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Williams College Admissions

williams college

Get Into Williams College

About Williams College

Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, a small town in the Berkshires. Established in 1793, Williams is one of the oldest colleges in the country and has an enrollment of 2,061 undergraduate students. This year, Williams earned the #1 spot in the annual U.S. News & World Report ranking of “Best Liberal Arts Colleges” and 1st among liberal arts colleges in the 2019 Forbes Magazine ranking of America’s Top Colleges. Although the school was originally founded as a men’s college, women were first admitted in 1971 and, in the 1960s, the college’s fraternities were abolished.

Williams has a number of unique opportunities within their curriculum like Winter Study, the Difference, Power, and Equity requirement, and a number of interdisciplinary opportunities available within the more than 50 areas of study across the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. It utilizes a 4-1-4-based academic calendar so that, each January, students can pursue a single subject on a pass/fail basis. The Winter Study offerings also include short-term trips and independent research as well as fieldwork and internships.

Williams prides itself on its small class sizes, with a student-teacher ratio of 7:1, and its Oxford-style tutorials, which rely heavily on student participation. Since almost all students are required to live on campus, there is a palpable sense of community both in the classroom and in the dormitories. Williams is a member of the Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference and, in addition to 32 varsity teams, it has an active club and intramural sports program. More than 60% of Williams’ students compete on at least one varsity, junior varsity, or club team.

Although Williams has a focus on undergraduate teaching, there are roughly 50 graduate students who are enrolled in one of the two graduate-level programs. The Center for Development Economics (CDE) at Williams offers an intensive, one-year master’s degree program designed for economists from low and middle-income countries who have some practical experience. The second program, the Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art, is administered in conjunction with the Clark Art Institute and has a two-year curriculum that combines academic course work, internships, workshops and international travel.

Applying to Williams

As one of the most selective colleges in the country, Williams admits fewer than one in five applicants. Williams accepts the Common Application, the Coalition Application, or the QuestBridge application. There is also an optional Williams Writing Supplement that requires an additional essay. While they claim there are no firm requirements for admission, competitive candidates typically study English, math, natural science, foreign language and social studies in four-year sequences and present a distinguished record throughout their secondary school career.

If Williams is your first-choice college, you may apply under the binding Early Decision program. Early Decision applicants may submit an Early Decision application to only one institution and if admitted under Early Decision are expected to withdraw all other college applications. You may also apply under the non-binding Regular Decision plan. If admitted, you have until May 1 to accept your place in the class.

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Williams campus, which is an hour’s drive from Albany International Airport/Rensselaer Train Station and three hours from Boston and New York City. Although there are no on-campus interviews offered, you can attend a campus tour and information session, attend a class, or stay overnight. If you cannot afford to visit Williams, you can apply for the Windows on Williams (WOW) program, which gives high school seniors the opportunity to spend three all-expenses-paid days at Williams. Preference is given to high-achieving students who couldn’t otherwise afford to visit Williams. This commitment to economic diversity is also seen in Williams’ financial aid program. Admission decisions are made without considering the U.S. students’ financial needs and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet 100% of the demonstrated financial need of every student, which alleviates debt levels for graduating seniors.

Williams College Admissions Wrap Up

Williams received a staggering number of applications in 2019-2020, consistent with previous years. Over 9,700 students applied, and only 1,205 were accepted into the Class of 2023. Of those, about 550 are expected to enroll for the fall semester. This year’s 12.4 percent acceptance rate is comparable to last year’s 12.2 percent acceptance rate. In the early decision round, 688 students applied and 37 percent were offered admission. This marks a slight dip in the number of early applicants compared to previous years (a record of 728 applied ED in 2017). About 92 percent of accepted applicants, who represent 893 high schools, were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduation class. Their average scores on the SAT were 733 in evidence-based reading and writing and 749 in math. Their average super-scored ACT was 33.

Of those admitted, 134 are international students, representing 52 different nationalities. Among American students, 58 percent identify as students of color and 20 percent are first-generation college students. Williams also recorded gender diversity this year and noted that, of the admitted students, a total of 515 identify as men, 597 as women, three identify as trans or transgender, four as nonbinary, and six as another identity.

