School Name: Washington University
School Location: St. Louis, MO
School Type: Research University
Class of 2023
- Applications: 25,400
- Admitted: ~3,556
- Acceptance Rate: 14%
- Percentage of Class Filled Through ED: 38%
SAT/ ACT (Test Optional for 2020 Applicants)
- SAT ERW: 710-770
- SAT Math: 760-800
- ACT: 33-35
- Early Decision: ED I: November 1 and ED II January 2
- Early Results: ED I: December 15 and ED II February 15
- Regular Deadline: January 2
- Regular Results: April 1
- Schedule: Semester
- Curriculum Type: General Education
- Greek Life: Yes
- Athletics: D III: University Athletic Association
Here’s everything you should know before you apply to WashU
Washington University in St. Louis, often simply called WashU, is the 19th highest ranking national university in the U.S. and one of only two midwestern schools in the top 20. It was founded as a private research university in 1853, and since then has given rise to 24 Nobel Laureates. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Wash U!
Where is WashU?
WashU’s campus is 7 miles from downtown St Louis, which is a bustling medium sized city. Campus is only a 15 minute walk from “the loop,” which is a typical college town and has basically everything you need from restaurants and bars to theaters and music venues. Right across the street from campus is Forest Park. This is one of the largest urban parks in the nation, complete with zoos and museums. So whether you want to spend time in a cozy town, a metropolitan city, or nature, St. Louis has something for you.
How do I apply to WashU?
WashU accepts three different types of applications: the Common Application, Coalition Application, and Questbridge Application. Students applying through the Common or Coalition Application can apply Early Decision I (by November 1), Early Decision II ( by January 2), or Regular Decision (by January 2). ED I and ED II are both binding applications, meaning if you are accepted under either of these decision plans, you must attend WashU. WashU has a 14% admission rate overall.
WashU considers applicants’ academic preparation for their intended major, their cultural fit at WashU, and potential contributions students could make. They also look at letters of recommendation from your counselor and a core subject teacher, your supplemental essay about intellectual curiosity, and of course, test scores and transcripts. WashU practices holistic college admissions, and does not attach specific weights to any individual component of your application. Their unofficial motto is that each student should be known by name and story. So regardless of what your application holds, make sure you share your story and what makes you unique.
What are academics at WashU like?
WashU consists of 5 divisions: Arts and Sciences (63% of students) Architecture (2% of students), Art (4% of students), Business (12% of students), and Engineering (19% of students). Across the five divisions, there are 90+ fields of study and 1500+ courses which offer students so many learning opportunities. WashU has an overall student to faculty ratio of 7:1. And with 24 Nobel laureates, the faculty at WashU are some of the most prestigious people in the country.
Every year, WashU students have the opportunity to participate in 3000 active research programs, and students can begin research as early as freshman year. In addition to all that WashU has to offer for students on campus in St. Louis, students can participate in over 120 study abroad programs around the world.
What is the student body like?
WashU is a diverse and vibrant campus. It has 7, 169 undergraduates in total, representing all 50 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico. The members of the class of 2023 come from 20 different countries in addition to the U.S. and U.S. territories. Here’s a breakdown of the racial and ethnic backgrounds of WashU students:
- 11% Black or African American
- 2% Native American/Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
- 10% Hispanic
- 8% International
- 20% Asian
- 46% White
- 3% Race/Ethnicity unknown
- 23% Total Underrepresented Students of Color (URSOC)
- 9% Other countries and territories
What special opportunities does WashU have?
Every school has something special about it that sets it apart from the hundreds of other institutions like it. At WashU, there are several events and programs that make it a unique place to spend your college years. For instance, every year WashU hosts WILD, an outdoor concert where artists like Carly Rae Jepson or A$AP Ferg perform. On the less fun (but perhaps even more important) side of things, WashU goes above and beyond when it comes to preparing students for success after graduation. The career services center does road shows to take students to different cities and network in person, so that students have more access to professional opportunities and don’t spend their entire senior year just messaging people on Linkedin.
WashU also offers several specialty academic programs called Ampersand Programs. These programs change yearly, but they always involve a group learning experience and out of classroom activities to create a coherent, intellectually fulfilling program. Past classes include Medicine And Society, Writers as Readers, The Theater as a Living Art, and Women in Science.
Is Wash U Affordable?
The total cost of attendance including room and board is $74, 788 per year, but like many top universities, WashU meets 100% of demonstrated need for its students. They offer no loan aid packages to families who earn 75k or less annually, and above that you or your family may need to make a more significant contribution or take out loans to pay for your school.
WashU also offers two types of merit based scholarships: Academic Division scholarships and the Signature Scholar Program. The Signature Scholar Program is separate from the application to attend WashU that interested students must fill out to be considered. However, the Academic Division Scholarships are awarded based on the admissions application, with special attention given to the WashU supplemental essay.