Matthew Vassar bequeathed to the college its first scholarship fund. Through the years, generous friends of the college have added permanent scholarship funds and annual gifts to help promising students meet their college costs.
The goal of the Financial Aid Office is to make a Vassar education affordable and accessible to all admitted students. Vassar meets 100% of the full demonstrated need of all admitted students for all four years. As of the 2008/09 academic year, student loans which meet demonstrated need were replaced by additional scholarship grants in the financial aid awards of students whose families have a calculated annual income of $60,000 or less.
During the academic 2010/11 year, approximately sixty percent of the student body received financial aid totaling more than $60 million from the college, federal, state, and private sources. Of that amount, over $48 million was awarded in the form of Vassar Scholarship assistance, all of which was awarded on the basis of financial need as determined by the college.
Students applying for admission will receive a freshman application for financial aid and detailed information about financial aid at Vassar, including expenses, how assistance is awarded, and the application procedures. Applicants and their families must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for assistance from federal financial aid programs. Applicants must also file a supplemental form, the CSS PROFILE form, with the College Scholarship Service. This last form is required by Vassar College prior to the awarding of its own resources. Complete instructions and deadlines for first-year and transfer students are available online from the Office of Admission.
Instructions and application materials for financial aid for returning students are available from the Office of Financial Aid in late February, with a filing deadline of mid-April.
Eligibility for federal student financial aid is determined by a federally mandated formula. Financial need for a Vassar Scholarship is determined through the use of the assessment principles of the College Scholarship Service and subject to the professional judgment of the student financial aid officers of the college.
Vassar requires all financial aid applicants who are New York residents and United States citizens to apply for TAP. Information about this and other state programs can be obtained from Vassar’s Office of Financial Aid or the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation websites.
The Committee on Student Records provides the TAP certifying officer and the financial aid officer of the college with a means for detailed analysis of any individual student’s status and academic progress to determine continuing eligibility for New York State financial assistance and federal Title IV financial aid programs.