Vassar College Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Jordan

Yes, but I think most of us are very aware of them and are trying to break that mold.

Blake

Eh, to a certain extent. We do have our fair share of hippies (my roommate included) and hipsters, but the majority of the school is made up of people who you really can't pigeon-hole.

Tate

There are a lot of preppy people and a lot of hippies (or wannabe hippies...they usually fail) but then there are also a lot of typical college students who wear what they want to wear, not what the Vassar fashion magazine thinks they should wear. We are a very liberal campus and are definitely more godless than nearby Marist college, but that doesn't mean we're cold. We are not all wealthy. The guy next to me in class might be a millionaire but for the most part all of my friends work on campus and rely on financial aid.

Jess

Absolutely. But WE'RE NOT AN ALL GIRLS SCHOOL ANYMORE!!!

Julia

Vassar went co-ed in 1969, so there are definitely guys. There is a gay presence on campus, but it definitely does not define the social atmosphere.

Rudy

Best Answer I've ever heard: There are more than 10 gay men and women on campus, less than 1000, and 50/50 on weekends.

Elizabeth

Well...yeah. Don't get me wrong, there are all kinds of people here and you can find the type you're looking for, but the overall campus vibe is pretty hipster-y.

Alex

Yes.

Torry

They describe a minority of the campus.

Blake

There are a lot of trustafarians, but I've found it hard to tell the upper east siders from those that are stylish and chick on a budget. No one really cares how much bank your parents make. Kids are really friendly, if a bit politically apathetic. And yes we do love our theater.

Quinn

These stereotypes are not completely true. Yes,there is a hipster population but there is a huge and sizeable sports team population, drama geek population, Econ nerd population.. honestly it's a socially diverse campus. You don't have to smoke pot to fit you. You, however, probably do have to drink. But everyone from all social groups play beer pong with one another. You usually have a lot of Dorm Pride and foster a lot of connections with people you live with.

Shawn

Yes and no. There are truths and falsehoods to all stereotypes. Yes, there are many suburbanites trying to escape their money and yes, those who'd like to hit you over the head with their own intellect, but that isn't all of the Vassar community. On a side note, there really are not that many hippies here anymore...hipsters, yes. Hippies, not so much.

Nate

To an extent yes.

Ashley

The truth is that there are a wide array of students at Vassar, and while we do share some characteristics that connect us together, such as high academic achievement, the above stereotypes do not fit all of the students. One of the reasons our school is known for its homosextual population is because students feel comfortable being who they are at Vassar, and are open about their feelings, beliefs and sexuality. In the same context, some describe Vassar students as tree hugging hippies because of the school's overall environmental consciousness. Not only do we have a campus wide recycling program, but also a composting system. Additionally, the school strives to purchase local foods and be as sustainable as possible. Vassar makes it very easy for students to be enviromentally aware and responsible.

Megan

-yes, although we are sadly starting to attract a more mainstream applicant pool

Beverly

Fairly

Julia

Not really. I've found that the majority of Vassar students do not dress like hipsters or hippies or anything and most of them are actually pretty ignorant about current events and etc. The drug thing is true though- drugs are big here.

Susie

YES.

Gabriela

No: there is a large gay community, mostly because Vassar is such an accepting environment. The ratio of guys to girls is getting very close to 50/50. A lot of people smoke hookah on the quad when it's pretty outside, and yes, people wear a lot of crazy clothes, but its no different from other liberal arts schools I've vistied

Andy

Sort of. Vassar students are typically very privileged and very 'hipster,' but the vast majority of them are very interesting, friendly people. Any race/class biases usually result from pure ignorance, almost never malice. As for the college, it is very segregated from the community, but luckily that has been prioritized for change by the students and administration in the past few years. And yes, Vassar is very liberal when it comes to drugs.

