May 23, 2024  
2020 - 2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020 - 2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission & Financial Aid

Within the limits of its facilities and its obligations as a state university, William & Mary offers the possibility of admission to all qualified students without regard to gender, race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

Undergraduate Admission

Seeking students with diverse backgrounds, interests and abilities, and welcoming applications from all interested students, the university evaluates each application on its own merits.

Application materials, including detailed information regarding undergraduate admission, may be obtained by consulting the university’s website  Applications for the freshman class are due by November 1 for Early Decision candidates and January 1 for Early Decision II and Regular Decision candidates. Acceptance under Early Decision or Early Decision II is binding.

Transfer applicants should apply by November 1 for the spring semester and March 1 for the fall semester.

Acceptance of an application submitted after these dates will be considered on a case by case basis. No transfer applicant will be admitted as a degree candidate later than two weeks prior to the start of classes. No freshman applicant will be admitted from the waitlist later than August 1.

University policy prohibits the awarding of a second baccalaureate degree.

Notification to Applicants

Early Decision notifications are sent by early December, Early Decision II notifications by mid-February and Regular Decision notifications are sent by April 1. Spring semester transfer applicants are sent decisions in early December, and fall semester transfers are sent decisions by early May. Prior to enrollment, all students must submit official copies of their final transcripts.

Secondary School Preparation

Since more students apply than can be accommodated, the university uses a selective process of admission. Through this holistic process, the applicant’s total educational record is considered in relation to other students applying in an attempt to admit those with the strongest academic and personal credentials. Most candidates have pursued as strong a college preparatory program as is available to them. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, honors and accelerated courses are strongly weighted in the evaluation process. Candidates for admission typically have completed the following courses at the secondary level:

  • English: Four years (literature and strong training in writing)
  • Mathematics: Four years
  • Foreign Language (Ancient or Modern): At least four years of one foreign language recommended
  • History and Social Science: At least three years
  • Science (with laboratory): At least three years
  • Elective Courses: Advanced mathematics, history, natural science, English, music, art, drama and other humanities.

Candidates from Virginia high schools are encouraged to take a program leading to the Advanced Studies Diploma as a minimum.

Standardized Tests

Freshman applicants may submit the SAT and/or the ACT for consideration as part of their applications but are not required to do so.  Similarly, SAT Subject Tests are not required to complete an application, but may be submitted for consideration as an optional part of the application.

Students can meet the university’s foreign language requirement either by completing the fourth level of one foreign language in secondary school or by scoring 600 or above in the subject test in a modern foreign language or 650 or above in Latin. Students intending to continue a foreign language should see the “Foreign Language Requirement ” section for placement information.

Admission of Undergraduate Transfer Students

A transfer student is anyone who wishes to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at William & Mary and has attended another college or university after graduation from high school. Students admitted as freshmen do not receive college credit according to the same rules and agreements that apply to transfer students.

Transfer students are admitted for both the fall and the spring semesters. In order to enroll at the university, transfer applicants must be in good standing and eligible to return to their last institution of full-time attendance. Students who have completed less than a full year of college coursework at the time of application may submit SAT or ACT scores, for consideration as an optional part of the application.

Admission Prior to the Completion of High School

The university may admit as freshmen a limited number of students with outstanding records at the end of their junior year in high school. The Admission Committee expects that these students have exhausted their high school curriculum. Such students are encouraged to seek diplomas from their secondary schools after completing their freshman year, and they may be required to visit the campus for a personal interview as part of the admission process.

Concurrent Courses

The university allows qualified local students to take courses for college credit concurrently with their secondary school program. Initial approval should be requested through the high school administration prior to the filing of the application for non-degree status, which may be secured from the website of the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Admission as a concurrent student does not guarantee subsequent admission as a degree-seeking student.

Flexible Degree Track (FlexTrack) Admission for Nontraditional Students

Transfer and Freshman applicants may be eligible for admission as FlexTrack students if they live in the Williamsburg area, meet the usual admission standards of the university and can show compelling reasons why full-time status is not feasible. In determining whether FlexTrack status is warranted, consideration will be given to the applicant’s background. A FlexTrack student must earn a minimum of 12 hours each year (two semesters and a summer term) from the date of enrollment and must complete all degree requirements in effect at the time of enrollment, and all major requirements in effect at the time of the declaration of major. FlexTrack students are limited to no more than 10 credit hours in their first semester at the university. Students who believe they meet these standards because their status has changed since matriculation as a full-time student may petition the Committee on Academic Status for FlexTrack student status. Any FlexTrack students who wish to have their status changed to full-time may also petition the Committee on Academic Status. The Dean of Students Office must be notified in advance of semesters away, and students who do not comply must reapply for FlexTrack status when they wish to return.

A maximum of 20 FlexTrack students will be admitted in any one year, each assigned to an advisor who will stress the importance of building a coherent program. FlexTrack students will not be eligible for residence hall accommodations.

Deferred Enrollment for Admitted Freshmen

Students who are offered admission to the freshman class may request a deferral of their enrollment for either a semester or full year by notifying the Office of Undergraduate Admission of their intentions in writing by June 1. Students admitted during Early Decision or admitted from the waitlist are ineligible for deferred enrollment. Admitted freshmen who are approved for this option must commit to enrolling the following spring or fall and must submit a re-activate admission application by November 1. Students admitted to the St Andrews Joint Degree Programme may defer admission, but must begin in the following fall semester.  These students will be guaranteed space if they satisfy the requirements made as conditions of their original admission and do not enroll as a degree-seeking student at another institution. They must have an honorable record in the intervening deferral period. Assurance of future admission does not apply to students who enroll as degree-seeking at another institution; in such cases, it will be necessary to consider the student as a transfer applicant.

Admission to Non-Degree Status

During the Fall and Spring semesters, non-degree-seeking status is limited to: 1) students who have already earned baccalaureate degrees (official transcript required), 2) students on official visiting status from another domestic four-year college or university, and 3) concurrent high school students. Students in the first two categories should apply for non-degree status through the Office of the University Registrar. Current high school students seeking concurrent enrollment should inquire through their counseling offices to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Non-degree status is granted for one semester only; therefore, students must reapply every semester. Visiting students may attend William & Mary for one semester only. Non-degree applications must be received no later than one week prior to the first day of classes. Non-degree students are bound by all rules and regulations of the university and its Honor Code.

Non-Degree Status: Admission to Graduate Courses

In special circumstances, individuals who wish to take graduate courses in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences (courses numbered 500 and above) but not enter as a degree-seeking student may be allowed to do so. Such prospective students must first present evidence to the Office of the University Registrar that they have graduated from an accredited institution of higher education. In addition, individuals must be approved by the respective graduate department or program. Interested students should contact the Office of the University Registrar to request an application for non-degree-seeking status. International exchange students should make contact with the Reves Center for International Studies.

Visiting Students

Students enrolled full-time at other domestic four-year institutions may request to attend William & Mary for one semester provided they have permission from the sending college and they plan to return. Such students must submit the following materials to the Office of the University Registrar: 1) an application for non-degree-seeking status, 2) transcripts of all college work, and 3) a letter from the advisor or registrar at the sending school stipulating permissible courses that will transfer to that institution. Visiting students should be aware that course offerings and housing opportunities may be limited. International exchange students should make contact with the Reves Center for International Studies. Visiting students must enroll full-time unless specifically granted permission for part-time study.


Students who are in good standing with the university but have not been in attendance for one or more semesters must submit an application for reenrollment to the Dean of Students Office and be approved before they are permitted to register for classes. Students should apply for reenrollment as soon as possible after making the decision to resume their studies at the university. Applications must be received before July 15 for fall semester, November 15 for spring semester, or April 15 for summer sessions. Students who are not in good standing with the university should refer to the section on Reinstatement  within Academic Regulations. This process does not apply to former students who have since matriculated as degree-seeking students at other institutions. These students must apply as transfer students through the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Admission to Audit Status

Students, including senior citizens, who wish to audit courses with no credit should contact the Office of the University Registrar to obtain the appropriate forms for permission to audit. Forms are also available on the Registrar’s website at

Admission to the Summer Sessions

In summer only, the university may also enroll non-baccalaureate-degree-holders for non-degree coursework without the formality of the visiting student requirement that exists in Fall and Spring. Applicants should visit the University Registrar’s web site at for course offerings and application forms. Concurrent high school students must apply through the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Others should apply through the Office of the University Registrar. Admission to a summer session does not entitle the student to admission to the regular session or degree status unless an application is submitted and approved by the Office of Undergraduate Admission according to the regular application schedule. Summer school students are bound by all regulations of the university and its Honor Code.

Student Financial Aid

The Office of Student Financial Aid coordinates all financial assistance to undergraduate students. Most assistance is based on financial need, with a limited number of academic and talent scholarships available. All correspondence regarding financial assistance, (except aid provided by ROTC), should be addressed to:

Director of Student Financial Aid
William & Mary
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-8795

The Department of Military Science provides scholarships and other financial assistance for students enrolled in the university’s Army ROTC Program. Requests for information should be directed to:

Department of Military Science
William & Mary
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-8795

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to undergraduates who need additional resources to meet the cost of education at the university. Demonstrated financial need and eligibility for federal financial aid is established through an analysis of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Entering freshmen and transfer applicants must also submit the College Board’s (CSS), Profile application to be considered for institutional need-based financial aid. In most cases, in-state Virginia undergraduates may expect sufficient support to meet financial need, while out-of-state undergraduates may receive partial support.  All need-based assistance, is dependent upon demonstrated financial need and the availability of funds.

Assistance is offered on an annual basis, but may be renewed if demonstrated financial need continues and the student otherwise qualifies. Renewal requires the completion of the FAFSA for each succeeding year. The university’s standard of satisfactory academic progress, which is generally the same as that required for continuance at the university, is outlined in the Guide to Financial Aid, available at

Most financial assistance programs for undergraduates require full-time enrollment during the fall and spring semesters.  For federal aid purposes, only courses counting toward a student’s degree plan may be used to determine a student’s enrollment level.  Federal Loans require half-time enrollment.  Federal Pell Grants require full-time enrollment to receive 100% of a student’s annual eligibility.  Partial Pell Grants may be received as long as the student is enrolled in courses that count as part of the student’s degree.

Application and Notification timeline:  Entering students are classified as early decision, early decision 2, regular decision, and transfers. Early Decision applicants wanting a tentative determination of aid eligibility should submit the FASFA and CSS Profile by December 11. All other entering students should file the FAFSA by March 1. Entering freshmen and transfers should also submit the CSS Profile application by March 1. Returning students should file the FAFSA by March 15.  Applications submitted after the deadline may not receive full grant consideration (depending on fund availability).  Entering students receive award notifications shortly after notified of their admission decision.  Continuing students receive renewal aid notifications once spring grades are finalized.  

The Financial Assistance Package

The financial assistance offer may include a scholarship, grant, Federal Direct Student Loan, and/or Federal Work-Study. Grants and scholarships are gift assistance and do not need to be earned or repaid. Federal Direct Student Loans must be repaid following separation from W&M.  The Federal Work-Study Program provides the student earnings for work performed during period of enrollment.

Financial Assistance for Students

Primary Assistance Sources

Federally funded programs include the Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and the Federal Work-Study Program. State funded programs include the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP) and the Commonwealth Grant.

Institutional need-based grants are available to both in-state and out-of-state students.  Endowed scholarships made possible through the generosity of friends and alumni of W&M provide additional need-based assistance.

More information about financial aid programs is found at  

Special Scholarships and Programs

Grant funds controlled by the Office of Financial Aid are based on demonstrated financial need. However, some merit or achievement based grants are offered by various departments such as Admissions. Athletics, etc. The Alumni group Order of the White Jacket awards scholarships to students working in Williamsburg food service providers.

Studying Abroad

Students studying off campus may be eligible for financial assistance to assist with study abroad programs. Please read the information available on our website ( before applying for a study abroad program.

Veteran Education Benefits

The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determines student eligibility for VA education benefits. They offer several programs to assist those eligible to pay for their education including the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and the Montgomery GI Bill®.  Students decide which benefit is most appropriate based on individual circumstances and may apply to the VA through their website at or  Questions about the VA educational benefits process at William & Mary can be addressed to the Office of the University Registrar at

For individuals covered by Chapter 31 or 33 who present Certificate of Eligibility, Statements of Benefits, or VAF 28-1905 form from the Department of Veteran Affairs, William & Mary will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, nor require the borrowing of funds because of an inability to meet financial obligations due to the delayed disbursement of VA funding for tuition and fees.

However, for unpaid balances beyond the anticipated Post 9/11 GI Bill® payment amount, William & Mary may levy a fee or restriction.  

The Virginia State Approving Agency (SAA) is the approving authority of education and training programs for Virginia. That office investigates complaints of GI Bill beneficiaries. While most complaints should initially follow institutional grievance policy, if the situation cannot be resolved at the university, the beneficiary should contact that office via email


Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Program

The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP) is a Commonwealth of Virginia program administered by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS), which provides education benefits to spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who became totally and permanently disabled as a result of military service in covered military combat. 

The purpose of VMSDEP is to provide undergraduate, graduate, or other postsecondary education to eligible participants by providing a waiver of tuition and all required fees at any public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  For a listing of benefits and eligibility requirements, please visit the DVS website:, and select “Education & Employment” tab.