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How to get into University of Washington—General Information

The University of Washington is a large public research university in the heart of Seattle. Founded in 1861, it is one of the oldest colleges on the West Coast. It’s home to more than 54,000 students. 

In this “How to get into University of Washington” guide, we’ll cover:

  • The University of Washington GPA requirements
  • Average University of Washington SAT scores
  • Interpreting the University of Washington acceptance rate
  • University of Washington enrollment statistics 
  • What to submit in your University of Washington application
  • Writing the University of Washington essay
  • And much more about University of Washington admissions!

Ranked #59 in US News Best National University Ranking, UW is a top school. As such, you must craft a high-quality “how to get into University of Washington” strategy to make it into University of Washington enrollment, despite the competitive University of Washington acceptance rate. 

As you’ll see in this “How to get into UW” guide, getting in takes more than just strong University of Washington SAT scores. And it also takes more than exceeding the unofficial University of Washington GPA requirements. Instead, to make the University of Washington enrollment, you must show University of Washington admissions that you are well-rounded. You must demonstrate that you have interests and talents outside of the classroom. You can do this by choosing engaging extracurriculars to talk about in your University of Washington essay and highlight throughout your UW application.

Read the rest of this “How to get into University of Washington” guide for in-depth guidance on how to beat the University of Washington acceptance rate and make the University of Washington enrollment.   

Figuring out how to get into Washington takes strategy. We can help. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes graduates from some of the country’s top schools. Want to maximize your Washington admissions odds?  Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.

How can I get into the University of Washington?

Executing a strong “how to get into University of Washington” plan is no walk in the park. The University of Washington acceptance rate is below the US average, and each University of Washington application is likely to be high caliber. Therefore, the standard for your University of Washington application is high. 

University of Washington admissions will look for excellence in three key areas: academics, personal achievements, and personal traits. UW states that “academic preparation and performance are primary”. 

What does this mean for your “how to get into University of Washington” strategy? Firstly – secure a GPA that exceeds the informal University of Washington GPA requirements. And, although slightly less important than GPA, plan to submit a strong University of Washington SAT or ACT score.

The University of Washington essay will help you demonstrate those personal qualities University of Washington admissions officers want to see. We’ll discuss nailing that University of Washington essay later in this “how to get into University of Washington” guide. 

Read more about what University of Washington admissions is looking for here.   

How hard is it to get into the University of Washington?

As you make your “how to get into University of Washington” strategy, you will naturally wonder just how hard it is to get into the school.

Bear in mind that what is hard for one student may be easy for another. However, certain University of Washington enrollment statistics can tell us how hard it will be for most applicants to gain acceptance into UW. As you’ll see later in this “How to get into the UW” guide, the University of Washington acceptance rate is lower than average. In addition, the informal University of Washington GPA requirements are high, as is the average University of Washington SAT score. 

All of this suggests that executing your “how to get into University of Washington” plan is likely to be tough. Indeed, UW is a dream school for many.  

But don’t let that put you off! Thousands of students make the University of Washington enrollment each year. Follow the advice in this “How to get into the University of Washington” guide carefully, and you could be one of them!

What are the University of Washington GPA requirements?

Any good “how to get into the UW” plan will include high University of Washington SAT scores and GPA. For this reason, you may wonder whether University of Washington admissions gives any University of Washington GPA requirements. 

In short, there are no University of Washington GPA requirements. University of Washington admissions will look at any University of Washington application so long as it’s complete. 

However, the school emphasizes the importance of academics in the University of Washington admissions decisions. In addition, the average GPA for the University of Washington enrollment is high. For the class admitted in 2021, the middle 50% of students had a GPA of 3.73-3.96 on a 4.0 scale. 

Additionally, University of Washington admissions requires you to take a certain number and type of high school credits. These requirements further show how important a strong and well-rounded academic record is if you want to make the University of Washington enrollment despite the low University of Washington acceptance rate.  