Thomas

Obviously, the first one isn't, or I wouldn't be here. Vassar's been co-ed since 1969 (though we do have a 60:40 female-to-male ratio still). Around 25% of our student body is LGBTQQ, and I'm not sure the exact percentage on our Jewish population, but it's no higher than any other New York-area liberal arts college. Drugs are a strange subject, as it seems like a lot of people at least drink or smoke a little, but most of my friends are sober on Friday and Saturday nights more often than not, and some of my best friends are substance-free. As for the feminism part, well, it's not just the women. If you're chauvinist, sexist, homophobic, racist, or anti-semitic, you could have a really tough time making friends here. Unlike our peer institutions, who usually have more outspoken conservative groups despite the fact that they're smaller in number, Vassar conservatives are few and far between, and often not very outspoken unless pushed. Instead of College Dems and College Republicans, most of our political discrepancies are between College Dems and College Greens.

Nina

for the most part everyone on campus is really liberal, but there are always exceptions. To be honest, I welcome these exceptions because they make for a more interesting, diverse discussions. For the most part this is a wealthy school, but there is definitely a large population of what I would consider students from middle class families. However, there are a lot of sons and daughters of powerful people who go here as well. Lastly, I would say there is a wide range of intelligence represented at Vassar, which I find really refreshing. Some people are econ geniuses, others can critically analyze a philosophy paper without a second thought. There is a nice diversity of intelligence here.

Alexandra

I think so, especially with regards to being accepting and open to different lifestyles and viewpoints (except for politics).

Rosemary

YES.

Emily

Pretty much, but not 100%. There are plenty of people I know who can have a good time without getting wasted or high, and the student body is semi-diverse.

Joseph

the people are very liberal but still very clingy and get wrapped up in gossip

Casey

yes!

Laura

Not really, no. Obviously we're not an all-women's college anymore! And there's a substantial gay population but it's not like straight people are uncomfortable with it, or difficult to find. And sure, there are a lot of hipsters and hippies, but really Vassar's a very intellectually and socially diverse school, and we're much more than stereotypes. Even the people who fit those stereotypes are still dynamic, unique people too.

Andrew

for about half of campus, yes.

Kelly

Yes.

Parker

No. They are hipster

Mel

I would say most students lean to the left politically, but this does not mean that everyone is a radical. A lot of students are a lot of hot air with little action or understanding concerning the root of the problem. They mean well, but some students become frustrated by either the decidedly liberal slant to almost every topic and the lack of actually activism. The eternal question a Vassar student gets, even the boys, is "isn't that a girls' school?" Vassar's approximately 60-40 girls to boys, and I have a lot of guy friends, though I have had a couple classes that had either one or no boys (I don't think that one or two classes out of 30 is too bad...). The ratio for each course depends on the department (Econ has a lot more men than Anthropology). Talking to friends at other schools that do not have as prestigious a name as Vassar, I feel that Vassar students are not snobbish. Of course, some are, but it's not a widespread phenomenon. Vassar has a very progressive financial aide program, granting 100% of need demonstrated on the FAFSA to every student and recently adopted a need-blind admissions policy. Starting with the 2008-09 Poughkeepsie High School graduates can attend Vassar on full scholarship. Vassar has a very active student group called the Class Issues Alliance, which works to support working class and first generation college students as well as spread awareness of socioeconomic class diversity in the academic world. The perception that Vassar is all rich snobs is false.

Miranda

I think these stereotypes are actually pretty accurate; while Vassar definitely includes a mix of students that fit into numerous categories, the majority of the Vassar student population are upper-middle class hippie-types-- alternative taste in music, bohemian garb, vegan lattes, etc. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it it the general zeitgeist around here.

Alex

Yeah.

Alex

no, the campus is growing more conservative each year. its losing its hippie feel.

Sasha

I think that Vassar students are creative. I come from an Ivy League college town, where the students there are overwhelmingly smart, but who all sort of look and seem the same. At Vassar, we're academically smart, but we do other things - I know people who study physics and also DJ, or who study psychology and also direct plays, or who study Chinese but are amazing jugglers.

