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Vassar College
Vassar College 124 Raymond Ave Poughkeepsie, NY 12604 Phone: (845) 437-7000
  • General Information
    About Vassar College

    Mission Statement of Vassar College The primary mission of Vassar College, to furnish “the means of a thorough, well-proportioned, and liberal education,”1 was articulated in The First Annual Catalogue and has remained constant throughout its history. Founded in 1861 to provide young women an education equal to that once available only to young men, the college has since 1969 opened its doors to both women and men on terms of equality. Encouragement of excellence and respect for diversity are hallmarks of Vassar’s character as an institution. The independence of mind and the diverse intellectual interests of students are fostered by providing them a range of ways to meet our curricular expectations. The structure of the residential experience, in which students in all four classes live in the residence halls, obliges students to master the art of living cooperatively in a diverse community. Diversity of perspective is honored as well in the college’s system of shared governance among all the constituencies of the institution. Vassar’s statement of academic purpose, adopted by faculty and trustees, is a definition of the qualities it seeks to develop in its students: Achievement of depth and range of knowledge in a single discipline or in a subject approached through several disciplines. The quality sought is not only the mastery of a body of facts, but the attainment of skill in the conduct of inquiry and the satisfaction of having gained knowledge. Recognition of the different kinds of knowledge and their scope and relevance to one another. It is necessary for an educated person to understand the relationships between the past, the present, and the future as well as those between people and their social and physical environment. Immediate experience of creative ideas, works of art, and scientific discoveries. Development of the powers of reason and imagination through the processes of analysis and synthesis and the use of all our human resources—to speculate, to feel, to inquire boldly, to enjoy, to change, to create, and to communicate effectively. Increased knowledge of oneself, a humane concern for society, and a commitment to an examined and evolving set of values. To achieve these purposes, Vassar offers a curriculum that honors the values of liberal learning as it challenges us to lead energetic and purposeful lives. We aim, therefore, to support a faculty dedicated to teaching, scholarship, and artistic endeavor; to educate—in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences—distinguished, diverse students motivated toward intellectual risk; to promote clear thinking and articulate expression; to stimulate integrative learning through multidisciplinary studies that communicate across cultural and curricular perspectives; and to commit both students and teachers to coherent and cohesive approaches to learning. In the largest sense, Vassar seeks to educate the individual imagination to see into the lives of others. As such, its academic mission cannot be separated from its definition as a residential community composed of diverse interests and perspectives. The differences among us are real and challenging. Contemporary life requires more than ever the skills and wisdom that liberal education has always promoted: the exercise of informed opinion and sound critical judgment; a willingness to engage in ethical debate in a spirit of reasonable compromise; the achievement of balance between emotional engagement and intellectual detachment; the actions of personal integrity and respect for others; independent thought and an attendant resistance to irresponsible authority. It is our mission to meet the challenges of a complex world responsibly, actively, and imaginatively.


    Institutional statistical data was gathered from the U.S. Department of Education - Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, 2009-2010.

    Institution Type
    • 4-year, Private not-for-profit
    Special Learning Opportunities
    • Teacher certification
    • Study abroad
    Student Services
    • Remedial services
    • Academic/career counseling service
    • Employment services for students
    • Placement services for completers
    • On-campus day care for students' children
    Credit Accepted
    • Advanced placement (AP) credits
    • The acceptance of credits for work experience or military experience are subject to review by the school and cannot be guaranteed.
    Religious Affiliation
    • Not applicable
    Federal Aid
    • Eligible students may receive Pell Grants and other federal aid (e.g. Direct Loans).
    Degrees/Certificates offered
    • Bachelor's degree
    • Master's degree
    Campus Setting
    • City: Small
    Disability Services Student
    • 3% or Less
  • Admission
    Total Applicants 7,577
    Percent Admitted 25%
    Men Admitted 35%
    Women Admitted 20%
    Full Time Retention Rate 96%
  • Submitted ACT & SAT Scores

    •     25th Percentile Score 75th Percentile Score
      Critical Reading 660 750
      Math 640 710
      Writing 650 740
    •     25th Percentile Score 75th Percentile Score
      Composite 29 32
      English 29 32
      Math 29 32
  • Student Demographics
    Total Enrolled 2,646
    Native American 6.0
    Asian 256.0
    African American 138.0
    Hispanic 178.0
    Enrolled FullTime Undergraduates 2,400
    Enrolled FullTime Graduates 0

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