In summary, we suggest you make a GPA of 3.8 a target in your “how to get into University of Washington” plan. This will give you the best chance at exceeding those unofficial University of Washington GPA requirements. 

To meet the informal University of Washington GPA requirements successfully, start studying early! Find more top tips on how to do well in high school here

What does the University of Washington application include?

At the heart of a strong “how to get into University of Washington” strategy is a polished University of Washington application.

University of Washington admissions requires the following materials in your University of Washington application:

  • Self-reported coursework 
  • Two University of Washington essays  
  • Program choice (if your first-choice major participates in direct to major or direct to college admission)
  • English proficiency test scores (international students only) 
  • High school transcripts (if you attended a school outside the U.S. that follows a national/local curriculum)
  • Application fee

In addition, the following are optional parts of your University of Washington application:

  • University of Washington SAT or ACT scores (read more about UW’s test-optional policy here)
  • Additional information about your circumstances

Note that unlike many schools, University of Washington admissions does not consider the following in your University of Washington application:

  • Demonstrated interest
  • Teacher/counselor letters of recommendation
  • Interviews

Finally, the deadline for your University of Washington application is November 15th. Note that UW will not accept your University of Washington application through the Common App. You must submit it through the Coalition App.  

For more advice on successfully completing your University of Washington application, read these tips

In the rest of this “How to get into University of Washington” guide, we’ll explain how to master each part of the University of Washington application outlined above. Although the University of Washington SAT submission is optional, and there are no official University of Washington GPA requirements, there are still ways to make your application stand out. Read on to give yourself the best chance of making the University of Washington enrollment despite the low University of Washington acceptance rate. 

What extracurriculars do I need for the University of Washington?

Extracurriculars are an important part of your “how to get into University of Washington” plan. Just make sure you don’t pursue activities purely to impress University of Washington admissions. You must be authentic!

Remember, University of Washington admissions looks for two things beyond the unofficial University of Washington GPA requirements:

  • Personal achievements 
  • Positive personal traits

Therefore, choose extracurriculars in which you can make significant achievements or demonstrate positive character traits. Examples include community service or leadership, or taking on responsibility in a family, community or employment situation, or any activity which develops your cultural awareness. 

For more extracurricular ideas, check out this article. And for guidance on how to develop depth and breadth in your extracurricular pursuits, this webinar will help. 

Later in this “How to get into University of Washington” guide, we’ll show you how to talk about your extracurriculars effectively in your University of Washington essay.

What is the University of Washington acceptance rate?

As you work out how to get into the University of Washington, it’s helpful to consider the University of Washington acceptance rate. While it doesn’t tell you everything about the school, the University of Washington acceptance rate provides some indication of how competitive UW is and the quality of its education. 

The overall University of Washington acceptance rate is 56%. For Washington residents, this increases slightly to 60%. For out-of-state residents, the University of Washington acceptance rate is 51%, and for international students, it’s 44%. 

In contrast to the University of Washington acceptance rate, the average US college acceptance rate is around 70.1%. So every student’s “how to get into University of Washington” plan will include a University of Washington acceptance rate that’s below the national average. 

Now that you know the figure, don’t get hung up on the University of Washington acceptance rate. Instead, turn your attention to things within your control: your University of Washington SAT, University of Washington essay, and beating those informal University of Washington GPA requirements. 

After all, you won’t make the University of Washington enrollment by simply knowing the University of Washington acceptance rate. But if you work hard and execute an effective “how to get into University of Washington” plan, you stand a strong chance!

How do I write a University of Washington essay?

The University of Washington essay is your chance to show University of Washington admissions that you’re more than your University of Washington SAT or GPA. The University of Washington essay is a critical part of your “how to get into University of Washington” strategy, even if you do exceed those unofficial University of Washington GPA requirements!

The first University of Washington essay, at 650 words max, asks about an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. This University of Washington essay is your chance to show how your extracurriculars or life experiences have developed positive character traits.

