Vassar welcomes class of 2013, highly diverse and selected from the largest applicant pool in the college’s history.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY-Six hundred and sixty freshmen selected from the largest applicant pool in Vassar College's history begin classes today. Vassar received 7577 applications for the class of 2013, and slightly less than 25 percent of the applicants were offered admission, making 2013 one of Vassar's most selective classes ever. Moreover, more than 33% of Vassar's new freshmen are students of color, by far the largest percentage in the college's history. This is also the college's most socio-economically diverse freshmen class in memory, with nearly 60% receiving Vassar scholarship funding.

Sixty-seven percent of the class of 2013 with a high school rank graduated in the top 10 percent of their class, and 90 percent were in the top 20 percent. Their average SAT scores were 699 on the critical reading exam, 681 on the mathematics exam, and 694 on the writing exam, with a mean recomputed high school grade point average slightly above A-minus.

Among the outstanding students in the class of 2013 are 48 valedictorians, 14 salutatorians, 35 National Merit Finalists or Semi-Finalists, 98 students with perfect scores on one or more standardized tests, 70 first generation college students, 50 winners of major book awards, 2 National Achievement Scholars, 6 National Hispanic Scholars, and 7 National Honor Society presidents. Thirty-seven members were class or student council presidents, along with 122 varsity sports captains, 11 all-state music/art winners, 159 school club presidents, 43 founders of a high school club, and 54 editors-in-chief of a major high school publication.

The class of 2013 comes to Poughkeepsie from approximately 500 high schools in 46 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 33 foreign nations. Seventy-two members are international students with either foreign or dual citizenship, comprising 11% of the class. Eighty-one are bilingual or speak English as a second language, and their languages include Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Cantonese, French, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Malay, Mandarin, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tegelu, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

Members of the class interned with NASA and the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee, and another won funding to research the Mississippi River. Sixteen Eagle Scouts/Girl Scout Golds, two filmmakers whose work has been screened at festivals, two licensed pilots, and several published authors and poets are in the class, as are a nationally recognized Korean drummer, two bagpipers, three musicians who have performed at Carnegie Hall, and a recorded Sri Lankan reggae artist. Among the standout athletes in the class are Junior Olympians in equestrian, fencing, and sailing, state champions in tennis, gymnastics, and swimming, and nine black belt holders in Tae Kwon Do or Karate.

Class members have reported for Rolling Stone and worked for National Public Radio, one has used puppets to teach children about disabilities, and another worked as a deckhand on an Alaskan salmon trawler. Several have danced with professional companies, and one is a ballroom champion. The class includes a member of the National School Scrabble championship team, a classmate who has moved 12 times and lived in 6 countries, another who has lived in 8 countries, and one who can solve the Rubik's Cube in just 1.5 minutes.

In descending order, the top U.S. feeder states for the class of 2013 are New York (155), California (71), Massachusetts (48), New Jersey (38), Pennsylvania (35), Connecticut (31), Maryland (19), Florida (15), Oregon (15), Illinois (14), Minnesota (13), Texas (13), and Washington (12).

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

Posted Monday, August 31, 2009