right arrow
Informational Message Stay on top of the information you need to navigate the admissions process amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We've got articles, videos and forum discussions that provide answers to all of your test prep, admissions and college search questions.   Visit our COVID-19 resource page.

Introducing Kai!
Your College Confidential guide bot.


Kai can provide tips and support as you research and apply to colleges, and explore majors and careers.





Chat with Kai
here, 24/7!


or Skip Forever

A new forum experience awaits you this November! We can't wait to share it with you soon. Want to see how it looks before the big move? Experience the new CC Forums now and let us know your thoughts!

Is there an advantage in applying ED to Williams?

johnstittjohnstitt 4 replies5 threads New Member
edited September 15 in Williams College
Williams is probably my number one choice. I know there's a significantly higher ED admission rate for Williams than RD, but I read online that most of the admitted ED students are recruited athletes, leaving actually a very limited number of openings for non-athletes. Is this true?

While I was on varsity cross country and track throughout high school, I'm not fast enough to be recruited. As xc/track was one of my main extracurriculars, would it be seen as less "valuable" than other extracurriculars (like music, debate, student gov) because I wasn't recruited?
edited September 15
19 replies
Post edited by CCAdmin_Vic on
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Is there an advantage in applying ED to Williams?

  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College 2262 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    Welcome to College Confidential, @johnstitt!

    Although many athletes are admitted to Williams early decision, so the ED advantage for all applicants is not as strong as it may initially appear, it also is true that many students are admitted early decision to Williams who are not athletes. Experience with the ED admitted students’ chat group makes that very clear: students were from all interests, places, walks of life.

    Think of it this way. With about 47% of the class admitted through early decision, if it is a top choice for you and you are confident that you would not have regrets about closing other options were you to be admitted, ED is a smart choice to increase your odds. By being admitted to the first half of the class, if you are from North Dakota, or play the oboe, or are a member of an underrepresented minority group, or a first generation student, or a legacy, you will receive full consideration before those slots are filled by other talented students who could fill those same slots.

    But if you want to keep your options open, do not despair. Lots of students are admitted RD every year. In fact, more are admitted RD than ED, because many of the people admitted RD end up picking another college, so they have to admit plenty of RD applicants to account for that.

    And choose your extracurricular activities by what you actually want to do! Have fun in high school doing what you love. There are tons of students at Williams who were high school athletes who put tons of time into their sport in high school but were nowhere good enough to even think about playing on a varsity team at Williams. Your activities do not just match to needs at Williams. They show what matters to you as an individual and what you made of the opportunities available to you.

    Best of luck in your college search and application process!
    · Reply · Share
  • am9799am9799 1037 replies30 threads Senior Member
    Until visiting Williams I never been to a college info session that they did not say at lest one good thing about ED. At a minimum they said "if our college is your first choice you "should" consider applying ED. " Well the Williams admission officer said that even if Williams is your first choice you could still take your time and apply RD. She clearly said that the ED higher acceptance rate is for people that they would be admitted anyway. She was very, very clear about it. Almost discouraging people for applying ED. It was weird. People kept asking questions and she kept insisting that really you do not get any advantage.
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    There is a distinct advantage. More than half the seats are filled by ED. Not all athletes apply ED either. Nor do necessarily the best candidates as many of them are saving their early card for HPY et al.
    edited June 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 6089 replies97 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    If not recruited, OP's XC experience will be considered an EC, similar to band, etc.

    ED odds are probably higher than RD, even after stripping out recruited athletes, URMs/Questbridge and legacy/donor connected applicants, but it is difficult to guesstimate the degree of advantage.

    @HPTD12 wrote:
    Some base assumptions: 30% of Williams students are athletes and 3/4 of the athletes are admitted ED. That means of 550 entering freshmen, about 123 are athletes admitted ED.
    So the ED admit rate of non-athletes would be 132/565 = 23%

    This estimate of 123 recruited athletes is too high. NESCAC schools get 14 football slots, 2 for every other sport. Williams has 30 sports, so that's a max of 72 slots. Various reports over the years from the Williams Record and Ephblog suggest that Williams limits the slots beyond the maximum allowed by the conference...one article cites only 66 slots are typically allowed per year. Many student-athletes walk-on to Williams teams (were not recruited athletes)...that's how the teams get filled out and total estimate of athletes at Williams ranges from 30%-40%.

