Home School Tuition Policy FAQ

Please find below frequently asked questions regarding Wellesley's home school tuition policy for students studying abroad. 

Why do I have to pay Wellesley tuition when I study abroad?

All Wellesley students should generally expect to pay for eight semesters of Wellesley tuition once admitted to the College. Students are still supported academically by the faculty, staff and systems of the College, even when they are studying away from campus. By charging tuition for study away – through which students receive credit towards their degree – the College will secure the sustainability of study away for future Wellesley students, while also permitting Wellesley students to choose the program that best fits their interests and needs, regardless of the costs. This practice is in line with that of the majority of U.S. colleges and universities.

How will my Wellesley financial aid apply?

Students who are eligible for financial aid will have the same family contribution as for a semester in residence at Wellesley. Financial aid is fully portable, and the budget used to determine a student’s financial aid will include expenses that are not directly billed, e.g., airfare, local transportation, and other costs as estimated by the program.  How costs beyond the billed tuition fees are paid depends on each student’s individual financial aid award.

Must I enroll in and pay for the Wellesley Student Health Insurance Plan?

Students will be charged the Wellesley Student Health Insurance Plan for the semester or year of study away, but they will have the option to opt-out of the coverage. Students who waive the SHIP should ensure that they have appropriate coverage for their study abroad location, any travel that they intend to undertake outside of their host country and also in their home country. Students who intend to study away for one semester only will need to demonstrate coverage that meets or exceeds the state of Massachusetts requirements.

Can I take a personal leave of absence or transfer away to another institution to attend a study abroad program and transfer the credit when I return?

No, students must be on an educational leave before the start of the program in order to transfer credit and financial aid. The only exception is for international students who study at an accredited college or university in their home country.

Will payments from 529 plans and/or tuition benefits still be possible?

Yes, students and their families will make tuition payments from a 529 plan directly to Wellesley College as they would when in residence at the College. Students eligible to receive tuition benefits from parents’ employers should confirm continued eligibility for those benefits, but typically students are eligible to continue receiving those benefits during approved study abroad programs.

Will my parents be able to continue to use the TMS installment plan?

Yes, your family will continue to be able to use the TMS plan but for tuition and charges billed by Wellesley College (Tuition and Health Insurance, room and board only for select programs).

Do I need to apply for financial aid from the study away program or host institution?

Wellesley’s financial aid offer takes into account the total cost of attendance for your study abroad program. That said, you may wish to apply for outside resources to replace any loans added to your financial aid offer for the semester(s) you are abroad or to supplement funds available for discretionary spending. All outside awards must be reported to SFS regardless of whether or not you receive financial aid.

Who pays the program deposit? What if I decide not to attend my program after the program deposit has been paid?

Most programs require a non-refundable program deposit to confirm a spot on the program. In most instances, students will be expected to pay that deposit to hold their spot. The deposit is then credited to the non-tuition expenses (usually housing) billed to the student at a later date. If the deposit exceeds your estimated family contribution, or can only be applied to the tuition charge, Wellesley may be able to make the deposit payment on behalf of the student.

Students who withdraw from the program after the non-refundable deposit has been paid will be financially responsible for the deposit, and any fees incurred by the program prior to the start of the program. These fees will be posted to the students’ account and must be paid in full before the start of the subsequent semester at the College. Students and their families should carefully review, and are held responsible for knowing, the home school tuition policies and the program’s refund policies and Wellesley’s policy on outstanding balances.

What is the refund policy for study abroad?

For tuition refunds, the College will follow Wellesley’s tuition refund policy. For room, board, and non-tuition expenses, the College will follow the program’s refund policy. Students are responsible for all fees extended on their behalf.  If a student receives federal aid and withdraws from a program, the federal aid refund policy will apply.

Does this policy apply to study away within the US?

Generally, the home school fee policy does not apply for study away in the US. In most instances, students who study away at another college or university in the US must take a personal leave of absence and pay all fees to the host institution. Wellesley financial aid does not apply, but federal or state aid may be portable. A small number of programs or colleges in the US (SEA, Semester in Environmental Science, Shape of Two Cities, Spelman, and Twelve College Exchange) allow for the portability of financial aid with some limitations. Please check with the Office of International Study for more information regarding these arrangements.