First founded in 1831 as an all-male Methodist college, Wesleyan University has evolved into a premier, private, co-educational, liberal arts institution specializing in baccalaureate education. As a member of the “Little Three,” Wesleyan has partnerships with Amherst College and Williams College. Affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, Wesleyan has a close-knit spiritual community of around 2,800 undergraduates and 200 post-graduates. Wesleyan University is located on a scenic 316-acre urban campus in Middletown, Connecticut, overlooking the sparkling Connecticut River. Wesleyan is known for being one of the nation’s most productive colleges for undergraduates pursuing PhDs. Wesleyan University has an impressive average freshman retention rate of 95 percent.
According to the USNWR, Wesleyan is ranked as America’s 14th best liberal arts college, 17th top value school, and 11th best university for military veterans in 2015. In particular, Wesleyan is ranked for excellent biology, chemistry, math, and physics programs. Forbes magazine has honored Wesleyan University as the 16th best private college nationwide with a financial grade of A+. Along with being in Princeton Review’s “Best 380 Colleges,” Wesleyan was distinguished for being the #1 Impact School. Washington Monthly magazine placed Wesleyan University as the 16th best bachelor’s-level institution for civic engagement. The National Bureau of Economic Research also distinguished Wesleyan as the 5th top liberal arts college.
Wesleyan University Accreditation Details
Recently reaffirmed for 10 years in 2012, Wesleyan University is institutionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). This regional accreditation is accepted by the U.S. Department of Education and Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Wesleyan is also licensed by the State of Connecticut Office of Higher Education (CTOHE) to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
Wesleyan University Application Requirements
Wesleyan University is one of America’s most selective schools with an acceptance rate of 23.9 percent. Therefore, incoming applicants must fulfill strict admissions criteria. First-year freshmen must have graduated with a diploma from a secondary school or college prep academy. Homeschooled students are also welcome. It’s strongly recommended that applicants have at least four years English, four years math, three years laboratory science, three years social studies, and four years foreign language. Admitted students have an average high school GPA of 3.76 and rank in the top 10 percent of their class. Generally, freshmen achieve an average score of 31 on the ACT and 2090 on the SAT.
Only around 75 transfer students are accepted each year, so admissions is competitive. For undergraduate transfer, applicants must have completed at least one full-time year at another regionally accredited college or university. Priority is given to Connecticut Community College (CCC) students with an associate’s degree. Maintaining a minimum college GPA of 3.0 is preferred. Graduate applicants at Wesleyan must already hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Graduate students should obtain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 in the last 60 hours of studies. GRE scores must be submitted via code 3959.
Before the January 1st deadline, interested students wishing to attend Wesleyan University need to put their best foot forward by submitting:
• The Wesleyan Common Application form
• Official transcripts for all academic work
• Standardized college test scores
• One to two-page statement of purpose
• Three letters of recommendation
• TOEFL scores (International students)
• Payment of the $55 application fee
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduate students at Wesleyan University can expect to pay $48,704 in tuition each year. First-year and sophomore students are charged a Residential Comprehensive Fee (RCF) of $13,504 annually. Junior and senior students will be billed $15,350 annually for their Residential Comprehensive Fee (RCF). Wesleyan students should also budget for the $270 student activity fee, $300 matriculation fee, and $30 Green Fund Fee (if not opted out) each academic year. Winter and summer sessions are much cheaper with a flat-rate of $3,000 per credit. Wesleyan suggests that students also budget around $2,665 for textbooks annually.
Around 48 percent of matriculated Wesleyan students are awarded some form of financial assistance. Wesleyan has created a new three-year option that can save students $48,704 in tuition alone. Borrowing money through Perkins, Direct, Stafford, and PLUS loans is limited to just $19,000 over four years to prevent mountains of debt. Certain students are qualified for the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state students should apply for the Capital Scholarship Grant, Connecticut Independent College Student Grant (CICSG), or Weisman Scholarship. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is offered to provide part-time employment earnings for tuition. Military benefits, including Yellow Ribbon, are available for current active duty or veteran Armed Forces.
Wesleyan University is a small, close-knit university known for its excellent academic programs and strong co-curricular activities. Its five academic divisions offer nearly 50 majors and over 1,000 courses to choose from. Unique B.A. degree options include Archaeology, Dance, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, Hispanic Literatures and Cultures, Medieval Studies, Neuroscience, and Science in Society. There are also B.A./M.A, M.A., and Ph.D. degree offerings in 20 academic areas. Wesleyan offers six free MOOCs through Coursera to study topics from social psychology to Ancient Greek civilization. Thanks to a low student-faculty ratio of 8:1, professors are very accessible for personalized attention.
Wesleyan’s park-like campus features more than 300 buildings, including Olin Memorial Library, the six-story Exley Science Center, and 7,500-square foot Andersen Fitness Center. The Alsop House, which houses 6,000 photographs in the Davison Art Center, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. 99 percent of undergraduate students live within the college’s eight residence halls. Diverse cuisine options are available in the Usdan Marketplace, Daniel Family Commons, Summerfields, and Pi Cafe. Religion is at the heart of campus life in Wesleyan’s Memorial Chapel. Learning spreads far beyond campus though, since 50 percent of students study abroad in France, Italy, or Spain.
The U.S. News noted Wesleyan as one of “20 Colleges Where It’s Easiest to Get Involved.” It’s estimated that there are 270 student-run organizations available. Students could join the Swing Team, develop their spirituality in the Buddhist House, or try a new sound with the Experimental Music Group. Wesleyan also has a strong LGBTQ community and active arts science in the Center for Arts. The university’s Debate Society is particularly famous for placing ninth in the World Student Debating Championships. Wesleyan University has 29 intercollegiate varsity teams participating in the NCAA Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference.