Frequently Asked Questions

My student seems to be struggling. What should I do?

Encourage your student to reach out directly to a professor, a dean, a counselor, a coach, an academic resource specialist, or a chaplain. Williams is filled with spectacularly qualified and deeply dedicated faculty and staff whose jobs are to support students in every way possible to get the most out of their undergraduate experience. Learn more.

What happens if my student gets sick?

Williams offers 24/7 emergency health coverage and extensive medical and counseling resources. Learn more.

How will we manage college expenses?

We’re committed to making Williams affordable. A good way to start is to join your student in reviewing our Guide to Financing Your Williams Education. And our staff in the Bursar’s Office and Financial Aid are happy to answer your questions.

Why does Williams send bills directly to my student? And how can I make sure I receive them as well, so I can pay my portion on time?

As with other personal records (see below), students over 18 control who receives financial information related to college expenses. This confuses many parents at first. After all, if we’re paying those bills, how come we don’t receive them automatically? Thankfully, it’s easy for your student to grant you access to our billing system, which will then provide you with all the information you need, plus timely reminders on payment deadlines. Learn more.

Why can’t I see my student’s grades? Or course schedule? Or Williams disciplinary record?

Because Williams is prohibited by law from giving you such information without your student’s written consent. Learn more.

What safety measures does Williams have in place for students?

Student safety comes before every other Williams priority. Learn more about our Campus Safety and Security programs and services.

How can Williams accommodate my student’s special dietary requirements?

Our Dining Services colleagues are particularly attuned to medical and religious dietary restrictions. They can accommodate nearly any requirement your own student might have, at no extra cost, as part of our standard meal plan. After you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with our services, please encourage your student to reach out to Dining Services, whose experts work most effectively when they work directly with students themselves.

How will a Williams liberal arts degree help my student succeed in the workplace?

Regardless of their academic major, Williams alumni are highly valued by leading employers and top graduate programs. Students emerge from Williams able to think critically, express themselves effectively, and understand issues that transcend academic disciplines. These skills help them succeed not only in their first jobs but throughout their entire careers. As math professor Satyan Devadoss puts it, “You can study what you love [at Williams] and then go do what you want.” Learn more.

Where can I find more about Williams’ academic programs?

Information about course offerings and degree requirements can be found in the College Bulletin. The websites of the academic departments contain extensive information on programs of study, faculty, course offerings, and student services.

Where can I find information about Move-In Day for New Students?

On our Move-In Day website.

Where do I send a change of address?

To the Registrar’s Office.

How do we get to Williams?

See the Visitors Guide for driving directions, information on travel by plane, train, bus, taxi, and limousine, as well as lodging and restaurant listings.

Where do I find information about Commencement?

Right here. (Commencement dates are  set three years in advance.)

What do we need to bring for our student’s dorm room?

Dorm rooms are equipped with extra-long twin beds and mattresses, desks, garbage and recycling bins, built-in lights, and window shades. Rooms are also equipped with phone and data jacks. All dorms have televisions in their common areas; some buildings are also equipped with television cable hookups in individual rooms. Students must supply sheets (extra-long), pillows, blankets, and towels, and may also bring lamps, rugs, or curtains if they so desire.

What items are not allowed in student rooms?

Williams does not permit students to have the following items in dorm rooms: coffee makers, toaster ovens, air conditioners, hamburger and sandwich makers, popcorn poppers (other than hot air), hot plates, crock pots, broilers, cup warmers, bread makers, candles, any lamps with halogen bulbs, microwave ovens of more than 800 watts, refrigerators larger than five cubit feet, open flame devices, toasters, electric heaters, electronic woks, electric fry pans, electric or gas stoves, deep fryers, beer coolers, kegolators, hot pots, any units with heating coils, or incense. Learn more.

Should my student bring a computer to campus?

Williams has a large number of computers and printers available to students in public labs, but most students find that it is an advantage to work in their rooms, especially during exam periods when the labs are busy. See Purchasing a Computer for suggestions from Williams’ information technology office.

Where’s the bookstore?

Water Street Books is the local supplier of textbooks and course materials. Williams gift items (sweatshirts, mugs, etc.) can be found at The Williams Shop on Spring Street.

Where can we buy room furnishings?

The nearest store is Wal-Mart in North Adams. There are Target and Macy’s stores in the Berkshire Mall in Lanesboro.

Where can my student open a local bank account?

Where should we send mail to our student?

STUDENT NAME
BOX ####
PARESKY CENTER
WILLIAMSTOWN MA 01267

Mail is delivered to student mailboxes in Paresky Center once a day. Mail is not delivered to dormitories.
Address student mail to:For overnight carriers (FedEx, UPS, etc.) add “Chapin Hall Drive” above Williamstown MA.

Where can I order a special occasion gift for my student?

Williams Dining Services offers festive cakes and cookies for any event. Orders must be places four days before the desired pick-up date (Monday through Saturday). Call 413.597.2121.

Does the college provide transportation for students at break times?

Williams Motorcoach operates to and from NYC, Boston, and Albany for major college breaks. Also see the Visitors Guide for information on commercial transportation options.

Do dorms close during the long vacation breaks?

At the end of fall semester, student residences close at 12 noon the day after the last day of finals. However, international students may request to stay on-campus during winter break and are typically consolidated into one building until Winter Study begins. Additionally, some pre-approved winter athletic teams are allowed to return a day or two early for Winter Study. During Spring Break, the residences close at 12 noon on the first Saturday of the break. However, students may ask to stay on campus if they meet specific criteria (senior doing thesis work, member of a pre-approved athletic team, students who live outside the Northeast).  Students approved to stay typically stay in their own rooms, though the college reserves the right to consolidate if necessary. At the end of Spring Semester: student residencs close at noon the day after the last day of finals. However, seniors are allowed to stay until 5pm on Commencement Sunday, and some students are allowed to stay on campus to work or do research. Questions?  Contact Gail Rondeau, Housing Coordinator, Office of Student Life.

Can first-year students have cars on campus?

No, first-year students are not allowed to keep a car on campus at any time during the academic year.

Where do students store their belongings over the summer?

Connors Brothers (413.458.8141), Mullen (413.743.4969), and All College Storage (888) 676-9930 are independent moving and storage companies offering summer storage near campus. Storage on campus over the summer is very limited and only allowed to a few international and financial aid students who have demonstrated critical need to the Office of Financial Aid.

How’s cell phone reception?

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and Nextel provide cell phone service in this area.