It took me a long time to decide if it was even worth applying to williams but I came to the conclusion that I will apply even though its a major reach and see what happens.
I was wondering though how much legacy is valued at Williams and if people think I have any chance of getting into the extremely selective college...
Both my dad and grandfather graduated from Williams and I have gone to tennis camp there for 3 years. I am captain of my school's state champion tennis team, am in National Honors Society, participated in a German Exchange, have around a 93 average and think my teacher recommendations will be extremely strong. My SAT scores are pretty low however... just under a 2000.
It's definitely worth a shot. I don't know your financial situation or if this strategy is tenable for you, but I have heard that legacy status helps more during the ED round than the RD round. I have not heard this specifically about Williams but about colleges in general.
You should make the "soft" part of your application as strong as possible, i.e. your essay. I don't think attending the tennis camp is of any benefit at all, however, so I would not stress that.
thanks for your input. I would apply early decision but the financial situation is an issue. And I realize that my going to tennis camp there won't improve my credentials but just as a way of showing my love of the school. We'll see what happens, I just know that if I don't apply, I would always wonder what could have happened.
My experience w/ legacy admits at colleges like Williams is that it helps, but does not overcome below the range GPAs and test scores.
Put another way, if a legacy has Williams quality HS academics, he or she is a pretty good bet. This might not sound like a big deal, but keep in mind that Williams rejects a lot of really qualified applicants.
Legacy status will not get sub 1800 SAT, 3.0 GPA kind of applicants into the really competitive schools.
for what its worth...
I went to Williams and my daughter has always dreamt of going there. Her SATs are also just under 1900 and GPA is good but not great. She had an admissions interview / evaluation over the summer and their advice was NOT to apply ED, but rather to concentrate on strong fall grades and possibly raising SATs. She was told flat-out that if she applied ED she would in all likelihood not be accepted
We appreciated the advice and left realizing that she needed to find a better fit.
As an alumni I am still disappointed that legact status meant very little but it also goes to show just how competitive this school (and others) are right now.
At Williams legacy does not count more in the ED round - your legacy status will still count in the RD round (I was told this by a senior admissions officer). I agree with ncram - legacy helps at Williams in that it is a nice edge for an otherwise well qualified candidate, but it doesn't make up for any deficits in stats, etc.
Definitely do the alumni counseling interview - it is very helpful. That's the best place to find out your chances! My bet is that they will suggest you retake the SAT's.
If a legacy meets with admissions at Williams and is encouraged to apply ED, does that mean anything? Anyone have any experience with this? I gather from the above that being told not to apply is a pretty clear "no" but is being told to apply a good sign of a "yes?"
Also look into the ACT...some students just match much better with one test or the other-- my D had a 2100 in the SAT but a 35 in the ACT-- she said that there wasn't any "gamesmanship" in the ACT which suited her fine. She has friends for whom it just the opposite...Williams DOESNT care which (but even if you take the ACT you still MUST take two SATIIs...).
reallypeople, I would take the encouragement to apply for what it is: a sign that the student is competitive for Williams. This is the feedback from one Admissions person and the applications have to go through a committee. And yes, if anyone wants to take advantage of legacy, better odds by applying ED.
Williams does offer a college counseling interview for children of alumni. It is a great opportunity-- whether or not the student wants to attend Wiliams or even if it's a reach -- to be able to sit down with an Admissions Officer and review your profile. Another reason why Williams does so well with Alumni giving. It is very smart about reaching out and personalizing the connection with the school, and making people less mad if their child does not get in. :-)