|Students who got into WAU say:|
Essay (3) |
| | I grew up in a rural area, but attended a university's laboratory school (innovative curriculum and opportunity to enroll in college courses for free while in high school). I was in the top 10% of my class and active in everything from music to sports to service. I also did a summer program for high school students at Wash U which I think helped me get in. I was a National Merit Commended Scholar, but only had a 30 on my ACT. The competition just keeps getting fiercer. I am not sure I would get in now.
High SAT, balanced out lower gpa.
| Political Science|
| Feb 07 2008 |
Good SAT scores are essential along with excellent grades.
| Computer Science|
| Jan 08 2008 |
First of all, I recommend that you focus on the essays. In my college app experience, I found that the essays were my opportunity to stand out from all the other smart people applying. There are many good testers who don't get into the upper schools simply because they can't write well or don't put enough effort into the process. I started my essays during the the August after 11th grade, and spend quite a lot of time on them. I really cannot emphasize enough the importance of the writing; an introspective and grammatically sound essay makes it's author appear tremendously more intelligent than that of a so-so, frustrating, or boring composition. Sometimes very intelligent people assume they come across as smart through their writing, when in reality, they seem elementary and shallow because they cannot communicate their thoughts effectively. Do remember that the admissions officer will spend just a second looking at that SAT II Chem 800 score, but will dedicate several minutes reading your essays. As I said before, starting early during the summer was my key to writing the essays. It certainly wasn't my idea of a great summer, but I found it very helpful to have those done by the time 12th grade started, and it gave me time to do a good job on the actual applications from September to December/January. Besides, you will be busy wiith senior year classes while you are applying and interviewing too. Now, speaking of interviewing, make sure you do practice interviews. Ask your parents or a willing teacher to sit down with you and fire tough questions at you. I'll warn you that it's awkward and frustrating to do, but you need to develop the ability to quickly decide what to say and how to best say it. I was awful the first couple times; even my dad said he wouldn't have admitted me. But over weeks of practice, I improved quite a bit and I wasn't so nervous; I had experiences to share and community service to talk about; once I was accustomed to interviewing, I was able to communicate all those things. Now I'll address test scores: I had okay scores - a 2270 on the SAT and mid to high 700's on the SAT II's - but I am very aware there are a lot of kids out there who had better scores than I. I don't think my test scores made all that much of a difference. I suppose a 2400 would make you stand out, but that isn't necessary. Study hard and do the best that you can, but try to do all your testing well the first time so that you don't need to devote more time to studying and retaking tests. Study like mad your junior year for all your AP, SAT IIs, and SATs, and make sure you do well enough on them. If you are done during your junior year, you will have the following summer available for the other important things you need to be focusing on: thinking and deciding where you are going to apply, making calendars of due dates, learning what each school requires, starting on essays, applying for scholarships, preparing envelopes for letters of recommendations, filling out the applications... Would you want to be also studying to take the SAT a second time? Probably not. During the summer, you should also read up on good etiquite and interviewing skills. You'll soon be meeting with intelligent and poised people, and they will not look kindly upon you if you come in late, badly dressed, with a lame handshake and poor conversation skills! For me, I had to focus a lot on improving my posture and speaking slowly and clearly when nervous. I'll never know for sure what difference that made in terms of college acceptances, but it is good for life in general anyways! On the actual applications, online or paper, make good use of all the short little spaces you have. If you have an opportunity to list community service activites, don't leave any of them blank! Write down eveything you've done! I spent forever wording things in the best and most concise manner so that I could fit in a lot and really show the admissions officer all that I had done. I have friends who were really excellent applicants with spectacular GPA's and tests scores... but they approached the applications rather lazily and didn't spend the time they should have. An example: the California UC schools offer Regent's scholarships for partial or full tuition. My UC application was the work of many MANY hours; it was torturous to do well, but I was accepted and offered the Regent's scholarships at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Davis. My friend was just as accomplished as I, but did not get accepted to UCLA and recieved no Regents offers because she did a good-but-not-great job on her app. This applies to any application you do, whether it's to Washington University in St. Louis or a local scholarship in your area. You've worked really hard the past couple of years, haven't you? So now is not the time to get lax... indeed, these applications are the only part of you that the admissions officers will see. If there was ever a time to do a good job on something, it is now with college applications! That's obvious, I know, but you would be surprised how many students don't get that. Now regarding Wash. U in particular.... (1).I think it is important to visit the university. I say that more for your decision-making than for admissions reasons. I think the school is so much more impressive when you see it on paper or the website. But visiting will also give you an opportunity to interview. However, if money is an issue, you may want to wait until after applying. I did not want to pay to fly out to see the school, so I applied and hoped all would go well even though I hadn't personally visited the campus. Then Wash. U actually flew me out to interview for scholarships, and then once again later in the spring for Multicultural Weekend, and I got to see it without having to pay myself. So come visit the school before applying to Wash U if you can, but know that it isn't the end of the world if you can't. (2). Just as with most universities now, Wash. U is very interested in multiculturalism and so if you are a minority, make sure to check "Hispanic" or whatever. It can only help you! (3). Be specific about what you want to accomplish at Wash U, if you address that in one of your essays. The admissions officers probably read thousands of essays from kids who want to come to Wash. U, become doctors, "make a difference", and "help people". I looked up actual people and clubs on campus and mentioned those in my essays. I am interested in going to veterinary school, so when I applied I told them that I would like to do research with Dr. -, volunteer at the St. Louis Zoo near Wash. U, and join the Pre-Vet club on campus. It's good for you to do this for two reasons; researching gives you get a sense of what is at the school so you can better decide if it offers what you want, and it shows the admissions officer that you do your research and have looked into the specific programs/clubs available at Wash. U! Okay, that is all I can think of right now... Good luck with applying and college choices!
| Geography and Geosciences|| Oct 29 2006 |