Vassar College: Narrative Description

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124 Raymond Ave.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
Tel: (845)437-7000
Free: 800-827-7270
Admissions: (845)437-7300
Fax: (845)437-7063
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site:


Independent, 4-year, coed. Awards bachelor's and master's degrees. Founded 1861. Setting: 1,000-acre suburban campus with easy access to New York City. Endowment: $608.3 million. Research spending 2003-04: $3.6 million. Educational spending 2003-04: $21,225 per student. Total enrollment: 2,475. Faculty: 315 (267 full-time, 48 part-time). Student-undergrad faculty ratio is 9:1. 6,193 applied, 29% were admitted. 68% from top 10% of their high school class, 95% from top quarter, 99% from top half. 28 class presidents, 30 valedictorians. Full-time: 2,414 students, 60% women, 40% men. Part-time: 61 students, 59% women, 41% men. Students come from 53 states and territories, 58 other countries, 73% from out-of-state, 0.5% Native American, 5% Hispanic, 5% black, 9% Asian American or Pacific Islander, 5% international, 1% 25 or older, 95% live on campus, 1% transferred in. Retention: 95% of full-time freshmen returned the following year. Academic areas with the most degrees conferred: social sciences and history; visual/performing arts; English; psychology. Calendar: semesters. Services for LD students, advanced placement, self-designed majors, independent study, double major, part-time degree program, co-op programs and internships. Off campus study at Howard University, Fisk University, Hampton University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, members of the Twelve College Exchange Program, Bard College. Study abroad program.

Entrance Requirements:

Options: Common Application, electronic application, early decision, deferred admission, international baccalaureate accepted. Required: essay, high school transcript, 2 recommendations, SAT and SAT Subject Tests or ACT. Entrance: very difficult. Application deadlines: 1/1, 11/15 for early decision plan 1, 1/1 for early decision plan 2. Notification: 4/1, 12/15 for early decision plan 1, 2/1 for early decision plan 2.

Costs Per Year:

Application fee: $60. Comprehensive fee: $39,030 includes full-time tuition ($30,895), mandatory fees ($455), and college room and board ($7680). College room only: $4080. Room and board charges vary according to board plan and housing facility. Part-time tuition: $3635 per course. Part-time mandatory fees: $225 per year. Part-time tuition and fees vary according to course load.

Collegiate Environment:

Orientation program. Drama-theater group, choral group, student-run newspaper, radio station. Social organizations: 85 open to all. Most popular organizations: Student Association, Black Students Union, VICE (programming social events), Student Activists' Union, Poder Latino. Major annual events: Spring and Fall Convocation, Founders' Day, All-Parents' Weekend. Student services: health clinic, personal-psychological counseling, women's center. Campus security: 24-hour emergency response devices and patrols, student patrols, late night transport-escort service, controlled dormitory access. 2,480 college housing spaces available; 2,340 were occupied in 2003-04. Freshmen guaranteed college housing. On-campus residence required in freshman year. Options: coed, women-only housing available. Vassar College Libraries plus 1 other with 878,177 books, 610,130 microform titles, 5,302 serials, 22,345 audiovisual materials, an OPAC, and a Web page. Operations spending 2003-04: $5.5 million. 300 computers available on campus for general student use. Computer purchase/lease plans available. A campuswide network can be accessed from student residence rooms and from off campus. Staffed computer lab on campus.

Community Environment:

Poughkeepsie, area population 85,000, originally settled by the Dutch, was the capital of New York from 1778 to 1783. Situated on a plateau above the Hudson River, Poughkeepsie is about 75 miles north of New York City and is easily accessible by car, train, bus, and air. Community services include a library, YMCA, YWCA, churches, art galleries, the Mid-Hudson Civic Center (with an ice-skating rink), the Bardavon Opera House (1869), and a Jewish Community Center. The area offers facilities for recreation and places of historic interest such as the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, and the Vanderbilt Mansion. Industries within the area include IBM and the Fairchild Corporation.