Williams College and its war on its alumni

Goodbye to all that

Goodbye to all that

Here’s a report of Williams College’s admission decisions this year. I have absolutely no doubt that it is identical to the colleges many FWIW readers attended themselves.

Williams College Admits 1,150 students for class of 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., March 27, 2014—Williams College has extended offers of admission to 1,150 applicants for the Class of 2018. They were selected from a total applicant pool of 6,316, for an overall acceptance rate of 18 percent.

Of the admitted students, 566 are women and 584 are men. Ninety-nine students are non-U.S. citizens, representing 46 different nationalities. Among American students, 49 percent are students of color, 165 students are African American, 218 Asian American, 166 Latino, and 10 Native American. Sixteen percent (179) would be among the first generation in their families to attend college.

Among the admitted students living in the U.S.: 29 percent hail from the Mid-Atlantic; 19 percent from the West; 18 percent from the Northeast; 11 percent from the South; 8 percent from the Midwest; 6 percent from the Southwest. Six students are from Puerto Rico and one student is from Guam.

Let’s parse those numbers: 1,150 total, less 99 foreign born = 1051, 49% (515) of whom are “persons of color”. That leaves 536 openings for white boys and girls, 18% (48) each for children living in the northeast. Ch0ate, Exeter, Brunswick, Greenwich High, Rye High School, and on and on: 48 boys, 48 girls.

Essentially, Williams is telling its alumni and all white children from privileged backgrounds to forget applying. That’s the school’s choice; it’s a private institution and can do as it pleases, but I wonder whether the endowments of schools like Williams are large enough to survive the complete cut-off of alumni donations? If not, how do they intend to fund the education for all the “persons of color” they now prefer?


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37 responses to “Williams College and its war on its alumni

  1. Cos Cobber

    If the kids have the scores – then this is a snores.

    And isn’t 50/50 more in line with current infant demographics? And so, yes they are 18 years ahead.

  2. legacy

    forgot to subtract white legacy making the pool for the avg joe applicant less and less. pile #6 by the time all the other priorities are considered. who wants to be in the woods of Berkshire with all the ticks. used to be a great place. I guess peter sentry (the family of asbestos producers) got in though.

    • Even for legacies, restricting admission to 48 each for boys and girls from the Northeast doesn’t allow for many. This is a wonderful social experiment, but again, why will anyone give money to a school their children won’t be allowed to attend, and how will these schools fund their operations a decade from now?

      • Online college is going to kick their ass by then

        Colleges realize their Utopian Society Literature classes are worthless. Many faculty fear on line will be just as acceptable if not more meaningful in terms of lessons passed on. No more Art majors.

  3. Reader

    The answer is that Williams and its peer Amherst have $2 Billion endowments, which allow their administrations and admissions departments to virtually ignore their alumni and donors. It’s interesting, though, that your excerpt does not show them bragging about the SATs, GPA’s, and leadership positions. That’s because they care mostly about diversity, not excellence. And I would not include Asian-Americans in the “students of color”. The Asians they reject probably have higher scores than anyone else they admit.

    • Publius

      Ironically, it is the white capitalists that funded/fund these robust endowments. And what does the Admin do?? A youtube clip is worth a thousand words!!

  4. Colleges are not so special anymore

    College meant something in 1960 when only 20% of students went to college. Now everyone goes or tries to. Most work to pay the horrible tuition bills to pay presents $500K at a minimum and faculty pensions for life. Not many schools really have stellar faculty anymore.

    At this point, you may as well just brag about what grad school your kid got into because in the end, a college degree today (wherever its from) is little more than toilet paper unless the kid has some remarkable talent (that college can improve upon).

  5. ML

    Libetard waste of money school. Just for the fact that they feel like they are doing a “social service” by highlighting that 49% of the students are “of color”.

  6. Country Club Colleges

    It will take more than bringing minorities to change the perception people have of these little white ivies. They are small, inward thinking, liberal, Democrat bastion of faculty who no longer relate to the Eisenhower conservatives that built the place.

    Biddy, the Amherst President, recently celebrated bringing Rachel Maddow to campus. Give me a break. She can not even do a good job of covering up rapes on her campus.

  7. Anonymous

    Who cares if someone is of color or is white as long as they are academically accomplished. Are you saying that the non-whites don’t measure up?

    • I’m saying that most Williams alumni are white – by barring their children from school, Williams is telling their fathers (and mothers who graduated after 1975 or so) that neither their children nor, by extension, their money are welcome. That’s fine if you’re Yale or Harvard – I doubt the small, elite-but-non-ivies can survive.
      And by the way, I am saying that non-whites (and non-Asian) students are not as academically qualified, nor are their SAT tests equal to those they are admitted in lieu of.

    • Joey

      Don’t forget the assumption that only white people do give money to schools and minorities can’t afford to pay the tuition. This is as about as outdated as it gets and makes CF look quite dinosaurish. Let’s pull ourselves up from the 80s my friends.

      • That’s not my point; surely some of the current crop of Williams undergraduates will go on to financial success and, several decades from now, may want to contribute to the school that helped them enjoy that opportunity. However, how does the school get there from here? By telling its current alumni that, essentially, their children will not be welcome at the school, Williams is risking drying up alumni contributions. Would you leave such a school money in your will, or make a substantial contribution to it in your lifetime?
        Someone will have to fund the college’s current financially-blind admissions policy: who will that be?

        • No more cash to give

          I think Williams realizes they have tapped the white people pocket dry by now and they are a constituent who have nothing left to give anyway. BUT THEY WILL PROBABLY TAKE WILLIAMS OUT OF THEIR WILLS.