    These estimates also do not take into account URMs/Questbridge/WOW attendees and legacy/connected donor applicants....and these students are a significant proportion of those accepted. We don't have the ED/RD breakdowns, but 254 Class of 2023 acceptances across both ED and RD were from Questbridge (254/1,205 or 21% of total acceptances). Another 139 acceptances were from WOW attendees (11.5% of total acceptances). https://communications.williams.edu/news-releases/3_19_2019_class2023/

    These numbers (32.5% of total acceptances were just QB and WOW, about another 5-6% athletes and some % of legacy/donor kids) illustrate how difficult it is for an unhooked applicant to be accepted to Williams, whether ED or RD.

    edited June 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • HPTD12HPTD12 113 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @Mwfan1921 so to answer the OP's original question...using only 72 athletes (more on that in a minute) and again assuming 3/4 go ED, then the idea of a non-athlete's changes ED at William get even better! The non-athlete ED admit rate would be 201/634=32%. Even if all 72 athletes went ED, the non-athlete ED acceptance rate would be 30%.
    The reality is that the number of athletic slots quoted above is for "tips," not for the actual number of recruits ( and recruits are not told - "you are a tip" or "you are not a tip"). For example, Williams will have at least 20 new football recruits this fall (and all NESCACs will have more than 14): http://www.d3boards.com/index.php?topic=4146.15720
    All recruits, regardless of tip status, are strongly encouraged to apply ED or risk their roster spot.
    So to be on the safe side, the ED admit rate for non-athletes is in the 23-32% range, far greater than the RD rate, i.e. there is indeed an advantage to applying ED to Williams. Best of luck!
    · Reply · Share
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 6089 replies97 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    @hptd12 ED acceptance rate for an unhooked applicant is unlikely to be >20%. Again, you are not including all the other hooked candidates (beyond athletes, who absolutely do know if they have a tip, or only soft support or no support 'you can be on the team if you get in on your own') that also go thru ED (QB, WOW, URMs, legacy, donors).

    We don't have percentages for all of those groups by round of admission, but URMs are easily 25%+ of the acceptances in both rounds (again, just QB and WOW acceptances were 32.5% of the total for class of 2023 and most of those are URM). Another 10% of class of 2023 was international students, further decreasing available spots for unhooked candidates.
    edited June 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35921 replies404 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    NO one gets admitted in any ED round simply for being interested, applying early, and promising to attend if accepted.

    You need to be a fully compelling applicant. To be that, you need to understand what they look for. If you aren't 100%, NO advantage. Some colleges will deny and some defer a "maybe."

    So really, this is more about match and less about non-athlete hooks.

    Kids like the idea they can lock in. Adcoms want the kids they won't regret locking in. And they know they still have RD applicants, some of whom will be great matches.
    edited June 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Bear in mind that not all, not even half of all recruited athletes go ED at most schools. I know many many athletes over the years and most do not go ED
    · Reply · Share
  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 158 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @cptofthehouse Does that apply to Williams and other NESCACs, though, where I've read that athletes are encouraged to apply ED?

    This is only anecdotal and probably unhelpful, but as a student accepted ED, a huge number of other early admits appeared to be athletes, whether they were recruited, got soft support, or were walk-ons.
    · Reply · Share
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College 2262 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    Your “bucket” matters, too. A bunch of friends at Williams all requested their admissions files and compared notes. Some of them had been admitted ED, some RD. They saw their academic ratings, their overall recommendation ratings, their checked-off special “attributes” (like being African American, etc.), and- fascinatingly- the committee that had evaluated them. For example, one student’s file noted, “Decision rendered by the First Generation Committee,” another student’s file noted, “Decision rendered by the Division Two Committee,” and yet another’s noted, “Decision rendered by the Institutional Ties Committee.”

