Wellesley’s Fly-In Programs Make Campus Visits Possible for More Prospective Students

November 27, 2018

This week, high school seniors around the country are starting to submit their regular decision college applications. Most decided which colleges to apply to a while ago—often after a series of campus visits. But for many students, the cost of traveling to a distant campus is prohibitive. That’s why Wellesley offers prospective students travel grants through two fly-in programs to help make campus visits accessible to more students.

The fall program enables bright, motivated women interested in applying to Wellesley to visit campus during Discover Wellesley Weekend, and the spring program brings admitted students to Spring Open Campus.

The travel grants cover transportation, meals, and overnight housing for a limited number of students, most with high financial need, and include a campus tour, class visits, and opportunities to meet with students, faculty, staff, and alumnae. The fall program also includes information sessions on demystifying the college application process and financing a Wellesley education. Applicants from underrepresented cultural backgrounds and regions, first-generation college students, and those with financial need are especially encouraged to apply, but the grant is available to all residents of the contiguous United States.

“I would have never had the opportunity to travel to Wellesley had it not been for the grant,” said Lex Mouton ’20. “I just remember thinking how lucky I was to be here and that there was no better place for me to be.”

The spring 2018 program brought close to 300 admitted students to campus, and more than half enrolled at Wellesley in the fall.

Fly-in participants get invaluable insights into campus life, allowing them to imagine themselves as one of the Wellesley “women who will make a difference in the world,” and learn firsthand about Wellesley’s commitment to supporting its students and to promoting a diverse and inclusive environment, from the application process to graduation and beyond.

As a participant in the spring program put it, “In just three days, I was able to see the unconditional support the school offers to the students, and the love the staff has for the school. I discovered many resources that fit my needs, such as programs for first-generation students, a Latinx community, and support for minorities aspiring to be in the medical field…Because of this visit, I am certain that Wellesley is the right school for me.” 

Expanded by a generous campaign contribution from Dorothy Chao Jenkins '68, the fly-in programs help the College attract and support qualified students who may perceive Wellesley to be out of reach, or to be an institution where they might feel out of place. “It sends a message to students whom it might be harder for us to attract that not only do the admission office and current students want them here, but there is a legacy of Wellesley women who are embracing them, and who want them to have [the Wellesley] experience,” said Joy St. John, dean of admission and financial aid.

Over the last several years, Wellesley has seen the largest applicant pools in its history, as well as measurable increases in the ability and diversity of applicants and of admitted and enrolled students.

This #GivingTuesday, support the next generation of Wellesley students by making a gift of any size to the Wellesley fly-in program.