William & Mary receives a record number of applications

William and Mary snow sign.jpg
William and Mary.jpg
Posted at 1:55 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 22:45:26-05

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – William & Mary is seeing record numbers of applicants.

For the incoming Class of 2025, the university saw a 23% increase. About 17,400 applications came in, compared to last year’s 14,200.

"Quite frankly when you think about it, there have been some incredible successes with this pivot to virtual or remote format,” said Tim Wolfe, Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admission.

In addition to the overall increase, applications were up more than 20% from first-generation students and minorities. Dean Wolfe says even prior to the pandemic, they were increasing outreach efforts.

“It’s something we’ve been working on long before this year, but it’s great to see that even in this difficult situation that we face this year, that we’re seeing such strong interest from first-generation students,” stated Wolfe, who added, “It’s great to see, again, in this given year students applying from underserved populations and underrepresented populations seem to be in our applicant pool in record numbers.”

Though the university wasn’t able to offer traditional on-campus group tours, Wolfe says they gave virtual tours and found other ways to maintain a connection, including opportunities for incoming students to talk with staff and current students.

Out of that 17,400, William & Mary will only select about 1,600 for its incoming class for the Fall.

When it comes to what they’re looking for, Wolfe says they still desire students who are academically strong and show they want to be part of the community. He said the admissions team understands that applications may look a bit different this year.

“Things are just different in terms of what types of extra-curricular activities, what types of Summer opportunities might be available. I think we’ve really gone out of our way to listen to students and their individual experiences and understand that it might look a little bit different than it has in years past,” Wolfe explained.

Dean Wolfe advises high school students to apply to more than one college and not rule out community colleges.

“If they start at one of the excellent Virginia community colleges we have here in the Commonwealth, and then do a program there and apply as a transfer student, a lot of times, that can be a great way for that student to get to William and Mary.”

Admission offers for new students will go out in late March or early April. Dean Wolfe said they have tough decisions ahead of them.

One additional change is the traditionally required standardized tests. Wolfe said A.C.T. or S.A.T. scores will not be required this year or for the next three years as part of a pilot program.

He added, “Our process is a holistic review process. We look at many factors, academic and otherwise.”