The Vanderbilt QuestBridge Chapter executive board has recently met with several members of the Vanderbilt administration in order to receive clarifications on their new Winter Break housing policies.  We understand that these new guidelines that the University has instituted have concerned many of our Chapter members, members of the FGLI community, and the broader student body. We hope that with the following answers and tips, that you all will be able to navigate the Winter Break housing regulations with more clarity.


  1. What can I do to improve my chances that I will be able to be approved for Winter Break housing?

  • Administrators have confirmed that social workers from the Office of Student Care Coordination will be the ones reviewing requests to remain on campus that cite extenuating circumstances. The University places a high value on tangible “evidence” to prove unsafe home conditions, so if you have any photographs or written documentation that can help attest to why you cannot return home for break, then that will help your odds. We understand that not all home circumstances can be proven through a review process, so please continue to advocate for yourself if you are initially denied access to housing.


  1. What resources can I access if I am required to pay the daily fee?


  • We highly recommend that you apply for the Student Hardship Fund even if you have already done so before. There currently does not appear to be a cap on the number of times that you are able to apply for the Fund, so it is possible to appeal for additional support through that mechanism. You can access the Hardship Fund at this link: As previously mentioned, the University places high importance on providing submittable evidence when applying for additional assistance, so please be sure to include any evidence you possess. 

  • We also propose that you utilize Vandy Mutual Aid to help assist in paying for this fee. Vandy Mutual Aid is an ongoing solidarity fund in which members of the community that are in need of financial assistance are able to request resources. To request help, simply go to


  1. What should I do if my request to stay on campus is denied?


  • The administrators that we spoke to noted that students that are initially denied will be able to go through an appeals process. If Housing denies your request, reach back out and ask that a thorough reconsideration of your application be conducted. 

  • If your request is denied once again, or you simply do not want to go through University mechanisms, Vandy Mutual Aid is organizing housing assistance for Winter Break. If you are a student in need of housing this winter, please fill out this form:


  1. I already bought a plane ticket that I won’t be able to use due to the new housing policies, how can I get my money back?


  • The Student Hardship Fund is able to cover costs associated with flight cancellations/changes, so it may be an avenue through which you may be reimbursed. 



  • If you are planning to apply to stay on campus during winter break, please be prepared to thoroughly explain your situation. We understand that means-testing and rehashing your home conditions to a stranger from the University can be quite traumatic and we are disappointed with the University’s requirement of students having to do so. It is unfortunate, but it is a necessity that you convince the University that you need to be on campus during the winter. There is a large chance that your request may be denied, as the University wants to keep as few students on campus during the winter as possible. For example, if you cite that you are a low-income student and that’s why you need to stay on campus, it is likely that you will be denied because the University will argue that, regardless, you still have a place to live at home.

  • We apologize that the University has put into place such a policy and we would like you all to know that we are resisting these new regulations as much as we can as an executive board, and we plan to execute further action steps so that the school is aware with QuestBridge’s dissatisfaction with these housing guidelines.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the new housing policies.