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Early Decision acceptees to Class of 2016 discuss talents, motivations

Assistant Features Editor

Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 20:02

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From the two Early Decision application pools, Vassar has already selected 260 students to join the Class of 2016, some of whose pictures are featured above. Early Decision acceptees make up roughly 38 percent of the incoming class.

As the recent acceptance and subsequent rejection of 76 Early Decision two (EDII) applicants made the Vassar campus painfully aware, the second wave of applications for the Class of 2016 have been carefully judged.

Dean of Admission David Borus explained that between the two rounds of early decisions, 260 students, or roughly 38 percent, of the Class of 2016 have been admitted. Of those already accepted, admissions estimates that five or six will defer admission until the next year.

"As always, these students have excellent academic credentials and bring a wide variety of talents and experiences with them to Vassar," wrote Borus in an emailed statement.

Boris continued, "This year's total application pool of more than 7900 candidates is the second largest in Vassar's history. During the regular decision period over the next two months, we will be looking to add about 400 more enrolling students to those that came through early decision in order to form the Class of 2016."

Indeed, those who gained admission to Vassar through the EDI and EDII programs are diverse, boast a variety of talents, are excited to start school in Fall 2012 and are maybe just a little bit quirky.

"I could lie and say, ‘small intimate school of friendly rural atmosphere' [are what brought me to apply to Vassar]," wrote Sylvia King '16 in an emailed statement, "however, I have and always will be a city girl who loves the noise, heat and danger." King further went on to state that no matter what she chose to do with her life after graduation, she felt as if Vassar would give her the tools and the opportunities to reach her goals.

Other members of the Class of 2016 cite more mundane reasons for entering into a binding agreement with the College to attend the school. "My brother, Ian [Edwards '14] is a sophomore and loves Vassar. After I saw how passionate and excited he was about the College, I knew Vassar could very well be the place for me," wrote Colin Edwards '16 in an emailed statement.

Edwards went on to say that his decision to apply early decision to Vassar was validated after taking an opportunity to visit his brother. "The campus is simply like taking a visual narcotic," explained Edwards.

Other members of the Class of 2016 also cited familiar relationships for introducing them to Vassar.

Matt Zavislan '16 explained that he had grown up hearing the name Vassar because his step-grandmother is on the Board of Trustees.

Johan Williams '16 was another member of the Class of 2016 who had a familiar relationship with Vassar. But while his sister Chloe Williams '14 is a current student at Vassar, he explained his decision to come was based on other factors.

"I chose to apply because of the academic excellence of the school, and because I love the campus. The cross country coaches at Vassar are also very nice," Williams wrote.

Williams continued, "While at Vassar I would like to continue to improve in my running, and to expand my knowledge. I hope to learn more about myself, and the rest of the world."

Regardless of the exact reason for attending Vassar, members of the Class of 2016 will bring diverse experiences to the table, which made Vassar uniquely attractive for them.

"I'm from Denver, Colo. and have lived here my entire life," wrote Zavislan when comparing his hometown to his impressions of Vassar's campus. "Although parts of Denver are culturally similar to my impression of Vassar, the largest different is that Denver has a definite urban feel to it while Vassar obviously does not."

"I am from Connellsville, Penn,—an hour south of Pittsburgh—though there are a few similarities, there are many differences to be found when comparing it to Vassar," wrote Edwards. "At both home and Vassar there is a strong emphasis on community, but in contrast to the College, there is a lot of homogeneity and a lack of international influences in my area which I'm looking forward to experiencing at Vassar, " he said explaining that he was exicited for the increased diversity Vassar offered.

Although Vassar's incoming freshman class does boast a number of students from within the United States, the school's far-reaching appeal has also attracted a number of students from overseas, which only adds to Vassar's diverse student body.

"I'm from Korea but I live in China, [so] I go to an international school," wrote King, who explained that Vassar's proximity to New York City was a large draw for her.

Other soon-to-be students saw Vassar as a chance to expand their interests. "One of the biggest things, and the reason I ended up turning down the offer to go to Whitman [College] to debate for them," wrote Zavislan,"is that I was to expand my interests and activities."

He concluded, "You only get to go to college once, so why make it the same as any other time in your life?"

A semi-finalist at the National Debate Coaches Association National Championships and able to qualify at the High School Tournament of Championships as a junior, Zavislan wrote that although he loved debating, he was excited to try new thing things and explore other academic interests.

"My primary academic interest is in philosophy, and within philosophy one of my primary interests is in the philosophical study of power-relations and identity construction," said Zavislan, explaining that he was familiar with the word "heteronormative" long before he watched "Shit Vassar Kids Say."

Not all students know exactly what they want to study, and instead relish the opportunity to explore an array of academic pursuits. "My interests range everywhere from piano to foreign languages, and at Vassar I feel like I will come to love my interest even more and find out new passions I have to discover," wrote Edwards.

All the new students seem to have high hopes for what they want to achieve. "I hope I can experiment with different things, and figure at least some part of my future out," wrote King.

Ultimately, members of the Class of 2016 saw coming to Vassar as both a great educational opportunity and as the ideal place in which they could mature.

"I know it's going to sound super cliche, but I want to grow as a student and a person," wrote Edwards.

"I'm thrilled to have been given the amazing privilege of studying at one of the leading institutions in America, and I want to take advantage of every opportunity. My interests range everywhere from piano to foreign languages, and at Vassar I feel like I will come to love my interest even more and find out new passions I have to discover."

Regardless of the circumstances that brought them to Vassar, the cheerful voices of the Class of 2016 serve as reminder to the jaded and often sleep-deprived Vassar student to check back in with that excited high school senior who was eager to explore the opportunities that Vassar offered and ensure that excitement and sense of possibilities be kept alive. 

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