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.
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.
What’s your story?
When I read a student’s application, I ask myself: Who is she? What makes her interesting? Is she curious or adventurous? Does she seek out challenge? Is she willing to take risks? Will she be an active participant in our community? What will she bring to our community? What’s her story?
—Anna Young, associate director of admission
Show us your world.
Wellesley students bring a tremendously rich set of perspectives to our campus community. Share glimpses of your world and passions in your essay.
—Milena Mareva ’01, associate director of admission
Be your authentic self.
When it comes to the college search process, authenticity is key. We are looking for what you bring to the table and how you will make a contribution to this campus, so spend some time considering how you want to present your own narrative in your application. Make sure you have someone you trust - a teacher, parent, counselor, or even a close friend - look over your application before you submit it, because your voice coming through is essential.”—Jake Sisco, assistant director of admission
Who are you outside of the classroom?
Explain all the exciting things you’re involved in! Whether it’s family responsibilities, work, clubs, sports, or volunteer work, be descriptive about the time you spend there and what you contribute. If you simply list ‘Art Club’, we don’t know if that means you paint once a week to relieve stress or advocated for club funding from your school board to found the club. Don’t assume we know what you mean, explain it to us!—Jordan Peterson, assistant director of admission