Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, was founded in 1831, and named after the Methodist leader John Wesley. The US News College Rankings places Wesleyan 12th in the best colleges in the nation. Wesleyan is a private University with an international reputation. Wesleyan seeks to attract students with “genuine intellectual curiosity, the ability to succeed in a rigorous and well rounded academic program, and concern for the larger community.”
Wesleyan has an admissions policy which is “highly selective based on individual achievement and promise, without regard to an applicant’s financial circumstances.” Tuition costs and fees have increased slightly from the $36 per annum charged when the college was founded, and now cost $42,084 per annum, bringing the total cost of attendance to $56,341. Fortunately, these costs are offset by an extremely generous financial aid policy, which offers need-blind admissions and guarantees to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need.
In keeping with other colleges which offer need-blind admissions, Wesleyan offers no merit or athletic scholarships, but instead concentrates all institutional aid on financial need. Since 2008, the University has eliminated student loans in favor of grants, for almost all students whose family income is less than $40,000.
Financial aid is determined as the difference between the costs of attending Wesleyan after the expected family contribution is considered. The family contribution comprises both parental contribution and the student’s contribution. Students are expected to contribute a minimum sum of $2000 from summer earnings and student assets will be taken into consideration.
Financial aid is made up of state and federal grants, federal loans, student employment, outside scholarships and Wesleyan gift aid in the form of institutional grants and scholarships. Outside scholarships that students receive go firstly towards reducing the student self help contribution which comprises student work and loans. Thereafter, outside scholarships reduce the amount of institutional aid available from Wesleyan.
Students who need to take loans as part of their financial aid package should apply first for federal student loans by completing the FAFSA forms. International students can apply for Wesleyan college loans.
Federal Pell grants are available for students with demonstrated financial need, and students should also inquire if there are any state educational grants available for studying in Connecticut, as some states offer grants to students studying out of state. Students who are residents of Connecticut may apply for Connecticut state grants, but these will in turn reduce the available amount of gift aid from Wesleyan.
The excellent financial aid package offered by Wesleyan University makes the prestigious college an affordable option and may work out less expensive than the costs of attending a public college. Financial circumstances should be no deterrent to applicants who are academically qualified.