Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277;
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., December 14, 2012—Williams College has offered admission to 248 students under its Early Decision plan. Early applications increased by eight percent this year to 613, making the selection process especially competitive, according to Richard Nesbitt, director of admission. “Due to the size and strength of the pool, we were actually able to admit a few more than we did in last year’s Early Decision group,” said Nesbitt. “But the competition for spaces was as keen as it has ever been.” The 130 women and 118 men who were admitted will comprise 45 percent of the projected size (550) of the incoming Class of 2017.
The admitted students represent 217 different high schools and a wide geographical spectrum. The state with the largest representation is New York, with 38, followed by Massachusetts, with 34. New Jersey (19), California (18), Connecticut (18), Maryland (12), Pennsylvania (12), Florida (nine), Illinois (nine), and Washington (six) round out the top 10 states. The admitted student group includes 11 international students who hail from Bangladesh, Canada, China, Kenya, Korea, Pakistan, and Turkey.
American students of color comprise 29 percent of the Early Decision group, including 28 African-Americans, 22 Asian-Americans, 21 Latinos, and one Native-American. Twenty-one students are from “first generation” backgrounds in which neither parent has a four-year college degree. Of the remarkable diversity in this group, Nesbitt commented, “Our fall fly-in recruitment programs, aimed at high-ability, low-income students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a visit, proved to be hugely successful this year.”
On the academic side, the Class of 2017 Early Decision contingent rivals any in the college’s recent past. This is reflected in the impressive standardized test score averages: 711 critical reading, 706 math, and 724 writing. A significant portion (34) indicated an interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in science or math, mirroring the substantial trend in that direction among Williams graduates.
Well-represented in the cohort are highly rated artists, athletes, musicians, and actors. “I’m constantly amazed at the eclectic mix of talents,” said Nesbitt. “An incoming first-year might find he or she is rooming with a world-class skier, an accomplished jazz drummer, or a national Poetry Out Loud finalist.”
Early Decision at Williams is a binding agreement whereby applicants agree to attend if admitted. Early Decision letters were released at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec.13. The Regular Decision deadline is January 1, with a notification date in late March. Students admitted via the Regular Decision plan have until May 1to decide whether or not they will attend.
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.