The Vassar College Factbook
What is a Factbook?
Most colleges and universities have a factbook, and Vassar is no exception. Links to each of the sections in the current edition of the Vassar Factbook are found on this webpage, at right.
A factbook is a reference document providing extensive descriptive data on the school it represents. It should nominally cover all critical areas and functions of the college. The data for each functional area should include at least most of the primary measures of general interest describing that area. Nearly all of the data in Vassar’s Factbook are presented in their numerical form (data tables). Many are also graphed for quick visual presentation as well.
Factbooks are typically published on an annual basis. The edition posted here is the one published in the fall of 2016. Most of the data it provides run through the academic and fiscal year of 2016-17, the most recent year for which most of the data in it are currently available.
Vassar’s Factbook was begun, and expertly developed, primarily by Dan Gianinni, former Registrar. The first edition was published in 1999-2000. Responsibility for it was largely assumed by the current Office of Institutional Research with the edition published in the fall, 2008, and fully assumed in fall, 2009.
What is in the Vassar College Factbook?
In a word, data. Facts and figures (many accompanied with graphic displays as well). The first pages of “Part I” provide a full table of contents.
The Factbook data cover general topics about Vassar including student enrollments, course enrollment measures, key statistics regarding admissions and financial aid, retention, graduation rates, and graduates, faculty salary and compensation data, statistics on employment levels, key measures in development, the Library, CIS, and various financial data, include measures of the costs of attendance, endowment, and revenues and expenditures in Vassar’s annual operating budgets.
Most of the data provided in a factbook are limited to the college they represent. That is, comparative data for peer colleges typically have only a limited presence in a factbook. This is the case with Vassar’s Factbook. However, some of the measures here do provide comparative to peer colleges (e.g., endowment, faculty compensation data and rates of tenure, some development measures, student/faculty ratios and course size measures, SAT score data, costs of attendance, among others). The Vassar College Office of Institutional Research has extensive data for each of its peer colleges on numerous measures, both ones that are purely descriptive, and others that are more analytic of core college functions. As time permits, these datasets will be posted to the Office of Institutional Research website.
Finally, most of the data in the Vassar College Factbook are provided not only for the most recent year for which they are currently available, but as time-series fully covering the most ten years, enabling readers to discern trends in these data.
The Office of Institutional Research is happy to respond to questions regarding the Factbook. It also welcomes all suggestions for additions to its content.