I submitted my application. When can I log in to the WashU Pathway?

Hooray! Now that you have hit “submit” on your Common or Coalition application, you will receive an email within 24-48 hours that contains your WashU Pathway login information and instructions.

If you are an applicant for financial assistance, it may take an additional business day to match your application with any forms or data you have submitted directly to Student Financial Services. You will then be able to see the “My Checklist” function on the SFS website, and you will log in with the same username and password as you use for the WashU Pathway.

Do I need a WashU Pathway account to apply for admission?

Yes, you do. The WashU Pathway on our website is the only source of accurate information regarding the status of your application for admission to Washington University. We expect applicants to check it regularly.

You must submit the Common Application or Coalition Application to gain access to the WashU Pathway. Once you submit your application, you will receive instructions for creating your password by email.

You will use the same email address and password to login to My FA Access on the Financial Aid website.

Do you prefer the Coalition Application or the Common Application?

Washington University accepts both the Coalition Application or the Common Application, and we have no preference for either one. Students should submit one or the other, not both. Once students have started with one application, they should complete that application and not switch between the two. Both applications will be available beginning August 1.

Why am I asked to choose one of the five divisions when I apply?

Washington University’s five undergraduate divisions offer different curricula for different areas of academic interest. We encourage students to think about where their interests may lie at the time they apply, in terms of a major and a degree path to pursue, and to select one of the five schools as the primary point of interest. Keep in mind that students can change their minds and majors and take courses in other schools. For example, art students may study history, business students poetry, engineering students music, and so forth. But, we ask you to indicate which of the five schools is your primary choice now, so we can provide effective academic advising from the start to help you achieve your goals.

Are there different admission standards for the five schools?

While there are universitywide admission standards common to all of the schools, we look for the right preparation for each curriculum. Students applying to Olin Business School should have completed coursework in math at least through the pre-calculus level with calculus highly recommended. Students applying to McKelvey School of Engineering and/or students who are interested in pre-med should have completed coursework in physics and chemistry, as well as coursework in math at least through the pre-calculus level with calculus highly recommended. Students interested in studying architecture or art should demonstrate interest, skill, or background in art and design by highlighting relevant course work or extracurricular activity. A portfolio is required for applicants to the College of Art and encouraged for applicants to the College of Architecture.

Should I apply Early Decision?

If you know that WashU is your first choice, the answer is YES, you should apply ED I or II. Early Decision applicants demonstrate the same level of academic preparation as their Regular Decision counterparts. And, like Regular Decision students, we meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all students admitted Early Decision. More information about Early Decision.

Can home-schooled students apply for undergraduate admission to Washington University?

Of course! Washington University welcomes applications from home-schooled students. Please have your parent(s) complete the School Report in lieu of the Teacher Evaluation. We also encourage you to include a recommendation from an adult outside your home.

What weights are attached to grades, test scores, responses to the questions on our application, and so forth during the application process?

Admission decisions at WashU are based on a combination of factors, including the high school transcript, test scores, personal essay, teacher evaluation, and extracurricular activities. We do not attach specific weights to individual components of the decision, as a holistic view of each student is taken. However, a student’s academic record in high school is of critical importance in the admission decision because it is the best indicator that we have of how well a student will do in college. IMPORTANT NOTE: WashU has adopted a test optional policy for applicants in 2022. Visit our Fall 2022 Applicant Info page for more information.

Does Washington University take into account the rigor of an academic program, the rigor of a school’s grading system, or the difference between weighted and unweighted grade point averages or ranks in class?

The academic rigor, a high school’s grading system, and whether GPAs and/or ranks (if available) are weighted or unweighted are all taken into account when reviewing each student’s application. We evaluate each student’s academic record in the context of how well he or she took advantage of the opportunities that were available in his or her particular high school.

How do you weigh extracurricular activities?

Extracurricular activities are one of the factors considered when making admissions decisions at Washington University. We try to get a sense of what a student is passionate about beyond the classroom. We look to see what occupies the student’s time when he or she is not in class. Instead of a laundry list of activities, we look for those to which the student has shown commitment over time, the leadership roles that have developed, etc. We also understand that for many students, an after-school job or caring for a sibling or relative will be the primary extracurricular activity or commitment.

Do you take demonstrated interest into consideration?

