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Colleges / Willamette University

Willamette University

Salem, OR 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate79%
Acceptance Rate79%

About Willamette University

Willamette is the Pacific Northwest's leading private university. Our historic campus next to the State Capitol in Salem houses a renowned residential liberal arts college. Our downtown Portland campus houses the flagship Pacific Northwest College of Art. Willamette's professional graduate programs in Portland and Salem include the Northwest's oldest law school, Oregon's top-ranked MBA program, MA and MFA programs in the arts, writing and critical studies, and our MS in Data Science. Situated among the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Willamette’s campuses offer an intimate learning environment with small class sizes and award-winning faculty. As the first university in the West, Willamette features deep ties to the community and surrounding area that has been built around it. Willamette faculty members have been named Oregon’s Professor of the Year a record 11 times since 1990 and our comprehensive approach to academics balances independent inquiry and collaborative exploration. Nearly every student gains hands-on experience through internships, study abroad, research opportunities, volunteering, and the many student-run clubs and organizations.  It is our mission to prepare students to be engaged with the world around them and promote the common good toward a better future.

Willamette University Overview

Willamette University is a private, religious school in the city of Salem, Oregon. Willamette University was founded in 1842 and the school currently enrolls around 1,864 students a year, which includes 1,237 undergrad students. Willamette University ensures on-campus housing for up to 1,228 students. The majority of students live on campus, and first year-students are required to live in campus housing.

📆 Mark your calendar! The deadline to apply regular decision to Willamette University for Fall 2023 is January 15. Regular decision applicants for Fall 2023 should find out if they have been admitted by May 1.

Student Involvement at Willamette University

Are you interested in music or performing? Sing in a chorus or perform with one of Willamette University's theater groups.

Are you interested in journalism and communications? Willamette University students can write for the campus newspaper, host a radio show or be a producer for the student-run television channel.

Thinking of pledging? Willamette University has fraternities and sororities.

Planning to play sports? Willamette University has many options for athletes. See them all and learn more about life at Willamette University on the Student Life page.

2022 Willamette University Facts At-A-Glance
Academic Calendar Semester
Overall Acceptance Rate 79%
Early Decision Acceptance Rate 76%
Early Action Acceptance Rate 87%
Average GPA 4.0
Applicants Submitting ACT scores 87%
Applicants Submitting SAT scores 28%
Tuition $45,000
Percent of Need Met 69%
Average First-Year Financial Aid Package $28,818

Is Willamette University a Good School?

There is no one way to define a "good" college or university. Admissions difficulty, admitted student statistics, tuition, and financial aid can provide a sense of how selective a college is.

Let's take a look at these areas to get a better sense of what Willamette University offers and if the school seems like a good choice for you.

Willamette University Acceptance Rate 2022

Willamette University is very difficult to get into. The acceptance rate at Willamette University is 79%. Last year, 3,680 students applied to Willamette University and 2,921 were admitted.

Retention and Graduation Rates at Willamette University

Retention refers to the number of students that stay enrolled at a school over time. Retention measures how satisfied students are with their school experience, and if they have the support necessary to succeed in college.

About 86% of students who start at Willamette University return the next year. Around 72% 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 for Willamette University Grads

Job placement rates after graduation and average starting salaries can all give important clues about the value of a degree from a specific school.

Check with Willamette University directly, for information on any information on starting salaries for recent grads.

Willamette University's Endowment

An endowment is the total value of a school's investments, donations, and assets. Endowment is not necessarily an indicator of the quality of a school, but it can give you a sense of how much money a college can afford to invest in expanding programs, improving facilities, and support students.

As of 2022, the total market value of Willamette University's endowment was $355 million. The average college endowment was $905 million in 2021. For each full-time student, Willamette University spends about $16,791 a year.

Tuition and Financial Aid at Willamette University

Cost is another important factor when choose a college. Some colleges may have high tuition, but do a better job at meeting students' financial need.

Willamette University meets 69% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. First-year students that attend Willamette University full-time are awarded $28,818 a year in financial aid, on average.

Graduates in the class of 2022 had an average of $26,741 in student loans per borrower. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

The 2023-2024 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2022

Some aid is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so fill out the FAFSA as soon as you can. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for student aid. Remember, the first F in FAFSA stands for FREE! No one should ever pay to fill out the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid, (FAFSA), so don't give your money (or info!) to any website that claim you do.

Learn more about Tuition and Financial Aid at Willamette University.

Based on this information, does Willamette University seem like a good fit? Remember, a school that is perfect for one person may be a terrible fit for another! So ask yourself: Is Willamette University a good school for you?

If Willamette University seems like a school you want to apply to, click the heart button to save it to your college list.

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Where is Willamette University Located?

Willamette University is located in the urban setting of Salem, Oregon, in the suburbs of Portland.

If you are interested in seeing Willamette University for yourself, be sure to 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

Willamette University ACT Scores


ACT Range

32 - 35

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

35 and Above


32 to 35


32 and Less


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Willamette University SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1200 - 1400


Math SAT Range

570 - 710


Reading SAT Range

620 - 700

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 1,864 students enrolled at Willamette University, including 1,237 undergraduate students and 627 graduate students. 97% percent of students attend school full-time, 30% percent are from OR and 70% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting


Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 15
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