Vassar University Acceptance Rate (2022)

A Brief History of Vassar College

It was in 1861 when Vassar College was founded by Matthew Vassar, a philanthropist, merchant and brewer — hence, the school’s nickname, Brewers. But because of the American Civil War, it opened in 1865.

Vassar was founded in order to provide women with high-quality education, which was exclusive to men during that time. In 1898, it became the very first all-women’s college to have a Phi Beta Kappa honorary society chapter. For some time after World War II, Vassar College accepted a small number of male students, all of which were war veterans.

In 1926, the Four College Conference came into being. It was a consortium consisting of Vassar and other highly selective liberal arts colleges in the US: Wellesley College, Mount Holyoke College and Smith College.

Eventually, three more all-women’s colleges were invited to join. The consortium’s name was changed to the Seven Sisters, a group of schools that served as Ivy League institutions for women.

Now that we’re through with the school’s history, here are some quick facts about it…

  • Nickname: Brewers
  • Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • Size: 1,000 acres
  • Education system: Liberal
  • School type: Private, non-profit liberal arts college
  • Reputation: Non-party school
  • Number of majors: 48
  • Best majors: Social Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Foreign Languages, Visual and Performing Arts
  • Selectivity: Highly selective
  • Average class size: 17 students
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1
  • Retention rate: 96%
  • Graduation rate: 91%
  • Colors: Burgundy and gray
  • Mascot: The Brewer
  • Sports: Basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, rugby, tennis, lacrosse, squash, track and field, cross-country, fencing, swimming, rowing, field hockey (women only), golf (women only)
  • What is the Acceptance Rate at Vassar College?

    The acceptance rate at Vassar College is 23.7%. To put that in context, the average acceptance rate among colleges and universities in the US is 68%. This makes Vassar a highly selective school, and it doesn’t come as a surprise since it was founded as an all-women counterpart to the Ivy Leagues.

    While talking about the brief history of Vassar, we established the fact that it’s one of the Seven Sisters schools. And among these schools, selectivity-wise, it’s not the hardest to get into and not the easiest to get into.

    Let’s check out the acceptance rates at the Seven Sisters schools (minus Radcliffe College):

    Barnard College11.80%
    Wellesley College21.60%
    Vassar College23.70%
    Smith College32.50%
    Bryn Mawr College33.20%
    Mount Holyoke College38.00%

    By the way, in 1969, Vassar started accepting both male and female applicants.

    This makes it the only member of the Seven Sisters that’s a co-ed school. Currently, 59% of its students are females and 41% of its students are males. It’s also a diverse school, ranking at number 122 diversity-wise across the nation.

    After knowing the school’s acceptance rate, let’s get to know its different admission requirements…

    Does Vassar College Require SAT or ACT Scores?

    Vassar College does not require applicants to submit standardized test scores. The school is test-optional, just like many other US colleges and universities. A test-optional admissions process is beneficial for students who are unhappy with their test scores or failed to take the SAT or ACT.

    In the past, students that got accepted into Vassar had SAT scores between 1370 and 1520. On the other hand, they had ACT scores between 31 and 34. Due to this, the school is intimidating for those with low test scores.

    Submitting your SAT or ACT score may or may not be done when applying to Vassar College.

    That’s because it now has a test-optional admissions process. So, in other words, they will use your test score when deciding your fate only if you provide it. If you don’t submit your SAT or ACT score, your fate will be based on other things.

    However, being test-blind doesn’t mean that it’s easier to gain admission into Vassar.

    You will still need to have a strong application, such as a high GPA — we will talk about this very important admissions-related matter in a few, so don’t stop reading now.

    If you have a high standardized test score and you want to prove to the school’s admissions officers that you are what they’re looking for, consider submitting your SAT or ACT score.

    For the academic year 2018 to 2019, 69% of admitted students submitted their SAT scores, and 40% of admitted students submitted their ACT scores.