Yes, demonstrated interest is a factor when we are considering applicants. We want to get to know you through the admissions process and for you to get to know us. “Demonstrated interest” refers to ways that you can explore or research a college or university to learn more about us. One of the best ways to do this is through a campus visit (if feasible) to experience our community first hand. If this is not possible, perhaps you can attend a local information session or college fair, or visit with admissions officers when they visit your high school. You can also demonstrate interest through meaningful interactions via phone or email. Please know that we don’t expect you to do all these things, and demonstrating interest in more than one way is not necessarily better. Rather, we want you to feel comfortable starting the conversation with us. Feel free to ask us questions about our campus, programs, and community that may not be on our website, and share your academic and personal interests with us. This is your time to explore WashU and we are happy to help you.

Does it help to have extra letters of recommendation sent on an applicant’s behalf?

Washington University requires the Counselor Recommendation and one Teacher Evaluation from an academic teacher in high school with whom the student has taken a course.

Students who elect or are unable to provide SAT or ACT scores are encouraged to provide a Teacher Evaluation from a teacher in their area of academic interest who can address academic readiness in the area.

Extra letters are not required, but if you would like to submit an additional letter, you are welcome to do so. While some students choose to submit an additional teacher recommendation, others choose to submit an extra letter of recommendation from a coach, an employer, or a member of the clergy, because that person can provide unique insights that teachers may not include.

What standardized test scores does Washington University accept?

IMPORTANT NOTE: WashU has adopted a test optional policy for applicants in 2022. Visit our Fall 2022 Applicant Info page for more information.

We accept the following standardized tests:

  • SAT Test
  • ACT Test
  • We do not require the writing test if you submit ACT Scores or the optional Essay if you submit SAT scores.

We do not have a preference for either the SAT or the ACT. Test results from any of your high school years are acceptable. 

WashU accepts self-reported scores on the Common and Coalition applications. We hope this policy will make the application more accessible for you, since you will no longer have to formally request scores and pay for them to be sent to WashU. If you enroll at WashU and submitted unofficial scores, we will then ask you to send official score reports from testing agencies (ACT code: 2386; SAT code: 6929).

For the ACT, Washington University considers your highest section scores across all the test dates that you submit. If you take both the ACT and SAT, we will consider whichever set of scores is most advantageous to you. We will “Super Score” your ACT or SAT scores and consider your highest section scores across all test dates you submit (we will accept individual section retakes on the ACT). The last test date accepted will be the December testing (October if applying Early Decision I).

What are Washington University’s admissions policies toward undocumented students?

Undocumented students receive the same admissions review as all applicants to our undergraduate programs. Students may choose to apply through the Common Application or the Coalition Application, which have optional questions regarding undocumented/DACA status. Applicants who are currently in the DACA Status (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) will need to select “Other (Non-US)” for citizenship status. Then answer “No” for “Do you currently hold a valid U.S. Visa?”

Please see the Center for Diversity & Inclusion website for more information regarding Undocumented Students (DACA) at WashU.

Are there required minimum GPA, class rank, or standardized test scores?

Although we do look for students who are strong academically, Washington University does not have any minimum requirements for GPA, class rank, or standardized test scores. A combination of academic and personal factors is considered in making the admission decision for each student. IMPORTANT NOTE: WashU has adopted a test optional policy for applicants in 2022. Visit our Fall 2022 Applicant Info page for more information.

Which college or school at Washington University will offer me the best chance of admission?

Washington University offers students admission based on their academic interests, high school transcript, test scores, personal essay, recommendations, and extracurricular activities. While overall admission percentages may vary somewhat from year to year, we look for the same qualities in our applicants across all academic divisions at WashU. We encourage you to apply to the school that offers courses and majors in which you are most interested at the time you apply.

Is it better to take an advanced class in high school and get a B, or take the regular course and get an A?

Of course, it is best to take the advanced class and get an A! If you get a B in the advanced class, that’s fine, too. Your main goal should be to challenge yourself in high school to the extent that your high school allows, so you’ll be better prepared for the academic challenges in college.

Does it matter whether an applicant attends a public or private secondary school?

No. We consider all aspects of each applicant’s high school situation — academic rigor, course offerings, grading system, GPAs, and/or class ranking systems.

Does Washington University rank high schools?

Washington University does not rank or compare high schools. Instead, we work to understand each student within the context of his or her high school.

Does Washington University limit the number of students admitted from a particular high school?

