Vassar College

About Vassar College

Quick Vassar Facts: Founded in 1861, Vassar College is a highly selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. Consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country, Vassar is renowned for pioneering achievements in education, for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the beauty of its campus.


In the scenic Hudson Valley, 75 miles north of New York City, in Poughkeepsie (area population, about 100,000). Vassar is in a residential area three miles from the city center.


2,400 students; approximately 60% come from public high schools, 40% from private schools (both independent and religious). In recent freshman classes, students of color comprised 25-33% of matriculants. International students from over 50 countries comprise 10% of the student body.


More than 290 faculty members, virtually all holding the doctorate or its equivalent. All classes are taught by faculty members. The student-faculty ratio is 8:1, average class size, 17. More than 70% of the faculty live on campus or nearby; one or two faculty families live in each residence hall as house fellows.


1,000 picturesque acres ranging from the manicured lawns and formal gardens of the main campus to the meadows and woodlands of the Vassar Farm. Over 100 academic and residential buildings ranging in style from collegiate gothic to modernist, including two National Historic Landmarks. Most recent additions: the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, with state-of-the-art screening rooms, studios, and production facilities; and Kenyon Hall, with a dedicated dance theater.

Campus Life

98% of students live on campus (housing is guaranteed all four years). Over 100 student-run organizations and clubs. About 1,650 campus-wide events annually, including guest lecturers, visiting artists, performers, workshops, athletic events, and concerts.


23 varsity teams (NCAA, Division III), club sports, and intramural leagues. Extensively expanded athletic facilities, including wood floor gymnasium, elevated running track, 5,000-square-foot fitness facility, and 25-meter, six-lane pool with diving well. Recent additions: a new locker room complex and sports medicine facility at Prentiss Field, and a new baseball diamond with dugouts and stadium lights.


(main, art, music, and special collections): over a million print volumes; over 50,000 serial titles; 612,000 pieces of microform; multiple electronic resources and databases.

Computing and Information Services

Campus is fully wireless and wired (including residence halls.) Computer clusters are located in the residence halls, library, the College Center, the Computer Center, and many academic buildings.

Study Away Programs

Students (usually juniors) may apply for a year or a semester away in Vassar-sponsored programs (France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Russia, and Spain) or preapproved programs offered by other colleges. Students may also apply for approved programs at various U.S. institutions, including the historically Black colleges and members of the Twelve College Exchange.

Field Work, Internships, and Research

About 500 students each year do field work for academic credit in local organizations and agencies or in New York City. Over 300 students each year work one-on-one with faculty as paid research assistants or academic interns in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.

After Vassar

The great majority of Vassar graduates plan to pursue advanced study within five years of graduation. Graduates are regularly accepted at top-ranking schools of law, medicine, business, and education. Vassar is a leader in producing PhD candidates. The Office of Career Development provides counseling, connections with hundreds of top employers nationwide, and access to a network of 3,000 alumnae/i career advisors.


Highly selective. The primary criterion is academic ability as demonstrated by superior performance in high school; of those students with class rank, about 90% of matriculated students rank in the top 20% of their high school classes. Standardized test results are also considered. Personal strengths, motivations, and potential — as evidenced in essays, recommendations, and out-of-class involvements — are also weighed.

Financial Aid

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 100% of the full demonstrated need of all admitted students, international or domestic, for all four years. 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 .

Costs 2010/2011*

Tuition $ 42,560
Room and Board 10,080
Fees 630
Total $ 52,270


Campus visits are strongly encouraged; tours and information sessions are offered weekdays year-round, and on most fall Saturdays. Alumnae/i interviews are also available upon request.

Non Discrimination Policy

Vassar College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious belief, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, or age in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, or athletic and other programs.

124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12604