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University of Washington Undergraduate College Application Essays

These University of Washington college application essays were written by students accepted at University of Washington. All of our sample college essays include the question prompt and the year written. Please use these sample admission essays responsibly.

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College Application Essays accepted by University of Washington

The Insurmountable Slice William Gibbs

University of Washington

I consider myself a food enthusiast. That is, I love food in all of its aspects; the obvious nutiritional significance, the delightful variations in flavor and texture, the cultural connections, and sometimes even the visual beauty of it. One may.

iBook William Gibbs

University of Washington

Admissions Board: In order to convey as much information as possible to you, I have written an essay that will help give an idea about what I am interested in, how I serve my peers and community, and the types of experiences that really stick in.

A Night at the Fifth Avenue Brian D. Earp

University of Washington

Midnight was two hours old before I could finally peel out of my costume. The prosthetic nose and glue-on beard tore at my skin as I tugged them off, and they quickly joined the clutter on the bathroom floor: a tired pile of mismatched robes.

The Listening Party Brian D. Earp

University of Washington

My brother lives in a “gated community,” one of those manufactured neighborhoods. It was like we were driving through the streets of a toy city, a miniature suburb built for the amusement of a god-sized obsessive compulsive. I myself was steering.

I'm No Buffy the Vampire Slayer Arielle Ring

University of Washington

A few years ago, USA Today named the star of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, Sarah Michelle Gellar, the epitome of the modern feminist. Declaring “with her take-no-prisoners attitude. vampire-slaying Buffy Summers has become. a feminist hero who’s.

Hawaiian Style Anonymous

University of Washington

Being born and raised in Hawaii as a hapa haole, or half-Caucasian and half-Asian, I have many insights about the local culture of my homeland. Today, Hawaiian culture doesn’t just consist of the native Hawaiians, who currently make up less than.

Family Photos Young Kim

University of Washington

Nonchalantly browsing through family photos, I hastily flip through the pages when I suddenly get a paper cut. Blood slowly flows from a small slit on my finger and onto the plastic film. The blood lands on a particularly bland picture–but it.

Ascending Anonymous

University of Washington

I walk into the darkened nave of the church, ascend the steep incline between the pews, and stop at the vacant and quiet sanctuary. At the top of my climb is an illuminated room full of lively preschool children chattering with one another and.

Military Brat Anonymous

University of Washington

I have never lived in one place for more than four years at a time. The reason? I am an Army brat. Some feel sorry for me, but I think my life was greatly enriched by moving so often. My life has given me many unique opportunities to observe and.

Communications and Leadership Scott Lemoine

University of Washington

“Good morning Torrey Pines! It’s a beautiful Monday, 77 degrees and partly cloudy.”

My voice echoed throughout the campus and every classroom, as it was my responsibility to do the morning announcements each day in my position as Senior Class.

Special Olympics Scott Lemoine

University of Washington

Neither Ray nor I knew what miracles were possible. At one hundred and eighty-five pounds, five foot ten inches tall, and a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome, Ray was a Special Olympic athlete with a dream to become a champion, but his mental.

The Cliche Keenan Johns

University of Washington

Forget for a moment all that you’ve heard about the student athlete. Forget about the dedication and determination one needs to compete on a top-level team. Forget about the teamwork, the almost insidious way an athlete learns the value of.

Life as a Scribe Anthony Mells

University of Washington

As I rushed up to the sliding glass doors that marked the entrance to the Emergency Room, my heart pounded with exhilaration. Patients were sitting in chairs, lying on stretchers, and nervously pacing the floor. With a dry mouth and sweaty palms.

Unconditional Love Anonymous

University of Washington

The roaring waves crashed against the rocks. The sky was black except for two glowing fluorescent lights in a distance. I stood alone facing the Pacific Ocean and tears slowly trickled down my face but the wind quickly blew them away into the.

How Clay Changed My Attitude Anonymous

University of Washington

When I read through my first semester schedule, my face glowed with happiness when I saw Ceramics as my first period class. On the first day of school, I walked into the classroom with a smirk. I pitied the freshmen and sophomores for listening so.

Obstacles in Responding to Medical Crises Anonymous

University of Washington

During the first months of my residence in New York City, the lavishness and consumption of the American lifestyle surprised me. As a new immigrant from rural China to the Big Apple, I was mentally unprepared for the sights and sounds of such a.

