A Visit to Vassar College

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by Sue Luse

Vassar is located in Poughkeepsie, NY, about an hour and a half from NYC, on the Hudson river. The college campus is a combination of old and new architecture with a stunning library and performing arts center. We stayed in the historic town of Rhinebeck, about 20 minutes away.

Some notes about Vassar College:

  • Students at Vassar were diverse and from all over
  • No core curriculum
  • Can triple major
  • English, psychology, biology, economics, political science are the most popular majors
  • Lang requirement
  • AP level will waive if you get 4 or 5
  • 40 percent study abroad
  • 1000 courses to choose from – can register for 7 then drop down to 4 so can shop around for best fit
  • 2500 students
  • Good advising for both majors and minors
  • Field work is what they call internships – must do a normal and submit a paper. Vassar sets up field work in the area and provides transportation.
  • Students can also intern in NYC who want to get experience working in museums, PR firms, businesses, medical institutions, law firms and  on Wall Street
  • There is a Metro Link to New York City
  • 22 percent acceptance rate, most rigorous possible high school curriculum required
  • Students reviewed from the context of their high school
  • Students should take all 5 core classes, English, Math, Science, world language and social studies all four years, and take as many AP courses as possible.
  • 3.8 GPA
  • ACT with writing 30-33
  • Will super score all test scores – send all scores
  • Early Decision has a 10-15 percent higher acceptance
  • Extra-curriculars important, looking for leadership
  • 20 percent in Division III sports, the rest in club and intramural sports
  • Students are assigned to one of 9 “houses”, they live in the same house for three years
  • There are house fellows who are faculty families who live in the house
  • Went co-ed in 1969
  • Plan to expand sciences
  • Fun fact, the barefoot monks are one of the hundreds of student groups at Vassar, they are a juggling club.
  • Who does well at Vassar? Ones who have learned how to balance rigorous academics and their activities.
  • Their library closes at 12 because they want students to go home and sleep!
  • Poughkeepsie has 120,000 people in the area
  • Students do not go into the city all that much, because Vassar has such a multitude of things to do on campus.

For more information, check out Vassar’s website: www.vassar.edu

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