Vassar College campus

Overview

Applicants
7,556
Acceptance Rate
26%

Test Scores

Learn about new SAT scores and college admission here
SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
670 - 750
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
660 - 740
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
660 - 750
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
30 - 33

Testing Policies


ACT Writing Policy
ACT with Writing required

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with Essay component required

Deadlines

Early Decision
November 15

Early Decision II
January 1

Regular
January 1

Other Admission Factors

Academic

Rigor of Secondary School Record

Selectivity Rating

Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
8:1
Total Faculty
338
with Terminal Degree
274

178
Men
160
Women
74
Minority
6
International

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19


Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
86%
Graduate in 5 years
90%
Graduate in 6 years
91%

Majors

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General
  • Neuroscience

  • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

  • Mass Communication/Media Studies

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General

  • Education

  • Education, General

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Language and Literature, General

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • Chinese Language and Literature
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other
  • French Language and Literature
  • German Language and Literature
  • Italian Language and Literature
  • Japanese Language and Literature
  • Russian Language and Literature
  • Spanish Language and Literature

  • History

  • History, General

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Mathematics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Ancient Studies/Civilization
  • Cognitive Science
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other
  • Science, Technology and Society

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Jewish/Judaic Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Astronomy
  • Chemistry, General
  • Geology/Earth Science, General
  • Physics, General

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Economics, General
  • Geography
  • International Relations and Affairs
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Social Sciences, Other
  • Sociology
  • Urban Studies/Affairs

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art/Art Studies, General
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Film/Cinema Studies


Students Say

Vassar College is a small “academically challenging” school that offers a “perfect liberal arts feel” and seeks to broaden students’ perspectives. The “strong sense of community” is apparent both in and out of the classroom, where the school drums home the idea that “it’s all about being unique and letting your quirky characteristics shine.” “We’re asked to critically think about the world we live in and how our privilege plays into these systems,” says a student. This freedom of character is a main reason why everyone here is “excited to be with each other, which creates this school spirit that isn’t necessarily based on sports.”
The lack of core requirements is “a great opportunity for students to explore anything they want before settling into a major.” “Amazing” professors are “super accessible” and “fully engaged in the total Vassar community.” “They are willing to meet you outside their office hours if they don’t work for you,” says a student. “My professors are…spectacular at illuminating difficult material,” says a junior psychology major. Classes are all small and “most are very discussion-based”; students are “not competitive with each other, but with themselves,” which creates a more relaxed environment despite the very high academics. Many do admit that there could stand to be “more sections of the most popular classes so that the most amount of people can be happy with their course selections.”
Opportunities are there for students’ voices to be heard, and “the administration is very willing to work with the student organization to accomplish goals,” such as a ban on bottled water from dining services as a result of an initiative by the environmental group on campus. “Vassar students will do things in any way but the traditional way,” says a sophomore. “No problem goes undiscussed.” “Incredible” study abroad opportunities and a “beautiful campus” don’t hurt, either.

Degrees

Bachelor's
Master's

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

Notable Faculty


Prominent Alumni


Meryl Streep
Actress

Elizabeth Bishop
Author

Mary McCarthy
Author

Edna St. Vinvent Millay
Poet

Honorable Richard Roberts
US District Court Judge

LIsa Kudrow
Actress

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
86%
Graduate in 5 years
90%
Graduate in 6 years
91%

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)
$44,800

Mid-Career Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)
$85,500


Students Say

The Career Development Office at Vassar “helps students and almumnae/i envision and realize a meaningful life” after graduation. To that end, the CDO provides career and major exploration, sets up information interviews, and will even help students put together a four-year plan to maximize their college experience. Both VCLink and The Vassar Alumnifire network provide job and internship listings for summer and post-college. PayScale.com reports that the starting salary for recent grads averages $44,800 and that 47 percent of grads visiting their website believe their work makes the world a better place.

