How to Get Into Williams College; collegeadvisor.com image: a photo of Williams College's Griffin Hall

How to get into Williams College—General Information

Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1793 with funds from the estate of Ephraim Williams. This makes it the second-oldest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Williams College total enrollment includes nearly 2,000 undergraduates. Students receive a liberal arts education across three academic divisions: languages and the arts, social sciences, and science and mathematics.

In this How to Get Into William College Guide, we’ll cover:

  • Williams College GPA requirements
  • Optimal Williams SAT scores and ACT scores
  • The Williams College total enrollment
  • Williams College early decision deadline
  • William College acceptance rate
  • Acing the Williams College writing supplement, and more.

When thinking about how to get into Williams College, you may find yourself researching the Williams College acceptance rate, Williams College GPA requirements, Williams SAT scores, and Williams College ACT scores. These figures can be helpful in determining whether you are a good match for Williams. However, the most important thing to focus on when making a plan for how to get into Williams College is your personal application narrative.

In order to construct your “how to get into Williams College” timeline, you need to gather the required materials. You must also decide if you want to send Williams SAT scores or ACT scores. Additionally, you should take the time to select your Williams College writing supplement. This will help you turn in your application by the Williams College early decision or regular decision deadline.  

Figuring out how to get into Williams College takes strategy. We can help. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes Williams graduates. Want to maximize your Williams admissions odds? Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.

How to get into Williams College?

Knowing how to get into Williams College is about more than just the numbers. The Williams College GPA requirements, Williams SAT scores, Williams College ACT scores, and Williams College acceptance rate are not all that matter. If you want to be one of the 1,962 students who make up the Williams College total enrollment figure, submit an application that showcases your strengths.

When you submit, either by the Williams College Early Decision or Regular Decision deadline, your application should highlight not only what a Williams education can provide to you. Your application should show how you will be a valuable member of the Williams community.

Students can apply to Williams through the Common Application or the Coalition Application. If you decide to use the Common Application, check out our guide to the Common App for tips!

Is it hard to get into Williams College?

The Williams College total enrollment is low. This is reflected in the low Williams College acceptance rate. With an acceptance rate of 8% for the class of 2025, down from 12.4% two years prior, Williams admissions are “Most Selective” according to the U.S. News. Although there are no Williams College GPA requirements, the academic profile of admitted students is competitive. The average Williams SAT scores are 1410-1560. Additionally, the average Williams College ACT scores are 33-35

When first trying to figure out how to get into Williams College, these numbers may seem discouraging. However, Williams admissions officers know that students are so much more than just test scores. With holistic admissions and test-optional policies, know that admissions officers are looking beyond numbers. Instead, they are committed to building a class of diverse, motivated students.

What is the average GPA for Williams College?

Another statistic that students research when considering how to get into Williams College are the Williams College GPA requirements. In fact, there are no Williams College GPA requirements. Williams does not publish the average GPA of their admitted students. So, students will be considered for admission no matter their GPA. 

However, because the Williams College total enrollment and the Williams College acceptance rate are so low, students’ transcripts must show that they are prepared academically. Additionally, Williams looks for students who will take advantage of their academic opportunities, from tutorials to Winter Study. Without Williams College GPA requirements, a strong transcript is key. For example, focus on enrolling in any AP, IB, or Honors-level classes your school offers.

If you don’t feel your transcript reflects your academic abilities, sending Williams College ACT or SAT scores can help round out your application. You can also explain any inconsistencies in your transcript in the additional information section of your application. You may ask your your counselor to address it the counselor recommendation as well. So, though there are no Williams College GPA requirements, you should maintain a high GPA throughout high school. This will help give you a competitive application for the Williams College Early Decision or regular decision deadline. 

What does the Williams College application require?

When planning how to get into Williams College, you need to decide when to apply. There are two options: either Williams College Early Decision, or regular decision. Williams College Early Decision is binding. This means that if you are accepted, you must accept your offer of admissions. Therefore, you should only apply to Williams College Early Decision if Williams is your top choice.

