Vassar vs Conn College

After going through my colleges list I decided to narrow it down to Vassar College and Conn College. Vassar was not on my narrowed list originally because I would have to take loans of around 10k/year (40k over 4 years) but now I’m realizing it might be worth it because of how well known and amazing the college is and the location. Conn is my other option because although it is not as prestige, I love the community (I’ve heard from parents that it’s a very friendly community and not preppy) and I love their guaranteed internship fund and efforts for career prep as well as the vibe I get from talking to admitted students virtually.

I hope to study Economics/International Relations and History, and although I want to wither go to Law or Journalism school, because of my family’s finances I have to find a job right after college to finance myself so how pre-professional/career focused the school is is very important to me (that’s why I am kind of worried about prestige because this factors in finding a job and connections with employers etc etc).

I am thinking is it worth it to pay an extra 40k for Vassar or do you think I should go to Conn? Is their prestige gap really that big - and what are your experiences with both school? I don’t have the chance to visit any of them so any of your answers would mean SO much to me!

my other options that I’m considering include:
Trinity College CT (afraid it might be too preppy for me, and heard Hartford might be dangerous but seems to have amazing employer connections)

Colby College (Prestigious, really good for econ but afraid might be too preppy and too remote of a location)

Dickinson College (love the emphasis on career and seems very lively on video but not as prestigious as others and have to pay a bit more than Conn around 3,000/year)

Sarah Lawrence College (most expensive option, and seems to be too small for me but love the personalized education)

Please give me any advice on the colleges above as well and what do you think the best option for me is - I really really appreciate your help.

I think Conn Coll without debt is an easy choice over Vassar with debt. Both schools were originally women’s colleges so don’t have greek life or football. We visited both with my kid as a prospective recruited athlete and found both campuses physically lovely, both are in aging towns with some charm and good train access. Vassar seems (and has a reputation for) a bit more intense intellectually, a bit more quirky, while Conn Coll seemed full of nice, energetic, friendly kids. I was impressed by Conn Coll’s guaranteed internship funding and it seems to have invested in its career development programs.

In terms of other choices, as lovely a school as Dickinson is, I wouldn’t pay more for it over Conn Coll. Colby is a great school, though if the remoteness doesn’t appeal to you, then there’s no compelling reason to keep it on the list.

If your heart – and finances – say Conn Coll, don’t look back!

6 Likes

thank you so so much for your reply that was really helpful :slight_smile: I am just afraid that I might regret throwing away other schools that are more prestigious in a few years but your answer definitely gives me something to think about.

1 Like

Another vote for Conn College over Vassar+40K debt. I agree with you about location for Trinity (although I don’t think it’s necessarily that preppy anymore).

Congratulations on some very nice acceptances!

2 Likes

Being active and engaged goes a long way for any student at any school – be intentional about building relationships with faculty, about going to Career Services as a 1st year to start to learn about opportunities and programs. For my kid who went to a LAC similar to Conn Coll, what made his experience exceptional was the mentoring relationships he developed with a few faculty and staff members who cheered him on and helped him identify and develop the skills and tools to get his dream job in NYC.

Congrats!

2 Likes

Totally agree! Friend’s kid attends a local state college, which accepts people with an average of 3.0 high school GPA. Kid has worked very hard (nothing new for him), has gotten to know his profs well, and they’ve steered him towards excellent internships. He’s going to get exactly the job he always wanted, and it’s all because of his relationship with the profs at the school.

2 Likes

Hi there - I had a similar decision to you when I was in high school and I am very pleased with the investment I made by going to Vassar. I was the first person in my family to attend college, so it was a huge leap of faith for my parents to make as well. You will get a very good education at all your choices, but Vassar does stand out.

I majored in International Studies and spent most of my adult life working abroad. Vassar has an international reputation, unlike many other great liberal arts colleges in the US. My classmates were exceptional earning a MacArthur Genius Award, six Oscar nominations, CEO positions (Apax Partners/Adtalem), and a Guggenheim Fellowship as just a small sample from one year. The Vassar network is impressive and I have made connections in North Africa, Europe and the UK who have opened doors for my career. Vassar is a leading producer of PhDs and Fulbright Scholars - its students are seriously intelligent. The culture is not elitist or homogeneous but cosmopolitan and globally orientated. I chose to leave preppy Fairfield County to challenge myself at Vassar and the experience was personally enriching with a healthy return on investment however one measures it. Best of luck with your decision.

4 Likes

Both Vassar and Conn are great schools, and I don’t think you need to worry about a prestige gap in making your decision. Neither employers nor graduate schools would be likely to think about it at all, they would focus instead on what you accomplish at whichever school you choose. Particularly if you are planning on graduate school, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to borrow $40,000 for your undergraduate education. It sounds like you really like Conn, so I’d say you should go with your heart.

2 Likes

Another vote for Connecticut College, based on your preferences - having internships will make all the difference but so will lack of debt.

1 Like