Colleges that Create Futures

Practical Experience

Internships may be all the rage these days, but Vassar’s been doing its own version of practice-meets-theory coursework since the ’40s—in fact, its popular Field Work program is one of the oldest in the nation. Every year, 500 students engage in internships off campus, lending their talents to and gaining hands-on experience at nonprofits, government agencies, human services organizations, and businesses as far away as NYC. A sponsoring professor consults with each student to guarantee the educational merit of the internship and provide it with structure, such as writing a final paper or maintaining a journal throughout. “It’s a real opportunity for students to get out in the larger community and get some experience,” says a psych professor. “But it also explicitly links back to [the] academic program.”
In the summertime, the Field Work Office lands students at local institutions that promote social justice for ten weeks of full-time paid work. Potential placement includes the awesome Spark Media Project, which teaches filmmaking to inner-city youth, and the Grace Smith House, a shelter for women and children in danger of domestic abuse. And outside of the Field Work Office, there’s the Undergraduate Research Summer Institute, a ten-week program for burgeoning scientists looking to make a difference—whether stimulating nematodes with blue light or designing robots to simulate evolution, there are lots of good projects to get involved with. Meanwhile, students with a zeal for the humanities or social sciences can opt to create original scholarship in the Ford program. Sample projects include studies of Russian sci-fi cinema, the corporatization of America, and the relationship between the ailing oceans and twenty-first century Caribbean art.
Faculty Mentors

Vassar’s 2,400 attendees enjoy an “insanely small student-professor ratio,” according to an American studies major. At 8:1, it’s one of the lowest in the nation, and of more than 1,100 classes sections, a mere eight have more than forty enrolled students. In fact, more than half have fewer than twenty! A biology/English student cites Vassar’s commitment to intimate learning as one of the school’s main draws: “The class sizes were smaller than other schools, which was really important because it meant that there were more opportunities to meet classmates and interact with professors.” Another phrase that came up when we asked students about their teachers was “absurdly accessible.” Students report a faculty that regularly makes themselves available—whether it’s extending office hours to be more convenient for a student to even loaning out their cars! (Pro tip: Don’t ask—let them offer.) Plus, unlike at some large, research-based institutions where the faculty is more invested in their research than in the classroom, “professors at Vassar are here to teach students,” a philosophy major states. “I’ve never had a professor who didn’t know me by my first name.” As for caliber and instruction style: “I adore all of my professors here. Recently, in a women’s studies class, our professor asked us permission to give a lecture. It’s quite out of the ordinary to have a professor talk at you for seventy-five minutes. As a student, you are expected to participate in class discussions, so you definitely have to prepare before class,” an English major shares with us.
Prominent faculty include Robert Brigham, the first U.S. scholar given access to the Vietnamese archives on the war, acclaimed pianist/composer Richard Wilson, and Debra Elmegreen, the first liberal arts college professor elected president of the 110-year-old American Astronomical Society. But more often than not, students find themselves enthralled with a staff member they’ve maybe just discovered—for instance, Michael Joyce (one of the first writers to create hypertext works) or Mia Mask, a go-to source on African American cinema.
Alumni Network

Vassar’s legacy has turned out numerous exceptional graduates over its 150-plus years in operation. Interestingly, the school has especially appealed to remarkable female poets, including Edna St. Vincent Millay, Elizabeth Bishop, Muriel Rukeyser, and Mary Oliver, and talented actors, such as Meryl Streep. Other highlights on the alumni list include computing pioneer Grace Hopper, astrophysicist and MacArthur “genius” John Carlstrom, comic and novelist Greg Rucka, public health innovator Dr. June Jackson Christmas, Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, and indie film darling writer-director Noah Baumbach. Beyond the illuminati, however, are more than 38,000 living alums who do much to make their alma mater proud. An impressive two-thirds of Vassar graduates go on to pursue a further degree, and the school routinely appears among the top ten producers of Fulbright Scholars. Their alumni association provides students with a directory of 30,000 other graduates, which is no doubt a boon when job-hunting or just seeking a little career advice.
Special Facilities

