Vassar College is a community of special character in which people of divergent views and backgrounds come together to study and live in the distinctive tradition of a residential liberal arts college. A Vassar education opens minds and doors.
Founded in 1861, Vassar is a highly selective, coeducational, private liberal arts college; and is consistently ranked among the top one percent of colleges and universities in the United States. Vassar is renowned for pioneering achievements in education, for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the beauty of its campus.
The College's 2,450 students reside on a beautiful 1,000-acre landscaped campus in the historic Hudson River Valley, 75 miles/120 km north of New York City. Independent-minded, intellectual, creative, active students thrive at Vassar. Our students come from 49 states and 55 countries, 32% identify as students of color, 13% hold foreign citizenship, and 65% receive need-based financial aid. Vassar has been ranked the #1 private college on the New York Times’ College Access Index for the past two years, and 23% of our students receive Pell Grants.
The Vassar mantra is “go to the source.” We actively encourage students to make their own observations, do their own thinking, and to not be satisfied with second hand knowledge. The Vassar curriculum has always been characterized by boldness, breadth, and flexibility. As part of a liberal arts education, Vassar offers an open curriculum (no general education or core classes here!) We aim to produce rigorously independent thinkers, and we’ve found the best way to accomplish that is to empower students to take responsibility for their own course of study.
Choose from more than 800 unique courses, 51 majors (including 7 interdisciplinary programs & 11 multidisciplinary programs), or design your own program of study. The average class size of 17 provides a level of faculty-student interaction that encourages academic excellence and collaborative research efforts between students and faculty. An average introductory class size of 20 means you won’t have to wait to experience this interaction. Most Vassar faculty (70%) reside on or within 5 minutes of campus, providing easy access to professors outside of class. In addition to pre-major and major advisors, students work closely with faculty for research, internships, senior projects, pre-med and pre-law advising, and more. In fact, most students graduate having amassed a team of 4-7 faculty advisors.
View more information on academics here.
Vassar guarantees on-campus housing for all four years, and 97% of Vassar students live on campus in either the residence halls or the campus town houses. Vassar calls the residences "houses" rather than "dorms" because they're meant to be the students' homes, not just a place to stash their stuff. With no Greek system (i.e. fraternities and sororities), no “freshmen dorms,” and no themed dorms, students aren’t divided from each other based on class year or club affiliation. Instead, students are welcomed into the full diversity of Vassar’s community through their houses. Each house is self-governing and self-directing, with leadership provided by the house team. Our houses have distinct personalities, created by the students who live there, and there's a tradition of friendly rivalry between houses.
View more about residential life here.
The culturally diverse student body supports a dynamic campus life, and Vassar is bustling with activities beyond the classroom. There is a lot going on at Vassar – over 1,000 campus-wide events annually. That figure includes lectures by well-known scholars and public figures as well as artistic performances, films, conferences, and social, cultural and athletic events. Many of these events are student initiated – planned, publicized and carried out by students. With 100+ student organizations and 23 varsity teams, the opportunities really are limitless. And the best part? All clubs and organizations are open to every student, regardless of their major or minor.
There is no “typical” Vassar student because they come from every socioeconomic background, ethnicity, religion, political ideology, sexual orientation, and cultural identity. Vassar promotes affirming communities, social justice education, global citizenship, cultural pluralism, and spiritual exploration through a variety of resources: the ALANA Cultural Center to support students of color, International Student Services, the LGBTQ Center, the Religious and Spiritual Life organizations, the Women’s Center, and the “Campus Dialogues Across Difference and Community” initiative.
The local area in the Mid-Hudson Valley offers a wide array of activities for students looking to get off campus—or to do internships during the school year. With an area population of over 100,000, Poughkeepsie is blessed with many restaurants, malls, cultural and historical sites, outdoor activities, and the impressive Walkway over the Hudson. Though Vassar students will find little reason to venture out of the area, New York City is a convenient hour and forty minutes away on the commuter train, providing students with the option of the occasional big city fix.
Explore further at: http://admissions.vassar.edu/.
- Early Decision I: November 15
- Early Decision II: January 1
- Regular Decision: January 1
Required Application Materials:
- Common Application and/or Coalition Application with Vassar Member questions.
- $70 application fee or a fee waiver request
- Early Decision Agreement (Early Decision Applicants ONLY)
- Standardized Testing: SAT or ACT. More details at: http://admissions.vassar.edu/apply/#standardizedtesting
- School Report and High School Transcript
- One Counselor Recommendation
- One Teacher Recommendation
- Mid-year Grade Report
Optional Application Materials
- Arts Portfolio: If you have devoted a significant amount of time to music, art, or dance and you plan to continue it at Vassar, you may submit examples of your work as a supplement to your application. For instructions on how to submit an arts portfolio please visit: http://admissions.vassar.edu/apply/arts.html.
- Informational Interview: If you would like to learn more about Vassar through a one-on-one conversation, non-evaluative off-campus informational interviews are available for first-year applicants. For more information, please visit: http://admissions.vassar.edu/apply/aluminterview.html
Vassar adheres to a need-blind admission policy, which 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. Vassar meets the full demonstrated need of all admitted students, international or domestic, for all four years. Aid is need-based only; no merit scholarships are awarded (meaning no scholarships for music, art, athletics, or academic performance). In addition to meeting 100% of all demonstrated financial need for all admitted students, Vassar will eliminate or reduce loans in the aid awards of students from low-income families. Vassar awards over $60 million annually in need-based grants.
- Net Price Calculator: https://npc.collegeboard.org/student/app/vassar
- Grad Rate: 91%
- % on Aid: 58% receive some form of need-based Aid.
- % of Students with No Loan Debt: 55%
- Total Cost: $70,360 (Tuition, Room & Board, fees, plus books, supplies, personal expenses, and an allowance for transportation to and from the campus.)
- Average Fin Aid Award: $53,092
For more information, please go to http://admissions.vassar.edu/financial-aid/.
- Request More Information: https://apply.vassar.edu/register/requestinfo
- We’d love to see you! Plan a visit: http://admissions.vassar.edu/visit/campus/
- Can’t visit? Take the online tour: https://admissions.vassar.edu/visit/tour/
- International Students- for information on TOEFL requirements and financial aid: http://admissions.vassar.edu/apply/answers/international.html
- Applying through QuestBridge? Learn more here: https://www.questbridge.org/college-partners/vassar-college
- Learn more about the power of a Vassar degree after graduation: http://admissions.vassar.edu/after-vassar/
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