Wellesley’s College Cost Estimator: A Collaborative Innovation

Today, Wellesley launched what we suspect will be a game-changer in the higher education market. My inTuition: Wellesley’s Quick College Cost Estimator is a simple online tool aimed at communicating to prospective students, in a clear and easily understood way, that Wellesley is affordable. Based on the feedback that we have received through beta testing (including input from some of our own economics alumnae), we suspect that other schools may want to adopt it for their own use. Already, it has gained some press in The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The idea for this estimator was developed by Phil Levine, who is the Katharine Coman and A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Economics and the chair of Wellesley’s Committee on Admission and Financial Aid. Phil and a team of key staff in Admission, Financial Aid, Library & Technology Services, and Public Affairs then designed the tool.

My inTuition will be aimed at prospective students and their families who are early in the college search process. Too often, well-qualified prospective students cross off Wellesley from their college list early on, because they assume it will be too expensive. But using My inTuition and providing easily-accessible information to a few questions, students and families can get a realistic estimate of what they can expect to pay for a Wellesley education—a number that may be surprisingly low for some families.

The tool is brilliantly simple, and it is one more way we are trying to make a Wellesley education accessible to all the bright young women who deserve to be here.