Wellesley’s Updated Cost Estimator Tells You in Just Three Minutes
Wellesley College today released an updated version of its groundbreaking college cost estimator. My inTuition: Wellesley’s Quick College Cost Estimator asks just six basic financial questions before providing a personalized estimate of an individual’s cost to attend Wellesley. The new version provides a breakdown of the cost paid by the family, work-study, and loan estimates, in addition to grant assistance provided by the College.
Wellesley developed My inTuition to give students a simple, accurate, and personalized estimate of their expected cost to attend the College. Since its release in September 2013, more than 26,000 estimates have been provided.
Wellesley's Katharine Coman and A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Economics Phillip B. Levine, who invented My inTuition, says, “We got a highly positive response when we released the cost estimator last year, and with the provision of more detailed information, we hope to continue and expand on that.” According to Levine, a former economic adviser to the Clinton administration who has studied economic mobility, My inTuition has the potential to attract even more people from a wider range of backgrounds to Wellesley—and elsewhere if it is adopted more broadly. Levine adds that the new detailed breakdown may help alleviate concerns around student debt. “Many families worry that their children will need to take out tens of thousands in loans to cover what they aren’t paying out of pocket. My inTuition helps them understand that is not the case at Wellesley.”
“Wellesley is invested in enrolling smart, talented young women with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences, regardless of their financial situation,” says Wellesley's Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Jennifer C. Desjarlais. “We know that many qualified students rule out schools based on their 'sticker price.' My inTuition communicates to students quickly and easily the price they can expect to pay to attend Wellesley given individual family circumstances, and it demonstrates that a top private college is within reach for any qualified student. We hope it spells out loud and clear: If you’re a good fit for Wellesley, our financial aid policies are designed to help you make it affordable. In fact, thanks to Wellesley’s generous financial aid, many students may find Wellesley to be their most affordable option.”
Scott Juedes, director of Student Financial Services at Wellesley, believes that the tool will help prospective students understand their options when they are first looking at colleges. “The financial aid process can be very confusing and difficult to navigate. By providing a clear estimate of what it will cost individuals to attend Wellesley, we hope to bring clarity to the beginning of the process.” Juedes said that changes to My inTuition were made in response to the requests of prospective students and families who have used the tool since it was unveiled in 2013.
According to Ravi Ravishanker, Wellesley’s chief information officer, My inTuition uses technology to bring transparency to college costs. Ravishanker says, “When you start shopping for a home or a car, it’s fairly easy to get a sense of what different options will cost you. Personalized information on college costs should be just as clear and accessible, and that’s what we set out to provide in developing and updating the tool.”
Since 2011, the federal government has mandated that colleges and universities introduce a net price calculator to provide prospective students with an estimate of the cost of attending the institution. Although these calculators have been in place for some time, they remain difficult to use, requiring answers to 40 or more questions and access to detailed financial records. In contrast, My inTuition provides a personalized estimate of an individual’s college costs at Wellesley in approximately three minutes. The tool is free and available online.