Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 47.35
Liaison Mike Evans
Submission Date Aug. 1, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Williams College
PAE-10: Affordability and Access Programs

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Paul Boyer
Director of Financial Aid
Financial Aid
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of the institution’s participation in federal TRIO programs:

A brief description of the institution’s policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students?:
Williams meets 100% of demonstrated financial need, even for the neediest students. Williams has a zero loan policy for students from families with incomes below $75,000 which enables low-income students to graduate with little if any student loan debt. Though our maximum loan debt is $16,000 after four years, many students are eligible for a reduced loan expectation if their parent contribution is below $20,000. Further, students with parent contributions below $4,000 are eligible for a Health Insurance Grant to cover the cost of state mandated health insurance coverage and lower student summer savings expectations - and all students eligible for aid receive a book grant to cover the full cost of required texts and course reading packets thereby exempting them from any out-of-pocket costs for reading materials.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to equip the institution's faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:
Though multi-layered, the Admission Office’s strategy for low-income largely centers on two main components: the Windows on Williams (WOW) fall fly-in program, and a formal relationship with QuestBridge, a national non-profit organization. Every fall, we invite roughly 150 low-income and first-generation college students for an all-expense-paid three day and two night visit to campus for WOW. WOW affords prospective students an opportunity to sit-in on classes, meet faculty and staff, attend admission and financial aid workshops, stay in a dormitory, and ultimately, experience Williams first-hand. Though we hope students will apply and subsequently matriculate as Williams students, the scope of presentation for WOW students differs from the standard model for the typical Williams prospective student;, given the socioeconomic background of most WOW students, we serve primarily as de facto college counselors for this constituency rather than admission officers presenting a “hard-sell” of Williams College. In creating a counselor oriented relationship with these students, we are able to maintain contact with them throughout the application process, providing multiple opportunities for contact that are not explicitly Williams focused. The goodwill created from these efforts often results in yielding a high percentage of WOW applicants who apply for first-year admission and are admitted. This year, we began the WOW recruitment process earlier than ever in the hopes to extend the relationship with low-income and first-generation students into the summer preceding their senior year. The majority of this year’s WOW attendees have also been notified of their selection earlier than ever (late July as opposed to early September in the past). Points of contact for these students have extended beyond the admission staff to current students as well, who are able to provide insight into life at a liberal arts college, and Williams in particular, via email or phone. Our relationship with QuestBridge is also integral insofar as it allows us to reach a broader range of low-income prospective students than would be possible otherwise. Every summer, Questbridge sends us a database of roughly 5,000 rising seniors, the majority of whom are low-income or first-generation. Of the 5,000 names we receive, roughly 10 to 20% are competitive for admission to Williams. These students, as selected by the diversity recruitment director, are then sent correspondence encouraging them to apply to the WOW program. Though we receive WOW applications from other venues, including but not limited to College Board searches, community based organizations (CBO’s), high schools, and other organizations work with, a noticeable portion of the WOW applicant pool are affiliated with QuestBridge.

A brief description of the institution’s other admissions policies and programs:

A brief description of the institution’s other financial aid polices or programs:

A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs not covered above:

The website URL where information about programs in each of the areas listed above is available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.