The College accepted 1157 students to the Class of 2017 from this year’s regular decision applicant pool. This year’s applicant pool consisted of 6853 applicants, resulting in an acceptance rate of 16.9 percent.
Last year’s acceptance rate was 16.7 percent, and the College received 7076 applications.
According to Director of Admission Dick Nesbitt ’74, the targeted class size is 550, which is the same target as previous years. Earlier this year, 249 applicants were admitted through the early decision program, an increase of about 10 accepted students from last year’s class.
The students admitted this year form a class expected to have “significant diversity, like last year’s class,” Nesbitt said. “In the admitted group, we saw a significant increase in African American students.”
The College admitted 183 African Americans this year, compared to 162 African American students in last year’s admitted class. There was a decrease in the number of Latino/a students admitted this year, but other demographics remained in line with previous years.
Approximately 68.5 percent of admitted students applied for financial aid, a number similar to last year’s. However, because the College is a need-blind institution, the admissions department does not use financial aid information in their decision-making process.
There was also an increase in the number of legacy students that were accepted this year. While last year’s accepted class featured 91 legacy students, 114 students accepted for the Class of 2017 have at least one parent who attended the College.
“We had more legacy students in the admitted group because they were a stronger group this year,” Nesbitt said.
The admitted class has a strong interest in a diverse range of extracurricular activities. As indicated on their applications, 411 accepted students expressed an interest in participating in music while at the College, 120 in theater, 123 in studio art and 58 in dance.
A strong proportion of admitted students hope to contribute to athletics at the College, as “about 187 accepted students indicated an interest in varsity sports,” according to Nesbitt.
In making the final selections for the Class of 2017, Nesbitt understands the importance of the entire team that works at the Office of Admission.
“We’ve been very blessed to have a very strong staff – they work very, very hard, and it’s great for me to see everybody’s hard work pay off.”
While the 249 early decision applicants are contractually bound to attend the College, the remaining accepted members of the Class of 2017 have until May 1 to decide to enroll. Then, if there are additional spots left in the class, applicants will be admitted from the wait list.
Last year 22 students were selected from the wait list, but it is difficult to predict how many students will be chosen from the wait list this year.
“We will have a pretty good idea of where we are on May 2, and it’s usually all settled by the end of June,” Nesbitt said.
To help admitted students decide whether to attend the College, the Office of Admission is hosting the Previews program on April 15 and 16, during which prospective students stay with current first-years and attend informational sessions, tours and classes. First-years have been invited via e-mail to host prospective students within their entries. 300 to 400 admitted students are expected to attend the two-day event.
“If a student is admitted and comes to Previews, their chances of matriculating at Williams are significantly higher,” Nesbitt said.