University of Washington's Most Important Factor for Admission

While thousands of early applicants wait to see if they make the cut, this article focusing on Philip Ballinger, University of Washington's Director of Admissions gives insight into what colleges are looking for when selecting candidates for admission. Ballinger has his eyes peeled for tough students who have the ability to go against the grain, describing "the best applicants as salmon, swimming upstream tirelessly against the current to meet their goals."

Unfortunately, there is more to the quality of what Ballinger calls "gumption" that gets an applicant on the accepted list. Financial concerns are playing more of a role, especially in the current economy, a factor out of the control of many families:

"These are tough times for college admissions directors. The cost of tuition has skyrocketed. Popular articles question the value of a four-year degree. The state’s flagship university has made room for more international students, attracting top scholars and millions in extra tuition dollars — but sometimes raising the ire of local families when their children don’t get in."

University of Washington receives approximately 26,000 college applications, the largest portion of which are out-of-state, and on average 6,000 are international applicants.

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