Jul 21, 2024  
2013 - 2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013 - 2014 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission & Financial Aid

Within the limits of its facilities and its obligations as a state university, The College of William and Mary offers the possibility of admission to all qualified students without regard to sex, 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 College evaluates each application on its own merits.

Application materials, including detailed information regarding undergraduate admission, may be obtained by consulting the College’s website (www.wm.edu) or by writing to the Office of Undergraduate Admission, The College of William and Mary, P.O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, Virginia, 23187-8795. Applications for the freshman class are due (postmarked or submitted online) by November 1 for Early Decision candidates and January 1 for Regular Decision candidates. Acceptance under Early Decision 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 in terms of positions available in the class at the time the application is received. No transfer applicant will be admitted as a degree candidate later than one week prior to the start of classes. No freshman applicant will be admitted from the waitlist later than August 1.

College policy prohibits the awarding of a second baccalaureate degree.

Notification to Applicants

Early Decision notifications are sent by early December. Regular Decision notifications are sent by April 1. Spring semester transfer applicants are sent decisions the first week of 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 College 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 are required to take either the SAT or the ACT. SAT Subject Tests are not required to complete an application, but can be helpful in the review process.

Students can meet the College’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 and 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 College, 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 must submit SAT or ACT scores, unless the student has been out of high school for more than five years.

Admission Prior to the Completion of High School

The College 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 College 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 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 College 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 College. 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 one year by notifying the Office of Undergraduate Admission of their intentions in writing. 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 fall and must submit a re-activate admission application by November 1. 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 year. 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 guidance 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 and 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 College 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 and 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 and 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 College but have not been in attendance for one or more semesters must submit an application for readmission to the Office of the Dean of Students and be readmitted before they are permitted to register for classes. Students should apply for readmission as soon as possible after making the decision to resume their studies at the College. Applications must be received before August 1 for fall semester, December 15 for spring semester, or May 1 for summer sessions. Students who are not in good standing with the College 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 www.wm.edu/registrar.

Admission to the Summer Sessions

In summer only, the college 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 www.wm.edu/registrar 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 College and its Honor Code.

Student Financial Aid

The Office of Student Financial Aid administers all financial awards to undergraduates. Most assistance is based on financial need, with a limited number of academic and talent scholarships. All correspondence regarding financial awards, except those made by ROTC, should be addressed to:

Director of Student Financial Aid
The College of William and 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 College’s Army ROTC Program. Requests for information should be directed to:

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

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to undergraduates who need additional resources to meet the costs of education at the College. Demonstrated need is established through the analysis of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Entering freshmen and transfer applicants also need to submit the College Scholarship Service’s (CSS) Profile. In most cases, Virginia undergraduates may expect sufficient support to enable them to attend the College for four years, while out-of-state undergraduates may in many cases expect partial support, with the level depending upon financial need and the availability of funds.

Assistance is offered for one year only, but it may be renewed for each succeeding year if need continues and the student otherwise qualifies. Renewal requires the completion of the FAFSA for each succeeding year. The College’s standard of satisfactory academic progress, which is generally the same as that required for continuance in the College, is outlined in the Guide to Financial Aid, available from the Office of Student Financial Aid at http://www.wm.edu/admission/financialaid/documents/1314FAGuide.pdf.

Entering students include early decision, regular decision and transfers. Early Decision applicants wanting a tentative determination of aid eligibility should submit the CSS Profile. ALL entering students should file the FAFSA by March 1. Returning students should file by March 15. Apply on time, as late applications may not receive full grant consideration.

The Financial Assistance Package

The financial assistance offer may include a grant, loan and/or Federal Work-Study. A grant is gift assistance and does not need to be earned or repaid. The Perkins Loan and Direct Loans must be repaid following graduation, while Federal Work-Study provides earnings during the academic session.

Financial Assistance for Students

Primary Assistance Sources

Federally funded programs include the Pell Grant, the Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loans, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and the Federal Work-Study Program. The State Student Incentive Grant is jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments. In Virginia, the program is known as the College Scholarship Assistance Program (CSAP).

Endowed scholarship funds made possible through the generosity of friends and alumni of the College provide need-based grants.

Special Scholarships and Programs

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

Studying Abroad

Students studying off campus will be eligible for financial assistance. Please read the information available on our website (http://www.wm.edu/admission/financialaid/howtoapply/studyaway/index.php) before applying for a study abroad program.

Financial Benefits for Veterans

Programs for Federal and State beneficiaries are available to eligible students who attend the College. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several programs to help veterans, active duty and dependents pay for their education including the Post 9-11 and Montgomery GI Bills as well as the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program. It is the student’s responsibility to decide which benefit is most appropriate for him/her based on individual circumstances and then apply to VA to use benefits through their website at www.gibill.va.gov. Students who receive educational benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs are ultimately responsible for all charges assessed by the College of William and Mary.

Questions about VA programs and the benefits process at W&M can be addressed to the Office of the University Registrar (757 221-2800 or vabenefits@wm.edu).