Class of 2018 yields 45.7 percent

Out of a pool of 6316 applicants, 1150 were accepted and 525 students decided to come to campus in the fall of 2014. This year’s 45.7 percent yield is almost identical to last year’s rate.

The Class of 2018 currently includes 266 males and 251 females. There are 80 students who identify as Asian American, 52 as African American, 61 as Latino and four as Native American. “We are pleased about our yield of underrepresented students,” Richard Nesbitt, director of admissions, said.

A full 32 students were admitted to the College through

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QuestBridge, an organization that aims to identify talented, high-achieving students from low-income families. 46 non-U.S. citizens, representing 29 different countries, will constitute approximately 8 percent of next year’s student body, which is more than the College has ever had in the past.

Of the students who accepted offers, eight are planning to take a gap year. In addition, there are currently 500 students on the active wait-list, and the Office of Admission expects to offer admission to

40 students as early as this week. Out of the students on the wait-list, an estimated 8 to 10 will take a gap year, which will bring the size of the class back to its target size of 550. “Every year, we expect 15 to 20 admitted students to take a gap year,” Nesbitt said.

Although the College has consistently received 6000 to 7000 applications in the past six years, in the past two years, the admissions office has seen a decrease in applications.

“We are not the only ones,” Nesbitt said. “Some of our peer institutions, like Middlebury, Dartmouth and Wesleyan are also down in applications.”

237 of accepted students were admitted through the early decision program in December. The College received 554 early applications, which is a decrease from 612 in 2012.

Nesbitt could not provide any concrete reasons for the decline in applications. He explained that the admissions office still needs to analyze and reflect upon this trend, and will take it into account for next year’s cycle.

Currently, the Office of Admission is working on new programs to reach out to prospective applicants. The College hopes to use new software systems to contact a diverse range of high school students.

Every year, the College partners with the College Board to purchase the names of high school sophomores and juniors who have taken the PSAT or other tests from the College Board. The Office of Admissions then sends information about the College to students.

Recently, the Office of Admission designed a new brochure, which will be sent out via mail to prospective applicants, in order to help them make informed choices by providing an extensive overview of

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the most crucial aspects of Williams.

According to Nesbitt, there are several reasons why students tend to decline admission offers including financial concerns, issues related to location, aspects of the College itself, and students’ personal aspirations.

From April 17-18, Williams College hosted 420 admitted students for Previews.

“Previews went extremely well. A large group of students, both admitted and prospective, visited the campus during that period. I would like to extend my gratitude to all students, faculty and staff who dedicated their time and energy and made those days successful,” Nesbitt said.

 

  • Academics and Life

    I believe that Williams is losing applicants because it clings too much to its old traditions. People nowadays need more things than pure intense academics.

    Chemistry, Econ, Math types of departments weed out people. The intense academics make it almost prohibitive for students to participate in more diverse ECs that require travel or staying out of campus for a few days. The difficulty in attracting faculty to live in the remote countryside gives too much power to the faculty, and thus a few of them can be unfair to students with little consequence.

    Given that Williams cannot compete with research universities in the research dimension, it needs to do more in the student preparation dimension. Do more is not shoving academics down their throat. Do more is helping students to succeed. For instance, do more is helping all students who are genuinely interested in Med School finding a way to achieve it. I am not talking about free grades. I am talking about building courses that can work at support stepping stones so that students can build the necessary competencies and portfolio to achieve what they need to get to a good Med School, Law School, or MBA program.

    But no, the school continues to find pleasure in making students live difficult. For instance, what does the school gain by limiting students to only two withdrawals during their academic career? Why implement some arcane and confusing Gaudino option while most of the Williams peers have traditional Pass/Fail classes? Why weed out people out of majors/departments? What is your mission, Williams?

    A few years ago people still was talking about Williams competing with HYP. No more. Nowadays Williams is losing students to other good schools such as WASHU, Northwestern, Michigan, Berkeley, USC…

    Times are changing. Open your eyes Williams, before it is too late.

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