Applications to include supplemental essay requirement starting fall 2019

Emma Baker | News Editor

Future applicants to Washington University will be required to submit a supplemental essay with their application materials starting fall 2019.

The decision to require a supplemental essay was motivated by feedback from prospective students expressing interest in having an opportunity to write more about themselves and their interest in attending the University.

“For someone scrambling to send out apps, it was a relief that Wash. U. didn’t have a supplemental essay,” prospective member of the class of 2022 Mark Castellano said. “However, I did feel like the opportunity to write a supplemental essay would’ve helped me set myself apart from the other applicants with my personality or unique interests and experiences.”

The inclusion of the essay will also hold applicants to the same expectations as the University’s peer institutions, according to Director of Admissions Julie Shimabukuro.

“The essays are important pieces for us to really go through and consider, so it is an important thing, but I think it’s more important that we get the information from the students,” Shimabukuro said. “We’ll just have to manage the processes, and that’s something we’re still working through.”

Despite the forthcoming change, Shimabukuro still aims to keep the application accessible to all applicants.

“We’re still very aware and concerned that we don’t want to cause any barriers to students, so that’s why we’re trying to streamline the process with the questions that we ask to make them accessible for students and not intimidating,” Shimabukuro said.

Shimabukuro hopes that this added component will increase the applicant pool’s strength and attraction to the University.

“Hopefully, we’ll see greater quality and interest in the applicants and that stronger, more genuine interest in Washington University, as well,” Shimabukuro said.

Additional reporting by Aiden Blinn and Olivia Szymanski

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