The future of William & Mary is here — and it is bright!

This Saturday, more than 1,200 newly admitted undergraduate students and their families will visit campus and experience some of what makes the Alma Mater of the Nation so unique, including the most personal education of any public university in the United States.

William & Mary’s annual Day for Admitted Students (DFAS) provides an opportunity for attendees to explore living and learning at the university, while also connecting with current students and other members of the admitted class. 

“This is always such an exciting time of year as the entire campus is preparing for Day for Admitted Students,” said Associate Dean of Admission Kate Perry. “It is in great celebration that we come together to showcase all that is exceptional about our community as we welcome the newest members to their future home.

“This year promises a chance to meet their fellow classmates and connect with faculty and staff, figure out which new clubs and organizations they may wish to join, the opportunity to touch a brain during a lecture and even a bounce house or two.” 

An impressive group 

Approximately 5,800 students were offered admission to the Class of 2028 from a pool of 17,787 – an overall admission rate of 33%. Since 2020, the university has experienced a 25% increase in total applications.

For the third consecutive year, William & Mary saw a record number of Early Decision applicants, with a total of 1,586 applications for both rounds of the process. Early Decision notifications were sent to applicants in December and January, and Regular Decision notifications were sent out on March 22. The Class of 2028 is expected to include about 1,650 students when it starts at the university in fall 2024.

This year’s group of admitted students is diverse and academically accomplished, boasting an SAT middle 50th percentile of 1430-1530 and an ACT middle 50th percentile of 33-35. Additionally, among those with a class rank, 90% were in the top 10% of their classes. William & Mary continues to offer a standardized test-optional process, and 30% of admitted students applied without standardized test scores this year. 

The students hail from locations across the country and around the world. Altogether, the students represent 65 countries and 49 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Northern Mariana Islands. 

“There is much to be impressed by from this group of admitted students when you consider all that they’ve accomplished in and out of the classroom,” said Tim Wolfe, associate vice president for enrollment and dean of admission. “However, what really stood out to our team went beyond that. Their voices, their stories and their experiences illustrated why they will be an outstanding fit for the William & Mary community and immerse themselves in all this university has to offer. We can’t wait to welcome them to campus soon.”

Expanding access

William & Mary has a long-standing commitment to meet 100% of the demonstrated financial need of in‑state Virginia residents and has been working in recent years to expand access and increase the socioeconomic diversity of the student body. 

Last year, William & Mary launched a program to guarantee scholarship aid to cover at least the cost of tuition and fees for all in-state, undergraduate Pell Grant-eligible students. The university also announced the Lighting the Way Scholarship, which will support selected out-of-state, Pell Grant-eligible students starting with the 2024-2025 academic year.

In addition, the university last fall launched the Commonwealth Impact Partners Program (CIP), which partners with select Virginia high schools to identify high-achieving, limited-income and first-generation students for the W&M Scholars Program. 

As a result of those and similar efforts, the university offered admission to 6% more in-state, first-generation students this year than last and 10% more in-state students who used an income-based application fee waiver. The university also made 47% more W&M Scholar award offers this year than last, including 70 to students who were nominated by their schools as part of the CIP program.

Additional opportunities

This year’s DFAS festivities kick off in the newly renovated Kaplan Arena and include a number of sessions on the university’s academic and extracurricular offerings, from scientific research to the fine and performing arts. William & Mary is currently celebrating the Year of the Arts and recently opened two facilities as part of the new Arts Quarter.

Admitted students who are unable to attend DFAS will have an additional opportunity to visit campus before the enrollment deadline of May 15, which was extended this year in light of national delays impacting the FAFSA and financial aid. The university’s Green & Gold Days for admitted students are scheduled for April 19, 22 and 29. 

While the Office of Undergraduate Admission is looking forward to welcoming the admitted class to campus over the next few weeks, they are already meeting potential members of the classes of 2029 and 2030. Between March 23 and April 5, the university welcomed more than 6,000 visitors to campus, many of them being high school students and their families taking advantage of their spring breaks to tour institutions of higher education as they begin their college searches. 

“We’re excited to welcome these immensely talented students and their families to campus,” said Jeremy P. Martin, vice president for strategy and innovation. “For many, this will become their college home with DFAS the first meeting of faculty who become mentors and classmates who become lifelong friends. The enthusiasm is palpable as they discover they belong here at William & Mary.”

, Senior Associate Director of University News