The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

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 early decision acceptance rate dips slightly to 15.2%

The number of deferred ED applicants increased by 60% from last year.
Hailey Weiner
Hailey Weiner in Vanderbilt merchandise after being admitted EDII. (Photo courtesy of Hailey Weiner)

Vanderbilt early decision II results for the Class of 2028 were released on Feb. 15, completing this year’s early decision cycle. Across EDI and EDII, 889 students were admitted to Vanderbilt for a combined record-low 15.2% ED acceptance rate — 0.5% lower than last year.

This year, Vanderbilt received 5,835 ED applicants to the Class of 2028, the most in its history. According to Dean of Admissions Doug Christiansen, ED applicants to Vanderbilt have risen 82% since the Class of 2018, 34% since the Class of 2023 and 4% since last year. He said this trend shows that Vanderbilt is in “high demand” among prospective students.

“More and more students are choosing Vanderbilt as their first choice in their binding agreement, [showing]…how strong Vanderbilt is in the market,” Christiansen said. 

Admissions trends

Differing from data accidentally released by the Office of Enrollment and Admissions in Fall 2022 regarding the Class of 2026, Christiansen said the acceptance rates of and number of applicants to the EDI and EDII pools were largely the same for the Class of 2028. He declined to state the separate admissions statistics for the EDI and EDII pools. 

Christiansen explained that Vanderbilt’s increasing yield rate — the percentage of admitted students to attend Vanderbilt — has not affected the ED pool, as there is no question whether admitted ED students will attend Vanderbilt. However, he said Vanderbilt’s yield rate will continue to reduce the number of regular decision applicants admitted. Compared to the Class of 2026, 200 fewer students were admitted to the Class of 2027, and 500 fewer students were admitted to the Class of 2026 compared to the Class of 2025

Christiansen said 800 ED applicants were deferred to RD, an increase of 60% from last year. Despite this rise, Christiansen said 10-12% of the Class of 2028 will still come from deferred students. He clarified that around the same number of students were deferred from the EDI and EDII pools. 

“When you’re deferred, that’s a really good spot to be in,” Christiansen said. “The pool was so strong; we wanted to wait to see them [deferred students] in the whole pool.”

Although the number of students deferred increased from last year, Christiansen said Vanderbilt is still committed to not falsely stringing students along. Therefore, he said deferred students will not be waitlisted from the RD pool. 

“We feel like that [over-deferring and waitlisting deferred students] brings along so many people and keeps their hopes high, but we know that cannot be the case,” Christiansen said. 

Admitted student attributes

Compared to the Class of 2027, fewer ED admits to the Class of 2028 were in the top 10% of their graduating class, a decrease from 99% to 96%. The middle 50% of SAT scores of ED admits to the Class of 2028 was slightly higher than that of the Class of 2027, but there was no change in the middle 50% of ACT scores compared to last year. Christiansen said test scores submitted by EDI applicants to the Class of 2028 were “pretty consistent” with those submitted by EDII applicants. He said this similarity emphasizes how admissions standards are constant across EDI and EDII pools. 

“Whether in EDI or EDII, we’re looking for the same student,” Christiansen said. 

Vanderbilt recently extended its test-optional policy to students applying through Fall 2027. Overall, Christiansen said around 50% of EDI and EDII applicants submitted test scores. 

Christiansen declined to comment on the demographic makeup of ED admits to the Class of 2028. He said these statistics will not be released internally or externally until after RD decisions are released to preserve Vanderbilt’s race-neutral admissions process

“We are doing everything we can do to have a diverse class,” Christiansen said. 

Admitted student reactions and programming

Due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s banning of affirmative action, Christiansen said Vanderbilt’s MOSAIC program will shift from a selection process concurrent with admissions to a post-admission selection process. MOSAIC Weekend will be combined with Anchor Day — accepted students day — in April.  

Alena Suleiman from Cupertino, Calif., was admitted to Vanderbilt through EDII and plans to study art history in the College of Arts and Science. She said she was drawn to Vanderbilt due to its explorative academic culture. 

“Vanderbilt seems super supportive of its students to explore not only current passions but also future passions,” Suleiman said. “I really like that because even though I’m really enjoying art history in high school right now, I’m not sure if I would want to explore different things in college and beyond.”

She described the excitement of opening her acceptance letter in Nashville while visiting her sister, who is a sophomore at Vanderbilt. 

“I saw the congratulations page, and I just started screaming with my dad who was in the same hotel room as me,” Suleiman said.

At Vanderbilt, Suleiman hopes to get involved in The Vanderbilt Hustler and the Asian American Student Association’s Lunar New Year Festival. She is excited to explore art in Nashville — specifically the Parthenon — and revisit her favorite brunch places in the city. 

“I’ve never had a bad meal in Nashville,” Suleiman said. “There’s so much to do [in Nashville], and I’m really excited.”

Hailey Weiner was also admitted to the Class of 2028 through EDII and plans to study communications and political science in the College of Arts and Science. She is from Woodstock, Ga., and explained that she was introduced to Vanderbilt through her friend who is a sophomore. Like Suleiman, Weiner also said the food in Nashville drew her in, particularly Thai Satay

“I loved the campus, the student life and just everything they [Vanderbilt] had to offer,” Weiner said. 

Weiner opened her acceptance letters with friends who were unaware of decisions being released that day. 

“Everyone was asking me why I looked so shocked,” Weiner said. “I passed around my phone to everyone to make sure I wasn’t getting pranked. Then, I called my mom and started crying — it was definitely a big moment.”

At Vanderbilt, she hopes to join the dance team, the gymnastics club, a science journal and The Vanderbilt Hustler.

Leave a comment
About the Contributor
Rachael Perrotta
Rachael Perrotta, Senior Advisor
Rachael Perrotta ('24) is from Cranston, R.I., and is majoring in cognitive studies, communication of science and technology and political science in Peabody College. She was previously Editor-in-Chief 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].
More to Discover

Comments (0)

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].
All The Vanderbilt Hustler picks Reader picks Sort: Newest
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments