Wells College

Wells College

Aurora, NY
student ratio
total students
$36,000 | $36,000
in-state | out-of-state tuition
March 1
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
Moderately Difficult
admission difficulty
Average test scores for all first-year students that were accepted and enrolled.
sat math
sat reading
sat writing
act composite


Rigorous Academics and Career Opportunities Abound at Wells College

Wells College professors are dedicated to teaching, and, because of the intimate nature of the campus community (the student body is 600), they get to know their students as individuals in and outside the classroom. Because of its size, Wells' academic environment is similar to honors programs available to only a small number of students at other schools, and students often collaborate with their professors on original research and creative projects. Wells offers 17 majors and over 30 minors in a wide variety of subjects. Students also have the option of a self-designed major. The most popular majors are Psychology, English and Biological and Chemical Sciences.

In addition to dynamic classroom teaching, Wells students have a variety of other experiential opportunities such as student teaching, study abroad, and internships. Students have completed over 1,500 internships, including internships with Wells Fargo Historical Services in San Francisco, CA, with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research in Houston, TX, and with the Residence du Parc de Santeny, in Santeny, France. Forty percent of students also take advantage of off-campus study programs in over 17 countries, such as Spain, France, Costa Rica, Kenya, Germany, Ireland, and India. The college also offers credit-bearing courses during the January term that take students to a single destination in the US or abroad for intensive off-campus study with a faculty member.

Wells College Offers Student Life Activities, Athletics, and Traditions that Help Define a Great Learning Institution

Wells has a full range of active student organizations, including a literary magazine and school newspaper, The Onyx; music and drama groups; environmental and political organizations; and abundant opportunities for community service. A busy calendar of cultural events, symposia, and lectures enhances the academic and social life of the college. The campus is one where students support one another and where student organizations and events are always busy and well attended.

Wells College is a member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference and currently fields intercollegiate athletics teams at the NCAA Division III level in cross-country (co-ed), field hockey, golf (co-ed), men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, swimming (co-ed), men's basketball, and women's tennis. A women's club basketball team is planned for the 2009-10 academic year; the team will elevate to the intercollegiate athletics level in the 2010-11 academic year. There are also a number of intramural opportunities, including basketball, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. Athletic facilities include indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a gymnasium, a newly renovated fitness center, a nine-hole golf course, and a campus boathouse and dock used in teaching sailing, canoeing, and lifeguarding.

Wells remains close to its roots with many unique traditions. For example, tea and coffee have been served in Macmillan Hall's Art Exhibit Room since 1868. Even though long dresses and china cups have long since disappeared, tea time is a break from afternoon seminars and a great time to get together with professors and friends.

Wells Admits Students Who Have Prepared Themselves for the Academic Rigors of a Top College

Wells College admits students on the strength of their academic preparation. A student is expected to possess intellectual curiosity, motivation, enthusiasm for academic pursuit, and maturity to profit from the experience. In all cases, the college seeks students who have followed a solid college-preparatory program throughout high school. Wells seeks students from varied backgrounds with diverse interests and talents in order to promote a stimulating learning community. Every admission decision is made on an individual basis, and a campus visit is highly recommended for prospective students.

The deadline for regular admission applications is March 1 of the students' senior year in high school. Applications from Early Decision and Early Action candidates must be received by December 15.

Approximately 93 percent of Wells students receive financial aid packages in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study opportunities. The college works closely with students and their families to design a financial aid package that meets their needs and their budgets.

Inclusive and Intercultural Excellence (IIE) is a core value at Wells College and is fundamental in creating and sustaining local, regional, and global communities that reflect the principles of social responsibility and cultural pluralism. Efforts at integrating IIE across the campus are based on the college's mission statement, institutional strategic plan (PDF), IIE strategic plan (PDF), community standards statement, and academic program goals. Wells strives to cultivate lifelong learning of the knowledge, skills, and mindset necessary to live meaningfully and effectively in an interconnected and diverse world. Inclusive and Intercultural Excellence is coordinated by the various IIE committees on campus, which strategically plan and implement programs, structures, and processes.

