A Visit to Vassar College

If you've been reading this series so far, you know that we've visited a number of small liberal arts colleges that might be of interest to my daughter: Macalester, Carleton, Barnard, Bard, and now, Vassar. We visited there on July 3, 2018 (I think - my calendar is a little muddled). I'm posting this well after our visit, and really need to add a few more: Since the Vassar visit, we have also checked out Leiden University College, Bates, Bowdoin, and Wellesley.

With Vassar we are now talking about the, um, "filet" of the small college world (if you have seen the movie "The Squid and the Whale," note a bit of reverse irony in the use of the word "filet" here). Vassar is one of those New England schools like Williams, Amherst, etc., that define the very template of the small liberal arts college: Colleges like Carleton are built on this model. Actually, like Carleton, Vassar is sort of in the second generation of small liberal arts colleges; while schools like Williams and Amherst were founded in 1793 and 1821 respectively, Vassar and Carleton were founded in 1861 and 1866. Still, Vassar feels older and more established than Carleton. Some of the buildings have the scale of Harvard's Sever Hall: Big, sturdy, monumental. vassar01 And Vassar is rich: an endowment of about $1B.

With Vassar, we really got the impression that this college can support a student in whatever she or he wants to do. The visit started in their admissions building which was an architecturally correct Arts and...

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