Types of Aid

Financial aid offers are called packages because they usually bundle multiple sources of assistance.

A student's financial aid offer —or package— typically includes the following components: Grants, Loans, Federal Work-Study, Outside Scholarships


Grants (also known as scholarships) are a form of aid that you do not have to repay. They are part of the aid package if there is remaining need after work, loans, and outside resources (private scholarships, tuition benefits, and other outside gifts) are applied. You may have one or more of the following as part of your aid package:

  • Wellesley College Grant
  • Students' Aid Society Grant
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • State Grant

A grant is a gift and thus never has to be repaid. Grant aid totals nearly $66.1 million for all current Wellesley students.  This money is dedicated exclusively to supporting students who have demonstrated financial need. Among the Class of 2024, 60 percent of students receive financial aid. Wellesley's average annual grant (not including outside scholarships) is nearly $53,000.


Student loans are borrowed in the student's name and must be repaid after graduation. A student is likely to have one or more of these loans as part of her aid package. Wellesley is committed to keeping loan levels low so that financial concerns don't limit a student's choices upon graduation.

Wellesley's financial aid policy has eliminated loans for some students, reduced loans for others, and kept loans at a historically low level for all students.  See Frequently Asked Questions.

There are some cases in which a student may borrow in order to reduce summer or academic year work expectations. Students who study abroad cannot do work-study; therefore, their work-study expectation is replaced by an additional loan. Students who file financial aid applications late may have higher loan levels. Typically, students have 10 years in which to pay off loans in manageable monthly payments.

  • Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
  • Wellesley College Students' Aid Society Loan
  • Wellesley Plitt-Kirgan Student Loan
  • Wellesley College Student Loan

Federal Work Study - Wellesley student work

  • Work offers are not credited to the student bill; students are paid for the hours worked and submitted via web-time-entry (on-line timesheet).
  • Students with work-study offers have priority for on-campus jobs during the first few weeks of the semester and jobs may be open for casual wage students after that time.
  • Some off-campus jobs are restricted to students with Federal Work-Study offers.
  • Students usually work about 6-8 hours per week.
  • The entry level pay rate starts at the Massachusetts minimum wage of $13.50/hour.
  • Students are responsible for contacting potential employers to schedule interviews.
  • Wellesley job postings

Outside Scholarships - other sources of aid

  • Scholarships from outside private and nonprofit institutions or organizations are important resources for all students. Scholarship eligibility is based on criteria established by the donor, which may include merit, need, or special characteristics, such as local organizations, or area of academic interest. Many college students pursue outside scholarships to avail themselves of additional financial flexibility.
  • Outside sources of funding can significantly reduce a student's debt burden and work commitment over the years. All students receiving outside scholarships must report outside scholarships to the Student Financial Services Office. Receipt of outside scholarships must, by Federal law, reduce or alter your financial aid. First-year students will be able to report outside scholarships and preference for reduction of self-help through MyWellesley portal. Returning students will report receipt of outside scholarships via email to sfs@wellesley.edu.
  • At Wellesley, students who are offered outside scholarships receive the fullest possible benefit of those scholarships. We use outside scholarship aid to reduce "self-help"—that is, student contribution, student loans, work-study, in that order, before making any reduction in grant aid. We must, however, follow all federal regulations regarding outside scholarships and benefits. Outside scholarships do not affect the parents' calculated ability to contribute; thus they do not reduce the expected parent contribution.
  • Unless specifically stated in the sponsorship letter, all outside scholarships will be evenly applied to the fall and spring semesters.
  • See also finding Outside Scholarships