The Her Campus Pre-Collegiette Guide: William & Mary

School: College of William and Mary

Location: Williamsburg, VA

Funding: Public

Size: 7,795 total

Tuition and Fees: 6,094
Room: 2,600
Board: 1,700
Books, travel and incidentals: 1,375
Total (per semester): $11,769

Tuition and Fees: 16,882
Room: 2,600
Board: 1,700
Books, travel and incidentals: 1,375
Total (per semester): $22,557

W&M is primarily a need-based institution in terms of financial assistance for students. The College offers need-based aid through the Office of Financial Aid. To qualify students must complete and submit the FAFSA by February 15. The Financial Aid office distributes three different types of aid including federal and state grants, federal family educational loans and college work study. 

The Office of Admission offers three different types of merit based scholarships including the James Monroe Scholarship, Murray Scholarship and the William and Mary Scholarship. No additional application is necessary.

Majors: 50

The Mason School of Business
The College of Arts and Sciences
The School of Education

Why William and Mary?:
“I plan on going to grad school after college, so I wanted to choose the best value for my money, taking into account both reputation and cost.  William and Mary offered me the best combination of value and reputation that would help me transition into grad school.”

“I chose William & Mary because of its academic prestige, gorgeous, historical campus and the small, tight-knit community community size.”

“Every single student on this campus comes from a diverse background and my story is no different. My brother actually graduated from William and Mary in 2007, and after going to his graduation, meeting all of his friends, and seeing the school from a student's perspective, I could not imagine a place that I would love more.”

“I chose William & Mary because it was by far the best school to accept me, and I just knew I belonged here.”

“I chose William and Mary mostly for its prestige and reputation. I knew that it would be challenging enough to the point where I felt that I would always be pushing myself and not slacking, whereas some of the other schools that I visited made me fear that I would become stagnant.”

Would You Repeat Your Experience?:
“Yes, I would definitely choose W&M again because I have encountered so many invaluable opportunities and plenty of one-on-one attention here that has helped me jump-start my future in fashion business. It's the perfect size for me, and it's reputation continues to climb!”

“I definitely would. Aside from the amount of work, and semi-lack of eligible bachelors, there isn't really anything about this school I don't love. Sure, some of the kids in my classes are over-achievers or can seem kind of out-there, but it's all part of the experience. I'd rather be at a school where I personally know a lot of people and see them every weekend, then have a school where you constantly are anonymously meeting new people, as that comes at the cost of forming good relationships. I guess, ideally, I'd want a school that balances the two in the right way.”

“I tell my tours this all the time - in reality, I think one of the most amazing things about William and Mary is that I am now on my second year of school here, and I have yet to ever have a morning where I have woken up and doubted if this was the right place for me.”

“I would repeat my college experience. I'm so glad I chose to go to W&M because i think it's a much better fit than UVA (my first choice) would have been.”

“I would absolutely choose William and Mary all over again. I came into the college process with my heart set on a big, out-of-state school and was less than thrilled to choose W&M. However, you'll quickly learn what a tight-knit group of intelligent and eclectic people go here and I wouldn't change it for the world.”

“I enjoy the high-quality professors, flexible study options (i.e. study abroad), an incredible career center, and plenty of opportunities to be involved on campus, from Dance Team to Harry Potter Club.”

“The people. The atmosphere. The community.”

“I love that it's a small school and it's in the middle of Colonial Williamsburg. I'm a history nerd.”

“It's easy to have a multitude of friends here because it's so small and you see people you know on a daily basis walking around. People are quirky but genuinely sweet and welcoming.”

“Sorority rush is in the first couple weeks of school, which feels too soon. There are no Asian cuisine options on campus and there are too few parking spaces.”

“The schoolwork is the worst. I feel pretty stressed about grades and tests and homework most of the time.”

“As much as I like the academics are, they can be a bit much sometimes, to the point where I have very little free time to simply even sit down and enjoy some sunshine on one of our local beaches.”

