Williams College

2014 Quick Stats
880 Main Street

Williamstown, MA 01267

Phone: (413) 597-3131
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#1 Overall Score: 100 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Williams College is a private institution that was founded in 1793. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,052, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 450 acres. It utilizes a 4-1-4-based academic calendar. Williams College's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 1. Its tuition and fees are $46,600 (2013-14).

Williams College - located in Williamstown, Mass., at the foothill of Mount Greylock in the Berkshire Mountains - is one of the oldest colleges in the country. The school was originally a men’s college until 1970, when women were first admitted. The college’s fraternities were abolished in 1962. The school has many unique student activities, including the semi-annual, school-wide trivia contest and the annual Mountain Day in October when students hike Mount Greylock. The Williams Ephs (named after the school’s founder Ephraim Williams) participate in NCAA Division III varsity sports in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Williams is also part of the unofficial Little Three athletic conference with Amherst and Wesleyan. The school requires freshmen to live on campus in any of six different residence halls.

Williams College has three academic branches-languages and the arts, social sciences, and science and mathematics - and graduate programs in history of art and economics. Williams has small class sizes, with a student to teacher ratio of 7:1. The school also has Oxford-style tutorials, which rely heavily on student participation. The college is home to many firsts, including the world’s first society of alumni, the first to wear caps and gowns at graduation and the first to host an intercollegiate baseball game. The school has a tradition at each graduation to drop a watch from the top of the college chapel. If the watch breaks, tradition holds that the class will be lucky. Notable alumni include Elia Kazan, director of "On the Waterfront" and "A Streetcar Named Desire"; John Frankenheimer, director of "The Manchurian Candidate"; and Prince Hussain Aga Khan of Shia Muslim Royalty.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Talented, highly motivated students and faculty from across the country and abroad gather in the natural beauty of Williamstown to create a community of learning that is both personal and powerful. Personal are the bonds that grow among faculty and students - in the classroom, lab, theater, and studio and through an endless array of extracurricular activities. Powerful are the learning that results, the impact Williams students go on to have on the world, and the strength of their lifelong attachment to each other and to the place.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1793
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar 4-1-4
Setting rural
2012 Endowment $1,728,548,820


When applying to Williams College, it's important to note the application deadline is January 1, and the early decision deadline is November 10. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due January 1. The application fee at Williams College is $65. It is most selective, with an acceptance rate of 17 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity most selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 17.0%
Application deadline January 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by January 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Williams College is 7:1, and the school has 75.7 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Williams College include: Economics, General; History, General; English Language and Literature, General; Psychology, General; and Political Science and Government, General. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 97 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 7:1
4-year graduation rate 91%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Economics, General 19%
History, General 15%
English Language and Literature, General 13%
Psychology, General 13%
Political Science and Government, General 10%

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Student Life

Williams College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,052, with a gender distribution of 47.9 percent male students and 52.1 percent female students. At this school, 94 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 6 percent of students live off campus. Williams College is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,106
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity N/A
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority N/A
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Williams College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, day care, health service, and health insurance. Williams College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Williams College.

Students who have cars on campus N/A
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Williams College, 53.2 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $40,511.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $46,600 (2013-14)
Room and board $12,300 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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