how to get into william and mary; collegeadvisor.com image: photo of william and mary campus

How to Get Into the College of William and Mary—General Information

The College of William and Mary is a public research institution that has been around since 1693, making it one of the oldest universities in the world. Located in Williamsburg, Virginia, the school is home to over 6,000 undergraduate students and almost 3,000 graduate students. 

What we’ll cover in this “How to get into William and Mary” guide:

  • William and Mary average GPA 
  • Optimal William and Mary SAT scores and ACT scores
  • Understanding the William and Mary acceptance rate
  • College of William and Mary ranking
  • Preparing for the William and Mary application deadline, strategies for applying, and more.

Wondering how to get into William and Mary? William and Mary admissions officers accept less than half of all applicants each year. Although the William and Mary acceptance rate is low, with enough preparation—including maintaining a strong GPA and meeting the competitive William and Mary SAT scores—acceptance is well within reach. 

Figuring out how to get into William and Mary takes strategy. We can help. CollegeAdvisor.com has a network of over 300 Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers). Want to maximize your William and Mary admissions odds? Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6271.

How can I get into William and Mary?

Preparing for William and Mary admissions takes advance planning. It’s important to begin the application process with a strategy for how to get into William and Mary. The best way to do this? Research.

Before the William and Mary application deadline, you need to research the institution to get a sense of what makes the school unique and what type of student they look for. For example, William and Mary is known for attracting “work hard” students who prioritize classes and education over other aspects of campus life. As such, an applicant who naturally reflects this quality is more likely to be considered a fit by William and Mary admissions officers. 

Do your research on the characteristics that make the school, and its students, different from other campuses. This will inform you on whether William and Mary is a good fit for you and, by extension, whether you are a good fit for the school. A strong “how to get into William and Mary” plan starts with a foundation of knowledge about the school itself. 

How hard is it to get into William and Mary?

Before you strategize how to get into William and Mary, you’re probably curious how hard it is to get accepted.

The William and Mary acceptance rate for the class of 2025 was 37%. However, the William and Mary acceptance rate for in-state students was slightly higher at 44%, implying a preference for Virginia residents. In addition, the William and Mary average GPA for the middle 50% of enrolled students is a 4.1-4.5. More than 80% of students were in the top 10% of their high school class. William and Mary SAT scores, as well, are on the competitive end, with an average result between 1360 and 1520. The average ACT scores were between 31 and 34. 

What do all these numbers mean? William and Mary is a competitive school, with an admissions process that places a lot of emphasis on strong academic scores. For the student strategizing how to get into William and Mary, it’s important to be realistic about your odds. With that said, admission to the university is attainable with the right William and Mary SAT scores and high GPA, so start early in your preparation.

What is the acceptance rate at College of William and Mary?

A key statistic for the student wondering how to get into William and Mary is the institution’s acceptance rate. On that note, what is William and Mary’s acceptance rate?

William and Mary’s class of 2025 saw 17,475 applicants to the institution. Of those, 1,184 applied to the Early Decision William and Mary application deadline. And of the almost 17,500 applicants, only 37% received an admissions offer. William and Mary admissions further breaks down this number into in-state and out-of-state: the in-state William and Mary acceptance rate is 44%, while the out-of-state William and Mary acceptance rate is just 31%.

That’s a lot of numbers! The key thing to remember is that William and Mary sees a lot of applicants and has space to accept less than half of them each year. That’s why it’s so important to do your research and prepare ahead of time for the William and Mary application deadline. This means strong William and Mary SAT scores (or ACT scores), a solid GPA that meets the William and Mary average GPA, and a coherent narrative to your extracurricular profile. We’ll go into this, and other parts of your “how to get into William and Mary” strategy, in more detail later. 

What is William and Mary ranked?

Rankings can be a valuable metric for measuring how well-regarded an institution is. If you’re planning how to get into William and Mary, you might be curious about the College of William and Mary ranking among other universities. 

The university gives a rundown of its rankings on its website. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The College of William and Mary ranking for best undergraduate teaching is 9th
  • For alumni generosity, the College of WIlliam and Mary ranking is number 1
  • Amongst public universities, the College of William and Mary ranking for schools making an impact is 1st

View more William and Mary rankings here.

What is the average GPA for William and Mary?

Aside from the William and Mary acceptance rate, or the College of William and Mary ranking, there’s another statistic with which prospective freshmen should be familiar: the William and Mary average GPA.

For the class of 2025, the William and Mary average GPA was between 4.1 and 4.5 on a 4.0 weighted scale. To be competitive against this GPA, you should be aiming for honors and AP classes throughout your high school career, as well as achieving mostly As.

The William and Mary average GPA range should be used as a metric against which to check your own academic scores. If you fall within, or above, the William and Mary average GPA range, you have a decent chance at admissions. If you are below the threshold, you may need to demonstrate academic rigor in other aspects of your application. One way to do this is with your William and Mary SAT scores or ACT scores.

William and Mary SAT scores, similar to the William and Mary average GPA, are your opportunity to show that you can succeed in an academically rigorous college campus. Strong results will be advantageous in the William and Mary admissions process, so prepare early and study hard. This is how to get into William and Mary and other competitive schools.

What does the William and Mary application include?

In order to optimize your “how to get into William and Mary” strategy, you should familiarize yourself with the application itself. William and Mary admissions accepts applications through the Common Application. You can find a checklist of application components on the university’s website. 

