Julie Shimabukuro, Director of Admissions at Washington University in St. Louis has announced some major changes to the first-year application process for admission to the selective Gateway City university.
Washington University in St. Louis “will be implementing a supplemental essay in addition to the Common Application or Coalition Application essay. This will allow students to further express their interest in their academic area of choice.” wrote Shimabukuro in an email to high school counselors.
While that sounds all well and good, this news is clearly aimed at separating serious applicants (those who will surely claim to bleed Wash U. red and green) to the university from those just using the school as a great school that requires no extra work, which many high-achieving students have been doing for years because Washington University in St. Louis had no supplemental essay writing requirement beyond what many high-acheving students were already completing for other Common App and Coalition App colleges to which they were applying.
Shimabukuro went on to add that the new essay will also be used as the merit-based scholarship essay for scholarships offered by Washington University’s undergrad divisions.
It’s worth noting that applications for the John B. Ervin, Annika Rodriguez, and Danforth Scholars programs will continue to be awarded through a separate processes, which include more essay writing.
On top of this big news, Shimabukuro added the more curious news that Washington University in St. Louis will also add an Early Decision II application deadline for the first time this upcoming admissions cycle.
This means that Wash U.’s new deadline schedule is as follows for those students hoping to matriculate in Fall 2019:
|Application Deadlines||Scholarship & Financial Assistance Deadlines|
|Early Decision I – Nov. 1, 2018||Need-based Financial Assistance (ED) – Nov. 15, 2018|
|Early Decision II – Jan. 2, 2019||Need-based Financial Assistance (EDII) – Jan. 15, 2019|
|Regular Decision – Jan. 2, 2019||Need-based Financial Assistance (RD) – Feb. 1, 2019|
|Merit Scholarships – Jan. 2, 2019|
Washington University in St. Louis is clearly trying to shake things up, but no reason was given for why EDII is being implemented. It will be interesting to see if Wash U. proactively communicates the acceptance rates for both of their ED rounds this time next year. The university has been one of the most successful users of ED as a means of loading up its classes early each admissions cycle.