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Harder to get into than Williams?

evilspartan92evilspartan92 Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
edited August 2012 in Bowdoin College
According to the most recent admissions stats for the Class of 2013, Bowdoin had a lower acceptance rate (~18%) than Williams (~20%). Now, if one just used those numbers, it would seem obvious that Williams is now easier to get into than Bowdoin, however, I still wonder:

How do the quality of students who apply to Bowdoin compared to Williams (SATs, GPA, SAT IIs, ECs, class rank, etc.)?

IMO, Bowdoin is really starting to make a name for itself, and so for it to actually be harder to get into than Williams is crazy!!!

Can't wait for the new college list from U.S. News and World Report.
Post edited by evilspartan92 on

Replies to: Harder to get into than Williams?

  • gellinogellino Registered User Posts: 3,017 Senior Member
    For some reason, applications to Williams were down over 20% last year. In the previous year, the avg SAT at Williams was ~ 50 points higher than Bowdoin's overstated number (since not everyone in the class submits SAT); so the actual spread would have been even higher so it's unlikely the SAT avg of Williams actually fell below Bowdoin. I think USNWR rankings that come out in Aug would not be based on Class of 2013 stats but rather the previous year.
  • Tzar09Tzar09 Registered User Posts: 854 Member
    The SAT range provided by Bowdoin to USNWR (by way of the common data set) includes the scores of all incoming students (even students who do not submit scores for addmission must submit scores before matriculating).
  • Tzar09Tzar09 Registered User Posts: 854 Member
    According to one website, 89% of the student bodies at both Williams and Bowdoin come from the top 10% of their high school classes.

    While there is a difference in the overall SATs between the two, the upper 25% range for Verbal is the same for the two schools. The upper 25% scores for Math at the two schools is about 40 points different..what is that? The value of two questions?

    I don't know about other forms of grad school, but i know that ~80% of Bowdoin students who apply get appected to Medical School, compared to ~65% of Williams students who apply.
  • MidwesternDadMidwesternDad Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    Tzar09, not sure where your info on Williams comes from. At: Williams College | Admission | Explore | After Williams

    "Williams students applying to medical schools have a better-than-90 percent acceptance rate"
  • HorseRadishHorseRadish - Posts: 126 Junior Member
    Admissions results seldom are uniform in outcome. Schools build classes out of the abundant qualified applicant pool they receive. Whether Bowdoin is harder to get into than Williams is an interesting question.

    I for one was accepted to Dartmouth, Princeton, Stanford, University of Chicago and Williams and chose Williams. I was rejected by Bates, Bowdoin and Colgate. Go figure.

    From this perspective, certainly Bowdoin was harder to get into, and furthermore a reach.

    Take joy and stop biting your fingernails. Whatever the outcome, you will not be disappointed, unless your expectations exceed a proper and humorous self-appraisal.
  • commservercommserver Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member

    I want to offer the experience of my daughter who is currently a frosh at Williams.

    Many of her acquantances got rejected at their safety schools but got into the Ivies. It turns out that at times the so-called safety school feels that an applicant is too qualified for that school and that if a "much more desirable " school accepted that applicant, then the applicant would go there. The safety school doesn't want to waste an admission on a applicant that it feels will go elsewhere.

    My daughter made ridicuilous choices for safety schools and got accepted at some and rejected at others. You can make any conclusions you want. She is going to Williams though.
  • Tzar09Tzar09 Registered User Posts: 854 Member
    commserver: are you calling Bowdoin a safety for someone who wants to go to williams? that's actually really friggin insulting. hope i misunderstand what you're saying.
  • HorseRadishHorseRadish - Posts: 126 Junior Member
    Bowdoin, Bates and Colby are fine schools.

    As a Williams student, you are within great company at any of these singular and competant choices.

    Insofar as a safety school is concerned, if Ivy is your defining goal, then I can certainly understand where Bowdoin would be considered a safety school, but only out of arrogance and conceit. Our nation is blessed with great institutions anad students to boot.

    Do your best and choose wisely.
  • ccgmomccgmom Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    One of my D's goes to Bowdoin and one goes to Williams. Both are wonderful institutions. Williams added a Williams-specific essay to the Common App last year which led to a decrease in the number of applicants. The reason for and the ramifications of this have been discussed on CC already but it basically boils down to trying to get control of the huge influx of applications. By adding the Williams specific question, Williams hoped to get applicants who were highly interested in the college and weed out students who were marginally considering Williams, but not interested enough to put the extra effort into writing the extra essay.

    While both colleges are great and we, as parents, love visiting both places, they are different. D1 loves Bowdoin and its more laid-back atmosphere. She probably would not have been as happy at Williams as the workload seems to be more intense. Also, she likes that area of Maine, having easy access to Boston, and being close to the ocean. D2 thrives on the more intense environment at Williams mixed in with cooperative study nature of the students. She really appreciates how Williams' entry system is so intentional in getting freshman involved and part of a group right away. It's a nice community feeling. She gets energized by how actively involved students are and fits in well with this type of environment. Plus, she loves the beauty of the mountains.

    The point is: know your schools. Don't apply because one is "more selective" than the other. This is meaningless as obviously it changes from year-to-year. Visit the colleges to which you apply and see where you feel most comfortable. This is far more important than how selective a college is.
  • zfox001zfox001 Registered User Posts: 1,212 Senior Member
    Bowdoin is in no way a safety school. Bowdoin and Williams are similar schools and if u are calling Bowdoin a safety then you may as well call Williams one too.
    Both schools are fabulous in their own ways. As a Bowdoin student I'm gonna be biased towards Bowdoin.

    And to back up Tzar, the SAT ranges are from all students. When you say you are coming to Bowdoin they ask for your SAT scores for "placement" purposes. This is the number that they publish.
    The difference between a 20 and 18% acceptance rate is kinda negligible in my opinion. That is hardly any different and isnt significant in any way. If you look at GPAs, ECs and SAT scores things are practically the same.
  • arcadiaarcadia Registered User Posts: 2,512 Senior Member
    The SAT range provided by Bowdoin to USNWR (by way of the common data set) includes the scores of all incoming students (even students who do not submit scores for addmission must submit scores before matriculating).

    Actually, the reported SAT I scores include approximately 76% of matriculating students at Bowdoin. At Williams, SAT I scores are reported for 95% of matriculating students. To be fair, many submit ACT scores instead.
  • celibidachecelibidache Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    I highly doubt that before USNEWS started to rank ,Williams was to be though higher than Bowdoin.
  • SDonCCSDonCC Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    Long ago, in the good old days before USNWR, the "Little Three" schools of Williams, Amherst and Wesleyan, were also known as the "Potted Ivies," meaning they were regarding as top notch schools, even before the magazine rankings came along....Maybe they're still called that, I don't know, but don't credit the magazine solely for the high regard for Williams!
  • johnwesleyjohnwesley - Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    I highly doubt that before USNEWS started to rank ,Williams was to be though higher than Bowdoin.

    Actually, it was the other way around: it was USNews that lent credence to Bowdoin's admissions numbers after it decided to become SAT-optional.
  • toraseetorasee Registered User Posts: 569 Member
    Actually, it was the other way around: it was USNews that lent credence to Bowdoin's admissions numbers after it decided to become SAT-optional.

    Not exactly - Bowdoin was SAT optional long before USNWR started ranking colleges . .
This discussion has been closed.