Freshman Application Instructions

For autumn 2014 admission

These instructions are subject to change before the autumn 2015 UW freshman application opens on October 1, 2014.
Important Dates

December 2 @ 10pm

UW Application due

January 17

Honors Recommendation due

February 28

Submit your FAFSA to UW (the Office of Financial Aid recommends sending your file no later than February 15th to ensure timely delivery)

March 15-31

UW notification period

March 24-April 7

UW Honors notification period

June 1-July 1

Final Honors waitlist notification period


The Interdisciplinary Honors admission application is included in your UW Undergraduate Application, but has a separate evaluation process with additional required materials. You must complete and submit all of the regular UW Admissions and all of the Honors application materials to be considered for Interdisciplinary Honors.

Getting started


  • Check the box in section 9 of the UW online application, labeled "Yes, I would like to apply to the Honors Program". This will open the Honors section, where you will respond to our essay prompts and fill in your recommender's information. If you no longer wish to apply to Honors, you must un-check this box to proceed.
  • Complete and submit the UW application. Your recommender will then receive an automated email from UW Honors with a unique link to submit your recommendation.
  • Keep in contact with your recommender to ensure that his/her recommendation is submitted on or before January 17. You and your recommender will receive confirmation emails from upon receipt.
  • Check your email - UW Honors uses the email address in your UW application as our primary method of contact. If you set up an "" address, it will take priority. The only communications you will receive by postal mail from UW Honors are our final decision letters and scholarship offers. If you have not received the confirmation emails in our checklist, please check your spam/trash folders first, then contact us.

Things to avoid

  • Do not send SAT/ACT scores or payments/fees to Honors - send them to UW Admissions
  • Do not send transcripts unless you are applying for International Undergraduate Admission
  • Do not send any supplemental materials (news articles, resumes, slides, etc.) - these will be discarded upon receipt
  • Do not send additional recommendation forms - the first form we receive will be matched to your application and any others will be discarded
  • Recommendations may not be emailed as attachments or faxed to our office; we cannot support our pool of applicants through these means in a fair and consistent manner
  • UW Honors has no affiliation with Naviance and cannot access recommendations submitted through their system
These instructions are subject to change before the autumn 2015 UW freshman application opens on October 1, 2014.

Honors Short Essays

The cornerstone of the Honors application is the Honors Short Essay Section. In this section you are required to submit short essays which are separate from the UW Writing Section. Your responses will be evaluated on content as well as form (spelling, grammar, and punctuation).

Your essays should be original, thoughtful, and concise. Do not copy previous essays from your UW application or materials found on the UW Honors Program web site. Draw on your best qualities as a writer and thinker; academic risk-taking is a core value of the Honors Program, so take some risks and have fun. Tell us who you are and how your story is unique. Work on the essay early, remembering that concise and eloquent writing is both difficult and powerful. Have someone edit your writing but don't let an editor erase your unique voice.

Essay Prompts

Respond to the short essay prompts using no more than 300 words each.

  1. Why do you want to incorporate our interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum into your undergraduate experience? What contributions will you make to our community?
  2. Identify a word or phrase in common use that you believe has, "lost its meaning." Explain what you think accounts for the loss of meaning and what might be done to restore appropriate meaning to the word or phrase you have identified.

Tips for the Honors Essays

  • If you are applying online, write, edit, and proofread your essay in a separate word-processing program before you are ready to complete the application.
  • Remember your audience. The UW is a large and diverse public institution. The people evaluating your application may not have the same political, moral, or religious beliefs you do. Diverse viewpoints are desired in the academic world. Consider this as you frame your essay.
  • PROOFREAD! The UW uses a holistic application review process, as do we - your writing ability is no less important than your grades and scores.
  • Finally, have fun! This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to us. Let us see who you are and what makes you tick. Demonstrate what qualities you would contribute to the Honors Program. Be creative!
These instructions are subject to change before the autumn 2015 UW freshman application opens on October 1, 2014.

Recommendation Form

The Honors application must include one recommendation form. A survey regarding your qualifications for Honors work at the college level should be made by the person-instructor, counselor, principal, supervisor-in the best position to make such an evaluation. Family members and relatives are not appropriate sources for academic recommendations.


After submitting your online application, the recommender you list in the Honors portion of the application will receive an e-mail containing a link to our recommendation form on After your recommender completes the online form, you will be notified via email that the recommendation has been submitted. If you need to change your recommender or send a follow-up email after submitting your application, you must use the website to do so. Your recommender will then receive an email with instructions on how to log in and submit his/her recommendation.

On Paper

If your recommender will not be using the online submission system, you must fill out and sign a paper recommendation form and provide it to your recommender along with a stamped envelope addressed to UW Honors (address below). Your recommender's written responses must be printed on school/company letterhead and sent with a completed and signed paper recommendation form. The Honors Program will discard any recommendations submitted by mail that do not include a signed Honors recommendation form and/or do not address the short-response prompts listed on the form.

Only ONE recommendation will be accepted - extras will be discarded upon receipt. We will not review your application without a recommendation. It is your responsibility to ensure that your recommender has submitted his/her form.

Application Checklist

What to Expect from UW Honors
When What

After you submit your UW application (due December 2 @ 10pm)

  • An email to you from UW Honors acknowledging your application
  • An email to your designated recommender from UW Honors containing a unique link to the online recommendation form

Every two weeks

  • An email to you from UW Honors until we have matched a recommendation to your application

When your recommender submits an online recommendation (due January 17)

  • An immediate confirmation email from UW Honors to you
  • An immediate confirmation email from UW Honors to your recommender
If a paper recommendation form is received (due January 17) and matched to your application
  • A confirmation email from UW Honors to you within three business days

If you are admitted to UW (March 15-31)

  • A decision letter in the mail from UW Honors (March 24-April 7)

If you are being offered an Honors scholarship

  • A separate letter in the mail from UW Honors within 1-2 weeks after your Honors admission letter

Mailing Address

Any Honors application materials submitted by mail must be sent directly to the Honors Program office, which is separate from UW Admissions:

University of Washington Honors Program
211 Mary Gates Hall
Box 352800
Seattle, WA 98195-2800

A unit within Undergraduate Academic Affairs
211 Mary Gates Hall : Box 352800 : Seattle, WA 98195-2800
206.543.7444 : 206.543.6469 FAX
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