College Corner: Vassar College

College Corner: Vassar College

If you enjoy a scenic view, are looking to be academically challenged, and thrive in a flexible learning environment, Vassar College is the school for you.

This highly selective private institution is located in Poughkeepsie, NY. Not only is its suburban setting in the picturesque Hudson Valley extremely beautiful, but Vassar is also located only an hour and a half from New York City! Vassar truly has the best of both worlds. Vassar, a liberal arts college, has a small enrollment of about 2,500 undergraduates. This allows classes to be discussion-based and small, each class containing around 18 students. Vassar’s hefty reputation compensates for its small student body. In 2015, the U.S. News and World Report as ranked Vassar as the 11th best liberal arts college in the nation. A liberal arts college simply emphasizes undergraduate education while aiming to give students knowledge about a wide range of academic subjects.

Vassar College, however, is unique in the world of liberal arts colleges. Surprisingly enough, there is no core curriculum. Students are encouraged to take whichever classes they believe will help them grow intellectually. Additionally, Vassar pioneered the idea of interdepartmental majors and has watched students flourish with this freedom. This means that students at Vassar, instead of being restricted to study a major within one department, have the freedom to combine multiple interests to create a unique major. For instance, students can create a major that consists of Latin American Studies and Engineering, or both Chemistry and Journalism.

A book lover is sure to find a home at Vassar. This college boasts one of the largest undergraduate library collections in the U.S. and housing eight libraries. These libraries, completed with beautiful stained-glass windows, contain about one million volumes of books, including a variety of documents from the U.S. Government. An artist is sure to fall in love, as well! Vassar is home to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, which displays both ancient and contemporary works of art. This gallery contains an array of art, even from European masters like Picasso, Cézanne, and Braque.

Equally important to the academic atmosphere is the social environment. Even though Vassar does not have a Greek life system, there are hundreds of student organizations to join. Popular organizations include the Vassar Night Owls, one of the nation’s oldest all-female a cappella groups; and the Vassar Quidditch Team, from the famed Harry Potter novels. Sports are also big at Vassar. This school competes in Division III varsity sports and hosts multiple clubs and intramural sports. Anyone can find his or her niche at this school.

Vassar is not a “suitcase school,” meaning that most Vassar students do not travel back and forth between school and home on the weekends. Students stay on campus during the weekends, enjoying games of Frisbee or attending various concerts or plays. Vassar proudly boasts that 98 percent of students live on campus. This provides a strong sense of community, especially for the incoming freshmen. At Vassar, students either live in residence halls or apartment complexes. The residence halls contain average-sized dorms and the apartment complexes, available to juniors and seniors, and have kitchens and laundry facilities. Students are always hanging out and making friends on Vassar’s lively campus.

At Vassar College, students are promised a breathtaking campus, a diverse academic experience, and a lot of fun. Vassar has the perfect balance of studying and relaxing. This college even prepares students for success in their future; just look at a few Vassar alumni: computer pioneer Grace Hopper and actresses Lisa Kudrow and Meryl Streep. Check Vassar College out to see if it is the right fit for you!