Wellesley College provides an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world.
Motto: Non Ministrari sed Ministrare, “Not to be ministered unto, but to minister”
Founding: 1870 by Henry and Pauline Durant; first students arrived 1875
School Type: A private, nonprofit liberal arts college for women accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education
Location: Wellesley, Massachusetts (12 miles west of Boston)
President: Paula A. Johnson is Wellesley's 14th president
Enrollment: 2,391 students
Majors: More than 50 departmental and interdepartmental majors
Average Class Size: 17 to 20 students; 8:1 student-faculty ratio
Length of Study: 86 percent graduate within four years; 91 percent graduate within six years
Internships: Over 70 percent of students participate in an internship while at Wellesley. Career Education provides internship stipends of $3,000 for about 300 students each year
Overseas & Exchange Study
Each year several hundred students spend a semester or year studying in another country, coordinated by the Office of International Studies. Financial aid continues in a study-abroad year. Summer and Wintersession courses take students to field study in Greece, Iceland, Central America, and elsewhere. The Three-College Alliance between Babson, Olin, and Wellesley promotes interdisciplinary collaboration; cross-registration with MIT, and Brandeis is also an option. Exchange programs exist with the Twelve Colleges, Spelman, Mills, and others.
Tuition & Financial Aid (for 2020–21)
Fees, Room & Board: $18,100
Total Comprehensive Fee: $76,220
Average Financial Aid Package: $52,000 in scholarships (grants), loans, and work study (see MyinTuition for a personalized cost estimator)
Percent of Students Receiving Aid: 60 percent
Percent of Calculated Financial Need Met: 100 percent
Cost of Most Campus Events: $0
Organizations/Clubs: More than 150 student organizations, with cultural centers and multifaith life on-campus.
Athletics: 13 varsity teams, plus club teams and recreational activities. (Colors: blue and white.)
Residence Halls: 21 residence halls vary in size from 40 to 285 students. Students from all four classes live in most residence halls, which all have professional resident directors and student residential staff.
Buildings & Grounds
From the Keohane Sports Center to the Wellesley Centers for Women, and from Whitin Observatory to the path all the way around Lake Waban, Wellesley’s campus spreads across 500 acres. Within that expanse lie residence halls, libraries, classrooms and laboratories, studios, cinema and theaters, cafés and dining halls, art galleries, offices, a golf course, and more.
Living Alumnae: More than 35,000.
The Network: Sometimes called the most powerful women’s network in the world, also found on LinkedIn.
Alumnae Association: Supports institutional priorities by connecting alumnae to the College and one another through programs, clubs, technology, mentoring, and volunteer leadership.
Student Leadership Positions: 100 percent women.
College Decision Making Opportunities: College Government, Board of Admission, Board of Trustees, Committee on Curriculum and Instruction, Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Academic Departments.
Some Leaders You Know from Wellesley: Madame Chiang Kai-Shek 1917, Madeleine Albright ’59, Diane Sawyer ’67, Hillary Rodham Clinton ’69, Persis Drell ’77, Robin Chase ’80, Desiree Rogers ’81, Nergis Mavalvala ’90, Ophelia Dahl DS ’94.