College of William and Mary Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of College and Mary building at day time.

College of William and Mary Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

Successful Applicant Profile

  • Demographics
  • Majors
  • SAT/ACT scores

Entry Requirements

  • Tuition
  • Scholarships
  • Checklist of Application Requirements
  • Application Deadlines

What Should You Expect

  • Student life
  • Academics offered
  • Athletics offered
  • Notable Alumni

The College of William and Mary is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia. This famous institution was founded in 1693 and is renowned for its historical importance as one of the first established academic institutions in the United States. As the second oldest higher education institution in the US, acceptance to William and Mary is considered competitive but certainly very achievable for the right candidates. As such, if you are interested in attending William and Mary, it is important to know all you can about application process and what the university expects from its applicants in order to be successful and gain that admissions letter.

Whilst 37% is not particularly low, the College of William and Mary acceptance rate reflects certain basic criteria for application in the first place, meaning that those that do apply are already qualified as per the admissions requirements. The university then does its due diligence and goes through the decisions process before landing at the College of William and Mary acceptance rate for that year and making that public.

As such, the College of William and Mary accepted 37% of all applicants for its 2021-22 admissions cycle, which equated to a total of 6,386 students from the 17,475 who applied for admission. This is down from the 42% College of William and Mary acceptance rate from the previous year. When it comes to SAT and ACT scores, these are taken into consideration as part of your application, but are listed as optional at William and Mary through to at least the 2023-24 admissions cycle.

For those admitted in the class of 2025 – the most recent official statistics available – the average range of standardized test scores was 1360-1520 on the SAT and 31-34 for the ACT range.

In addition, the class of 2025 at William and Mary made up a very impressive 82% of the top decile of their high school class, which underlines the high academic standards expected of its successful applicants. Academics are, of course, extremely important but there are also a number of other factors you will want to focus upon the best chance of standing out amongst the crowd when it comes to applying to one of the oldest institutions not just in the United States but also the world.

Successful Applicant Profile

The College of William and Mary, as an academic institution established over 300 years ago, is highly both within the US and throughout the English-speaking world. As one of the leading universities in the state of Virginia, William and Mary can afford to be rather selective when making decisions about who it chooses to admit and this is reflected in the mid-range admissions percentage. While certainly not impossible to gain admission, it is not designed to be easy.

William and Mary feels more like a private college than a public university and its academics reflect that. They are spread amongst its five schools; Arts & Sciences, Raymond A. Mason School of Business, William & Mary School of Education, William & Mary Law School and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), offering tailored and specialist tracks for W&M students.

Female student writing in her desk whole doing research on College of William and Mary acceptance rate.

Hoping to secure a place at one of these schools at the College of William and Mary for the class of 2025 were some 17,475 applicants. Of these, 37% were lucky enough to gain acceptance, which is a downturn on the previous College of William and Mary acceptance rate of 42%. W&M places an extremely high emphasis on a variation of factors when considering its applicants, which you should be aware of prior to applying. These include but are not limited to character and personal qualities, extracurricular activities, academic GPA and overall rigor of secondary school record. Ensuring you present yourself in the best possible manner is crucially important to gaining that place at W&M and we at AdmissionSight are here to help you successfully navigate the admissions process.

Demographics: Who Makes up the William and Mary Student Body?

As well as the College of William and Mary acceptance rate, it is also important to look at the demographics of those who are admitted. Despite the relatively small size of the university, the College of William and Mary has a pretty impressive level of diversity. According to the statistics which the university released for the class of 2025 – the most recent currently available – 42% identify as male and 45% identify as female.

When it comes to race and ethnicity at the College of William and Mary, the university released the following breakdown of its student body for the class of 2025:

  • White: 60%
  • Asian: 12%
  • Hispanic: 9%
  • African American: 6%
  • Two or more: 6%
  • International: 4%

Amongst the overall 4% of the university population that is international, the top five represented nations include; China, Canada, South Korea, El Salvador and the United Kingdom.

The College of William Mary has the Office of Diversity and Inclusion which is primarily concerned with taking care of the richly diverse student body the school has. Amongst its services, it offers Student Enrichment Services, Social Justice Education and Multicultural Student Affairs as well as education of diversity issues. The university also has a dedicated International Students, Scholars and Programs office (Globe WM) which takes care of international students transitioning to W&M.

