Waiting List: Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make sure I am considered for admission from the waiting list?

In order to remain on the active waiting list, please submit the Respond to Waiting List Offer form in your My Williams Account by 11:59 p.m. on April 30. On the form, you’ll find a section where you can convey your continued interest in Williams and add updates about recent awards, activities or achievements. Please do not feel pressured to respond immediately—we do not rank students based on when they submit the form.

How should I communicate with the Admission Office after I have submitted the Respond to Waiting List Offer form?

If you would like to send us an update or express your continued interest in Williams, please do so by using the Waiting List Continued Interest form within your My Williams Account. This form will display only after you have submitted the Respond to Waiting List Offer form. We ask students to provide updates and convey continued interest exclusively through the Waiting List Continued Interest form so that all communications are added to their application file directly for review by the Admission Committee. Please note that information shared via email will not be added to application files.

How many students are on the waiting list and how many are admitted?

The total number of students on the waiting list each year ranges between 500 and 650. In a typical year, 25 students on average have been admitted from the waiting list.

Are waiting list applicants ranked in any way?

No, there is no particular ordering of the waiting list. Instead, the Admission Committee periodically reconvenes to assess the composition of the enrolled class to see what additions might be made to round out the group.

When are waiting list decisions made?

If we enroll fewer than our target number for the class, we will draw from the waiting list on a rolling basis beginning in May. This process may take several weeks. If admitted from the waiting list, you will be notified via email. Once the class is finalized, we will inform students as soon as possible.

Can I place a deposit at an institution and remain on another institution's waiting list?

You are expected to deposit at or otherwise commit in writing to ONE of the colleges to which you have been admitted by their enrollment deadline. While it is important that you secure your place at one college, you may simultaneously stay on any number of waiting lists. If selected off a waiting list, and if you choose to attend that school, you must withdraw immediately from the school to which you had originally committed.

What can I do to improve my chances of being admitted from the waiting list?

Be sure to submit your Respond to Waiting List Offer form before May 1. Afterward, you may choose to stay in touch through the Continued Interest form. There is no need to solicit additional letters of recommendation—if you are on the waiting list, your application is already extremely well documented. Please note that we do not interview or schedule meetings with students who are on the waiting list.

Will applying for financial aid affect my chances of being admitted from the waiting list?

Williams remains need-blind for all U.S. citizens and permanent residents and meets 100 percent of demonstrated need for all applicants. Applying for financial aid will not disadvantage you. If you are admitted from the waiting list, you will be given time to receive and assess your financial aid package before making a final decision.

If I am admitted from the waiting list, will I be eligible to take a gap year?

You can have every expectation that your gap year request will be approved.

What if I want to remove myself from the active waiting list?

If you decide you would no longer like to be considered on the active waiting list, please let us know as soon as possible.