The Fortune Spiders Anonymous

University of Washington

When the clear automatic doors opened to the humid air of New York City, my life would never be the same. The busy traffic with dozens of yellow cabs overwhelmed a girl who grew up in a place where a bike is an expensive transportation tool. While.

Humility Christopher Kim

University of Washington

My childhood began amidst a bevy of confusion – my parents worked several jobs and rushed in and out of the front door from one shift to the next, each time in a different uniform. Although my sister and I were able to take part in every school.

Outside the Box Anonymous

University of Washington

As I graduate from high school with just enough basic understanding of the arts and sciences to appreciate their complexity and depth, I find myself constantly investigating a broad range of topics. My intended field of study is biology, with the.

Jan the Troubadour Anonymous

University of Washington

Three months into my exchange year in Germany, my friend called me, a little dejected. She wanted to go downtown, and it was clear why. There was still something incredibly rousing, mysterious, and exciting about the European city that had.

Live On Anonymous

University of Washington

I always thought Peter Pan was mad. While he and his fellow Neverlanders were enjoying their eternal childhood, I was desperately awaiting my “grown-up” days. I just wanted to rush through life; I wanted to close my eyes and wake up a responsible.

Project in International Engagement Cameron Vohr

University of Washington

Two things happened to me in elementary school that changed my life: I started organizing small local peace rallies with my mother and I got my first alto saxophone. In those days, the two were unrelated. Years later, however, upon joining the.

Personal Statement Essay Anonymous

University of Washington

“You’re in the wrong line, Melody!” my former classmate shouted across the blacktop. Heads turned and people stared, and my blushing cheeks complemented my hot pink shirt. I felt embarrassed and proud at the same time. On a hot September day in.

Understanding and Developing from Misconceptions Anonymous

University of Washington

As a blonde cheerleader, I’ve chuckled to myself when instructors who don’t yet know me refrain from calling on me the first week of class. I guess the uniform and pom-poms give them a subconscious stereotype that I will be unable to answer the.

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Personal statement

All applicants must write a personal statement and submit it with the application for admission.

The personal statement should be a comprehensive narrative essay outlining significant aspects of your academic and personal history, particularly those that provide context for your academic achievements and educational choices. Quality of writing and depth of content both contribute toward a meaningful and relevant personal statement.

I. Address the following topics:

A. Academic Elements (required)

  • Academic History
    • Tell us about your college career to date, describing your performance, educational path and choices.
    • Explain any situations that may have had a significant positive or negative impact on your academic progress and/or curricular choices. If you transferred multiple times, had a significant break in your education, or changed career paths, explain.
    • What are the specific reasons you wish to leave your most recent college/university and/or program of study?
  • Your Major and/or Career Goals
    • Tell us about your intended major and career aspirations.
  • Are you prepared to enter your intended major at this time? If not, describe your plans for preparing for the major. What led you to choose this major? If you are still undecided, why? What type of career are you most likely to pursue after finishing your education?
  • How will the UW help you attain your academic, career, and/or personal goals?

B. Personal Elements (required)

  • Cultural Understanding
    • Thoughtfully describe the ways in which culture had an impact on your life and what you have learned about yourself and society as a result. How has your own cultural history enriched and/or challenged you?
    • NOTE: Culture may be defined broadly. Cultural understanding is often drawn from the ethnic background, customs, values, and ideas of a person’s immediate family, community, and/or social environment in which they live.
  • Educational Challenges / Personal Hardships (if applicable)
    • Describe any personal or imposed challenges or hardships you have overcome in pursuing your education.
    • Examples: a serious illness, a disability, first generation in your family to attend college, significant financial hardship or responsibilities associated with balancing work, family and school.
  • Community, Military, or Volunteer Service (if applicable)
    • Describe your community, Military, or volunteer service, including leadership, awards, or increased levels of responsibility.
  • Experiential Learning (if applicable)
    • Describe your involvement in research, artistic endeavors, and work (paid or volunteer), as they have contributed to your academic, career or personal goals.

Additional Comments (optional)

Do you have a compelling academic or personal need to attend the Seattle campus of the University of Washington at this time? Is there anything else you would like us to know?

II. Personal Statement Format

Content as well as form, spelling, grammar, and punctuation, will be considered. Suggested length is 750-1000 words.

