Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Marian Brown
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wells College
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.78 / 4.00 Marian Brown
Center for Sustainability and the Environment
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Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

Wells College offers need-based college and university scholarship aid from institutoinal funds. In addition, Wells College participates in the following Higher Education Act Title IV federal student aid programs for low-income students:

Federal Pell Grant Program, which provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students to promote access to postsecondary education. In 2014, 49% of Wells students received Pell grants.

Federal SEOG Grant provides need-based grants to students of exceptional need, therefore, Federal Pell Grant recipients have first priority in receiving these funds. Since this is a very limited resource, the average SEOG award is $500.

Federal Perkins Loan Program for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need.

Federal Direct Loan Program (Stafford, PLUS loans) made based upon student financial need.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program provides jobs for students demonstrating financial need.

Wells participates in New York State financial aid programs, including NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

Wells offers a Student Loan Center page which lists available student loan programs and provides complete information on how to apply for those loan programs as well as weblinks directly to various loan programs.

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

Campus employees are offered opportunities to learn to better serve students from low-income backgrounds are part of ongoing diversity, sensitivity and cultural competency training.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

The Office of Student Success helps all Wells students maximize their academic potential by working with them to enhance their learning strategies. Their staff work with students to improve their skills in areas such as studying, time management, organization, test taking, and note taking. All Wells students have access to the Peer Tutoring program.

In addition, in summer 2017, Wells offered its

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Wells College offers merit-based scholarships to incoming first-year students who demonstrate academic excellence and co-curricular engagement in their school experiences. Scholarship decisions are made at the time of admissions using information provided to the college in the admissions application. Financial need is not a consideration when awarding merit scholarships.

Henry Wells Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement throughout their high school experience. Recipients are selected by the Admissions Committee and generally have a 94% cumulative grade point average in academic subject areas. A Henry Wells Scholarship includes a guaranteed first-year internship during Wells’ January Intersession, a $3,000 stipend to spend on a six-week experiential learning opportunity in the junior year, and a $15,000 to $25,000 scholarship each year.

Presidential Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence in high school with a cumulative grade point average of 90% or higher and a strong record of service to their schools and communities. The Admissions Committee selects recipients at the time of admissions based on information supplied in the application file. Recipients are awarded between $10,000 and $20,000 per year for four years of study at the College.

Dean's Awards go to students with strong academic records and active participation in clubs and organizations within their schools and communities. Awards range from $10,000 to $15,000 per year and recipients are selected by the Admissions Committee.

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

Wells Admission counselors traverse the country, meeting with prospective students and their families, and are fully cognizant of the institution’s stated goals to increase diversity of its student body and to make the unique Wells College educational experience available to all students, regardless of financial need. Wells maintains a full-time Admissions counselor in New York City, who conducts individual student interviews, makes school visits, attends college fairs and conducts networking and recruiting events in and around the metro region. Targeted outreach efforts include visits with guidance counselors, teachers and interested students at charter, magnet and technically-focused high schools with significant populations of high-achieving students from underrepresented (at Wells) populations. Recent events in which that NYC-based counselor participated: the College Confident Visit, Council of Independent Colleges and Universities (CICUs) Latino College Fair, New York City College Connect Workshop, Pace University High School, High School of Enterprise, Business, & Technology (Brooklyn), High School for Health Professions and Human Services, Life Sciences Secondary School; Campus Pride College Fair; Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School for International Careers, South Shore High School, Medgar Evers College Preparatory School, Catholic High School College Fair, Big Apple College Fair, MS/HS 368 In-Tech Academy, KIPP College Prep, Leon M. Goldstein High school for the Sciences, Grover Cleveland High School (Queens), Holy Cross high School (Flushing), Career Council Charter High School College Fair, Williamsburg Preparatory School, Business of Sports School, and Young Women’s Leadership School.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

The Dean of Students offers a book purchase program providing an interest-free loan for students to purchase textbooks.