    And this takes us to this pressing question many hopefuls are too shy to ask…

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    Vassar College is a small “academically challenging” school that offers a “perfect liberal arts feel” and seeks to broaden students’ perspectives. The “strong sense of community” is apparent both in and out of the classroom, where the school drums home the idea that “it’s all about being unique and letting your quirky characteristics shine.” “We’re asked to critically think about the world we live in and how our privilege plays into these systems,” says a student. This freedom of character is a main reason why everyone here is “excited to be with each other, which creates this school spirit that isn’t necessarily based on sports.” The lack of core requirements is “a great opportunity for students to explore anything they want before settling into a major.” “Amazing” professors are “super accessible” and “fully engaged in the total Vassar community.” “They are willing to meet you outside their office hours if they don’t work for you,” says a student. “My professors are…spectacular at illuminating difficult material,” says a junior psychology major. Classes are all small and “most are very discussion-based”; students are “not competitive with each other, but with themselves,” which creates a more relaxed environment despite the very high academics. Many do admit that there could stand to be “more sections of the most popular classes so that the most amount of people can be happy with their course selections.” Opportunities are there for students’ voices to be heard, and “the administration is very willing to work with the student organization to accomplish goals,” such as a ban on bottled water from dining services as a result of an initiative by the environmental group on campus. “Vassar students will do things in any way but the traditional way,” says a sophomore. “No problem goes undiscussed.” “Incredible” study abroad opportunities and a “beautiful campus” don’t hurt, either.

    The “left wing, artsy, intelligent,” and “open-minded” individuals that make up the “eclectic” student body “thrive” in the “welcoming” environs of Vassar. The “very generous” amount of need-based financial aid that is awarded “allows for wide socioeconomic diversity,” and “Freshman Orientation is a great way for people to make friends here.” Many here are philosophically minded and “strive to be as politically correct as possible,” and there is “a good amount of hipsters.” “You can definitely find at least one other student for every obscure interest you have,” assures a student.

    “When you get here it starts to feel like home very quickly,” says a student of the “stunning” campus. “The vibe of the whole school is so chill,” but does not hamper a “vibrant extracurricular scene.” Vassar is “bursting at the seams with orgs”: there are “a ton of intramural sports teams,” nine a cappella groups, plenty of political organizations, a large performing arts contingent, and “basically anything else you can think of.” “Close-knit dormitory communities” and an emphasis on being “hyper-socially aware” lead students to be “very politically conscious and deeply involved in volunteerism and activism.” New York City isn’t far, so some people take advantage of that, and “there are always parties you can go to if you want to,” but “there is nothing wrong with staying in and watching a movie or chatting with friends.” There is no Greek life; intellectual conversations abound at all hours, and students spend “significant time thinking about the state of the world and what’s going on within the campus community.” There are always a decent amount of weekend activities such as “concerts, comedy shows, plays, dances, etc.” Be warned: “transportation is limited to get off campus unless you own a car.”

    Is Vassar Ivy League?

    Vassar University Acceptance Rate (1)

    No, Vassar College is not an Ivy League school, but it is one of the “Seven Sisters,” a collection of liberal arts colleges whose prestige rivals that of the Ivies.

    The name “Ivy League” came about through an NCAA athletic conference that started in the 1950s and today refers to eight of the oldest schools in the nation: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale Universities, plus the University of Pennsylvania.

    Meanwhile, in addition to Vassar, the Seven Sisters consisted of Mount Holyoke, Smith, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr, Barnard, and Radcliffe colleges. All are prestigious schools; the Seven Sisters began as places where women could receive an advanced education just like the men of that time could get at the Ivies.

    Like all of the Ivies, Vassar now has a co-ed student body, although five of the Seven Sisters continue to serve only women. Sixty-two percent of Vassar’s students are women.

    Vassar has a smaller student body than any of the Ivies and only offers undergraduate degrees. The number of undergrads at the Ivy League schools ranges from about 4,400 at Dartmouth to more than 15,000 at Cornell, while Vassar had just over 2,400 undergrads in the fall of 2020.

    Don’t let Vassar’s size fool you, though. It’s a small but mighty school, especially when it comes to academics. Students have more than 1,000 courses to choose from among 30 departments.

    “There’s a reason why Seven Sisters colleges are viewed as Ivy League sister schools,” Niche noted. “Like their Ivy League counterparts, they generally have excellent academic reputations paired with low acceptance rates.”


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