Here is a list of the required materials, you will need to submit before the William and Mary application deadline:

  • $75 application fee or fee waiver
  • High school report and transcript
  • Counselor letter of recommendation

These materials are optional, but you will also need submit them before the William and Mary application deadline:

  • Teacher letter of recommendation
  • William and Mary SAT scores or ACT scores
  • College of William and Mary Interview

As you can see, William and Mary admissions offers more flexibility than many comparable institutions. There are no supplemental essays, aside from the personal essay required by the Common App. Students also have the option to send William and Mary SAT scores and/or complete an on-campus interview, but neither of these components are required. So, their absence will not adversely affect a student’s chances. 

What extracurriculars does William and Mary require?

If you’re hoping to beat the William and Mary acceptance rate, you’re probably thinking about how to optimize your extracurricular profile. What should your activity list look like when you apply?

Luckily, there’s no such thing as a “correct” set of extracurriculars. Rather, William and Mary admissions officers are interested in seeing students pursue their individual passions.

Unlike the William and Mary SAT scores or GPA, extracurriculars leave a lot of room for individuality. This is your chance to find the activities that make you genuinely passionate. Challenge yourself to take these activities to the next level, be it pursuing research, starting a new business or club, or connecting with the community around you. 

Don’t wait until the William and Mary application deadline to start crafting your extracurricular list—by this point it is too late. Start early and be thoughtful as you choose how to spend your time.

Does the College of William and Mary offer interviews?

Looking to optimize your “how to get into William and Mary” strategy? The university offers applicants the optional opportunity to complete 20-30 minute interviews with current William and Mary undergraduates. Applicants can register for an interview via the university’s website. However, these must be completed before the William and Mary application deadline.

The university states that the absence of an interview will in no way harm a student’s chances of acceptance. However, if you’re wondering how to get into William and Mary, completing optional application components is highly recommended. 

How does William and Mary review applications?

So the William and Mary application deadline has passed and you’ve hit submit—now what? If you’re curious about how to get into William and Mary, you’re probably wondering what happens behind the scenes in admissions.

Applications are distributed to William and Mary admissions officers based on geographic region. Your regional dean will be the first person to read your application. However, William and Mary guarantees at least two reads per application. 

William and Mary admissions states that they review applications holistically. This means no single component—extracurriculars, GPA, or test scores—will be the deciding factor, but rather, all of the factors are weighed as parts of a whole. If one part of your application is lacking, you have the possibility of making up for it with other parts of your application—this is good news for the student wondering how to get into William and Mary.

Will William and Mary consider my social media accounts?

When thinking about how to get into William and Mary, you may consider your social media presence a factor in admissions? The answer is probably no.

William and Mary receives almost 17,500 applicants per year. Admissions officers simply don’t have the time to run a search on each prospective student. So, rest assured, your social media is probably not going to be a factor in admissions.

With that said, you should always use good judgment in what you post online. Even if William and Mary admissions officers don’t see it, future employers probably will. Build good habits around your internet presence now so that it’s not a factor to worry about later.

Is William and Mary a good school for me?

If you’re caught up researching how to get into William and Mary, you may forgot to consider whether the school is truly a good fit for you. In order to answer this question, let’s take a look at what makes this school unique.

William and Mary students are known for being dedicated to academics, which means the collaborative classroom environment is one of the best parts of attending this school. However, some students complain that the focus on academics causes other parts of campus life, like school spirit, to suffer. With that said, almost a third of the student body belongs to a Greek organization, offering a bustling social life to any student seeking it.

Finally, thanks to its location, William and Mary and the surrounding area are known for southern hospitality and courteousness, contributing to the feeling of a tight-knit campus community.

For more information about whether William and Mary is the right school for you, consider reading the About W&M section of their website. This research will also help you with your “how to get into William and Mary” plan should you choose to have an interview. You can impress your interviewer with your knowledge about the school. 

Additional tips to get into William and Mary

In this “How to get into William and Mary” guide, we have covered the many parts of the William and Mary admissions process, including:

  • William and Mary average GPA
  • College of William and Mary acceptance rate
  • William and Mary interview and other optional application components
  • College of William and Mary ranking, what makes the school unique, and more.

Looking for more help getting that elusive acceptance? Here are some additional tips: 

Start early

The William and Mary application deadline will be upon you before you know it. Most application components are a culmination of your high school years, so starting early is vital. This is equally true of your counselor and teacher recommendations: powerful recommendations are dependent upon having built authentic relationships. Again: start early. 

Craft a compelling personal statement

While William and Mary doesn’t request any supplemental essays, you will still have to complete a personal statement as part of the Common Application. This is your opportunity to speak to a part of yourself that may not be evident in other parts of the application. Do not waste this opportunity. Think carefully about your topic and dedicate considerable time to crafting a powerful response. You don’t want to be rushing when the William and Mary application deadline rolls around. 

Be authentic

While meeting the William and Mary SAT scores and William and Mary average GPA are important, nothing is as important in the William and Mary admissions process as being true to yourself. The admissions officers reading your application want to get to know who you are, and what role you will play on the William and Mary campus. Although the William and Mary acceptance rate is low, don’t try to be the “perfect” applicant. Be yourself; that is how to get into William and Mary.

This guide was written by Becky Weinstein. If you want to know how to get into William and Mary, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com has a network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers). Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6271.