finding scholarships

So you’re interested in applying to Wellesley College? And why wouldn’t you be. Very few other colleges have the student opportunities and impressive alumni of this women’s college.

The good news about Wellesley is that they only want students who are a good match. Which means that you should take their supplemental essay question very seriously, as, at its core, it is asking “Why Wellesley?”

Let’s look at the essay question itself:

When choosing a college community, you are choosing a place where you believe that you can live, learn, and flourish. Generations of inspiring women have thrived in the Wellesley community, and we want to know what aspects of this community inspire you to consider Wellesley. We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but the ”Wellesley 100” is a good place to start. 
Visit and let us know, in two well developed paragraphs, which two items most attract, inspire, or energize you and why. (p.s. ”Why” matters to us.)

As you go to the webpage they suggest, you’ll see that they are making the common “Why College XYZ” prompt for you by giving you 100 different elements to choose from. They have given you, the applicant, guidance on how to narrow down the scope of this question. One hundred possible items may seem like a lot, but you can zero in on those that really catch your attention.

In general, I recommend that one or (possibly both) of the two items be academic in nature, at least tangentially. As with all colleges, your primary reason for applying there should be rooted in the academic opportunities they provide. Wellesley gives you plenty of those among the 100, with options as broad as “The Curriculum,” “Angela Carpenter’s Invented Language Class,” and “The Neuroscience Major.” And please don’t choose one of those just because I think they sound cool—choose the ones that appeals to you.

Beyond that, it’s best to select items that can’t be found at lots of other colleges. For example, while Boston is famously a college town that students love, there are lots of colleges in the area so it would be hard to write a Wellesley-specific essay about the Boston area. You can easily, on this list, find something that is.

Most important, be sure you’re answering the question! Notice that they conclude it with “p.s. ‘Why’ matters to us.” Colleges usually add notes like these because many students have forgotten to answer this part of the question—so make sure you remember.

And, lastly, enjoy. Clearly they want you to have some fun with answering this question. Try to forget the stress of writing an admission essay and instead, lose yourself in the possibilities of attending Wellesley. How wonderful would that be?!


Written by Sally Ganga
Sally Ganga is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions consultants. Prior to joining College Coach, Sally was a senior admissions officer at The University of Chicago, Reed College, and Whittier College. Visit our website to learn more about Sally Ganga.