Amherst College Acceptance Rate | Strategies and Insights for Admission Success 2024

Amherst College stands as one of the premier liberal arts institutions in the United States, sharing the same echelon as esteemed counterparts like Williams, Swarthmore, and Pomona. While perhaps not as publicly recognized as Ivy League universities, these colleges, including Amherst, boast acceptance rates in the single digits, presenting a formidable challenge for even the most academically accomplished high school students with near-perfect SAT/ACT scores. The legacy of selective admissions at Amherst spans decades, as evidenced by historical acceptance rates:

1980: 19% 1995: 20% 2010: 15% 2023: 9%

What is The Amherst College Early Decision Acceptance Rate?

For the Class of 2026, Amherst College received 692 Early Decision (ED) applications. Encouragingly, the ED acceptance rate for this cohort stood at 32%.

What is The Amherst College Acceptance Rate?

Amherst College received 12,700 applications for the Class of 2027. With an acceptance rate of 9% in 2023, recent historical acceptance rates were as follows:

  • Class of 2026: 7%
  • 2025: 9%
  • 2024: 12%

What is The Amherst College SAT, ACT, and Class Rank?

For the Class of 2026, enrolled freshmen at Amherst College had impressive standardized test scores. The mid-50% SAT range was between 1450 and 1530, with a median score of 1520. On the ACT, scores fell within the range of 33 to 35, with a median score of 34. Additionally, a remarkable 90% of enrolled freshmen ranked within the top 10% of their high school class, while 96% were in the top quartile.

What is The Admission Insights at The Amherst College?

  • Amherst College continues its test-optional pilot program for the Class of 2028, offering applicants the choice of submitting test scores. This marks the fourth year of the program.
  • Among the admitted Class of 2027, a notable 60% were students of color, reflecting the college’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • First-generation students made up a significant portion of the admitted freshmen, comprising 21% of the incoming class for the 2023-24 academic year.
  • In the most recent admissions cycle, applications to Amherst declined by 14% compared to the previous year, reflecting shifting trends in higher education.
  • Additionally, there was a decrease in the number of legacy admits, dropping from 7% to 4% of admitted freshmen, signaling potential changes in admissions priorities at the college.

What is The Admission Criteria at The Amherst College?

Amherst College employs a comprehensive and holistic admissions process, considering seven factors as “very important” in the evaluation of applicants: rigor of high school coursework, GPA, application essays, recommendations, extracurricular activities, talent/ability, and character/personal qualities. Additionally, four factors are labeled as “important”: class rank, first-generation status, volunteer work, and work experience. During the test-optional period, standardized test scores hold a “considered” status.

According to the Amherst admissions office:

“We utilize a holistic approach to review application materials, aiming to develop a multi-dimensional perspective of each applicant. The academic transcript carries the greatest weight in our evaluation process.”

“The rigor of your coursework, the quality of your grades, and the consistency of your academic performance over four years provide valuable insight into your potential success at Amherst.”

“While there are no specific course requirements for admission, successful applicants typically pursue a rigorous curriculum, including four years of study in English, math, science, social studies, and foreign language.”

“Recommendations, the quality of your writing, and your involvement in extracurricular and co-curricular activities play significant roles in distinguishing among highly talented applicants.”

What is The Amherst College Demographics?

Amherst College Demographics

Let’s delve into the demographics of Amherst College’s undergraduate student body. Here’s a breakdown of the U.S. states with the highest representation among undergraduates:

  1. New York
  2. California
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New Jersey
  5. Illinois

The largest percentage of international students originate from the following countries:

  1. China
  2. Korea
  3. Kenya
  4. Mexico
  5. The U.K.

In terms of ethnic identity, the distribution is as follows:

  • White: 39%
  • Asian: 15%
  • Hispanic: 15%
  • African American: 10%
  • Two or More Races: 7%
  • International: 10%
  • Unknown: 2%

Examining the gender split, the university boasts a higher enrollment of women compared to men:

  • Men: 49%
  • Women: 51%

In a recent academic year, the percentage of enrolled students from each type of high school was as follows:

  • Public: 54%
  • Independent: 32%
  • Parochial: 13%
  • Home School: 1%

What is The Amherst College Yield Rate?

Amherst College’s yield rate, which represents the percentage of accepted students who choose to enroll out of the total number of admitted students, stands at 43%. This figure aligns closely with other leading liberal arts institutions such as Williams College, Pomona College, and Swarthmore College.

The Amherst College Application Process Key Tips

If you’re considering applying to Amherst College among the 12,000+ hopeful applicants for the next admissions cycle, here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  1. Consider applying Early Decision (ED) if Amherst is your top choice. The ED deadline is typically November 1, offering a higher acceptance rate compared to Regular Decision, which closes in early January.
  2. Interviews are not part of Amherst College’s admissions process, so focus on securing strong counselor and teacher recommendations instead. Check out our blog for guidance on requesting high school letters of recommendation.
  3. Amherst does not factor in “demonstrated interest,” so campus visits or contacting admissions officers won’t affect your application.
  4. Remember to submit a Mid-Year Report by late February, ensuring you maintain strong grades throughout your senior year of high school.
  5. Dedicate ample time and effort to the supplemental essay prompts provided by Amherst College to present a comprehensive picture of yourself to the admissions committee.


Amherst College stands as a beacon of academic excellence and diversity within the realm of liberal arts education. Its highly selective admissions process, characterized by a holistic review of applicants, underscores the institution’s commitment to fostering a vibrant and inclusive student community. As prospective applicants embark on their journey towards Amherst, they are encouraged to approach the admissions process with diligence, sincerity, and a focus on academic achievement, extracurricular engagement, and personal growth. By leveraging the insights provided in this series of blog articles, aspiring students can navigate the application process with confidence and maximize their chances of securing a coveted spot within the esteemed halls of Amherst College.