In 2008, as the nation fell into the grip of a devastating financial crisis and many other universities reduced their commitment to financial aid, Vanderbilt stood firm to deliver on a bold new promise …
To meet the financial needs of every undergraduate enrolled at the university—without loans.
Now, 10 years later, the financial access program known as Opportunity Vanderbilt is in full swing and delivering groundbreaking results. Here is how it continues to change lives.
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a senior at Peabody College, member of the golf team, and recipient of the Loomis Family Golf Scholarship, Morgan Family Golf Scholarship and Deeg Sezna Scholarship
My scholarships make it possible for me to thrive here both on the course and in the classroom.
As a student-athlete, balancing priorities like managing my academic workload, class schedule and travel to tournaments can be a challenge. My scholarships make it possible for me to thrive here both on the course and in the classroom. Vanderbilt is committed to making sure you’re as much a student as you are an athlete.
a sophomore in the School of Engineering and an inaugural member of the Clark Scholars program
I’ve always liked to tinker. The magic of creation has always been the most stable factor in my life.
I’ve always liked to tinker. The magic of creation has always been the most stable factor in my life. From staying with my grandparents in Ethiopia to a children’s home and foster care in the U.S. — the joy of taking something broken and making it new has always kept me going and always will.
a senior in the College of Arts and Science and a recipient of the Schiff Family Scholarship
I’ve made friends, met mentors, and been supported by a caring environment.
I plan to go to medical school, so getting a great undergraduate education without loans was important for me and my family. In addition to the financial support, the people at Vanderbilt have been wonderful.
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of 2018 applicants
2018 Average Family Income
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As top universities work to increase the economic diversity of their undergraduates, they gauge their effectiveness by the number of students who are financially eligible to receive federal Pell grants. At Vanderbilt that number has grown to 15 percent, which played a key role in the university being named No. 1 for Best Financial Aid by The Princeton Review in 2018.
Nicholas S. Zeppos
Talent and promise recognize no social, cultural, economic or geographic boundaries.
We announced Opportunity Vanderbilt a decade ago, based on our commitment to accessibility, affordability and diversity. Our goal was to attract and convene a diverse, global intellectual community eager to solve the major problems facing society. Talent and promise recognize no social, cultural, economic or geographic boundaries, and we wanted ability–not the ability to pay–to be the path to Vanderbilt’s world-class education.
Susan R. Wente
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Each year the incoming first-year class is even stronger than the last.
Each year the incoming first-year class is even stronger than the last. For the class of 2020, nearly all were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class, and all are demonstrated leaders—in academics, service, athletics or the arts. Our faculty are energized by the ever-rising quality and curiosity of our student body, providing a fertile ground for learning and discovery.
Susie S. Stalcup
Vice Chancellor for Development
and Alumni Relations
Today, Opportunity Vanderbilt reflects the values of our alumni, parents and friends …
More than a decade ago, our community of support came together to start something that not only changed the lives of so many students but also the university. Today, Opportunity Vanderbilt reflects the values of our alumni, parents and friends, and it speaks volumes that this community continues to invest in this transformative initiative.
More than 7,500 gifts have been received to support Opportunity Vanderbilt during the decade since it began, with contributions ranging in size from $1 to $20 million. As the university celebrates the program’s 10-year anniversary, its future financial health depends on securing endowment funding to support half of all financial aid.
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As more students and their families understand how Opportunity Vanderbilt opens the door to achieving dreams, they also realize the importance of giving back to help future generations. During the past 10 years, the participation rate among Vanderbilt seniors who donate to their class fund has skyrocketed from 21 percent to 85 percent.