Washington University in St. Louis by the Numbers
Regionally, Washington University in St. Louis continues to pull from the Midwest (28% of the incoming class) followed by the middle states (18%) and the West (17%). Compared to other schools of a similar caliber, it continues to be less popular in New England, with only 5% of the incoming class coming from this area. Wash U. also publishes the ethnic breakdown of their incoming class, which included 8% international students, 15% black or African American students, and 13% Hispanic students. All 50 states were represented, as were 38 different countries.
New ED II Policy at Wash U.
The 2018-2019 application year marked a major shift in Wash U.’s admissions cycle. For the first time, they offered ED II, a binding early decision option with a January 2 deadline. During its inaugural year, 250 students were accepted through the ED II option and Wash U. anticipates that, moving forward, they will continue to fill roughly 60% of the incoming class with students who are accepted before Regular Decision. Last year, before the new policy went into effect, only 40% of the incoming class was accepted ED.
Ronné P. Turner, Washington University in St. Louis’ Vice Provost of Admissions & Financial Aid, explained that between the two Early Decision rounds, they “reviewed over 3,000 applications – a 70 percent increase from years past.” Last year, when Wash U. offered only one round of Early Decision they received 1,850 applications.
This year also marked the launch of a new undergraduate division: “Beyond Boundaries.” This program, as described by Student Life, the independent newspaper of Wash U. is “a multi-faceted program that allows students to enter into their first year without committing to an undergraduate school. The program encourages students to approach problems in an interdisciplinary way through a series of classes and opportunities.”
Of the incoming undergraduate students, 66% were accepted into the popular Arts & Sciences program, followed by Engineering (16%), Business (8%), Art (4%), Architecture (3%), and Beyond Boundaries (3%).
Washington University: Still Not Need Blind
For the first time this year, Wash U. admitted roughly 30 matched QuestBridge scholars. Although the University’s partnership with this scholarship program demonstrates its commitment to socioeconomic diversity, it still does not use a need-blind admissions process. This means that it is one of only two schools in the top 25-ranked colleges nationally (as per the U.S. News and World Report rankings) that has not implemented a need-blind process. The other is Cornell University. Although the University has made an effort to create a more equitable admissions process through its automatic consideration of merit scholarships and removal of the application fee for students applying from families making less than $75,000 a year, its lack of need-blind admissions does not reflect well on its institutional priorities. According to a New York Times economic diversity report, the median family income of a student from Wash U. is $272,000, and 84% come from the top 20 percent. This makes it a school with one of the highest median family incomes among students.