Hello to the parents of incoming Vanderbilt University students- congratulations!

It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to complete the college application process, and now your child has been accepted into Vanderbilt. This is a big deal and we are sure that your family is quite proud of your child for their admittance into this school. As a first-generation/low-income (FGLI) student, your child beat the odds.

The median household income for students at Vanderbilt is $204,500, and 70% of the student body comes from the top 20% of earners in this country(1). Nonetheless, access to higher education greatly improves the ability of FGLI students to achieve socioeconomic mobility. To demonstrate this, allow us to refer to some post-graduation statistics created by the Vanderbilt University Career Center based on a study of the Class of 2018(2):

  • “83% of the Class of 2018 was employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.”
  • “59% of graduates are employed across 14 industries.”
  • “24% of graduates are pursuing advanced degrees.” 

Along with the socioeconomic mobility that FGLI students are able to experience after graduation, while they are attending Vanderbilt, they are also supported. Student organizations on campus such as FirstVU and the Vanderbilt QuestBridge Chapter are committed to creating programming specifically for FGLI students and facilitating their transition into the Vanderbilt environment. These student organizations host various events throughout the academic year to foster community between FGLI students, to guide them through their experiences at Vanderbilt, and to create opportunities for professional development.

Be sure to serve as a consistently supportive force for your student- about one-third of First-Generation college students drop out of their undergraduate studies(3). Receiving familial support tremendously improves the college experiences of FGLI students. Studies have shown that parents that take an active interest in their student’s education tend to have children with higher Grade Point Averages (GPA) that are more committed to attending college(4). We hope that this Parents Section of the Vanderbilt University FGLI website serves a helpful resource for navigating your child throughout their undergraduate experience. With the tips and tricks that we offer, you will be able to better support your Vanderbilt student as they enter their higher education journey.