Built in 1997 with funds gifted from the class of 1951, the state-of-the-art observatory is an incredible spot for physics and astronomy students to get real-world experience researching supernova, quasars, and objects in our solar system. The observatory boasts two big telescopes (the thirty-two-inch is one of the two largest research scopes in New York) and several other smaller viewing tools. A bonus for local residents: The observatory is open to the public for viewing every Wednesday night while school is in session. The Class of ’51 structure is a replacement for the beloved Vassar College Observatory, first erected in 1864 for Maria Mitchell—the world’s first widely recognized female astronomer in the United States and Vassar’s first hired professor. (Today the building is an official National Historic Landmark and houses the Education Department.)
Another real campus gem is Vassar’s own dedicated art center, housed in a stunning building designed by celebrated architect César Pelli, that houses an astonishing 20,000 artworks by masters such as Picasso, Rembrandt, Du¨rer, Bacon, Calder, O’Keefe, and Pollock. The Center hosts several major exhibitions annually—from early daguerreotypes to contemporary abstract works. For students of studio art and art history, there’s no better way to understand a particular technique or period than to experience the art directly, and the art center goes out of its way to do just that. Professors from any department can request artworks be displayed in the Project Gallery for the purpose of student inquiry, and students can get up close with works by the masters in the Print Room. Enthusiasts who’d like to be more involved—possibly as preparation for a career in museum work—can even become student docents or curatorial assistants.

Dates

Application Deadlines
Feb 15
Notification Date
Mar 30

Required Forms

FAFSA
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent

Bottom Line

The sticker price at Vassar for tuition, fees, and room and board runs about $62,000 for a year. That said, Vassar has a need-blind admission policy, and financial aid is extremely generous. It’s probably harder to get admitted here than it is to afford going here. Meeting financial standards is less important than exceedingly high academic standards and intellectual pursuits that venture far outside the classroom.

Bang For Your Buck

Vassar has a need-blind admissions policy and is able to meet 100 percent of the demonstrated need of everyone who is admitted for all four years. Vassar awards more than $57 million dollars in scholarships. Funds come from Vassar’s endowment, money raised by Vassar clubs, and gifts from friends of the college and all are need-based. In addition to a close-knit community, beautiful campus, engaged professors, and rigorous academics, study abroad opportunities abound.

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$45,358

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$45,109

Average Need-Based Loan
$3,148

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
47%

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$17,847

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package
$45,154

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
$50,550
Required Fees
$750
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$900

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
$2,990
Transportation for Commuters
$120

On-Campus Room and Board
$11,980
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Institutional

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
No

Financial Aid Rating

Overall


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
2,435
Foreign Countries Represented
48

Demographics

11.23%
Asian
4.93%
African-American
11.10%
Hispanic
59.28%
Caucasian
7.08%
International

56% female
44% male
74% are out of state
99% are full time
1% are part time

Students Say

The “left wing, artsy, intelligent,” and “open-minded” individuals that make up the “eclectic” student body “thrive” in the “welcoming” environs of Vassar. The “very generous” amount of need-based financial aid that is awarded “allows for wide socioeconomic diversity,” and “Freshman Orientation is a great way for people to make friends here.” Many here are philosophically minded and “strive to be as politically correct as possible,” and there is “a good amount of hipsters.” “You can definitely find at least one other student for every obscure interest you have,” assures a student.

Overview


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
96%
Help finding off-campus housing
No

First-Year Students living on campus
99%

Campus Environment
Suburban

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Apartment Single
Cooperative
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Dorms Female
International Student
Other
Wellness Housing

Students Say

“When you get here it starts to feel like home very quickly,” says a student of the “stunning” campus. “The vibe of the whole school is so chill,” but does not hamper a “vibrant extracurricular scene.” Vassar is “bursting at the seams with orgs”: there are “a ton of intramural sports teams,” nine a cappella groups, plenty of political organizations, a large performing arts contingent, and “basically anything else you can think of.” “Close-knit dormitory communities” and an emphasis on being “hyper-socially aware” lead students to be “very politically conscious and deeply involved in volunteerism and activism.”
New York City isn’t far, so some people take advantage of that, and “there are always parties you can go to if you want to,” but “there is nothing wrong with staying in and watching a movie or chatting with friends.” There is no Greek life; intellectual conversations abound at all hours, and students spend “significant time thinking about the state of the world, what’s going on within the campus community.” There are always a decent amount of weekend activities such as “concerts, comedy shows, plays, dances, etc.” Be warned: “transportation is limited to get off campus unless you own a car.”

