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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.50
Liaison Alistair Hall
Submission Date July 22, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Vassar College
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.57 / 4.00 Alistair Hall
Sustainability Assistant
Dean of Strategic Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

Vassar College maintains a policy of need blind admission for all domestic students, and makes no loans to students whose families make less than $60,000.


A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:
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A brief description of any programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

Transitions is an orientation program for low-income and first-generation students at Vassar. Kickstarted in 2012, Transitions gives low-income students four days on campus before New Student Orientation to meet with key administrators and take mock classes. All 50 of the 2012 Transitions students were assigned student mentors who helped them move into their dorms and answered their questions about campus life. Transitions activities continue throughout the school year.


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Vassar administers grants to students whose families make under $60,000 a year. The College meets 100% of demonstrated financial need, for both international and domestic students.


A brief description of any programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

Families experiencing financial difficulties can appeal to the Office of Financial Aid for additional funding, at any point during the student's Vassar career. The Transitions program invites parents to accompany students to the campus during their four-day orientation, and places great emphasis on integrating parents into the process of transitioning.


A brief description of any targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid practices targeted outreach to students from low-income backgrounds through a series of collaborations with non-profit organizations engaged in preparing minority students for college. Among these are Questbridge at the national level, Prep for Prep in New York City and Bright Horizons, New Beginnings and College Match in California. Various College groups, such as the Office of Campus Life and the ALANA Center, have also hosted low-income high school students, organized independently from Vassar's Admissions program. High school students are invited to meals and social events with current Vassar students.


A brief description of other admissions policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

Vassar has policy in place of need-blind admission and meets 100% of demonstrated need


A brief description of other financial aid policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

Vassar a policy in place of need-blind admission and meets 100% of demonstrated need


A brief description of other policies and programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students not covered above:
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Does the institution have policies and programs in place to support non-traditional students?:
Yes

A brief description of any scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:
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A brief description of any onsite child care facilities, partnerships with local facilities, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

Vassar operates an Infant & Toddler Center for young children and the Wimpfheimer Nursery school which provide day care and preschool for students, faculty, staff and other community members.


A brief description of other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

Vassar College was the first tertiary institution to partner with the Posse Foundation to launch the Posse Veterans Program, which increases the accessibility of a four-year college education for U.S. veterans. Vassar also has an employee reimbursement program, wherein full-time employees of Vassar may take classes and work towards a degree.


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (accessibility and affordability indicators)?:
Yes

Indicators that the institution is accessible and affordable to low-income students::
Percentage (0-100)
The percentage of entering students that are low-income 23
The graduation/success rate for low-income students 84
The percentage of student financial need met, on average 100
The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt 50

The percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students:
23

The website URL where information about the institution's affordability and access programs is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.