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WSU Admission Appeals

Guidelines for requesting an appeal

Appeals to admission decisions are occasionally granted for students in unusual situations who have overcome challenges and have shown academic and/or personal improvement. In evaluating student applications, including on appeal, WSU reserves the right to ask for all education records, which include disciplinary records, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Appeals are considered by the Admissions Subcommittee of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate. Please read these guidelines completely before sending in a request for an appeal. If you have questions regarding the appeal process, please contact the Admissions Subcommittee appeals coordinator at admissions.appeal@wsu.edu.

Who is eligible to request an appeal?

Individuals who have been denied admission to Washington State University are eligible to request an appeal except in the following circumstances:

  • They have not met the priority admission application date by submission of a complete package of admission application materials.
  • Freshmen who have exceeded three high school core deficiencies.
  • Freshmen whose high school grade point average is below 2.0.
  • Transfer students who at the time of appeal have completed fewer than 40 quarter (27 semester) hours of academic college-level transferable credits and whose high school grade point average is below 2.0.
  • Students who have previously made an appeal are not eligible to make an additional appeal until they have met any and all conditions set forth in a previous appeal by the Faculty¬†Admissions Subcommittee.

Priority for consideration in the appeal process is influenced by several factors, including the total space available in the incoming class, the nature of the extenuating circumstances, and the date that complete admission materials are received.

Appeal openings are extremely limited

Due to a record number of applications and a record number of students accepted, we’ve been forced to say no to many students. While you are allowed to appeal, you should know that there will be very few, if any, spaces available.

How and when an individual may request an appeal

Applicants who have been denied admission may appeal by submitting an official letter (written using the instructions under appeal format guidelines below) requesting special consideration if they believe there are extenuating circumstances which, when documented and/or explained, constitute a compelling reason that indicates that they are now ready to be successful at the university level.

  • The appeal is to be submitted to admissions.appeal@wsu.edu. There is no special appeal form.
  • Appeals must be filed by:
    • December 6, 2021 for spring semester of 2022
    • July 6, 2022 for fall semester of 2022

Appeal limitations

The number of appeals considered in a given year or term will be affected by a number of factors and there is no guarantee that appeals will be considered in a given year.

Due to space limitations, the size and quality of the applicant pool, and other factors, the Admissions Subcommittee may not be able to consider all requests, and often this is not known until later in the admission cycle. If we waitlist qualified students that we are unable to serve, likely no appeals will be heard. Individuals with questions are encouraged to talk with an admission counselor before filing an appeal request. Requesting an appeal does not assure that your file will be re-opened.

If space is available for appeals to be considered, the documentation provided with the appeal request will be evaluated and appellants will be notified of the committee’s decision. If the committee needs additional information before making a decision, students may be contacted individually.

Appeal format guidelines

The written appeal letter should state clearly and concisely the reason for requesting special consideration. The quality of the writing organization, content, spelling, punctuation, and grammar is important in presenting the strongest possible case.

  • The recommended length is one to three typed pages.
  • Include at the top of your document the title Admissions Subcommittee Appeal, your name, Washington State University ID number, and contact telephone number.
  • The request for an appeal must represent your own work. You cannot have someone else write your appeal.

Appeal support materials

Fall semester appeals:

  • Final transcripts must be on file by July 1, 2022

Individuals who request an appeal of an admission decision may submit letters of recommendation, as well as other documents from teachers, employers, or Washington State University faculty if those documents offer specific evidence of the student’s academic potential.

  • Letters of recommendation may be submitted with the appeal request or may be emailed separately to admissions.appeal@wsu.edu.
  • List in the appeal letter all supporting documents that the Office of Admissions can expect to receive.
  • Be sure to include an official copy of your most recent transcripts and test scores in your supporting documents.

The Admissions Subcommittee may postpone review of the appeal (upon request) for a short time if additional documents are in transit. However, appellants should be aware that a postponement does not guarantee a subsequent review, as space limitations may preclude it.

Appeals should answer the following questions:

  • Why is a Washington State University education important to you?
  • Explain how and why you arrived at your anticipated major.
  • Why do you believe you are academically prepared to be successful at the University level and why do you think your previous academic record (including grades or test scores) is an inaccurate predictor of your future academic performance?
  • Explain your academic record completely and tell us how you plan to be successful at Washington State University. You may include in your narration a discussion of circumstances such as personal or family illness, familial or cultural barriers, or other factors that may have affected your academic record.
  • If you were denied admission because you did not complete the high school core, please explain why you were unable to satisfy these requirements and how you plan to compensate for this deficiency in the classroom.

For Transfer Students

  • Do you have an understanding of the admission and graduation requirements for your anticipated major?
  • Have you met with a Washington State University academic advisor?
  • If you have attended several institutions without graduating, please explain why graduation from Washington State University will now be possible.
  • Do you have a letter (or letters) of support from a Washington State University department? Supporting letters are strongly encouraged.
  • Can you document evidence of academic ability in recent college course work? If your recent record shows sustained strong performance (20-30 semester hours), you could appeal on the basis of strong recent grades rather than averaging them with substandard ones.

For International Students

  • How do you think your education has prepared you for college level learning in the United States?
  • What interests you about studying in the United States?
  • What challenges do you believe you will face while studying in the United States?
  • How will you successfully compete in an environment where English is the predominant language?

Notification of decision

You may file your request any time prior to the deadline for appeals as listed above. However, appeals are reviewed and considered just before the start of the semester for which the appeal has been requested (typically July for fall semester and December for spring semester).

After the decision

An individual who is offered admission by the Admissions Subcommittee will be expected to comply with all requirements stipulated at the time of the decision. Should a freshman appellant be denied admission, the only recourse for future admissibility is to accumulate a full year of transferable college-level work and then be reviewed under the current semester’s transfer admission requirements.

If you have questions regarding the appeal process, please contact the Admissions Subcommittee appeals coordinator at admissions.appeal@wsu.edu.