The Williams College Early Decision deadline is November 15th. The regular decision deadline is January 10th. As you compile your application materials, it is important you include all of the required materials. In addition, consider which of the optional materials will strengthen your application.

Applicants must submit:

Applicants have the option to submit:

  • Williams SAT scores or Williams College ACT test scores
  • Williams College writing supplement
  • Studio/Performing Arts Portfolio
  • Scientific Research Abstracts

Williams is test-optional, so it is up to you to decide whether to send Williams SAT scores or ACT scores. However, your Williams College ACT and Williams SAT scores will be superscored. Therefore, they’ll consider your highest test scores for each section across multiple testing dates. 

Because there are no Williams College GPA requirements, comparing your test scores against those of admitted students can help give you assess where you stand. If your test scores are lower than the Williams College ACT or Williams SAT scores, don’t worry! Check out our guide to applying with a sub-1500 SAT score. Though optional, submitting Williams College ACT scores or Williams SAT scores can strengthen your application. Especially, if you have a lower GPA. 

For our tips on acing the Common App, click here

What extracurriculars do I need for Williams College?

Just as there are no Williams College GPA requirements, there are no extracurricular requirements. When planning how to get into Williams College, there is no perfect set of extracurriculars that will increase your admissions chances. However, a strong applicant will have interests outside of their academic coursework. Extracurriculars that demonstrate leadership, service, or high achievement are worth including in your application. These will help you contend with the low Williams College acceptance rate. 

Conversely, padding your resume with last-minute extracurricular involvement right before the Williams College Early Decision deadline won’t help you. If the experience wasn’t valuable to you in some way, it is unlikely to be valuable to admissions officers. In short, when they evaluate whether to offer you a spot in the Williams College total enrollment, admissions officers are looking for what makes you you.

What is the acceptance rate at Williams College?

The Williams College acceptance rate for the class of 2025 was 8%.This means that although there were nearly 12,500 applicants, a small percentage followed through on their “how to get into Williams College” plan. This created a Williams College total enrollment figure of 1,000, a significant decrease from the class of 2024. The Williams College acceptance rate then was 13%. However, this decrease was caused in part by the 130 students from the class of 2024 who took a gap year. While a similar number of students applied for the class of 2025, there were 130 fewer spots, which resulted in a lower Williams College acceptance rate.


For the class of 2025, the Williams College acceptance rate for Early Decision was 33%. If you are considering applying to William College Early Decision, make sure that you budget time to complete your application. Select your Williams College writing supplement, ask for recommendations, and decide whether to submit your Williams College ACT or Williams SAT scores in advance of the deadline!

Want to learn more about acceptance rates? Check out our expert guide.

Does Williams College require essays?

No, Williams does not require essays beyond your personal statement. In previous years, Williams offered students the opportunity to write school-specific supplemental essays, but this is no longer part of their application process. If you’d like to learn about Williams’ past essays, check out our Williams College Essay Guide.

Instead of requiring supplemental essays, students have the option to submit a Williams College writing supplement. The Williams College writing supplement is a unique opportunity to submit an example of your written work:

Students who are interested in submitting an example of their written work have the option of sharing an academic paper completed within the last year, ideally 3-5 pages in length. The paper does not need to be graded, and can be creative or analytical. Please do not submit lab reports. If submitting this optional paper, please include a description of the assignment or prompt.

Although optional, the Williams College writing supplement could be a valuable part of your how to get into Williams College plan. If you choose to submit a Williams College writing supplement, try to choose an essay you are proud of that demonstrates your academic interests and critical thinking and writing skills. The Williams College Writing supplement is a key part of your “how to get into Williams College” strategy. 

How does Williams College review applications?

As you think about how to get into Williams College, keep in mind that Williams uses a holistic review process. That means they will take every part of your application into consideration, including your achievements; course selection and grades; letters of recommendation; and essays. Williams doesn’t offer interviews, so your application is your only opportunity to show admissions officers who you are.

