Of the 572 students who applied early decision (ED) for the Class of 2015, 230 were accepted, yielding an acceptance rate of about 40 percent. These students will ultimately constitute 42 percent of the approximately 550 students in the Class of 2015.
Of the remaining ED applicants, 120 were rejected and 222 were deferred to the regular decision pool.
This year’s total of 572 applicants marks an increase from last year’s 538 applicants. Last year saw 216 students admitted via ED, constituting 39 percent of the final class size.
The number of students admitted ED was “right around target,” said Dick Nesbitt, director of Admission. “Not a whole lot was unusual this year, but we were up in applications from last year.”
Nesbitt attributed the slight increase in admit rate to the strength of the applicant pool, which allowed the admission office to “go deeper this year.”
Nesbitt also cited a “good deal of diversity” in both applicants and admitted students. A record number of African Americans applied, and 20 were admitted. Also accepted were 18 Asian Americans, 14 Latinos and one Native American. More women than men were accepted, with 120 females and 110 males admitted. Fifteen first-generation students were also accepted.
According to Nesbitt, the decision to drop need-blind admission for international students did not affect the number of international applicants. “In fact, their numbers were up,” he said. This year, 14 international students were accepted early, compared to 11 for the Class of 2014.
Thirty-six of those accepted were legacy students, who usually apply in a “high percentage [ED], since Williams is their clear first choice,” Nesbitt said. Forty-nine students were athletes, which Nesbitt said is typical, as there is a limit to the number of athletes that can be admitted.
Fifteen students were accepted through the QuestBridge program, which identifies low-income, high-achieving students and connects them to 30 of the nation’s best schools. Nesbitt said the program is great for “allowing students who might have never heard of Williams to apply, and it allows us to learn about students we might never have learned about.” In return, the College provides these accepted students with what amounts to a full scholarship.
This year also marks the introduction of the online SlideRoom program, which allows applicants to submit their music, theater, art or dance supplemental pieces through the Internet. This eases the process by which respective arts faculty can access supplemental material and evaluate it. According to Nesbitt, “Williams is one of the few colleges using this program.”
The Class of 2015 will also include 15 students who deferred admission from the Class of 2014, leaving about 290 remaining spaces for regular decision applicants.