Wellesley College Increases Financial Aid; Boosts Grants, Reduces or Eliminates Loans
Feb. 7, 2008
Arlie Corday, firstname.lastname@example.org
WELLESLEY, Mass. — Wellesley College announced today a new initiative in its financial aid policies, replacing loans with grants for students from families who have calculated annual incomes below $60,000 and reducing loans by one-third for those with incomes between $60,000 and $100,000.
Details of Wellesley's New Plan
The new policy applies to all financial aid awards, including those for current students, beginning with the next academic year. In effect, grant aid will cover the cost of tuition for students from families with incomes calculated below $60,000, while capping the four-year debt total at $8,600 for students from families with incomes between $60,000 and $100,000.
“This new policy is a sound investment of our resources and consistent with our institutional commitment of making a Wellesley education accessible and affordable for students regardless of their financial situations,” said Wellesley President H. Kim Bottomly.
“This plan will bolster aid to students and families who need it the most, those who are least able to repay loans,” said President H. Kim Bottomly. “It is the most recent step in our ongoing effort to make a Wellesley education affordable to qualified students regardless of their families’ financial circumstances.”
Nine years ago, Wellesley was the first liberal arts college to respond to concerns about high debt burdens by reducing loan levels to a four-year maximum of $12,825 and by increasing grants. That move enabled Wellesley students to graduate with lower debt levels than students at nearly all other selective colleges and universities.
Under the new plan, eligible students from families with higher incomes will continue to benefit from Wellesley’s low loan packages, which will continue to cap the four-year maximum debt at $12,825.
International students who receive financial aid also will have their loans reduced or eliminated and replaced with grants, as will Wellesley’s Davis Scholars, non-traditionally aged students who are independent of their parents.
The new initiative will increase Wellesley’s spending on financial aid to about $40 million per year, 80 percent of which comes directly from its endowment.
“Wellesley has long been committed to affordability and access to talented students from all economic backgrounds,” said Dean of Admission Jennifer Desjarlais. “For many years, we have successfully worked to identify and recruit exceptional young women from a range of experiences and opportunities. Enhancing our financial aid policies will contribute to Wellesley’s ability to enroll bright, motivated young women from all economic backgrounds.”
Wellesley, one of the most socio-economically diverse colleges in the country, provides financial aid to 55 percent of its students, placing it among a handful of colleges and universities that provide financial aid to more than half of its students. Twenty-nine percent of students receiving aid come from families with an annual income of less than $60,000, and an additional 31 percent are from families with incomes are below $100,000.
“This new policy is a sound investment of our resources and consistent with our institutional commitment of making a Wellesley education accessible and affordable for students regardless of their financial situations,” said Bottomly.
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries.
Wellesley Has a Long History of Making Education Affordable to All