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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.11
Liaison Jennifer Kleindienst
Submission Date Dec. 1, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wesleyan University
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.64 / 4.00 Antonio Farias
VP for Equity & Inclusion
Office for Equity & Inclusion
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

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

With the exception of one small program for students from specific Asian countries, Wesleyan offers only need-based aid and meets 100% of demonstrated need. Wesleyan awards over $50 million annually in need-based scholarships. A student's/family’s cost is related to their income/assets and ability to pay. Generally, need is met first with a loan and work-study package; all remaining need is met with scholarship. Thus, students with highest financial need receive the maximum scholarship support and would be expected to pay less.

To further support high need students, Wesleyan has made a commitment in several ways:
(1) by eliminating the loan package for students whose families earn less than $60K (increased from $40K in FY15);
(2) by reducing the expected student summer earnings contribution for students whose parental contributions are $4K or less; and
(3) by reducing the loan package for students whose parental contributions are $10K or less and are Federal Pell grant eligible.
The standard loan package for a graduating student reflects approximately $19K in loans; by comparison, the highest need students would graduate with $0 loan.


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

Wesleyan's Equity & Inclusion initiative are meant to assist the Wesleyan community in identifying ways to further institutional diversity and inclusion. E&I involves all parts of the University, including faculty and staff. With regards to students, this initiative focuses specifically on ways in which students currently explore issues of difficult differences (such as racial, ethnic, and gender inequality, or continuing struggles around the globe for human rights, freedom, and power), engagement in learning communities such as MMUF, McNair, WesMaSS, First Gen, Upward Bound and certain student fora, implementation of programs and networks that promote awareness of and engagement with diversity on campus.


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

The Upward Bound Math-Science program is designed to help low-income and first-generation college students recognize and develop their potential, to excel in math and science, pursue post secondary degrees, and ultimately careers in the math and science professions. Activities, trips, and involvement are designed to help students become more familiar with S.T.E.M. (Science Technology Engineering Math) education.

The Prospect Math/Science Project is a comprehensive enrichment experience which includes field trips and Saturday workshops focusing on hands-on math and science activities during the school year; a four-week summer program with classes in math, science, language arts, foreign language, and visual and performing arts with classroom and field trips linked to a science theme; summer activities include science labs, field trips, brain teasers, math challenges, writing prompts, art projects, and instruction in a foreign language. Prospect emphasizes critical, analytical, and higher order thinking skills.

Ascend is an exciting program designed to help students prepare for future educational goals through tutoring, hands-on enrichment programs, cultural field trips, and special events. Ascend is managed by Wesleyan University Public Schools Collaborative and is funded by Wesleyan University and the Middletown Board of Education. The program serves students at Bielefield School, Farm Hill School, and Macdonough School. Approximately twelve students from each school in grades 4 and 5 will be accepted into Ascend.


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

With the exception of one small program for students from specific Asian countries, Wesleyan offers only need-based aid and meets 100% of demonstrated need. Wesleyan awards over $50 million annually in need-based scholarships. A student's/family’s cost is related to their income/assets and ability to pay. Generally, need is met first with a loan and work-study package; all remaining need is met with scholarship. Thus, students with highest financial need receive the maximum scholarship support and would be expected to pay less.

To further support high need students, Wesleyan has made a commitment in several ways:
(1) by eliminating the loan package for students whose families earn less than $60K (increased from $40K in FY15);
(2) by reducing the expected student summer earnings contribution for students whose parental contributions are $4K or less; and
(3) by reducing the loan package for students whose parental contributions are $10K or less and are Federal Pell grant eligible.
The standard loan package for a graduating student reflects approximately $19K in loans; by comparison, the highest need students would graduate with $0 loan.


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

Wesleyan University has been a QuestBridge Partner College since 2008 and graduated the first class of Quest Scholars in 2012. QuestBridge recruits, develops, and supports motivated low-income high school students to be successful at America’s best colleges.

Admission deans travel broadly to meet students from a variety of backgrounds in both private and public schools. They also work directly with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) across the country while on the road to sponsor programming and actively recruit students from low-income backgrounds. The Travel Assistance Program (TAP) brings low-income students to campus for Wesleyan's two fall open house dates. TAP applicants come from across the country, and the program gives them the chance to be on campus, learn more about Wesleyan and experience student life for two days. Wesleyan also offers travel grants in the spring for admitted students who have not had the chance to visit campus. These students are provided with transportation, housing, and meals, and participate in WesFest, Wesleyan's admitted student celebration.


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

Effective with the 2016-2017 admission cycle (Class of 2021), undocumented students, with or without and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, who apply to Wesleyan are treated identically to any other U.S. citizens or permanent resident in their high school.


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

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

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:

Wesleyan operates two on-site child care facilities that are open to children of students, but discounts are not available (discounts are available to faculty and staff).


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

Wesleyan’s student population is full-time only and is almost 100% traditional. One exception is the POSSE Military Veterans program. Students in this program are guaranteed tuition & fees scholarships through a combination of veterans educational benefits and institutional funding. Generally, students in this program receive funding that fully covers Wesleyan’s cost of attendance.

There are nearly 3 million post-9/11 veterans in the U.S., many wishing to attend college and pursue bachelor’s degrees. Unfortunately, liberal arts colleges and universities often struggle to recruit these veterans, and retention and graduation rates are low.

In an effort to dramatically increase the number of veterans it enrolls, Wesleyan entered into a partnership with The Posse Foundation in 2014. Since 1989, The Posse Foundation has helped colleges and universities to recruit exceptional public high school students who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. Through its newest initiative, the Veterans Posse Program, the foundation identifies talented veterans who are interested in pursuing bachelor’s degrees, and places them at top tier colleges and universities, where they receive four-year scholarships. Wesleyan is only the second institution to partner with Posse in this brand new initiative.


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

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):
19

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
90

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):
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):
55

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):
16

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.