot honor requests to measure specific rooms.

    Learn more about room measurements.

  • Can I ship packages to campus prior to Move-in Day? 

    For information on shipping packages to campus, please visit vanderbilt.edu/mailservices/.

  • What furniture is provided? 

    Each resident will have a bed, desk, desk chair, chest, closet, towel bar/hook, window blinds, overhead lighting, trash can, and recycling bin.  Building-specific amenities are located on the building page. *Amenities are subject to change.   


  • How does Move-In for first-year students work? 

    Move-in at Vanderbilt is very special and unique. Your student will be given a specific move in time. You will pull up in your vehicle to your designated area and upper-division students will help you bring all your items up to your student’s room.

  • How does my student have health insurance? 

    All students who have paid the Student Health Fee 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. The cost of the policy is automatically billed to your student account unless you submit an approved online waiver. 

  • How do I waive student insurance? 

    Insurance waivers will be available this summer with an announced deadline. It is your responsibility to follow up on your waiver status and to ensure that all information is received by the deadline.

    The waiver will be available this summer online. Forms will not be sent to you.

  • How do I see my student’s account? 

    A Guarantor Authorization and Debt Repayment Agreement allows Vanderbilt University to release pertinent financial information to a parent or guardian. Without proper signatures from your student, no financial information can be disclosed to anyone other than the student. Your student can add you to their Your Enrollment Services (YES) account so you will receive information about tuition payment. 

  • How do I set up a tuition payment plan? 

    Please visit Student Accounts to see your options and details about payment plans.