Information for Transfer Applicants

At Williams, we strive to create a vibrant living and learning environment for all students by enrolling a talented and diverse class. Transfer, veteran and non-traditional students are a critical part of that mission. Transfer students bring their own unique backgrounds, perspectives and set of lived experiences, and they carry all of that with them through their classes, conversations with peers, research and internships, extracurricular engagements and more. They deeply contribute to the richness of our community, and Williams is eager to welcome a growing cohort of transfer students each year. If you're a transfer student and began your post-secondary education at a community college, in the U.S. military or elsewhere in the workforce, we especially encourage you to apply.

While our standard transfer policy and procedures are outlined below, we understand that your own experience might fall somewhere outside these parameters. If you’re unsure of how to apply and are looking for guidance, please know that we’re available to help–email Dean Mendes, Associate Director of Admission, or sign up for an appointment using his calendar. Additionally, to learn more about the liberal arts, affordability, and our holistic review admission process, check out this informational video that may help you in preparing your application.

Williams Travel Grant Program

The Williams Travel Grant offers all-expenses-paid campus visits for prospective transfer and veteran students who reside in mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico. Priority is given to students who began their post-secondary education at a community college, in the U.S. military or elsewhere in the workforce. The application is now closed but will open again in summer 2024.

Affordability and Williams

For transfer students seeking assistance, Williams offers one of the most generous financial aid programs in the U.S. We consider the applications of all prospective transfer students without regard to their ability to pay, and we promise to meet 100% of each admitted student’s demonstrated financial need for the entirety of their Williams career. Our financial aid considers the total cost of attendance, which includes tuition, room and board, personal expenses and course materials and, if needed, health insurance, childcare, travel and storage. We strive to make Williams affordable for every student during the application process and well beyond it. 

  • 100% of transfer and veteran students receive financial aid
  • $86K–amount of average grant
  • Free textbooks, course materials, health insurance and storage
  • No application fee

Should I apply as a first-year or transfer?

If you'll have completed at least one year of full-time college coursework by the time you theoretically enroll at Williams, please apply as a transfer student. There is no maximum cutoff for the number of college credits earned, but students who have already earned a bachelor's degree are not eligible to apply. If you will have less than one year of full-time college coursework upon enrollment at Williams, please apply as a first-year applicant. Students who have completed college courses during their high school career, but have not yet graduated from high school or its equivalent should apply as first-years. Please see the examples below for further clarification, and if you have any questions about your situation, don't hesitate to reach out.

Student examples:

  • Student A is enrolled at community college for the first time. They will complete 40 college credits by August 2023, and they hope to enroll at Williams in September 2024. They should apply as a transfer student since they will have completed at least one year of college credit prior to enrollment.
  • Student B is active duty in the military and takes some courses in the evenings when their schedule allows. They will complete 20 college credits by August 2023, and they hope to enroll at Williams in September 2024. They should apply as a first-year student since they will not have completed at least one year of college credit prior to enrollment.

You can find general information about how to apply to Williams on this page and more details on transferable coursework policies here. You can also check out the links to additional information for U.S. military veterans, international applicants, and undocumented and DACA applicants.

Required Application Materials

  • Common Application (includes one required essay)
  • Final High School Transcript or High School Equivalency Diploma
  • Transfer College Report
  • College Transcript
  • Two College Instructor Recommendations
  • There is NO Application Fee- If you’ll be applying for financial aid, you can request a fee waiver for the CSS Profile. We seek the most exceptional candidates regardless of financial need. Your request for a waiver won’t affect your application, and we won’t consider it when making our admission decision.

Transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other supporting documents sent by a school can arrive shortly after the submission of a completed application. If you or your school administrator need to forward application documents, please email them to We also understand your experience is unique, so if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Optional Application Materials

In addition to the required application materials, students may choose to supplement their application with any of the following materials. Please note that these materials are entirely optional, and if you choose to not submit them, it will not be held against you in any way in our process.


All students applying for entry through the fall of  2025 may choose whether to submit SAT/ACT exam results. Regardless, your application will be reviewed in a thorough, student-centered, holistic admission process.

If you decide to submit an SAT or ACT score, you 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 applicationmaterials​@williams​.edu.
  3. Have them sent to Williams directly from the testing agency. The Williams SAT code is 3965 and ACT code is 1936.

Test scores can be submitted for any test date. Williams will superscore the SAT or ACT. This means that if multiple test scores are submitted, we’ll consider the highest score when reviewing your application.

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.

Additional Writing Supplement

Students are welcome to submit an optional, additional essay. To learn more, visit the Writing Supplement page.

Research Abstracts

If you’ve pursued significant scientific, mathematics, humanities or social science 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].

Additional Letters of Recommendation

Students are welcome to submit additional letters of recommendation beyond the required two college instructor recommendations. These might include letters from work supervisors, military experiences, or other relevant pursuits.

Transfer Policies

  • Community is central to the Williams ethos and experience. We guarantee campus housing for all students for the entirety of their enrollment and are committed to providing students with a type of housing that works best for them. A variety of on-campus options are available. Off-campus housing within close walking distance of campus may also be available in certain circumstances. Regardless of living location, transfer students are welcomed into campus life and engagement with the Williams community.
  • All Williams students, including transfers, may only apply for fall enrollment.
  • Because Williams has a two-year minimum residency requirement for all students, you'll only be allowed to transfer a maximum of two years' worth of credit from your previous institutions.
  • Please note that non-transferable coursework is still valuable in evaluating your academic readiness during the admission process. For example, students that need to take mostly online asynchronous courses (perhaps because of a rigid work schedule) may have limited transferable coursework, but those asynchronous classes still allow us to better evaluate their file as we consider them for admission to Williams.

If you have questions at any point during the process, please check out our transfer FAQ page, email Associate Director of Admission Dean Mendes, or book an appointment.