Vassar College

2014 Quick Stats
124 Raymond Avenue

Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

Phone: (845) 437-7000
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#13 Overall Score: 87 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Vassar College is a private institution that was founded in 1861. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,406, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 1,000 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Vassar College's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 13. Its tuition and fees are $47,890 (2013-14).

Vassar is located Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in the scenic Hudson Valley, 75 miles north of New York City. At Vassar, students can get involved with more than 100 student organizations on campus, including the Vassar Night Owls, one of the nation’s oldest continuing all-female a cappella groups. Vassar does not have fraternities or sororities. The Vassar Brewers compete in NCAA Division III varsity sports in the Liberty League. The Vassar Quidditch team, known as the Butterbeer Brewers, competes against other colleges in the sport from the "Harry Potter" novels. Vassar is a residential college, and freshmen are required to live on campus. The school guarantees housing for all four years, and 98 percent of students live in the nine residence halls and apartments.

Vassar College is one of the first of the Seven Sisters, a group of historically women’s colleges in the northeast including Mount Holyoke, Wellesley, Smith, Radcliffe (now part of Harvard), Bryn Mawr and Barnard. In 1969, Vassar became the first of the Seven Sisters colleges to open its doors to men. The Maria Mitchell Observatory and the Main Building, which once housed the entire college, are registered as National Historic Landmarks. The Miscellany News, the college newspaper, was founded in 1866 and is one of the oldest college newspapers in the country. Notable alumni include computer pioneer Grace Hopper, poet Elizabeth Bishop, actress Meryl Streep, actress Lisa Kudrow and writer-director Noah Baumbach.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Intellectual inquiry at Vassar is characterized by an unusual degree of flexibility. The college does not have a core curriculum and students can declare a major by concentrating in a department, an interdepartmental program, a multidisciplinary program, or an individually tailored field of study in the Independent Program. This intellectual freedom produces original thinkers and has shaped the very essence of Vassar's academic life.

In fact, the encouragement of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies has distinguished Vassar academics at least as far back as the early 1900s -- when the college began offering interdepartmental courses -- and the wide-ranging exchange of ideas has steadily inspired an array of new courses, programs, and resources. Vassar now boasts a dozen multidisciplinary and interdepartmental programs ranging from Latin American and Latino/a Studies to Environmental Studies and Cognitive Science, the latter for which Vassar was the first college or university to offer a bachelor's degree (1982). The college's oldest such program, Africana Studies, celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2009, and Media Studies became the newest of these programs in 2004.

As a result, Vassar's curriculum is broader, richer, and more varied than ever, now offering students a choice among 29 departments, 6 interdisciplinary programs, 12 multidisciplinary programs, 49 majors, and over 1,000 courses.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1861
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting suburban
2012 Endowment $804,912,006


When applying to Vassar College, it's important to note the application deadline is January 1, and the early decision deadline is November 15. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due February 15. The application fee at Vassar College is $70. It is most selective, with an acceptance rate of 22.8 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity most selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 22.8%
Application deadline January 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by February 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Vassar College is 8:1, and the school has 66.4 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Vassar College include: Social Sciences; Visual and Performing Arts; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; English Language and Literature/Letters; and Psychology. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 96.5 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 8:1
4-year graduation rate 86%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Social Sciences 20%
Visual and Performing Arts 16%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 12%
English Language and Literature/Letters 10%
Psychology 5%

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Student Life

Vassar College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,406, with a gender distribution of 43.7 percent male students and 56.3 percent female students. At this school, 94 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 6 percent of students live off campus. Vassar College is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,406
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Vassar College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. Vassar College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Vassar College, 33 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Vassar College.

Students who have cars on campus 33%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Vassar College, 60 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $40,390.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $47,890 (2013-14)
Room and board $11,180 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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