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Estimated Cost of Attendance

Overview  |  Cost  |  Scholarships  |  Loans


Tuition and Estimated Living Expenses, 2020-21


Tuition for the 2020-21 academic year (2 semesters) is $62,230 pending final approval of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust..

More than 80 percent of Vanderbilt J.D. students receive merit- or need-based scholarships in varying amounts with a median award of $27,000 (about 43% tuition). Scholarship funds are applied to tuition charges. A student may borrow to pay tuition expenses not covered by scholarships received.


While actual living expenses vary depending on personal choices and circumstances that influence spending (e.g., living alone or with a roommate, eating out or at home, owning a car or using public transportation), the University makes the following non-tuition living expense estimates which determine the maximum loan amount available for living expenses. Please note, however, that many students' actual expenses are less than these estimates which means they can borrow less than the maximum amount available while knowing that additional funds (up to the maximum) are available should the need arise.

9-month estimates of  non-tuition  expenses



VU Student Services Fee


Recreation / Wellness Center and other University services and activities

Law School Programming Fee


Student programming, technology, professional development, and co-curricular engagement

Books / Supplies


$1,700 for 1L students; $500 for 2L & 3L students   

Rent / Utilities


 $1,351 per month. Studio or shared multi-bedroom typically less.



$664 per month.

Personal / miscellaneous


For personal expenses not itemized elsewhere. Includes allowance for private health insurance ($304 per month) and one-time VU transcript fee ($100).




Loan fees


Average loan fees incurred by similarly classified borrowers during the previous academic year. $0 for non-borrowers.

Total of estimated non-tuition expenses


As a practical matter, students living expenses will differ based on personal choices and circumstances. A first-year student may borrow any amount, as needed, up to the amount at left for non-tuition expenses. Due to the lesser estimate for books, as above, a second- or third-year student may borrow up to $27,874.





Comparing VLS estimated living expenses to other law schools?

Law schools' living expense estimates are not tied to cost-of-living differences between locations and they are not necessarily based on comparable living situations. This means that schools with lower living expense estimates do not necessarily cost less to attend. 

Tuition payment

Tuition for the academic year is payable in two equal installments, at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. In addition to tuition, fees include:

  • A nonrefundable seat deposit when you accept admission, which is credited toward the fall semester bill.
  • Student health insurance through Vanderbilt which may be waived if you have comparable coverage through another provider.
  • Annual activities and recreation fee which provides access to the campus recreation center, the Sarratt Student Center and many campus events.

Refunds of Tuition and Other Charges, Tuition Payment Programs, and Other Information on Student Accounts is available from the Vanderbilt University Office of Student Accounts.

Questions? Contact the Admissions Office

615-322-6452 |