2 Vassar College Essay Examples by Accepted Students


Vassar College is a pretty selective school, so it’s important to write strong essays to help your application stand out. In this post, we’ll share essays real students have submitted to Vassar College. (Names and identifying information have been changed, but all other details are preserved).


Read our Vassar College essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts.


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Example 1


Prompt: Why are you applying to Vassar? (300 words).


I grew up in the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library, learning to find aisles with my eyes closed and befriending librarians. Growing up with the scent of old books and comforting silence made it easy to forget about the world outside, but even as a child, my thirst for answers pushed me into the unknown. At the age of four, I often asked my mother to reread a book about punctuation that I couldn’t understand in an attempt to puzzle out its meaning. As I moved on from Magic Tree House to Harry Potter, my inquisitive nature and determination to understand the literature around me only continued to grow. Obstacles sparked my ambition as I tackled the intimidating Les Misérables sophomore year, Crime and Punishment junior year, and Jane Eyre senior year. I could spend days in the Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library poring over Macbeth or diving deeper into the wounds of American misconceptions of Asian culture through literature such as The Good Earth with Professor Hua Hsu, but I’ve learned that life beyond the library also teems with complex characters and lessons of its own–especially at Vassar. After hearing Tyrone Simpson speak at Vassar’s Summer Institute for the Liberal Arts, I realized the rooted dedication Vassar has to grapple with difficult questions. I would be able to challenge my boundaries as a reader, writer, and human being by initiating eye-opening conversations on a diverse campus through the Asian Students Alliance, follow the footsteps of Elizabeth Bishop and Edna St. Vincent Millay by curating pieces for Vassar Review or Toni Morrison in courses like New York Stories, and host an Open Mic Night with the help of friends. I might miss the library that raised who I am today, but I know I have daunting, thrilling questions awaiting me at Vassar.


Example 2


Prompt: Why are you applying to Vassar? (300 words).


Never. Become. A. Lawyer.


My brother, a corporate lawyer and workaholic, drilled these words into my mind. So naturally, I gravitated towards the field even more. However, what I also came to realize was that he meant that I should never become a lawyer like him–one who solely hoped to accumulate a vast fortune, betraying his morality to litigate for massive corporate entities. By contrast, I plan to pursue a career as an environmental lawyer, prioritizing progress and positive change.


In this respect, Vassar resonates with my motivations and presents ideal opportunities to develop my interests. Courses like “Infamy on Trial: Famous Trials in Early Modern Europe” and “Europe 1945-Rethinking History” would provide a means to develop my innate interest in European history and an understanding of law. My passion for advanced discourse and political activism which I developed in high school through Speech and Debate and several social justice organizations would flourish outside of the classroom through the Grassroots Alliance for Alternative Politics and the Vassar Debate Society. Meanwhile, Students for Equitable Environmental Decisions would allow me to further my commitment to environmentalism.


Ultimately though, the beauty of Vassar lies in how it enables one to pursue diverse interests and activities while being surrounded by independently motivated students with similar ideals. Thus, the Outing Club and Vassar ski team both encompass pastimes I have enjoyed throughout my life and plan to pursue into the future. Moreover, through the Vassar Wesleyan Program in Madrid, I could immerse myself further in a culture I have grown to feel a strong connection to through my study of Spanish.


Vassar would enable me to develop my interest in a vast number of topics, activities, and ideas, therefore representing a critical first step toward seeking a fulfilling life.


More Free Essay Resources


How to Write Vassar College Essays: See our in-depth guide of each supplemental essay prompt for Vassar College. 


All of Our Essay Guides: Don’t miss our essay guides for all of the top schools.


How to Write the Common App Essays: Learn how to write a strong Common App essay for each of the prompts, with examples.


Free CollegeVine Peer Essay Review: Submit your essay and get feedback from another student. Editing other students’ essays will also help you improve your own writing skills!



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