Aid Sources

Financial aid awards are called packages because they usually bundle multiple sources of assistance.


Grants (also known as scholarships) are a form of aid that you do not have to repay. They are part of the aid package if there is remaining need after work, loans, and outside resources (private scholarships, tuition benefits, and other outside gifts) are applied. You may have one or more of the following as part of your aid package:

  • Wellesley College Grant
  • Students' Aid Society Grant
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • State Grant


Student loans are borrowed in the student's name and must be repaid after graduation. A student is likely to have one or more of these loans as part of her aid package. Wellesley is committed to keeping student loan levels low so that financial concerns don't limit a student's choices upon graduation. In Wellesley's enhanced financial aid policy concerning student loans, we have eliminated loans for some students, reduced loans for others, and kept loans at a historically low level for all students.  Learn more about the policy in the form of Frequently Asked Questions.

There are some cases in which a student may borrow in order to reduce summer or academic year work expectations. Students who study abroad cannot do work-study; therefore, their work-study expectation is replaced by an additional loan. Students who file financial aid applications late may have higher loan levels. Students typically have 10 years to pay off loans in manageable monthly payments.

  • Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Wellesley College Students' Aid Society Loan
  • Wellesley College Student Loan
  • Plitt-Kirgan Student Loan

Federal Work-Study/Wellesley Student Work

  • Work awards are not credited to the student bill; students are paid for the hours worked and submitted via web-time-entry (on-line timesheet).
  • Students with work-study awards have priority for on-campus jobs during the first few weeks of the semester and jobs may be open for casual wage students after that time.
  • Some off-campus jobs are restricted to students with Federal Work-Study awards.
  • Students usually work about 8-10 hours per week.
  • Entry level jobs pay approximately $8.00-$8.75 per hour.
  • Students are responsible for contacting potential employers to schedule interviews.
  • Jobs are posted here.

Outside Scholarships/Other Sources of Aid

Scholarships from outside private and nonprofit institutions or organizations are important resources for all students. Scholarship eligibility is based on criteria established by the donor, which may include merit, need, or special characteristics, such as local organizations, or area of academic interest. Many college students pursue outside scholarships to avail themselves of additional financial flexibility.

Outside sources of funding can significantly reduce a student's debt burden and work commitment over the years. All students receiving outside scholarships must report outside scholarships to the Student Financial Services Office. Receipt of outside scholarships must, by Federal law, reduce or alter your financial aid. First-year students will be able to report outside scholarships and preference for reduction of self-help through MyWellesley portal. Returning students will report receipt of outside scholarships via email to

At Wellesley, students who are awarded outside scholarships receive the fullest possible benefit of those scholarships. We use outside scholarship aid to reduce "self-help"—that is, student loans, work-study, and student contributions from summer earnings, before making any reduction in grant aid. We must, however, follow all federal regulations regarding outside scholarships and benefits. Outside scholarships do not affect the parents' calculated ability to contribute; thus they do not reduce the expected parent contribution.

Unless specifically stated in the sponsorship letter, all outside scholarships will be evenly applied to the fall and spring semesters.


Army, Navy, and Air Force Reserve Officer Training programs offer substantial outside scholarship opportunities for qualified, selected individuals. Wellesley students interested in ROTC should contact ROTC programs at MIT. For more information, see MIT's website.

Outside Scholarship Websites

All legitimate scholarship searches must be free and should not ask for any credit card or bank information from the applicant. The following free scholarship search engines provide useful information on various types of scholarships.

Other potential scholarship sources to explore are:

  • High school counseling office
  • Employers
  • Business big and small
  • Local governments
  • Professional organizations
  • Religious organizations
  • Ethnic and cultural organizations
  • Military associations
  • Private foundations and charities

Student Scholarship Search is useful in helping students develop a plan and conduct an organized search for scholarships. For example, it has useful tips on limiting searches so they don't result in an overwhelming number of results.


$1.3 Billion

The market value of Wellesley’s endowment was $1.3 billion on June 30, 2009. That was not a pretty time in economic history, and still: $1.3 billion.