By the numbers: Vanderbilt Class of 2021 “most diverse, accomplished” in history


Claire Barnett

First-year and transfer students participate in Founder’s Walk on August 20, 2017.

Sam Zern, Editor in Chief

This year, Vanderbilt welcomed what the university called the “most diverse and accomplished class” in the school’s history. The class of 2021 has the highest percentage of minority students, up 3.8 percent from last year and twice the percentage from a decade ago. More than 90 percent of the class were in the top 10 percent of their high school class and 100 percent participated in leadership and scholastic roles.  

In the past 10 years, the admittance pool has grown 144 percent. Of the 31,462 students who applied to Vanderbilt, 10.9 percent were accepted. This year had the highest yield rate, with 47.1 percent of admitted students choosing to attend Vanderbilt.

According to Vanderbilt administrators, increased financial aid and debt reduction helps students access greater opportunity. Through the Opportunity Vanderbilt program and the American Talent Initiative, the university says it is able to recruit more talented low and moderate income students. More than 70 percent of this year’s freshman class receives some form of financial aid, with 53.9 percent receiving need-based aid. Additionally, 15 percent of the freshman class received Pell Grants, up from eight percent in 2008.

The university improved in its overall rankings, moving up to number 14 in the U.S. News & World Report and reclaiming its number one happiest students title.

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Featured photo by Claire Barnett // The Vanderbilt Hustler