How to Get Into Vassar College

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August 28, 2023
6 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/4/22

Want to attend a suburban private liberal arts college that takes academics very seriously. Continue reading to learn how to get into Vassar College! 

Vassar College is a private residential liberal arts college located in Poughkeepsie, New York State. Known for its rigorous academic program, small class sizes, and commitment to diversity and inclusion, Vassar has a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, and an average class size of 17 students.

US News ranked Vassar College as the 13th best liberal arts college in the country, and the 31st college for undergraduate teachers. With 48 departments and programs as well as 50 majors, Vassar College is an outstanding choice for students seeking a well-rounded liberal arts education.

Are you interested in giving Vassar a try? In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know on how to get into Vassar College.

Vassar College Acceptance Rate

So, how hard is it to get into Vassar College? With an overall acceptance rate of 20%, Vassar is considered highly selective with a competitive admission process.

Vassar College Admissions Stats

Here is the profile for Vassar’s Vassar’s recently admitted freshman class.


The previously admitted freshman class had an average unweighted GPA of 3.9. t’s safe to assume they graduated at the top of their respective class. To give yourself the best chance of acceptance, try to secure a GPA as close to 4.0 as possible

SAT/ACT Scores

The previous admission saw a median SAT score between 1420 and 1540, and a median ACT score between 32 and 34. As you can see, most of the admitted freshmen had very high SAT and ACT scores. 

As of now, Vassar does not require students to submit the SAT or ACT, so it is up to the applicant to make that choice. Applicants who want to submit their scores need to log in to their applicant status portal and complete the test optional form.

Vassar accepts self-reported test scores, as well as superscores, meaning they will consider your highest section score from all submitted score reports for valuation.

Vassar College Application Requirements & Deadlines

Students must submit their application through either the Common Application, Coalition Application, or the QuestBridge Application. The admissions committee has no preference on which portal you use, so you should apply using the one you’re  most comfortable with. 

No matter which portal method you choose, here’s a rundown of all the documents you need to provide for your application.

School Report and High School Transcript

A school report needs to be completed and sent to Vassar college by your school counselor. The form for the school report can be found online and downloaded through Common Application. Have your high school counselor fill it out and send it to Vassar college.

Your official high school transcript needs to include all courses completed or in progress during your high school years (grades 9 to 12) and the number of credits each course has. Completed courses must also have a final grade for each course. Any academic achievements or honours should also be included in the transcript.

Early Decision Agreement 

This is a document that Early Decision applicants need to complete and submit. It serves as a confirmation that the applicant seeks to apply for Early Decision, and agrees with its binding conditions. Namely, to withdraw applications to other schools and enroll in Vassar if the applicant is accepted. 

Teacher Evaluation

Each applicant needs to submit one teacher evaluation, which is an overall assessment of an applicant done by a teacher who has taught the applicant in a core academic subject. The teacher evaluation serves a similar function to recommendation letters.

It usually includes information about the student's academic performance, such as grades, class participation, and attendance, as well as the student’s personality, character, and extracurricular involvement. As such, you should find a teacher who knows you well to complete this evaluation. 

Mid-Year Report 

Vassar College requires all applicants to have their mid-year grades sent to them by a school official, usually being their counsellor. These are usually the grades at the point of the closest quarter or semester to the date of applying. 

If you have applied for Early Decision, you must also submit a fall progress report and your grades of the first term as soon as the grades become available. 

English Language Proficiency Test

You must take a standardized English language proficiency test if English is not: 

  • Your first language 
  • The primary language of instruction in the secondary schools you have attended for the last three years

Common English language proficiency exams include TOEFL, IELTS, and the Duolingo English Test. Vassar does not have any preferences on which tests the applicant chooses. 

Important Deadlines

Vassar offers three application options:

  • Early Decision I
  • Early Decision II
  • Regular Decision

Early Decision has two rounds: the first one has deadlines earlier than regular application, while the second one has the same deadlines as regular application. However, early decision II is still considered an early application, meaning you will get your admission decision at an earlier date than regular application.

Both rounds of early decision are binding. This means that if you applied for either of the two rounds and got admitted, you must immediately withdraw from your application to other schools and enroll in Vassar college. 

Here is a table of all the dates and deadlines you should pay attention to for your Vassar application.

Event Deadline
Early Decision I November 15th
Early Decision II January 1st
Regular Decision January 1st
Standardized Test Submission November 22nd
Early Decision II January 9th
Regular Decision January 9th

Source: Vassar College

Of course, make sure you frequently browse Vassar’s official website in case any sudden changes or announcements show up.

