Williams College appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Rankings: Best Small Colleges

Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges with the Best ROI

25 Best Value Colleges

Williams College's history dates back to the 1790's when it was established as a small, private learning institution. Today, it is a liberal arts college that serves approximately 2,000 students every year. Around 500 first-year students enter every year and about 90 percent graduate within four years. Williams College may be small, but it offers over 150 on-campus student organizations. Over 96 percent of students are involved in at least one group. For example, over 40 percent of students participate in intercollegiate athletics. There are over 30 varsity intercollegiate teams and 20 athletic club teams. Williams College is a proud member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

There are around 350 faculty and 90 percent have doctorate degrees. The student-faculty ratio is seven to one. There are only three academic divisions: social sciences, languages and the arts and science and mathematics. They are comprised of 25 departments and 36 majors with a few special programs. Williams College has quite a few notable alumni, many of whom made significant legal, cultural, economic, research and political contributions. This includes Hollywood directors Elia Kazan and John Frankenheimer and actors David Strathairn, Wang Leehom and Carolyn McCormick. Notable business people include Steve Case, who founded America Online, and Herbert Lehman, who co-founded Lehman Brothers. James Garfield, the 20th President of the United States, and many notable legislators, governors and bureaucrats also graduated from Williams College.

Williams College sits on a 450 acre campus in Williamstown, which is in northwestern Massachusetts. Because it was established in the 1790's, it boasts a rich history. For example, it has the oldest existing astronomical observatory in the U.S. The Chapin Library contains over 50,000 books, many of which are rare historical books, maps, prints and photographs. This includes original paintings of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. It also includes first edition copies of books by scientific figures such as Galileo, Copernicus and Isaac Newton. Williams College offers modern facilities and a host of accomplished professors, so it is consistently ranked as one of the best undergraduate schools in the U.S.

Williams College Accreditation Details

-Williams College is accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges' Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

Williams College Application Requirements

Williams College is one of the most selective learning institutions in the U.S. Out of the average 6,900 students who apply every year, only 1,200 will be admitted and 500 will ultimately enter. Williams College accepts the following applications: the Common Application, the Coalition Application and the QuestBridge application. There are limited admissions requirements for curriculum, but students are expected to take classes in math, English, social studies, natural science and foreign language. Academic records are the most important factor in the admission process, but community leadership is also important. The admissions committee highly regards non-academic achievements inside and outside of high school. Students must also submit SAT or ACT scores, a secondary school report, two teacher evaluations and a mid-year report. Students have the option of submitting additional application materials, such as a Williams writing supplement, scientific research abstracts and a visual or performing arts portfolio.

Williams College Tuition and Financial Aid

The annual rate of tuition is around $51,500 and lodging and fees is around $14,000. Over 50 percent of students receive aid that amounts to $46,900. This means that Williams College's alumni, friends and supporters give over 50 million dollars every year to students. Grant awards range from $5,400 to $64,000. Students must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to qualify for financial aid. This includes federal direct loans, which are awarded through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, such as direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans. There are also Direct PLUS and Direct Consolidation loans available. The Federal Work-Study program provides need-based employment to help students cover educational costs. The most common type of grant awarded is the Williams Grant, which is based on financial need.

Williams College's Popular Major

William's College has produced many famous public servants. The political major is a very popular degree that offers four contemporary specializations: political theory, American politics, international relations and comparative politics. Each major has its own introductory course and capstone project. In order to provide a true liberal arts foundation, all political students must two at least two classes in subfields outside their major. However, students are allowed to create their own individual concentrations through proactively studying classes regarding recognizable topics, such as international policy or democratic values. Thus, the requirements for each student to graduate will be slightly different.

To illustrate, an American politics concentration will use examples from history to understand how the political system was established and how it has changed throughout the years. This program will examine laws, voting, protests, inequality, the parties, the media, social values and group diversity. Students will combine these ideas together to understand the unique American political environment. A student who decides to study international relations will study similar topics, but in a much broader context and framework. Because there are no centralized institutions of authority, students will learn how foreign governments define and defend the justice and legitimacy of their actions.

International relations focuses upon the actions of foreign countries with each other, but the comparative study of politics studies the actions between parties, organizations and institutions. Students who want a unique perspective on national politics can study comparative politics. Students will try to answer questions related to why political life drastically differs between countries, why political administrations suddenly change and what factors contributes to a stable and effective government. Finally, the traditional specialization of political theory is primarily concerned with the norms, concepts and principles that mutually influence many areas of public behaviors and private life. This political philosophy concentration will seek to answer basic questions about society, justice, individuality, community, authority and human nature.

Williams College may be around 230 years old, but it still produces recognizable figures while offering students an exclusive academic experience.