Today’s Supreme Court decision: Williams recommits to the value of campus diversity

To the Williams community,

The U.S. Supreme Court just handed down its decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. University of North Carolina, et al. Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion, which covered both cases, ruled that race-conscious admissions as currently practiced in higher education is unconstitutional. This reinterprets the Court’s own precedent regarding race-conscious admissions by invalidating admission practices that consider race as one factor among many—approaches on which schools have relied for decades.

Diversity, inclusion and access are core values at Williams. We write to you together, as president and Board chair, to affirm that today’s decision will not change those commitments. We especially want to reassert Williams’ commitment to racial diversity, given that race was the central issue in both cases. We are committed to modifying our processes as necessary to continue seeking and supporting a diverse, vibrant and exceptional learning community within the new legal context.

To quote from the college mission:

The strength of the student body today is the product of the college’s resolve to search as widely as possible for students of high academic ability and great personal promise. Diversity is not an end in itself, but a principle flowing from the conviction that encountering differences is at the heart of the educational enterprise—differences, certainly, of ideas and beliefs, but also differences of perspectives rooted in the varied histories students bring with them.

The Court’s full decision is legally complex and was accompanied by concurrences and dissents. It will take time to read, analyze and assess it for its full implications. Programming is being planned for next fall to help everyone consider the potential effects on Williams and higher education. The college will also soon announce a gathering opportunity for people on campus this summer.

For now, we return to our main point: Williams is a remarkable intellectual community in which we see excellence and diversity as fundamentally connected. Although today’s decision has closed off certain established paths toward that vision, especially in regards to race, we will work within the new bounds of law to ensure that the promise of a great liberal arts education remains open to people of all identities, backgrounds and perspectives.


Maud S. Mandel, President; Professor of History; Program in Jewish Studies
Liz Robinson ’90, Chair, Williams Board of Trustees

All About Money

JUNE 7, 2023

This week we want to give you an overview of Student Financial Services (SFS) and how they can help you manage paying for Williams. Whether you are receiving financial aid, paying your bill with a college savings account or parent income, and/or planning to borrow a student/parent loan, SFS can help you navigate all things money! 

Sign up for EphPay, review the website for billing dates and payment policies, and check out this monthly timeline to make sure you are on track for your arrival in August!  Students can allow others to view their account by setting them up as authorized users. This allows those users to speak with SFS staff and make payments on behalf of their students.  Check out the instructions here.

Questions? They are always happy to answer them at [email protected] or you can reach out directly to your SFS advisor.

Williams has an optional payment plan for each semester that allows families to divide their required payment into 4 or 5 installments. Plan details can be found here. 

Sign up for Direct Deposit! 

Whether you plan to get a job on campus, study away, or get your personal expense grant, you will need to sign up for direct deposit so that Williams can give you money!

Report your Outside Scholarship/Tuition Benefit

If you were awarded financial aid from outside Williams, you’ll need to report it to make sure SFS  gets the funds to you ASAP. Follow these instructions

Other Tidbits (both super  important!)

Summer Email to Families About Health Insurance and Health Services at Williams

Dear Williams Families,

All Williams students need to have health insurance, and Williams offers a comprehensive health insurance plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts at a very affordable price of $2,445.00. Unless your student waives Williams coverage by August 1st (which they must do each academic year), we’ll automatically enroll them in the Williams plan for the 2023-2024 academic year. Your student has received an email with all details on how to sign up for or waive the Williams plan. And you can learn more about it right now on our Health Services website.

For new families (and as a refresher for current families), here’s more about student health and wellness at Williams.


Bob McBain
Health Services Administrator

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