How We Make Decisions

Students walking across campus

How We Make Decisions

Here’s a moment of real-ness.

There’s no typical Wellesley student (we know: every college says that; and yet!), but we tend to be people who know that we don’t know everything; who have a strong voice but listen to other voices; who have big plans but are totally open to changing them; who have taken risks, failed, and figured out a better way.

We believe in connection. We’re looking for people who are looking for more than a credential—people who are looking for a lifelong community. If that’s you—hi! Yay! Let’s see what’s possible.


How we make decisions

The admission committee at Wellesley College engages in a decision-making process that reflects holistic principles of application review, meaning admission decisions are based on the committee’s consideration of all pieces of an application, quantitative and qualitative, at once and in context of an applicant’s school and home environment. Committee members are trained to assess each student’s academic, co-curricular, and personal accomplishments, as well as her potential to contribute to the Wellesley community. After reviewing applications in their assigned geographic regions, groups of committee members meet to discuss the applicants from their regions. Together the members come to a consensus about the most appropriate admission decision for each student, in the context of the full applicant pool.

For first-year applicants, Wellesley does not require a fixed plan of secondary school course preparation. However, entering students normally have completed four years of college preparatory studies in secondary school that include training in clear and coherent writing and in interpreting literature; history; training in the principles of mathematics (typically four years); competence in at least one foreign language, ancient or modern (usually four years of study); and experience in at least two laboratory sciences. There are often exceptions to this, and we will consider an applicant whose educational background varies from this description.


Test-Optional Policy

Wellesley College has temporarily suspended its standardized test requirement for a four-year period of review. Applicants to Wellesley for entry in 2024 are not required to submit SAT or ACT test results with their applications.

Our holistic, committee-based application review process gives us the flexibility to evaluate each applicant’s full record within the context of their available resources. While standardized tests have long served as an external benchmark of college readiness, they are one factor among many that we can consider in the admission process.

Regardless of an applicant’s decision to submit test scores, the admission committee is particularly interested in an applicant’s demonstrated writing and quantitative skills as key predictors for success in Wellesley’s curriculum.



Wellesley College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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