Amherst College Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know

Overview of Amherst College

Amherst College is a private liberal arts institution with an acceptance rate of 13%. Situated in a small town in Western Massachusetts, Amherst stands at #1 or #2 in national rankings of top liberal arts institutions. It is one of the most selective colleges in the United States. Amherst boasts an open curriculum with no distribution requirements. Because of its accomplishments in STEM and the liberal arts, Phi Beta Kappa granted the university membership. The courses at Amherst are supported by a healthy 7:1 student/faculty ratio. You can even supplement the Amherst course offerings with classes from the other schools in the five-institution consortium: Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


  • Total Enrollment: 1,855 (all undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 50 percent male/50 percent female
  • 100 percent full-time

Cost of Attendance Information

  • Tuition and Fees: $58,640
  • Books: $1,000
  • Room and Board: $15,310
  • Other Expenses: $1,800
  • Total Cost: $76,750

Financial Aid Information

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 66 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 56 percent
    • Loans: 19 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $50,424
    • Loans: $5,056

Academic Programs Offered

  • Most Popular Majors: Mathematics, General; Econometrics and Quantitative Economics; English Language and Literature, General; Research and Experimental Psychology, Other; and Political Science and Government, General

Retention and Graduation

  • First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 96 percent
  • Transfer-Out Rate: 4%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 85 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 93 percent

NCAA Athletic Programs

  • Men’s Sports: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Tennis, Track and Field, Golf
  • Women’s Sports: Track and Field, Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis, Softball, Soccer

Overview of Amherst College Admissions

Amherst College boasts a highly competitive admissions pool with a low acceptance rate and high average SAT/ACT scores. Amherst has a robust admissions process that involves a multitude of academic measures. A persuasive essay, Amherst writing supplement, and glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a demanding course load. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside Amherst’s mean range.

Admissions Data

During the 2018-19 admissions phase, Amherst had an acceptance rate of 13%. For every 100 students who submitted applications, 13 students gained admission, making Amherst’s admissions process highly competitive.

SAT  Requirements and Scores

Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, 47% of admitted students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of Amherst’s admitted students score within the top 20% nationally on the SAT. For the reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to Amherst scored between 700 and 770, while 25% scored under 700, and 25% scored over 770. In the math section, 50% of students scored between 720 and 790, while 25% score under 720, and 25% scored above 790. Applicants with an overall SAT score of 1560 or higher will have better competitive chances.

ACT  Requirements and Scores

During the 2018-19 admissions phase, 54% of admitted students sent ACT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of Amherst’s admitted students score within the top 5% nationally on the ACT. 50% of students admitted to Amherst received an overall ACT score between 30 and 34, while 25% scored over 34, and 25% scored under 30.

Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission

If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for Amherst College, then it should be easy for you to gain admissions to the schools below. If Amherst College is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.

University of Michigan, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York University, Boston University, Boston College, Villanova University, University of California, Santa Barbara

Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission

If you’re a competitive candidate for Amherst College, then you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.

Brown University, Dartmouth College, Cornell University, Tufts University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Northeastern University

Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will Be More of a Challenge

These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than Amherst College. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, then you’ll be a competitive candidate for these schools.

Rice University, University of Chicago, Princeton University, Carnegie Mellon University, Yale University, Columbia University, Harvard College

Applying to Amherst College

Application Deadline: January 1

Undergraduate Admissions Website:

Undergraduate Application Link(s):

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