Each year, Vassar aims to enroll the most interesting, talented, and diverse freshman class possible. We admit students based on their academic and personal accomplishments, as well as their potential to contribute to the Vassar community, not on their ability to pay. We employ a need-blind admissions policy for all first-year applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents; this means that admission decisions for those candidates are made without regard to the student’s financial situation.
- Early Decision I Nov. 15
- Early Decision II Jan. 1
- Regular Decision Jan. 1
- Spring Transfer Nov. 1
- Fall Transfer Mar. 15
Know the codes
- Vassar’s College Board code: 2956
- Vassar’s ACT code: 2982
- Vassar’s TOEFL code: 2956
Admission to Vassar is highly selective. Although we weigh a number of factors in the admission decision, the most important is academic ability, as demonstrated by performance in high school. We also consider personal strengths, motivation, and potential as evidenced in essays, recommendations, and out-of-class involvements. Standardized test scores are also reviewed, as an indicator of academic aptitude.
While we do not prescribe a specific secondary school program, we expect applicants to have elected the most demanding courses available. Therefore, we recommend students elect four years of English, Mathematics, Laboratory Science, History or Social Science, and Foreign Language. Students should take a substantial portion of their work in enriched, accelerated, or honors courses or in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs when these options are available. Special attention is given to the academic breadth, depth, and rigor of candidates’ junior and senior year programs.
How to Apply
Both first year and transfer applicants submit the appropriate Common Application (including Vassar Member Questions), along with a non-refundable application fee of $70 or a request for a fee waiver.
First Year Application Requirements
- Common Application (Member specific url)
- Early Decision Agreement (Early Decision Applicants ONLY)
- Standardized Testing
- Secondary School Report and High School Transcript: To be completed and sent by your guidance counselor. Available for online completion or download through Common Application.
- Teacher Evaluations
- Mid-year Grade Report Vassar requests each applicant's most recent grade report to be sent by their school counselor. For Early Decision I or II, Vassar requires a first quarter/trimester grade report, which should be sent as soon as it becomes available. For Regular Decision, a mid-year report with first semester grades is required when available, typically by February 1. Students admitted during Early Decision I or II will also be asked to provide their first semester grades as soon as they become available.
If you have additional questions, please visit our Prospective Student FAQs.
Optional Application Materials
Transfer Application Requirements
- Common Application
- Standardized Testing
- High School Transcript
- Transfer College Report
- College Transcript
- Transfer Academic Report
- Transfer Mid-Term Grade Report
If you have additional questions, please visit our Transfer Student FAQs.
Standardized Test Requirements for entry in Fall 2016
Vassar requires all applicants to submit standardized test results. Regular Decision applicants should take all tests by January of the senior year. Early Decision I applicants must complete required testing by November and Early Decision II applicants must do so by December.
Candidates for admission to the freshman class must submit EITHER the SAT Reasoning Test along with 2 SAT Subject Tests (each SAT Subject Test should be taken in a different academic subject), OR the ACT exam with the writing test. In assessing SAT scores, Vassar uses the highest individual subscores (Critical Reading, Math, and Writing) taken from multiple SAT test dates. In assessing ACT scores, Vassar uses the highest subscores taken from multiple test dates and recalculates a new composite score. For candidates taking both the SAT Reasoning Test and the ACT, Vassar will use whichever scores are higher.
In addition, if English is neither your first language nor the primary language of instruction you have used throughout secondary school (minimum of three full years in English), you should submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Vassar typically expects scores of at least 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL and 600 on the paper-based version. As an alternative to the TOEFL, Vassar also accepts the IELTS. A minimum score of 7.0 on the IELTS Academic Test is required. Vassar does not grant waivers for TOEFL/IELTS based on SAT/ACT or other exams.
For applicants applying to Vassar for entry in Fall 2017
Vassar College is changing its standardized testing requirements for freshmen applicants beginning with the 2016-2017 application cycle.
