Vassar College Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Matt

Diverse.

Haley

My classmates are extremely diverse, well-rounded, confident, and accepting individuals with a passion for learning and experiencing new things on a daily basis.

Stacy

Your classmates will be interesting, all of them; everyone is passionate about something so you are constantly learning from them.

Kayla

The student body is very diverse. The school definitely leans liberal, but there are moderate/conservatives on campus, they just don't make their political beliefs too well known. Vassar students are very accepting of varying genders/sexualities, and people are comfortable in their own skin. There are plenty of international students, but the bulk of the student body comes from the NY area and CA.

Kate

Intelligent, engaged, and interesting. Usually outgoing, fun-loving, liberal (mostly) minded individuals.

Dawson

Virtually everyone is very intelligent, up-to-date with current events, and have intellectual conversations. Vassar's student body is diverse in every sense of the word. This isn't like Williams or Princeton, where the culture is very limited/white/New England. Everyone here is shockingly different. Over 60% of Vassar students enjoy the college's generous financial aid. Most would say that Vassar is overwhelmingly liberal, but I would say that there are more moderate, conservative students here than many might think. Our Moderate, Independent and Conservative Alliance (MICA) has become increasingly active. I really do think there's a healthy political balance on campus.

Alexandra

Artsy, often hipsters, but rarely snobish or cliquey.

Julian

Unclassifiable.

Sydney

Engaging, lively, talented, and artistic individuals with specific and strong passions.

Kelly

My classmates are rich and pretentious but also brilliant, good-hearted, and artistic.

Danielle

Very friendly people who do not hesitate to help and challenge me to go one step further in learning something new and accomplishing new goals.

Sarah

My classmates are usually as excited as I am to be there.

Christina

Crazy.

Jennifer

Friendly, helpful, smart. People are very nice and, for the most part, non-judgmental, although sometimes not tolerant of coservative political views. Students know how to have fun but school work always comes first. Fortunately, everyone is smart and organized enough to parcel out their time effectively such that school work is done on time and you don't miss out on any social activities.

Nick

By and large cool people who take themselves way too seriously and conduct their lives like they always have something to prove. Incredibly brilliant but insecure people who by and large really don't know who they are or what they want to be, so they choose to emulate what they see as different and hip, often inadvertently casting themselves as major douchebags.

Amanda

snobby, hipster

Janice

There is such a variety of students at Vassar: creed, color, economic background, sexual orientation. There is a place for everyone at Vassar, and the community is very accepting to all students.

Michelle

Open minded, well spoken, smart, funny,

Chris

Hipsters and hippies.

Michele

Most Vassar students are white, upper-middle class, liberal suburban kids. Many don't act like it and everyone is very open, but it's a fairly homogeneous population. I'd imagine it would be fairly difficult to be a conservative on campus (although there are a few, and those few can back it up like none of the liberals I've ever talked to). Most students are at least socially liberal.

Jacqueline

My classmates are very liberal, intelligent, academic, and diverse group of people, with many experiences, interests, and goals.

Robin

Many students are politically active (liberal), but you don't have to be. I was a member of the Vassar Dems my first year, but discovered it wasn't really for me. We have so many clubs (more than 100), so if you are a club person, there is probably one for you (or you can start your own club). I would say most people feel at home at Vassar (probably not far right people or people who are super religious- this is probably not the right school for you). However, there are always concerns about a lack of diversity, racially and ethnically. But for the most part, Vassar is an accepting place, especially for the LGBT community.

ant.

There is a plethora of groups available at Vassar. You will find a spot.

Rory

VERY WHITE AND NORTHEASTERN. There is some diversity, but not as much as we'd like to see. Republicans might feel out of place. You can wear anything you want--mix and match crazy colors, wear pajamas. Anything goes.

Kay

For the most part, the Vassar community is a great place for diversity and tolerance. All the groups interact really well, and I've never heard of any big cliques within the school. People have their friend groups, but there's not the emphasis on specific groups. Students mostly wear whatever they think is comfortable. The hipster style runs rampant at Vassar (even though it's not the only kind of style). I've also seen people wear sweat pants to class. It just depends. Most students are left, however.

Devin

Liberal to the point of being dogmatic. Don't do Republican here---they'll find your head on a stake in the quad. Seriously.

Steve

Mostly white. Lots of gays. Mostly rich. Some pretentious. Compared to other schools, there are a LOT of hipsters. on the other hand, there are lots of "mainstream" kids, who mostly get along well with the more artsy kids. if you hate people who listen to indie music, vassar is not your school.

