Wellesley College traces its roots to a couple named Henry and Pauline Durant, who founded the college in 1870 as a means to educate women. Most of the first members of the faculty at Wellesley were women, and the first graduating class in 1879 had 18 members. Over the next few decades, the school would grow into an important educational institution that focused on providing advanced study in science, psychology, economics, and sociology. After the loss of one of its main buildings in a fire in 1914, the school would spend the next several years expanding and rebuilding. Two of the highest-ranking women ever involved in American politics, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Madeleine Albright, graduated from Wellesley, and the school has also maintained strong exchange programs with similarly respected colleges like Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Wellesley College Accreditation Details

Wellesley College is institutionally accredited by the New England Assoc. of Schools & Colleges, which is a division of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE). The school first gained its accreditation in 1929 and has maintained it ever since with periodic updates. Attending a school accredited by the CIHE or another accrediting body ensures students can transfer to other, similarly accredited schools, as well as continue their education in graduate school or in a doctoral program after graduation. Wellesley offers programs that lead to bachelor’s degrees, and many students move on from Wellesley to another institution of higher learning for graduate school.

Wellesley College Application Requirements

Wellesley receives around 4,800 applications each year and accepts 28 percent of those applicants. The school is competitive; however, it’s not highly selective like Harvard or Stanford. The average student at Wellesley had an ACT score of 31, an SAT Critical Reading score of 702, an SAT writing score of 700, and an SAT Math score of 691. About 81 percent of students admitted to the college were in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Materials students should expect to submit with their application include the Common Application for Wellesley College, an official high school transcript, and a letter of recommendation from a high school counselor or similar school official. In addition, students must submit at least two letters of recommendation from teachers and standardized test scores. Students may submit their SAT scores or their ACT scores and don’t need to submit both.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Wellesley states that 60 percent of its students receive financial aid and that the school ensures 100 percent of demonstrated financial need is met through financial aid. A healthy 75 percent of students participate in internships, and the school provides monetary stipends for many of those internships. Tuition at Wellesley costs $45,078 and is the same for all students whether they’re Massachusetts residents or students who live out-of-state. Other costs a student will need to pay include $7.672 for a room, $7,442 for a meal plan, and $292 for a student activity fee. In all, the total tuition and room & board come to $63,916 per year. Students may also need to pay an additional $2,110 for health insurance if they aren’t already covered.

Like similar accredited colleges, students may apply for federal student aid to cover tuition at Wellesley, as well as look into private student loans, scholarships, and grants, as well as federal work-study opportunities. It’s important to note that students who live off campus will be awarded financial aid based solely on tuition costs and their off-campus housing costs won’t be covered in the financial aid award letter. In addition to receiving financial aid for tuition and room & board, students may also receive financial assistance during the summer via paid internships. Students may also choose to use their financial aid at another school in another country during a study abroad session.

Degrees Available

Wellesley College offers a wealth of different majors that range from Economics and History to Astronomy and Anthropology. From strong physical science programs to exceptional social science degrees, students who wish to attend a top-tier liberal arts school will benefit from their Wellesley degree. Students interested in studying a foreign language have several options available that include East Asian Languages, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. Choosing to major in a foreign language can help a student reach a variety of career goals ranging from acting as a translator for business or the government to living in another country conducting business.

For example, students may wish to study Spanish, which can lead to opportunities in dozens of different countries, as well as throughout the United States. Spanish is one of the most widely-spoken languages on the planet, and cultures have grown alongside the language across the planet from Europe to South America and everywhere in between. Not only can students enter immersive studies in Spanish, but Wellesley also offers courses in Portuguese, which is a romance language related to Spanish and spoken in Portugal and Brazil. Spanish is an ideal language for students interested in entrepreneurial activities that may include connections and deals with the Spanish-speaking world.

Another foreign language and culture option comes from the Department of German Studies where students will get to study a variety of texts on the history of Germany and related German-speaking countries, as well as contemporary life in places like Austria and Switzerland. One of the terrific opportunities offered to students is the chance to study abroad in a city like Berlin where students will spend March through July participating in classes in Germany. Students who wish to enter Wellesley in a language program must showcase suitable preparation for immersion in a language program by completing a detailed language evaluation.

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Wellesley College not only offers exceptional programs for its students, but it also provides a quality learning environment in each classroom. The school offers an excellent 7:1 student to faculty ratio to its 2,300 students. Additionally, the college maintains a high number of students of color at 40 percent. Virtually all members of the faculty hold a Ph.D. or the highest degree available in their chosen field, and the low student-to-faculty ratio is a well-known benefit of attending this prestigious school. Future students interested in the educational opportunities at Wellesley should inquire with the school department that houses the major of which they wish to study. Although the school is selective in its admissions, Wellesley College is by no means impossible to enter for the dedicated student who is interested in an enriching and fulfilling educational experience.