Best Colleges in America 2022
college_name
Prev RANK: 5, Best Selective Colleges Next
Overall Score: 89.71

Williams College

Williamstown, MA http://www.williams.edu/
With a combination of high-quality academics and impressive career outcomes, Williams College is one of the highest-rated liberal arts schools in Money's rankings. Among its standout traits: plenty of personalized attention (the student-faculty ratio is a low 6:1) and an innovative tutorial system, modeled after one at Oxford University, that pairs two students who critique each other's papers and meet weekly with their professor. The system apparently works: 96% of students graduate, and recent grads earn an average of roughly $71,000 a year. The college also scores high in Money's analysis for its strong – and improving – financial aid. This year, Williams is switching to "all grant" financial aid packages that eliminate loans as well as work-study requirements. Located amid Massachusetts' Berkshire Mountains, the campus is rich with history: Its library displays a first folio of Shakespeare's plays and a number of founding documents of the U.S., including George Washington's copy of The Federalist Papers, an early draft of the Constitution, and other treasures. For fun, one Friday every October, the president cancels classes for Mountain Day, a Williams College tradition dating to 1800. Rather than go to class, students hike nearby Mount Greylock, picnic outdoors, and take polar bear plunges.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$68,400
% of students who get any grants
57%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$23,600
Average price for low-income students
$1,450

Admissions

Acceptance rate
13%
Median SAT/ACT score
1480/30
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
2,030

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
100%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit grants
N/A
Average merit grant
N/A

Student Success

Graduation rate
95%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
$13,000
Early career earnings
$71,610
% earning more than a high school grad
80%

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

More From Money’s College Team

  • Recent College News

    Recent College News

    Read the latest Money coverage on paying for college, succeeding on campus and transitioning to the working world.
  • How to Apply for the FAFSA

    How to Apply for the FAFSA

    The application is the gateway to billions of dollars in financial aid for college.
  • Best Student Loans

    Best Student Loans

    Learn all about private student loans with Money's expert guide.