In reviewing your application, Vassar will continue to require standardized test results from either the ACT or the SAT. For candidates taking both the SAT and the ACT, Vassar will use whichever scores are higher. TOEFL/IELTS requirements will remain the same.
Vassar will accept either the Pre-March 2016 SAT or the redesigned SAT. Vassar will not require the optional essay.
In addition, SAT Subject Tests are no longer required, and students opting not to send Subject Tests will not be penalized. However, SAT Subject Tests will be considered if submitted as part of a testing profile. Subject Tests may enhance an applicant’s credentials, particularly for applicants from non-traditional school backgrounds (homeschooled, non-graded schools, etc.). Note that a strong score on an SAT Subject Test is also one way to fulfill Vassar’s Foreign Language Proficiency requirement.
In assessing SAT scores, Vassar uses the highest individual subscores of the same version of the SAT from multiple test dates. For applicants submitting both the Pre-March 2016 SAT and redesigned SAT, the results will not be superscored across the two versions.
Applicants submitting the ACT are not required to submit the optional writing test.
In assessing ACT scores, Vassar uses the highest subscores taken from multiple test dates and recalculates a new composite score.
If you would like to learn more about Vassar through a one-on-one conversation, off-campus informational interviews are available for first-year applicants. These are conducted all over the world by Vassar alumnae/i and are available from November through February. These conversations are non-evaluative and are not required, but they are a great way to gain a unique perspective on the Vassar experience. Not having an interview will not affect your admission decision. Information about requesting an informational alumnae/i interview is available here.
Early Decision at Vassar
Each year, many students consider applying to Vassar under one of our Early Decision options. Such an application has distinct advantages both for you and for the College. If, after careful consideration, you have decided that Vassar is your first choice, then an Early Decision application can help you complete your college search mid-way through your senior year and ease the stress that always accompanies the college selection process. We have come to believe that students are more likely to thrive in a college environment which they feel best meets their interests. Finally, an Early Decision application allows the Admissions Committee to take your commitment to Vassar into account in the selection process.
However, since Early Decision at Vassar is a binding agreement, you should give considerable thought to your college plans before applying in this fashion. If admitted, you are required to withdraw your applications to other colleges and universities. If you are ready to make that commitment to Vassar, then we welcome your Early Decision application and feel it is clearly beneficial for both you and the College.
Vassar is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need, as determined by our Financial Aid office, of all admitted Early Decision candidates. Aid awards are sent to admitted Early Decision applicants at or near the time of the offer of admission, assuming that all the necessary information has been filed by the applicant at that point.
Vassar offers students two separate rounds of Early Decision:
- Early Decision Round 1: All application materials must be submitted by November 15.
- Early Decision Round 2: All application materials must be received by January 1.
Along with the Common Application and required materials, all Early Decision applicants must complete an Early Decision agreement, signed by a parent, counselor and the student. You can submit your ED agreement form online via the Common Application website or download a copy here and submit it to our office. ED Applicants must also submit their first quarter/trimester senior grades.
Art, Music, and Dance Submissions
If you have devoted a significant amount of time to art, music, or dance which you plan to continue at Vassar and which you would like to have our faculty evaluate as part of your application for admission, please consult our Guidelines For Optional Art, Music, and Dance Submissions.
QuestBridge is a non-profit organization that connects high-achieving, motivated low-income students with educational and scholarship opportunities at some of the nation's best colleges and universities. Vassar College has been a proud QuestBridge partner college since 2007. If you are planning to forward your QuestBridge application to Vassar, please complete the Vassar QuestBridge Writing Supplement. Read more about QuestBridge at Vassar.
Veterans at Vassar
Vassar is actively seeking to enroll qualified men and women who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. In partnership with the Posse Foundation, Vassar is the first college to enroll veterans through the Veterans Posse Program, a pilot program aimed at increasing enrollment of veterans at selective colleges and universities. Vassar also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the amounts payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. Read more about the Veterans Posse Program and the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Thank you for your interest in Vassar.
We look forward to reading your application.