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Cost and Tuition Assistance

Next Steps at Vanderbilt University Fees

Next Steps at Vanderbilt University is a 4-year certification program for students with intellectual disabilities, providing individualized Programs of Study in the areas of education, social skills, and vocational training.

Fees Include:

  • One to two standard Vanderbilt University elective per semester
  • Other inclusive class workshop offerings
  • Extracurricular Art and Dance Classes (optional)
  • Program expenses
  • Student Recreation Center access
  • Library access
  • Vocational support
  • Academic counseling
  • Internships
  • Course materials (excluding books)

Total Semester Expenses*: $9,340 ($18,680 Annually)

Fees are payable on a semester basis and cover all educational aspects of Next Steps at Vanderbilt. Meal plan fees and purchasing parking permits are paid separately.

*Please note these are tentative costs that are subject to change as program requirements change.

Student Account Balance Refund

Next Steps students are afforded the same considerations as all Vanderbilt University students in regards to tuition refunds. Please see the Vanderbilt policy here.

Paying Tuition

Eligible students have tuition assistance options available to them. It is important that students and families explore each of these opportunities early in the application process.


How Do We Pay For Next Steps At Vanderbilt?

Click here for a one-page tip sheet explaining all of the following potential funding sources.

Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation Department

Vocational Rehabilitation Services recognizes the valuable job readiness training and experiences that Next Steps provides. VR can award $2,400 per semester in Transitional Learning Services funds for 2 academic years. All Next Steps students are required to apply for Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Assistance in becoming a vocational rehabilitation client can be found here.  

Federal Financial Aid 

Next Steps at Vanderbilt is a federally approved Comprehensive Transition Program. This status enables eligible students to apply for Federal Financial Aid. The Federal Student Aid website has added a page explaining financial aid for students with ID.

Tennessee STEP UP Scholarship

Eligible students may also qualify for the Tennessee STEP UP Scholarship. The STEP UP Scholarship will award $3,500 per year for up to four years, and is available to Tennessee residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have received a diploma or certificate from a Tennessee high school within 16 months of enrolling in qualified postsecondary programs. For more information, click here.

Vanderbilt University Faculty and Staff Dependent Tuition Assistance

Vanderbilt University faculty and staff may also be eligible for the Dependent Tuition Assistance benefit. This benefit may also be applied to a dependent’s tuition at other Comprehensive Transition Programs (CTP) throughout the country. For a list of these CTP’s click here.

INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING SERVICES - an option for EFC (Employment and Community First Choices) recipient funds. Covered expenses may include enrollment fees, books and other educational materials and transportation related to participation in training courses, conferences and other similar events. Reimbursement up to $500 per year. The Managed Care Organization is the responsible party to authorize a service for a member based on their needs and assessment.


Vanderbilt University offers the VANDY Plan monthly payment option to students and families. Available through Sallie Mae, expenses can be paid in 10 interest-free monthly payments. Visit the VANDY Plan information page.

Tennessee Student Assistance Award

Students may be eligible to receive the TSAA grant provided they meet the deadline of submitting a FAFSA no later than March 1 and receive a processed Student Aid Report with a valid EFC (Expected Family Contribution) of 2100 or less. They must be a Tennessee resident. It is preferred that the student apply as early as possible as funds are limited for this grant and awarded on a first come, first serve basis.

These students must:

  • be enrolled as an undergraduate student that has not yet received a baccalaureate degree,
  • be enrolled at least half time at an eligible Tennessee postsecondary institution, and
  • maintain institutional satisfactory academic progress.


How to Apply for Tuition Assistance

To determine eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant and/or TN State funds for the upcoming academic year, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), School code 003535, to be considered for federal and state financial aid programs.

  • FAFSA becomes available January 1 for upcoming academic year
  • Must have a FAFSA PIN to electronically sign application.



The Vanderbilt Office of Financial Aid is also a resource. Contact Aliceteen Morrow for assistance:; 1-800-288-0204 (toll free) or 615-322-3591 (local).