Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Wellesley Students' Aid Society?

The Wellesley Students' Aid Society, Inc. is an organization dedicated to providing financial and personal support to Wellesley students. Students receive aid in many ways, from tuition grants and loans administered by Student Financial Services, to Emergency Aid, Amazon.com gift cards, short-term loans and senior gifts that are distributed directly to students when they come to the Students’ Aid Society office. Flexibility enables the Society to respond to students’ needs as they change over the years.

Is it the same as the College's Student Financial Services Department?

No. The Society is an independent corporation which has always been managed and supported by alumnae. Founded in 1878 by Pauline Durant, the Students' Aid Society was the sole source of financial aid at Wellesley until the 1930's when the College instituted its own program of financial aid.

What is the difference between financial assistance from the Students' Aid Society and the College's financial aid program?

Students receive financial assistance from the Students’ Aid Society both directly and indirectly. Many students receive tuition grants and Private Education Loans as part of their financial aid package, which is administered by the College’s Student Financial Services department, using resources that are provided by the Students’ Aid Society and are a portion of the total financial aid package.

In addition, the Students’ Aid Society provides direct financial support to students on financial aid in the form of Amazon.com gift cards, senior gifts, short-term loans and Emergency Aid. We also provide International students with linens when they arrive at Wellesley College, and graduating seniors may borrow a cap and gown for commencement.

Any student who encounters an unexpected financial shortfall may come to the Students’ Aid Society office to request a short-term, interest free loan.

How much tuition money did the Students' Aid Society provide this year?

For the academic year 2021-2022, Students' Aid provided $680,000 for grants and $600,000 for Private Education Loans.

Is that all Students' Aid does?

Students’ Aid also has the Clothes Closet – a closet full of donated, gently-used clothing available to students of Wellesley College located on the ground floor of Stone Davis.  Students are invited to come to the Closet to pick out, try on, and take with them any item in the Closet, free of charge! 

What are "emergency" loans?

Emergency loans are short-term, no interest loans provided to any student who needs a helping hand. Often this is at the beginning of the semester to tie a student over until the first pay check from her campus job arrives. There are many situations specific to a student and we are able to respond because of our flexibility. We've given emergency loans to students who: lost their glasses and needed a quick replacement, needed plane fare to attend a relative's funeral, needed funds to attend a professional conference to present a research paper.

Where does the Society get the money to do all these things?

Alumnae and friends are our sole source of support.

How can I give to the Students' Aid Society?

In a variety of ways: unrestricted gifts; gifts to commemorate a birthday, anniversary or other occasion; memorial gifts; named scholarship, loan, and gift funds.

Is a gift to the Students' Aid Society different from a gift to the College?

Yes, The Wellesley Students' Aid Society, Inc. is an independent corporation separate from Wellesley College. That is why a contribution to the Society does not count toward your class gift to the College.  However, a donation to WSAS increases Wellesley College’s overall participation rate, which may boost the College’s eligibility for grant and other funding.

Why should I give to Students' Aid?

Your gift to Students' Aid complements your gift to Wellesley College in that it provides direct support to Wellesley students.