Leading the Way in Access and Affordability, Wellesley Enrolls a High Percentage of Pell Grant Recipients

August 1, 2013

A recent New York Times story, Efforts to Recruit Poor Students Lag at Some Elite Colleges, sheds light on the varied enrollment of low-income students among top colleges in the United States.

Wellesley is recognized for its success in attracting talented students regardless of family income, with 20 percent of the student body receiving Pell Grants—the primary form of federal aid for low- and moderate-income students. In the Times graphic accompanying the story, Wellesley is shown to be among the top elite schools to enroll low-income students, in the company of peer schools that include M.I.T., Stanford, and Williams. 

Long acknowledged for its investment in women, Wellesley's leadership in access and affordability was also the subject of a Washington Post story. In 2008, Wellesley was one of the first elite colleges to eliminate debt completely for families earning $60,000 or less. In 2011, Kiplinger ranked Wellesley among the top 10 private institutions in the country for students graduating with the least amount of debt. The average debt load was just about $13,500.

Wellesley is currently working on a simplified version of the standard net price calculator that it is planning to release this fall.