I am trying to collect information from students who turned down Williams for other schools. Here is one story:

The main thing tipping my decision to Princeton was athletics. I am a dedicated track and field athlete, and the sport is a huge part of my life. And it has always been my dream to compete in Division I athletics. Thus, when the opportunity to go to a program as competitive as Princeton came along, I could not pass it up.

It was really a gut wrenching choice on my part because Williams–albeit D3–is the best D3 track program in the nation. And Coach Fletcher Brooks was incredibly respectful and honest while recruitting me. The hardest part of my decision was probably telling him about it, but I believe that I will undoubtedly have a better athletic opportunity at Princeton so I had to seize it. While I could choose to go to Williams and maybe dominate early on, I wanted to go to Princeton where the better competition would push my development.

Academically, I actually preferred Williams. The school’s focus on undergraduate education–especially its tutorial program–was something that really intrigued me. And as a student that aspires to go to a top graduate school, I was very impressed with Williams. But, of course, I wouldn’t be missing out on an education by going to Princeton. I looked at the quality of education as the same at both places, just a point of preference. Moreover, I am absolutely sure that I will succeed in both environments so the academic decision was really a win-win.

Financially, both schools basically offered me a full ride. Williams asked me to contribute $400 total from my summer savings and Princeton asked for $300. Williams’s package was just slightly better because the school’s book grant allowed me to spend less time in work study.

In the end, it really came down to where I thought I’d have the better college experience. Academically, both schools provided the best of the best. I didn’t have to worry about money at either school. But athletically, the edge went to Princeton.

Interesting. Do you know someone who turned down Williams? Tell us those stories.

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