    ED probably increases your chance of being one of the people admitted from your bucket of similar applicants, before many of those spots already have been filled. But make no mistake- you are competing against applicants of similar backgrounds to your own.
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Only about 250 spots are open for Williams ED. About the same number left for RD. But a lot more applicants for RD.

    My son , and a number of athletes we well knew applied to Williams and like schools. Only one applied ED. Many athletes are still looking at other options and won’t cinch an ED deal. Also a lot of schools deal with athlete apps completely off the grid. Some of those athletes already signed junior year, some are ED, some are signed and go through a whole different process other students. Some even accepted after the app season. I do not believe majority of the athletes at Williams and like schools applied ED.

    What IS missing from the ED pool are the kids with very top stats going SCEA at HPYSM and ED at Ivies other select schools who will be looking Williams if they are rejected or deferred early.
    · Reply · Share
  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 158 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @cptofthehouse Unless we have an inside look at admissions (which we don't), neither of us have a basis for our statements that's not anecdotal. I suppose we'll just have to leave it at that :)
    I don't doubt the second part of your comment, but it applies to essentially all non-HYPSM schools. OP is asking specifically about Williams--to answer them, I'd say that yes, applying ED does confer an advantage regardless of how athletics work.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35921 replies404 threads Senior Member
    Again, no advantage if you aren't a top candidate.
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Williams is one of the most selective schools in the country. Absolutely, the student would have to be a contender to get accepted. ED improves the odds but even 20% isn’t a slam dunk, especially knowing that there flagged applicants in the group. But there are even more applicants flagged, as well in RD. It is no big stretch to say that odds are slightly better for anyone applying to Willians and most schools early.
    · Reply · Share
  • PetraMCPetraMC 1024 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    Here's a link to how many athletes are at Williams (doesn't list recruited vs walk on):

    https://ope.ed.gov/athletics/#/institution/details

    Edit: Whoops, you'll have to search for it on the site.
    edited June 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Williams has a full cadre of athletes which has a huge impact on the admissions picture because it is such a small school. That changes the true ED and RD chances for unhooked applicants. However, not all athletes are recruited and not all apply ED. That is the case at all schools.
    · Reply · Share
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6894 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Your odds are not worse as an ED applicant, and you will have signaled your interest. If it's your first choice and your stats are in line, go for it. You have nothing to lose.
    · Reply · Share
  • ivegraduatedmomivegraduatedmom 60 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited June 2019
    If you can remove the "probably" from your OP question and are a fit, then apply ED. If not, apply RD. Don't get crazy with stats. Don't get hung up by athletics. If Admissions thinks you are as good a match to WC as you think you are, then the likelihood is higher for ED admission. It's as simple as that. Do NOT make yourself nuts. Applicants have no idea just how much of a crap shoot this all is from the elite college admissions level. So many students are qualified. They're not just looking for traditional hooks. They're looking for the bassoonist for the orchestra. The accomplished hiker to take over the Outing Club. The science kid to work in research. The multiple-language whiz who brings the world to Williams.

    While anecdotal, both our kids were admitted ED. DS was a science and leader kid (yes, he did end up playing club rugby, but that was a new sport for him). DD was the choir kid and hiker. No legacy or First Gen or anything. Nothing special other than their "kid" status was state and/or national level special. They felt Williams was a fit for them for different reasons, except they're both mountain people. And they were a fit for the needs of the college. No traditional hooks at all. I say this every year to encourage kids who aren't WOW or sports recruits or legacies to apply. Find what is special about you and let them know. Don't try to fit into the boxes. When everyone has different things that make them stand out, that makes a vibrant community.

    They're still those people although they've grown tremendously following new paths supported by Williams. Don't obsess about who you aren't in hopes of the 'golden ticket.' Be you. You will find your place. I promise. Good luck.
    edited June 2019
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity