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Western Washington University Application Essay Prompts For 8th

Writing your essay

Grades and test scores are important when applying for college admission, but it takes a lot more than "the numbers" to tell your story. The essay is a chance to give us a snapshot of who you are – your voice, your experiences, your goals. Remember that your essay is reviewed for both admission as well as scholarship purposes.

Freshman essay questions for Fall 2018

Students are asked to respond to one of the prompts below as part of the application for admission. Most essay responses are about 500 words, but this is only a recommendation, not a firm limit. Feel free to take what space is necessary for you to tell your story.

  • Share a meaningful experience and how this has helped shape you in your preparation for college. This could be related to your passions, commitments, leadership experience, family or cultural background.
  • Describe any activities you have been involved in related to diversity or multiculturalism and explain how you will actively contribute to a diverse campus community at Western.
  • Admissions Essay – topic of your choice. If you have written another essay that captures what you want the Admissions Committee to know about you, feel free to share it with us.

Essay tips

  • Spend time reflecting before you start your essay. Your college essay is your chance to "speak" to the Admissions Committee, so make yourself come alive! Our essay questions are listed above so you can start composing a well-written essay that reflects you and your potential before you apply. The best college essays are those that make the reader feel like they know you, so write with sincerity.
  • Demonstrate sustained involvement. Committing to—and staying in—a particular activity that you're passionate about or your experience in an academic course is more interesting than occasional or one-time participation. Tell us how those experiences affected you as a student or as a person.
  • Express your pride and appreciation for cultural diversity. Enthusiasm for and experience within culturally diverse environments will be key to your success here at Western and beyond.
  • Don't be shy. Applying to college is great practice for eventually applying for jobs in the "real world," where you are expected to "sell" yourself. Have you made a positive difference in the lives of others, whether in your family, community or school? Let your talent shine by telling us about your accomplishments in your activities list or by submitting additional information with your application. Letters of recommendation aren't required, but if a teacher or counselor has written one for you, feel free to submit it as well.
  • Proofread! The content of your essay is important, but so is the written quality. Ask a teacher, parent or friend to read through your essay; they can catch errors or help you strengthen your message.
  • If you are applying as a transfer student, please review the separate essay tips for transfer students.

Activities list

We believe that ability and potential are measured by more than grades and test scores. Help us learn how you spend your time by providing a list of your most meaningful activities and achievements in grades 9-12. This could include areas like: community involvement, volunteer experience, employment, athletics, extracurricular clubs, arts, family responsibilities, or special awards and recognition.

Please list your activities in order of importance to you and be sure to include:

  • The name of the organization or involvement
  • Your position or role
  • How long you have participated
  • A short description about the activities that are most significant to you. You do not need to describe all activities.

If you submit your application online, you can either upload your activities list to your application or type the list directly within the online form. If you apply using the paper application, please attach your activities list to your application. There is no prescribed format for your activity list, but you can see some activities list examples here.

Admission to Western Washington University is selective. To qualify for admission consideration, freshman applicants must meet the State of Washington’s minimum college admission standards which include a cumulative GPA of 2.00 and completion of courses that meet the College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs). Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission, as the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available enrollment spaces.

Cumulative academic achievement – including level and difficulty of courses and grade trends – is the most significant factor in our admission decisions. Our holistic review process also considers school and community involvement, special talent, multicultural experiences, strength of character and personal circumstances.

Applicants are encouraged to pursue academic coursework and advanced study beyond the minimum course requirements. Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge International, Running Start or other College-in-the-High-School, Honors courses, and even a full load of standard academic courses can provide an excellent foundation for a successful college experience.

Minimum high school course recommendations

Four units of English, including 3 units of college prep composition and/or literature

Mathematics *
Three units of mathematics beyond pre-algebra, including completion of algebra II

Two units of science, with one year of algebra-based science (such as chemistry or physics); one year must include a lab

Social Science
Three units of social science, such as history, civics, psychology, economics, etc.

World Language
Two sequential units in a single world language, Native American language or American Sign Language. This requirement may be satisfied for students from non-English speaking countries who entered the U.S. education system in eighth grade or later.

Fine and Performing Arts
One semester or trimester of fine and performing arts

* During the senior year of high school, students must earn a credit in a math-based quantitative course. Completion of higher-level math (e.g., pre-calculus, math analysis or calculus) prior to the senior year exempts students from the senior year quantitative course requirement.

At the time of application, freshman applicants are required to submit an unofficial high school transcript, or certificate or diploma of high school equivalency (such as the GED) and SAT or ACT scores. Review the complete application instructions regarding submission of transcripts, test scores, and other requirements.

Your essay & activities list

At Western Washington University we use a holistic approach to college admissions. While academic performance is highly important in the process, we realize there are countless additional factors that indicate your true potential. We want to make sure applicants are academically prepared to be successful at Western, and we also want to admit students who will actively contribute to our campus community. To help us consider factors beyond your GPA and test scores in our admission process, seize the opportunity to share your story via your essay and activities list.

We know that academics tell only part of your story, so use the essay and activities lists in your application to help the Admissions Committee learn what is important to you. The essay is a chance to give us a snapshot of who you are – your character, your experiences, your goals. The activities list helps us understand how you spend your time, including, but not limited to, your most meaningful school and community activities, recognition and awards, employment, volunteer work, family activities and enrichment activities.

Not sure where to start? Check out our tips for writing the essay and activities list.

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