If you haven’t noticed, there’s been a lot of changes in the world this year. So, we’re making some too—hopefully, they help you find your way to us, opening that door a little wider. Wayland Academy has made the decision to remove our testing requirement and application fees for applications for the 2021-2022 school year. In doing so, we further commit ourselves to continuing to build our intellectually vibrant community while ensuring greater accessibility and inclusion along the way.
Last year, we made the decision to go need-blind in the admissions process. What that means—and still means—is we do not consider a family’s ability to pay when reviewing an application. Instead, we’re focused on building our unique community: we look for students who fit with the mission and character of this place and strive to meet their need through scholarships and grants, never loans. We remain among a small set of American boarding schools to do this, but there is more work to be done. In removing the application fee, we are taking away something that may have dissuaded a promising student from applying. If you looked at our website and wished you were here, we do not want an application fee to stand in your way. It is one more step we can make to ensure those who can add to our community are given every chance to do so.
As a school, we stand in favor of access: we want as many young thinkers and doers like you to meet Wayland Academy and we want the chance to learn more about you, through essays, recommendations, even an interview (most Wayland students agree this was their favorite part of the application process). While the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) can be a useful piece of a complete application, we’re also mindful sitting for the test presents new challenges only complicated by COVID-19. If you have a score, great! If not, we understand: we hope to reassure you and your parents that there are more ways to speak of ‘success’—you are so much more than a test score.
We recognize that much has changed in the world in 2020. What has not changed is our desire to welcome you to live and learn with us. We remain committed to ensuring great students like you are encouraged to learn more, inquire, and apply—removing barriers and creating an admissions process that celebrates the potential in every applicant.