Army vet Tanya Marie Painter, joined by family, shaking hands with Vassar College President Elizabeth H. Bradley at Commencement in 2019.
Campaign News

Vassar Announces Launch of Vassar Veterans Initiative

3 minute read

April 7, 2022 – Poughkeepsie, NY – Vassar College will launch the Vassar Veterans Initiative (VassarVets) designed to expand its overall student veterans’ outreach and support by establishing an on-campus position dedicated to serving U.S. military veterans, President Elizabeth H. Bradley announced.

In 2012, Vassar became the first institution of higher education in the nation to partner with The Posse Foundation—a nonprofit foundation dedicated to recruiting outstanding young leaders from diverse backgrounds and pairing them with the country’s top colleges—to recruit veterans for enrollment. Through VassarVets, the College will establish a director-level position that will coordinate the recruitment of veterans as well as serve as a resource for veterans during their time at Vassar, enhancing the college experience of Vassar’s veteran student population. The new program will replace Vassar’s relationship with The Posse Foundation.

“Having veterans here at Vassar has benefited all of our students because of the unique experiences and perspectives veterans bring, and their presence is part of what it means to have a truly diverse campus,” Bradley said. “I am thankful to The Posse Foundation for helping us build the capacity to establish the Vassar Veterans Initiative and expand on what our work with The Posse Foundation has already accomplished.”

As part of this initiative, Vassar will extend its need-blind admission policy for first-year applicants to U.S. military service members and veterans applying as transfers. This eliminates consideration of veteran applicants’ ability to pay tuition from admission decisions. The College will also meet 100% of veteran students’ demonstrated need for educational expenses. With Vassar’s financial aid award, scholarship funds will replace expected family contributions and loans toward undergraduate tuition and student fees. In addition, Vassar is a Yellow Ribbon school and does not cap Yellow Ribbon spaces.

U.S. service members and veterans applying to Vassar will be granted application fee waivers and will be guaranteed an admission interview. Vassar is currently test-optional for all students, including veteran applicants, eliminating the need to submit standardized testing for admission to the College. As part of VassarVets, the new director will create a fall visitation program for prospective applicants who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces; offer dedicated college counseling to prospective veteran applicants; develop a pre-orientation program for enrolling veterans; establish partnerships with military-affiliated and veterans’ organizations; facilitate group and individual advising; and develop programming with other campus offices to support student veterans.

“Vassar took the lead 10 years ago in recognizing the power and potential of those who stepped up to serve our country, and I am thrilled that the College is willing to deepen its commitment with a dedicated role not just to build out our recruitment but also to further support student veterans’ success at Vassar and beyond,” said Dean of Admission and Student Financial Services Sonya Smith.

“We are proud to have partnered with Vassar as the first Posse Veterans Program institution. Vassar led the way for selective colleges and universities to think more strategically about including U.S. veterans among the members of their student body. These service members are an important part of the equity and inclusion discussion, and we applaud Vassar for continuing the work,” said Deborah Bial, President/Founder of The Posse Foundation.

The College is in the process of recruiting for the director of the Vassar Veterans Initiative position, who will report to the Dean of Admission and Student Financial Services, and work closely with the Dean of the College and Dean of Faculty staff, Bradley said. The position is expected to be filled by July 1. For more information, visit the Vassar Office of Admission website or call (845) 437-7300.

Vassar College is a coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Contact Larry Hertz,, (845) 518-3098; (845) 437-7938 (Vassar College)