Ainsley

Not entirely. There are plenty of people at Vassar from all over America (I'm from the Midwest!) and from all over the world (one of my best friends in from Albania). There are also plenty of kids who are from less affluent backgrounds (again, myself included), and there are some students of color as well. But by and large, most Vassar students are liberal, and it's pretty hard to find any conservative voices. Some people have found Vassar's lack of ideological balance frustrating. However, it's kind of a problem endemic to the system (statistically speaking, the more educated you are the more liberal you tend to be), so I can't imagine this is a problem unique to Vassar. Vassar kids do tend to be pretty pretentious, and have a distaste for all things mainstream (mainstream films, TV shows, music? you name it).

pat

to some extent

Blake

Only partly. As far as the pot smoking goes it's pretty huge but partying in general kind of encompasses that, the people here are more inclined to smoke up when it's social. Everyone is liberal though, that is definitely true. I've yet to meet a true conservative on this campus. As far as Vassar being gay... well yeah, it kind of is. The gay population is definitely present and accounted for but so is the straight population.

sarah

pretty much. Some people are fun and they do have more to them than the stereotypes but if you usually have nothing in common with these types of people you may have some trouble feeling like you fit in. ALso if you are on a sports team it helps because you are around more athletic people like yourself, which isnt the case for most of the people at vassar

Tom

There are a number of gay students on campus, but not any more than I think would be found at any other school. Their visibility and this stereotype may speak to the fact that the Vassar community is tolerant and supportive of all students no matter sexual orientation. As for the sex, everyone is different. And I personally feel that while there are some extremely alternative, hippie, activist, weed smoking types I think that Vassar has become more 'normal' than perphaps it was in the past.

Deborah

Haha well in alot of ways the stereotypes are indeed true lol. However, the students are not all "weirdos" per se; actually there are a great variety of students here who come from so many different places and there are various styles represented on campus its amazing. In fact, with the new incoming classes the student body seems to be getting more mainstream by the minute. There are different niches of people here so almost anyone can find a group that they can relate to. There is not one type of student. Though the school is very liberal in alot of ways this does not mean that everyone is "enlightened" in that way. Don't assume that everyone is so blanket liberal; there are various viewpoints though some are subsumed more than others. Racial issues and gender issues and other issues still do abound here.

Nate

While we are predominantly white and some of us are pretentious, we actually care a lot more about community relations and the world around us than people think. Certainly we are liberal in ideology, but we are diversifying politically.

Chris

Maybe half the student body is a bit of an eccentric oddball but you get used to it. We have jocks and preps and whatever you want to find if you're willing to look. But what we lack in normalcy we do make up in general friendliness. Although this might be the case, Vassar students are incredibly caught up with being socially flawless, which isn't possible, so many personal interactions become "awkward" or lack depth because people are too neurotic to actually reach out to others. I'd say a fourth of us are incredibly rich cigarette smoking snobs. The rest are really cool and make Vassar what it is. Even the snobs are lovable.

Marissa

The school used to be all girls until 1969. Most people are moderate and liberal. Not everyone is a feminist or nonconformist. People are individuals. The drug use on campus is the same as any other university.

Liz

Yeah. Just like every place else. But there are enough reasonable, normal people on campus where you don' feel overwhelmed by a massive counterculture or consumed by trendiness. Vassar's a really good place to relax and be yourself, over all.

Joseph

Yeah, they are, but in a good way. I would say most Vassar students are very hardworking during the week and on sundays. They are more than capable of having fun but also are focused on their studies.

Jesse

Somewhat. Some tend to be apathetic and adopt stereotypes as a front. Plenty are just nice, liberal kids from the suburbs who happen to be extremely talented and smart. But we tend to hate stereotypes here. And I mean hate. And it's for good reason because stereotypes don't always reflect reality--half the student body is on financial aid (and lots of it), so the image of Vassar as an ivory tower is only partly accurate. No stereotype can accurately characterize a College or its student body.

Kate

They exist here, but there are many students who don't adhere to either of those stereotypes.

Max

Yes, Yes, Yes.