Top Tier Admissions Can Help You Get Into Williams:

"Thank you so much for all your time and work with N over these last few months. N found his experience at Boot Camp to be incredibly helpful and he very much enjoyed meeting you and working with all the Top Tier counselors as well as the other students. The process was educational for N in so many ways- thank you, thank you, thank you!"
–M.T., Application Boot Camp parent
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–R.R., Application Boot Camp parent
"I got my acceptance letter over the weekend from Middlebury!! I’m officially a Panther!!! 🙂 Thank you for all of your help; I could not have made it through 1st quarter without ABC!!!"
-S.F., Application Boot Camp student
"Dear Michele, I just wanted to let you know that I just got accepted into Dartmouth for ED! I’m overjoyed and incredibly excited to continue my academic journey in New Hampshire. Thank you so much! You were always there to answer so many of my questions and were incredibly supportive of me; I couldn’t have done it without you and the Top Tier team!"
–B.S., Application Boot Camp student
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–P.W., Application Boot Camp parent
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–H.O., Application Boot Camp parent
"We just got the news! Northwestern Class of 2024! She’s over the moon. This would not have happened without the advice and guidance along the way from all of the folks at Top Tier Admissions! From the advice on how to structure her supplemental info, including how to position her interests and activities relative to her major, the advice to take a college course this summer, and the amazing work that was done during Boot Camp, Top Tier is the absolute best and I know we have you to thank for her acceptance!!! Happy Holidays and thank you from the bottom of my heart!"
–P.S., Application Boot Camp parent
"Michele and team - Just wanted to pass along the great news that J got admitted today to Pitzer, her first choice ED school. Thanks for all the amazing support you've provided H and J over the past few years. They both learned a lot from the process and, of course, benefited greatly. We now get to celebrate the holidays with a sigh of relief!"
–V.J., Application Boot Camp parent
"Happy Holidays to you and your families. J is so thrilled about attending Middlebury College next fall (and we are thrilled for her) and we appreciate all your assistance. It was so exciting for her to get the official acceptance last week. She loved her time at ABC and still keeps in touch with the group of friends she made. Boot Camp was tough, but she thoroughly loved it. She’s a grinder so the intensity and complete immersion didn’t bother her at all. She loved working with all of you and cherishes having another little group of friends that she bonded with in Boston. Don’t fire your caterer - she’s a big fan of the food at Boot Camp."
–W.R., Application Boot Camp parent
"B, you helped me with my application during Boot Camp this past summer and I wanted to let you know that I committed to UPenn last night! Thank you so much for helping to transform my supplements into something readable. Boot Camp DEFINITELY helped me get in and made the process a lot less stressful. Thank you so much for all of your help!"
–B.A., Application Boot Camp student
"We wanted to thank you for your guidance, counsel and support through T’s application process. Your advice has been instrumental to his success and, more importantly, you gave him the confidence boost he needed to apply early at Princeton. We will continue to recommend Top Tier services to our friends and will always be grateful for what you did. We hope we can stay in touch and wish you a wonderful holiday season."
–K.L.T., Application Boot Camp parent
"We are excited to report that B was accepted ED to Duke University and has committed to attend next fall. We’ll forward a picture once our first Duke swag order arrives. Duke was her clear first choice and we are all very happy! We are also very pleased with the assistance we received from all of you at Top Tier and are confident that the guidance we received over the last seventeen months helped B wind up with this great outcome. So, thank you!"
–E.R., Application Boot Camp parent
"I am ecstatic to report that I got into my ED school: University of Chicago! Thank you so much for all your help and willingness to work through draft after draft until I got it right."
–W.D., Application Boot Camp student
"I am happy to report that we found out this evening that L has been accepted to Boston College! We are SO excited! And for your records, he was also accepted at Villanova and invited to the honors program. Thank you all so much for your help and support! We would have been lost without you!"
–M.J., Application Boot Camp student
"I wanted to extend my personal thanks for all your help with my son's application process and essays. Your Bootcamp proved to be well worth the investment and per your advice I stayed away from the temptation of even reading my son's essays until he was accepted. The bottom line is that he was accepted into his top choice of UChicago and in his acceptance letter his essay was specifically mentioned. Furthermore, this was a reach school for him which made the acceptance even more sweet. Your methods and advice were instrumental in his success and I cannot thank you enough for making my son's aspirations real!!"
–L.T., Application Boot Camp parent
"I'm not sure if my daughter told you yet, but she was accepted ED to Dartmouth in December. So, two for two with the W sisters-- thanks Top Tier Admissions!"
–G.W., Application Boot Camp parent x2
"I wanted to let you know that I got into my first choice, Boston College, early decision. I'm so excited. Thank you all so much for everything, I'm so grateful!"
–L.K., Application Boot Camp student
"Thank you to Mimi who wrote my personalized report back in junior year, to the entire team, and definitely to E! My quick acceptance into Cornell owes much to your insights and guidance. Although I have been accepted to Cornell, the process with Top Tier has made me want to stay competitive in college — whether for internships, or for graduate schools later in life. I thank you for that!"
–P.O., Application Boot Camp student
"WE MADE IT!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU!"
–L.J., Application Boot Camp student
“Once again, I am so impressed with your program. I am amazed at the sheer 
amount B. accomplished in four days! Equally as important, she feels
 really great about her essays. She loved working with each of you as well as 
A. (a great pairing for her!).  

