A resolution recognizing Vanderbilt’s Expanded Aid Program.

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University is a private research university of about 6,500 undergraduates and 5,300 graduate and professional students. The university comprises 10 schools, a distinguished medical center, a public policy center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees; and

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 universities by publications such as U.S. News & World Report, with several programs and disciplines ranking in the top ten; and

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University’s policy is to admit students on the basis of their talents and ability, rather than their ability to pay; and

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University believes that when barriers to a Vanderbilt education can be reduced or eliminated, every student benefits from a learning community that includes talented, qualified individuals from all backgrounds; and

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University’s seven-year initiative to reduce students’ education-related debt will take a bold step forward in fall 2009 when the university replaces all need-based student loans with Vanderbilt grant and scholarship assistance while continuing to fully meet the demonstrated need of its undergraduates; and

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University pledges to the following commitments:
• First, since talent and promise recognize no social, cultural, economic, or geographic boundaries, Vanderbilt University’s admissions process is entirely need-blind.
• Second, Vanderbilt will meet 100% of a family's demonstrated financial need for all admitted U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens.
• Third, financial aid packages for incoming and current undergraduate students beginning in the fall of 2009 will include no need-based loans; and

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University will fund this program through a combination of strategic budget allocations and Vanderbilt’s Shape the Future fund-raising campaign, the initiative – designed to increase access to a Vanderbilt education across all income levels; and

WHEREAS, A top priority of Vanderbilt’s ongoing Shape the Future campaign has been increased scholarship support, paving the way for the elimination of need-based loans in the financial packages the university offers to all eligible undergraduates; and

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University’s Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said that when "We enrich Vanderbilt’s unique learning community and make it a more dynamic environment for everyone when we open our doors to highly talented and qualified students of all economic, cultural and geographical backgrounds”; and

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University’s Provost Richard C. McCarty added, "By eliminating need-based loans, we also free our students to consider choices about their careers or further study that they might have overlooked because of concern about the pressure of repaying students loans”; and

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University's policy is to admit students on the basis of their talents and ability, rather than their ability to pay. The university also commits to fully meeting all students’ demonstrated financial need; and

WHEREAS, "The generosity and activism of those who are contributing to this massive need-based initiative reaffirm everyone’s passion for helping the most academically talented, diverse and engaged students," said Associate Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions Douglas Christiansen; and

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University in determining a student’s demonstrated financial need, takes into account each student's individual family circumstances and all educational costs such as tuition, fees, housing, meals, books, course materials, and personal and travel expenses. Vanderbilt has decided not to impose specified income-level caps in deciding eligibility for the program; and

WHEREAS, this program will apply to all undergraduates with demonstrated need who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. In addition, all seniors set to graduate in May 2009 will have their need-based loans for the spring 2009 semester replaced with Vanderbilt grant and scholarship assistance; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognizes the men and women who have diligently worked on the Expanded Aid Program and wish them success in their efforts to offer greater access to a Vanderbilt education to al admitted students on the basis of their talents and ability, rather than their ability to pay.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing Vanderbilt’s Expanded Aid Program.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to Nicholas S. Zeppos, Chancellor, Vanderbilt University.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Keith Durbin, Ronnie Steine, Jim Gotto, Charlie Tygard, Carter Todd


Referred: Rules & Confirmations Committee 
Introduced: November 6, 2008
Introduced: November 6, 2008
Approved: November 7, 2008