Vassar College was founded in 1861 by Matthew Vassar as the second institution in the country granting degrees to women.
Located in Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar opened its doors to young women in 1853, admitting 353 women pursuing an education equal to that more widely available to men at the time.
This private liberal arts college became coeducational in 1969 and provides an esteemed education to all who are admitted.
Its current mission is to provide an accessible liberal arts education for all students by striving for equity, diversity, and inclusion as it offers outstanding opportunities to all who seek an excellent secondary education.
Seventy-five miles north of New York City and situated along the Hudson River, the college’s campus spreads over more than 1,000 acres. It includes two National Historic Landmarks as well as a National Historic Place.
Vassar maintains an extensive collection of rare books and manuscripts, from first editions of major American and English writings to illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages.
The 2021-2022 academic year saw 2,500 students enrolled at the college. These students were able to choose from 51 majors instructed by 355 faculty, giving the school a student-to-teacher ratio of 8 to 1.
Vassar College is one of the Seven Sisters, a group of prestigious institutions of higher learning that have historically been women’s colleges.
As part of this illustrious history, Vassar declined an invitation from Yale that would have merged the two schools, instead choosing to follow its own path and become coeducational instead.
Times Higher Education gave Vassar College an overall ranking of 65 across colleges in the United States. US News reports a 2022 ranking of 22 among liberal arts colleges across the nation.
Given Vassar’s highly selective admissions process, many applicants choose to apply under its early decision plan to increase their chances of being accepted.
Vassar Early Decision Acceptance Rate
The acceptance rate for Vassar’s early decision applicants is 39%.
While the early action/decision acceptance rate for some schools is very similar to their regular acceptance rate, Vassar’s regular decision acceptance rate is only 20%.
Considering Vassar’s low regular acceptance rate, many students choose to make the commitment to the college by applying under its early decision plan.
The college requires students applying under this plan to withdraw all applications to any other colleges or universities upon being admitted under the early decision option.
Many students who know Vassar College is their first choice elect to ease the stress of their senior years by applying under the school’s early decision plan.
Knowing whether or not they have been accepted to their preferred school allows these students to either focus on the remainder of their senior years or to prepare applications for other universities.
Coming as no surprise to anyone familiar with Vassar’s prestigious standing, applicants to the school have outstanding academic credentials. The average unweighted GPA of the class of 2023 was 3.9 on a 4-point scale.
Of the 2021 enrollees, those who chose to submit ACT or SAT scores contributed to the class’s average composite ACT score of 33 and average SAT score of 1467. 49.6% of the 2021 enrollees opted to submit their test scores, with 205 sending SAT scores and 132 sending ACT scores.
Vassar’s admissions department primarily focuses on an applicant’s academic history when making selections.
The school encourages high school students who want to attend Vassar to take a rigorous courseload consisting of AP, International Baccalaureate, or honors programs to demonstrate an academic background both broad and deep.
After weighing a student’s academic achievement in high school, the college will then consider the student’s personal qualities demonstrated through letters of recommendation, personal essays, and extracurricular activities.
By applying through Vassar’s early decision plan, academically outstanding students are able to showcase their records and achievements and see much higher rates of success in being admitted to this acclaimed liberal arts college.
Vassar ED Decision Date
Vassar College releases its determinations of acceptance on the 15th of December and the 1st of February, as it allows students to submit early decision applications in two different windows.
Once applicants have waited for the admissions department to make its decisions, they can find out whether or not they have been accepted online through the same site they used to apply to the school.
The school will send applicants an email with instructions on how to view the school’s decision approximately one week before the decision is available for viewing.
As is common among early action and early decision plans, applicants will receive one of three decisions from the school: admission, deferral, or denial.
Students who receive early decision admission may choose to celebrate by considering their options for a gap year.
Vassar College may allow a student to defer attendance for a year upon submitting their enrollment deposit, a written request for deferral, and the school’s Candidate’s Reply Form.
