Williams College Admits 1,159 Students for Class of 2019

Media contact:  Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., March 26, 2015—Williams College has extended offers of admission to 1,159 applicants for the Class of 2019. They were selected from a total applicant pool of 6,883, for an overall acceptance rate of 16.8 percent.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the admitted group,” said Richard Nesbitt, director of admission. “Once the dust settles, we expect this to be one of the most academically gifted and socioeconomically diverse classes ever to enter Williams.”

Of the admitted students, 567 are women and 592 are men. One hundred and two are international students representing 46 different nationalities. Among American students, 50 percent are students of color: 195 students are Asian American, 195 are black, 182 Latino, and 11 Native American. Twenty-one percent (246) are first-generation college students, and about 8 percent (96) have a parent who attended Williams.

Admitted students living in the U.S. represent the following geographic regions: 28 percent hail from the Mid-Atlantic; 21 percent from the West; 15 percent from the Northeast; 11 percent from the South; 8 percent from the Midwest; and 5 percent from the Southwest. Five students come from Puerto Rico, and one student is from Saipan. One hundred and eighteen admitted students (10 percent) are currently living overseas, two of them on U.S. military installations.

The admitted students’ academic profile is exceptional, with average SAT scores of 731 in critical reading, 720 in math, and 727 in writing. The average super-scored ACT is a 33. Eighty-six percent of the students who submitted high school rank are projected to graduate in the top 10 percent of their class.

The students possess a wide diversity of academic, artistic, and athletic interests. Ten percent of admitted students are highly rated musicians, studio artists, thespians, or dancers, and one is a Navy SEAL. Eighty-five students demonstrated extraordinary commitment to serving the needs of others, and 41 were noted as “bridge builders,” showing a longstanding commitment to activities that span racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Two-hundred and eight students were noted for “intellectual vitality,” meaning that they showed signs of extraordinary academic depth or talent or promise as a “classroom catalyst who would have a significant impact in labs or class discussions.”

The college has long been committed to admitting the most qualified and compelling students without regard for their ability to pay. Among those admitted for the Class of 2019, 14 percent (159 students) are affiliated with QuestBridge, an organization with which Williams has partnered since 2006 to identify talented, high-achieving high school students from low-income backgrounds. Additionally, 116 students admitted to the Class of 2019 participated in Windows on Williams, a college-sponsored program that provides high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds the opportunity to visit the Williams campus during the fall of their senior year.

Williams’ strong financial aid program is critically important in encouraging outstanding students to apply. Fully 70 percent of admitted students applied for aid. Admissions decisions are need-blind for U.S. students, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need of every student for four years. Williams students graduate with debt levels that are among the lowest in the country.

Students who choose to come to Williams say they were attracted by its academic reputation, size, academic facilities, and the attractiveness of the campus, in addition to the personal attention and extracurricular opportunities it offers.

The target size for the Class of 2019 is 550 students, as it was last year. Through the college’s early decision process, 244 applicants were admitted to the class, and another 15 will join the Class of 2019 after taking a gap year, making up 47 percent of the class. The remaining admitted students received their acceptances by March 25 and have until May 1 to decide whether to enroll. All accepted students are invited to attend the Williams Previews program April 13-14 to explore the college and meet many of their future classmates.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.


Published March 26, 2015