There are no limits or quotas for the number of students we admit from any high school, city, or state. While Washington University is a diverse community — for example, geographically, ethnically, and economically — our diversity is not contrived.

Is a portfolio required for applicants to the College of Art?

Yes, a portfolio is required for applicants to the College of Art. To be considered for an academic scholarship, your portfolio must be submitted in digital format. Portfolios are strongly encouraged for the College of Architecture, as well, and should follow the guidelines for the College of Art. The portfolio may include drawings, paintings, design models, sculpture, ceramics, etc. Do not include CAD drawings or examples of drafting skills. These portfolios should be submitted through the SlideRoom. There is no charge for portfolios submitted for Art and Architecture applicants. For details, please visit the Portfolio Guidelines page.

I’m an Early Decision applicant. What does Washington University mean when it asks for my mid-year grades?

Washington University needs to see your progress in your senior year. If your school issues quarter or trimester grades, please have your school send them. If not, we will accept a progress report from your school that includes each class in which you are currently enrolled and your current grade in that class.

How many letters of recommendation can I submit?

We require one letter of recommendation from a teacher and one letter of recommendation from your counselor. Students are able to submit one additional letter of recommendation through the Common Application or Coalition Application if they wish. Although you may include a letter from a coach, mentor, etc., most applicants include a second teacher letter.

Can an applicant who has been admitted defer enrollment?

WashU recognizes that a small number of first-year students each year may request to defer their admission for a year and take a gap year to complete military service, religious commitments, a well-defined, substantial personal growth opportunity (including travel), or for other personal reasons. Students are unable to enroll full-time in another institution during this time.

Deferral requests are evaluated by the Admissions Office on a case-by-case basis, and admitted students must complete and submit their Acceptance Form and Enrollment Deposit prior to requesting a gap year.

Students must email the Admissions Office (admissions@wustl.edu) to request a gap year by May 15, 2021. Students will be notified of the outcome of their requests by June 1, 2021.

Requests are granted for one year. Requests for a second year are also granted on a case-by-case basis, typically in the event of compulsory military or religious service.

Please note that the Admissions Office considers all deferral requests individually, taking into account the needs of each student. Students and families with questions/concerns about the gap year process or with extenuating circumstances should contact the Admissions Office (admissions@wustl.edu).

If you need to request a gap year after the May 15 deadline, please contact the Admissions Office for assistance.

Will coursework transfer if I am enrolled part-time at another university?

Students do not typically attend another university during a gap year, however, if they do complete coursework they must contact their dean’s office at WashU to have an assessment of any credits earned to see if they will transfer. The dean’s office has the final say on transferability of any credits earned.

Does Washington University accept credit from Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate examinations or A-Level results?

In a highly selective applicant pool, transcripts that include AP, IB, or A-Level coursework help Admissions advocate for applicants. Admitted students may benefit from the results of this coursework in terms of placement and/or credit. A maximum of 15 units of pre-matriculation credit may be counted toward any undergraduate degree. These units will count toward graduation, but will not meet general education requirements. Placement and credit policies vary by subject area and academic division; detailed information may be accessed through the links below:

Can I enroll full-time at another institution during my gap year?

Students are not permitted to enroll full-time at another institution during their gap year. If a student enrolls at another institution full time, that student would need to re-apply to WashU as a transfer in a subsequent year.

Can I change the school to which I’ve applied after I’ve submitted my application, but before the admissions application deadline?

Yes. Simply send your request in writing to admissions@wustl.edu. Include your full name as it appears on your application for admission and the name of the high school you attend. If you have questions, call our office at 800-638-0700 or 314-935-6000, and ask to speak with an admissions officer or your application processor.

Can I change my mind about what I want to study and switch undergraduate colleges (schools) at WashU, after I’ve been admitted and/or after I’ve enrolled?

First-year students are required to wait one full semester before requesting a change to another undergraduate college at WashU.

Please keep in mind that:

  • You will be able to take courses in all of the colleges as you explore your academic interests
  • You can work with your academic advisor to add a major or minor in another WashU college
  • You have three full semesters to decide on your academic major.

Transfer students are also required to wait one full semester before requesting a change to another undergraduate division at WashU. Transferring to another division is not guaranteed.

If I am disciplined at school for participating in a peaceful protest about an issue that is important to me, will that affect my chance to attend WashU?

