Williams College Admits 1,182 Students for Class of 2016

Media contact: Angela Schaeffer, tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Angela.P.Schaeffer@williams.edu

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., March 29, 2012 – Williams College has extended offers of admission to 1,182 applicants for the Class of 2016. They were selected from a total applicant pool of 7,067—the second highest number of applicants in Williams history—for an overall acceptance rate of 16.7 percent.

“By all measures, this year’s admitted group is among the most remarkable in the college’s history,” said Richard Nesbitt, director of admission. “We are anticipating an entering class that will be long remembered for its academic prowess, diversity of life experiences, and extracurricular accomplishments.”

Of the admitted students, 609 are women and 573 are men. Ninety-four students, or eight percent of the group, are non-U.S. citizens, representing 48 different nationalities. Among American students, 163 are African American, 229 Asian American, 164 Latino, and 14 Native American. Sixteen percent (193) would be the first in their families to attend college.

The top 10 states represented are New York (201), California (166), Massachusetts (120), New Jersey (59), Florida (51), Illinois (39), Connecticut (37), Texas (36), Pennsylvania (35) and Maryland (29). Regionally, 28 percent hail from Mid-Atlantic states, 19 percent from the West, 16 percent from New England, 13 percent from the South, 9 percent from the Midwest, and 4 percent from the Southwest. An additional 11 percent come from overseas.

The admitted students’ academic profile is exceptional, with average SAT scores of 731 in critical reading and 722 in math. Fifty-four percent of the students who submitted high school rank are projected either to be valedictorian or graduate in the top one percent of their class.

The students possess a wide diversity of interests—academic, artistic, athletic, and more. Nine percent of admitted students are highly rated musicians, studio artists, thespians, or dancers. Thirty-one students are interested in pursuing a non-science Ph.D., and 173 want to obtain a doctorate in science or math. Forty-three demonstrated extraordinary commitment to serving the needs of others, and 49 were noted as “bridge builders,” showing a longstanding commitment to activities that span racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Thirty-three students were recognized nationally for their writing talent, and 306 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 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need of every student for four years.

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 2016 is 550 students, as it was last year. Two-hundred thirty-five applicants were admitted to the class through the college’s early decision process, making up 43 percent of the class. The remaining admitted students received their acceptances by March 29 and have until May 1 to decide whether to enroll. All accepted students are invited to attend the Williams Previews program April 16-17 to explore the college and meet many of their future classmates.

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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.

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