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Each year, Vassar aims to enroll the most interesting, talented, and diverse first-year class possible. We admit students based on their academic and personal accomplishments, as well as their potential to contribute to the Vassar community, not on their ability to pay. We employ a need-blind admissions policy for all first-year applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents; this means that admission decisions for those candidates are made without regard to the student’s financial situation.

How to Apply

First-year applicants may submit either the Common Application (including Vassar Member Questions) or Coalition Application, along with a non-refundable application fee of $65 or a request for a fee waiver. Vassar is also a QuestBridge partner school and will accept the QuestBridge application for first-year applicants as well. Transfer applicants can apply using the Common Application along with a non-refundable application fee of $65 or a request for a fee waiver.

Selection Criteria

Admission to Vassar is highly selective. Although we weigh a number of factors in the admission decision, the most important is academic ability, as demonstrated by performance in high school. We also consider personal strengths, motivation, and potential as evidenced in essays, recommendations, and out-of-class involvements. Standardized test scores are also reviewed, as an indicator of academic aptitude.

We recommend students elect four years of English, mathematics, laboratory science, history or social science, and foreign language. Students should take a substantial portion of their work in enriched, accelerated, or honors courses or in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs when these options are available. Special attention is given to the academic breadth, depth, and rigor of candidates’ junior and senior year programs.

View a list of our application requirements

Early Decision

Each year, many students consider applying to Vassar under one of our Early Decision options. Such an application has distinct advantages both for you and for the college. If, after careful consideration, you have decided that Vassar is your first choice, then an Early Decision application can help you complete your college search mid-way through your senior year and ease the stress that often accompanies the college selection process. We believe that students are more likely to thrive in a college environment which they feel best meets their interests. Finally, an Early Decision application allows the Admission Committee to take your commitment to Vassar into account in the selection process.

However, since Early Decision at Vassar is a binding agreement, you should give considerable thought to your college plans before applying in this fashion. If admitted, you are required to withdraw your applications to other colleges and universities. If you are ready to make that commitment to Vassar, then we welcome your Early Decision application and feel it is clearly beneficial for both you and the college.

Vassar is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need, as determined by our Financial Aid Office, of all admitted Early Decision candidates. Aid awards are sent to admitted Early Decision applicants at or near the time of the offer of admission, assuming that all the necessary information has been filed by the applicant at that point.

Vassar offers students two separate rounds of Early Decision:

  • Early Decision Round 1: All application materials must be submitted by November 15.
  • Early Decision Round 2: All application materials must be received by January 1.

Along with the Common Application and required materials, all Early Decision applicants must complete an Early Decision agreement, signed by a parent, counselor, and the student. You can submit your ED agreement form online via the Common Application website or download a copy here and submit it to our office. ED Applicants must also submit their first quarter/trimester senior grades.

Art, Music, and Dance Submissions

If you have devoted a significant amount of time to art, music, or dance which you plan to continue at Vassar and which you would like to have our faculty evaluate as part of your application for admission, please consult our Guidelines for Optional Art, Music, and Dance Submissions.


QuestBridge is a non-profit organization that connects high-achieving, motivated low-income students with educational and scholarship opportunities at some of the nation's best colleges and universities. Vassar College has been a proud QuestBridge partner college since 2007. If you are planning to forward your QuestBridge application to Vassar, please complete the Vassar College Selection Form for QuestBridge Applicants and the Vassar QuestBridge Writing Supplement. Read more about QuestBridge at Vassar.

Veterans at Vassar

Vassar is actively seeking to enroll qualified men and women who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. In partnership with the Posse Foundation, Vassar was the first college to enroll veterans through the Posse Veterans Program, a program aimed at increasing enrollment of veterans at selective colleges and universities. Vassar also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the amounts payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. Read more about the Posse Veterans Program and the Yellow Ribbon Program


A conversation with one of our volunteer alumnae/i interviewers is an excellent way for you to learn more about Vassar and for us to learn more about you. These interviews are available for first-year applicants and take place from November through early-March. All interviews, whether in-person, at interviewing days, by phone, or by Skype/G-Chat are viewed equally by the Office of Admission. After the conversation, the alumnae/i interviewer will send the Office of Admission a summary of your academic and personal strengths, which we will add to your application file. We recognize not all students are able to meet with an alumnae/i interviewer, so if it is not possible to arrange an interview, rest assured that it will not negatively impact your application to Vassar. Information about requesting an alumnae/i interview is available here.

Thank you for your interest in Vassar. We look forward to reading your application.

Vassar Viewbook

You can also download the Viewbook (PDF, 3.6MB).