Special Needs Admissions


College Entrance Tests Required
No

Interview Required
No

Special Need Services Offered


Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
120
Number of Honor Societies
5

Number of Social Sororities
0
Number of Religious Organizations
12

Sports

Athletic Division
Division III

20% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Brewers)
12 Sports

Baseball
Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Fencing
Lacrosse
Soccer
Squash
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball
Women's Sports (Brewers)
13 Sports

Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Fencing
Field Hockey
Golf
Lacrosse
Soccer
Squash
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball

Student Services

Day Care
Health
Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups
Minority Support Groups

Sustainability

At Vassar, the greening of the campus has been underway for some time, and students are an intrinsic part of the process. One especially noteworthy program is Stopping Waste and Promoting Recycling (SWAPR), whose mission is to encourage the recycling or donation of furniture and household items during move-out, has grown by leaps and bounds since it began in 2001 More than 30 students and 17 local civic groups make SWAPR happen each year. Student interns on the Sustainability Committee have the opportunity to make real changes on campus: Interns have coordinated the creation of a composting program in senior housing, and run the Resource Conservation Fund, a college fund that supports the implementation of innovative and sustainable projects across campus. Another student organization on campus, Vassar Greens, helped phase out the use of disposable plastic water bottles on campus and runs the Free Market, a communal meeting space where you can share and trade ‘stuff.’ The Vassar Experimental Garden, known as VEG, is a student run organic garden right on campus. In Dining Services: 25 percent of food served on campus is locally or sustainably grown or purchased, and nearly 100 percent food waste is composted. Two Buildings—New England and Sanders Physics—have just been fully renovated to LEED certification standards, and the new Science Building under construction (set to open in Fall 2015) will be built to LEED Silver certification standards.

School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

Sustainability-focused degree available
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

Public GHG inventory plan
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
25%

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share
Yes

Car Sharing Program
Yes

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Yes

Cash-Out Parking
No

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees
No

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle
Yes

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus
Yes

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
No

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers
No

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling
Yes

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Yes

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
No

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

Email and Web Access Available
Yes

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms
96

Average Number of PC's per Lab
24

Network Access in Dorm Rooms
Yes

Network Access in Dorm Lounges
Yes

Fee for Network Use
No

Student Web Pages Permitted
Yes

Student Web Pages Provided
No

Partnerships with Technology Companies
No

Online Class Registration Available
Yes

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers
No

Undergraduates that Own Computers
99%

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
Yes

Description
Apple.com Education pricing

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses
No

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations
No

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Art Rodriguez
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid

Address
Admissions Office
124 Raymond Ave.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

Phone
8454377300


Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Library
Shakespeare Garden
Class of 1951 Observatory
Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
Center for Drama and Film

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Franklin Roosevelt House and Museum - Hydepark
Elanore Roosevelt House
Vanderbilt Mansion
Walkway Over the Hudson
Mills Mansion

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday
8:30am-5pm
8454377300

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: No
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
No

Information Sessions
Not Available

Times

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Coach Directly

Contact Email Address for Visit
http://athletics.vassar.edu/

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Available

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Limitations
Available in the fall only

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Stewart Airport in Newburgh is 20 miles from campus. Taxis are available for the trip from the airport to campus.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From the New York State Thruway, use Exit 17 (Newburgh) and take I-84 eastbound across the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge to Route 9 north. Follow directions below. From Route 9 northbound, drive 9.5 miles north of the intersection of I-84 and Route 9, to exit for Spackenkill Road (Route 113). The IBM main facility is on the left. Proceed about half a mile on Spackenkill Road. Turn left at the second traffic light onto Wilbur Boulevard. Turn right when Wilbur ends at Hooker Avenue. Turn left at the first traffic light onto Raymond Avenue. Enter the college through the stone archway on the right. From Route 9 southbound, exit at Spackenkill Road (Route 113) and follow directions above.

Local Accommodations
Alumnae House - Directly across the street from the college, this charming, American-Tudor Inn has 45 guest rooms. Amenities include high-speed Internet access in guest rooms,and handicapped-accessible rooms. Rates include breakfast. For reservations call 845.437.7100, email alumnaehouse@vassar.edu or visit http://alumnaehouse.vassar.edu/index.html. A simple motel, Days Inn (62 Haight Ave.; 845-454-1010), is 2 blocks away from the college. The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel(40 Civic Center Plaza; 845-485-5300) less than a 15 minutes away