January 19, 2019
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School Profile: Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University is a private and highly selective university located in Tennessee. Founded in 1873, the university bares the name of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Despite not living in Tennessee, he donated $1 million to help build a college there that would offer better opportunities for students in the south. Initially affiliated with the United Methodist Church, it ended that affiliation after four decades but continues operating as a private college. Often ranked among the country’s best colleges, Vanderbilt now has 10 schools operating on its campus. Those schools offer dozens of majors and programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels, including programs in nursing, business, medicine, law and art.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanderbilt as the country’s 15th best college in 2016. It also ranked its graduate school, nursing school, engineering school and school of education among the nation’s best. Forbes, ARWU and Washington Monthly ranked Vanderbilt within the top 50 of all American colleges. ARWU, QS and U.S. News & World Report also ranked the university within the top 100 of colleges operating in the world today. Vanderbilt received recognition for its MBA programs, graduate education programs and creative writing program too.

Vanderbilt University Accreditation Details

Though Vanderbilt University ranks among the nation’s best colleges, you may still want to learn more about the accreditation it has before you apply. The university has regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which means that it has the right to grant degrees at all levels to its students. This type of accreditation also allows the university to offer financial aid packages that use federal funds. Vanderbilt also has some specialized accreditation for programs in subjects like psychology, counseling and engineering. That type of accreditation comes from several organizations, including:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.

Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc.

Council on Education for Public Health

Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

National Association of Schools of Music

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Vanderbilt University Application Requirements

Vanderbilt University accepts approximately 8% of all prospective students who apply each year. As the competition is so fierce, it’s important that you know what steps to take when you apply. Undergrad students can use the Common Application, the Universal College Application and other online services. These sites let you create one account and use the same information when applying to different schools. The university looks at your academic history, including whether you completed a college prep curriculum, the difficulty of the classes you took and your overall grades. It also weighs your response to an essay question and the letters of recommendation that you submit. You will answer the essay question as part of the application packet and pay a small fee before submitting it. The university also asks for a transcript that matches the information on your application.

Those applying for one of its graduate programs must submit scores from a standardized test and an official college transcript. You will also need to provide a transcript before starting classes that shows you have a bachelor’s degree. Those interested in one of its nursing graduate programs must also supply proof of having a nursing degree and a nursing license. You’ll need to give the university your license number. Its doctoral and PhD nursing programs are only open to those with a bachelor’s and a master’s in nursing.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Attending Vanderbilt University will cost more than what attending a public college would cost. The cost for tuition alone is more than $44,000 a year. Between books, schools supplies and room and board, the university estimates that undergrads pay around $64,000 a year. Graduate and PhD students pay $1,854 per credit, which comes out to around $16,700 a year for full-time students. You must pay additional costs for your dissertation. The university also requires that all students who do not have health insurance purchase coverage for an additional $3,000 a year.

Though the cost of attending the university is high, most Vanderbilt students receive at least one type of financial aid. Using the FAFSA and your general application, the university will determine how much assistance you need and then base a financial aid package around your need. Undergrads can get government loans and grants, sign up for the university’s work-study program and apply for internal and external scholarships. Graduate students may receive loans and grants too, but they can also inquire about working as a research or teaching assistant. The university also accepts some alternative loan types, including private student loans and parent PLUS loans.

Nursing Degrees

Though Vanderbilt does not have a typical BSN program, it does have six programs suitable for those who already have a nursing degree and those who want to learn more about nursing. Its Master of Science in Nursing is open to students with or without an undergrad nursing degree. Students can choose from different specializations, including pediatric nursing, gerontology, nurse midwifery and woman’s health care. Vanderbilt allows students to enroll and gain practical skills that will help them pass the NCLEX and become a licensed nurse.

Both a Doctor of Nursing and a PhD program are available as well. One of its DNP programs lets you earn your BSN, MSN and DNP in less time than it would take you to complete each program separately. From 2012 to 2014, graduates of this program reported a 100% placement rate, which means that all its graduates found work in the nursing field. Its PhD program is best for those who already has an MSN. The university offers scholarships that can cover the entire cost of this program.

Vanderbilt also offers a number of certificate programs for nurses who already have a master’s degree. You can take classes and go through training to work in neonatal care, midwifery, health care leadership or even emergency nursing. Its School of Nursing offers programs for students who want to learn more about nursing or medicine without enrolling full-time in a degree program. Vanderbilt University also offers programs for those who have a doctoral degree to help them gain more research and writing skills.


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