Williams Acceptance Rate: 9%

February 11, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Williams Acceptance Rate: 9%

Shortcuts to sections offered for Williams prospective students and Williams Acceptance Rate:

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

Located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Williams College is a prestigious and private liberal arts college that was founded in 1793. Williams College is the second-oldest high education institution in the state of Massachusetts and while it was initially planned to be a place where people could get a free education, it quickly changed courses as it started to be compared as the “Western counterpart” to Harvard University and Yale University.

While Williams College is not considered to be part of the Ivy League, the Williams acceptance rate is certainly not far off from the competitive nature of the Ivy League.

Ivy-covered old building at Williams College.

Now, Williams College is home to over 2,000 students who call the school’s 450-acre home. The campus is beautiful and well-forested thanks to its location in the beloved Berkshires region of rural Massachusetts.

Following a classic liberal arts curriculum, Williams College offers its undergraduate students to choose from 25 unique academic departments, which includes 36 majors in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

If you are interested in applying to and ultimately attending Williams College, you should know that the Williams acceptance rate is approximately 9%. It makes sense that it is one of the most competitive schools in the country when it comes to its acceptance rate, Williams is considered to be the nation’s top liberal arts college.

The truth is that if getting into Williams College is your dream, you are going to have to make sure that you know everything there is to know about increasing your chances of beating the odds of the Williams acceptance rate and getting in.

It takes more than just great grades and standardized test scores to get in, you are also going to have to be able to prove that you will be a positive force on Williams’ campus from the very first day that you stop onto the grounds.

Here at AdmissionSight, we make it our job to make sure that all of the students that we work with are as prepared as possible to get the results they want out of their college application journey. Because of that, we have compiled loads of useful information about what it takes to get into many of the top private and public colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Our list would not be complete without including Williams College.

While it takes more than just great scores to get in, that is a fairly logical place to start! For starters, the average weighted GPA of students who get into Williams College is 4.07. The average SAT score is a highly competitive 1479 and the average ACT score is similarly competitive at 33.

As you can see, you are going to have to be either at – or very near – the top of your high school class to even consider Williams College as a realistic option. Now that those raw numbers are out of the way, let’s break down everything you need to know about the Williams acceptance rate, and how to beat the odds and get in.

Successful Application Profile

Last year, nearly 9,700 students applied to Williams College and only 1,205 were ultimately accepted. Of those 1,205 students, just 550 ended up enrolling as freshmen students. From these numbers alone it is abundantly clear how competitive the Williams acceptance rate is.

These numbers also clearly show what kinds of students are likely best suited for the Williams style of education. If you are looking for a large school that has great athletics and tons of school spirit, Williams may not be for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a school with small classes, highly engaged students and faculty, and tons of opportunities to both discover and express yourself, Williams could be a fantastic option for you.

If you are already finding yourself visiting Williams’ website and trying to learn more and more about the school, chances are good you are definitely interested in applying!

One very important thing to keep in mind when you are applying to schools are the kinds of students you will be learning alongside.

Here is a breakdown of the student body at Williams.

Who studies at Williams?

When it comes to diversity across the board, Williams College ranks very highly. They received a CollegeFactual score of 95 out of 100 for overall diversity and was ranked as the 24th most diverse school out of 2,475 that were measured.

Five college students chatting while walking in the hallway.

When it comes to ethnic diversity, here are the major groups that call Williams home:

  • 51.4% of the students at Williams College are white
  • 12.9% of the students at Williams College are Hispanic/Latino
  • 12.3% of the students at Williams College are Asian
  • 8.2% of the students at Williams College are Non-resident Alien
  • 8.2% of the students at Williams College African-American

When it comes to gender diversity, men and women students have split down the middle quite evenly, with just over 50 percent of students identifying as male.

Finally, when it comes to international students, Williams College is quite strong as well. While it of course does not compare to the international student presence at Ivy League schools or elite public schools, just under 10 percent of the student body at Williams is made up of international students.

Overall, the main countries that send the greatest number of students to Williams include:

  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Kenya
  • Hong Kong
  • Pakistan

Most popular majors at Williams

If you are interested in attending Williams one important thing that you have to make sure of is that the types of programs you might end up wanting to focus the majority of your time and energy in are both offered and well-regarded.

This fact applies to any school that you are interested in going to. After all, you want to make sure that the program that you end up focusing on has great funding and a great reputation.

Overall, the top majors at Williams include Econometrics and Quantitative Economics; Mathematics, General; Biology/Biological Sciences, General; Political Science and Government, General; and History, General.

What are the average SAT/ACT scores and GPA of students admitted to Williams?

While some schools have started to move away from emphasizing the importance of standardized testing scores, there is absolutely no doubt that SAT/ACT scores and a high school student’s GPA throughout high school are still crucially important.

When it comes to the average GPA of high school students who get into Williams College, the number is 4.07. That’s a weighted GPA, which means that if you are interested in increasing your chances of getting into this school you will certainly want to enroll in weighted Honors courses and AP courses throughout your high school years.

Excelling in these weighted courses will not only help improve your overall GPA, but it will also show college admissions counselors that you are dedicated to challenging yourself academically and are ready for the accelerated college curriculum once you finally get on campus.

When it comes to your standardized test scores, the average SAT score for high school students who get into Williams College is a highly competitive score of 1479. The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1410, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1550.

In other words, a score of 1410 places you below average, while 1550 will move you up to above average. There’s no absolute SAT requirement at Williams College, but they really want to see at least 1410 to have a chance at being considered.

