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About Willamette University

As the first university in the West, Willamette has inspired students to lead lives of significance for more than 175 years. And as the Northwest’s premier private university, our future is what drives us to be the best we can be. By encouraging innovation and collaboration across academic disciplines, Willamette produces graduates who excel as 21st-century thinkers in a complex, rapidly changing world. Willamette’s motto, “Not unto ourselves alone are we born,” is a guiding principle. Students continually turn their passion into action at the capitol on campus, across the street and around the globe. No other college or university in the Pacific Northwest offers such direct access to state policymaking. Only a crosswalk away, the Oregon State Capitol provides another set of labs and classrooms for our students, whether they’re interning for legislators, conducting research in the Oregon State Archives or working side-by-side with the state’s top scientists and economists.

Willamette University is a private, religious school in an urban setting in Salem, Oregon. Willamette University was founded in 1842 and now enrolls around 1,865 students a year, including 1,303 undergrads.

Willamette University offers housing for up to 1,300 students. The majority of students live on-campus and first year-students are required to live in campus housing.About 0% of students stay on-campus during the weekends..

As of 2021, the total market value of Willamette University's endowment was $255.367 million For each full-time student, Willamette University spends about $15,728. There are 10 Willamette University undergrads for each full-time professor.

2021 Willamette University Admissions Facts At-a Glance
Academic Calendar Semester
Overall Acceptance Rate 78%
Early Action Acceptance Rate 86%
Average GPA 4.0
Tuition $43,500

2022 Willamette University Regular Decision Application Deadline

January 1 is the final deadline to submit an application for Fall. All regular decision applicants should hear back from Willamette University by May 1.

Willamette University Early Admission

Willamette University does not offer early decision but does offer early action.

Mark Your Calendar!

The deadline to apply early to Willamette University is on November 15, 2021, which is coming up soon!
Willamette University admits 86% of students that apply early action.

Applying Early?

Visit College Confidential's Early Admission Central – a place to share stats, questions, and results with others applying early to Willamette University in 2021.

Willamette University Acceptance Rate 2021

It is very difficult to get into Willamette University. The acceptance rate at Willamette University is 78%. In 2021, 3,095 out of 3,972 total applicants were accepted.

Willamette University Waitlist

Willamette University reports that no students were waitlisted or admitted off the waitlist in the most recent year.

How Do I Get Into Willamette University?

Willamette University is considered very difficult to get into. Every admissions committee has a different way of evaulating applicants, but most look at a combination of grades, test scoes, activities, as well as essays and recommendations. To apply to Willamette University, applicants must submit the following items.

Willamette University Application Requirements

Area Required Recommended Required for some Details (if any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Minimum High School GPA (On 4.0 Scale) 2.0
Letter(s) of Recommendation 1
Transcript of High School Record

GPA and Test Scores for Willamette University

Admitted students have an average high school GPA of 4.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Visit the Admissions tab above for more on how to apply to Willamette University.

Is Willamette University Test Optional?

Willamette University has a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

Out of all applicants, 43% submitted the SAT. 25% submitted the ACT.

Want a higher SAT score? Even a little bit of test prep can really help improve your score.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Dorms at Willamette University

Yes! Willamette University provides on-campus housing for up to 1,300 students.

Willamette University students are active in the school's Intramurals, Outdoor Program and Burning Bright (cancer service/support).

Click the Student Life tab above to learn more about the student body and campus life at Willamette University.

Financial Aid at Willamette University

Willamette University meets 67.2% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $39,569 a year.

The 2022-2023 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2021

Some financial aid is awarded ona first-come, first-serve basis, so fill out the FAFSA asap. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for student aid. Remember, the first F in FAFSA stands for FREE! You should never have to pay to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so be very wary of anyone asking you for money.

Is Willamette University a Good School?

Different people have different ideas about what makes a "good" school. Admissions difficulty and admitted student statistics can give you a sense of how competitive a school is, but they don't tell you how happy or successful students are.

Retention and Graduation Rates at Willamette University

Out of all the first-year, full-time undergrads who start at Willamette University, around 82% return for their sophomore year. Out of the 552 students who started at Willamette University as first-time freshman, 379 graduate within four years.

Around 74% of students who started at Willamette University earn their Bachelor's degrees within six years. Compare this to the average six-year graduation rate for colleges and universities in the U.S., which is around 61% for public schools and 67% for private.

Job Outcomes and Student Debt

Job placement and student debt statistics for recent graduates can give you a sense of the return on investment a school offers. The average student debt for graduates in the class of 2021 was around $29,009 per student, not including those with no debt. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

Based on this information, how does Willamette University sound? Remember, a school that is perfect for one person may not be the right school for someone else! So ask yourself: Is Willamette University a good school for you?

Interested in Applying to Willamette University?**

Click the heart icon at the top of this page to save Willamette University to your own personal list of colleges.

Read on to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.

Still Doing Your College Research?

See what others say about Willamette University in the College Confidential forums and get personalized recommendations for other schools that might be perfect for you.

Then use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Where is Willamette University?

Willamette University is located in the urban setting of Salem, Oregon, less than an hour from Portland.

If you want to see Willamette University for yourself, plan a visit. The best way to reach campus is to take Interstate 5 to Salem, or book a flight to the nearest airport, Portland International.

You can also take a virtual campus tour to get a sense of what Willamette University and Salem are like without leaving home.

Considering Colleges in Oregon?

See a full list of colleges in Oregon and save your favorites to your college list.

College Info

Willamette University Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 15

Transfer Applications are Due

Feb 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Willamette University is Jan 15.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Willamette University is Feb 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs


Wondering what your chances are of getting into Willamette University?

Complete your profile to get your personalized, AI-calculated prediction score.

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Willamette University ACT Scores


ACT Range

24 - 31

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

31 and Above


24 to 31


24 and Less


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Willamette University SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1120 - 1340


Math SAT Range

560 - 670


Reading SAT Range

570 - 690

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Willamette University Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at Willamette University is like? There are approximately 1,865 students enrolled at Willamette University, including 1,303 undergraduate students and 562 graduate students. 97% percent of students attend school full-time, 31% percent are from OR and 69% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

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Campus Setting


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Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

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