We encourage civic engagement. If you are disciplined by your high school for engaging in peaceful demonstrations, that disciplinary action will not have a negative impact on how your application is reviewed. If you have already been admitted, your acceptance will not be rescinded.

How do I check my application status? Did Washington University receive my Common or Coalition Application?

Please log in to your Common Application or Coalition Application account to see if your application has been submitted. Once you submit the application, you will be able to check the progress of your application using the WashU Pathway on our website. We will email instructions for selecting your WashU Pathway password after our office has received and processed your application. When you log in to the WashU Pathway, you will be able to see what pieces of your application have been received by our office, verify your application data, submit electronic applications for our Signature Scholar Programs, and link to a site where you can check the status of your application for financial assistance. If you have any questions about the status of your application to Washington University, please contact your application processor.

Does Washington University require the Common Application Arts Supplement?

We do not require the Common Application Arts Supplement, but we do require students applying to the College of Art to submit a portfolio. Please see Portfolio Guidelines for more information.

Does Washington University require a counselor recommendation?

Yes, Washington University does require a counselor recommendation for students applying for first-year admission. The Counselor Recommendation will be available to your counselor only after the School Report has been submitted. Both the School Report and the Counselor Recommendation are required to complete your application.

Can I submit supplemental materials?

If you are applying to the College of Art, a portfolio is required. If you are applying to the College of Architecture, a portfolio is recommended, but not required. (It is only required if you wish to be considered for the Fitzgibbon Scholarship in Architecture). These portfolios should be submitted through SlideRoom. There is no charge for portfolios submitted for Art and Architecture applicants. Please see Portfolio Guidelines for more information.

If you wish to submit a “Maker Portfolio” highlighting a project you have made that you would like McKelvey School of Engineering to consider, please submit it through the SlideRoom. While a “Maker Portfolio” is not required, the School is dedicated to encouraging Makers and will review the portfolio with interest.

For applicants to the College of Arts & Sciences, McKelvey School of Engineering, Olin Business School: If you decide to submit a supplement (athletic, performing arts, research, etc.), SlideRoom will charge you a $10 fee for each submission. These supplements are not required. We encourage you to present yourself the best you can within the format of your application for admission, namely in the extracurricular, personal essay, and additional information sections.

I am having trouble using the Common Application/Coalition Application. Who should I contact?

Unfortunately, our office is unable to assist students having technical problems with either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. If you are having trouble completing and submitting your application, use the “Ask a Question” function in the “Help Center” section of the Common Application website or click on the “Contact our Help Desk” link within the Coalition Application.

Does Washington University have an accelerated BS/MD program or a program for early admission to medical school?

No, WashU does not offer accelerated programs for entry to medical school. Rather, WashU offers a comprehensive pre-health sciences curriculum that advises and educates all students interested in a career in the health sciences as they prepare for medical school. WashU’s PreHealth website has detailed information about how we provide comprehensive advising and support to students on their path toward a career in the health professions.

Why did WashU end the USP Medicine Program?

WashU continually evaluates its programs and practices to ensure they are meeting the needs of both students and the institution.

I’ve heard of the University Scholars Program in Medicine, but can’t find any information. How do I learn more?

The University Scholars Program in Medicine is being phased out after the current group of scholars moves on to Medical School, therefore, it is no longer possible to apply for this program. Beginning with the class entering in Fall 2021, students who are interested in a career in the health sciences should select their major and an interest in Pre-Health Studies in the pre-professional category of the application. Admitted students will learn more about our Pre-Health advising program and how to make the best use of their undergraduate studies to prepare for eventual admission to medical school.

Who should I contact if I have a question about my application?

Our Admissions Services Coordinators are available to assist you Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Central Time.

When sending an email message, be sure to include your full name as it appears on your application for undergraduate admission, your mailing address, your phone number, your email address, and your high school or current institution.

If you prefer, you may call our office at 314-935-6000 or 800-638-0700 (toll-free in the United States).

Find my Admissions Services Coordinator

Our family cannot afford the whole cost of Washington University. Should I even bother applying?

Of course! We are committed to making a WashU education affordable for students who have been offered admission. If you don’t apply, you won’t find out how we can help you. Our awards range up to the full cost of attendance. You have nothing to lose by applying.

For students who show demonstrated financial need, Washington University will waive the application fee so all students interested in attending are not discouraged by financial hardships. If you do qualify, simply indicate on the Common Application or Coalition Application that you qualify for a fee waiver.

