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Wellesley College is one of the only historically all female colleges left in the United States. Many of the colleges that opened for women went coeducational in their later years. Chartered in 1870 and granted approval by the state four years later, the college officially opened in 1875 under the name of the Wellesley Female Seminary. Pauline Durant and her husband Henry came up with the concept of the college after noticing that many of the colleges in Massachusetts either did not admit women at all or limited the type of classes they could take. It is part of the Seven Sisters Colleges, which is a network of female only schools.
A large number of prominent women graduated From Wellesley, including Hillary Clinton and Diane Sawyer. The college, which originally required that all students live on campus, now offers students the right to live off campus or at home, but more than 98% of its students still live in its dormitories and residence halls. Many compare Wellesley College with Ivy League schools. Not only does it have a low admissions rate, but it also received national recognition from Forbes, which ranked it as the 26th best college in America. In terms of liberal arts colleges, it ranks at number four on the U.S. News & World Report list and at number 14 on the list released by Washington Monthly. It also ranks among the nation's best private colleges for women.
Wellesley College Accreditation Details
Accreditation is likely one of the last things you might look at or consider when choosing a college. While you can go to school anywhere you want, always make sure that the college or university has regional accreditation. Wellesley College earned its regional accreditation several decades ago from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and takes special steps to ensure that it keeps its accreditation. The college has its own board, which features alumni, current students, faculty members and administrators, to keep track of its accreditation checks and to ensure that it continues meeting all the NEASC requirements for accreditation.
Wellesley College Application Requirements
Wellesley College receives thousands of applications every year but accepts right around 30% of those applicants. When you make sure that you meet all the requirements for applying and submit all the proper documents, you have a better chance of getting an acceptance letter. You can apply for early decision, early evaluation or regular decision. The early decision deadline is around the beginning of November, and if you apply and receive acceptance, you must agree to attend Wellesley. Early evaluation lets you apply early without feeling forced to select the school. You'll have until the middle of January to apply for traditional or regular acceptance.
Whether you opt for early or regular decision, you'll need to go through the Common Application. This is a newer website that many colleges across the country now use instead of having their own online applications. You'll need to fill out background information, list your social security number and include your birth date when setting up your profile. The Common Application includes a general personal essay that you need to write, but you also need to write an essay based on the topic that Wellesley gives you. Wellesley requires other documents from prospective students, including two evaluations written by your teachers, an SAT or ACT score, a high school transcript and a school report. Those applying for a spot in one of the art, theater or music programs will need to submit a taped audition or a portfolio of their work.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Students who decide to attend Wellesley College will need to put down a deposit by the middle of the summer. This deposit lets the school know that you will start classes in the fall and holds your spot. Instead of charging a rate based on credit hours, the college charges one set tuition rate because it expects all students to enroll on a full time basis. Your tuition rate will start at more than $48,000 a year. When you add in the cost of expenses and room and board, the amount rises to more than $61,000 a year.
Wellesley College offers payment plans for those who want to pay their tuition costs on their own. After putting down a deposit at the start of the semester, the college will assign you monthly due dates throughout the semester to pay off your balance. Make sure that you submit the FAFSA before looking at payment plans. The college offers loans, grants, admission to its work study programs and scholarships for qualifying students. You can also use the college's website to find out how to apply for outside scholarships too. Wellesley College has a tuition stabilization plan in place that freezes your tuition rates when you first enroll and offers annual payment plans for those who want to graduate from the college.
Major Choices at Wellesley College
Students often choose Wellesley because the college gives them the chance to design and build their own majors and to opt for more unique programs of study. Its American Studies program is just one of those unique options. Created for those who want to learn more about America at large, you can study everything from amusement parks and popular films to the history of specific cultures and sports teams. The college recommends that American Studies majors select courses from various departments on campus, including its literature, film studies and history departments. You can concentrate your studies on an area like culture and society or race, class and gender, but the college will also let you design and build your own field of study.
The college also offers a comparative literature major that requires students take courses both inside and outside of the English department. You must choose a concentration in an area like literature and policy, translation or the visual arts and take at least three courses within that concentration. Many of the courses offered for these students are joint courses that combine elements of two different topics such as a class that looks at how at how some countries remain caught between two different cultural groups. Wellesley College gives its students the option of selecting one of its more traditional majors or designing a major of their own.