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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt admits 15.7% of early decision applicants, record low

The university received 10% more ED applications than last year.
Cauã Rodrigues
Cauã Rodrigues celebrating his EDII acceptance to Vanderbilt. (Photo courtesy of Cauã Rodrigues)

Vanderbilt notified early decision II applicants of their admissions decision on Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. CST. The combined EDI and EDII cycle boasted an acceptance rate of 15.7%, the lowest rate in university history. 

With a record high of 5,619 applicants, 882 new Commodores joined the Vanderbilt community this winter. The university received 10% more ED applications than last year and 35% more than five years ago (the Class of 2022). Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Doug Christiansen emphasized that the university’s decreasing acceptance rate is merely a function of rising applicants. 

“When you think about market position, look at how many students are really thinking Vanderbilt is their first choice,” Christiansen said.

The university did not release separate statistics for EDI and EDII this admissions cycle. Last year, admissions statistics were inadvertently posted on the Vanderbilt Admissions Blog. For the Class of 2026, the EDI acceptance rate was 24.1%, the EDII acceptance rate was 10.3% and the overall ED rate was 17.6%. Christiansen stated that approximately the same number of students applied EDI and EDII this year.

“It’s the same student that we’re looking for [across all cycles],” Christiansen said.

The university also deferred “just over” 500 students, according to Christiansen, a process that Vanderbilt first implemented for the Class of 2026. Compared to last year, around 200 more students were deferred. Christiansen said Vanderbilt may defer more ED applicants in future years.

“Anyone that we deferred is solidly in the admissions process still,” Christiansen said. “We’re gradually going into it to learn about how it works and to make sure that we’re always student-centered first.”

Applicants to Vanderbilt’s Class of 2027 and 2028 are not required to submit standardized test scores to Vanderbilt due to the university’s extended COVID-19 test-optional policy, which began with the Class of 2025. Christiansen said around half of the applicant pool submitted test scores, and that, like in previous years, a proportional amount of admitted students submitted scores compared to the applicant pool. 

“We’re trying to make it so it doesn’t help or hurt,” Christiansen on submitting test scores. “It’s just a different avenue.”

Christiansen added that the university is still exploring whether test scores will be required for the Class of 2029 and on. Of the students who submitted test scores, the middle 50% scored between 1490-1560 on the SAT and 34-35 on the ACT.

Christiansen spoke of the caliber of the incoming Class of 2027, stating that admitted students are among Vanderbilt’s most diverse pool of ED applicants yet. He explained that students hailing from across the country and world applied to Vanderbilt, with more students from varying SES, racial and ethnic backgrounds applying, as well as first-generation college students. 

Cauã Rodrigues, who was accepted EDII to Vanderbilt, said learning of his acceptance was “surreal.”

“I couldn't believe my eyes,” Rodrigues said. “All I could do was call my mom and cry. My mom always talked about how her dream was seeing her sons going to college, and I'm finally able to make this dream come true.”

Rodrigues is from São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and plans to major in political science. Having never been to the U.S. before, he said he is looking forward to exploring Nashville’s live music scene and to meeting members of his class.

“I can’t stop reading about Vandy and Nashville since I was accepted,” Rodrigues said. “With all of the things I've been hearing about Nashville, it’s going to be one of the best places to have this first experience.”

Taliyah Bradberry was also accepted to Vanderbilt EDII. She said she knew Vanderbilt was the place for her after learning about its “work hard, play hard” culture. She said she was “shocked” to see her acceptance letter while out to eat with her mom.

“We both immediately started calling friends and family to share the news,” Bradberry said.

Bradberry, who currently lives in Twentynine Palms, California, plans to major in studio art and political science in the College of Arts and Science. 

“I am super excited to explore Nashville and everything it has to offer as I’ve never lived anywhere like it before,” Bradberry said.

Like Rodrigues, Louise He, another incoming member of the Class of 2027, stated that she is excited to attend concerts in Music City next fall. He is from Shanghai, China, and she plans to major in philosophy in the College of Arts and Science. 

He celebrated her acceptance with her hockey teammates before her last home game for her high school in Massachusetts. 

“My team was super hyped and supportive,” He said. “I also got to skip the warmup to call friends and family!”

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About the Contributor
Rachael Perrotta
Rachael Perrotta, Former Editor-in-Chief
Rachael Perrotta ('24) is from Cranston, R.I., and majored in cognitive studies, political science and communication of science and technology and minored in gender and sexuality studies in Peabody College. She was also previously Senior Advisor and News Editor. If she's not pressing you for a comment, she's probably trying to convince you that she's over 5 feet tall, cheering on the Red Sox or wishing Nashville had a beach. She can be reached at [email protected].
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The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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1 year ago

So happy to become a commodore! Great to see Vanderbilt’s commitment to bring a more diverse student cohort to campus