College of William & Mary Admissions Statistics

Learn About William & Mary and the GPA, SAT/ACT Scores You'll Need

College of William & Mary
College of William & Mary. Photo Credit: Amy Jacobson

The College of William & Mary is highly selective with an acceptance rate of only 36 percent. Students will need grades and standardized test scores well above average to be considered for admittance. Students interested in William & Mary can apply using either the Common Application or the Coalition Application.

William & Mary consistently ranks among the top Virginia colleges, top southeastern colleges, and the nation's top public universities.

Why the College of William & Mary?

  • Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Campus Features: William & Mary's historic 1,200-acre campus includes a lake, woodlands, and an amphitheater that can accommodate 2,000 patrons. The Wren Building, built in 1700, is the oldest university building in the country that is still in use.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 11:1
  • Athletics: The William & Mary Tribe teams compete in the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association.
  • Highlights: Founded in 1693, William & Mary is the second oldest college in the country. Phi Beta Kappa was founded at the college, and the school is home to over 450 student clubs and organizations.

William & Mary Admissions Statistics

For students who entered the College of William & Mary in the 2017-18 academic year, the acceptance rate was 36 percent. The school is one of the most selective public universities in the country. Below are SAT and ACT score percentiles for admitted students.

SAT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 660 740
Math 640 740
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

If you compare SAT scores for top public universities, you'll see that only the University of Michigan, Georgia Tech, and the University of Virginia are as selective.

ACT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 30 35
Math 27 32
Composite 29 33

An average ACT score is a 21, so you can see that William & Mary students perform significantly above average.

William & Mary GPA, SAT Score, and ACT Score Graph

College of William & Mary GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data for admission.
College of William & Mary GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data for admission.  Graph courtesy of Cappex

The GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data in the graph was self-reported by applicants to the College of William & Mary. GPAs are unweighted. You can see the real-time graph and calculate your own chances of getting into William & Mary with a free account at Cappex.

Discussion of William & Mary Admissions Standards

Only a third of students applying to the College of William & Mary will get in. This top-ranked public university isn't for students with weak academic records. In the graph above, the green and blue dots represent accepted students. As the data show, the majority of students who got accepted had an "A" average, an SAT score (ERW+M) above 1250, and an ACT composite score of 27 or higher. Chances of getting in improve as those numbers go up.

But good grades and test scores don't guarantee admission—mixed in with the blue and green on the graph is a lot of red (rejected students). Some students with scores that were on target for admission to William & Mary were rejected. At the same time, some students were accepted with test scores and grades a bit below the norm. William & Mary, like most highly selective colleges, has holistic admissions. The admissions officers are evaluating students on more than numerical data. The primary goal of the admissions staff is to enroll a diverse and engaged class, so applicants who show some kind of remarkable talent or have a compelling story to tell will receive serious consideration even if grades and test scores aren't quite up to the ideal. A winning essay, strong letters of recommendation, and interesting extracurricular activities can mean the difference between an acceptance letter and a rejection.

William & Mary Waitlist and Rejection Data

Waitlist and rejection data for William & Mary admissions.
Waitlist and rejection data for William & Mary admissions.  Graph courtesy of Cappex

The first graph in this article would seem to suggest that a student with an "A" average and combined SAT score over 1400 is nearly guaranteed admission. If we strip away the accepted student data points from the graph, however, we can see that the reality is quite different. Lots of strong students are either rejected or waitlisted from William & Mary.

The rejection data shows how important some of the non-numerical measures are in the admissions process. Successful applicants need more than strong grades and standardized test scores. They need to present evidence in their applications that they will contribute to the William & Mary campus community in meaningful ways.

More William & Mary Information

William & Mary is a little more expensive than many public universities in the southeastern United States, but it is still an excellent value. Few public institutions can match William & Mary's strong academic programs, low student/faculty ratio, high graduation rate, and highly engaged student body.

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 8,740 (6,285 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 42 percent male / 58 percent female
  • 99 percent full-time

Costs (2017–18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $22,044 (in-state); $43,670 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,400 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $11,799
  • Other Expenses: $2,143
  • Total Cost: $37,386 (in-state); $59,012 (out-of-state)

William & Mary Financial Aid (2016–17)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 54 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 40 percent
    • Loans: 27 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $18,738
    • Loans: $7,636

Academic Programs

Graduation, Transfer and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 95 percent
  • Transfer-out Rate: 5 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 85 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 92 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Football, Soccer, Tennis, Swimming, Basketball, Baseball, Golf, Track and Field, Cross Country, Gymnastics
  • Women's Sports: Field Hockey, Basketball, Track and Field, Lacrosse, Swimming, Soccer, Volleyball, Tennis, Cross Country, Gymnastics

If You Like William & Mary, You May Also Like These Schools

Applicants to the College of William & Mary tend to be highly involved and academically strong students. When it comes to public universities, they are likely to apply to other top-ranked schools such as the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

William & Mary applicants also tend to apply to strong private colleges and universities. Some popular options include Georgetown University, Wake Forest University, Vanderbilt University, and Washington and Lee University. Keep in mind that all of these schools are highly selective, so you'll want to make sure your college wish list includes a few schools with a lower admissions bar as well.

Data Source: National Center for Education Statistics