Wellesley College

2014 Quick Stats
106 Central Street

Wellesley, MA 02481-8203

Phone: (781) 283-1000
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 15
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#7 Overall Score: 91 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Wellesley College is a private institution that was founded in 1870. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,481, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 500 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Wellesley College's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 7. Its tuition and fees are $43,554 (2013-14).

Wellesley College, located 12 west miles outside of Boston in Wellesley, Mass., has a scenic campus encompassing a lake, woodlands, an arboretum and open meadows. It is a liberal arts college for women and is one of the original Seven Sisters Colleges, which includes Mount Holyoke, Vassar, Smith, Radcliffe (now part of Harvard), Bryn Mawr and Barnard. Students can choose from more than 150 student organizations on campus. The school has 14 varsity athletic teams that are part of NCAA Division III East College Athletic Conference. Instead of sororities, Wellesley has societies that serve as social and academic clubs. Housing is guaranteed for incoming freshmen, and the majority of students live in Wellesley’s 21 residence halls throughout their four years.

Wellesley has a cross-registration program with MIT, offering students a greater range of courses. Also, students can spend a semester in another college in the Northeast as part of the Twelve College Exchange Program. The college has a strong science program, including the nation’s second oldest physics lab. Wellesley has a program called the Davis Degree Program, which allows women older than 24 to attend college. The school also has many traditions, including an annual hoop-rolling race between the seniors, and stepsinging, when the academic classes try to out-sing each other. Notable alumni include former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; and ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Wellesley College, one of the most academically challenging institutions of higher education in the country and widely acknowledged as the nation's top women's college, provides its students with an array of opportunities that create the richest possible educational environment. Wellesley prepares women to realize their own highest ambitions and compete in any setting. Offering more than 1,000 courses in 54 established majors, the College also supports more than 100 student clubs and organizations (as well as 14 varsity teams) that serve a wide range of interests. It is this broad-based educational and experiential excellence, along with its dedicated faculty, small class size (averaging 17-20, with a student/faculty ratio of 7:1), and strong sense of community--that distinguishes Wellesley. As an institution that focuses solely on the ideals of a liberal arts education (and does not offer graduate programs), Wellesley is able to dedicate all of its academic resources--faculty, facilities, and research support to its undergraduate students. Admission policy is "need-blind" for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, admitting applicants without regard to their ability to pay, and making Wellesley one of the few colleges to meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need; additionally, its generous policies eliminate loans for students with the greatest need, creating one of the most socioeconomically diverse colleges in the country. In fact, Wellesley awards financial aid over 50 percent of its students. Each year several hundred women spend a semester (or year) studying abroad, where their financial aid applies; cross-registration is available with MIT, Olin College of Engineering, Babson, and Brandeis; and active exchange programs are offered through--among others--the Twelve College Exchange Program and Spelman College. Through its Center for Work and Service, Wellesley offers outstanding career guidance and internship programs with about three-quarters of students engaging in at least one internship. The Center awards stipends of $3,000 each to 300 students a year, making it possible for them to create their own unique internships or take advantage of an otherwise unpaid opportunity. Twenty-one residence halls house students from all four classes and from 63 countries and 48 states, making Wellesley one of the most diverse colleges in the nation. Celebrated for the many extraordinary facilities on its beautiful 500-acre campus, Wellesley is home to the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center; the Science Center; the Knapp Media & Technology Center; the Margaret Clapp Library; the Davis Museum & Collins Cinema; the Keohane Sports Center; the Hunnewell Arboretum & Alexandra Botanic Garden and Ferguson Greenhouses; the Jewett Arts Center; the Nehoiden Golf Course; the Newhouse Center for the Humanities; the Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching Center; the Slater International Center; the Wellesley Centers for Women; the Whitin Observatory; the Wellesley College Theatre; and the Albright Institute for Global Affairs, which educates women for leadership in the world. Alumnae commitment to the College and its mission is renown , and the connections among the 32,000 active alums--including former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton '69 and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright '59, ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer '67, and former Space Shuttle Commander Pamela Melroy '83--are strong. Wellesley is just outside of Boston, a city rich in theatre, art, sports, and entertainment, and populated with tens of thousands of college students.

General Information

School type private, women's college
Year founded 1870
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting suburban
2012 Endowment $1,468,582,000


When applying to Wellesley College, it's important to note the application deadline is January 15, and the early decision deadline is November 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due December 30. The application fee at Wellesley College is $50. It is most selective, with an acceptance rate of 30.1 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity most selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 30.1%
Application deadline January 15
SAT/ACT scores must be received by December 30

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Wellesley College is 7:1, and the school has 72 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Wellesley College include: Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics; Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies; and Psychology. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 95.5 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 7:1
4-year graduation rate 84%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Social Sciences 26%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 11%
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 11%
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies 10%
Psychology 9%

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Student Life

Wellesley College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,481, with a gender distribution of 1.7 percent male students and 98.3 percent female students. At this school, 93 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 7 percent of students live off campus. Wellesley College is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,481
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Wellesley College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, health service, and health insurance. Wellesley College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Wellesley College, 25 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Wellesley College.

Students who have cars on campus 25%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Wellesley College, 60.2 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $38,393.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $43,554 (2013-14)
Room and board $13,488 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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