Vassar welcomes the class of 2016, one of the most selective and diverse in the college’s history.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—Six hundred and sixty first-year students will begin classes at Vassar College on September 4, 2012 as members of the Class of 2016. Vassar received 7908 applications and offered admission to 22.8 percent of applicants, the same percentage as last year which marked Vassar's most selective class to date. Among the many measures of the academic strength of members of this class, together they had the college’s highest ever average combined SAT score (2093). Nearly 37 percent of Vassar's new first-year students self-identify as students of color. Nearly 45 percent of this class are men. This is also a very socio-economically diverse first-year class, with 58 percent receiving Vassar scholarship funding. Moreover, 83 members of the class are first generation college students.

“The Vassar Class of 2016 arrives after what has been for many of them an extensive process of deciding where to apply and then enroll,” said Vassar President Catharine Hill.  “We know already that individually they are interesting, smart, talented, and engaged, and, as a group, impressively diverse. I'm excited and proud to welcome them as the newest members of the Vassar family.”

Seventy percent of Vassar's Class of 2016 graduated in the top 10 percent of their high  school class, and 90 percent were in the top 20 percent. Their average SAT scores were 704 on the critical reading exam, 690 on the mathematics exam, and 699 on the writing exam, with a mean recomputed high school grade point average of A-minus.

Among the outstanding students in the Class of 2016 are 31 valedictorians, 19 salutatorians, 27 National Merit Finalists or Semi-Finalists, 96 students with perfect scores on one or more standardized test, 48 winners of major book awards, three National Achievement Scholars, five National Hispanic Scholars, and twelve National Honor Society presidents. Thirty-five members were class or student council presidents and 17 were class or student council vice-presidents, along with 125 varsity sports captains, 167 school club presidents, 72 founders of a high school club, and 47 editors-in-chief of a major high school publication.

The Class of 2016 comes to Poughkeepsie from more than 500 high schools in 46 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as 31 foreign nations. Sixty-six percent of the incoming class attended public high schools, 33 percent attended private or religious schools, and just under one percent were home schooled.

Of the international students in the Class of 2016, 52 are foreign nationals and 44 more hold dual citizenship. They come to Vassar from the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Canada, China/Hong Kong, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Swaziland, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and Zambia. One hundred and fourteen members are bilingual or speak English as a second language. The languages they speak include: Albanian, Bemba, Bengali, Cantonese, Czech, Dutch, Farsi, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Nepali, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Turkish, Twi, Urdu, and Vietnamese.    

Members of the Class of 2016 have already accomplished many interesting things. They’ve established non-profit organizations, including a group that fixes and rebuilds homes in the community; a summer camp to engage and teach English to low income children in China,; and a 501c3 organization dedicated to providing people in developing countries with access to clean water.

One student is the winner of a National Scholastic Gold Medal in Art and another represented the USA in track in a competition in Australia. The class includes a student who is a professional beekeeper as well as another student who is an “eco-farmer”; a student who took a year to teach English at an orphanage in Korea and a one student who is the head of a circus troupe. There are several EMT’s in the class as well as a volunteer firefighter and a service dog trainer. One student spent two years living on a boat in the Caribbean, while another lived for over a decade on a game reserve in Africa.

Two students (a vocalist and a cellist) have performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. The class includes a state poetry slam champion and a winner in a national poetry contest. Several students are published writers, with their work appearing publications including Teen Vogue, the New York Daily News, and CNN Money. Other students have interned at WNET/Channel 13 in New York, Fortune Magazine, as well as in the kitchens of two prestigious Los Angeles restaurants.

Among the standout athletes in the class of 2016 are an ESPN award winner in men’s soccer, a nationally ranked flow boarder (indoor surfing), two Junior Olympians in fencing, two competitive figure skaters, four Black Belt holders in Tae Kwon Do or Karate, and several members of state championship teams in various sports. The class also boasts a student who made an entire telescope (even the lens!) by hand; two students who play the pipe organ and two others who are bagpipers; a classical Indian vocalist; and students who do Irish step, contra, English folk, and classical Indian dance.

In descending order, the top U.S. feeder states for the Class of 2016 are New York (170), California (69), Massachusetts (43), New Jersey (39), Pennsylvania (34), Connecticut (27), Illinois (21), Maryland (17), Florida (14), New Hampshire (10), and Texas (10).

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

Posted Tuesday, August 28, 2012