Vassar Today

How to Get to Law School or Medical School or Win a Fellowship

According to statistics, the vast majority of Vassar students and graduates who apply to medical or law school are accepted. The office of the dean of the college, faculty pre-professional advising committees, and the personal commitment of Susan Davis, assistant to the dean of the college and director of the office of fellowships and pre-professional advising, help ensure that success. 

The American Association of Medical Colleges reported that 29 out of 40 (71 percent), of Vassar students or graduates who applied to medical schools were accepted for admittance in the fall of 1999. The majority of those applicants had worked with Davis and the advisory committee.

The Law School Admission Council reported that 82 out of 99 (83 percent) of Vassar applicants were accepted to law schools around the country. Of the applicants, 24 were seniors in 1999 and 75 were graduates. Of those accepted, 20 (83 percent) were seniors and 62 (83 percent) graduates. 

Advice from Davis’s office also leads many Vassar students and alumnae/i to prestigious fellowships. Last year, Vassar people became Fulbright scholars, Barry M. Goldwater scholars, and Thomas J. Watson fellows; others studied and traveled with the help of funds from a number of Vassar and outside institutions.

Ronit Avni ’00, a political science major from Montreal, Canada, says her experience with Susan Davis while applying for the Burnham Summer Fellows program “could not have been more positive.” (Avni won a Burnham fellowship and spent the summer after her junior year in Israel.) In Avni’s senior year, a stop in Davis’s office became a daily ritual, and a positive experience turned into a full-fledged collaboration. Avni was a finalist for the Rhodes scholarship from Canada, a Watson Fellowship applicant, and a law school hopeful, and she and Davis had lots to talk about. 

But they did more than talk. Davis organized a mock Rhodes interview session with Avni and a number of Vassar faculty members with Rhodes experience; gave Avni the phone number of 1998 Rhodes scholar Rachel Simmons ’96; and prepped her on the proper etiquette for the Rhodes pre-interview cocktail party. Avni didn’t end up winning the scholarship, but she says that the process was an invaluable learning experience. “It helped me define myself as a person and helped me realize what I wanted to become,” she says.