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Prestigious, Private Liberal Arts Education at Vassar

Vassar College appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the Northeast.

Ranked the 41st best value by The Princeton Review, Vassar College is a selective nonprofit, coed Annapolis Group member in Poughkeepsie that offers 51 bachelor’s majors and two accelerated dual degrees plus the Exploring College Program for high school students at an 8:1 learner-faculty ratio. For example, the Drama B.A. builds a 34-unit, four-year curriculum where Brewers can utilize the Historical Costume Collection, perform at Powerhouse Theater, join the Shakespeare Troupe, and exchange to the University of Exeter. Chaired by Dr. Marianne Begemann, the Chemistry B.A. follows a 34-unit, ACS-certified path with Bridge Hall courses like Spectrometric Identification of Organic Compounds, Instrumentation Lab projects, and the 10-week Undergraduate Summer Research Institute.

At Rockefeller Hall, the Political Science B.A. tailors a 34-unit, 48-month sequence for four sub-fields, such as Comparative Politics or Political Theory, with opportunities to add a Washington Semester, intern with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, join the Grassroots Alliance, and attend the NYSPSA Conference. Directed by Dr. Christopher Bjork, the 34-unit Educational Studies B.A. leads to childhood (grades 1-6) or adolescent (grades 7-12) certification after 300-level major courses like Urban Education Reform and full-time student teaching placements, such as Rhinebeck Central School District.

Other Vassar degrees include the Cognitive Science B.A., Astronomy B.A., Religion B.A., Medieval & Renaissance Studies B.A., Sociology B.A., Chinese B.A., Geography B.A., and Economics B.A.

About Vassar College

Vassar College originated on February 26, 1861, when businessman Matthew Vassar donated $408,000 and 200 acres on the Hudson River to develop a women’s liberal arts college. In Fall 1865, President Milo Jewett welcomed an inaugural class of 353 ladies to Vassar Female College for $350 each year. In 1866, the college’s Founding Father demanded that “Female” be removed from its name. In 1922, the Delta Sigma Rho Society was established at Vassar College. In 1926, President Henry Noble MacCracken asked Franklin D. Roosevelt to become a Vassar trustee. One year later, Vassar formally joined the elite Seven Sisters. After World War II, Vassar College began teaching male G.I. Bill recipients for SUNY-issued diplomas. By 1969, Vassar was re-chartered for coeducational admission. In 1982, Vassar’s renowned Rombout House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2003, Vassar College invested $25 million to build the Vogelstein Center for Drama & Film.

Endowed for $1.1 billion, Vassar College now employs 342 full-time faculty teaching 2,456 Brewers from 55 countries on its 1,000-acre, Gothic-style Hudson Valley campus north of New York City with 100+ clubs like the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan for 96 percent retention. In 2019, Vassar received a CASE Educational Fundraising Circle of Excellence Award. In 2015, Vassar College won the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence. The U.S. News & World Report named Vassar the 14th best liberal arts school with the 48th best undergrad teaching. On Niche, Vassar boasts America’s 19th best performing arts, 27th best global studies, and 32nd top sociology degrees. Forbes declared Vassar College the 51st best private institution. Money magazine crowned Vassar the 134th top value. WalletHub recognized Vassar for the 38th best educational outcomes too.

Vassar College Accreditation Details

On June 27, 2019, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Board of Directors voted favorably to reaffirm the Level III accreditation at Vassar College based on 14 Characteristics of Excellence through the next 2027-28 review under the 11th president, Dr. Elizabeth Bradley, who earned the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research. Located 167 miles down Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, this superb six-state Northeast Region accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and New York State Education Department (NYSED).

Vassar College Application Requirements

Admission to Vassar College is classified as “very difficult” by Peterson’s because only 2,043 of the 8,312 Fall 2018 applicants were chosen for highly competitive 25 percent acceptance. First-year Brewers must culminate a rigorous secondary curriculum for the NYS Regents diploma or equivalent. The Exploring College Program only admits above-average Poughkeepsie, Arlington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt High School students. The Class of 2022 achieved a mean GPA of 3.96. The middle 50th percentile had ACT scores of 31-34. Mid-range admitted SAT scores were 1380-1500. International students must prove English fluency with a minimum 600 TOEFL pBT, 100 TOEFL iBT, or 7.0 IELTS score. Qualified transfers must have at least 17 Vassar units remaining after regionally accredited education graded C or better elsewhere. The Dual B.A./MPH with Columbia requires 3.6 GPAs and one semester of Calculus. Sophomore Dartmouth Dual B.A./B.E. cohorts generally have 3.5 GPAs or greater in STEM prerequisites.

Vassar College set freshman deadlines of November 15th for Early Decision I and January 1st for Early Decision II or Regular Decision. Mid-year grade reports are due February 1st. Bachelor of Arts transfers are welcome until March 15th for Fall or November 1st for Spring starts. The Vasser View Program has a June 3rd to August 7th admission period. Accordingly, complete the Coalition, Questbridge, or Common Application online with $65 or a fee waiver. Forward official transcripts to 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY 12604. Directly submit testing scores via SAT/TOEFL code 2956 or ACT code 2982. Fulfill checklist items, such as the Early Decision agreement, teacher evaluations, guidance counselor recommendation, art/music portfolio, transfer academic report, and “Your Space” statement. Contact (845) 437-7300 or admissions@vassar.edu with questions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, Vassar College is billing full-time Bachelor of Arts majors $28,955 per semester or $57,910 annually. Student activity fees cost $380 each year. The health service fee requires $480 yearly. Full-year health insurance coverage is $2,360. Incoming freshmen pay general deposits of $340. Vehicle registrations charge $260 per academic cycle. Lifetime transcript fees are $80. Living at the Hudson Valley campus’ dorms like Emma Hartman Noyes House adds 14,220 for room and board. Commuter meal plans for Gordon Dining Commons are $4,190 instead. Vassar budgets $900 for textbooks and $1,350 for miscellaneous expenses. Annual undergrad attendance equals about $78,140 on-site or $68,110 at home.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Student Financial Services Office in Main Building S-199 links 79 percent of new full-time Vassar Brewers to tuition aid averaging $45,689 each for $18.59 million combined. Institutional funds include the Maxine Goldmark Aaron Scholarship, Edward Barringer Scholarship, Augusta Choate Scholarship, Carol Ohmer Collins Scholarship, Elizabeth Foster Scholarship, George Coleman Gow Scholarship, Hersey Association Scholarship, Dorothy Dixon Kunzelmann Scholarship, Margaret Bashford Legardeur Scholarship, Putnam Family Scholarship, Reba Morehouse Smith Scholarship, and Thomas Tsao Memorial Scholarship. The QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship has a September 26th deadline for need-blind annual awards up to $78,140. Since 1969, the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley has developed 50+ programs like the David Jagaciewski Scholarship and Steven Parascandola Art Scholarship. Federal resources, such as the Pell Grant or SEOG Grant, require FAFSA applications coded 002895. New Yorkers can also pursue the Tuition Assistance Program, Enhanced Tuition Award, Academic Excellence Scholarship, and others.

Explore 30 accredited departments delivering 1,000+ courses for 51 value-added majors placed 56th by Times Higher Education at the Vassar College website.