Acorns, a renovated house overlooking Lake Waban, includes meeting space, a kitchen, and offices for advisors to students of Asian descent, Latinx students, and LGBTQ+ students.
Diversity & Inclusion
It’s equitable, inclusive, and empowering. It’s home.
Wellesley was founded on the radical idea that women have an equal right to the best education in the country. We still believe—in fact, we know from experience—that the boldest ideas, the brightest solutions, and the healthiest communities draw on a range of voices, perspectives, and experiences.
We’re dedicated to ensuring that all Wellesley students have an equal opportunity to flourish, no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, physical ability, or any other category that can be used to divide people.
All students deserve equity in how they are mentored, sponsored, supported, and empowered to experience Wellesley. We are dedicated to ensuring that each of our students is able to take advantage of Wellesley's rich learning and living environment.
—Paula A. Johnson, president of Wellesley College
A diversity of viewpoints and life experiences produces better outcomes not only in the classroom, but also well into adulthood. ... Diversity enhances the academic and life experience for every student and graduate and for society overall.
—Joy St. John, dean of admission and financial aid
A mere sample of the brilliant variety of experiences in our community:
- Wellesley students come from all 50 states 🇺🇸, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. They hail from 87 countries of citizenship and 59 countries of residence.
- At least one language other than English is spoken in 43 percent of students’ homes; over 30 languages are spoken 💬 on campus.
- 49 percent of the class of 2022 identify as students of color ✍🏻✍🏼✍🏽✍🏾✍🏿
- Nearly 60 percent of our students receive financial aid 💵; the average annual scholarship (that does not need to be repaid) is $47,000.
- 17 percent of students in the class of 2022 will be the first generation in their families to graduate 🎓 from college.
- From rainbow 🌈 “Safe Space” stickers on office doors to out-and-proud First-Year Mentors, Wellesley offers many informal mentoring and advising resources for its LGBTQ students and their allies.
- 13 religious organizations ✝️✡️☸️☪️☯️🛐serve students from agnostic to Zoroastrian and everything in between!
- Our Elizabeth Kaiser Davis Degree Program and transfer program welcome students who have taken many different 📓 educational journeys.
Diversity Recruitment Team Outreach
Our Diversity Recruitment Team is a group of staff and students who are committed to recruiting and enrolling students from underrepresented backgrounds. They organize the travel grant program that brings bright, deserving students to campus, engage with community-based organizations and high school counselors around the country, hang out with the dozens of cultural organizations on campus, and help connect prospective and current students.
Ask a student about the ways in which the team can support you in the application process.
Our campus is full of diverse young women from all over the world, but inclusive excellence means continuing to build our community through representation of different lived experiences, identities, talents, and backgrounds. Making sure that we are seeking out and attracting talent from populations that may not be as familiar with Wellesley through our fly-in programs, our partnerships, and our recruitment travels is key to building a stronger community.
As a first-generation student of color who did not attend Wellesley, I am in awe of the support Wellesley first-generation and students of color have access to. From the First Gen Network to Wellesley Plus, to our many affinity and cultural organizations, it is wonderful to see students come together in fellowship around shared identities with the goal of supporting each other navigate their journeys.
—Natasha Robinson, associate director of admission
As a new counselor at Wellesley, I am inspired daily by leaders that puts equity and inclusion front-and-center. Regarding diversity initiatives, I do the work that comes full circle to me reflecting back on my own college process. I am a first-generation Native American from rural Idaho. I was supported by my school and community, and that support was bolstered by a non-profit organization I cared about. When I am on the road or reading applications, I think about the applicants and their potential to thrive.
—Cody Riggers, assistant director of admission
It sounds cliché, but the moment I stepped onto Wellesley’s campus for the first time, there was this spark of something that I couldn’t quite explain at the time. Now, looking back, I know that spark was a sense of belonging that I had never really felt before. Aside from the outstanding professors, picturesque campus, and tight-knit community, what made me choose Wellesley was the fact that walking around this campus makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to, with my incredible Wellesley siblings changing the world by my side. Wellesley is a magical place, and I’m so happy that I ended up here.
