Information for First-Year Applicants

Important Changes to the 2020-2021 Admission Cycle

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve made two important changes for students applying during the 2020-2021 admission cycle. You can read about them below.

Suspension of Standardized Testing Requirement

We know there are countless reasons why standardized testing might not be possible this year, so it’s entirely up to you whether you submit exam results for the SAT and ACT. Regardless, rest assured that your application will be reviewed in a thorough, student-centered, holistic admission process that takes into account your achievements, talents, and life experiences; course selection and grades; letters of recommendation; and essays, to name a few. The submission of SAT and ACT scores is truly optional for the 2020-2021 application cycle.

Please note that the submission of SAT subject tests, AP scores, IB exams, A-levels, and language proficiency tests have been optional at Williams for many years and will continue to be.

Regular Decision Deadline Moved to January 8, 2021

In recognition of the challenges many students and counselors will continue to encounter because of the pandemic, our Regular Decision application deadline has been changed to Friday, January 8, 2021.

Early Decision or Regular Decision?

If you're a first-year applicant and Williams is your top choice, you’re welcome to apply through our Early Decision program. Students may apply Early Decision to only one institution. If admitted, you'll be expected to accept our offer and to withdraw any applications you’ve submitted to other schools.

If you're a first-year applicant who wants to apply to more than one school, your best option is to apply under our non-binding Regular Decision plan. The majority of students apply to Williams via Regular Decision. If admitted, you'll have until May 1 to accept your place in the class.

An important note about QuestBridge: Williams is proud to be a longstanding QuestBridge College Partner. If you’re considering applying to Williams through QuestBridge, please visit the QuestBridge website for all of the information you’ll need.

Required Application Materials

The following items are required of all first-year applicants:

  • Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application
  • School Report
  • Counselor Recommendation
  • Two Teacher Recommendations
  • Mid-Year Report (Due February 5 or for schools on a trimester, when 2nd trimester grades are available)
  • $65 Application Fee or Fee Waiver
  • Early Decision Agreement Form (Early Decision applicants only)

Optional Application Materials

You have the option of supplementing your application with submissions in one of the following areas:

SAT or ACT

If you decide to submit an SAT or ACT score, you can can do so in any of three ways:

  1. Enter them in the testing section of your application.
  2. Email a screenshot of your score report to [email protected].
  3. Have them sent to Williams directly from the testing agency. The Williams SAT code is 3965 and ACT code is 1936.

Williams will superscore the SAT or ACT. This means that if multiple test scores are submitted, we’ll consider the highest subsection scores when reviewing your application.

Please note that SAT and ACT scores for all enrolling students who choose to submit them will be verified. Discrepancies between self-reported scores and official scores may jeopardize a student’s place at Williams.

The submission of SAT subject tests, AP scores, IB exams, A-levels, and language proficiency tests have been optional at Williams for many years and this will continue to be the case.

Williams Writing Supplement

Students are welcome to submit a short essay on one of three topics. To learn more, visit the Williams Writing Supplement page.

Studio/Performing Arts Portfolio

If you have a well-developed talent in the visual or performing arts, our faculty would be delighted to review your portfolio. Please visit our arts supplement page for specific deadlines and details about submissions. Use SlideRoom to submit samples of your work for review by Williams faculty.

Scientific Research Abstracts

If you’ve pursued significant scientific or mathematics research and are considering a research or academic career, we welcome a brief description of your past work. Please include this information on your application, or email it to [email protected].

If you'd like to submit an update to your application for admission at any time, please email the update to applicationmaterials​@williams​.edu.