The second University of Washington essay, just 300 words max, asks you to describe the community you come from, and how you might enrich the cultural diversity at UW. In this  University of Washington essay, you can show how your unique background has shaped you into a person who would be a valuable member of the University of Washington enrollment. 

For University of Washington admissions, the best University of Washington essay is often written like a personal story. Furthermore, concise, straightforward writing typically works best, and good essays are often 300-500 words in length, depending on the prompt.

Finally, you’ll find our thorough guide to writing the University of Washington essay here.  

How does University of Washington admissions review applications?

If you want to know how to get into University of Washington, know that your academic record will have the most impact on whether you make University of Washington enrollment. Despite the low University of Washington acceptance rate, strong students stand a good chance. So, do your best to reach the informal University of Washington GPA requirements and submit a strong University of Washington SAT.

That said, University of Washington admissions is looking for a diverse and engaged University of Washington enrollment. For this reason, they carry out a holistic review process. They want to see positive personal achievements and characteristics as well as academic success. As we discussed earlier in this “How to get into the University of Washington” guide, you can demonstrate these qualities by talking about your experiences and extracurriculars in your University of Washington essay. 

Will the University of Washington consider my social media?

As you come to the end of this “How to get into the University of Washington” guide, you may be wondering whether your social media presence will affect your chances of making the University of Washington enrollment.

The University of Washington acceptance rate is low. University of Washington admissions will review your University of Washington application thoroughly. Even so, given the thousands of students trying to make University of Washington enrollment each year, they are unlikely to have time to review the social media accounts of every student.

So, don’t obsess over the content on your social media accounts. Focus instead on improving your University of Washington SAT scores or perfecting your University of Washington essay. 

However, you should still be responsible when posting on social media. Even if University of Washington admissions officers don’t review it, future employers might. Also, there’s always a slim chance that University of Washington admissions does have a quick look at your online presence. So, our advice would be to play it safe!

Finally, remember that you can follow UW’s social media as part of the research phase of your “how to get into University of Washington” plan. 

Is the University of Washington a good school for me?

As you progress with your “how to get into University of Washington” plan, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of the University of Washington application process. You can become fixated on making that University of Washington enrollment.

But, more important than knowing how to get into the UW, is knowing whether the school is right for you. After all, the University of Washington acceptance rate and informal University of Washington GPA requirements don’t tell you what it’s like to be an undergraduate.

Academically, UW is known for its STEM programs. Its College of Built Environments offers six degrees in majors including Real Estate and Urban Design & Planning. The university also has a highly ranked School of Medicine, College of Engineering, and Michael G. Foster School of Business.

In addition, UW is a commuter school – it does not require freshmen to live on campus. This means you can really immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in the world. Equally, the school offers fraternity and sorority housing for those who want to make the most of Greek life. 

To learn more about the school, it can be useful to take a visit.  

Most importantly, as you create your “how to get into University of Washington” plan, establish your needs and goals for your undergraduate experience. Then, do your research and make sure you’ll be able to meet them if you make the University of Washington enrollment. 

Additional tips to get into the University of Washington

Follow the advice in this “How to get into the University of Washington” guide, and you’ll stand a very strong chance of making the University of Washington enrollment despite the low University of Washington acceptance rate. 

Unlike many other schools, the University of Washington application does not include letters of recommendation, demonstrated interest, or an interview. As such, much more weight is put on whether you meet the University of Washington GPA requirements, your University of Washington SAT scores, and your University of Washington essay. 

Therefore, if you want to know how to get into the University of Washington, we suggest you concentrate on doing well in challenging classes at school and immersing yourself in activities that help you grow as a person. And don’t forget to talk about them in your University of Washington essay!

Do these things, and you’ve got a strong chance of making the University of Washington enrollment. Good luck!

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This guide was written by Bethany Nelson. If you want to know how to get into the University of Washington, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes University of Washington graduates. Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.