Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for International Students
- Where is Vassar located?
- How accessible is Poughkeepsie?
- What is the weather like?
- How well known is Vassar?
- How many international students are at Vassar?
- Is there special advising for international students?
- Who is considered a foreign or international student?
- Who is eligible to apply as an international freshman candidate?
- Is there a separate international application for foreign or international students?
- What are the application deadlines?
- Are SATs required? What about the TOEFL?
- Will Vassar award credit for my advanced program of study?
- How do I get an application?
- My family is very poor. Can the application fee be waived?
- Does Vassar offer financial aid to international students?
- How many international students apply for financial assistance?
- My parents and/or I have applied for a green card (permanent resident status) and expect to receive it by the time I enroll as a freshman. Do I still have to apply as a foreign student?
- I am applying as a transfer student. Can I apply for financial aid?
Where is Vassar located?
Vassar College is located in Poughkeepsie, NY, in the Hudson River Valley, 75 miles (120 km) north of New York City. The population of the greater Poughkeepsie area is about 100,000.
How accessible is Poughkeepsie?
Vassar is accessible from all the major airports in the greater New York City area, as well as those in Newburgh and White Plains, New York. The Metro North commuter train also provides regular rail service between New York City and Poughkeepsie.
What is the weather like?
Poughkeepsie weather is much like the temperate climate of New York City. The average temperature in the winter months is about 30ºF (-1ºC), and in the summer months about 75ºF (24ºC). We are not located in a “snow-belt.” However, moderate snowfall is the norm during the winter.
How well known is Vassar?
Vassar is consistently ranked among the top one percent of colleges and universities in the United States and has been a frontrunner in higher education for over a century and a half. Numerous external ratings have confirmed Vassar’s status as one of the most prestigious colleges in the United States. For example, Vassar was named the Time Magazine/Princeton Review “College of the Year,” and the Princeton Review rankings called Vassar’s students the happiest in the country and our campus one of the two most beautiful.
How many international students are at Vassar?
About 10% of Vassar students hold foreign citizenship. Current students represent 60 different nations, with the largest representation coming from Bulgaria, China, India, Jamaica, Canada, Ghana, Singapore, Ecuador, and Romania.
Is there special advising for international students?
Vassar’s Office of International Services provides assistance to all foreign students and helps them through the visa process. In addition, there is a student-run organization for International students (VISA) to help them integrate into the Vassar community and a committee of administrators that meets regularly to address international students’ concerns.
Who is considered a foreign or international student?
For purposes of applying for admission to Vassar or for financial aid, anyone who is not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States is considered a foreign or international student.
Who is eligible to apply as an international freshman candidate?
Any student who is currently enrolled in their final year of secondary school (high school), or any student who has completed secondary school but has not begun studies at the university level is eligible to apply to Vassar as a freshman. However, students who have enrolled at a college/university after the completion of secondary school are not eligible to apply as freshman applicants. Current university-level students must apply as transfer candidates. Unfortunately, Vassar does not award any financial assistance to international transfer students.
Is there a separate international application for foreign or international students?
No, non-U.S. citizens use the same application as American students. Candidates use the Common Application and Vassar supplement.
What are the application deadlines?
The deadline for Regular Decision applicants is January 1. Early Decision (binding first choice) candidates should apply by November 15 for the first round or January 1 for the second. For more information on Early Decision, go to the Apply page.
Are SATs required? What about the TOEFL?
Vassar College requires all applicants to submit standardized test results. Candidates for admission should 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/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. For information on registering for these tests, visit www.Collegeboard.com or www.ACT.org.
In addition, if English is neither your first language nor the primary language of instruction you have used throughout secondary school, 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, 250 on the computer-based TOEFL, and 600 on the paper-based version. As an alternative to TOEFL, Vassar also accepts IELTS. A minimum score of 7.0 on the IELTS Academic Test is required.
Will Vassar award credit for my advanced program of study?
Students who have earned scores of 4 or 5 on an AP exam are eligible for advanced placement credit. International Baccalaureate scores of 5, 6, or 7 on higher-level exams are also awarded credit. In the same manner, Vassar grants credit for high scores on certain foreign advanced programs of study such as the GCE A-levels, the German Abitur, the French Baccalaureate, etc.
How do I get an application?
Follow the instructions on the Apply page.
My family is very poor. Can the application fee ever be waived?
The application fee of $70 may be waived if you request a waiver by sending an email to email@example.com. Your counselor or school advisor can also request a fee waiver by sending a letter to the Office of Admission. Otherwise, the application fee should accompany the application.
Does Vassar offer financial aid to international students?
Yes, Vassar does offer need-based financial aid to international students applying as freshmen and is one of the leading providers of financial assistance to international students among American colleges and universities. Vassar is not need-blind in the evaluation of international students at this time. However, if admitted, Vassar meets 100% of the candidate’s demonstrated financial need for all four years. Students who are neither U.S.citizens nor permanent residents who wish to be considered for financial aid at any time during their four years at Vassar should apply at the same time that they apply for admission. Students who are neither US citizens nor permanent residents who wish to be considered for financial aid at any time during their four years at Vassar should apply at the same time that they apply for admission. Since Vassar is not need-blind in the admission of non-US citizens, financial need may be a factor in the evaluation process for admission. Therefore, those admitted without financial aid subsequently would not be eligible to receive Vassar funding during their years at the college, except under the most extreme circumstances (i.e., death of a wage-earning parent, natural disaster, etc.).
How many international students apply for financial assistance?
Each year, over 700 international students apply for admission and financial assistance, and 50-60 are admitted with funding. Clearly, therefore, while Vassar’s international aid budget is substantial, competition for this assistance is quite keen. For those foreign citizens with financial need who enrolled in the class of 2012, the average scholarship was approximately $36,194, plus a Vassar student loan of $3,500, and eligibility for a campus job earning $1,720, for a total average financial aid award of $41,414. Of course, each individual student’s financial aid package will depend on his/her family’s financial circumstances.
My parents and/or I have applied for a green card (permanent resident status) and expect to receive it by the time I enroll as a freshman. Do I still have to apply as a foreign student?
Until you actually receive your green card and a permanent resident number from the U.S. Immigration Service, you must apply for admission and aid as a foreign citizen.
I am applying as a transfer student. Can I apply for financial aid?
We are sorry, but Vassar does not award financial assistance to international transfer students.