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Guidelines for special admission & appeal

The University’s admission policies comply with Washington State regulations and faculty-authorized requirements. It is the responsibility of the Office of Admissions to apply these standards consistently and fairly. The faculty recognizes, however, that exceptions should be granted occasionally for students in unusual situations.

Who can appeal?


Any denied, waitlisted or incomplete applicant may appeal. Generally, applicants appeal if they believe their academic or personal circumstances could not be considered adequately through the normal freshman review process or that an error occurred in that review.

All appeals include a review of updated information, transcripts and appeal statement in addition to re-reviewing the original admission application that was submitted. If the first-choice requested major was engineering or computer science/computer engineering the appellant will also be considered for direct admission.

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Incomplete application, file closed


Freshmen whose applications were closed because they did not submit missing items that were requested can appeal for an admission decision. Applicants will be required to provide missing information with the appeal form. If you are unsure what items are missing to complete your application please email askuwadm@uw.edu so we may assist you.

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Admitted to UW, denied Direct to College


Freshmen admitted to the UW, but not to the College of Engineering, may appeal their Direct to College decision prior to April 15.

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Admitted to UW, denied to computer science/computer engineering


Freshmen admitted to the UW, but not direct to major for computer science or computer engineering, may appeal their decision prior to April 15.

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Admitted to UW, denied to the Foster School of Business


Freshmen admitted to the UW, but not direct to major for business, should direct appeal materials and questions to bizinfo@uw.edu by April 15. Decisions will be made as space is available and likely by May 15.

Waitlisted applicants


Waitlisted freshmen may appeal. If you appeal and the request is denied, you will remain on the waitlist until a final decision is made. The waitlist is not ranked so returning to the waitlist after a denied appeal will not impact your chances of being admitted from the waitlist at a future date.

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Denied applicants


Denied freshmen may appeal. If you appeal and the request is approved, you may either be offered admission or invited to join the waitlist.

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What are my chances?


Keep in mind that your application was already carefully reviewed. Very few decisions are overturned on appeal — only about one in twenty.

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How do I appeal?


You, the applicant, must submit your appeal in writing, via the online form using your UW NetID.  Your appeal should be no longer than three pages.

Please note, you may only use the appeal form once.

  • You will be required to upload an updated/current, high school transcript. Include a college transcript if you are enrolled in college coursework.
  • The body of your appeal should explain your reason for seeking reconsideration.
  • Your appeal should be clear and concise in presenting your case for admission.
  • Keep in mind that we already reviewed your entire file and expected you to present everything of significance in the initial application.
  • If you believe we missed something of importance, you may direct our attention to it again.
  • If you have new information to share that was not initially included in your application, please let us know. This can include schedule changes, academic area of interest changes, etc.
  • The Office of Admissions does not interview petitioners or consider in-person appeals. Meeting with admissions staff will not affect the outcome of a petition.
  • Artwork, portfolios, or writing samples will not be considered.

Begin appeal

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What issues should my appeal address?


You may include any information you think is important, but usually appeals address relevant items from the list below:

  • Why do you think you are an excellent candidate for the Seattle campus of the University of Washington?
  • Why do you believe you need to be at the Seattle campus of the University of Washington? Why at this time?
  • If your overall academic record is not as strong as it could be, why do you think it is a poor predictor of your future performance? Explain your academic record fully and tell us how you plan to be a successful student at the UW. Your explanation might include (but is not limited to) a discussion of circumstances and hardships, such as personal or family illness, factors related to a disability, or familial or cultural barriers that may have affected your academic performance and record.
  • If you are inadmissible because you have not completed all of the college academic distribution requirements, why were you unable to satisfy these requirements? How do you plan to complete this coursework once enrolled at the UW?
  • If something has changed, for example your academic area of interest you wish to study, you are welcome to include.

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May I submit letters of recommendation?


No, letters of recommendation are not considered as part of your admission application or the appeal process.

How and when will I be notified?


We prioritize appeals for admission to the UW, and are typically able to provide a decision within 2 – 4 weeks. Appeals for computer science/computer engineering and engineering are typically notified of the committee’s decision in late April. Appeal decisions are sent via email.

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Disability accommodation


To request disability accommodation in the appeal process, contact the Office of Admissions.

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