Vassar College Visit Report by Hindoo
Visit to Vassar College in April 2007 by Hindoo(Parent of Student, HS Class of 2007)
(Member since March 24 2006 with 2098 posts)
6 of 6 people found this visit report helpful
Admissions Interview: No - Vassar only gives on-campus interviews for children of alums. If you care enough to spend time and money to travel across the country to visit, they should care enough to grant an interview.
Information Session: Yes - Informative, but fairly generic when compared to presentations made by other schools we visited.
Campus Tour: Yes - We had a funny, entertaining, very enthusiastic young man show us around. He was full of anecdotes and tales that really made this beautiful campus come alive—at least while we were with him.
Classroom Visit: No - Again, since classes were not in session, we had to forego that option. Vassar was part of an East Coast college tour we were taking, and this was the only time we could visit. Too bad for us.
Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
Appearance of Campus:
Overall Campus Impression:
Area Immediately Around Campus:
Campus Visit Notes for Vassar College
When all was said and done, Vassar was one of the last two colleges standing near the end of my daughter’s search process. She ultimately chose the other school because it felt like the proverbial “better fit” for her, but I have to think other issues were likely involved.
In fairness to Vassar, our timing was bad. I urge anyone seriously considering a particular school, be it Vassar or anywhere else, to make certain they visit when classes are in session. Laughing students strolling across campus, groups of kids studying under ancient trees, Frisbee players, professors on bicycles, crowded dining halls—all breathe life into a place. Without them, Vassar came across more a majestic fortress of cold stone and brick than a place pulsing with joy and energy. Again, that was not the school’s fault, but rather our unfortunate point of arrival. Timing is everything.
I remain somewhat resentful that Vassar does not offer on-campus interviews for sons and daughters of non-alums. Prospective students and their families have often spent thousands of dollars and traveled thousands of miles to see the school and show their interest. Vassar should at least do them the courtesy of an interview. While I’m sure they have their reasons for this, it doesn’t strike me as a good PR plan at all.
Instead of on-campus interviews, Vassar offers alumni interviews in or near your home town. This is all well and good if you can get one. We requested an alum interview, then waited in vain to receive a call from someone—anyone—willing to talk to my daughter. She contacted admissions several times regarding this and was assured each time that the call would come. Alas, it never did. While my daughter was accepted to Vassar even without an interview, it left me feeling negative about the way they conduct their business. Especially in light of how other equally prominent schools bent over backwards to show interest and be helpful.
On a more positive note, the campus is a lovely arboretum dotted with buildings of astonishing beauty. One can imagine that even in full session, Vassar would convey a sense of pastoral serenity conducive to peace of mind and learning at the highest levels. After a frenetic day spent visiting a school in New York City, my daughter found the grassy fields, flower gardens, and forest-like areas of Vassar to be a calming embrace. Plus, our charming guide entertained us along the way with fun human interest stories of past alums like Jane Fonda and Lisa Kudrow.
While Vassar is fairly rural, it is at the end-line of the train into Manhattan. So, while world-class cultural affairs may not be at a student’s fingertips in Poughkeepsie, they are just an adventurous train ride away.
Hotel/Lodging Recommendations or Comments:
We stayed at your basic Super 8 just down the road from Poughkeepsie. It was inexpensive, clean, and convenient, which is all that mattered.
Dining/Restaurant Recommendations or Comments:
Our family did not eat at or near Vassar. My impression is that food is readily available both on and off campus, even if dining options are limited.
Other Comments (Transportation, local attractions, parking, etc.):
We drove a rental car. Parking at Vassar was no problem whatsoever, but again, the campus was mostly empty when we were there.