University of Washington Admissions: The SAT, ACT Scores and GPA You Need to Get In

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How to get into University of Washington? Read on to learn all about University of Washington SAT scores, University of Washington ACT scores, and University of Washington admissions.

How to Get Into University of Washington: An Introduction to University of Washington Admissions

The University of Washington is ranked number 58 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report. This puts U Washington at roughly the 97th percentile for university quality, making it very competitive. How competitive? Let’s take a quick look at University of Washington admissions stats, in terms of University of Washington SAT scores, University of Washington ACT scores, University of Washington GPA, and the school’s acceptance rate.

  • University of Washington SAT Scores (whole test, Middle 50%):
  • University of Washington SAT Scores (Math, middle 50%):
  • University of Washington SAT Scores (Reading and Writing, Middle 50%):
  • University of Washington ACT Scores (Whole-test score, middle 50%):
  • University of Washington Acceptance Rate (Freshman applicants):
  • University of Washington GPA Range (freshman applicants):
  • (Source: US News & World Report)

We’ll go over test scores and GPA in more detail, but don’t forget the other factors University of Washington may look into!

“Honestly, University of Washington looks for a well-rounded student. Just because you have good grades, and good test scores doesn’t necessarily prove that you are suited for that school. I say to get involved a lot in your school, and be passionate about them. You don’t necessarily have to be a leader in every club, and etc, but make sure to be passionate about that club/subject. Extracurricular activities show what you’re capable of! Your essay is also a huge factor in college applications. Make sure your essay truly shows who you are and how you can contribute to the University.” — Klpark, AdmitSee

University of Washington SAT Scores: A Closer Look

University of Washington admissions superscores your SAT scores. But what the heck does this mean?

If you’re picturing an SAT score report in tights and a cape, able to do things that ordinary SAT score reports can’t, you’re not far off, actually. While your SAT score report won’t literally be flying through the sky in heroic garb and colors, U Washington allows your SAT report to do something no ordinary SAT report could do at most schools. SAT superscoring allows your SAT score report to be combined with another one, so that you get a combination of the best section scores.

If that still sounds confusing, let me give you an example. Suppose you took the SAT last year and got a 610 in both Math and in the Reading and Writing section. This is frustrating because it puts your score in the middle 50% range for University of Washington admissions for Reading and Writing, but not for Math. So close and yet so far!

This is where your superscore can save the day! Next, imagine you retook the SAT just last month, and this time you got a 630 in Math… but a 570 in Reading and Writing. You just can’t win… or can you? But because the University of Washington accepts superscores, you can win there. You can submit both score reports, and UW will accept the highest section scores from each report. You now have a 630 in Math and a 610 in Reading and Writing. It’s an interesting aspect of how to get into University of Washington.

University of Washington ACT Scores: University of Washington Admissions allows Superscoring Here Too!

ACT superscores are also a thing at the University of Washington admissions office. University of Washington admissions lets you average ACT section scores from different tests.

Again, I’ll illustrate the magic of superscoring with an example. Let’s say you get these ACT section scores on your first attempt: 28 English, 30 Reading, 31 Math, 29 Science. And suppose your retake scores are: 31 English, 33 Reading, 29 Math, 27 Science. University of Washington lets you combine the best sections on both tests, as follows: 31 English, 33 Reading, 31 Math, 29 Science.

How to Get Into University of Washington: Your Odds (University of Washington Acceptance Rate)

As I mentioned above, the University of Washington’s acceptance rate is 52% for incoming freshman. However, there is far more to the University of Washington acceptance rate than just the freshman numbers. Let’s take a closer look.

Being a Washington resident greatly increases your odds of getting a coveted University of Washington acceptance letter. The University of Washington is a public university run by the state of Washington; as you might expect, they prioritize serving state residents. In-state applicants have a 59 acceptance rate, giving them an advantage.

In contrast, being a transfer decreases your odds when it comes to how to University of Washington admissions. Transfer students have a 47% acceptance rate. This low acceptance rate is true even for in-state applicants who are transferring from other U Washington schools.

Want to increases your chances of getting into U Washington? According to Matt Bishop, Assistant Director at the Office of Admissions, take the most challenging courses you can:

how to get into university of washington

“The most competitive applicants to the University of Washington will have a strong academic record, the foundation for which is rigorous course work. We love to see students who have gone beyond minimum requirements by taking courses like pre-calculus or calculus, a third or fourth year of world language, and three or more years of lab science. Any student who has the opportunity to take college prep classes like Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate should do so (as long as they believe they can do well in them). We also look favorably on dual enrollment opportunities, so long as the college courses taken are rigorous and academic.”

University of Washington GPA and University of Washington Admissions

University of Washington’s GPA for incoming freshmen overall is 3.7–4.0.

