2018 Freshman writing section

These are the prompts for 2018. The essays are a required and important part of your application for admission.

A. Essay (Required)

At the University of Washington, we consider the college essay as our opportunity to see the person behind the transcripts and the numbers. Some of the best statements are written as personal stories. In general, concise, straightforward writing is best, and good essays are often 300 to 400 words in length.

Maximum length: 500 words

The UW will accept any of the five Coalition prompts.

Choose from the options listed below.

  1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  2. Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  3. Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
  4. What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give younger siblings or friends (assuming they would listen to you)?
  5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

B. Short Response (Required)

Maximum length: 300 words

Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds.  Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc.  Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the University of Washington.

Tip

Keep in mind that the University of Washington strives to create a community of students richly diverse in cultural backgrounds, experiences, values, and viewpoints.

C. Additional Information About Yourself or Your Circumstances (Optional)

Maximum length: 200 words

You are not required to write anything in this section, but you may include additional information if something has particular significance to you. For example, you may use this space if:

  • You are hoping to be placed in a specific major soon
  • A personal or professional goal is particularly important to you
  • You have experienced personal hardships in attaining your education
  • Your activities have been limited because of work or family obligations
  • You have experienced unusual limitations or opportunities unique to the schools you attended

D. Additional Space (Optional)

You may use this space if you need to further explain or clarify answers you have given elsewhere in this application, or if you wish to share information that may assist the Office of Admissions. If appropriate, include the application question number to which your comment(s) refer.

Format for the essays

  • Content is important, but spelling, grammar, and punctuation are also considered.
  • We recommend composing in advance, then copy and paste into the application. Double-spacing, italics, and other formatting will be lost, but this will not affect the evaluation of your application.
  • We've observed that most students write a polished formal essay yet submit a more casual Short Response. Give every part of the writing responses your very best effort, presenting yourself in standard, formal English.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Tip

  • Write like it matters, not like you're texting. This is an application for college, not a message to your BFF. Writing i instead of I, cant for cannot, u r for you are: not so kewl.