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Lauded “Little Ivy” Liberal Arts Education at Williams

Williams College appears in our ranking of the 50 Most Affordable Colleges that Meet Significant Financial Need.

Given the U.S. News & World Report’s coveted #1 spot, Williams College is a prestigious nonprofit, coed AICUM member in the Berkshires that offers 36 bachelor’s majors, 13 undergrad concentrations, and two master’s degrees plus the Summer Pre-Enrollment Program at a 7:1 student-teacher ratio. For example, the Bachelor of Arts in Biology has a 32-unit, four-year curriculum headed by Dr. Lois Banta where undergrads conduct Thompson Lab research, attend the Class of 1960 Colloquium, and study away from Norway to New Zealand. Chaired by Dr. Elizabeth McGowan, the 32-course Bachelor of Arts in Art develops visual expression skills with W.L.S. Spencer Studio projects, Clark Art Institute tours, Museum of Art exhibitions, and Ceramics Club activities.

At Hollander Hall, the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology follows a 32-course, NEASC-accredited path overseen by Dr. James Nolan where Ephs can contribute to the Afghan Media Project, serve with the Center for Community Change, excavate the Motul de San Jose Site, and earn the Orton Prize. Directed by Dr. Gerard Caprio, the Master of Arts in Policy Economics starts a nine-unit, 12-month sequence each August with rigorous 500-level courses like Developing Country Macroeconomics plus Wall Street field trips, independent research, and the CDE Conference. Other Williams degrees include the Bachelor of Arts in French, Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy, Bachelor of Arts in Statistics, Bachelor of Arts in Music, Bachelor of Arts in Geosciences, Bachelor of Arts in Religion, and Master of Arts in Art History.

About Williams College

Williams College originated on October 26, 1791, when President Ebenezer Fitch welcomed an inaugural class of 15 to the Williamstown Free School for $0 tuition. In June 1793, the Massachusetts Legislature chartered Williams College as the Commonwealth’s second higher institution. In 1806, Williams notably helped launch the American Foreign Mission Movement. In 1815, President Zephaniah Swift Moore briefly moved Williams College east to Amherst in hopes of boosting enrollment. In 1821, Park Street Church minister Edward Door Griffin became president, saving Williams from relocation and closing. In 1894, Williams and Columbia University collaborated to found America’s system of academic dress. In 1943, Williams College joined the WWII V-12 Navy Training Program. In 1970, Williams started admitting women for equal co-educational opportunities. In 1985, Williams College partnered with Oxford for its esteemed Williams-Exeter Programme.

Endowed for $2.6 billion, Williams College now employs 357 faculty teaching 2,020 undergrad and 54 post-grad Ephs from 54 countries on its 450-acre Williamstown campus designed by the Olmsted Brothers near Pittsfield with 100+ clubs like Purple Valley Films for 98 percent retention. In 2015, Williams won an AIA Excellence in Architecture Honor Award for Sawyer Library. In 2014, Williams College accepted the AMS Award for Exemplary Achievement in Mathematics. Williams received a 2019 CASE Sustained Excellence Award for Educational Fundraising too. Forbes ranked Williams College the 18th top private institution. Money magazine declared Williams the 39th top value. On Niche, Williams boasts America’s 10th best art, 11th best English, and 16th top chemistry degrees. WalletHub listed Williams College 10th for educational outcomes and 22nd for selectivity. The Princeton Review applauded Williams for the 21st highest career placement, 12th best financial aid, 13th most satisfied students, and 18th best professors.

Williams College Accreditation Details

On April 25, 2018, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) informed Williams College that the Level III accreditation status was renewed through the next 2027-28 review under President Maud Mandel, Ph.D., who earned an American Philosophical Society Fellowship. Located 129 miles east via Route 2 in Burlington, this splendid six-state Northeast Region accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Education Department and Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE).

Williams College Application Requirements

Admission to Williams College is classified “most selective” by Peterson’s because only 1,240 of the 9,560 Fall 2018 applicants were triumphant for tough 13 percent acceptance. First-year Ephs must fulfill the four-year high school preparation sequence with strong co-curricular records. Eighty-six percent of the Class of 2022 ranked in the upper decile. Freshmen present an average unweighted GPA of 4.06. Mid-range admitted SAT scores are 670-770 for Reading and 660-770 for Math. The middle 50th percentile had ACT scores of 31-34. The Honors Thesis Program requires maintaining a minimum 3.50 GPA. GPAs of 3.0 and better qualify for the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford. Undergrads can transfer regionally accredited college courses graded C- and above. Non-U.S. residents must document English proficiency with a 550 TOEFL, 6.0 IELTS, or a similar score. Both graduate programs require four-year bachelor’s completion with GPAs over 3.0 and satisfactory GRE scores. The Center for Development Economics seeks Master of Arts cohorts with finance or banking experience.

Williams College has freshman deadlines of November 15th for Early Decision and January 1st for Regular Decision. The Mid-Year Report is due February 6th. Transfers must apply before March 1st for decisions on April 15th. The Graduate Program in the History of Art closes on January 3rd. Master of Arts in Policy Economics cohorts must file by December 1st. Accordingly, complete the Williams, Coalition, Common, or Questbridge Application online for $65 ($75 if graduate). Send official transcripts to 995 Main Street in Williamstown, MA 01267. Directly submit test results using SAT/GRE code 3965 or ACT code 1936. Attach other materials, such as the counselor recommendation, two teacher evaluations, writing supplement, Early Decision Agreement, performing arts portfolio, and curriculum vitae. Contact (413) 597-2211 or admission@williams.edu with questions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, Williams College is charging full-time Bachelor of Arts majors $28,485 per semester or $56,970 annually. Undergrads cover the $310 activity and residential house fee. Study away programs incur a $1,500 comprehensive fee. Unless waived, health insurance coverage costs $2,134. Living at the Berkshire County campus’ dorms like Sage Hall adds $7,600 for yearly housing. Standard meal plans for Mission Park Dining Hall are $7,390 extra. Williams budgets $800 for textbooks and $2,450 for miscellaneous expenses. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals about $73,200. Graduate students are billed $58,150 for tuition and fees each year. The Center for Development Economics requires $80,143 in total funding for U.S. Visa certification.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Office of Financial Aid on Weston Hall’s 3rd Floor connects 63 percent of new full-time Williams Ephs to tuition assistance averaging $51,671 apiece for $15.08 million combined. Institutional funds include the Linen Asian Studies Prize, Bronfman Family Fund Scholarship, Class of 1936 Memorial Scholarship, Morris & Gladys Lewy Scholarship, Spencer Family Scholarship, Jacob Stone Scholarship, C.V. Starr Scholarship, Ralph Perkins Scholarship, John Louis Jr. Scholarship, Polly & Willard Dickerson Scholarship, Herbert Lehman Scholarship, and Frederick Robinson Memorial Scholarship. The Stephen Tyng Scholarship covers full demonstrated need and textbooks plus $5,000 stipends for 10 outstanding undergrads each year. The $18,000 Air Force ROTC Scholarship reduces the cost of technical majors with signed four-year active duty commitments. Federal resources, such as the Pell Grant or Direct Unsubsidized Loan, require FAFSA applications coded 002229. Bay Staters could also claim the MASS Grant, One Family Scholarship, Gilbert Matching Grant, Part-Time Grant, Horatio Alger Scholarship, Foster Child Grant, No Interest Loan, and more.

Search through 25 world-class departments for 50+ customizable areas of study placed 21st overall by Times Higher Education at the Williams College website.