Thankyouuuuu so much!! It’s really very useful. Also, Williams is ranked around 30, is it good or bad or meh?
Arguably that should be “very good”.
Williams most definitely does not have a “relatively higher” ED acceptance rate for you, as an unhooked general applicant, compared to larger T20 universities.
The smaller the college, the greater the impact that athletes, Questbridge applicants and legacies have on the ED acceptance rate.
For example, recruited athletes with basically automatic ED admission at Williams make up a HUGE percentage of each year’s ED class. The number of athletes at a smaller college or university is not that much less than the number of athletes at most larger universities (of course a huge university like the University of Michigan has more athletes than Williams, but I’m speaking as a generality). Williams basically needs the same number of players on their football team as Michigan.
At Williams, recruited athletes are 36-40% of the entire enrolled student population. At the University of Michigan, athletes make up less than 3% of the undergraduate student population. And because almost 100% of Williams recruited athletes apply ED, they make up a HUGE percentage of the accepted ED pool.
At a much larger university with ED like say Cornell, athletes eat up a much, much smaller percentage of the ED spots.
Directly comparing the roughly 30% ED acceptance rate of a tiny LAC like Williams to the lower ED acceptance rates at larger universities is foolish and completely inaccurate …. it is comparing apples to oranges.
The current ED acceptance at Williams for a non-athlete, non-QB, non-legacy is no where near 30%.
Since your main goal seems to be maximizing your chances of admission at any T20 or high-end LAC, maybe you should consider larger universities who have less of a falsely inflated ED acceptance rate for unhooked students …. Cornell 20%, Vanderbilt ED1 24%, Duke 21%, or WashU combined ED1/2 about 30%. But I understand financial aid is also important so some of these may not be viable options.
But I really like Williams. I vibe with it and I don’t think a lot of recruited athletes are international. I think I would be considered with the intl pool. I think every college has a fixed amount like lets say Duke takes nearly 200 intl students so maybe I would be considered in perspective with other intl students and then I don’t think it makes a lot of difference. But again I might be wrong and I might not get in Williams that’s why I am going to ED2 to Vanderbilt or WashU or the other 2-3 colleges I have chosen. Is it a good strategy?
As a statistical aspect to consider regarding Williams, its recent SAT score profile (for students submitting) registers among the very highest in the U.S., with a median of 1510. Although this profile reflects a pandemic year, the information nonetheless probably fairly indicates Williams’ overall expectations and difficulty of admission (for all students applying).
Yea I am sure I can bump up my SAT. I am already in the median which I think is fair enough. But I could bump it up by 30-40 points more though a past Dartmouth admission officer said that if one’s SAT score is 1500+ then it doesn’t matter.
Total unduplicated athlete participation for Williams 2020 per Equity in Athletics (2021 data is inaccurate/incomplete due to Covid) was 36%. Many of those athletes are not recruited.
There are likely 70-75 full support slots for athletes (15%ish of the class), and most of those apply ED. There are soft support recruits too, which add to that number but not all of those would apply ED, and many soft support recruits don’t get accepted.
Regardless, I agree with the rest of your points. OP isn’t understanding that a school of Williams’ size likely has less than a dozen spots for international students requiring a high level of financial aid.
I do understand that it’s very hard and a lot of slots are for the recruited athletes. I just don’t care at this moment. I have fallen in love with that college so I want to apply there.
Have you done a virtual admission session yet?
There is one in July so I will attend that. But apart from that I have talked to a Williams student (physics major and intl) and did a virtual campus tour, watched a lot of youtube videos on Williams student and their experience.
That’s exactly when you should ED…when you’ve fallen in love with a school, done your research about their programs, and would be over the moon to attend with no regrets. Sounds like this is Williams for you.
Shoot your shot but have your back ups lined up just in case.
Thankyouuu. You are the only one who told me to do it without telling me that it will be very hard and the chances are very low and being a pessimist. Thankyou so much.
I think you should consider that you asked for advice and seem unreceptive to that informed advice. You of course should do what you want but it appears you were pursuing confirmation bias.
Probably not the best approach but you are making adult decisions and will experience the adult consequences of those decisions.
Wishing you well but I am similarly concerned with your approach and likely outcomes as others have suggested. Good luck.
There is a fine line between pessimism and pragmatism.
We are being realists, not pessimists.
If that’s how you truly feel then you shouldn’t use this site. This community is for people who want to hear honest feedback and advice not simply hear what they want to hear.
What may sound as pessimism to you is actually realistic chancing from people with years of experience with US college admissions.
I don’t think anyone here said that. You asked to be chanced and people are responding with their honest opinions. None of us are looking to disparage your achievements.
All that being said, I think you have your answer: ED to Williams and EA to others that make sense for you. You can pick ED2 later based on the outcome of the ED/EA rounds.
I participate on both sites. One difference I have found is that the reddit subforums are heavily populated by high school students who can’t chance themselves, let alone anyone else.
I personally see no toxicity on this thread. Rather, users, most of whom have been through the process either for themselves or for their kids, are being realistic. As an international applicant needing significant aid from a need-aware college, if you want to know your chances at a particular college, simply Google the college’s acceptance rate for 2026 and divide by three. That’s the harsh reality. Where this site has an advantage is that many members will give suggestions of colleges where your chances might be higher. Whether you choose to avail yourself to their experience is up to you.
Yea thats right. I totally agree with you on this but I don’t think I am wrong when someone people straight up said that i have very very low chance, its demotivating.
@skieurope can you please close this thread if it is possible.
Williams had an 8.5% acceptance rate this cycle. So the international acceptance rate was likely below 3%. I would look in askance at any user that said an unhooked applicant had anything other than a “very very low chance.” That does not mean don’t apply, for you might be in the lucky 3%. But it does mean that you should level set your expectations and ensure that your list includes affordable options with higher acceptance rates. YMMV.