Established in 1693, the College and William and Mary is a well-revered public college with a suburban campus spanning 1,200 acres of historic Williamsburg, VA.
According to the 2023 edition of US News and World Report’s annual list of the best colleges in the United States, the College of William and Mary ranks #41 in the country.
William and Mary has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,797 students, with an additional 2,857 students enrolled in graduate programs.
With 54 undergraduate major programs and 62 minors, the school has a wide range of options for degree tracks for students to choose from. William and Mary is also home to over 30 graduate and professional degree programs, as well as 14 graduate certificates.
At the College of William and Mary, students have the opportunity to participate in more than 450 clubs, sports teams, and other extracurricular organizations.
On top of that, William and Mary is well-known for its dedication to public service. Over the past two years, over 1,000 W&M students have dedicated nearly 12,000 hours to thousands of community service projects in the Williamsburg area.
If you are a non-Virginia resident looking for a fantastic college to attend, then the College of William and Mary could be an excellent fit for you. Read on to learn more about what this school has to offer, tips for applying as an out-of-state student, acceptance rates, and more.
College of William and Mary Out-of-State Acceptance Rate
The out-of-state acceptance rate at the College of William and Mary is 28%.
According to the university, the acceptance rate for all students — including in-state, out-of-state, transfer, and other applicants — is 33%. Looking at these figures, one can see that out-of-state students are only 5% less likely to be admitted to the school, while in-state students are nearly 10% more likely to be offered admission.
The national average acceptance rate for all four-year colleges in the United States is 68%. Thus, it can be said that the College of William and Mary is a moderately selective institution.
One reason for the considerable difference in acceptance rates for in- and out-of-state students at William and Mary is that it is a public school.
The majority of public colleges openly prefer in-state students in the admissions process, with some schools even implementing quotas for the number of in-state students they admit each year.
Although the school does not have a specific quota dictating how many Virginia students they admit, looking at their admissions statistics, W&M is no exception among public schools.
Consider, for example, the fact that 60% of students admitted to the graduating class of 2026 were Virginia state residents. The remaining 49 states — as well as international students — collectively made up only 40% of the class.
With the school striving to admit such a large percentage of in-state students, there are simply fewer seats available for out-of-state students.
That being said, non Virginia residents who are interested in attending the College of William and Mary can rest assured that there are numerous other factors at play in the admissions process, and in-state students are not always at an advantage.
Demonstrated academic ability is one of the most critical factors in determining an individual student’s likelihood of being admitted to the school.
College of William and Mary Out-of-State Tuition
As of the 2022-23 academic year, the cost of tuition for one year of study at the College of William and Mary is $40,089.
Taking all estimated additional fees and other expenses — such as educational materials, travel, and room and board — into account, the total cost of attending the school comes to a grand total of $64,346.
For in-state students, on the other hand, the school is far less expensive. Annual tuition to the school is just $17,434. Adding on living expenses and fees, the total cost of attendance is $40,824 — almost the same as the cost of tuition alone for out-of-state students.
Although financial aid is available, in-state students also have an advantage in this regard. In 2013, the college introduced the William and Mary promise, a tuition support plan that involved measures such as freezing tuition increases for in-state students, implementing tuition caps, and doubling the amount of financial aid given to this group of students.
Through the W&M program, the college regularly provides in-state students with 100% of demonstrated financial need. On the other hand, out-of-state students receive a maximum of 25% of their cost of attendance through institutional grants.
On the bright side, W&M offers many different types of aid that can help out-of-state students cover their tuition. For one, the college has three merit-based scholarship award programs: 1693, William & Mary, and James Monroe.
There are also department awards, such as the Order of the White Jacket, which is awarded to students who work in food service either on-campus or in the Williamsburg area.
Becoming a Residence Life Student Staff member is another way for out-of-state students to alleviate the financial burden of attending W&M, as students in these positions receive scholarships for campus housing and an annual living stipend of $3,000.
College of William and Mary Requirements and Tips for Out-of-State Students
Regardless of the state of residence, all students interested in applying to the College of William and Mary must fill out the Common Application online. In addition to basic information, the Common Application includes a personal essay prompt.
The personal essay is an excellent opportunity for out-of-state students to show the admissions team who they are as an individual, shedding light on why they are an excellent fit for the school.
With the essay being one of the more essential aspects of the application, out-of-state students should ensure that their writing is logically organized, powerfully written, and free of grammatical errors in order to really impress W&M admissions officials.
The school offers three different admission plans: early decision I, early decision II, and regular decision. Both early admission programs are binding, meaning that those who choose to apply early must enroll at William & Mary if offered admission.
For this reason, out-of-state students should not choose to apply early unless they are certain that the steeper tuition rate will not pose an insurmountable financial burden.
Additionally, committing to a binding early application program means that there will be no opportunity to compare and contrast financial aid offers from other schools, so only those who are 100% confident that W&M is the right fit should opt for these plans.
In addition to completing the Common Application, students are also required to submit a secondary school report, including an up-to-date high school transcript and a letter of recommendation written by a school counselor.
After receiving their first semester grades, applicants also need to submit a midyear school report form so that the admissions department can ensure that their academic performance does not decline significantly while reviewing applications.
There is also a $75 application fee, although fee waivers are available. Given the higher cost of attendance for out-of-state students, these applicants would be wise to apply for a waiver.
Is the College of William and Mary Right for You?
When choosing a college to attend, it is vital to remember that your individual needs, preferences, and aspirations play a significant role in determining your ideal school. Just as no two schools are the same, no two students are the same.
That being said, the College of William and Mary is truly an excellent school. Many students choose to attend this amazing college for many reasons.
One of the benefits of attending the College of William and Mary is that the school is home to robust research programs.
In fact, an 80% majority of undergraduate students at W&M take part in research projects under the guidance of faculty members, many of whom are leading experts in their fields of study.
Almost 60% of undergraduate students at William and Mary study abroad at some point during their time at the school, going to more than 55 countries. Thus, students who are interested in experiencing other cultures in an academic setting are likely to find themselves very happy at W&M.
Another area in which the College of William and Mary excels is in undergraduate teaching. According to US News and World Report, the college ranks #7 in the nation in terms of the quality of its academic instructors.
William and Mary is also an excellent choice of undergraduate institution for students who value small class sizes. The school boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, offering students the opportunity to get to know their peers and receive ample one-on-one attention and support from their professors.
If the above was not enough to show that William and Mary is a stellar school, consider their first-year retention rate.
An impressive 95% of freshmen students who go to W&M return to the school for an additional year of study, showing that they generally find themselves happy with what the school offers.