Vassar College Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Dawson

Very much so. They only stereotype that is not accurate is that "there are no men on campus" because Vassar was founded as a women's college back in the mid-19th century. That couldn't be further from the truth. Vassar is about 45% men, 55% women, which is average for liberal arts colleges (look at Swarthmore, Middlebury, etc). More women then men are applying to colleges and universities nationally, so that slightly uneven split is quickly becoming commonplace. But at Vassar, it really feels even between men and women.

Charlene

The student body at Vassar is small, but full of variety: so sure, you're likely to find at least one kid who will fit, in some way, whatever stereotype you've got about Vassar kids, whether that's girls in pearls or Birkenstock wearing vegan. Don't be too surprised, though, when no one kid fits any one stereotype.

Brian

Absolutely. Vassar students are very driven. I know a guy who is a double major in Economics and Chinese, sits on the Executive Board of two campus organizations, AND is on a House Team. People here like to get things accomplished, and this work ethic definitely helps on the job/graduate school market.

Michele

Not entirely. While there is a hipster presence on campus and many people are "wannabe hipsters" (i.e. wear the skinny jeans and fanny packs but don't talk the talk), most people are very chill. And as for the guys... well. Obviously not every one of the guys on campus fits this mold and different people have different experiences, but the term "Vassar Male Syndrome" was coined for a reason.

Robin

Vassar is a very liberal school, but we encourage and accept diversity (perhaps to a lesser extent politically, but certainly in other categories, like sexual orientation and religion). Vassar is also very co-ed (bathrooms are unisex within the dorms). In general, Vassar is a very accepting place.

Parker

By and large, Vassar students and faculty are very liberal, and someone who was conservative would feel uncomfortable at Vassar. There are also many rich students from influential families, yet despite the students wealth, this is not a snobby place. People are extremely accepting and supportive of diversity, and there are many openly gay/lesbian students on campus (although there are many straight people as well!). Vassar students are idealistic and well-rounded. All of the departments are great, including the science departments which are not as well known. The science faculty gives undergraduates real opportunities to explore in labs as opposed to larger universities where students are dish-washers. It's not an all women's school anymore, and not everyone is into drugs.

ant.

For the most part

Rory

Yes

Kay

No, people definitely aren't all gay or lesbian. No, we have all types of people and styles at Vassar. The diversity is one of the greatest aspects of the college.

Devin

Scarily so.

Steve

somewhat.

Tristan

These stereotypes can be somewhat accurate, but not to the extremes that some people believe them to be.

KJ

Vassar students tend to be liberal, but not every single one is. The atmosphere on campus is certainly socially liberal. Vassar students are not all hipsters, though we probably have a higher percentage than a random population sample. The vast majority of students are pretty normal until you get to know them, and are then usually quirky in a good way, from my experience. And the "isn't that a girl's school?" thing drives us insane. The college has been co-ed since '69, (yeah...) The campus does retain the well-manicured, WASPy, fancy feel of a white-gloves women's college in many of the physical surroundings, but those adjectives don't really describe the students, and haven't for many years.

Allison

Yes. Of course, they're only true to the extent that any stereotype is true and we have kids of all kinds at Vassar.

Julie

While there are a few more females than males, the ratio is evening itself out. There are also a large amount of gay students but by no means a majority of the campus, nor does it contribute to any sort of negative atmosphere. The student population consists of a wide range of kids, including but not limited to hipsters and hippies.

Julia

mostly

Alex

No, Vassar is co-ed. Sadly, Vassar hasn't been accepting as many quirky kids in the past two years, it's starting to be kind of preppy and alcohol soaked. No, not all kids at Vassar are gay, though many are hetero-flexible and are more interested in a person for who they are than what sex/gender they are.

Jenn

Somewhat.

Nora

No.

John

To some degree, all of them are accurate. Though through these stereotypes, the degree to which each of true is generally exaggerated. There are indeed many queer students on campus, most students are liberal, and the male/female ration is about 40:60.

Parker

They have a base in truth, but there's alwasy deviation from the norm.

Felicia

A lot of us are liberal, and quite a few are hippies, but we're definatly more socio-economically varied than people think. Yay financial aid! Also, we've been co-ed since 1969 and are something like 40% men.

Charlie

While a large percentage of Vassar students are wealthy, very few of them are stuck up. Most of them are very friendly and welcoming. Vassar does have a large gay community, but there are plenty of straight people as well.

