Six hundred and fifty-two freshmen selected from the largest applicant pool in Vassar College's history began classes September 1st. Vassar received 6314 applications for the class of 2009, and just fewer than 29 percent of the applicants were offered admission, another best for the college.
Over 65 percent of the class of 2009 with high school rank come from the top 10 percent of their classes, and 90 percent were in the top 20 percent. The mean combined (verbal and math) SAT scores of this year's freshmen is 1,390, besting last year's record high. Their average recomputed high school grade point average was an A-minus.
Among the outstanding freshmen in the class of 2009 are 27 valedictorians, 27
salutatorians, 38 National Merit Finalists and Semi-Finalists, 109 students with perfect scores on one or more standardized tests, 58 winners of major book awards, 7 National Achievement Scholars, 8 National Hispanic Scholars, 40 first generation college students, 16 National Honor Society Presidents, 18 All-State music/art winners, and 130 varsity sports captains,
The class of 2009 comes to Poughkeepsie from over 500 high schools in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and 27 foreign countries. Students of color comprise twenty-four percent of the class, and fifty-two incoming freshmen are international students with either foreign or dual citizenship. Sixty-five members of the class are bilingual or speak English as a second language, and their languages include Bengali, Bulgarian, Cantonese, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, SiSwati, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukranian, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
In descending order, the top U.S. feeder states for the class of 2009 were New York (147). California (64). Massachusetts (60), New Jersey (49), Pennsylvania (40), Connecticut (33), Maryland (24), Illinois (16), Florida (14), Texas (14).
The class of 2009 includes musicians who have performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, as well as a professional bluegrass fiddler, several nationally ranked athletes, a volunteer with over 650 hours of community service, and a student whose idea to use coupons to help feed the needy developed into a community organization of over 100 members, which has collected over $10,000 worth of food. Also among the class are 14 Eagle Scouts/Girl Scout Golds, several successful entrepreneurs, performers from leading dance companies, an international Irish step dancing champion, an accomplished hula dancer, a two-time contestant in the National Spelling Bee, two licensed pilots, a semi-finalist in the International Open Poetry competition, numerous published poets and writers, professional actors who have appeared in films and commercials, several students who have earned black belts in the martial arts, the winner of five consecutive blue ribbons for the best biscuits at the New Mexico State Fair, and a fifth-generation Vassar legacy whose alumnae/i ties date back to his great-great-grandmother in the Class of 1888.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.