Williams College Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Williams College
Williams College (see more photos). Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Located in northwestern Massachusetts, Williams College is a prestigious liberal arts college with a 13% acceptance rate. The college typically vies with Amherst for the top spot on national rankings of the best liberal arts colleges in the United States. One of Williams’ unique features is its tutorial program in which students meet with faculty in pairs to present and critique each other’s work. With a 6 to 1 student to faculty ratio and an endowment well over $2 billion, Williams offers exceptional educational opportunities for its students. The college has a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honors society for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences.

Considering applying to Williams College? Here are the admissions statistics you should know, including average SAT scores and ACT scores.

Acceptance Rate

For students who entered Williams College in the 2018-19 academic year, Williams College had a 13% acceptance rate. For every 100 students who apply, 87 receive rejection letters. The school has an extremely selective admissions process.

Admissions Statistics (2018-19)
Number of Applicants 9,500
Percent Admitted 13%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled 43%

SAT Scores and Requirements

All Williams College applicants must submit either SAT scores or ACT scores. For students who entered the college in the 2018-19 academic year, 57% submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 710 760
Math 700 790
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

When we look at national SAT score data, we can see that the great majority of Williams students rank within the top 7% of all test-takers. For the evidence-based reading and writing exam, the middle 50% of students scored between a 710 and a 760. This tells us that 25% scored a 710 or lower, and another 25% scored a 760 or higher. Over 80% of students scored a 700 or higher. On the math section, the middle 50% of students scored between a 700 and 790. This means 25% scored a 700 or lower, and 25% scored either a 790 or perfect 800. Over 76% of students scored a 700 or higher. To be most competitive at Williams College, you'll want a combined SAT score above 1500.


Williams College does not require SAT subject tests, nor does the college require the optional SAT essay. If you've taken the SAT more than once, Williams will superscore your exams and use the highest section score from different test dates.

ACT Scores and Requirements

All students who apply to Williams College must submit scores from either the SAT or ACT, and the college claims that standardized test scores are a "very important" part of the admissions equation. For students entering Williams in the 2018-19 academic year, 59% submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 34 36
Math 29 34
Composite 32 35

According to national ACT score data, the majority of Williams students ranked among the top 3% of all test-takers. The middle 50% of students scored between a 32 and 35. This tells us that 25% scored a 32 or lower, and 25% scored a 35 or perfect 36. The median score for the college was a 33, and 90.71% of students scored between a 30 and a 36. To be most competitive for admission to Williams, you're going to want a score in the mid-30s.


Williams does not require the optional essay section of the ACT, nor does the college require applicants who take the ACT to take any SAT subject tests. Although the Williams admissions website does not say this directly, numerous online sources suggest that Williams will superscore your ACT if you took the exam more than once.

GPA and Class Rank

Your high school academic record will be the most important part of your Williams College application. Williams does not publish the average high school GPA of their admitted students, but you can be sure that the great majority of successful applicants have records that are almost entirely "A" grades.

When it comes to class rank, 89% of students who entered in the 2018-19 academic year were in the top 10% of their high school class. 97% were in the top 25%, and all students were in the top half.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Graph of Williams College Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Data.
Graph of Williams College Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Data. Graph Courtesy of Cappex

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Williams College. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Williams College sends out a lot more rejections than acceptances. Those students who do get in all have strong grades and test scores. Good numbers, however, aren't all that is needed to get accepted. If you look at the red on the graph, you'll see that a lot of students with 4.0 GPAs and high test scores were rejected.

Williams College, like all of the country's top liberal arts colleges, has holistic admissions, so successful applicants need to have strengths that go beyond empirical data. Competitive applications should have a winning essay, strong letters of recommendation, and interesting extracurricular activities. As a few of the data points above illustrate, strengths in some of these areas can compensate for grades and test scores that are a little less than ideal. First-generation college students will also get a slight boost in the admissions process, as will legacy students.

Sources: Graph courtesy of Cappex; all other data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Williams College admissions website.