      • hmmm

        Yeah you’re right Joey the majority of the money (probably 90%) doesn’t come from white alumni.

  8. Anonimo

    The message here is if you live in the north east don’t send your kid to local public or private, or a New England prep school. Send your kid to Iowa to live with a farm family and little Winchester is good to go to Yale.

  9. Anonymous

    We are dishing out a generation of women’s studies and comparative transgender samoan poetry majors.

    God help us.

    • hmmm

      Just steer your children in the other direction and they’ll be fine.

      This is a blessing in disguise as these kids will not be employable and in a society with increasing productivity and fewer people needed in the workforce it will work out to your children’s advantage.

      • Anonymous

        Unfortunately the comparative transgender literature studies majors will become community organizers and end up sucking the productivity out of society, either through getting welfare (since they’re unemployable) or getting elected to public office.

        We’ve seen that happen firsthand by some guy who’s doing much the same.

  10. BigMick

    I find your parsing numbers HILARIOUS.
    You make ridiculous assumptions. You forget that all the Asians accepted could be girls. The Andover and Exeter kids will always be accepted as well as the legacies. No issue there. Endowments have to be maintained.
    Let’s face it, math and stats are NOT your strongest suits.

    • Anonimo

      Huh? Chris’s parsing is accurate if you read it correctly. The Andover and Exeter kids are included in the quota, not exempted. And legacy kids, except the offspring of building donors, are not getting in. Talk to the kids in the class of 2014.

    • If you are going to expose yourself as an idiot why don’t you change your moniker so that your fellow bog trotters aren’t embarrassed by the association? Go back, read what I said, then look at the numbers, and ask an Englishman to explain it to you.

      • BigMick

        Sorry to hear that Rye High School is not getting a look-in.

        My commiserations.


        Please pass on on my sympathies to your nearest and dearest.

        Your English references are lost on me. While my grandfather ran guns for the IRA back in the Black and Tans era, I find my closest friends in Greenwich now to be both Irish and English.


  11. See George Mason cruel rejection letter

    They probably accept everyone so only the most crazy applicants get told “we strongly recommend you consider other schools for college”. How down right cruel. Thanks for the advice George Mason, you suck anyway.


  12. weakleyhollow

    Screw ’em.

  13. Anonymous

    I’m getting the sense that part of the way Williams makes the money game work (for now) is they make damn sure the 48 X 2 white northeasterners they admit are paying full freight. In other words, financial aid is available only for their preferred students.

    • Anonymous

      I can attest that this is a very good assumption. In fact, as someone who digs deep to make these $60k/year payments, I called out the Williams President on this topic after receiving one of his gratuitous emails about need blind, pay only what you can afford, bulk of aid is grants and students graduate with modest loans, yada yada. I did get a response but it was along the line of I must be mistaken as they are very fair in their financial aid evaluations.

  14. Mazama

    On April 1st (no less) it has been reported that Harvard has announced changes to its admissions policy that make the new Williams’ admissions standards seem like something thought up by a reactionary troglodyte:

    “Harvard is now dedicated to serving the ‘differently intellectual’ and ‘differently learned’ or DIDL students.”

    Original at: http://www.libertylawsite.org/2014/04/01/harvards-faustian-bargain/

    Harvard to Go Egalitarian

    In a move designed to foster diversity and to create a university that “thinks like America,” Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, the President of Harvard University announced yesterday that the school will embrace egalitarian admissions. The school will no longer give priority to students with good grades, high SAT scores, and impressive extra-curricular activities. Such policies have, Dr. Faust acknowledged, created an “elitist” and “inegalitarian” atmosphere at the college. “It is unacceptable in 2014 to be favoring the intelligent over the unlearned, and the energetic over the slothful,” she proclaimed. Starting next year Harvard’s incoming class will have SAT scores ranging from six to sixteen hundred to produce, for the first time, a truly diverse freshman class. The class’ scores will resemble the distribution of scores across the United States.

    This mission will extend beyond admissions: “Harvard is now dedicated to fighting ‘thinkism” in all its guises. No longer will Professors grade students based upon how ‘well’ they think or write, or solve math problems or speak French.” Instead, fairness dictates that grades will be assigned by lot–like elections in ancient Athens, the only way to ensure that students who are “better prepared” for college or “better able” to read, write, and think, will not use their time at Harvard to perpetuate their educational and intellectual privilege.

    A press release declares that “Harvard is now dedicated to serving the ‘differently intellectual’ and ‘differently learned’ or DIDL students.” The idea that some are “smarter” than others is a prejudice that we need to overcome. The twenty-first century, the era of Hope and Change, is an age of equality. Gone are the days when knowing the difference between “their” and “there,” or references to dead White European males like Goethe or Marlowe were used to perpetuate privilege. There is no reason to favor an applicant who has been reading Shakespeare since he was ten over one who has watched every episode of “Sponge Bob” fifty times.

    This summer, the entire Harvard faculty will be trained in sensitivity to needs of DIDL students. There is talk of an, as yet undetermined, plan for affirmative action for “Low IQ Americans.” The Puritans who founded Harvard held that “there is no sin but ignorance.” But they also burned witches, Harvard noted.

    Unconfirmed rumors suggest that the move was prompted by the threat of a lawsuit on behalf of the DIDL community by the Department of Education. Facing a court battle that the University was likely to lose, Dr. Faust made a bargain with Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education . . .

  15. Anonymous

    I’m against any ism except deadbeat tenant evictionism.