Meet the Record-Setting Wellesley College Class of 2021

Meet the Record-Setting Wellesley College Class of 2021
March 22, 2017

Congratulations to the Wellesley Class of 2021! Final admission decisions were released this evening, March 22, and the incoming green class will be composed of top candidates from a historic high number of applications to Wellesley.

Wellesley received more than 5,700 applications this year, a 17 percent jump from last year and a 39 percent increase over the past 10 years. For the second year in a row, Wellesley experienced sizeable growth in applications from all major domestic regions—the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, New England, the South, and the West—with the strongest growth from the South at more than 25 percent over last year.

Students have until May 1 to make final decisions regarding matriculation, but today’s numbers provide a first glance at the 21 percent of applicants granted admission as the College’s new first-years:

  • They hail from 921 high schools in all 50 states and 42 countries outside the United States.
  • 54% are students of color, with 28% from underrepresented racial and/or ethnic minority (URM) groups.*
  • 10% are international citizens, and 45% speak a non-English language at home (either exclusively or in addition to English).
  • 13% are daughters, granddaughters, nieces, sisters, or cousins of Wellesley students and alumnae.
  • 15% will be the first generation in their families to receive a post-secondary degree.
  • 16 admitted students were matched with Wellesley through the QuestBridge National College Match program and the Posse Foundation. Four students will enter as MasterCard Foundation Scholars (from Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia and Zimbabwe).

“We were thrilled with the depth, quality and diversity of this year's applicant pool,” said Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Joy St. John. “Selecting the next generation of Wellesley women who will make a difference in the world is a community effort, involving Admission staff and faculty and student members of the admission committee. I know I speak for everyone on the Board of Admission when I say that we were humbled by the stories of the extraordinary students who applied to Wellesley.”

All admitted students are invited to attend Wellesley Spring Open Campus. Events begin Wednesday, April 19, with an optional RISE (Reflection, Inclusion, Sisterhood, Empowerment) program, and continue with the main program on Thursday and Friday, April 20–21.

Welcome! We look forward to seeing you soon.


*Students of color are defined as U.S. citizens/permanent residents who identify as African-American, Asian-American/Pacific Islander, Latina, or Native American/Alaskan Native, including students who identify as biracial or multiracial with one of these identities. URM students of color are defined as U.S. citizens/permanent residents who identify as African-American, Latina, Native American/Alaska Native or bi-/multiracial with one of these identities.