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The 665 freshmen in Vassar’s class of 2018 include 36 valedictorians, students from 46 states and 31 foreign countries, and 74 first-generation college students

Six hundred and sixty-five freshmen begin classes today from an initial pool of 7,784 applicants. Of these, only 23.5% were offered admission into Vassar’s class of 2018.

This new class’s strong academic background includes 36 high school valedictorians, 22 salutatorians and 13 National Honor Society presidents among its ranks. The class is also diverse in numerous ways. More than 42% of the freshmen are students of color and 43% are men, 74 are first-generation college students, and 105 are international students with either foreign or dual citizenship. Sixty percent are receiving need-based financial aid from Vassar, an increase over last year that demonstrates the college’s commitment to recruiting talented students from across the socioeconomic spectrum.

"The class of 2018 is an impressively accomplished and diverse group of students that represents a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, “said Vassar’s President Catharine Bond Hill. “We look forward to having them in the Vassar community where I am sure they will flourish and grow intellectually, as well as contribute from their vast array of talents."

Sixty-seven percent of Vassar’s class of 2018 with a high school rank graduated in the top 10 percent of their class. The group’s combined average SAT score is nearly the highest in the college’s history (2097). Among the outstanding students in this new class are 27 class or student council presidents, 118 varsity sports captains and 60 editors-in-chief of a major high school publication, and 39 winners of major book awards.

Seventy-five members of the class are fully bilingual or speak English as a second language. The languages they speak include: Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu and Vietnamese. The class comes to Vassar from 46 states and 31 foreign countries, with international students hailing from: Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and Zambia.

Members of this class already have a fascinating array of accomplishments. One represented his school at an international debate against teams from Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge. One has performed the cello at Carnegie Hall and another won the National Medal in Art. The class also includes the top archer in the state of Missouri, a trained acupuncturist, a clown, a roller derby competitor and a beekeeper.

Ten members of the class are veterans of the United States armed services, the second group of vets to enroll as freshmen as part of the college’s partnership with the Posse Foundation that began in 2013. The class also includes a veteran of military service in Singapore.

In descending order, the top U.S. feeder states for the class of 2018 are New York (144), California (85), New Jersey (50), Massachusetts (46), Connecticut (33), Pennsylvania (26), Illinois (19), Maryland (16), Florida (15), Texas and Virginia (13 each).

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted Tuesday, September 2, 2014