If a student is notified that their application for early decision admission has been deferred, they should continue to excel academically throughout their senior year.
Deferred students will be considered again when the school evaluates regular decision applications and will receive the school’s final decision around the beginning of April.
Denied students have received Vassar’s final decision and would be wise to apply to other colleges or universities if they have not already. Although it may be disheartening, these students should keep in mind that their academic achievements are still likely to earn them admission to a different highly-ranked school.
With the stress involved in maintaining a rigorous high school courseload and applying to elite colleges such as Vassar, many of Vassar’s applicants can breathe a sigh of relief after receiving notification of the school’s decision by the 1st of February.
Vassar Early Decision Application Deadline
Early Decision I applicants must submit to Vassar by November 15th.
Early Decision II applicants must submit to Vassar by January 1st.
January 1st is also the deadline for regular decision applications, but those applicants will not receive their decisions until the 1st of April.
Along with Vassar’s early decision deadlines, applicants should keep in mind that the school has three deadlines for applications for financial aid.
Students seeking early decision admission should make note that the deadlines for their financial aid applications are the same deadlines for the submission of their admission applications.
The school’s deadline for regular decision applicants is on the 1st of February, one month later than the regular deadline for application for admission.
Early decision applicants who can demonstrate financial need will be encouraged by the fact that Vassar College supplies complete financial aid for all students who have demonstrable financial need.
Knowing that more than 60% of Vassar’s students receive some form of financial aid, students who meet the deadlines for both early decision admission and financial aid applications can rest easy as Vassar enables them to succeed both academically and financially.
Students who wish to continue their efforts in art, dance, or music face additional deadlines if they are applying for early decision admission.
The school requires portfolio submissions to be completed via its online portal no later than the 17th of November for the first application window or the 4th of January for the second window.
Regular decision portfolio submission must also be submitted by January 4th.
Early decision applicants who wish to interview alumni or students of Vassar College must observe the same deadlines for requests as are applied to their early application windows.
Whether concerned with financial means or demonstrating their artistic achievements, early decision applicants should mark their calendars appropriately in order to meet all of Vassar’s submission deadlines.
How to Apply to Vassar for Early Decision
In addition to ensuring that they have met all of the deadlines, early decision applicants may apply with either the Common Application or Coalition Application.
Vassar is a QuestBridge member and, as such, accepts these applications as well.
Regardless of the application form, students must also pay a $65 application fee or submit a request for a fee waiver. Vassar College will accept materials by email, fax, or regular mail, but electronic submission is processed faster than other forms.
The school further requires that students submit letters of recommendation from a counselor and a teacher. If an early decision applicant chooses to submit ACT or SAT scores, the last test must be taken by December.
After processing applications, optional documentation and materials are submitted through an online portal. Financial aid applications and materials are submitted to the school’s Student Financial Services.
Early decision applicants are required to submit Vassar’s early decision agreement, signed by the student, a counselor, and a parent. Additionally, applicants must submit grades from their first senior quarter or trimester.
Students wishing to submit dance, music, or art portfolios are directed to the school’s dedicated portal rather than its admissions department.
If submitting a QuestBridge application, students need to supply additional documentation via the school’s Application Status Page.
For those who request an interview from the Office of Admissions, responses will be made once the application and Interview Request Form have been processed.
These interviews will be conducted between October and March if the request is granted.
Upon admission to Vassar through an early decision plan, students are required to complete and return the Candidate’s Reply Form within three weeks of the decision and to withdraw their applications from all other colleges or universities.
If interested in taking a gap year, students submitting a written request for deferral to the Office of Admissions must do so no later than May 1st.
If the request is approved, the student will receive a formal communication outlining the terms of the deferment.
After completing all required forms and submitting optional supporting materials, students applying for early decision admission to Vassar know that they are being considered for admission to one of America’s most prestigious liberal arts colleges.