College Program Highlight – Vassar College

“Vassar is a thriving, highly selective, avant-garde institution with an accent on the fine arts and humanities”

– Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015

Intellectual inquiry at Vassar is characterized by an unusual degree of flexibility. The college does not have a core curriculum and students can declare a major by concentrating in a department, an interdepartmental program, a multidisciplinary program, or an individually tailored field of study in the Independent Program. This intellectual freedom produces original thinkers and has shaped the very essence of Vassar’s academic life. Its strongest programs include English, Political Science, Biology, Economics, and Film & Theater.

Vassar College has endorsed rugby since 1975 and the college has a rich tradition and strong alumni support. The women’s team won the National Championship in Fall 2018 defeating Winona State in the final 50-13. In the semifinals Vassar defeated the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Over the past 24 years the team has toured overseas to the British Isles, Australia, the Caribbean, and Europe; has participated in U.S. tournaments on the East Coast, and has been regular playoff contenders.

“Students take great pride in representing their college and playing alongside their peers,” says Coach Tony Brown. The Vassar schedule includes quality opposition without excessive travel, so that student-athletes can devote time to academic study while still having the enjoyment of representing their school in athletics. The program is funded by the Office of Athletics and takes advantage of all the amenities a varsity program has to offer, such as having a full-time coach, athletic training staff, transportation, food, lodging, and uniforms. The program has two rugby-dedicated fields as well as access to the Walker Field House for training during bad weather.

The men’s team won the Tri-State Conference in 2013, made it to the Tri-State Conference finals in 2014, and have had 20 winning seasons the past 24 years. When they participated in Division I, the women’s team was a perennial power ranked consistently in the top 10 in the nation, and are now a Division II playoff team every year. In 2013, the women played in the ACRA Final 4 and in 2014 they advanced to the USA Rugby/ACRA DII Round of 8. The women have had 23 winning seasons in the past 24 years. 

The total cost of attendance (including tuition, room and board, and other fees) is $72,990, however, Vassar is quick to note that “You do not have to be wealthy or even well off to attend Vassar.”

The school has a need-blind admission policy and a very generous financial aid program. The college is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need of all admitted students. Currently they award aid to over 60% of their students, ranging from $1,200 to $61,140 a year depending on their financial situations. To put this into perspective, if you are admitted and your family income is less than $60,000 a year, you will get a full ride.

If you’re looking for one of the most selective liberal arts colleges in the country, topped with a fully-supported rugby program, take a look at Vassar College!

Website: Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,477 Average Class Size: 17 Average GPA: Not Reported – 93% were in top quarter of their class Middle 50% SAT (All Sections): Critical Reading: 660-750; Math: 650-730; Writing: 660-750 Middle 50% ACT: 30-33 Admission Deadline: Early Decision Nov 15, Early Decision II & Regular Decision Jan 1 Acceptance Rate: 24% Rugby Team Websites: Men’s (Tri-State) and Women’s (USAR DII) available Coach Tony Brown:, 845-437-7804 office Extras: Participant of Yellow Ribbon Program

Information edited from Vassar College, Vassar’s rugby website, US News World Report, and the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015.