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Selection Information

The 1693 Scholars Program is a highly selective merit-based scholarship. Students selected as 1693 Scholars annually represent the very best and brightest of William & Mary's entire applicant pool. The dynamic type of students selected as potential finalists typically achieve the following:

  • Successfully pursue the most demanding curriculum available to them
  • Rank in the top 1% of their graduating high school class
  • Score above 1500 combined on the Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections of the SAT and/or score above a 33 on the ACT (Note: William & Mary is test-optional; therefore, applicants will still be reviewed for the 1693 Scholars Program even if they do not submit an SAT or ACT score.)

Additionally, 1693 Scholars are successful student leaders in their schools and local communities who seek out and embrace opportunities to enrich their educational experience.

For more information, read the bios of William & Mary's current 1693 Scholars.

Application Review and Selection

All freshman applicants are reviewed as potential 1693 Scholars - there is no separate application process. Students applying through William & Mary's Regular Decision process, students applying through William & Mary's Early Decision process, students applying through William & Mary's Early Decision II process and students applying for the St. Andrews William & Mary Joint Degree Programme, are all eligible for the 1693 Scholars Program.

The committee selects deserving applicants as potential finalists and requests that they submit one additional essay and one short video submission that will be used to select the finalists. 1693 Scholar finalists are invited to William & Mary for an expense-paid weekend in April. Finalists will be interviewed by the selection committee, make a presentation, tour the campus and meet with faculty and students. From the events of this weekend, the 1693 Scholars will be selected and notified shortly after their visit.
Note: The 2021 Finalist Weekend will be held virtually. 

Application, Nomination and Notification Timeline
  • January 1, 2021 - Application deadline for applying to William & Mary for freshman admission. Students should apply to W&M using the Common Application or the Coalition Application.

  • February 2021 - Approximately 80 potential finalists will be notified and asked to submit one additional essay and one short video submission for consideration as a finalist.

  • Thursday, April 15 - Saturday, April 17, 2021 - The 1693 Scholars Finalist Weekend (virtual) - approximately 25 finalists will present and interview.

  • Mid to late April 2021 - Eight 1693 Scholars will be selected and notified.

Additional Submissions

In February, potential 1693 Scholars are asked to submit one additional essay (150 -250 words) and one short video submission (3 minutes maximum). You will be notified by email if we are seeking these from you, and you will have approximately two weeks to respond. Only these applicants will be considered when selecting finalists for the 1693 Scholars Program.

2021 Prompts 

Prompt #1 (Video Submission): This video is a time machine in which you convey a specific message to your past self.

Prompt #2 (Essay): What is something that the people you associate with accept, but you question? 

This year's prompts were written by Caroline Brickley '24 (prompt #1) and Justin Berg '24 (prompt #2).


If you have any questions regarding the 1693 Scholars selection process please contact Kim Van Deusen, Associate Director, at [[kim]].