In terms of the ACT, the average score of students who get into the school is 33 out of 36. The 25th percentile ACT score is 32, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 35.

In other words, a score of 32 places you below average, while a 35 will move you up to above average. While there is no absolute ACT requirement at Williams College, it is known that they really want to see at least a 32 to have a chance at being considered.

These scores are highly competitive and are nearly identical to the scores and GPAs that Ivy League and other highly prestigious schools want to see. From this, it is clear that the types of students who end up attending Williams College are truly amongst the very best in the entire world!

Entry Requirements

Just as it is important for you to know what you will need to achieve in order to be seriously considered in a school’s admissions office, it is also important to know things like how much a school costs to attend, how ample financial aid is, what you actually need to send in as part of your application and finally when your application is due!

It is crucial for you to get this information so that you can make sure to get the largest amount of financial aid you are eligible for, as staying out of student loan debt should be the goal for every high school senior who is applying to college.

Here is the information about these important factors!

How much does it cost to attend Williams?

As is the case with all prestigious private schools, Williams College is quite expensive to attend. Truth is if you know anything about colleges and university tuition in the United States these days, you know that it is going to cost you quite a lot.

For that reason, you should absolutely take the time necessary to find out what financial aid – if any – that you are able to get from a specific school.

Before we break down financial aid, however, let’s go over the cost of attendance that you can expect at Williams. Here is a table pulled directly from Williams’ official site.

Comprehensive breakdown of fees for admissions

Financial aid at Williams College

When it comes to financial aid at Williams, over half of the students end up receiving some kind of financial aid. In fact, approximately 54% of students get some kind of financial aid in order to attend. The average amount of financial aid that students receive is $44,978.

Applying to Williams College

As you begin filling out your college applications, you are going to want to make sure that you are fully aware of everything you need to send in in order to qualify for a specific school.

While a lot of schools are going to require you to send the same material, it is crucial that you make sure that you read application requirements carefully so that you have all of the material handy that you will need.

Here is a list of what you will need to send to Williams’ admissions office:

  • Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application
  • School Report
  • Counselor Recommendation
  • Two Teacher Recommendations
  • Mid-Year Report
  • $65 Application Fee or Fee Waiver
  • SAT or ACT score (optional for the 2020-21 admissions cycle were made optional due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but are expected to become required once again in future years)

There are also a number of optional materials that you can send to improve your application. Those include:

  • Williams writing supplement, students are welcome to submit a short essay on one of the three topics provided here
  • Studio/performing arts portfolio if you have a well-developed talent and passion in the arts

Application deadline

One final crucially important thing to keep in mind when you are applying to any school is what the related deadlines are for your application. After all, your wonderful application won’t matter much if you don’t send it in on time!

At Williams College, students get to choose from two different application decisions. The first is Early Decision and the second is Regular Decision. Here are the related deadlines when it comes to each deadline designation.

Application schedule for admissions

If you are highly determined to attend Williams and it is your No. 1 preferred school, you will want to seriously consider applying as an Early Decision candidate. Just make sure that you read up on what that entails in the even that you are accepted to the school!

What to Expect

One of the best ways to get a good idea about whether or not a university or college is a good fit for you is to see what some students are saying about every school you are interested in going to.

Thanks to one great site that allows students to write reviews about their school, we at AdmissionSight were able to gather some fantastic material for you.

Famous Williamstown main street college building and church at the Williams College.

“A very small community compared to most colleges out there,” one wrote. “The campus is nice and beautiful, surrounded by beautiful mountains. Professors are very open and approachable.

Academics may be a bit intense and students often spend a lot of their time doing homework or studying for tests and exams. If you are interested in liberal arts education then this may be the place for you. However, keep in mind that it is in the middle of nowhere and if you don’t have a car, it is very difficult to get around, even to the store.”

“Williams has been the highlight of my life!” another wrote. “The academics are challenging but fun and you are surrounded by people who are also very interested in the courses and extracurriculars that they join.

Everyone at Williams is brilliant but is also incredibly passionate and/or amazing at something else. That’s what is beautiful about it. You never stop being amazed at what people (and you) do inside and outside of the classroom.”


If you are interested in attending a school like Williams College, chances are good that you are interested in a style of learning that takes place in smaller classes.

Williams is great at offering students just that, and 77.4 percent of the courses have less than 20 students. 20.5 percent have 20 to 49 students in them, and just 2.1 percent have over 50 students.

On top of that, the student-to-faculty ratio is 7:1, one of the very best in the country.


The Williams College athletic teams participate in NCAA Division III includes baseball, basketball, crew, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, skiing, soccer, squash, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, wrestling and volleyball.

Famous Williams alumni

As is the case with all of the prestigious colleges and universities, a number of students at Williams have gone on to accomplish incredible things. Here are some of the most famous alumni that studied at Williams College.

  • George Steinbrenner, businessman
  • Stephen Sondhiem, composer
  • Eliza Kazan, director and novelist
  • David Stratharin, actor
  • James Garfield, 20th POTUS
  • Erin Burnett, journalist
  • Martha Coakley, politician
  • Susan Schwab, politician

If you hope to one day see your name on that list, the first step is getting into Williams College. While you may be intimidated by Williams’s acceptance rate, you should feel confident knowing that AdmissionSight can help you increase your chances of acceptance. Here, we know how to help students maximize their strengths in order to help them get into the school of their dreams.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.