How to Get Into Vassar: Admissions Stats + Tips
- Average Academic Profile of Accepted Vassar Students
- What is Vassar Looking for?
- How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Vassar
- How to Apply to Vassar
- How Hard Is It to Get Into Vassar?
Meryl Streep, Anthony Bourdain, Jane Fonda, Mark Ronson, Grace Hopper, Mary Oliver, and Katharine Graham all graduated from Vassar College. Founded in 1861, the prestigious institution was only the second college of higher learning for women in the US, before becoming coeducational in 1969.
Today, this member of the Seven Sisters is one of the most highly regarded and selective liberal arts colleges in the country, with thousands applying for admission every year.
Read on for information about applying to Vassar and tips for getting in.
Average Academic Profile of Accepted Vassar Students
Gaining admission to Vassar is hard. During the 2022–2023 admissions cycle, 11,412 students applied, and just 2,129 were admitted—an admissions rate of 18.6%. Meanwhile, 940 students applied Early Decision, and 363 were accepted—an Early Decision admissions rate of 38.6%.
The average academic profile of accepted students for the Class of 2027:
- GPA: 3.9
- SAT/ACT: The middle 50% SAT score range was 1440-1510 and the middle 50% ACT score range was 32-34*
- Class Rank: 77% of accepted students were in the top 10% of their high school class, and 94% were in the top 25%
* only 32% of Vassar’s freshman class submitted SAT scores and 16% submitted ACT scores.
What is Vassar Looking for?
“Each year, Vassar aims to enroll the most interesting, talented, and diverse first-year class possible,” says Vassar. “We admit students based on their academic and personal accomplishments, as well as their potential to contribute to the Vassar community, not on their ability to pay.”
Students show their potential to contribute to the Vassar community by taking a challenging curriculum, including advanced courses in core academic subjects: math, literature, foreign language, natural science, and history/social Science. Vassar also looks for leadership and the strength of your extracurricular profile.
Vassar is an incredibly diverse college, with students from all states and more than 50 countries. It welcomes students of many different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions, gender identities, and much more. These qualities should be exemplified in your application.
How Vassar Evaluates Applications
According to the 2022–23 Common Data Set, these are “very important” factors in the admissions process:
- Course rigor
- Extracurricular activities
- Character/personal qualities
These are “important”:
- Class rank
- Volunteer work
- Work experience
These are “considered”:
- Standardized test scores
- First generation
- Geographical residence
- Racial/ethnic status
- Religious affiliation/commitment
And these are “not considered”:
- State residency
- Level of applicant’s interest
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Vassar
1. Achieve a high GPA while taking the most challenging classes available.
According to Vassar, the average unweighted GPA of the class of 2026 is 3.9. Applicants are typically at the top of their class—94% were in the top quarter of their graduating class. GPA is a major factor in calculating your Academic Index score, which is used to filter out candidates who don’t meet Vassar’s academic standards.
If your GPA is lower, and you’re earlier on in your high school career, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to increase your GPA, so the easiest way to increase your Academic Index is to get higher test scores.
Keep in mind that Vassar “seriously considers” the quality of your senior year program. Vassar seeks out students who take the most challenging curriculum available to them. It is not enough to get good grades in easy classes. Rigor matters.
2. Aim for a 1510 SAT and 34 ACT.
Vassar practices test-optional admissions, but CollegeVine recommends taking the SAT or ACT. Moreover, you should submit scores if they’re at or above the 25th percentile for the college (1440 SAT and 32 ACT at Vassar), since students who submit scores are generally admitted at higher rates than those who don’t. Students can get recommendations on whether or not they should apply test-optional using our free chancing engine.
Because Vassar superscores, it’s a good idea to take the SAT or ACT 2-3 times to maximize your overall score.
To improve your SAT/ACT score, check out these free CollegeVine resources:
- How to Get a Perfect 1600 Score on the SAT
- How to Get a Perfect 36 Score on the ACT
- More SAT Info and Tips
- More ACT Info and Tips
3. Cultivate a strong portfolio of extracurriculars.
Selective colleges like Vassar evaluate activities according to the 4 Tiers of Extracurriculars. Tier 1 is considered the most prestigious and unique and Tier 4 is considered the most common—activities admissions committees see routinely.
You should aim to have a couple of Tier 1-2 activities on your resume, and all your extracurriculars should be grouped around a few major interests, demonstrating real passion and commitment.
If you plan to study art, music, or dance at Vassar, the college recommends submitting materials that showcase your talent. Check out these Guidelines for Optional Art, Music, and Dance Submissions.
4. Write engaging essays.
Your essays are a critical way of distinguishing yourself and setting yourself apart from other academically qualified applicants. Take your time writing your essays, and get feedback from others to ensure that they reflect your best work, personality, and authentic voice.
5. Apply Early Decision.
Vassar’s Early Decision (ED) acceptance rate is 38.6%. Meanwhile, its Regular Decision (RD) acceptance rate is 18.6%. According to Vassar, ED “allows the Admission Committee to take your commitment to Vassar into account in the selection process,” which is reflected in the considerably higher acceptance rate of ED applicants.
Before you commit, however, you should be aware of the drawbacks and limitations of applying ED. This type of application is binding, meaning that you are required to matriculate at Vassar and withdraw your applications from other schools if admitted.
6. Secure strong recommendations.
Vassar weighs recommendations heavily in the admissions process. The college requires applicants to submit a teacher evaluation. You should develop strong relationships with teachers to ensure that they can speak knowledgeably about your strengths and qualities.
How to Apply to Vassar
Early Decision 1
Early Decision 2
- Common Application or Coalition Application
- School report
- High school transcript
- Teacher evaluation
- Mid-year grade report
- Standardized test scores (optional)
How Hard Is It To Get Into Vassar?
Vassar is highly selective. During the 2022–2023 admissions cycle, the school had an admissions rate of 18.6% for regular decision applicants and 38.6% for ED applicants. This makes it a target school for many students and a reach school for many others.
Although acceptance rates at Vassar are low, keep in mind that your personal chances of admission depend on your profile. CollegeVine’s free admissions calculator can help you to better understand your odds of acceptance. It can estimate your chances of admission to Vassar—along with hundreds of other colleges and universities—and give you tips to improve your profile.
You can also search for schools based on preferences like location, major, cost, and more. Give it a try to get a jumpstart on your college strategy.