Tristan

One complaint I do have about Vassar is that the racial and socio-economic diversity is not as high as many believe. Students tend to be artsy and bohemian and do not care much about what others think of them. People dress very diversely, but a preppy student would feel the most out of place. Most students are politically active and very liberal.

KJ

It is difficult to describe a typical Vassar student, which isn't to say that we don't have a lot in common. The majority of students are from a very comfortable financial background, and there are certainly some who are filthy rich. But there are also plenty of students who are in neither of those situations. Vassar is definitely very open in terms of sexual orientation. I think that in general people feel pretty comfortable here expressing their sexuality. Someone who was very conservative in this regard would probably not feel comfortable here, and we probably wouldn't feel very comfortable with them. In terms of what people wear to class, pretty much anything goes. Sweatpants are not noteworthy in any way, and neither is a well-put together outfit. There are definitely different types of students, they aren't totally integrated, but I guess thats what makes them differnt types of students. It is hardly as though people don't interact with people who don't dress the way they do.

Allison

We have a very very strongly liberal campus. I'd say that the most out of place person on campus would be someone who is strongly conservative, not to say that they wouldn't be completely accepted...they would just be in the vast minority. We also have a large and very visible LGBT community. We have lots of events on campus every year to promote awareness of that community. A lot of kids on campus are affluent, but we have such a good financial aid program that no one should feel that they can't afford Vassar.

Julie

During my time at Vassar, I have noticed that the campus is relatively diverse.. as these types of small liberal arts colleges go. All students interact, though as with most places, schools, workplaces, etc., students of similar races tend to befriend each other. As for the political demographics, the majority of the student body leans toward the left, however, there is a group on campus dedicated to non-liberal students.

Alex

We had to have a "Keep Vassar Weird" day two years back to try and convince the admissions department that we all came to Vassar to get away from the Preppy Jock culture. ... it didn't really work... 4 tables: Drama hipsters, A sports team, international students, quiet/shy alternative (?)

Jenn

The Vassar student body is very diverse. There are many people from different backgrounds and ethnicity. Students definitely interact with each other especially since our dorms are not divided by class year. There is a large population of LGBT, so people feel very comfortable expressing who they are and what they feel. Being a girl in such environment is sometimes difficult since most males are gay, but it's a great way to learn from different people. Politics at Vassar: Very Liberal.

Nora

This is a diverse campus. All kinds of students interact. Everyone gets along. No one judges.

John

Students here are generally laid back, casual, and candid. Most backgrounds and viewpoints can tend to be homogeneous, for better or worse. Students with very conservative viewpoints would tend to feel out of place at Vassar. Conversation among students rarely focuses on making money out of college, but does often center on life goals, and how students will apply their academic passions after graduation. Students are very active in social and political movements and demonstrations. Generally, you can find at least one "political" table in the college center on any given day.

Parker

Great people. I found that Vassar's commitment to diversity isn't quite as serious as is published, but then, I went to a very diverse high school, and I don't think there are many colleges that could have matched my high school in diversity. I did find a huge commitment to gay and women's rights, and a campus where anyone and everyone from whatever background could feel comfortable.

Charlie

Two things shocked me about Vassar's student body: the number of LGBT and rich kids. I have never been around gay people before, so I was a little surprised to see so many at Vassar acting in such an open manner about there sexual orientation. However, after a while, I got used to it and began to embrace and appreciate their attitude. Vassar would definitely not be the same without the LGBT community. Some of the richest kids in the world go to Vassar. None of them really brag about it, but it shows in what they wear, what they drive, and what they talk about. Everyone dresses up at Vassar. I wold feel uncomfortable wearing sweat pants to class or the dining hall.

Laura

Vassar has a groups on campus for everyone, covering different religions, races, sexual orientations, political leanings, whatever. When students talk about how much they will earn one day it is usually to say jokingly that they will be living on a box in the street with a double major in art history and classics from Vassar. There are no fraternities or sororities, though certain groups definitively hang out together- the hipsters, some sports teams, etc.

Amanda

somewhat economically, racially diverse. very sexually diverse. big hipster clique.

Morgan

There people of all types at Vassar, but it is not racially diverse despite what people are told. Almost everyone is white.

