This is probably a strange "v.s." thread to see, as Vassar is most commonly compared with places like Wesleyan, Barnard, Oberlin, etc.
I'm having a really really really tough time deciding on this. I'm considering applying EDII to either Vassar or Macalester, or perhaps doing EDI to Vassar and, depending on the admissions decision, EDII to Macalester. Why ED? Because these are my two top choice schools, and to be honest, I'm not a super competitive applicant. My GC and I have called some of these schools, asking advice on how I should apply in terms of ED v.s. RD, and most seem to suggest that applying ED would be best. Fortunately, my GC knows the dean of admission at Mac fairly well, and has some connections with Vassar.
But ED is a very intense decision to make. I have to be totally sure I'm into a school if I want to apply ED there (and I'm very much "in" to V and M.) Here's my issue, and please excuse any student body labeling I might do here; My observations are based on visits and literature I've read.
It feels to me that both of these schools have a diverse Liberal Arts program. Both have majors that I want (IR, Japanese, Psychology). However, location, feel, and student bodies feel different. Vassar, to me anyway, feels like a place where hipsters revel in their coolness, going to art shows more than sports games, and having perhaps a level of snobbery in their alternative lifestyle. I'm kind of like that. I like indie rock music. And I would totally rather go to an art show opening or a drama performance than a sports game. However, I'm not overly hipster, nor do I always enjoy snobbery.
Macalester is a place with an international focus, ideal location, with more quirky, nerdy, students. People are alternative and hippie like Vassar, but less so with the hipster and snob side. Mac students seem to enjoy one another's nerdy company.
I'm a pretty nerdy guy. I'm also pretty artistic. I love NYC. I like indie rock music. I know what I want to study, I know I want to study abroad...I essentially believe I KNOW WHAT I WANT from my college experience, but cannot decide which will serve me best. Vassar or Mac? I want to be able to be nerdy at Vassar and not be considered "un-cool."
I just want the most accepting, tolerant, laid back environment.
Which of these two can offer me that?
Again, i reaally apologize for labeling. Please understand that I'm not at all a superficial person, I am merely trying to keep this in simple terms.