Quinn

Some yes, some no. There is a large gay population, but that doesn't encompass the entire student body. Vassar needs to work on changing people's habits in regards to energy consumption and waste. Our women's rugby team is fantastic. There are a lot of really genuinely nice, down to earth people, but there is, unfortunately, an large number of people who think they're too cool for school. Wherever you end up, however, it's pretty easy to find your niche.

john

They sort of are. Hipsters are annoying, there is a certain population of campus that is pretty into looking hip and seeming hip and cool to others in an annoying way. Also, Vassar seems to be its own little world a lot of times. On the other hand, Vassar, in the little world that it is, is really nice, and so this has never bothered me that much. I look forward to living off campus next year, Which is pretty common I think. Also, the general character of the people at Vassar is one of its greatest strengths. I am most happy with my experience at Vassar because of the great people I have met.

Laura

Not really. Vassar students are very diverse. The majority are definitively liberal and we do have great art and drama programs, but those traits are not universal.

Amanda

yes

Morgan

No.

Chris

Pretty much, although they are generally self-fulfilling. The biggest problem is the one fo gentrification

Becker

No, recently the administration has been attempting to shift the Vassar student body away from that stereotype, to a more mainstream sort of culture. It has resulted in quite a bit of conflict amongst the student body, and the sore need for a revision of the regulations of the college.

KJ

not really, there is a lot more diversity of background, class, experience with sex, drug use, alcohol use, etc., but i think we are influenced by these stereotypes, like sometimes we blame our unhappiness on them not recognizing we have to make our own lives.

Maria

Well, yes and no. There are a lot of queer students (both male and females), and a lot of students around campus where skinny jeans and smoke cigarettes. There are also a lot of liberal hippies. However, Vassar has a lot of MOST types of students (there are also very straight, jock men, and very straight non-jock men, and some Republicans, and really some of everybody). There is a lot of apathy on campus, but also a lot of serious activists.

Liz

not everyone is liberal, but it is an overwhelming majority

Sasha

For the most part! Not everyone is gay, although the percentage of queer students at Vassar is probably larger than the percentage of queer people in the "real world." The male:female ratio is pretty low (40:60, or more like 35:65). There are many non-religious students at Vassar, but there are also a fair amount of religious ones. We have a lot of religious groups on campus. And we definitely ARE weird!!! But we like it that way.

Arielle

The funny thing about it, is that out of all of my friends, I am the only one who is not a varsity athlete, I definitely experience a very non-stereotypical Vassar.

Katie

No--the student body is made up of so many interesting, unique people that it's unfair to try to fit us all into a little box

Reese

Every school is going to have its stereotype represented. But there are definitely more normal people than weird ones at Vassar. And yes, there is a split between the athletes and the theater but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of mixing.

Frances

We have about 60% females and a strong LGBT community, but every orientation is represented.

KJ

To some extent... for maybe half the school's population

Chris

They're out of date - nowadays less people fit that stereotype than complain about it.

Blake

While many of the students are rich, there is also a large number of students on full financial aid. Hipsters do, in fact, abound. People are more apathetic here than truly liberal.

Andy

it is accurate in that even though there are many students of various ethnicity here, most of them think and act in a way that is similar to white people.

Rachel

to an extent, especially the stereotypes about the school itself. There is drug use on campus, but there are also many students who don't use drugs and are just as happy there

Sonia

I am evidence that we are not all hipsters, and I know plenty of folk who are evidence that Vassar is not comprised entirely of rich folk. The financial aid office is quite good as long as you have actual need (if you have three cars, you need not apply).

Reese

1 and 3 are actually fairly accurate (I consider myself a liberal, but am right-of-center on this campus). 2 has some validity as well.

Jerry

Accurate Accurate.... what is this? we forget that perception is so easily skewed, misinformed, incomplete.

Chris

Our LGBTQ community is still in the minority, it's just more prominent. And though there are a lot of girls, 40% of the population is still male. We do have lots of drama kids, but you learn to deal. While we do have a lot of vegans/vegetarians and environmentalists, they, too, are a minority and aren't particularly pushy about their views. Mostly, it's a live and let live type of atmosphere.

Aaron

Not at all. I mean, there are the unavoidable few who adhere to these stereotypes, but we have incredible financial aid contribution, and I'd have to say, for the most part, students are very down-to-earth.

Ellen

Well...they're certainly not inaccurate.

Ian

I've found that Vassar students in general really defy categorization and stereotypes; one really can find almost anyone here. Then again, I won't say that there isn't a notable population of the stereotypical, self-righteously intellectual sort. I personally haven't met anyone who uses the word "heteronormative" in serious discussion, but I hear there are plenty of them out there.