What does the Wellesley College Board of Trustees’ decision mean for the Wellesley mission?
Wellesley’s mission—to provide an excellent education to women who will make a difference in the world—has been reaffirmed and is strengthened by deepening our understanding of what it means to be a woman in the 21st century.
The Board of Trustees emphasized that every aspect of Wellesley’s educational program is, and will continue to be, designed and implemented to serve women and to prepare them to thrive in a complex world. This singular focus on women is a critical part of the Wellesley education and the Wellesley experience. Consistent with this commitment, the Trustees also affirmed the importance of using language specific to the women we educate. In all institutional communications, the College will continue to use female pronouns and the language of sisterhood, both of which powerfully convey important components of our mission and identity. Classroom language will remain at the discretion of the instructor.
What does it mean to “live as a woman and consistently identify as a woman”?
Wellesley invites applications from all those who live as women and consistently identify as women and who are prepared for a rigorous academic environment that challenges them to achieve at their highest potential.
“Consistently” simply denotes a student’s commitment to her gender identity. If an applicant’s gender identity is not clearly reflected in her application materials, the College will request additional information that may include a letter from a parent, healthcare provider, teacher, or clergy, to give a few examples.
Are trans men eligible for admission?
No. Wellesley is deeply committed to our mission to educate women and the College is proud of its history of graduating women who demonstrate the value of women’s leadership. Wellesley does not accept applications from men. Those assigned female at birth who identify as men are not eligible for admission.
Are trans women eligible for admission?
Yes. Wellesley accepts applications from women. Those assigned male at birth who identify as women are eligible for admission.
Are individuals assigned female at birth who identify as non-binary eligible for admission?
Yes. That said, Wellesley is a college dedicated to the education of women. The College provides students with a uniquely empowering learning environment—one designed specifically to prepare women to thrive in a complex world. This singular focus on women is a critical part of the Wellesley experience. Wellesley accepts applications from those who were assigned female at birth and who feel they belong in our community of women.
What support will Wellesley provide if a student no longer identifies as a woman after matriculation?
We support all of our students. Once accepted to Wellesley, every student receives the full support and mentorship of College faculty, staff, and administrators through graduation. If, after being accepted, a student no longer identifies as a woman, the College will continue to support that student. If a student decides to transfer because the student would prefer another educational and social environment, Wellesley will support and facilitate that choice as well.
How will Wellesley implement the policy?
Appropriate departments and administrators at Wellesley have been addressing the operational issues involved in implementing the policy on gender since the policy went into effect last year. The College will complete its work to develop and implement the necessary procedures and guidelines with respect to admission policy in time for the next admission cycle, which is for Wellesley 2020 graduates.