Chris

Topics generally revolve around sex, gossip, music, and increasingly, sports. Everyone pretty much knows everyone's business, and this involves their sex lives. With the brief appearance of boredatvassar, this phenomenon was amplified and encouraged. Now, however, people just gossip the old-fashioned way, as in not anonymously.

Becker

The student body at Vassar is little more than a bunch of spoiled rich kids, who've never had a difficult moment in their lives, and have never had to take responsibility for their own actions. There are blatant racists, an often militant LGBT community. The students profess a doctrine of tolerance and acceptance, yet they themselves are among the least tolerant of differences between people that I have ever seen. This is coming from someone who spent a few of his formative years in a place where Catholic churches are firebombed by Muslim activists. The students are predominately Liberal, and will often verbally (and once, physically) attack anyone who strays anywhere near the right. Interestingly, most of these liberal hypocrates are within that stereotypical Republican top 5% of the country's economic strata.

KJ

Vassar students are extremely privileged, and in social science and humanities classes, the limited diversity of experience among the students can be frustrating. basically, a lot of liberal white kids with money who have never criticized themselves or society, but claim not to be racist, sexist or homophobic. i fear the student body is actually getting more and more conservative. this is not to say there is no diversity in terms of race and class, but i expected more, and i expected the white kids to be less lame.

Liz

You can wear absolutely anything anytime anywhere. There is a group for just about anyone, and students active in one group are usually active in about three or four others. Vassar students want to change the world, and they want to do it now.

Sasha

You'll feel out of place at Vassar if you're a conservative, if you're a Republican, if you're very homophobic, if you don't like learning. There are lots of social circles and subcircles and people often find friends based on their weird/unique interests (gaming, theater, sports, singing, dance, circus arts, you name it). This is not really because students are cliquey - it's more because you spend a lot of time with the people who are doing the same activities you're doing. But it's not unusual to be a part of several such groups. For example, when you spend 10 hours a week dancing with the dance company, you get to be very close friends with the other students who are also dancing. And then you leave dance rehearsal and go work on the play you're directing, where you're working with all of the same drama students you worked with on a different play last semester. We don't talk about how much money we'll make when we get real jobs, we talk about whether we're planning on getting real jobs, or even whether we're planning on growing up.

Reese

Fashion at Vassar is very varied. Everyone kind of brings their own style and it's not a big deal. There is a huge array of student activities and clubs so almost everyone can find their niche. Students are generally very friendly with each other and inviting.

Frances

Vassar tries to promote racial, class, and sexual orientation diversity. The last two are true, but there could be more racial diversity.

Chris

Vassar is incredibly geographically diverse; people come from all over, both in and out of the US. It's also socioeconomically varied, to the extent where the true minorities are people not on financial aid. That said, Vassar is incredibly non-diverse, racially, and perpetuates that to an extent with the different minority organizations on campus, and most efforts to integrate are regarded with skepticism on both sides. Almost everyone's a liberal, and the conservatives tend to have a persecution complex that is moderately earned; but once again, more people complain about the hippy types than actually fit the bill, so we're much less radical than we used to be.

Rachel

Vassar is extremely liberal, socially and politically conscious, etc. There is a very strong gay community, and people are always debating about current issues. The problem can sometimes be that Vassar students focus so much on being "liberal" and "progressive" that they think they can do no wrong. Racial incidents have occurred on campus, and when such things occur, the campus community realizes that in fact it is not immune to problems. They pride themselves on being hyper-liberal, yet the fact remains that no one is perfect by any means. Conservatives, however, are hard to find on campus, and I would imagine would feel very out of place at this school (although people are always trying to hear new points of view). Students' attire is extremely casual (often see anything from hipster-trendy to pajamas or sweatpants). Clothing and fashion is not a large issue. Financially, a large majority are from middle-to-upper class financial backgrounds, although money is not talked about much either. It is by no means a pre-professional school--students aren't out to prepare for a high paying job, rather to have an amazing undergraduate experience and do something worthwhile post-graduate.

Sonia

Vassar is not terribly racially diverse. We have plenty of international students, but American minorities tend to either be mixed-race or socialize mostly together or both. It might be that being away from home for the first time is so frightening that getting to know people who are as culturally familiar to you as possible is the easiest way to transition. Students of different socio-economic statuses interact often, and money is not discussed with regularity. What few religious individuals there are mingle freely among the overwhelming atheist population, and LGBT individuals are rabidly accepted. Most students are left-wing and many are very politically active; I don't know of anyone who isn't at least politically aware.