How Hard Is It to Get Into Vassar?

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

Spread the love


As a high-ranking and extremely selective school, Vassar College is a private liberal arts college founded in New York in 1861. Perhaps it is your dream school, and you plan on pursuing your undergraduate degree at the institution. In that case, various aspects are considered by the admissions team before you can be offered a spot. Keep reading as we delve into how hard it is to get into Vassar and how you can improve your chances of securing admission.

What is Vassar College Known For?What is Vassar College Known For?

Although Vassar decided to go co-ed in 1969, it is known for being one of the Seven Sisters Schools, consistently ranking among America’s top liberal arts universities. It offers more than 50 undergraduate majors with a flexible curriculum that promotes a breadth of studies. Majors such as Biomedical Sciences, Social Sciences, and Visual and Performing Arts have fantastic programs that are popular among students.

The college campus integrates several spectacular buildings, and the libraries fuse rich collections with facilities, inspiring spaces, and expert help. Vassar’s student groups include:

  • Club sports teams
  • Theater and comedy organizations
  • A circus troupe
  • A cappella groups
  • Volunteer and service groups

In order to bring their science programs on equal footing with the humanities, Vassar recently introduced a state-of-the-art science and technology building. Since academics are rigorous, most students spend hours reading or studying daily.

The university is also big on sustainability, which is always a good sign. Vassar’s community acknowledges that climate change is a crisis that should be dealt with immediately, employing the most effective ways to combat it. It has already achieved half its goal of going ‘carbon neutral’ by 2030.

How Competitive is Vassar College?

How Competitive is Vassar College?

The admission process for getting into Vassar College is quite competitive, and most students who get in have a higher high school GPA than average and score in the top 75th percentile or higher on standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT.

It’s no surprise that Vassar’s acceptance rate is high because it is a small, academically challenging school offering the desired ‘liberal arts feel’ that helps broaden students’ perspectives.

Additionally, the institution focuses heavily on a strong sense of community both outside and inside the classroom, enabling students to think critically about the world they live in and how to use their skills for society’s betterment. For these reasons, Vassar College makes it on most students’ college application lists, resulting in a saturated and competitive application process.

What is the Acceptance Rate at Vassar College?

What is the Acceptance Rate at Vassar College?

Vassar’s admission rate currently stands at a mere 23.7%. Sure, it may not be as low as the Ivies, but you still have a low probability of acceptance if all you’re doing is meeting the admission criteria. It typically attracts and accepts “A” average high school students that graduate in the top ten percent of their class.

Fear not because there’s still hope; Vassar’s early decision acceptance rate is 46%. This means that if you apply early, you can improve your chances of getting in by almost double and attend your dream university as planned. Keep in mind that Vassar’s early decision date to submit all your documents is by November 15th, and the standard application deadline is January 1st.

What are the Admission Requirements at Vassar College?

What are the Admission Requirements at Vassar College?

In this section, we’ll look at Vassar’s admission requirements to guide you on how to build a strong student profile:

GPA Requirements

The Vassar College GPA requirements are rigorous; you need to have a 3.86 in high school to be considered during the admissions process. Your grades should be exceptional, and you should graduate near the top of your class. Aim to earn A- letter grades in most of your courses and frequently score above 90% in high school assignments and tests.

However, keep in mind that meeting this requirement is not enough to secure admission due to the university’s selectiveness. As Vassar is a test-optional school, extra attention is placed on students’ GPAs.

ACT or SAT Requirements

If you’re wondering whether Vassar requires SAT or ACT scores, you might be relieved to know it doesn’t. Still, if you submit your test scores, they will be considered even though they aren’t mandatory. You can log in to the institution’s applicant status portal and complete the optional test form to declare whether or not you will include testing with your application.

Students who submit their test scores should aim for a 75th percentile or above SAT score, with accepted students holding an SAT score between 1540-1480. In contrast, you should score at least a 32 on your ACT.

Does Vassar Require Letters of Recommendation?

Applicants who apply to Vassar through the Common Application are required to submit three recommendation letters: one counselor and two teacher recommendations. Remember to choose a recommender who really knows you and can highlight why your personality and skills make you a good fit for Vassar College. It would be best if you also asked for a recommendation letter at least a month before the application deadline so your recommenders have enough time to write the letters.

Does Vassar Require Essays?

Along with the Common Application personal essay, Vassar asks its applicants to write a supplemental essay of 300 words on one of the following prompts:

  • “At Vassar, we aim to foster an inclusive community through our philosophy of engaged pluralism. Engaged pluralism is rooted in “the conviction that collaborating across differences is necessary for social transformation and critical for the well-being of any community and its members.” In short, we believe it’s our differences that make us stronger. Tell us a little bit about what makes you unique and what you hope to add to our community.”
  • “Vassar is a diverse community that inspires positive change through open inquiry, deep dives into society’s most difficult challenges, and collaborative problem solving. We care deeply about one another, the communities that have forged us, and the community we build together on campus. Tell us more about the community (or communities) you come from and how it has shaped who you are.”

