WAAD & Admissions
Alumnae play an important role in Admissions. Students of all backgrounds can attest to the influence an alumna had on their decision to apply to and attend Wellesley. Programs Chair Tania Peters ’95 answers some important questions about how WAAD members can be involved in the Admissions process.
Q. Why is it important for WAAD members to be involved with Admissions?
A. From the inception of Ethos, our founders sought to increase the number of students of African descent at Wellesley College. Over the years, our numbers have increased, but, more often than not, our percentage on campus (7% in the Class of 2021) has lagged behind the percentage of the U.S. population (12.6% in the 2010 Census). Even as the student population at Wellesley College becomes more diverse (40% are students of color), the number of students of African descent remains lower than expected.
For students of color, alumnae interaction is even more crucial. Our presence and influence during the process—at the college fairs, the teas, the interview, or wherever—can be the difference that makes a young woman take another look at Wellesley or makes it seem more like a possibility that can be attained. The impact of a WAAD member as the face of Wellesley College for young women of African descent as they choose their college is undeniable.
Q. How have you been involved in Admissions for Wellesley College?
A. I have been involved in Admissions for Wellesley College for quite some time. As a young alumna, I volunteered to represent the College at college fairs through my local club. I also returned to my high school and facilitated information sessions. As an active member of my Club’s Admissions Committee, I have attended college fairs and interviewed students.
I am also a member of the Book Awards Committee. Book Awards serve as a way to introduce young women to Wellesley College and recognize their academic achievements and service to their community. In my local area, I have sought to increase Book Awards in areas predominantly represented by students of color.
I also have served as Admissions Representative for WAAD. In this role, I was a liaison between the Admissions Office and the WAAD membership, rallying alumnae to volunteer for national admissions efforts.
Q. How can I (as a WAAD member) become involved?
A. You have a variety of choices, many activities are coordinated through your local Wellesley Alumnae Club:
- Join the Admissions Committee with your local club—volunteer for college fairs, interview candidates, attend accepted student activities
- Join the Book Awards Committee with your local club – encourage selecting high schools with more diverse student populations
- Accompany prospective students on Campus Visits
- Volunteer to hold an Information Session at an area high school
- Place phone calls to admitted students and their families
Q. I’m a recent graduate. What’s the best way for me to become involved with Admissions?
A. The perspective of a recent graduate is especially valuable. You are the alumna who is able to give the most up-to-date information about the Wellesley College experience. Reach out to your local Club and join the Admissions Committee so that you can be in the loop and ready to volunteer for information panels, college fairs, making phone calls or anything else that strikes your interest.
Q. I know a high school student who would be a great prospect for Wellesley. What should I do to recruit her?
A. There are several things you can do to help connect her to the College and encourage her interest in applying:
- First - sign them up for the mailing list. They will receive College brochures and invitations to admissions events in their area.
- Let them know that it is free to apply to Wellesley through the Common Application and, as of summer 2017, through the Coalition Application.
- Students from underrepresented cultural backgrounds are afforded the opportunity to apply for travel grants to attend Discover Wellesley held each October. The deadline for the grant is August.
- If they are from a low-income family, encourage them to apply to QuestBridge – a nonprofit that connects bright, motivated, low-income students with educational and scholarship opportunities at some of the nation’s best colleges. Wellesley partners with this organization to find exceptional candidates.
Ready to get involved? Alumnae interviewers are often needed during December – January.