Williams College Admits 1,199 Students for Class of 2015

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

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., April 4, 2011 – Williams College has offered admission to 1,199 students for the Class of 2015. By any measure, the students are enormously talented and diverse culturally and socioeconomically, as well as in terms of their academic and extracurricular interests. They were selected from a total applicant pool of 7,030—the second highest number of applicants in Williams history—for an overall acceptance rate of 17.1 percent.

“Judging from the academic quality, talent, and diversity that characterize this group of admitted students, we anticipate a truly exceptional class entering in the fall,” said Richard Nesbitt, director of admission.

Of the admitted students, 611 are women and 588 are men. Ninety-three students, or eight percent of the cohort, are non-U.S. citizens, representing 46 different nationalities. Among American students, 172 are African American, 191 are Asian American, 153 are Latino, and 22 are Native American. Seventeen percent (204) would be the first in their families to attend college.

The top 10 states represented are New York (212), California (165), Massachusetts (104), New Jersey (53), Connecticut (42), Florida (42), Illinois (38), Texas (35), Virginia (34) and Maryland (31). Regionally, 28 percent hail from Mid-Atlantic states, 19 percent from the West, 16 percent from New England, 11 percent from the South, 10 percent from the Midwest, and 5 percent from the Southwest. An additional 11 percent come from overseas.

As in past years, the academic profile of the admitted class is exceptional, with average SAT scores of 720 in critical reading and 715 in math. Fifty-six percent of the students who submitted high school rank either expected to be valedictorian or were estimated to be in the top one percent of the class.

The admitted students report a wide diversity of interests—academic, artistic, athletic, and more. Fifteen percent of admitted students are highly rated musicians, studio artists, thespians, or dancers. Forty-five students are interested in pursuing a non-science Ph.D., and 176 want to pursue a doctorate in science or math. Thirty-one of the admitted students were classified as politically active, and 372 were noted for their “intellectual vitality,” meaning that they showed signs of “extraordinary academic depth/talent” or promise as a “classroom catalyst who would have a significant impact in labs or class discussions.”

Williams’ strong financial aid program is critically important in encouraging outstanding students to apply. Admissions decisions are need-blind for U.S. students, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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 2015 is 550 students, as it was last year. Two hundred thirty-one students were admitted to the class through the college’s early decision process, making up 42 percent of the class. The remaining admitted students received their acceptances March 30 and have until May 1 to decide whether to enroll. All accepted students are invited to attend the Williams Previews program April 18-19 to explore the college and meet some 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 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.

To visit the college on the Internet: www.williams.edu Williams College can also be found on Facebook: www.facebook.com/williamscollege and Twitter: twitter.com/williamscollege