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How to Complete the Vassar College Supplemental Essays

Vassar College is a private liberal arts college located in Poughkeepsie, New York with a history, unlike many other colleges. Founded in 1861, Vassar was originally an all-women’s college that became co-ed in 1969. Vassar’s mission is to provide a thorough liberal arts education to all their students. The admission rate for the class of 2025 was 20 percent. Vassar wants to see applicants that demonstrate strong academic potential and an interest in being involved in the Vassar community. One great way to show your potential is through your Vassar College supplemental essays

Before you apply to Vassar College

College is the place many students become independent for the first time. The resources you have around you should help prepare you for what you want to come next. Creating a well-rounded response to an essay prompt should include a desire to attend that school and a knowledge of what they have to offer. 

Vassar is proud of its history. Their mission today is still largely inspired by their original mission from when they first opened their doors in 1861. They strive to create a college that supports diversity, creativity, and intellectual exploration. Knowing what they support and what you want from a school should be a crucial step in your college search. So, before you start, spend some time on their website, and social media accounts and, if possible, take a tour!

How to apply to Vassar College

When applying to Vassar, first-year applicants may apply through the Common Application, Coalition Application or QuestBridge. Applications are then viewed by a need-blind review board. This means applicants are not admitted or declined based on their financial standing. There is a $65 non-refundable application fee. A request to waive the fee can be made. 

Vassar College supplemental essays

Once you reach the application, you’ll see the prompt that you have to answer. While you may be tempted to quickly answer their short prompt, keep in mind that with one prompt comes one chance. A well-thought-out, concise answer is key to your Vassar application.

The Vassar College supplemental essay prompt

“Why are you applying to Vassar?” (300-word limit)

Somehow, this question may not feel so simple when it’s on a college admissions application. But don’t begin to worry, sometimes a tough question just needs to be broken down and asked in another way. 

When applying to a college it’s important to remember that while you are applying to them, they also have to fit your needs. Which means you have to ask yourself some questions. 

  • What is it you wish to achieve?
  • What is their college going to offer you that is going to help you achieve that goal? 
  • Do they have great clubs, student job opportunities, or specific professors you enjoy?

Colleges aren’t looking to hear more about what you’ve done; chances are, you’ve already talked about your clubs, sports teams, and extracurricular activities in another part of the application. Some applications may have a section where you can upload your resume. If they give you that option, it’s a great thing to take advantage of. You should strive to never leave anything blank on a college application. If they’re asking for it, give them an answer. 

When answering this prompt, Vassar wants to hear what you will do.

  • What about their school specifically are you going to utilize? 
  • After you’ve become a Vassar student, how are your goals and experiences going to support the values that Vassar upholds?

Also see: How to write an essay about yourself

Final thoughts 

If you don’t know exactly which major you want to pursue, that’s okay. Write out a few of the majors you think you’d like to explore and look at the opportunities they offer within those fields. Colleges know that changing majors is common and expected. It’s okay if what you talk about on your application isn’t what you end up pursuing. They just want to know that you put thought into their school and their application. 

Overall, your response, though only one question, should answer a few questions. If you are still having trouble, use the questions below to help generate some ideas.

  • How did you hear about Vassar? 
  • What specific majors do they offer that you think you would like to pursue?
  • Is there something outside of academics that you’re excited about that they offer?

Additional Resources

As you work on your college applications, there are a lot of decisions to make. That includes how many colleges to apply to, which safety, reach, and match schools to choose, and when to apply for college. You’ll also have to decide whether to apply Early Decision and/or Early Actionschedule college visits, and finally, choose a college.

For some additional help with your applications, you can also check out our insider’s guide of what happens inside an admissions office. Also check out our guide to the Common App essay prompts and our tips for successful college applications. Good luck!

Additional supplemental essay guides

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