Average SAT/ACT Scores of Students Admitted to William and Mary

For those admitted to the College of William and Mary in the class of 2025, which is the most recently released scores, the mid-50% SAT range for this cohort was 1360-1520 and the ACT range was 31-34.

Unidentified person taking an exam in a room.

This high level of SAT/ACT range accurately reflects the academic standards required at William and Mary and while not having such high scores will certainly not disqualify you from entry (as other crucial factors are also considered), they do form an important part of your admissions application when assessing whether you are a fit for W&M.

Entry Requirements

As one of the oldest higher education institutions in the entire country, the College of William and Mary is renowned across the United States as a respected academic institution of over 300 years. Many students dream of becoming part of the Tribe and the university is steeped in history. However, in order to be successful, applicants must understand the basic admissions process and requirements that will guide them on their journey from starting those first admissions materials all the way through to becoming a part of the W&M student body. Here’s everything you need to know about gaining admission to W&M and what is expected of its students.

How Much Will it Cost to Attend?

The College of William and Mary has different costs depending upon whether you are considered an in-state applicant (from the state of Virginia) or an out-of-state applicant (outside Virginia). For the academic year 2022-2023, the total cost of first year tuition and fees for the College of William and Mary for out-of-state students is $46,467. For the academic year 2022-2023, the total cost of first year tuition and fees for the College of William and Mary for in-state students is $23,812.

This is different to the total cost of attendance, which also factors in other expenses.

The breakdown of costs for attendance at W&M are outlined below;

  • Tuition and fees (in-state) – $23,812
  • Tuition and fees (out-of-state) – $46,467
  • Room and board – $13,332
  • Personal expenses & books/supplies – $2541

In total, this amounts to a cost of attendance for first-year out-of-state undergraduate students of $62,299 and a total cost for in-state students of 39,644, which ranks as pretty expensive and shows a large disparity between the cost for in-state and out-of-state students. However, the university offers various financial aid options and continues to honor its promise of meeting the full demonstrated institutional financial need of aid applicants year-on-year, making it an attractive and value for money institution for those with financial need, whether in-state or out of state.

Financial Aid at W&M

The College of William and Mary believes in merit and needs-based aid and their tailored packages reflect the needs of their students. Federal aid comes in many forms, such as the Pell Grant and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG). Federal funds provided by the school to students with exceptional need. First consideration is to students who are eligible for a Pell Grant. This is offered as part of a joint program between the federal government and the University to provide additional funding to those students whose families demonstrate the highest need.

A further financial aid program offered by the university is the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP). The VGAP is a state-funded grant that provides assistance to undergraduate Virginia residents. Criteria is specific to family income and awards are based upon those most in need with applicants to the university automatically considered, albeit one provision as with most financial aid packages is that a FAFSA is completed.

Additional financial aid options at W&M include the Virginia Commonwealth Award, which is a state-funded grant that provides assistance to undergraduate and graduate students that are Virginia residents, as well as the Institutional Grant. For a more detailed and specific run down of the financial aid available at the College of William and Mary, students can use the Financial Aid Calculator provided by the university on its dedicated website.

The Application Requirements

At W&M, which is considered a mid-sized school, competition for places is inevitably fierce and admissions letters are not something that are granted on a whim. You will be expected to outline your academic goals and how they fit specifically to W&M. Naturally, your previous academic achievements are invariably a huge factor in making admissions decisions, but increasingly the university is also looking at your personal and professional attributes when deciding if you’re a fit.

Male student holding books while smiling at the camera.

The College of William and Mary casts its net far and wide when making admissions decisions and often looks beyond just your academic performance (although this needs to be very strong), so it is crucially important to present yourself in the right way if you wish to become one of the Tribe. According to the official  website, it looks at a wide range of factors when making admissions decisions – including previous grades, course rigor, recommendations, academic honors/awards, personal essays, and other information specific to your own experiences and high school setting.