I know how hard each of you worked this week; I hope you get to enjoy some
 well-deserved R&R!” –N.G., Application Boot Camp parent
"G is excited to go to her first choice, the University of Miami! She continues to say that Application Boot Camp was the best investment we ever made for her education." –R.J., Application Boot Camp parent
"I liked the process of having multiple people read my essays before finalizing a draft. This made me confident that my essays were clear and concise while also captivating to a diverse audience. Everyone was also patient and encouraging. Boot Camp took away so much stress coming into Senior Fall, allowing me to focus on my academics and earning my highest term average ever." –S.A., Application Boot Camp student
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-Parent of Application Boot Camp (Dartmouth) students
"Thank you so much for your help and guidance. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you and the Top Tier Admissions Team! I'm still in between UPenn and Georgetown, but I will make sure to visit both."
–S.I., Application Boot Camp student
"Clearly, Application Bootcamp and Top Tier took a lot of anxiety out of the whole situation. Our children know a number of kids who did not get into their top choice ED school, only to be devastated and stressed as they are without a plan for ED II and regular decision and have not worked on a range of essays for other schools. So while F & J’s EA-only strategy is not for everyone but made sense for them since they did not have a clear lead school when they were applying, being prepared made all the difference. The help Bootcamp provided in honing their voice and words into essays that reflect their intent was fantastic. In the end, it is all about having choices they are happy with, and I am happy to say they both have those now!"
–F.A., parent of Application Boot Camp students
"E., I just wanted to let you know that I got into Barnard Early Decision! Thank you for everything you have done!!! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you did for me! Thank You!!" - H.L., Personal Boot Camp student
Barnard, Class of 2023
"I wanted to say thank you again for all your help! I got into UPenn, Cornell, Barnard, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Tufts, University of Michigan, and Wake Forest, and am waiting to hear from Georgetown; I think I'm leaning towards UPenn. Thank  you so much for all your guidance; I don't think I could have done it without your help!" --I.R., Application Boot Camp student
"We are thrilled! Duke is absolutely fantastic and is the exact right fit for K. Application Boot Camp definitely helped her get into Duke during their most selective year in history, a year in which they turned away well over 2,000 Valedictorians. Thank you!" -Y.R., parent of ABC student accepted to 9 top-tier colleges
Y.R.
"Boot Camp was the most incredible experience. It made me push myself into thinking about my future and prepared me to send in all my applications. I am so thankful that I got the help I needed at Boot Camp because it made my application process effortless once I had completed my essays. I think that the colleges were able to clearly see my goals and ambitions through the writing of my essays. I believe this helped me have a very successful application process." –P.K., Application Boot Camp student
Barnard Class of 2022
"I just wanted to say thank you for all the help that I received during Boot Camp! I was able to do so much work and gain so much knowledge about the procedure of applying to college. I am so blessed to have had you as my best resources. I will definitely keep you posted when I start hearing from schools and thank you very much for all your help and feedback once again.” – L.L, Application Boot Camp student

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