Instructors may place course materials, including required textbooks, on reserve in the Library for free, short-term use and the Library offers extended, quiet study hours and access to copier/scanning equipment.

The College offers three free reuse programs on campus: the Bargain Basement offers gently-used clothing, room furnishings, housewares, arts & craft supplies, and trade books donated by other students; the Career Clothing exchange offers free professional wear for students to use for internship or job interviews; the RUMPUS Room offers free office and school supplies donated by other students or campus offices.

Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

Wells does not offer scholarships to part-time students.

In information on our Financial Aid website as well as during contact with campus financial aid counselors, Wells makes part-time students aware of federal and state financial assistance programs:

Part-time students can apply for aid, but typically, available resources include federal Direct Loans for students enrolled at least half-time and, if the student is Pell grant eligible, will receive a pro-rated Pell award.

NYS Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)
New York State students who will be enrolled for between six and eleven credits, and who meet the income criteria limits are eligible to apply. Applications may be obtained from any high school or college financial aid office. The number of awards and the total amount of awards will be limited to the amount of funds allocated by the state. Wells College will award grant funds ranging from $250 to $1,000.

Nys Part-Time Tuition Assistant Program (TAP)
Part-time students who are legal residents of New York State who were full-time, first-time freshmen in 2006-2007 may be eligible for Part-time TAP to help them pay for college beginning in 2007-2008. To be eligible for this award, a student must have earned 12 credits or more in each of the two consecutive semesters, for a minimum total of 24 credits earned and maintain a minimum of a “C” average or cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. The student must be enrolled for 6-11 credits per semester, not be in default on a student loan and meet the same income limitations as students applying for TAP. A student’s award will be dependent on the number of credits enrolled in a semester.

A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

Peachtown Elementary School, a non-sectarian, not-for-profit school for students in grades preK-8 is located in a facility on the Wells campus, and the Aurora Preschool is nearby. Student enrollment in either program is not subsidized by Wells College for employees or students. Peachtown School does provide need-based scholarships for families who qualify.

Through its benefits program, Wells College offers full-time employees the option of participating in Flexible Spending Accounts. Employees may contribute to either a medical or dependent care account that will help defer medical costs or dependent
care costs on tax-free basis.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

Wells considers itself to be “Transfer Friendly”. If a student has completed the equivalent of a semester of coursework at an accredited college or university, they can apply to Wells College as a transfer student. Making the transition from another institution is easy as Wells provides credit evaluations, academic advising, and financial aid counseling during the admissions process. Wells provides a "commuter student" lounge area for students living off-campus, many of whom are non-traditional students.

Wells College Transfer Scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated academic excellence in their college coursework. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better to qualify. Recipients are selected by the Admissions Committee and awards range from $5,000 - to $15,000 per year. Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships are awarded to transfer students who are members of this two-year college honor society. The scholarship, valued at $15,000 per year, is awarded at the time of admissions and requires proof of PTK membership.

Wells offers credit for prior study and life experience to students who have completed advanced work in secondary school or by private study, or who have satisfactorily completed courses of an acceptable nature at other institutions:
1) Transfer Courses from an accredited college or university
2) Articulation Agreements: Entering with an A.A. or A.S. degree
3) Advanced Placement Exams
4) British A-level Examinations
5) International Baccalaureate
6) Other External Programs: credit will be awarded at the discretion of the registrar and the committee on Academic Standing and Advising
7) College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) student
8) Credit by Examination
9) Prior Experience Internship Credit
10) Credit by Portfolio

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

From Laura Burns, director of Financial Aid, 10/18-19, 2017:

The percentage of low-income incoming students is based on pell eligible students – that percent is 44%.

Percent of need met using the Common Data Set H2 – 81.29%

Using the cohort Class 2017 as a measure of the no-interest bearing student debt – 4%

For the optional question, using pell eligible: 48%.

The graduation/success rate for low-income (pell eligible) students from the cohort class 2017 is 49%.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.