Blog: Why a 4.0 might not get you admitted to the UW

Top students not getting admitted into the University of Washington (UW) freshmen class has stirred up heat in the community.

We know that in some classes, you can easily get As, argued Philip Ballinger, University of Washington’s director of admissions. “We have to look at other things” to reflect on the overall quality of the students.

For instance, Ballinger said, if a student has a high GPA but a weak senior year, it means he or she is taking easy classes. This shows another side of the student. But if the same student takes a few advanced classes like chemistry, math, and Spanish, or others, he or she will be regarded more highly.

There are those who argue, it’s my daughter’s last year so she should take it easy.

Ballinger disagrees. Just because it’s the last year in high school doesn’t mean you can slack off, he said.  “You have gone backwards. It’s the most important year for college [preparation]. Think about athletes and musicians. If they take off one year, can they come back as good and continue to challenge and advance themselves?” ♦

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