Application Instructions

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Application Instructions

A step-by-step guide

Hello, QuestBridge applicants! We’re so glad you’re here. We recommend you follow closely the requirements set for you through the QuestBridge organization. Materials and deadlines may shift depending on your College Match status.

Application instructions

1. The application

Wellesley does not require nonmatch finalists to submit a Common Application or Coalition Application. Should you decide to submit an application via the Common Application or Coalition Application, you may copy and paste the same essay submitted through the QuestBridge application onto your Common Application or Coalition Application.

Specify your decision plan

When you begin your application, you’ll need to choose a decision plan for each school you apply to. (Check out our dates and deadlines page for more information.)

Use your legal name throughout

Be sure to be consistent and use your legal name (as it appears on your passport or other legal documents) on all of your application materials. This may sound obvious, but it’s really important! If you go by another name, list that as your “preferred name” on the application and that’s the name we’ll use when we get in touch with you.


2. The essays

You’ll do a fair amount of writing on your QuestBridge application; you’ll also need to write a short, Wellesley-specific essay. See our application tips for advice on writing essays.

The QuestBridge essays

No matter what you’re writing, aim to be clear, concise, compelling, and creative. (You do not, however, have to be alliterative. That was just a coincidence.)

The Wellesley-specific essay

This required writing supplement asks you to respond to the following topic.

The Wellesley essay prompt

When choosing a college community, you are choosing a place where you believe that you can live, learn, and flourish. Generations of inspiring women have thrived in the Wellesley community, and we want to know what aspects of this community inspire you to consider Wellesley. We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but the “Wellesley 100” is a good place to start. Visit The Wellesley 100 and let us know, in two well-developed paragraphs, which two items most attract, inspire, or energize you and why. (Not-so-secret tip: The “why” matters to us.)

Can I use the same essay I submitted to QuestBridge for the Common Application or Coalition Application?

Wellesley does not require nonmatch finalists to submit a Common Application or Coalition Application. Should you decide to submit an application via the Common Application or Coalition Application, you may copy and paste the same essay submitted through the QuestBridge application onto your Common Application or Coalition Application.


3. High school credentials

We require your transcripts, two teacher evaluations, and a school report (including recent senior year grades) completed by your school counselor.

Teacher evaluations

Carefully consider which teachers you want to ask to fill out your evaluation. Have they gotten to know you personally? Have they seen you improve? Can they comment on your learning style?

Be sure to give your chosen teachers enough time to write your letter of recommendation. They are, after all, busy people with full lives.

School School Report

Ask your school counselor to complete the School Report form (with your most recent grades) for the Common Application or Coalition Application. They should also include an official transcript and school profile.

If you’re applying for Early Decision or Early Evaluation, you will need to submit first-quarter or first-trimester grades for your final year of high school. When your midyear grades become available, you will need to ask your counselor to complete the midyear report form (also part of the online application).

Your school might require that you sign a release for your transcript. If that’s the case, make sure the release covers first quarter grades, midyear grades, and your final transcript so that these credentials aren’t delayed.


4. Standardized tests

Wellesley has extended the one year suspension of its standardized testing requirement for first-year applicants given the fact that many high school students are still unable to sit for standardized tests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that submission of SAT or ACT scores will be optional for first-year applicants applying to the College for entry in the fall of 2022. If an applicant wishes to have their standardized test scores considered as one component of their application, we will consider the scores in a nuanced and contextual way alongside all other application credentials. If applicants choose not to submit standardized test scores, we will evaluate their application in a nuanced and contextual way without scores. Our holistic, committee-based application review process gives us the flexibility to evaluate each applicant’s academic and extracurricular accomplishments within individual context. Standardized Testing FAQs.

Wellesley requires that you take either the ACT or the SAT.


Some candidates may wish to provide additional testing to demonstrate particular academic strengths. Applicants who want to self-report SAT subject tests, AP scores, or IB exam results should use the testing section of their online application to do so.

If you face financial challenges in meeting Wellesley’s standardized testing requirements, contact us for guidance. In some instances, we may be able to waive a standardized testing requirement due to financial hardship.

To learn more about when you should take your tests and score choice options, check out our FAQ.


5. Optional items

If relevant to your application, you may submit these optional credentials.

Early Decision Agreement

If you’re applying Early Decision Round I or Round II, be sure to complete the Early Decision Agreement with your application.

Before submitting your application, you’ll need to list your parent or gaurdian’s email on the recommended page to ensure they sign their portion of the Early Decision Agreement.


We don’t require an interview—but interviews can be delightful (and enlightening). Explore how to schedule an on- or off-campus interview.

Arts, music, or theatre portfolio 

If you have a special talent in the arts, you might want to submit an arts portfolio.  

Our art, music, and theatre studies departments will accept electronic submissions of portfolios, recordings, or presentations. The appropriate department will review your material.

To submit an arts portfolio:

  • You must submit your portfolios, recordings, or presentations electronically using SlideRoom. QuestBridge applicants must select the non-Common Application program for the plan they are applying under. Please do not mail any materials to the Office of Admission. Submissions sent by mail will not be reviewed or returned.
  • Follow the guidelines and instructions as outlined by Wellesley’s art, music, and theatre studies departments.
  • Please submit your Arts Portfolio through your Wellesley Applicant Portal. Portfolio submissions must be received within a week of the application deadline in order for our faculty to have sufficient time for review. 

Athletic supplement

If you are interested in competing in varsity athletics at Wellesley (Division III), submit a recruiting form to the head coach of your sport.

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