Wellesley College, Wellesley, is situated just outside Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1876 the college is a renowned liberal arts college for women. It provides an “unexcelled educational experience” with the mission of promoting an “excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world.” The college is distinguished by the intellectual achievement of the women who attend.
The college is ranked as 4th in the US News best colleges list and is recognized as the top women’s college in the nation. It offers a cross registration program with MIT, thus increasing student options.
Family income is no barrier to attending Wellesley College, because it has a needs-blind admissions policy. It is dedicated to offering up to 100% of demonstrated financial need and as such, all its financial aid is given to need rather than merit-based awards. There are no athletic or merit-based scholarships, but merit itself is the strongest criterion for admission.
The current tuition costs at Wellesley are $39,420, with the total costs of attendance $51,950, excluding books, travel and personal expenses. However students who qualify for financial aid will find it no more expensive than public colleges due to the generous aid offered. The college has reduced the need for student loans in many cases and has replaced them with grant aid and scholarships. The average scholarship grant is more than $35,800.
Students from families with incomes of less than $60,000, whose parental contribution is less than $7000, have all student loans replaced with grant aid. Students from families with incomes less than $100,000, whose parental contribution is less than $28,000 will have loans capped at $8,600 over four years. Those who do require student loans can apply for federal student loans or low interest student loans direct from Wellesley. Students from higher income families can benefit from Wellesley low loan packages.
Students can of course apply for federal grants and state grants. Students who are residents of Massachusetts from low income families may qualify for the Mass grant, which awards $300 – $2,300 per annum. The expected family contribution should be less than $3,800. Other Massachusetts state grants include the Categorical Tuition Waiver, once again needs-based for students from low income families.
Wellesley College provides student employment through the Federal Work Study Program and the Wellesley Work Program. Earnings go directly to the student to contribute towards living expenses and should cover about $2000 of expenses. Any outside scholarships that students are granted will first be used to reduce the self help portion of financial aid, namely work study, loans and any contributions from summer vacation earnings. Only after student self help is replaced will outside scholarships reduce any grant aid.
The needs-blind admission policy adopted by Wellesley College ensures that students with the academic merit to attend have an opportunity to do so, regardless of financial need. Students with demonstrated financial need can receive a first class education subsidized by institutional aid.
Sources: wellesley.edu and financial aid finder