Harvard vs. Williams


Should I go to Harvard University or Williams College? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Harvard or Williams is the better college for you.

Harvard Comparison

Harvard University vs. Williams College comparison
Harvard Williams
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Location Cambridge, MA Williamstown, MA
Setting Midsize City Distant Town
Students 31,566 2,149
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $46,340 $55,140
Tuition (Out of State) $46,340 $55,140
Room & Board $17,160 $14,500
Avg Net Price $17,030 $20,380
Avg Grant Aid $49,870 $48,050
% Receiving Grant Aid 56% 51%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 4.7% 13%
Avg High School GPA 4.04 3.94
Admissions Standards Elite Elite
Applicant Competition Extreme Very High
ACT Range 33/35 32/35
SAT Range 1460/1580 1410/1550
Application Deadline Jan 1, 2020 Jan 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 97% 95%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $136,700 $73,600
Making Student Loan Payments 70% 83%
Median Student Loan Debt $6,500 $14,582
Median Loan Payment $67 $150
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Comparable Facts

  • Harvard University is larger than than Williams based on total student enrollment (31,566 students vs. 2,149 students)

Harvard vs. Williams Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Harvard or Williams?

  • Williams College is 19% more expensive to attend than Harvard for in-state tuition ($55,140.00 vs. $46,340.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 19% higher at Williams than Harvard University ($55,140.00 vs. $46,340.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Harvard University than Williams ($17,030 vs. $20,380)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Williams College are 18.3% lower than costs at Harvard University ($14,500 vs. $17,160)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Harvard University than Williams College (56% vs. 51%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Harvard University students is 3.8% larger than aid received Williams College ($49,870 vs. $48,050)

Harvard vs. Williams Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Harvard or Williams? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between Williams or Harvard .

  • The average SAT score at Harvard University (1497) is 55 points higher than at Williams (1442)
  • Incoming Harvard students have a 1 point higher average ACT score (34) than students at Williams (33)
  • Williams has a higher acceptance rate (13%) than Harvard (4.7%)

Harvard vs. Williams Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Harvard or Williams? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between Williams and Harvard.

  • The graduation rate at Harvard is higher that Williams College (97% vs. 95%)
  • Graduates from Harvard University earn on average $63,100 more per year than Williams graduates after ten years. ($136,700 vs. $73,600)
  • Harvard University students graduate with a $8,082 lower median federal student loan debt than Williams graduates. ($6,500 vs. $14,582)
  • Harvard graduates are paying $83 less per month on federal student loans than Williams graduates. ($67 vs. $150)
  • More Williams graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Harvard students, three years after graduation. (83% vs. 70%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/