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Guidelines for special admission by 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. Please review our appeal process below.

NOTE: If you applied as a transfer student, please use the transfer appeal form found here.

Generally, applicants appeal if they have significant new academic and personal information or extraordinary circumstances that were not included in their original application. All eligible appeals will receive a review of updated information, transcripts and the appeal statement, in addition to a review of the original application.

Who can appeal?

Only applicants who were denied admission to the UW or those whose file was closed due to incomplete or missing information may appeal.

Denied applicants

Any applicant denied admission to the UW may appeal. Please note that this includes students who are not offered admission off the waitlist. If you are not offered admission off the waitlist, you may submit your appeal AFTER the waitlist is closed.

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Incomplete application, file closed

Freshmen whose applications were closed because they did not submit missing items that were requested by the Office of Admissions can appeal to have their application re-opened. If your application is re-opened, it will be reviewed for an admission decision. Applicants will be required to provide missing items with the appeal form. Please visit the Missing Items Portal to see which items are required to complete your appeal.

Need assistance? Direct your Incomplete, file closed appeal questions to:

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Who cannot appeal?

  • Students admitted to the UW but not selected for direct entry to their first-choice major may not appeal. This includes the College of Engineering, the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, the Foster School of Business and all other first-choice majors.
  • Students invited to the waitlist may not appeal until the waitlist is closed.

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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, and we encourage you to explore your educational options.

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What issues should my appeal address?

Your appeal should contain significant and compelling new information, which may include extenuating circumstances, not contained in your original application. To clarify, factors such as improved senior year grades, new awards, a change in academic interest or additional activities alone would not be considered significant and compelling new information.

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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?

Complete appeals received by April 10 will receive a decision by May 1.

Appeals received after April 10 may be notified after May 1. Please allow up to 4 weeks to receive your appeal decision.

Appeal decisions are sent via email.

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Disability accommodation

If you require a disability accommodation to submit your appeal, contact the Office of Admissions.


How do I appeal?

  • Your appeal should be clear and concise in presenting your case for admission.
  • The body of your appeal should explain your reason for seeking reconsideration.
  • You will be required to upload an updated/current, high school transcript. Include a college transcript if you are enrolled in college coursework.
  • The Office of Admissions does not interview appellants or consider in-person appeals. Meeting with admissions staff will not affect the outcome of an appeal.
  • Complete the eligibility checklist below to access the appeal form.
  • Note: This appeal form is only for admission decisions to the Seattle campus of the UW.

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