Williams Class of 2009 Chosen from Pool of 5,822; Acceptance Rate of 18.8 Percent

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

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., July 6, 2005 — For the seventh time in 10 years, applications to Williams College have risen. A record number 5,822 students applied for the 539 places in the Williams College Class of 2009.

“The applicant pool for the Class of 2009 was record-setting in both number and quality,” said Richard Nesbitt, director of admission. “An extremely talented and diverse class will enter in the fall.

“We made a concerted effort to reach unusually talented students from all backgrounds, with particular focus on a group that has been under-represented at Williams and other highly selective colleges: high ability students from the lowest two quintiles of the national income distribution.”

One thousand ninety-five were accepted (18.8 percent). Nearly 50 percent have chosen to enroll: 283 women and 256 men. Matriculants will include 56 Latino/s, 53 Asian Americans, 48 African Americans, three Native Americans, and 34 international students.

Williams’ strong financial aid program is the critical ingredient in assembling classes of unsurpassed excellence. Admission decisions are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated need of all who are admitted. Two hundred fifty-three students in the Class of 2009 will receive aid (46.7 percent).

The comprehensive fee for 2005-06 is $40,310 (tuition of $31,548, board and room of $8,550, and misc. fees of $212).

Director of Financial Aid Paul J. Boyer said that his office expects to distribute more than $7.5 million of financial aid in the form of scholarships, loans, and jobs to entering students. The average grant will be over $28,000 with a total aid package (including scholarships, loans and jobs) of more than $30,000. Nineteen percent of the 2009 Class comes from families below the U.S. Median Family Income.

Approximately 42 percent of all undergraduates will receive scholarship support. Over $23 million will be devoted to financial aid, 91 percent of which comes from college resources.

Factors cited by students who elect to come to Williams are academic reputation, size of the college, personal attention, attractiveness of the campus, academic facilities, and extracurricular opportunities.

By all standard measures of academic talent, including test scores and academic performance in school, this year’s entering class is extremely impressive. SATs for the cohort averaged 716 verbal and 709 math. In comparison, the Class of 2008 averaged 705 verbal and 708 math. Seventy-two matriculating students scored perfect 800s in math and 59 students in verbal. Areas of academic interest remained much the same as those of the Class of 2008. Biology led the way, followed by English, political science, economics, and mathematics.

Forty-one states are represented with the greatest numbers from New York (95 students), Massachusetts (65 students), California (51 students), Connecticut (36 students), and New Jersey (35 students). An additional 21 foreign countries are represented, from Botswana to Zimbabwe.

The Class of 2009 seems certain to continue the Williams tradition of significant nonacademic accomplishments. Of the entering students, 106 are accomplished musicians, artists, actors or writers, and 151 are talented athletes.


Williams College is consistently ranked one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching. The achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in research. 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. Founded in 1793, it is the second oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college is located in Williamstown, Mass. To visit the college on the Internet: www.williams.edu