University of washington essays

Why did it have such an impact on you? If you decide to write about a negative experience, try to put a positive spin on it. You don't need to stick with a happy-go-lucky story—maybe you lost a friend because of a heated argument, or forgot to pick up your little brother from school one day. Regardless of the incident, keep the focus on how this situation ultimately taught you something important about life, such as the value of responsibility or the meaning of maturity. If you're struggling to come up with an experience to write about, try these brainstorming ideas:.

When writing this essay, make sure to avoid pretending something is more important or unique than it actually is. Don't tell a story the admissions committee has likely heard hundreds of times. Choose an event that speaks to your life and has had a large impact on how you see yourself. Basically, don't write about what you think the admissions committee wants to read.

For example, instead of discussing how you've been in Honor Society since 9th grade, it'll be a lot more interesting if you wrote about somebody you met through Honor Society or why you decided to drop out of it. Also, don't focus too much on the negative part of the story.


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While it's OK to write about a time when you made a mistake, did something wrong, or faced a challenge, try to avoid writing only about the bad parts. Your story should overall be optimistic and reveal something positive about yourself. Once you've finished the Coalition Application essay, the University of Washington has an additional requirement for you—a short response question with a word limit.

The University of Washington suggests that concise writing is particularly valuable, and recommends that the Coalition essay be between and words rather than Though they don't offer word count recommendations for the other prompts, it's best to assume they're looking for short answers. Cutting out words might feel excessive, but do try to leave some breathing room within your essay rather than squeaking in right under the allotted words.

Additionally, the University of Washington states that students tend to answer this essay more informally than the longer essay. However, they expect formal, polished essays for both prompts, so don't slack off on proofreading or editing this essay. 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 UW.

Secondary Application requirements:

UW offers a helpful tip right below the prompt: "Keep in mind that the UW strives to create a community of students richly diverse in cultural backgrounds, experiences, values and viewpoints. When answering this question, consider specifically what you might add to the community.

What perspective do you bring? What traits make you a good fit? But the prompt doesn't at all mean that you have no chance if you don't belong to one of those communities. Students who fit into those groups may have an easier time of identifying what diversity they bring to the school, but belonging to a marginalized group doesn't in any way guarantee admission. The University of Washington is looking for students who foster and embrace diversity, so be sure to think on those terms. Consider, for example, how your rambunctious family Thanksgiving taught you to embrace chaos, and how your ability to stop Great Aunt Kathy from throwing mashed potatoes at your cousin for bringing up a sensitive political issue translates to a college campus.

Think about how having several different friend groups in high school—nerds and jocks, for example—taught you to move between spaces while always being your authentic self. For students who are of marginalized backgrounds, the same advice still applies. You likely have different lived experiences than other students, but UW wants to know exactly what you're going to bring to the student community.

You can discuss advocacy work, for example, or how your less advantageous upbringing taught you to work hard for everything you want.

General admission essays

Always come back to that request to "Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the UW. Embracing diversity isn't just about being a member of a marginalized community; think about how you participate in your social groups and how your experiences before college will help you have and, more importantly, create a good experience for others. Again, it's not about what identity you do or do not have, but rather about how you build communities and support others.

UW is a big school, but you'll still be interacting with people from all walks of life on a daily basis—how will you navigate difference and fit into a student body made up of so many different people? Let UW know exactly how they're going to help you make a slam dunk. The University of Washington essay prompt offers an additional words for you to talk about yourself and your unique circumstances. This section is optional, and UW advises that the following types of students may benefit from taking the opportunity to expand on their application:.

Even if you don't fall into one of these groups, it's wise to take advantage of this additional space. Everyone has a goal that's important to them, after all, which is explicitly included in the second bullet point. However, you only have words, so you'll need to make them count.


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Again, UW mentions earlier in their guidelines for the writing section that they value brevity. Don't try to hit that word mark just because it's there—use only the space that you need. Be succinct and clear about any obstacles you've overcome, what draws you to your major, and what makes you want to attend UW specifically. For example, say you, like many prospective UW students, are interested in becoming a doctor. The University of Washington is highly ranked among medical schools , so saying you want to go there because it's a good medical program isn't doing any legwork in setting you apart from other students.

Instead, use this space to talk about why your major is important to you, and why placement at UW is going to help you achieve more. Following the medical school example, maybe your primary care doctor was a UW grad, and the depth of care they gave you convinced you it wasn't just what you know as a doctor that matters, but also how you deploy that knowledge. Because you want to make the same difference in somebody's life, you're applying to UW to have access to the same information and instruction that your doctor did. In essence, use this space to explain something you didn't have space to explain elsewhere, but make it count.

Be careful not to retread the same ground! This is an opportunity to flesh out your application, not to hammer something home. If you haven't had a chance to discuss that your grades slipped sophomore year because of a family illness or that your local library has a special box for you because of all the engineering books you keep checking out, now's the time to mention it.

Keep it short, direct, and original—the admissions office is reading this supplemental section in the context of your application, so you don't need to revisit anything. Careful not to fall into the trap of using more space than you need. It can be tempting to use UW's provided additional space to squeeze a few more words into your application, but resist it.

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Those word counts are there for a reason, and you should aim to get under, not exceed them. That said, there are legitimate reasons to use this additional space. The University of Washington mentions clarifying answers from elsewhere on the application or providing extra information to the admissions office. If you have special considerations as a student that you want to be sure the office is aware of, but that you didn't discuss in the previous additional information section, you could include that here. You could also include relevant awards or distinguishing recognition you've received.

If your high school had an unusual grading system, it might be useful to explain how to interpret your grades. But don't take the lack of a word requirement to mean that you can talk about whatever you want, or that you should use this space to expand on one of your earlier essays. Use only what you need, no more. Try to keep it under words.

Brevity is important! We can help.

Advice for University of Washington Hopefuls

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University of Washington (UW) 12222-20 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. Specific advice for each prompt will help you craft a better essay, but there are some general things to keep in mind, too! It's a small space, so there should be fewer mistakes, right? You still need to proofread.

Consider writing your essays by hand and then transcribing the drafts—it feels like more work, but turning written words into typed words is a great way to spot mistakes.