  • Online: You should write your statement first in a word processing program (such as Word) or a text editor, and then copy/paste it into the text box provided. All line breaks remain. However, some formatting may be lost, such as bold, italics and underlines. This will not affect the evaluation of your application!
  • PDF: Type or write your statement on 8.5×11” white paper. Double-space your lines, and use only one side of each sheet. Print your name, the words “Personal Statement,” and the date at the top of each page, and attach the pages to your application.
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      • Application fee
      • Send SAT/ACT scores?
      • Send transcripts
      • Spring quarter admission
      • Personal statement
      • Additional requirements for international transfer students

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© 2018 University of Washington | Seattle, WA

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 that good essays are often 300 to 400 words in length.

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)

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.

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)

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!
  • 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.
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    • How to apply
      • Application fee
      • Send test scores
      • Writing section
      • Additional requirements for international freshman students

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Connect with us:

© 2018 University of Washington | Seattle, WA

How to Reply to University of Washington Essay Prompts

As a university that belongs to the Association of American Universities with one of the best and most demanding curriculums with an acceptance rate of 45%, this university can actually be one of the hardest to get in. And not only because they are demanding in grades, documents or simple requirements, but because the University of Washington Essay Prompts have made have many applicants lose their opportunity.

This happens because the University of Washington application essay prompts can be really hard. Actually, many people tend to stumble with them without even knowing about them and thus, they make mistakes when answering. But this is something you don’t have to worry about; as our graduate school statement of purpose writing services are going to show you the different UW essay prompts you can encounter and give you some tips on how to answer them. But first, take a look at the application requirements.

University of Washington Requirements

As you know, the University of Washington is not the most demanding university of America. However, it is still demanding with many requirements that are of utmost importance, sometimes even obligatory to comply with. Take a look:

  • UW application essay prompts answers required with the Coalition app
  • Application Form completed and sent with Application Fee
  • Test Scores for SAT and ACT writing. Directly from the Testing Agencies.
  • English Proficiency for International Students. Tests like TOEFL and IELTS
  • Transcripts according to the filled in data on the coalition app. Do not send any transcripts to the university.
  • No letters of recommendation
  • No interviews

As you see, the requirements for U-Dub are pretty easy to follow. And according to some of these requirements, they seem very simple without letters of recommendations or transcripts that could make the process a little difficult. The application on this university is mainly based on the Coalition App, so you can have better chances of getting admitted.

All requirements need to be submitted to the Coalition App by the 1st of November of every year starting from the 1st of September.

The University of Washington Writing Prompts 2017 List

As you know, there are certain prompts every student needs to answer when applying to this university. These prompts are normally easy; however, they can present a big challenge to those inattentive applicants. But you don’t have to worry; here we have every one of these prompts and some of the best tips to answer them correctly:

Prompt #1: Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

Here you can write almost anything you feel like writing. However, it is important to remember that it should focus on making you look better for the admission committee. You won’t like to talk about a story on how you cheat on your girlfriend or how you won a bet with your friend. Make sure you focus on something that has academic meaning (if you can) or something which makes you look like a better person.

CollegeVine affirms that:

“While you can write about observing someone else’s good or bad deed, remember that this essay is supposed to be about you, and devote most of your space to your own thoughts, revelations, and subsequent actions.”

This means, focus on yourself more than anything else. Do not fall for telling a story about other people or something that doesn’t have anything to do with you. Describe yourself in a story if possible.

Prompt #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.

If you are someone who likes to serviceable and solitary, this is the perfect prompt for you. Here you can talk about any time you have offered something to your school, community or just a certain group of people who needed it. But it is important to talk about something you did by yourself or something you were a major leader at. However, it is always important to focus more on WHY and the HOW.

“While it might be tempting to say “their gratitude was its own reward” or something similar, you should instead go into more detail about what you personally gained from your experience.”

Just state about how that experience helped you to become a better person and what you learned from it. This will make you look as a better applicant.

Prompt #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?

As a prompt with three different question, it can be a little difficult to answer. Yet, you can simply write an answer by responding on a belief outside of your own mind that has made you change your opinion about something or actually challenged the way you think. But as said before, remember to state the WHAT, the HOW and the WHY at the same time.

CollegeVine recommends to:

“Make sure to address all three of the questions presented, and avoid describing situations that make you sound intolerant or close-minded.”

Prompt #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)?

This is a wonderful question for those who like to be introspective and study the minds of every one of us. Even though it refers mostly to something about teenagers that could be difficult, something that you find good and then an advice you could give to younger teenagers, it is important to stick to an answer about all of them together. Just avoid talking about something that is not important and just stick to personal thoughts.