“There's not much else to do besides go to bars or be involved in Greek life. We don't have fun concert venues or other activities like that close to campus.”
“Academics at William & Mary are very rigorous, and you will probably have a few all-nighters every semester, but in the end, you will be walking away with a much more valuable education.  You will find that you are much more prepared than your competition when it comes time to apply for jobs, internships, and post-grad education.  Academics must be a priority to be successful here, but we also live by the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality”

“It's a lot of work, but not necessarily difficult work. It takes time to write a good essay or study for a test, and professors assign A LOT of reading. But in terms of grading, if you put effort into your assignments, you won't fail. There are some teachers that won't cut you a break and think an ‘A’ means you wrote a perfect paper, but overall, they're not too harsh. I've had some really interesting and passionate teachers who are hard graders and assign a lot of work, but make the class worthwhile. I've also had horrendous professors who mumble, make the material seem so boring and difficult, but curve, so while the class may seem impossible you can still get a decent grade.”

“It's an academically challenging school. Expect to study intensely and often.”

“The one thing our campus is best at! I feel like there is a club or sport to match every single interest, from tennis, to soccer, to ultimate Frisbee, and most interestingly, Quidditch.”

“There is literally something for everyone. I am involved in a social sorority, write for two campus publications (including Her Campus), and play intramural soccer. Greek life is a great part of campus and nearly thirty percent of our students pledge a sorority or fraternity.”

“There is literally a club or organization for EVERYONE here.  Most people can't only choose one-- W&M students are notorious for being super-involved.  I would recommend trying everything that interests you in the first month of school, and then deciding which you want to commit to.”

“The dining halls are decent, and options are endless at the all-you-can eat dining halls.  We also have variety like Mexican stations, Quiznos, and Chick-fil-a for those days when you want to spice it up.  The best part is ‘flexing’ Dominos or ordering Chinese delivery late at night.”

“Local food is really good, especially since this is a tourist area, so there is no lack of options with chains such as Outback, Friday's, and Dunkin’ Donuts. The local pizzerias and restaurants in colonial Williamsburg are also yummy. Thank God for off-campus food, though, because the on-campus food is not great.”

“I am personally very picky about my food, and while our dining halls has some great salad bars and themed nights, its simply too expensive and overpriced to be worth it. Local places to eat are actually fairly affordable, so I definitely prefer being off the meal plan.”

“There are only three dining halls since campus is fairly small. All have a good range of options. Students thrive on Quiznos and Wawa, as well as other off-campus restaurants.”

“The dining halls are a big part of the freshman social scene. Freshmen often meet up at the dining halls after a long night out.”

“It seems like everyone here knows each other, so if you're out one night and you meet a friend of a friend who you don't know, they'll remember you next time they see you. Nightlife is severely lacking, with three delis that pose as bars in the evening, closing at 2am. However, people make the most of it and you're guaranteed to see people you know hanging out at either Paul’s, The Green Leaf, or the newly improved college deli, having a good time.”

“Student life can sometimes have its highlights such as comedy shows, concerts, and homebrews, but in reality, I feel like in Williamsburg, you have to get creative with what you do, especially on the weekends. Basically, adventure never finds you, but you can go and try to find it! Especially once the weather is nice, our campus is actually wonderful, its all of those winter months that can occasionally get a bit dull.”

“There's always something to do on the weekends and if you want to stay in, there's little to no pressure to go out. It's pretty chill and relaxing. I find it better now that I'm twenty-one.”

“It's a common misconception that TWAMPs - Typical William and Mary Persons - do not have fun or party. If you're looking for a good time, you'll easily find it. Although Greeks have planned events frequently, non-Greeks have plenty of fun as well. There are no bars on or near campus but there are delis which sell food by day and become student hangouts by night.”

“Dorms are satisfactory and convenient, but I would highly recommend off-campus housing once you are a sophomore. There is plenty that is within walking distance to campus, and you can save hundreds of dollars this way! Not to mention, having your own kitchen and bathroom is FABULOUS!”

“I live on Griffin Avenue, a popular street for students, and it's awesome. Everything is in walking distance and our house is old but quaint. Rent's not that cheap and there's the pesky ‘three-person rule’ that says that more than three people can't live in one house if they are unrelated, but there are ways of getting around it.”

“Considering I lived in one of the oldest and least-renovated freshman halls, I am slightly biased; in my opinion, our campus housing is not good at all. However, local housing options are wonderful! I would definitely be living off-campus if I did not have a job in Residence Life.”

“As always, some dorms are better than others but all are bearable. Most people to love their freshman dorm and dormmates. The housing lottery is pretty competitive and it's not uncommon to end up ‘bumped’ from on-campus housing after freshmen year. However, off-campus houses and apartments are abundant and range in price and proximity.”