It’s helpful to keep track of your GPA as you complete classes, whether you’re a high school U Washington hopeful or an aspiring transfer student. To figure out what your GPA will be as your grades come in, use Magoosh’s GPA calculator tool.

University of Washington Freshman Profile

Some data from this section is from 2020, due to a lack of new information from the school.

One of the most striking things about the mix of Washington University freshmen is just how diverse a group they are. Although Washington state residents make up the majority of the student body, non-residents are almost evenly divided between American students and international ones. This means that 18% of Washington State’s students–nearly 1 in 5– are from other countries.

Many of the most represented foreign countries on campus are what you’d expect. For example, the University of Washington accepts many applicants from India, China, and South Korea. But the most represented country for U Washington’s international students is Canada, a nation that sends relatively few international undergrads to the United States. Indonesia and Malaysia, two other countries that are usually under-represented in terms of international students, also send many students to study at UW.

Not only that, but just about every region of the U.S. is well-represented at the University of Washington, with a near equal amount of students coming from the Midwest, the East, and West Coasts, the South and Southwest, etc. Even non-mainland Americans are well-represented among incoming freshman, with Hawaii as one of the top sources of out-of-state students.

In short, the freshman profile at the University of Washington is wonderfully diverse. No matter where you are from, if you attend the University of Washington, you’re likely to meet people from home. And at the same time, you’ll get to learn and grow with learners from all over the nation and the world.

How to Get Into University of Washington: Other Admissions Requirements and Info

We’ve already discussed GPA and the expectations for University of Washington SAT scores and University of Washington ACT scores. But what about other requirements, such as letters of recommendation or admissions essays?

Let’s start with letters of recommendation. The University of Washington takes a strong position against letters of recommendation. University of Washington admissions for undergrads will not even consider letters of recommendation. Moreover, they actually ask students not to submit reference letters. Given UW’s stance, a letter of recommendation could actually hurt your chances of acceptance as an undergrad.

Of course, this prohibition on recommendations only applies to baccalaureate studies. University of Washington admissions does ask for letters of recommendation for its grad programs. And a number of other top schools will ask for reference letters, both for graduate and undergraduate students. If you’re applying to multiple schools or already thinking of grad school, you may enjoy Magoosh’s article on how to ask for a letter of recommendation for college.

Now let’s talk admissions essays. These are required by University of Washington admissions. In fact, your admissions essays (yes, more than one!) are a vital part of how to get into University of Washington. You’ll be expected to write one longer essay (maximum of 650 words), and one “short statement” (maximum of 300 words). The good news is that these aren’t hard-to-write “research essays.” Nor are the keys to a successful essay shrouded in mystery. Instead, the University of Washington has a web page that lists all possible essay questions, with detailed instructions. Magoosh offers a secondary resource that may help as well. Many aspects of our Common App essay tutorial are relevant to the University of Washington Admissions essay.

“The context in which a student experiences high school can also be influential. If you have faced extenuating circumstances or overcome challenges, let us know. If you have unique cultural perspective or have been involved in impressive leadership or service activities, be sure to write about it. No matter what you do outside the classroom, whether it’s sports, taking care of your siblings, the arts, or having a job, we want to know.” — Matt Bishop, Assistant Director, Office of Admissions

How to Get Into University of Washington: Frequently Asked Questions

And now, for a roundup of frequently asked questions about University of Washington admissions, University of Washington SAT scores, University of Washington ACT scores, and how to get into the University of Washington.

Is a 1200 on the New SAT good for University of Washington admissions?
It would be fair to describe a 1200 on the new SAT as good but not great where University of Washington admissions are concerned. This would put you below the middle 50% of applicants.

What is the out of state acceptance rate for the University of Washington?
Out-of-state applicants have a 51% acceptance rate, compared to the overall average rate of 52%. (This lower acceptance rate for non-Washingtonians applies both to students from other states and to international students from other countries.)

Where can I find detailed University of Washington admissions statistics?
The best place to find University of Washington admissions statistics is on the University of Washington website itself. An detailed list of the most recent University of Washington admissions statistics can be found here.

How to Get Into the University of Washington: Conclusion

There’s a perception that public universities are less competitive than private ones–in America at least. While this can sometimes be true, the University of Washington does not follow this trend. It’s a highly competitive school that attracts applicants from across the globe.

Getting into the University of Washington can be a challenge. But to quote Dr. Kelso on Scrubs (a sitcom from 10 years ago, for you young college applicants), “Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy.” Be prepared to work hard to get in. But certainly don’t think of University of Washington Admissions as “mission: impossible” (or “admissions impossible,” to use a terrible pun). Armed with the knowledge in this article, you can crack University of Washington admissions, and embark on a diverse, high-quality learning experience.

Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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