Financial Aid Checklist

Follow these steps to apply for federal student aid:

STEP 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Include Vanderbilt’s school code of 003535 to have your FAFSA information forwarded electronically to the Office of Student Financial Aid for review. Your Social Security number must be on file at Vanderbilt to obtain access to your FAFSA upon being admitted.

If you wish to start classes in May 2021, please complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA. If you wish to start classes in August 2021, January 2022 or May 2022, please complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA.

STEP 2: Once you are officially admitted and have submitted a FAFSA, you will be reviewed for a financial aid package. Your award notification will be sent to you via mail to the address listed on the admissions application.

STEP 3: Once you receive your award letter, alert the Office of Student Financial Aid of any loan amount changes by emailing

STEP 4: Complete entrance counseling, and electronically sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN) online on the Federal student loans page. You will need your FSA ID to login to the website. Entrance counseling and your MPN must be completed for funds to disburse to your Vanderbilt student account. Disbursements occur on your first day of class at the start of each semester.

STEP 5: Evaluate your need for additional funding such as the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, which is a credit-based loan. You can apply for the Graduate PLUS loan on the Federal student loans page and complete the separate MPN for that loan.

  • If you are denied the Grad PLUS Loan, you will receive an email advising you to reapply with a cosigner (endorser) or to appeal the denial through the US Department of Education.

For information on how to apply for financial aid at Vanderbilt, visit the office of student financial aid and scholarships online.

For additional information on Federal student aid programs, visit the Federal student aid page.

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