International Student FAQs

Determining Application Type

For purposes of applying for admission to Vassar or for financial aid, anyone who is not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States is considered a foreign or international student.

Any student who is currently enrolled in their final year of secondary school (high school), or any student who has completed secondary school but has not begun studies at the university level is eligible to apply to Vassar as a freshman. However, students who have enrolled at a college/university after the completion of secondary school are not eligible to apply as freshman applicants. Current university-level students must apply as transfer candidates. Unfortunately, Vassar does not award any financial assistance to international transfer students.

Until you actually receive your green card and a permanent resident number from the U.S. Immigration Service, you must apply for admission and aid as a foreign citizen.

Admissions

The deadline for Regular Decision applicants is January 1. Early Decision (binding first choice) candidates should apply by November 15 for the first round or January 1 for the second. For more information on Early Decision, go to the Apply page.

For the 2020–2021, 2021–2022, and 2022–2023 admission cycles, applicants may choose whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores. This applies to all applicants, including transfer, international, and homeschool students.

To submit your scores, you may request official scores from the College Board and/or ACT. We will also accept complete test scores reported on an official high school transcript or copies of official score reports validated by a school counselor.

If you have taken the SAT or the ACT multiple times, we will superscore by combining your strongest scores on each section, and if you have taken both the SAT and the ACT, we will take whichever scores are higher. We do not require the SAT essay or ACT writing test. SAT Subject Tests will be considered if submitted, but are not required.

Follow the instructions on the Apply page.

For applicants required to submit the TOEFL/IELTS, Vassar recommends you also submit an interview as an additional way to demonstrate English language proficiency. You may request to meet with a Vassar alumnae/i volunteer (Submit request) and/or participate in a third party interview service. Vassar accepts interviews from InitialView and Vericant. Please note that these vendors, unlike our alumnae/i volunteers, are not Vassar specific. InitialView and Vericant interviewers will not be able to answer questions about Vassar.

We understand there is a cost for these vendors, therefore interviews are recommended, but not required. In cases where the interviewing fee would be prohibitive, you or your high school counselor can contact the vendors directly to obtain a fee waiver.

In addition to the school transcript(s), Vassar requests official copies of all predicted and/or completed external/national exam results (ie. Cambridge assessments, CAPE, WASSCE, IB, etc.).

No, non-U.S. citizens use the same application as American students. Candidates use the Common Application and/or Coalition Application for first-year applicants.

Financial Aid

Yes, Vassar does offer significant need-based financial aid to international students applying as first-year students. Vassar meets 100% of the candidate’s demonstrated financial need for all four years. Students who are neither US citizens nor permanent residents who wish to be considered for financial aid at any time during their four years at Vassar should apply at the same time that they apply for admission. Since Vassar is not need-blind in the admission of non-US citizens, financial need may be a factor in the evaluation process for admission. Therefore, those admitted without financial aid subsequently would not be eligible to receive Vassar funding during their years at the college, except under the most extreme circumstances (i.e., death of a wage-earning parent, natural disaster, etc.).

Each year, over 1000 international students apply for admission and financial assistance, and 35–45 are admitted with funding. Clearly, while Vassar’s international aid budget is substantial, competition for this assistance is quite keen. For those foreign citizens with financial need who enrolled in the class of 2022, the average scholarship was approximately $51,247, plus a Vassar student loan of $3,500, and eligibility for a campus job earning $2,400, for a total average financial aid award of $57,335. Of course, each individual student’s financial aid package will depend on his/her family’s financial circumstances.

The application fee of $65 may be waived if you request a waiver by sending an email to admissions@vassar.edu. Your counselor or school advisor can also request a fee waiver by sending a letter to the Office of Admission. Otherwise, the application fee should accompany the application.

We are sorry, but Vassar does not award financial assistance to international transfer students.

Academics

Students who have earned scores of 4 or 5 on an AP exam are eligible for advanced placement credit. International Baccalaureate scores of 5, 6, or 7 on higher-level exams are also awarded credit. In the same manner, Vassar grants credit for high scores on certain foreign advanced programs of study such as the GCE A-levels, the German Abitur, the French Baccalaureate, etc.

Vassar is consistently ranked among the top one percent of colleges and universities in the United States and has been a frontrunner in higher education for over a century and a half. Numerous external ratings have confirmed Vassar’s status as one of the most prestigious colleges in the United States. For example, U.S. News and World Report named Vassar #12 out of all Liberal Arts Colleges in the U.S. and Forbes named Vassar #50 out of all colleges and universities in U.S.

Student Life

About 14% of Vassar students hold foreign citizenship. Current students represent 55 different nations, with the largest representation coming from Canada, China/Hong Kong, Ecuador, Georgia, Greece, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Singapore, Swaziland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

Vassar’s Office of International Services provides assistance to all foreign students including a new student orientation, and helps them through the visa process. In addition, there is a student-run organization for International students (VISA) to help them integrate into the Vassar community, and a committee of administrators that meets regularly to address international students’ concerns.

In the fall of 2017, Vassar implemented a new, all-access dining plan through Bon Appétit Management Company in a newly renovated campus dining hall. All students are now on one standardized meal plan, providing them unlimited access to the main dining hall from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., as well as expanded options at Express, the Bridge Café, the Retreat, a food truck, and cook-your-own ingredients. Students also receive $200 on the plan that can be used at local vendors and restaurants on Raymond Avenue, as well as on campus for Tasty Tuesday. Visit vassar.cafebonappetit.com for more information.

Location

Vassar College is located in Poughkeepsie, NY, in the Hudson River Valley, 75 miles (120 km) north of New York City. The population of the greater Poughkeepsie area is about 100,000.

Vassar is accessible from all the major airports in the greater New York City area, as well as those in Newburgh and White Plains, New York. The Metro North commuter train also provides regular rail service between New York City and Poughkeepsie.

Poughkeepsie weather is close to that of New York City, with a temperate climate and four distinct seasons. The average temperature in the winter months is about 30ºF (2ºC), and in the summer months about 80ºF (27ºC). We do get snow, but we are not located in a “snow-belt”, so moderate snow is the norm during the winter. Most students love spring and fall, and it is common to see professors hold classes outside on nice days. While you’ll need a hat, gloves, and scarf in the winter, you’ll be able to wear shorts and t-shirts at other times of the year.