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Top-Tier, Nonprofit Women’s Liberal Arts Education at Wellesley

Wellesley College appears in our ranking of the 50 Most Affordable Colleges that Meet Significant Financial Need.

Ranked 17th nationally by Washington Monthly, Wellesley College is a selective private, single-sex NAICU member of the Oberlin Group that delivers 55 bachelor’s majors and four dual degrees plus the Pre-College Immersive Program at a 7:1 student-teacher ratio for 91.4 percent graduation. For example, the Biological Sciences B.A. follows a 32-unit, four-year path led by Dr. Kristina Niovi Jones with Science Center research, Beta Beta Beta membership, Beckman Foundation fellowships, and trips to the Galapagos Islands. Chaired by Dr. Kim Katris McLeod, the 32-unit Astronomy B.A. blends hands-on STEM courses like Advanced Planetary Geology with Whitin Observatory practice, Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium research, Astro Club activities, and Smithsonian Institution internships.

At the Jewett Arts Center, the Music B.A. crafts a 32-unit, 48-month curriculum under Dr. Gurminder Kaur Bhogal where talented undergrads can join the Collegium Musicum, perform with the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra, attend the Contemporary Concert Series, and study abroad in Bologna. Directed by Dr. Frank Bidart, a 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner, the 32-unit English B.A. lets Blues add the Creative Writing Concentration, publish The Wellesley Townsman, present at the Ruhlman Conference, enter the WCLA Screenwriting Competition, and intern with Bold Type Books. Other degrees include the Computer Science B.A., Philosophy B.A., German Studies B.A., Anthropology B.A., Psychology B.A., Mathematics B.A., Women’s & Gender Studies B.A., Architecture B.A., and Physics B.A.

About Wellesley College

Wellesley College originated on March 17, 1870, when Governor William Claflin signed a charter for the Wellesley Female Seminary envisioned by founders Pauline and Henry Fowle Durant. In Fall 1875, President Ada Howard welcomed an inaugural class of 314 ladies to West Needham. In 1891, Professor Mary Whiton Calkins notably started one of the first psychology laboratories. In 1914, its Central College Hall designed by Hammatt Billings burned down after a chemical lab fire. Over the next two decades, Norumbega Hill became repopulated with nine major academic buildings. In 1943, Wellesley College served as a Naval Reserve Officer Training Program location. In 1948, Professor Emily Greene Balch received the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1959, Wellesley graduated the first female Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. One decade later, the first female U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton graduated from Wellesley. By 2015, Wellesley College started enrolling transgender women and non-binary students.

Endowed for $2.1 billion, Wellesley College now employs 347 tenured or tenure-track faculty teaching 2,534 Blues from 50 states and 66 countries on its 500-acre Eastern Massachusetts campus on Lake Waban with 100+ clubs like the Community Action Network for 96 percent retention. In 2019, Wellesley received the ASCC Decorative Concrete Council First Place Award for Pendleton Hall. In 2018, Wellesley won the Northeast Fencing Conference’s Sabre Sachs Award. Wellesley College accepted a 2017 Eduventures Innovation Award too. The U.S. News & World Report named Wellesley the third-best liberal arts school and 25th top undergrad teacher. On Niche, Wellesley boasts America’s 11th best global studies, 29th best economics, and 32nd top history programs. Forbes picked Wellesley College 37th among private institutions. The Princeton Review honored Wellesley for the 17th most active student government.

Wellesley College Accreditation Details

On June 25, 2014, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) accepted a Fifth-Year Interim Report from Wellesley College to keep Level II accreditation valid through the 2019-20 visit under President Paula A. Johnson, who earned the Grayce Young Women’s Health Professor Award. Located 20 miles north via Interstate 95 in Burlington, this splendid six-state Northeast Region accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE).

Wellesley College Application Requirements

Admission to Wellesley College is classified as “most selective” by Peterson’s because just 1,296 of the 6,631 Fall 2018 applicants were victorious for tough 20 percent acceptance odds. First-year female Blues must complete four years of college-prep high school studies. Only the Pre-College Immersive Program allows younger women ages 15-18 years old before graduation. Advanced Placement exams only qualify for credit if scored 5 or higher. Eight out of 10 freshmen rank in their class’s top 10 percent. On average, undergrads present an overall secondary GPA of 3.99. Admitted students receive a mean 32 ACT, 722 SAT Math, and 712 SAT Reading score. The Honors Program mandates a minimum GPA of 3.5. Eligible transfers will have completed 2+ full-time semesters at regionally accredited colleges. At least two years or 16 Wellesley units must be left remaining. Unless waived, international learners must achieve at least 100 TOEFL iBT, 7.0 IELTS, or equivalent marks.

Wellesley College enforces freshman deadlines of November 1st for Early Decision I, January 1st for Early Decision II, and January 15th for Regular Decision. For financial aid consideration, the priority date is February 15th. Enrollment deposits of $500 are due on May 1st. Incoming Bachelor of Arts transfers can file until March 1st for Fall or November 1st for Spring starts. Accordingly, submit the Common, Coalition, or Questbridge Application online for free. Have official transcripts mailed to 106 Central Street in Wellesley, MA 02481. Forward standardized tests using SAT/TOEFL code 3957 or ACT code 1926. Attach supplemental documents, such as the two teacher references, school counselor recommendation, diploma or exam certificate, Early Decision agreement, and 650-word personal essay prompt. Contact (781) 283-2270 or admission@wellesley.edu with questions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, Wellesley College is charging full-time Bachelor of Arts majors $27,864 each semester or $55,728 annually. Undergrads cover the $324 student activity fee every year. Health insurance premiums are currently $2,517 every nine months. The Davis Degree Program bills non-traditional students $6,966 per course. Half-credit courses are priced $3,483 apiece. Post-baccalaureate teacher certification is cheaper at $696 per course. Residing at the Greater Boston campus’ dorms like Cazenove Hall adds $8,824 for yearly room rent. Standard meal plans for Bates Dining Hall are $8,272 extra. Wellesley budgets $800 for textbooks and $1,250 for miscellaneous expenses. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals about $73,148 on-site or $57,582 with parents.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Student Financial Services Office in Schneider Center Room 122 helps 59 percent of new full-time Wellesley Blues enroll with tuition aid averaging $48,208 each for $16.48 million combined. Wellesley Foundation awards include the Daly Family Scholarship, Scott Wheelock Memorial Scholarship, William Mullahy Family Scholarship, Gerry Murphy Scholarship, Margaret Daniels Merit Scholarship, Alice Confortes Scholarship, David & Kathleen Baum Family Scholarship, Marie Irene Gillette Scholarship, Gloria Gould Danforth Scholarship, and Maude Diehl Scholarship. The Mayling Soong Scholarship has a February 15th deadline for East Asian Languages & Cultures B.A. majors with minimum 3.0 GPAs. Since 2012, the Mastercard Scholars Program has provided full-tuition coverage to 3-4 disadvantaged young people immigrating from African nations. Federal resources, such as the Pell Grant or Work-Study Program, require FAFSA applications coded 002224. Massachusettsans could also receive the MASS Grant, Public Service Grant, Horatio Alger Scholarship, One Family Scholarship, Christian Herter Memorial Scholarship, and others.

Search through 30 world-class departments teaching 1,000+ courses for 55 liberal arts majors placed 24th overall by Times Higher Education at the Wellesley College website.