Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, New York. Our beautiful 1,000-acre campus sits halfway between Albany and New York City in the historic Hudson Valley. Vassar was built to advance the notion of what a liberal arts college can be. From day one, we’ve empowered students to explore widely, delve deeply, and investigate every new idea with an open mind.
From the beginning in 1861, Vassar was committed to access, becoming the first institution of higher education in the United States to offer an education to women equal to the all-male Ivy League. We carried on our progressive legacy when we were the first formerly women’s college to go coeducational in 1969, and continue our pathbreaking mission in pushing the liberal arts forward. Today, we are consistently ranked among the top colleges and universities in the United States, and are renowned for pioneering achievements in education, our long history of curricular innovation, and the beauty of our campus.
Vassar is a place where independent-minded, smart, creative, and talented students thrive. Our 2,450 students come from a range of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. They represent all 50 states and more than 60 countries; 35% identify as students of color; 10% are international students; and 15% are the first in their families to attend college.
The Vassar mantra is “go to the source.” Here, you’ll be empowered to make your own observations and do your own thinking. You will not be satisfied with second-hand knowledge. Through our open curriculum, you’ll find the flexibility to combine your many interests and the freedom to design a truly meaningful academic experience. You can choose from 51 majors and 67 correlate sequences (equivalent to minors) or even design your own program of study, and our interdepartmental and multidisciplinary programs offer a unique way to experience the cross-disciplinary nature of the liberal arts.
Fostering real connections is key to creating an environment of open dialogue and understanding, and that’s no different when it comes to student-faculty interaction. With an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio and average class of 17 students (most higher-level courses rarely break 10), that means more opportunities to get to know your professor and more opportunities for them to know you. Collaboration is encouraged, and faculty work closely with our students through research, internships, senior projects, advising, and more.
Living on Campus
At Vassar, the residential experience is where community-building begins. Students are guaranteed on-campus housing for all four years, and 98% of our students live in Vassar’s residential houses and campus apartments. Our housing is not divided by academic year, major, or special interest, giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself fully in the Vassar community and engage with students of different experiences and backgrounds. Each house is self-governing and self-directing; they have distinct personalities, created by the students who live there, and there's a tradition of friendly rivalry between houses.
Outside the Classroom
There is no shortage of ways to get involved on campus. Our 150+ student organizations give you the opportunity to explore everything from bioinformatics to a cappella to community service and so much more. Nearly a quarter of our students take part in Division III varsity athletics at Vassar, and many more are involved in our club and intramural teams. Plus, we host more than 1,000 campus-wide events each year, including lectures by well-known scholars and public figures, music and theatre performances, art exhibitions, films, conferences, athletic competitions, and cultural events. No matter your interests, you are sure to find ways to engage with our community outside the classroom.
We aim to create a campus community that is inclusive and welcoming. Our Engaged Pluralism Initiative supports this by challenging students, faculty, staff, and administrators to engage in meaningful dialogue and truly come to understand the perspectives of others. Students have access to a network of resources on campus, including the ALANA Center to support students of color, the Office of International Student Services, the LGBTQ+ Center, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices, the Women’s Center, and the Transitions program for first generation, low-income, and undocumented students.
Off campus, you will find acres of natural beauty and hundreds of community events and activities. With an area population of over 100,000 residents, Poughkeepsie is home to many great restaurants, shopping centers, cultural and historic sites, outdoor activities, art galleries, and so much more. Plus, New York City is just 90 miles away with direct access by a commuter train on the Metro North line.
Applying to Vassar
- Early Decision I: November 15
- Early Decision II: January 1
- Regular Decision: January 1
Required Application Materials:
- Admission Application: We accept the Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application
- $65 application fee or a fee waiver request
- High School Transcript
- Teacher Evaluation: recommendation from a teacher in a core academic subject
- Counselor Evaluation: recommendation from your school counselor or advisor
- Mid-Year Grades: An official transcript of your high school grades for the first half (semester) your senior year.
- Early Decision Agreement (Early Decision Applicants only)
- TOEFL/IELTS: Only required if English is neither your first language nor the primary language of instruction you have used throughout secondary school
Optional Application Materials
- Art, Music, or Dance Portfolio
- Standardized Testing
- Your Space: This is a chance for you to show the admission committee something else about yourself. Past applicants have submitted poetry, cartoons, art projects, photography, collages, short stories, videos and short films.
- Alumnae/i Interview: If you would like to learn more about Vassar through a one-on-one conversation, off-campus interviews with our alumnae/i volunteers are available for first-year applicants.
- Learn more about the application process at admissions.vassar.edu/apply.
Vassar is committed to affordability and access. We meet the full demonstrated need of all admitted students who apply for financial aid at the time of their admission application.Our need-blind admission policy means that admission decisions for all first-year students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are made without regard to the student's financial situation, and aid is awarded exclusively on the basis of need. Additionally, Vassar will eliminate or reduce loans in the aid awards of students from low-income families. Vassar awards over $64.8 million annually in need-based grants; 58.8% of our students receive need-based financial aid, and 20.4% receive Pell Grants.
For more information, please visit admissions.vassar.edu/financial-aid.
Room and Board: $15,710
Average Financial Aid Award: $50,658
Estimate your cost using one of our net price calculators at studentfinancialservices.vassar.edu/calculator/.
Request Information: apply.vassar.edu/register/requestinfo
Phone: 845-437-7300 or 800-827-7270
Visit Vassar: vassar.edu/admissions/visit-us