College vine recommends:

“When responding to this prompt, avoid inappropriate topics; even though your advice is meant to be geared towards pre-teens, you should feel comfortable with an adult reading your essay.”

Need Help with Your UW Personal Statement Prompts?

As we all know, almost all essay application prompts from any university whether they are USC prompts, UW essay prompts, Harvard Prompts, etc. can be really hard as you don’t prepare correctly. But if you follow our advice and make sure every answer says positive and important things about yourself, you will have better chances of getting admitted.

But we know this can be still really hard. That’s why we offer professional writing and guidance service for those applicants who need to know how to answer correctly and make high-quality essay prompts or graduate school statement of purpose.

Freshman Application Instructions

For autumn 2018 admission

Navigation tip for Autumn 2018: To get to the Honors application questions, you must:

  • Complete the Coalition Profile;
  • Add the University of Washington to your list of colleges/universities;
  • Complete the UW application through the Personal Statement and Short Response section;
  • After the UW essay prompts, click the “Yes” button next to the question labeled “Would you like to apply for admission to Interdisciplinary Honors?”

If you are offered an Honors scholarship, an additional award notification will be included with your Honors admission notification.

The Interdisciplinary Honors admission application is integrated into your UW Undergraduate Application, but has a separate evaluation process and additional required materials. You must complete and submit all of the regular UW Admissions and all of the Honors application materials to be considered for Interdisciplinary Honors.

Getting started

  • Watch the video above for an overview of our admissions process
  • Learn about the Interdisciplinary Honors curriculum »
  • Take a look at some of our past course offerings »
  • Select “Yes” next to the question in the UW application labeled “Would you like to apply for admission to Interdisciplinary Honors?” This will open the Honors section where you will respond to our essay prompts. If you no longer wish to apply to Honors at any point, you must un-select this button to proceed.
  • Complete and submit the UW application. You will receive confirmation emails from both UW and the Honors Program confirming your submission.
  • Check your email – UW Honors uses the email address in your UW application as our primary method of contact, including our final decision letters and scholarship offers. If you set up an “” address, it will take priority. If you have not received any confirmation emails, please check your spam/trash folders first, then contact us at

Things to avoid

  • Do not send SAT/ACT scores or payments/fees to Honors – send them to UW Admissions.
  • Do not send transcripts to Honors unless specifically requested.
  • Do not send any supplemental materials (recommendations, news articles, resumes, digital media, etc.) – these will be discarded upon receipt.

Honors Essays

The cornerstone of the Honors application is the Honors Essay Section. In this section you are required to submit short essays which are separate from the UW Writing Section. Your responses will be evaluated on content as well as form (spelling, grammar, and punctuation).

Your essays should be original, thoughtful, and concise. Do not copy previous essays from your UW application or materials found on the UW Honors Program web site. Draw on your best qualities as a writer and thinker; academic risk-taking is a core value of the Honors Program, so take some risks and be honest. Tell us who you are and how your story is unique. Work on the essays early, remembering that concise and eloquent writing is both difficult and powerful. Have someone proofread your writing but don’t let a proofreader erase your unique voice.

Essay Prompts

Respond to the essay prompts using no more than 300 words each.

  1. The word “Honors” means different things at different universities. Why do you want to be a part of Interdisciplinary Honors at the University of Washington?
  2. If you could pull together any two living people and listen to their conversation, who would they be and why?

Tips for the Honors Essays

  • Write, edit, and proofread your essays in a separate program (such as MS Word, Google Docs, etc.), then copy/paste the text into your application.
  • Remember your audience. The UW is a large and diverse public institution. The people evaluating your application may not have the same political, moral, or religious beliefs you do. Diverse viewpoints are desired in the academic world. Consider this as you frame your essay.
  • Proofread! The UW uses a holistic application review process, as do we – your writing ability is no less important than your grades and scores.
  • Finally, be creative, and be yourself! This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to us. Let us see who you are and what makes you tick. Demonstrate what qualities you would contribute to the Honors Program.

Recommendation Form

Mailing Address

99.9% of UW Honors Program applications are submitted online. Any Honors application materials submitted on paper must include a copy of your entire UW application and be sent directly to the Honors Program office, which is separate from UW Admissions:

University of Washington Honors Program

211 Mary Gates Hall

Seattle, WA 98195-2800

211 Mary Gates Hall : Box 352800 : Seattle, WA 98195-2800

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