As is common, admission requirements are program-specific, but W&M does provide a guide of basic requirements for first-year undergraduates applying to the university. These include:

  • A Common Application
  • Secondary School Report form complete with a high school transcript
  • Counselor letter of recommendation
  • Midyear School Report form with an updated transcript
  • SAT or ACT scores (optional)
  • Peer recommendation (optional)
  • On-campus interview (optional)
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $75 or application fee waiver

International students from non-English speaking institutions or applicants whose first/primary language is not English or whose secondary schooling has not been in English are also required by the university to submit official proof of English language proficiency.

What are the Important Dates for the College of William and Mary Admission Timeline?

Perspective students should take into account that the application deadlines for admission to William and Mary are split into two sections; the Early Decision (ED) admissions deadline and the Regular Decision admissions deadline depending upon when the applicant decides to apply.

Young woman smiling in front of her class during an online class.

For Early Decision admissions, the deadline to submit your application materials to William and Mary is November 1. Applicants are then told of their Early Decision admissions decision via letter by early December. A second Early Decision (ED II) deadline is also granted for January 2, with decisions available, again by letter, by early February.

For Regular Decision admissions, the deadline to submit your application materials to W&M is January 2. Applicants can then view their Regular Decision admissions decision via email by April 1. In all cases, the student must accept or reject the decision by May 1 in order for it to remain valid.

What Students Can Expect

The College of William and Mary can lay claim to being a truly one-of-a-kind institution that is steeped in history and holds a unique appeal for perspective students who are truly following in the steps of some historic alumni spanning over 300 years. The campus is located in the city of Williamsburg, VA, a city that is small in population but, like William and Mary, is also steeped in history dating back to the American revolution. The university strikes a great balance between esteemed academics and a sense of community that comes with small to mid-sized schools.

Group of students talking about the College of William and Mary acceptance ratein a classroom.

“Top notch,” wrote one student on Unigo. “Rigorous academics and grading system. Superb education. Teaches you how to think. Would be more highly rated if out of state quotas were higher. Overall, underrated (by social media etc. ) in my opinion.”

In order to get more information about the College of William and Mary acceptance rate, the campus more generally and the entire admissions process, you can email [email protected] or call (757) 221-4223.

Academics Offered

The College of William and Mary offers a reasonable variety of academic programs at undergraduate level, which reflects the mid-size school population of around 6,500 undergraduates. In total, the university offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in around 34 different specialisms, with 31 majors and 17 broad fields of study encompassed. Undergraduate academics at William and Mary are divided into seven schools listed below:

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Raymond A. Mason School of Business
  • William & Mary School of Education
  • William & Mary Law School
  • Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)

William and Mary is a truly unique academic institution within the United States in that it feels much more like a private college than a public university, given its size and specialisms. The school places a large focus on being specialists in the academic fields it offers and some of the most popular programs with prospective students at William & Mary are: Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Psychology; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, History and Kinesiology.

What Athletic Options are Available?

The College of William and Mary offers a total of 20 varsity sports team – 10 of which are men’s teams and 10 of which are for women. The teams, known as the ‘Tribe’ are listed below:

Men’s Teams

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Cross Country
  • Gymnastics
  • Track and Field

Women’s Teams 

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

William and Mary Notable Alumni

The College of William and Mary, as one of the oldest academic institutions in the United States, boasts an incredible array of alumni that stretch way back to American independence. William and Mary counts four former US Presidents amongst its famous alumni as well as countless others who have left an indelible mark on their respective fields. Some notable alumni are listed below;

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • George Washington
  • James Comey
  • John Marshall
  • Ellen Stofan
  • John Stewart
  • Patton Oswalt
  • Caitlin Smallwood
  • Michael Tomlin
  • Jill Ellis
  • John Tyler
  • Jen Psaki
  • James Monroe
  • Glenn Close

Gaining admission to the College of William and Mary is the ultimate academic goal for many students across the United States, with the school particularly popular within its home state of Virginia. Trends suggest that admission rates are decreasing year-on-year and it is soon to become harder than ever to gain admission to William and Mary. However, if you believe you have what it takes to become a Griffin, then allow us at AdmissionSight to show you how to maximize your strengths and minimize any potential weaknesses so that the college admissions officers at W&M see you for the fantastic potential you possess.


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