—Aminah, diversity team intern
As a first-generation student, my knowledge of higher education was extremely limited growing up. When I first heard about Wellesley, I fell in love with the idea of attending a school in which there is a strong sense of community, a rich variety of courses offered, and so many organizations for students to feel safe in. I chose Wellesley because I knew this was a place where, regardless of background, I would be able to achieve great things and I would have the support of so many faculty and staff along the way.
—Kate, diversity team intern
A few of our most-used, best-loved campus resources
Disability Services offers accommodations for students with temporary and permanent disabilities.
Harambee House is home to Ethos, a group for students of African descent, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary!
LGBTQ+ Services offers students a host of organizations, activities, and events.
Slater International Center is a gathering place for international students (about 10% of our student body) and students interested in global culture.
The Community Action Network hosts discussions, workshops, and events that promote a more nuanced, textured understanding of equity and inclusion.
The First Generation Network offers first-generation college students a supportive community, regular events, and mentorship from faculty, staff, and alumnae.
The Houghton Chapel and Multifaith Center is home to 17 weekly services, 8 religious and spiritual chaplains, and our Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.
Partnerships with progressive organizations around the world
Chicago Scholars is leading a powerful movement to guide a critical mass of Chicago’s talented youth into college and career success. Chicago Scholars are academically driven, first-generation college students from under-resourced communities who do not have the social capital or informational resources necessary to help them navigate the unfamiliar, complex transitions into college, through college, and beyond to a career. As a Platinum College Partner with the Chicago Scholars program in Cook County, Wellesley participates in special student recruitment events in the Chicago area. Partners are dedicated to supporting Scholars with financial support, academic advising, and leadership opportunities. We also meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need as well as provide additional opportunities.
Wellesley is among the diverse coalition of public and private colleges and universities nationwide to participate in the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success. The coalition developed a new application as well as a free platform of online tools to streamline the experience of planning for and applying to college and to provide low-income students with better information about high-quality, low-cost college options.
Wellesley is proud to be a QuestBridge partner school. This nonprofit organization links motivated high-achieving, low-income students with educational and scholarship opportunities at some of the nation’s best colleges. QuestBridge believes that attending a top college can be affordable, and the organization is committed to helping students attain the college education they deserve.
Say Yes to Education In joining the Say Yes Higher Education Compact, Wellesley, as well as other private colleges and universities across the country, agree to ensure that most students from Say Yes communities whose annual family income is at or below $75,000 are able to attend college tuition-free.
The Posse Foundation places students in posses—groups of 10 students—to help foster academic excellence within the institutions that have awarded the selected students a four-year full-tuition leadership scholarship. Wellesley is proud to be Houston’s second STEM Program partner, and the 11th STEM partner nationally, welcoming our first Posse to campus in 2017.
United World Colleges (UWC) schools, colleges, and programs deliver a challenging and transformational educational experience to a diverse cross-section of students, inspiring them to create a more peaceful and sustainable future. UWC comprises 16 international schools and colleges located in North America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America; national committees in more than 150 countries; and a series of short educational programs. Learn about the Davis-United World College Scholars Program at Wellesley.
Travel grants to Discover Wellesley Weekend
Rising high school seniors who are interested in discovering Wellesley’s diverse and inclusive community can apply for a travel grant to this fall program. Wellesley encourages and prioritizes applicants who are from underrepresented cultural backgrounds such as African American, Asian American, Latina American, and Native American; first-generation students; and/or students from other underrepresented communities and regions. The travel grant program aims to support applicants who may otherwise be unable to visit campus. See Discover Wellesley, the Fall Travel Grant and Travel Grant FAQs.
Travel grants to Spring Open Campus
Wellesley offers travel grants to admitted students, most with high financial need, to Spring Open Campus in April, where they attend classes and panels, tour campus, and experience a glimpse of life at Wellesley.
Exceptional financial aid
We meet 100 percent of our students’ calculated need, ensuring that every admitted student can afford to attend Wellesley. Our MyinTuition calculator can give you a rough estimate of the aid you’d expect to receive if you attend Wellesley. On average, students receive $47,000 in grants that don’t require repayment. Students graduate with less than half the average national student debt.