Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarships

The Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarships were created about ten years ago after a generous donation from the Sartain Lanier Family Foundation was received. The donation was made in an attempt to improve the ability of Vanderbilt University to offer full-tuition scholarships for students who demonstrate strong academic promise. This scholarship is one of the top scholarships offered through Vanderbilt University.

In order to apply for this scholarship, students must submit an online application prior to the January 1st deadline. All applicants will receive a funding decision in the middle of March. Any student who is interested in applying for the scholarship and wants additional information about the timeline of application requirements, can obtain additional information by e-mailing

The Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship is one of the most highly coveted scholarships at Vanderbilt University due to the benefits that it provides to recipients. First, each student who receives the scholarship benefits from a full tuition scholarship, meaning that they will not need to pay any tuition during their time at Vanderbilt. In addition, the recipient receives a stipend that can be used to fund a research experience or study abroad opportunity over one summer during their undergraduate career. Typically, students prefer to use this stipend during their second or third years at the university. The scholarship is renewable provided that each recipient achieves at least a 3.0 grade point average each year.

Students who come from underserved backgrounds can indeed receive additional financial aid in order to supplement the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship. For example, if an applicant demonstrates need above and beyond the scope of what the scholarship provides (i.e., housing, textbooks, board, etc.), the student may receive additional funding outside of this scholarship. In addition to the funding that recipients receive, each winner will also have the opportunity to participate in enrichment activities that were created to foster the development of academically advanced students.

Given that there are a limited number of these scholarships available, a committee selects candidates based on a number of criteria. First, each applicant is selected based on their level of intellectual promise. Secondly, the evaluation committee evaluates the applicant’s leadership potential and experience both in the classroom and in the community. Lastly, as you might expect, applicant’s are reviewed based on their academic achievement. The selection committee will review the specific Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship Applicant along with each applicant’s freshmen application package.

Students who want additional information about this scholarship can find full details at this website. Students who apply for this scholarship may also wish to consider other merit-based scholarships that are offered through Vanderbilt University. A full listing of these merit-based scholarships can be found at this link.

As with many scholarship applications, the application process can feel a bit confusing. Thus, if you are interested in applying to any of the merit based awards at Vanderbilt, you may find it helpful to explore a comprehensive list of FAQs, which are available here. This section covers all merit based awards, not only the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarships.