How to Write the Wellesley College Essay 2021-2022

Note: Wellesley’s essay prompt historically does not change very much, if at all. This prompt isn’t yet confirmed for the 2021-2022 cycle, but we expect it to stay the same. Check back in August for any updates!


For the last century and a half, Wellesley has been at the forefront of education and graduating phenomenal women. Wellesley women take pride in the work they’ve accomplished and are go-getters who are always thinking about ways to improve and make waves in their respective fields.


Located just 30 minutes outside of Boston, Wellesley boasts a gorgeous, contained campus while still having the resources of a big city right in its backyard. Additionally, students of Wellesley have the ability to take classes at surrounding Bostonian institutions such as MIT and Brandeis. With such diverse offerings, it’s no surprise that women from all over the world apply to the college each year.


For the class of 2025, Wellesley admitted only 16% of its applicants, making it a fairly selective institution. Yet, despite the competition, having a strong admissions essay will be the first step in standing out in the application process. The following essay breakdown will help you take the first steps towards that perfect essay for Wellesley, so read on! Want to know your chances at Wellesley? Calculate your chances for free right now.

Wellesley College Application Essay Prompt

When choosing a college community, you are choosing an intellectual community and a place where you believe that you can live, learn, and flourish. We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but it’s a good place to start. Visit the Wellesley 100 and select one or two items that attract, inspire, or energize you. Have fun with this and use this opportunity to reflect personally on what items appeal to you most and why.


Please limit your response to the Wellesley College essay to two well-developed paragraphs (minimum 250 words, maximum 400 words).

This prompt is the classic “Why This College” essay, though it provides a helpful starting point by providing you a list of 100 reasons why Wellesley is a great place to be. Thus, before you even start writing, the smart thing to do would be to check out this list and write down all the points that are of interest to you. In this first step, don’t think too hard about which points you are picking—it’s just an exercise to get the ball rolling.


After you have chosen which reasons stand out to you, the next step is to think about why those points stood out to you and how they relate to current parts of your life. Even though you are writing an essay explaining why you want to go to Wellesley, you should still use every opportunity you have to reveal more about yourself.


Additionally, a large part of college admissions is the idea of fit—how well the school thinks it can offer you the kind of opportunities that you will need to reach your end goal. If you can draw parallels between the offering of Wellesley with your personal goals, then you would be making a stronger case for why you should be admitted.


For example, if you’ve chosen #11—the neuroscience major—because you are interested in pursuing a career as a neurosurgeon. You could talk about how Wellesley not only offers rigorous courses and bountiful research opportunities to give you the foundation you need, but its unique environment can provide you an empowering space to pursue a field that is traditionally male dominated.

If you are more concerned about applying your classwork in a career-oriented setting, then you might want to mention #15—career education—and speak about how the dedication of the college to get their students actual work experience is something you value in your undergrad institution.


Don’t be afraid to be a bit more casual in your writing, and opening up the essay with an anecdote. To take the example of using #11, one way to start off is by discussing your previous experiences with neuroscience, why you’re interested in it, or what it’s like to be a woman in the STEM fields. Then, transition into what you wish were different about those experiences before talking about how you can take steps to make the change you’re striving for. It’s important that you are not only shedding light to some of the issues you faced given your situation, but also why you think that an environment like Wellesley will help you overcome that obstacle. It’s no secret that Wellesley takes significant pride in the fact that they are a women’s’ institution, and they are interested in hearing specifically about why you believe that pursuing resources in a female-centric campus is better than a co-ed university.


Whatever point you choose, always link it back to you and your desires. After all, Wellesley already knows why it’s great (hence the comprehensive list), so your job is to tell them how you can use their resources in a meaningful way.


All that being said, if there is a reason that you want to go to Wellesley that isn’t already on the list, don’t be afraid to focus on that instead. The list is really just a starting point, and everyone has their own unique reasons for applying. Just make sure that even in bringing in your own reasons, you are still focusing on why that reason matters.

In Conclusion…

As Wellesley only requires one supplement, this is your chance to stand out as an applicant. Be genuine in your writing and don’t be scared to let some personality shine through!


We hope that this guide has been helpful to get you started on your writing, but don’t be afraid to look for essays of applicants who have successfully been admitted to Wellesley either. While you can’t and shouldn’t use their ideas directly, it will show you the kinds of profiles that really speak to the admissions officers. Best of luck from the CollegeVine team!


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