Amherst College Admissions

SAT Scores, Acceptance Rate, Financial Aid, Scholarships, and More

Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts
Daderot/Wikimedia Commons

Amherst is a highly selective liberal arts college—the acceptance rate was just 13 percent in 2017. Applicants will need strong grades in challenging courses as well as SAT or ACT scores that are well above average. Amherst uses the Common Application, and the requirements include the Common Application essay as well as a writing supplement. Applicants must also submit a high school transcript and two letters of recommendation from teachers. Optional elements include an art portfolio or significant research project. To see if your grades and standardized test scores are on target for Amherst, you can ​calculate your chances of getting in with Cappex's free tool.

Amherst College Admissions Statistics 2017-18

Amherst College is one of the nation's most selective colleges. Below are standardized test score percentiles for admitted students.

SAT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 700 770
Math 700 790
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

If you compare SAT scores for top liberal arts colleges, you'll see that all require scores that are well above average. The bar for Amherst, however, is matched only by Williams College.

ACT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 33 35
Math 29 34
Composite 32 34

An average composite ACT score is 21, so you can see that Amherst's typical scores are significantly above average. Most admitted students are in the top 5% of test-takers.

Amherst College Description

Located in a small town in Western Massachusetts, Amherst usually stands at #1 or #2 in rankings of top liberal arts colleges. It is also one of the most selective colleges in the United States, and of course, it made the lists of top Massachusetts colleges and top New England colleges. Students can round out the Amherst course offerings with classes from the other excellent schools in the five-college consortiumMount Holyoke CollegeSmith CollegeHampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Amherst has an interesting open curriculum with no distribution requirements, and the college is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Academics are supported by a healthy 8 to 1 student/faculty ratio.

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 1,836
  • Gender Breakdown: 51 percent male / 49 percent female
  • 100 percent full-time

Costs (2017 - 18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $56,426 (up 3.9 percent from previous year)
  • Books: $1,000
  • Room and Board: $14,740
  • Other Expenses: $1,800
  • Total Cost: $73,966

Amherst College Financial Aid (2016 - 17)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 62 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 53 percent
    • Loans: 15 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $49,467
    • Loans: $5,460

Academic Programs:

The most popular majors at Amherst are Biology, Economics, English, History, Math, Political Science, and Psychology.

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 97 percent
  • Transfer-out Rate: 2 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 90 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 95 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Squash, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field
  • Women's Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball

Amherst and the Common Application

Amherst College uses the Common Application.

Data Source: National Center for Education Statistics