Does Vassar Require an Interview?

Once you’ve applied to Vassar College, you can request an informational interview to learn more about the Vassar community and experiences. These interviews are optional and don’t affect your chances of getting in, as they are not evaluative.

Why is it Hard to Get Into Vassar College?

Why is it Hard to Get Into Vassar College?

Here are some reasons why it is hard to get into Vassar College:

  • It is a highly-selective liberal arts college that is a part of the Seven Sisters Schools.
  • It is one of the best colleges in America’s Northeast region.
  • Vassar considers the difficulty of your courses very seriously, as the breadth and depth of subjects in your senior and junior years of high school are important.
  • It looks for students who are actively engaged in extracurriculars that demonstrate their leadership abilities and other achievements.
  • Vassar is need-aware, meaning it meets all your financial needs to attend college. However, if you require significant financial help, then the scales could be against your favor and towards someone who needs less financial aid.

5 Tips for Students to Improve Their Chances of Getting Into Vassar

5 Tips for Students to Improve Their Chances of Getting Into Vassar

Since Vassar demands excellence from applicants both as a person and student, we’ll now provide tips on how you can improve your chances of getting admitted:

Maintain a High GPA

One of the most crucial aspects that Vassar’s admissions committee looks at before giving admission is your GPA. The committee will delve deep into your senior and junior year curriculum’s academic rigor, depth, and breadth. Thus, it’s essential that doing well in your high school courses should be one of your top priorities.

We recommend attending all your classes, taking notes, allocating enough time for studying, and staying connected with your instructors and teachers for assistance and help. You should also prepare for exams, tests, and assignments beforehand to get a good grade.

In addition to your high school performance, Vassar is interested in the courses you select and urges prospective applicants to study the following courses in the four years of high school:

  • A foreign language
  • English
  • Science
  • History or Social Science
  • Mathematics

If you wish to compete with other applicants, opt for the most challenging or advanced coursework available at your school, such as IB or AP programs. Vassars wants students who can tackle difficult situations head-on and emerge stronger in the aftermath.

Focus on Extracurriculars

Unfortunately, simply doing well in the classroom won’t be enough to help you get into Vassar. The school boasts a diverse student body that embraces the ability and value of learning from everyone’s differences.

And what better way to showcase your non-academic values than through your extracurriculars? Not only do they give you the opportunity to discover new interests and meet new people, but they also indicate how you spend time outside of the classroom setting.

Stand Out

If you’re looking to take a more artistic approach to your career, Vassar Colleges has an application section where you can submit your art, dance, and music portfolios. After all, you need to showcase your non-academic skills and talent that Vassar holds near and dear. Students with well-developed accomplishments or talents in these areas will likely secure admission.

However, keep in mind that art, dance, and music portfolio submissions aren’t just useful to Arts students. You can submit such a portfolio even if you’re applying to another major because it portrays you’re a well-rounded applicant focused on balancing studying, passions, and interests.

Be Authentic

Vassar looks for students who genuinely want to help their communities. So, forgo any hobbies you don’t actually enjoy and have taken up just to be able to write something in your Vassar College supplemental essays. Start pursuing your interests early on in high school, as this will enable you to have all your affairs in order before the school’s application deadline.

Apply Early or Well Before the Deadline

You can improve your chances of getting into Vassar College by applying to the early decision option because its acceptance rate is higher than the regular one. Still, most people don’t want to restrict themselves to one school, so remember that the regular admission deadline is January 1st.

Ensure that every part of your Vassar application, such as your test scores, GPA, recommendation letters, supplemental essays, etc. are ready to go well before this date. This also allows you to revise your application a few times to present everything perfectly to the admissions team.

Wrapping Things Up: How Hard Is It to Get Into Vassar?

Applying to colleges is no easy feat- it requires considerable time and effort. If Vassar is one of your dream schools, then you need to make a plan and follow it strictly to secure admission. As Vassar’s acceptance rate is low, you should focus on maintaining a high GPA, scoring well on your test scores, and taking up extracurriculars you’re passionate about. Go through our guide to obtain all the information you need to succeed during the Vassar’s admission process.

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

If you found this helpful, help us out by sharing this post!


Readers of this post also read...

A Guide to Effective Study Group Strategies

A Guide to Effective Study Group Strategies

Perhaps you have exams coming up and you’re considering studying with your friends but aren’t sure how to kick things off. Crafting the ultimate study group involves making sure that the time you spend together...

Read More