Vassar College Essays

Vassar College has two essay prompts, and students need to select one of them and write a response no longer than 300 words as their essay. Here are Vassar College essay prompts:

Prompt 1

"At Vassar, we aim to foster an inclusive community through our philosophy of engaged pluralism. Engaged pluralism is rooted in 'the conviction that collaborating across differences is necessary for social transformation and critical for the well-being of any community and its members.' In short, we believe it’s our differences that make us stronger. Tell us a little bit about what makes you unique and what you hope to add to our community."

Prompt 2

"Vassar is a diverse community that inspires positive change through open inquiry, deep dives into society’s most difficult challenges, and collaborative problem solving. We care deeply about one another, the communities that have forged us, and the community we build together on campus. Tell us more about the community (or communities) you come from and how it has shaped who you are."

The main point of the essays is for Vassar College to know more about you, not only as an applicant, but also as a person. So, make sure your personality, experiences, and goals are at the heart of your responses! 

Do some deep and thorough self-reflection. In what ways do you resonate with the essay prompt? Is it your experiences? Your beliefs and values? Your skills and capabilities? Anything about yourself can be a starting point as long as it connects with the prompt, so open your mind and be venturous.

Tips for Getting Into Vassar College

Vassar College is a highly competitive institution that evaluates various factors when considering admission decisions. Among the most significant factors are academic performance, personal strengths, potential, and community involvement. 

To increase your chances of getting into Vassar, you should demonstrate excellence both as a student and as a person. Here are some more specific tips that could effectively help your chances of getting into Vassar College.

Focus on Your GPA

The admissions committee considers a student's GPA a crucial academic factor for their chances of admission. Special attention is given to the academic breadth, depth, and rigor of junior and senior year curriculum. So, doing well in your high school courses should be on the top of your priorities list.

Make sure you allocate enough time for studying, attend all of your classes, take notes, and stay connected with your teachers and instructors to get help and assistance. You should also prepare for assignments, tests, and exams as early as possible.

But there’s more to your high school performance than your grades alone. Course selection is also an important element. Vassar recommends that prospective applicants take four years of the following courses:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History or social science
  • A foreign language

To further improve your competitiveness, you should take the most advanced or challenging coursework available in your school, such as the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs. 

Keep in mind that Vassar is favorable towards those who are willing to tackle challenging situations head on, and won’t back down in the face of difficulties. 

Pay Attention to Your Extracurricular Activities

Of course, merely doing well in the classroom is not enough. Vassar prides itself in its diverse student body who embrace the value and ability of learning from each other’s differences. 

Your extracurricular activities are an excellent way to reflect these non-academic values that Vassar holds near and dear. On top of being an indicator of how you spend your time outside of the classroom, extracurricular activities are a splendid opportunity for you to meet new people and discover new interests. 

Consider What Makes You Stand Out

Of course, on the topic of being outside of the classroom, your non-academic talents and skills also matter. Vassar College has a section in its application where you can submit music, art, and dance portfolios. If you have a well-developed talent or accomplishment in those areas, here is your chance to showcase them to Vassar!

It’s important to know that music, art, and dance portfolios are not just useful for students applying to Arts related programs. These non-academic talents also make you a well-rounded applicant who can balance studying and non-academic activities and is willing to pursue interests and passions.

FAQs: How to Get Into Vassar College

Here are some frequently asked questions on how to get into Vassar College!

1. How Hard Is It to Get into Vassar College?

Vassar College currently has an acceptance rate of 20%, making the school quite competitive and selective. Getting into Vassar College is a steep slope to climb, and you need to do very well in many aspects of your application to give you the best chance of acceptance. 

2. What GPA Is Required for Vassar?

Vassar doesn’t have any GPA requirements for applying, so students with any GPA are free to apply as long as they deem it viable. However, the average admitted freshman class for the previous year had an average unweighted GPA of 3.9 out of 4.0.

This means that the average student admitted to Vassar did very well in their high school courses and graduated on the top of their class. So, your GPA needs to be very high if you want it to give you an advantage.

3. What Kind of Students Get Into Vassar?

Vassar College admits students that are not only incredibly academically skillful, but also willing to share and contribute their talents and capabilities with the community they’re in. 

4. Can I Get Into Vassar with a 3.7 GPA?

The most recently admitted freshman class had an average GPA of 3.9. So, getting accepted with a 3.7 GPA is somewhat of a challenge. It requires excellent performance in other aspects of the applicant profile for one to get in with a 3.7 GPA.

Fortunately, 3.7 is quite close to the Vassar average of 3.9. Do your best to improve your academic performance, and if you need help, your teachers, instructors, tutors and counselors are some examples of where you can go.

Final Thoughts 

Vassar College is a great liberal arts school that takes its academic education very seriously. Although getting into Vassar is a challenge, hard work always pays off, and Vassar is always interested in those willing to commit to overcoming challenges. Best wishes on your road to college admission!

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