Williams College Moves to Test Optional for Students Applying for Fall 2021

Media contact: Gregory Shook, director of media relations; tele: 413-597-3401; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., April 6, 2020—In light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s progress and impact, and the extraordinary challenges facing students, Williams College has adopted a test-optional policy for students applying as first-years or transfers during the 2020-2021 admission cycle.

With support from Williams President Maud S. Mandel, this change has been instituted for next year only. Students may still choose to submit standardized test results, which will be considered as part of the college’s holistic admission as they always have.

“This is an unprecedented moment for students and colleges alike and it calls for a change to the usual way of doing things,” said Liz Creighton, dean of admission and financial aid. “We’re thrilled to be able to implement this policy to better support students who’ll be applying to Williams during the upcoming application cycle.”

Williams’ thorough and comprehensive selection process will remain centered on students and their unique lived experiences. During this extraordinary time, Williams will offer even more flexibility in the admission process.

“The uncertainty in the testing landscape is a significant source of anxiety for students, but so, too are the changes they’re experiencing to their school curricula, the transition to pass/fail grading policies, the cancellation of co-curricular activities, and changing financial situations at home,” said Creighton. “We’re committed to being flexible in working with students and school counselors no matter what challenges or limitations they’ve faced.”


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 April 6, 2020