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Transfer Student FAQs

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for Transfer Students


Application Requirements

Transfer Credits

Financial Aid


Who is considered a transfer student?

Any student who has already earned his/her high school diploma or GED and has enrolled at a college or university is considered a transfer applicant.

What are Vassar’s eligibility requirements regarding the number of credits allowed?

There is no minimum credit requirement; students may apply as early as the first semester of their first year. (However, students who have completed several semesters are generally more competitive candidates.) For students at four-year institutions, Vassar does have a maximum limit for considering applicants: once a student has completed more than four full semesters of college-level work, they are no longer eligible to transfer. Thus, students who already have a bachelor’s degree would not be eligible applicants.

How can I receive more detailed info?

Please sign up for our mailing list to receive a copy of our viewbook and other admission mailings and reminders.

What application should I use?

You will use the Common Application for Transfers. We will not be accepting the Coalition Application for transfers.

What are the application deadlines?

The deadline for Spring semester is November 1; the deadline for Fall semester is March 15.

What are the decision notification dates?

Transfer applicants for Spring semester are notified in mid-December; applicants for the Fall are notified in early May. Admitted transfer applicants are expected to respond within two weeks of notification and are expected to enroll in the semester for which they have been offered admission. Deferrals of admission to later semesters typically are not granted, except under extraordinary circumstances.

May I re-apply if I previously applied as a freshman?

Yes, by submitting a transfer application.

What are the standardized testing requirements?

Vassar College requires all transfer applicants to submit standardized test results, either the SAT or the ACT. Please note that proficiency or skills tests offered by other colleges will not meet Vassar’s standardized test requirements. To submit your required standardized test scores to Vassar, you may request official scores from the College Board and/or ACT. In addition, Vassar will accept complete test scores reported on an official high school transcript, or copies of official SAT/ACT score reports validated by a school counselor.


Vassar will accept either the Pre-March 2016 SAT or the redesigned SAT. Vassar does not require the optional essay.

In assessing SAT scores, Vassar uses the highest individual subscores of the same version of the SAT from multiple test dates. For applicants submitting both the Pre-March 2016 SAT and redesigned SAT, the results will not be superscored across the two versions.


Applicants submitting the ACT are not required to submit the optional writing test.

In assessing ACT scores, Vassar uses the highest subscores taken from multiple test dates and recalculates a new composite score.

SAT II Subject Tests (Optional)

SAT Subject Tests are not required, and students opting not to send Subject Tests will not be penalized. However, SAT Subject Tests will be considered if submitted as part of a testing profile. Subject Tests may enhance an applicant’s credentials, particularly for applicants from non-traditional school backgrounds (homeschooled, non-graded schools, etc.). Note that a strong score on an SAT Subject Test is also one way to fulfill Vassar’s Foreign Language Proficiency requirement.

TOEFL/IELTS Requirements

In addition, if English is neither your first language nor the primary language of instruction you have used throughout secondary school (minimum of three full years in English), you should submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Vassar typically expects scores of at least 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL and 600 on the paper-based version. As an alternative to the TOEFL, Vassar also accepts the IELTS. A minimum score of 7.0 on the IELTS Academic Test is required. Vassar does not grant waivers for TOEFL/IELTS based on SAT/ACT or other exams.

Do I need recommendations to apply as a transfer?

Yes, Vassar requires two recommendations. First, the Common Application College Transfer College Report must be completed by someone at your current institution with access to your academic and disciplinary record. We recognize that the official completing this form may not know you personally. Second, you must submit the Common Application Transfer Academic Evaluation with a letter from a college instructor. In addition, applicants may submit a third recommendation from a second college instructor, high school counselor or teacher, or employer.

Do you require my mid-term report?

Vassar requires a Transfer Mid-Term Report from each transfer applicant who is currently enrolled in college. Students who are taking time off of school are not required to send their mid-term report. Please clearly indicate your enrollment status on your transfer application.

How competitive is the transfer application process?

Vassar does not have many spaces for transfer students, so competition is keen. It is generally more difficult to gain admission as a transfer than as a freshmen. Over the past two years, about 10-15% of the students seeking admission as transfers were successful.

How much weight is given to my high school record in the evaluation process?

Since the transfer admission process is highly competitive, an applicant’s entire academic history is considered in the admission process, and we require high school records with the application. It is difficult for students who have had an unsuccessful high school career to be competitive applicants. However, as the distance from an applicant’s high school years grows, the weight assigned to that performance is lessened.

Are interviews required?

While we welcome your visit to campus for a tour and/or information session, Vassar does not offer on-campus interviews. Alumnae/i interviews are only available for freshman applicants.

What if I did not complete my high school diploma?

You will be required to submit GED scores or another applicable High School Equivalency along with that portion of your high school record you did complete.

How do I request a fee waiver for the application?

If the application fee poses a financial hardship, a fee waiver can be requested on the Common Application or the Coalition Application. Fee waivers are automatically offered to students who participated in the Vassar View program, QuestBridge Finalists, Veterans, and International applicants who are unable to use a credit card to pay the application fee.

If you apply via the Common Application, under the Vassar College Member-Specific section you will be asked “Do you intend to use one of these school-specific fee waivers?” Please select “Yes, I will be using a Vassar fee waiver.”

If you apply via the Coalition Application, use the fee waiver code: Vassar Fee Waiver.

Is there financial aid available?

Vassar does offer need-based financial assistance to transfer applicants. However, limited financial resources are designated for transfer students, and the applicant pool is highly competitive.

Is financial aid available for international transfer students?

We regret that we do not offer any financial assistance to non-citizen transfer students. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply to Vassar as financial aid candidates.

What about the transfer of credit?

Transfer credit decisions are made by the Office of the Dean of Studies after a student has been offered admission. Vassar offers transfer credit for courses in the liberal arts and sciences which are the approximate equivalent in content, methodology, and rigor to courses listed in the Vassar catalog. We do not offer transfer credit for physical education (excluding dance), Pre-professional or vocational courses, business courses, or other similar subjects. One Vassar unit is the equivalent of 3.5 semester hours of work. We do not give credit for any course with a value of less than 2 semester hours and credit earned by means of distance learning is also not transferable.

Is housing available?

Yes, Vassar will provide housing to admitted transfer candidates.

What is the Exploring Transfer program?

For more than two decades, Vassar has run Exploring Transfer, a program that brings students from selected community colleges to our campus for an intensive five-week period during the summer. They take two courses team-taught by faculty from Vassar and the community colleges. Students chosen for this program receive a full scholarship which covers tuition, fees, room, board, books, and supplies for the five-week program. If you are interested in exploring the type of education you would find at Vassar and are currently a student at a community college, you might want to investigate the possibility of applying to ET as a transitional step in your education. For more information, go the Exploring Transfer website.