Admission Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Wesleyan University is postponing all on-campus events until further notice. Please click here to learn about ways to connect with the admission office online and visit our Admission FAQ page for up to date information related to the Coronavirus pandemic. We will be in touch once on-campus activities have resumed. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

 

A Message to Prospective Students

I sincerely hope that you are well and safe during this difficult time. Just as COVID-19 has disrupted all our lives, it has also dramatically altered the college admission landscape.  No one knows exactly how this unprecedented situation will play out, but we want to provide prospective students with the latest information on various aspects of the college search and application processes.

First and foremost, we want students to know that in our holistic admission process, which carefully considers all components of the application in their respective and appropriate contexts, we are centering students as individuals not data points: GPAs, ranks in class, test scores, etc.

Campus Visits, Information Sessions, and Interviews
Wesleyan does not factor demonstrated interest into admission decisions; therefore, your inability to visit campus will not have an impact on your candidacy.  That said, when it is safe to do so, we encourage campus visits because they are useful avenues for students and families to learn more about our resources, climate, and community.  There are a number of other ways to gather information about Wesleyan that do not require significant investments of time or money, such as registering for an online information session or viewing our virtual tour

Wesleyan interviews, whether with senior interviewers, admission deans on campus, or alumni volunteers in students’ areas, are evaluative.  Although these guided conversations may be part of the application, they are not required.  The admission committee continues to explore ways to both make these opportunities to exchange mutually beneficial information more readily available and less susceptible to implicit bias. 

Academic Programs and Records
Just as students are diverse across dimensions so too are the secondary schools they attend.  Therefore, Wesleyan has never prescribed specific programs of study, grade point averages, or test results for favorable consideration.  Admission committee members are well aware that, during these challenging times, schools may have made situationally appropriate choices such as moving to pass/fail to support their students, and we will be as accommodating as possible.  During our review, we will consider carefully and impartially whatever academic credentials students and schools are able to provide.  Our primary objective in doing so will be to select students who have both the preparation to succeed academically at Wesleyan, and the ability to enrich the community through their various talents, backgrounds, and perspectives.

Standardized Testing
While many selective colleges and universities have, out of necessity, recently embraced test-optional policies, Wesleyan did so in 2014.  We have known for some time that high-stakes admission tests correlate more closely with family wealth than with native intelligence, academic preparation, or potential.  That said, we leave it to students to decide how best to represent themselves in the admission process.   Learn more about our policy and treatment of standardized test scores.   

Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Other Pre-matriculation Credit
A maximum of two credits earned before matriculation will apply toward graduation. This includes AP credit, IB credit, and college transfer courses posted to the Wesleyan transcript. All such approved credits will appear on the student’s Wesleyan transcript. Wesleyan plans to honor results of AP, IB, and A level courses despite changes or cancellations to those exams. Click here to learn more about what qualifies for credit at Wesleyan..

Extracurricular Activities
We deeply regret that students are not currently able to partake in the activities that bring them joy, strengthen friendships, and provide meaningful growth experiences.  Staying home may afford some students time and opportunity to explore new interests. We do not have any expectation that prospective students will learn how to code, pick up second or third languages, or even demonstrate depth and commitment to their existing activities.  To be frank, we believe it is enough for students to prioritize their own wellness, as well as that of their families, right now. When the time is right, we will be interested to learn how and why students spent their time as they did.    

Recommendation Letters
While recommendation letters will remain a requirement of the application, we understand that the demands on teachers and counselors due to these unfortunate circumstances may limit their ability to advocate for students.  As always, admission committee members will read letters in proper context and value the substance of insights shared over the length of letters or sophistication of their authors.

Essays
In the absence of interviews, essays provide students with opportunities to be their own best advocates.  At this time, do not worry about writing the “right” essay or even stress when you should start or finish.  When you are ready, you would do well to reflect on what you want readers to know about you and take away from your essay, whatever topic you choose.  Remember, no one can tell your story as well as you, and while sound writing is important, so too is authenticity.  Do not tell the readers of your application what you think they want to hear (an impossible task); rather show us what matters to you through your topic and its treatment. 

Financial Aid
Wesleyan’s commitment to access and affordability is unwavering.  We will continue to leverage our more than $60 million-dollar financial aid budget to meet the full demonstrated need of all admitted students for the duration of their academic careers at Wesleyan.  Our no-loan and reduced-loan policies allow us to support substantive socio-economic diversity.  For a quick ballpark estimate of your potential costs, please visit MyinTuition.  For a more in-depth estimate, consider using the Net Price Calculator. 

Even before these unprecedented circumstances turned the world upside down and significantly altered the college admission landscape, the Wesleyan Office of Admission was mindful of structural inequalities adversely affecting students’ aspirations.  Recognizing that these inequalities are likely to grow in the months ahead, we will continue to work hard to ensure that no applicant is disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control in our competitive admission process.  By thoughtfully considering both secondary school contexts and individual circumstances, we will make the most informed admission decisions we can with the information made available to us.  We will also approach our charge of constructing a bold, caring, dynamic, and broadly talented community with a commitment to expanding access and not perpetuating privilege. 

Sincerely,

Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez '96
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid
Wesleyan University