Admissions officers can only review what you choose to send them. For example, if you don’t send Williams SAT scores or Williams College ACT scores, your GPA may carry more weight. If you aren’t a good test taker but you are a strong writer, submit the Williams College writing supplement! You can showcase your strengths and demonstrate critical thinking and creativity.

In addition to reviewing your application holistically, admissions officers will try to understand what you will bring to the Williams student body. The Williams College total enrollment is small. Every student admitted to Williams makes a big impact. During the review process, admissions officers will be looking for students who embrace intellectual challenges and are creative thinkers.

Students can express these ideals in many ways. Accepted students will have a range of talents, interests, perspectives, and backgrounds. As you make your plan for how to get into William College, remember to be yourself. Be honest, capture your strengths, and showcase what you’ll bring to the Williams community.

Will Williams College consider my social media?

No, your social media is not a part of your how to get into Williams College plan. However, remember everything you post online becomes public information. Even though admissions officers don’t look at your social media as part of the application process, you should exercise caution when posting.

Any concerning or offensive posts could jeopardize your chances of admission. A good rule of thumb is to not post anything you wouldn’t want a future teacher or employer to see. In conclusion, especially since the Williams College acceptance rate is so low, you don’t want to take any unnecessary risks.

Is Williams a good school for me?

Before you start making a plan for how to get into Williams College, you need to decide if Williams is a good fit for you. Researching Williams’ size, academics, student life, and financial cost can help you make an informed decision. Check out our Williams College page for admissions stats, cost of attendance, and more.

The Williams College total enrollment is over 2,100 students, with a student-faculty ratio of 7:1. A smaller school like Williams will be a more intimate community, and you may find it easier to connect with your peers and professors in smaller classes.

Williams offers over 700 courses annually across 65 different areas of study. 100% of classes are taught by professors. 41% of students conduct funded research every year. Be sure to check out Williams’ Areas of Study to learn more about their academic structure and what majors and concentrations they offer.

Student Life

The student life at the college you attend is often just as important as academics. Williams’ student life page has information about their student body, their nearly 200 student-run organizations, and snapshots of current students. Check out our William College Panel, Virtual College Tours, and Finding a Campus Community at Williams to learn more. 

Financial aid is one of the most important factors for many students. Of the Williams College total enrollment, 53% of students receive some amount of aid. Williams College meets 100% of demonstrated need. Their graduates have some of the lowest loan-debt levels in the U.S. If you want more information about how financial aid can factor into the college selection process, check out our Williams College Financial Aid Guide.

Additional tips to get into Williams College

Here are three more tips to round out your plan for how to get into Williams College:

Invest in your extracurriculars

Whether or not you decide to send Williams SAT scores or complete the Williams College writing supplement, your extracurriculars can showcase your passions and your growth. During your Junior and Senior years, try to take on leadership positions, start new initiatives, and give yourself every chance to shine!

Don’t be afraid to retake the SAT or ACT

Sending Williams SAT scores or Williams College ACT scores can help your application stand out. Because Williams superscores the SAT and ACT, take the time to study between testing dates. Testing more than once can help you maximize your chances of admission.

Secure your recommendations early

The Williams College application requires recommendations. Securing strong letters is an important step in your “how to get into Williams College” plan. The strongest recommendations come from teachers and counselors who know you well. Take the time to engage during classes or office hours. Be sure to ask your recommenders four to six weeks ahead of the submission deadline to give them plenty of time to complete your recommendation.

Ultimately, don’t try to find one answer for how to get into Williams College. Don’t worry about the Williams College acceptance rate and Williams College GPA requirements. Instead, focus your energy on your application. Gather your required materials. Decide if you are going to send Williams College ACT or Williams SAT scores. Choose your Williams College writing supplement. Turn in your application by the Williams College Early Decision or regular decision deadline.

The Williams College total enrollment is small, and the Williams College acceptance rate is low. But don’t let these statistics discourage you from putting together a strong “how to get into Williams College” plan. Good luck!


This guide was written by Stefanie Tedards. If you want to know how to get into Williams College, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes Williams graduates. Create your free account or schedule an advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.