Do I apply for need-based aid every year?

Yes. If your award contains need-based components, it’s important for the university to tailor your financial aid package based on the yearly changes in your family’s income, assets, or family demographics.

In general, your award will remain the same or increase from year to year, as long as your family’s FAFSA information remains relatively consistent. We realize changes in your family’s financial situation can happen from year-to-year while you are a student. We will work with your family to understand any changes and help you prepare for the upcoming academic year.

Is there a GPA requirement to keep my financial aid award?

You are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward your degree. This is generally defined as maintaining a 2.0 GPA and earning enough credits to graduate on time.

Is the only way for my family to pay our share of the costs to write a big check each semester?

No. Our interest-free Installment Payment Plan allows you to spread each semester’s tuition, fees, room, and board charges over 5 equal monthly payments. Washington University’s Partners in Education with Parents (PEP) is among the best parent financing programs in the country. PEP features low interest rates, low monthly repayment terms, and the option to freeze all four years of costs at the entering-year rate.

What will happen if my family and I have unexpected financial problems after I’ve enrolled?

Our primary goal is to help our students be successful. We do all we can in response to changing family circumstances to help you complete your Washington University education.

Will I have to work while I’m in school? I don’t want work to hurt my coursework.

Many students choose Federal Work-Study jobs related to their academic and extracurricular interests. Work schedules don’t interfere with classes. Common part-time employment may include assisting a researcher, working at the call center, or helping students at the library. Students with part-time jobs tell us how much they learn from the experience. Both the job and the contacts they make are very helpful when they are looking for full-time employment after graduation. 

Are international students eligible for financial aid?

Yes. International students can receive need-based financial assistance. Students with permanent resident status in the United States should apply for financial assistance as U.S. citizens. International students are also welcome to apply for merit-based academic scholarships (except the John B. Ervin Scholars Program).

Are there additional expenses for international students? What cost is used for visa processing?

Costs for the 2019-2020 academic year, includes tuition, fees, and the student health insurance plan are $57,272. Living expenses (includes room and board, books and supplies, clothing, incidentals, and recreation) are estimated at a minimum of $23,090 for 12 months. The total of $80,362 per year is the figure used for visa processing.

These figures may not include the costs for the English Language Program (required for students who do not meet English proficiency standards). Students in art and architecture should plan to spend an additional $600 for books and supplies. Some programs may require the purchase of specific computer equipment.

The cost estimate for living expenses covers only minimal essential expenditures. Expenses for clothing, recreation, and incidentals are variable, and the cost of travel outside St. Louis is not included.

Students admitted to the United States on student visas are not permitted to work off-campus during the first academic year (thereafter only under limited circumstances). Employment should not be considered as a means of support.

I’m a National Merit finalist. Will I receive a scholarship from Washington University?

The type of National Merit Scholarship you receive is determined by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). If you receive scholarship funds from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, Washington University will accept the award as an outside scholarship to help cover part of the cost of attendance. However, Washington University does not offer University-funded scholarships based on a student’s standing with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

What is the deadline to apply for first-year merit-based academic scholarships?

All materials must be submitted by January 4, 2021. Please see the scholarship program’s page for application instructions.

I’m applying Early Decision. Am I eligible for scholarships?

Yes. If you apply under our binding Early Decision I or II plan, you may still be considered for any merit-based academic scholarship matching your academic and extracurricular achievements. Scholarships are not awarded until spring. 

If I am eligible for financial aid based on need and also receive a scholarship, will the scholarship affect my aid package?

If your scholarship covers your financial needs, you will no longer require need-based financial aid. However, Student Financial Services will work with your family’s individual circumstances to ensure that your WashU education is affordable for you and your family. 

If I am awarded a scholarship, what grade-point average will I need to maintain?

Scholarships are renewable for four years as long as you are making satisfactory progress toward a bachelor’s degree. This is generally defined as maintaining a 2.0 GPA and earning enough credits to graduate on time.

Can my scholarship be applied to a study abroad program?

Yes, if you choose to study abroad during the academic year through a WashU-sponsored program.

Do I need to be nominated for the Danforth Scholars Program?

We’ve eliminated the nomination requirement from the application process to ensure equal access for all students wanting to apply. This ensures students from under-resourced schools and communities will be able to apply and be considered for this program.