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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Wellesley’s test optional policy?

Wellesley College has temporarily suspended its standardized test requirement for a four-year period of review. Applicants to Wellesley for entry in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 are not required to submit SAT or ACT test results with their applications.

Our holistic, committee-based application review process gives us the flexibility to evaluate each applicant’s full record within the context of their available resources. Standardized tests are one factor among many that we can consider in the admission process.

Regardless of an applicant’s decision to submit test scores, the admission committee is particularly interested in an applicant’s demonstrated writing and quantitative skills as key predictors for success in Wellesley’s curriculum.


Does Wellesley intend to extend the test optional policy beyond the 2024 application cycle?

Wellesley’s Faculty Senate and the Committee on Admission and Financial Aid will study the cohort of students admitted under the test optional policy to determine the feasibility of extending the policy.


How can students demonstrate effective writing skills?

Wellesley believes that students in every field should learn to communicate effectively in writing. To that end, all Wellesley students must take a First-Year Writing course. These courses provide a common introductory experience in college-level thinking and writing for all students at Wellesley, and serve as a launching point for the continued work students undertake across the curriculum throughout their college careers.


Students can demonstrate their readiness for Wellesley’s writing requirements in the following ways:

  • submitting an English or writing-based standardized test score (SAT, ACT, PSAT, Pre-ACT, AP, predicted IB or predicted A-level)

  • showing achievement in English or writing at the honors or advanced level in high school

  • reporting publications or awards received for creative or expository writing


How can students demonstrate proficiency in quantitative reasoning?

Regardless of major, all Wellesley students will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in quantitative reasoning and complete distribution requirements with a significant quantitative component. First-year students are required to demonstrate proficiency in Quantitative Reasoning by taking a Quantitative Reasoning (QR) course or passing an online QR exemption test in the summer before enrolling.


The Quantitative Reasoning Program is designed to ensure that Wellesley College students are proficient in the use of mathematical, logical, and statistical problem-solving tools needed in today's increasingly quantitative world. 

Students can demonstrate their readiness for Wellesley's quantitative requirements in the following ways:

  • submitting a math-based standardized test score (SAT, ACT, PSAT, Pre-ACT, AP, or predicted IB or A-level results)

  • showing achievement in math at the level of pre-calculus, calculus, or advanced high school statistics

  • reporting participation or awards received in math competitions or extracurricular activities.


How does Wellesley evaluate applications?

To ensure equity, all applications to Wellesley are reviewed by multiple readers, all submitted materials are considered, and admission decisions are made by committee. After the Office of Admission has compiled a docket of the most compelling candidates, the Deans of Admission engage the Committee on Admission and Financial Aid (AFA) in a conversation about institutional priorities and the College’s mission. The Deans then take guidance from the AFA back to the Office of Admission for use in finalizing all admission decisions.


Does the application review process differ for students who do not submit testing?

The Admission Office uses the same application review and decision making process for applicants who submit testing and for those who don’t. While students who do not submit test scores will receive full consideration in the review process, they should demonstrate written and quantitative reasoning skills that indicate preparedness for Wellesley’s curriculum.


How will these policies impact international students? Will you still require English proficiency testing?

We don’t require English proficiency testing, but we strongly recommend that international students whose native language is not English, and who have been studying in English-based curriculum for fewer than five years, take one of our approved English proficiency exams. See our FAQ for International applicants and English proficiency exams.


Have your expectations around recommendation letters changed this year? If so, how?

Our expectations for recommendation letters remain the same. Whenever possible, we encourage writers to reference specific examples of a student’s engagement in her school or larger community. You can find additional tips for writing effective letters of recommendation here



Will it help students to send additional materials ( additional letters of recommendation outside the classroom, portfolios, projects, etc.)?

Wellesley does not recommend that students send materials beyond those required in the application. Students with interest in art, music, or theater may choose to submit an optional arts submission for evaluation by a Wellesley faculty member. Students with other interests and talents may choose to send materials demonstrating those attributes. We recommend that students limit any additional submissions to no more than 1-2 pages, as readers are unable to spend significant time reviewing non-required materials.


How will you consider P/F grades and limited extracurricular activities due to COVID?

The Office of Admission will consider P/F grades and extracurricular activities in the context of a student’s school and home environment. P/F grades or limited extracurricular activities due to COVID will not disadvantage a student’s application. We encourage students who experienced changes in grading or access to activities to use the community disruption/COVID-19 questions in the Common, QuestBridge, and Coalition Apps to explain any of these circumstances in brief detail.


What does “demonstrated interest” look like for your institution?

We encourage potential applicants to take advantage of at least one of our virtual or in-person offerings so they can make an informed decision about applying to and enrolling at Wellesley. For students who discover Wellesley later in their college search, we offer engagement opportunities after our application deadline. While we do keep track of student participation in our programming, this is more to measure the efficacy of our outreach. Applicants are not advantaged by participating in any particular type of engagement or for the volume of their engagement.



Can students interview at Wellesley?

Following a detailed evaluation of our prospective student offerings, Wellesley has decided to no longer offer one-on-one interviews for prospective students. We will instead focus on offering group events and virtual programming to connect students with alumnae, current students, faculty, and staff. The Admission Office made this decision after carefully considering feedback from students about how they wish to engage with us and with an eye to increased access and equity.


How can students engage with Wellesley?

Students can:


🏫 Register for a self-guided tour or in-person information session

💪 Attend Amplify, a virtual series is about empowering change and redefining leadership

👯 Sign up for AlumConnect to meet some of Wellesley's 35,000+ alumnae 

🙊 Learn more through info sessions with Wellesley, Harvard, Princeton, University of Virginia, Yale, and the Sister Colleges

💬 Drop in on an informal student-to-student chat—no admission reps allowed!

🎥 Bookmark the awe-inspiring Wellesley Playlist

👟 Take a 360 virtual tour of our beautiful campus

💙 Peruse 100 marvelous things about Wellesley College



If prospective students or applicants participate in social or racial justice efforts, including protests or walkouts, how will this impact the review of their application and/or place in the class?

Wellesley College supports the rich tradition of women who are civically engaged and who work to make a difference in the world. With respect to this tradition, the Office of Admission carefully considers the circumstances of any school suspension or discipline reports by an applicant or school. Students who report disciplinary actions for participation in peaceful protests related to issues of public concern will not be disadvantaged in the application process.

Resources for school counselors

Fall 2022 Wellesley College Admission Report

Want to know more about the Class of 2026? Check out the Class of 2026 Profile.



Class of 2026 Profile

All of the stats and facts for the class of 2026 at your fingertips!


Writing Effective College Recommendations

Ann Velenchik, Wellesley College Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Economics, offers advice from the perspective of a Board of Admission reader on how to make your letter of recommendation a more useful contribution to your students’ application dossiers.

Why Wellesley? 7 Compelling Reasons

Are there more than seven? There are. And yet we all lead busy lives and love lists and seven is a magic number.


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