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Next Steps at Vanderbilt University

Next Steps at Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University
Next Steps at Vanderbilt University
230 Appleton Place
PMB 552
Nashville, TN 37203-5721
icon name
Program Contact Tammy Day
Phone 615.343.0822

Next Steps at Vanderbilt is a 4-year inclusive higher education program committed to providing students with intellectual disabilities inclusive, transformational postsecondary education in academics, social and career development, and independent living, while honoring equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors. Next Steps is currently working to expand its program to include on-campus residential options for students.

Public or private: Private
Type of school: 4-year college or university
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? No
Students in this program: Have graduated or exited from high school
Number of students: 29
Description of our summer transition program:

The Next Steps Summer Institute has been providing students with a week-long college, residential program since 2011.

Deadline to apply to this program: Early consideration deadline Nov. 15, regular consideration deadline is Jan. 15th
Requirements for admission to this program:
  • Regular high school diploma
  • Other diploma (e.g., IEP diploma, certificate of attendance)
  • 18-26
Accepts out-of-state students?: Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
  • Other includes students with co-occuring disabilities like health and language impaired
Program length: 4 years
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Percent of students applying who are admitted: 32%
Retention rate: 100%
Tuition amount: $21,990.00
Program specific fees: $0.00
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? Yes
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
  • Federal Financial Aid
  • University Dependent Benefit State Education Lottery Funds Private and community scholarships like Ruby's Rainbow and Mid-TN Community Foundation TN Student Assistance Award- need based funds for students in lowest economic levels

Scholarships available:

Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation Department Vocational Rehabilitation Services recognizes the valuable job readiness training and experiences that Next Steps provides. VR can award $3,000 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.  

All of the above are described on our website 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;following this link provides further assistance.

Tennessee STEP UP ScholarshipEligible 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 AssistanceVanderbilt 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.

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.

Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities): Typical college courses for audit
Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes:

Freshman and sophomores take three one hour per week courses in the areas of independent living, career technology, and self-awareness. As juniors and seniors they will select topics for independent studies where they will determine the goals and activities to practice selected skills.

Time spent only with other students in this program: Less than 25% of the time
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Certificate of Completion
The credential(s) is/are:
  • Awarded by program, not officially recognized by Institute of Higher Education
  • Just for students in this program
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 12%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
  • Work Study
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 100%
Housing is provided to students: No
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Proportion of time spent only with other students in this program: Less than 25%
Students have participated in these social/extracurricular activities and organizations:

Students in the Next Steps program have access to participate in any extracurricular or student organization on Vanderbilt’s campus.  Some examples of campus involvement are Commons VU orientation and Visions groups (offered to all first-year students), Best Buddies, service groups, and intramurals. Having access to over 600 student organizations enables our students to meet other Vanderbilt students with similar interests and gain a well-rounded experience.

Last updated: Monday, October 26, 2020 - 12:56