Competition for freshman spots at UW and WWU remains intense

Washington state high school seniors both on Mercer Island and beyond have been learning these past several weeks where they have been accepted for college.

Last week, the University of Washington began notifying applicants to the Seattle campus of their acceptance into the freshman class starting in fall 2012. UW admissions officials say that 26,000 applications were received for a class of 6,000 entering freshman — 4,000 Washington residents and 2,000 nonresidents. Last fall’s freshman class numbered 5,800, including 3,850 residents.

“We know this is an exciting yet anxious time for many students and their families,” said Philip Ballinger, the UW’s assistant vice president for enrollment and admissions. “The university has admitted a very talented and dynamic class, but obviously cannot accept all those who apply. Admission to the UW remains highly competitive, with the 2011 freshman class average GPA at 3.75 and average SAT scores above 1800. Data for next fall’s class will not be available until after the class actually enrolls in October, but indications are that scores will be even higher.

The UW will be extending over 14,000 offers of admissions to yield the class of 6,000. Typically, for residents of the state of Washington, the UW enrolls more than 60 students from every 100 offers of admission. For students who reside in other states or countries, the UW enrolls fewer than 25 students for every 100 offers.

Ballenger explained the importance of out-of-state and international students to the university.

While this year’s freshman class aims for a two-thirds/one-third split between residents and nonresidents, overall the UW’s percentage of resident undergraduate students hovers near 80 percent, as most community-college transfer students are Washington residents.

Nonresident students pay nearly three times what residents pay in tuition. The revenue generated from nonresidents helps subsidize the education of all students.

“This has been especially critical as the state has withdrawn over 50 percent of its funding of the UW over the past four years,” Ballinger said.

At Western Washington University in Bellingham, the admissions office received 9,631 freshmen applications for about 2,800 freshman slots for fall quarter, up by over 500 applications from last year and exceeding all previous years’ totals, according to admissions officials at the school.

Washington State University is still accepting applications.





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