What We Believe
We believe that admissions is about helping to create a rich educational environment for students at the University, and not simply about numbers.
“In addition to serving a large number of talented Washington students, we also strive to reflect the UW’s growing global presence, both national and international. We embrace the opportunity to be proactive in attracting the most talented students from the nation and around the world as they add to the educational experience of all UW students as well as the community at large.”
Michael K. Young, President of the University of Washington
We believe that people create the environment for a premier university education. Among these people are amazing professors and talented staff, but also the unforgettable students with whom you study and live. A mark of a premiere university is the diversity of experiences, cultures, talents and sheer brain power represented in its student body. This means that admissions cannot only be about the grades and test scores of individual applicants, rather, it must be about creating a student body in which being a member would be an education in itself. Because we aim to form this rich educational environment, we ask not only for your academic information, but also for your personal story – the experiences and opportunities you have had, the challenges and obstacles you have faced, the talents and cultures you can share. Therefore, we use a process of application assessment called holistic review. We believe this process allows you to tell us your story and allows us to create an astounding student body.
In addition to creating an astounding student body, we believe that the holistic review process at the University of Washington helps influence and form the academic choices and behaviors of school districts, high schools, parents, and – most importantly – students. We are proud of the many ways in which holistic review, especially its emphasis on the value of a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, has improved education in the state’s high schools and the college experience itself:
- It has encouraged students from all backgrounds to consider, apply to and enroll at the UW.
- Students, parents, and counselors now understand that the UW always looks at achievement within the context of access and opportunity.
- Counselors across the state have applauded our efforts, noting its positive effect on “senioritis.”
- Students are taking college preparation more seriously and taking more courses in mathematics, science, literature, and world languages, particularly through AP, IB, and other college-level courses.
- Not by chance, the state of Washington ranks 3rd in degree completion at public baccalaureate institutions.
- The UW itself has seen steady improvements in retention and graduation rates and the diversity of our student body.
Holistic review is an application and admission process that requires a lot of effort and patience on your part, and a lot of time and work on our part. We believe it is worthwhile. The result is a wonderful diamond in the rough – the entering student body of the University of Washington.