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Overall Score: 89.71

Williams College

Williamstown, MA
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.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

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.

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