Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kind of scholarships does the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation offer?
The Wellesley Scholarship Foundation has two different types of scholarship funding that they award each year:
Need-Based Scholarships: WSF awards numerous need-based scholarships each year to support the college educations of students from our community. Applicants must be graduates of Wellesley High School, or residents of Wellesley who have graduated from a school other than WHS. If demonstrated financial need exists, students are eligible to receive award funding for four years of college. However, they MUST reapply annually and must also maintain a cumulative 2.0 grade point average each year they apply for a scholarship from WSF.
Merit Scholarships: WSF awards merit-based scholarships to one male high school senior and one female high school senior each spring who are Wellesley residents that have demonstrated a superior level of distinction in scholarship, citizenship and character, as well as strong extracurricular interests and activities. These merit-based scholarships are renewable annually for four years of college provided the recipient maintains acceptable academic performance and maintains their Wellesley residency. Recipients do not need to reapply each year but do need to provide their collegiate transcript each year.
2. How do I apply for one of your scholarships?
All of our scholarship applications are available online through our website at:
To ensure that you are considered in the correct applicant pool, please be sure to click on the correct application link:
Common Application – For first-time applicants to be considered for all need-based scholarships including WSF, town-wide community organizations and WHJWC scholarships.
Returning Application – For returning applicants who have previously applied for need-based scholarships from WSF and/or town-wide community organizations. (Please note: Returning WHJWC applicants must reapply directly through WHJWC.)
Merit Application – For high school seniors ONLY that would like to be considered for one of two merit-based scholarships and have demonstrated a superior level of distinction in scholarship, citizenship and character, as well as strong extracurricular interests and activities.
Please note: If you are a high school senior and meet the stated eligibility criteria, you may submit an application for both our need-based and merit-based scholarships.
3. When can I apply for scholarships?
All scholarship applications are open for submissions beginning on December 1, 2023 and will remain open until our deadline of March 1, 2024.
4. What email address should I use when I fill out my application?
We ask that you use a personal email address (and not one issued to you by a school – high school or college) when you fill out your application. Please make a note of the email address you use on your application as it will be required again when you log into the portal to upload your supplemental documents if you are applying for one of our need-based scholarships.
5. I totally spaced and missed the March 1, 2024 submission deadline. Can I still apply anyway?
Unfortunately, our March 1st submission deadline is firm and we are not able to accept any late applications. However, we welcome you to apply during next year’s application cycle. Next year’s timeline will mirror this year with an opening date of December 1, 2024 and a deadline of March 1, 2025.
6. I’ve submitted my application by the March 1st deadline. Am I all finished now?
If you are applying for one of our need-based scholarships (either as a first-time or returning applicant), you must now submit the required supplemental documents by March 1st which are:
CSS Profile – Must be submitted through the College Board website (WSF code is #0564)*
Financial aid letter – This letter should be from the school you will be attending in the upcoming academic year. If you are remaining at the same school, then submit your current financial aid letter. If you are transferring schools, then we will need to see a financial aid letter from the school you will be attending – not from your current school.
Parent tax return – You may submit your parent(s) 2022 tax return(s) for a preliminary review but will need to submit your parent(s) 2023 tax return(s) before or at the federal tax deadline before any awards are able to be finalized.*
* Please note: Divorced/separated parents are both required to submit CSS Profiles and tax returns as part of the application process.
7. I am trying to submit my supplemental documents through your portal, but I’m having trouble logging in.
To upload your supplemental documents (except the CSS which must be sent through the College Board), please visit our secure portal:
You will need to use the SAME personal email address that you used when you submitted your application so that the system is able to recognize you.
8. When will I learn if I have received one of your scholarships?
Award decisions are typically communicated to all applicants by the end of May.
9. Do I need to do anything if I want to renew my scholarship next year?
Yes. You must reapply every year you want to be considered for our scholarship funding, and scholarship levels are never guaranteed. Every year, we must take into consideration the financial need of our entire applicant pool as well as the financial resources we have available to distribute.
To reapply, an applicant must submit all components of our application process (a complete application, transcript, CSS Profile, institutional financial aid letter and a copy of the first two pages of your parent(s)/guardian(s) tax returns) by the stated deadlines.
10. What is the likelihood that I will qualify for a scholarship renewal?
Assuming that financial need is determined to still exist in a subsequent application year, and you have maintained at least a 2.0 GPA, WSF will make every effort to support you through four years (or eight semesters).
11. I am concerned about the privacy of my financial information used during the scholarship review process. Can you tell me more about how many people review this information and how it is safeguarded?
All financial information is held in a strictly confidential manner. Financial applications are handled by a four-person committee and an administrator within WSF. Only these five individuals within the organization have access to the financial information of students and their families who apply for scholarships. The files are maintained for four years and then shredded after the student’s college graduation.
1. What kind of degree programs are eligible for your scholarship program?
Any graduates of Wellesley High School, and Wellesley residents that have graduated from a school other than WHS, who are enrolled or enrolling in an undergraduate degree program are eligible for our scholarship funding. We will fund students attending four-year degree programs, as well as two-year college or technical schools if the applicant is working towards a degree or certificate. We do not consider scholarship applications for graduate degrees.
2. Is there a residency requirement for scholarship eligibility?
Applicants for the two WSF Merit Awards must be Wellesley residents. Applicants for all other WSF scholarships must be either graduates of Wellesley High School, or Wellesley residents. Residency is determined by the address on the parent/guardian and/or student tax return. WSF reserves the right to request additional documentation to determine Wellesley residency.
3. What happens if my family moves out of Wellesley while I am attending college?
Except for recipients of the two Merit Awards, it does not matter if your family moves out of Wellesley while you are attending college. You will still be eligible for WSF scholarship money. Merit Award winners whose families move out of Wellesley during their undergraduate studies will no longer be eligible for scholarship money from Wellesley Scholarship Foundation in future academic years.
4. If I qualify for a scholarship through WSF, how does this impact financial aid that I might receive from my prospective college?
Your award from WSF is determined after you receive your financial aid package from the college.
5. Can WSF scholarships be used to defray room & board, book, or extracurricular expenses?
The scholarships administered by WSF are sent directly to the student’s educational institution and may be used to defray whatever expenses are billed through the school. WSF will not make payments directly to scholarship recipients, private landlords for housing purposes or any other non-school entities.
6. What about study abroad options?
WSF will send scholarship payments to U.S. colleges and universities only. WSF will consider study abroad opportunities for our scholarship recipients provided that appropriate documentation is received from the student’s home institution.
7. Is there a maximum number of semesters that WSF will help support?
WSF will ordinarily support only four years total (or eight semesters) of college expenses. If you believe that there are extenuating circumstances in your situation, you may ask the Chair of the Scholarship Committee for special consideration.