WashU Acceptance Rate | Strategies and Insights for Admission Success 2024

Washington University in St. Louis, often known as WashU, may be a bit of a tongue-twister, but it’s a name resonating with top students choosing their ideal academic haven. Established in 1853, this private research university has become the top choice for many aspiring scholars. Interestingly, in the 1970s, the institution added “St. Louis” to its name to avoid constant confusion with Washington-based or Seattle institutions. Despite the recent surge in applications, especially through Early Decision (ED), acceptance rates have remained consistently low. A decade ago, the acceptance rate stood at 22%, while last year, WashU’s acceptance rate halved that figure.

WUSTL’s impressive U.S. News ranking and its highly selective nature make it imperative for applicants to be well-informed about the institution and comprehend the intense competition for admission.

What is The WashU ED Acceptance Rate?

For the Class of 2027, the WashU Early Decision (ED) acceptance rate stood at 35%. Out of approximately 2,000 applicants, 700 received admission offers. Washington University in St. Louis provides two Early Decision deadlines, one on November 1 and another in early January. Notably, the university demonstrates a strong preference for ED applicants, accepting 27% of Class of 2026 candidates in the two early rounds compared to only 8% of those applying through the regular decision process.

What is The WashU Acceptance Rate?

From a pool of around 32,000 hopefuls vying for a spot in the Class of 2027, the WashU acceptance rate is estimated to be approximately 11%. While official figures are pending release, recent Washington University in St. Louis acceptance rates demonstrate a consistent trend:

  • Class of 2026: 11%
  • 2025: 13%
  • 2024: 15%

What is The WashU SAT, ACT, and Class Rank?

For the enrolled members of the Class of 2026 at Washington University in St. Louis, the middle-50% range for standardized test scores was 1500-1570 on the SAT and 33-35 on the ACT. Impressively, 91% of the freshmen in the 2022-23 academic year graduated from the top 10% of their respective high school classes.

What is The Admission Insights at The WashU?

  • WashU will maintain its test-optional policy for applicants seeking entry in the fall of 2024.
  • Among the accepted Early Decision applicants for the Class of 2027, 12% are eligible for Pell Grants.
  • First-generation students make up 13% of the accepted Early Decision applicants for the Class of 2027.
  • Notably, 42% of the applicants for the Class of 2026 opted for a test-optional application.

What is The WashU Demographics?

Examining the demographic composition of the Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) Class of 2026 reveals interesting insights:

Geographically, the largest proportions of freshmen for the academic year 2022-23 originated from:

  • Midwest: 28%
  • Middle States: 20%
  • West: 15%
  • South: 11%
  • Southwest: 8%
  • New England: 6%

In the competitive landscape of highly-selective universities, students from states with abundant qualified applicants face stiffer competition, particularly those in the Midwest and coastal regions. Conversely, individuals from less densely populated states like Alaska, North Dakota, or Montana may enjoy a relative advantage. Surprisingly, WashU does not draw a significant percentage of students from its home state of Missouri, usually hovering around 10%.

Diversity extends across the nation, with attendees representing all 50 states, over 100 countries, and a majority (66%) hailing from distances exceeding 500 miles.

Internationally, the highest proportions of students originate from:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom

The ethnic composition of the Class of 2025 was delineated as:

  • Asian American: 25%
  • Hispanic: 12%
  • African American: 12%
  • International: 11%
  • White: 38%

In total, students classified as Underrepresented Students of Color constituted 25% of the cohort.

Examining the gender distribution within the WashU Class of 2026 reveals a notable preference for women:

  • Male: 46%
  • Female: 54%

Analyzing the educational backgrounds of the most recent enrolled students, the breakdown of high school types was as follows:

  • Public: 60%
  • Private: 40%

What is The Admission Criteria at The WashU?

WashU weighs eight factors as “very important” in their admissions process: rigor of secondary school record, GPA, class rank, standardized test scores (even with the test-optional policy), essays, recommendations, talent/ability, and character/personal characteristics.

In the words of the admissions office: “Washington University is looking for students with a high school diploma or equivalent who took a challenging college-preparatory curriculum in high school complemented by extracurricular activities, community service, and work experience. Your senior-year transcript should show that you continue to take demanding courses. Most applicants take advantage of honors, advanced placement, and International Baccalaureate courses, if offered by their high schools.”

Applicants to specific undergraduate schools must bring unique, discipline-specific attributes. For instance, “Students applying to Olin Business School should have completed coursework in math at least through the pre-calculus level with calculus highly recommended. Students applying to McKelvey School of Engineering and/or students interested in pre-med should have completed coursework in physics and chemistry, as well as coursework in math at least through the pre-calculus level with calculus highly recommended… (those) interested in studying architecture or art should demonstrate interest, skill, or background in art and design by highlighting relevant coursework or extracurricular activity. A portfolio is required for applicants to the College of Art and encouraged for applicants to the College of Architecture.”

What is The WashU Yield Rate?

The yield rate at Washington University in St. Louis, representing the percentage of accepted students who chose to enroll, stood at 49% for the Class of 2026.

WashU Application Process Key Tips

If you’re considering joining the approximately 33,000 WUSTL hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, here’s what you need to know:

  • WashU values evidence of advanced coursework in high school, so taking multiple advanced classes, particularly in your academic interest area, is crucial. Aim for a minimum of 7-8 AP courses.
  • On the Common App, you must list your “Academic Division” and a “Primary Academic Interest.” You also have the option of listing a “Secondary Academic Interest” or a “Pre-Professional Interest.”
  • WashU offers optional admissions interviews, including virtual options via Zoom, with a limited number of alumni interviews available.
  • Demonstrated interest is a significant factor in the admissions process at WUSTL. Your engagement, such as campus visits (in non-pandemic times), contacting an admissions officer, etc., will be noted. The school particularly values those who express interest through a binding ED application.
  • Lastly, ensure you allocate sufficient time and effort to the supplemental essay required by WUSTL.


Washington University in St. Louis, with an acceptance rate of 11% last year, seeks students who rank at the very top of their high school class and boast SAT/ACT scores in at least the 95th percentile. Given the competitive admissions process, it’s essential for students, in collaboration with a counselor, to create a well-balanced college list including both “target” and “safety” schools. While aspiring to attend WUSTL, having alternative institutions with similar attributes and opportunities ensures a positive outcome even if things don’t unfold as initially hoped.