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Frequently Asked Questions

Peabody Merit Aid 

What is merit aid?
Merit aid is typically awarded based upon a student's academic record and GRE scores. Note: For the 2023 application cycle, the GRE is optional for admission to master's programs. If you have taken the GRE and believe your scores will improve your application, you may submit the GRE with your application.

How do I apply for merit aid?
Every professional student applicant is considered for the Peabody Dean's Scholarship (PDS), Honors Scholarship (PHS), Dean's Tuition Scholarship (DTS), and Scholastic Achievement Scholarship (SAS); no additional materials are necessary. 

Please note that the priority application deadline for summer and fall 2021 admission is December 31, 2020. If an applicant applies outside of the priority deadlines they will be considered for merit aid on an individual basis when funding is available and on a rolling basis.

When will I find out if I’m given merit aid from Peabody College?
If you receive merit aid, the information will be included with your admissions letter.

I want to attend Peabody but did not receive merit aid. How can I secure other forms of funding?
If you did not receive merit aid you can apply for assistantships or on-campus employment. You may also want to apply for federal financial aid (see below).

If I receive Peabody merit aid and decide to defer my offer of admission, am I able to defer the merit aid as well?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to defer merit aid when an offer of admission is deferred. Each year the applicant pool changes for each program. Your application will be considered again for merit aid with the new applicant pool.

How do I accept my merit aid award offer?
Instructions on accepting your merit award will be given in your admissions letter.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my merit aid?
Please email or call (615) 322-8410.

Federal Financial Aid

Who can apply for federal financial aid?
In order to qualify for federal financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and be enrolled in a degree-seeking program with at least a half-time status. Federal financial aid includes federal student loans and federal work-study. International students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents can apply for a private alternative educational loan only with the assistance of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a cosigner.

How do I apply for federal financial aid as a graduate or professional student?
The Office of Student Financial Aid awards federal loans and federal work-study to students who qualify based on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You may complete a FAFSA for the current aid year here.

Note: Students who are enrolling in a program that begins in summer 2021 and wish to receive aid must complete both a 2020-2021 FAFSA (for summer 2021 aid) and a 2021-2022 FAFSA. The last day to complete a 2020-2021 FAFSA is June 30, 2021. If you are enrolling for fall 2021 you must complete a 2021-2022 FAFSA to receive aid.

What is Vanderbilt's FAFSA code?

Do I have to file for federal financial aid every year?
Yes, if you wish to be considered for federal aid you must complete a new FAFSA each year.

My tax return will not be completed by the time I need to complete the FASFA application. Should I wait to complete the applications or estimate my income?
You should estimate your income, if necessary, in order to complete your financial aid applications by the priority deadline. 

What is an unsubsidized loan?
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are interest bearing loans. You may choose to pay the interest while you are in school or your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized during enrollment and the grace period.  Eligible students may receive up to the maximum amount of $20,500 for the academic year. 

How do I request an unsubsidized loan? What is the processing time?
To apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you must first complete and submit the FAFSA. An unsubsidized loan is generally included as part of your financial aid package. Please note that you will need to complete the unsubsidized loan process after you receive your financial aid package.  Please proceed to the U.S. Department of Education's website,, to complete the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling. You will need your FSA ID in order to login to the website. Your loan will not disburse until you complete these items. During peak times average processing time is 5-7 business days. 

Can I reduce or adjust my unsubsidized loan?
Yes, please send your written request along with your name and student ID number to

What is a Grad PLUS Loan?
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are credit based loans made to graduate or professional students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. You may read more about Grad PLUS loans and start the application process at . You will need to complete these three steps; 1) Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note, 2) PLUS Request Process and 3) Entrance Counseling. You will need your FSA ID in order to log in to the website. Please make sure that you complete your using your legal name and the same name used on your FAFSA.

What is Federal Work Study?
Federal Work Study provides part-time jobs for professional and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. Federal Work Study is not applied to your tuition or charges. Students must complete the FAFSA to determine eligibility for this program. Eligible graduate/professional students may work up to 29.5 hours per week on-campus. There are a variety of work locations and settings. Wages begin at $7.25, but vary depending on type of job. Students are normally paid bi-weekly for hours worked. Work study job postings will be listed at

Where can I find my loan history?
You may view your loan history at . You will need your FSA ID to log in. 

If I receive an outside scholarship do I have to report it to the Vanderbilt Office of Student Financial Aid?
Yes. If you are the recipient of any form of financial assistance from Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, or an outside foundation you must report the scholarship amount to the Office of Student Financial Aid. Your aid may be adjusted if additional financial assistance exceeds your demonstrated financial need and/or overall cost of attendance.

How much is tuition per credit hour?
Tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year is $2169 per credit hour. 

What other charges can I expect on my student bill besides tuition?
Students are responsible for the Student Activity Fee as well as Health Insurance. 

How do I learn more about direct deposits and refunds?
You can find more information here:

Who do I contact if I have questions about federal financial aid?
Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid via email at or call (615)322-3591.