Wells College is committed to programs and activities that encourage students to connect their classroom studies with hands-on, real world experiences. To this end, the college approved an experiential learning requirement for all students (four year and transfer) as part of the distribution requirements. Because these experiences may take place off campus and at times other than during fall and spring semesters, it is important that students plan their academic schedules accordingly and not postpone meeting the requirement. If a student chooses an internship to meet the requirement, the first internship may be completed as soon as January intersession of the first year. Other options for meeting the requirement such as additional internships, off-campus study, and student teaching will take place after the first, second, or third years. Faculty-led courses, Topics in Experiential Learning, which include hands-on work during January Intersession, will also meet this requirement. These short courses will introduce students to areas of interest both aligned with and outside the faculty's normal course offerings. The topics, which change annually, have included genealogy research in Salt Lake City taught by a professor of chemistry, anthropology studies in Hawaii taught by a professor of anthropology, tutoring on a Navajo reservation led by a professor of education, and study of theatre in London led by a professor of performing arts.

About Aurora

Members of the Cayuga Nation who inhabited what is now the Village of Aurora named their settlement Deawendote, or "place of constant dawn," because the eastern ridge above the Village prolongs the dawn. The Village was first settled by Euro-Americans in the 1790s, some of them veterans of the American Revolution. In the beginning of the 19th century, due to the reliance on transportation by water, Aurora was a bustling port town. There was lively steamboat traffic on Cayuga Lake, the longest of the Finger Lakes, and later a railroad line ran through the village.

In the mid-19th century Aurora was a center of wealth and culture. Henry Wells, founder of the Wells Fargo and American Express Companies, was one notable resident. In his later life, Henry devoted himself to building a liberal arts college for women of the highest quality in the Village. Having opened as a seminary in 1868, Wells officially became a college in 1870.

During the last century, Aurora has been a favorite destination for travelers who enjoy its historic architecture, natural beauty, college events, and local businesses.

Mindful of its rich heritage and the warm nature of the community, villagers have worked to preserve Aurora's charming qualities. The presence of the college has contributed greatly to the Village's identity as a center of culture and learning. In the past few years, as the result of the efforts of the Aurora Foundation, a distinctive partnership between Wells and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation, many of Aurora's historic buildings have been restored, including the Aurora Inn. As a result, the Village is experiencing an economic renewal.

Now more than ever, Aurora stands out as a jewel among Finger Lakes villages a wonderful place to live and learn, and an exciting destination for visitors.

Location & Contact

170 Main Street
Aurora, NY 13026

Ms.Susan Sloan

Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

Phone: 315-364-3264
Fax: 315-364-3227
Email: admissions@wells.edu

Request More Info

Majors & Degrees

Degrees Offered
  • Area and ethnic studies
    • Women's Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Biological/life sciences
    • Biochemistry
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Biology/Biological Sciences
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Molecular Biology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Computer and information sciences
    • Computer Science
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Education
    • Education
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Elementary Education
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Secondary Education
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Engineering
    • Engineering
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • English
    • Creative Writing
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • English
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Foreign languages and literature
    • Spanish
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Health professions and related sciences
    • Pre-Dentistry Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Pre-Medical Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Pre-Veterinary Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • History
    • History
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Law/legal studies
    • Pre-Law Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Mathematics and statistics
    • Mathematics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Natural resources/environmental science
    • Environmental Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Philosophy and religious studies
    • Philosophy
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Physical sciences
    • Chemistry
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Physics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Psychology
    • Psychology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Social sciences
    • Anthropology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Economics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • International Relations and Affairs
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Political Science and Government
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Sociology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Visual and performing arts
    • Art
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Dance
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Dramatic/Theater Arts
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Film/Cinema/Video Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Fine/Studio Arts
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.


58% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied2,222
    • Accepted1,295
    • Acceptance Rate58%
    • Enrolled551
    • Female Applicants1,524
    • Females Accepted908
    • Female Acceptance Rate59%
    • Male Applicants698
    • Males Accepted387
    • Male Acceptance Rate55%
  • Applying
    • Application Fee$40
    • Required for All Essay or personal statement
      Transcript of high school record
      Letter(s) of recommendation
    • Required for Some
    • Average high school GPA for first-year freshman3.33
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Application Closing Notification Date Rolling Admissions
    • Fall freshmen March 1st April 1st --
    • Out-of-state Fall freshmen Not Reported
    • Early decision plan December 15th January 15th --
    • Other early decision plan Not Reported
    • Transfer Yes
  • Test Scores Accepted
    • Test Average School Accepted 25th Percentile* 75th Percentile*
    • SAT Critical Reading 530 470 590
    • SAT Math 520 460 580
    • SAT Writing 515 460 560
    • ACT Composite 24 21 26
    • * 25th and 75th percentile is the score that 25/75 percent of students score at or below.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition
    • In-state tuition *$36,000
    • Out-of-state tuition *$36,000
    • In-district tuitionN/A
    • * Tuition costs are based on a full academic year typically extending from September to June.
  • Fees
    • Full-time student fees$1,500
    • Room and board *$13,000
    • Room only *Not Reported
    • * Room and board charges vary according to board plan selected (i.e., 12-meal plan, 19-meal plan, etc.) and student level (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • Other Payment Considerations
    • Guaranteed tuition plan offeredNo
    • Tuition pre-payment planNo
    • Tuition payment plans offeredInstallments
    • Student groups that qualify for full or partial waiver of tuitionEmployees or children of employees, Senior Citizens

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Undergraduate Students551
    • Male Student Percentage34%
    • Female Student Percentage66%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic/Latino8.89%
    • Black or African American12.16%
    • White or Caucasian66.79%
    • American Indian or Alaska Native.73%
    • Asian2.9%
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.36%
    • Two or more races1.81%
    • Unknown4.9%
  • Other Student Statistics
    • International Breakout1.45% representing 5 other countries
    • Out-of-state Students25.8% out-of-state student

Campus Life

  • Housing
    • College-owned housing available Yes
    • Housing Requirements None
    • Housing options Coed housing , Female-only housing
    • Percentage of undergraduate students who live in college-owned housing 92%
  • Student Activities
    • Student-run campus newspaper Yes
    • Drama / theater group Yes
    • Student-run radio station No
    • Student-run television station No
    • Marching band No
    • Choral groups Yes
  • Student Services
    • Legal services No
    • Health clinic Yes
    • Personal / psychological counseling Yes
    • Women's center Yes
  • Student Organizations
    • Greek fraternities No
    • Greek sororities No
    • Local fraternities No
    • Local sororities No
    • Other organizations Yes
    • Most popular organizations Collegiate 4-H, Programming Board, Rugby Club, Campus Greens, Spanish Club
  • Campus Security and Safety
    • 24-hour emergency telephone / alarm services Yes
    • 24-hour patrols by trained officers Yes
    • Students patrols Not Reported
    • Late-night transport / escort services Yes
    • Electronically-operated dormitory entrances Yes
    • Other Not Reported


Member of the: NCAA Division III
  • Men's Sports
    • Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
    • Basketball No Division 3 No
    • Cross-country running No Division 3 No
    • Field hockey No No No
    • Lacrosse No Division 3 No
    • Rugby Yes No No
    • Soccer No Division 3 No
    • Swimming No Division 3 No
    • Tennis No No No
    • Volleyball No Division 3 No
  • Women's Sports
    • Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
    • Basketball No Division 3 No
    • Cross-country running No Division 3 No
    • Field hockey No Division 3 No
    • Lacrosse No Division 3 No
    • Rugby Yes No No
    • Soccer No Division 3 No
    • Swimming No Division 3 No
    • Tennis No Division 3 No
    • Volleyball No Division 3 No


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty67
    • Full-time Percentage57%
    • Part-time Percentage43%
    • Female Percentage49%
    • Male Percentage51%
    • Student:Faculty Ratio11:1 or 551 students to 67 faculty