WashU Merit Scholarships

WashU Merit Scholarships

Washington University is committed to rewarding talented students with academic scholarships for their exceptional academic and extracurricular performance in high school.

First-year applicants for WashU Merit Scholarships

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.

Most candidates’ transcripts include:

  • 4 years of English
  • 4 years of mathematics (architecture, business, and engineering strongly recommend calculus)
  • 3-4 years of laboratory science (engineering recommends chemistry and physics)
  • 3-4 years of history or social science
  • At least 2 years of the same foreign language since the ninth grade
  • The College of Arts & Sciences recommends both chemistry and physics for students who plan to do coursework in pre-medicine or the natural sciences.

Other important parts of your application:

  • Grades and class rank (if your school ranks students)
  • Counselor and teacher recommendations.
  • Essays
    • Applicants will submit a supplemental essay (250 words) in addition to the Common Application or Coalition Application essay. This allows students to further express their interest in their academic area of choice.
    • Each undergraduate division at WashU provides a number of four-year scholarships that range up to the full cost of tuition. Students are selected as finalists for these Academic Scholarships based on a review of the admissions application with particular attention to the WashU supplemental essay.
  • Extracurricular and community activities
  • Standardized test scores
    • Either SAT or ACT, writing is not required.
    • SAT Subject tests are not required.
    • Test results from any of your high school years are acceptable, though we encourage senior-year testing.
    • We consider only the highest individual scores, whenever they occurred.
    • The last test date accepted will be the December testing (October if applying for Early Decision I).
  • A portfolio is required for applicants to the College of Art. Portfolios are strongly encouraged for the College of Architecture.

WashU accepts self-reported scores on the Common App and Coalition App. We hope this policy will make the application more accessible for you since you will no longer have to formally request scores and pay for them to be sent to WashU. If you enroll at WashU and submitted unofficial scores, we will then ask you to send official score reports from testing agencies.


ACT: 2386
SAT: 6929
TOEFL: 6929

Early Decision

If Washington University is clearly your first-choice school, we encourage you to apply under the Early Decision option. Early Decision candidates receive admission and financial aid decisions earlier than regular-decision candidates.

International applicants for WashU Merit Scholarships

The successful completion of a minimum of 12 years of primary and secondary studies is required for admission to any program of study leading to a bachelor’s degree at WashU.

A secondary school diploma or equivalent is required.

If you apply for admission, you will need to submit detailed information about your previous education, including:

  • Original academic transcripts or certified copies
  • A description of the grading system
  • Examination results (IGCSE, HKCEE, predicted A-Levels, national exams, etc.)
  • School-leaving certificates
  • Certified English translations of all of the above

Academic records must include:

  • Transcripts of all work completed at the secondary school level
  • Transcripts of formal studies completed beyond secondary school (when appropriate)
  • Subjects covered during each year of study (the specific month and year)
  • Duration of time of each course
  • Number of lectures or laboratory periods included within each course
  • Grades (marks) received

All prospective Washington University international students whose first language is not English are required to take either the TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo English Test.

Standardized Testing Policy for International Students

Washington University is a global institution and welcomes applications from students studying in other countries. As a result, our standardized testing requirements are designed to be flexible and recognize the different educational systems around the world.

For both non-US Citizens and U.S. citizens applying from a high school outside of the U.S., you may fulfill our standardized testing requirement by submitting one of the following:

  • SAT; or
  • ACT; or
  • Predicted or actual results from national examinations, such as the Baccalauréat, Abitur, Maturita, etc.; or
  • Predicted or actual results for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma; or
  • Predicted or actual A-Levels; or
  • Three (3) SAT Subject Test scores; or
    • One score must be Math Level 1 or Math Level 2 for students applying to the following schools:
      • STEM Majors in the College of Arts & Science
      • McKelvey School of Engineering
      • Olin Business School
  • Three (3) AP Exam scores; or
    • One exam score must be in math for students applying to the following schools:
      • STEM Majors in the College of Arts & Science
      • McKelvey School of Engineering
      • Olin Business School
  • Three (3) IB higher-level exam scores if not an IB Diploma candidate; or
    • One must be an HL Math score for students applying to the following schools:
      • STEM Majors in the College of Arts & Science
      • McKelvey School of Engineering
      • Olin Business School

International students whose first language is not English will still be required to demonstrate English proficiency by submitting official results from the Duolingo English Test (DET), IELTS, or TOEFL exams.

Transfer/Prematriculation Credit

Credits can be accepted by Washington University for studies completed at another college or university, or for scores achieved on AP, IB, or British A Level examinations.

However, an official statement of advanced standing cannot be given until a student has been admitted to WashU, has arrived on campus, and has consulted with an academic advisor regarding the evaluation of previous academic achievement.

English Language Instruction for WashU Merit Scholarships

The academic programs at Washington University require students to have well-developed skills in written and oral communication. During the academic year, international students seeking to improve their language skills in English may enroll in courses designed especially for advanced learners. These courses will help in refining and perfecting areas such as reading and writing, speaking and pronunciation, presentation, debating skills, and knowledge of American idiomatic expressions. For further information, please visit the English Language Program website.

Visa Eligibility

Washington University has the authorization to issue eligibility documents needed to obtain either an “F-1” or “J-1” student visa.

Although both visas allow for full-time study, the J-1 is used for reciprocal exchange programs and government scholarship programs; the F-1 is the usual student visa.

Documents for visa eligibility may be issued by WashU only after applicants have been officially admitted into a program of study and have given proof of sufficient funds to finance expenses for the duration of their proposed program of study.

International students are not allowed to enter the United States on a tourist (B-2) visa when arriving to begin university studies. It is not legal to study in a degree program on a tourist visa.

Students who are currently in the United States on an F-2 visa will be required to change to an F-1 visa.

Proof of Financial Support

In compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, Washington University requires all admitted international students to submit detailed financial information statements before a Form I-20 can be processed, including:

  • Statements of amounts and sources of funds available for their educational expenses in the United States.
  • Declaration and Certification of Finances
  • Certified bank statements in English verify that they have sufficient funds available to finance their first year’s tuition and living expenses and that a comparable amount of money will be available for every subsequent year of study.
  • Some embassy officials verify students’ financial certification. Students should obtain two original copies (with original signatures) of both the sponsor’s letter and the bank letter. Retain a copy for obtaining a visa.

Financial aid awards may be deducted from the amount to be certified.

Medical Care & Health Insurance

All students who have decided to enroll at Washington University must:

  • Submit a completed health history form through Student Health Services. WashU requires all incoming students living in campus residential areas to have received the meningococcal vaccine (MCV4), including a booster if the initial dose was given before age 16, along with two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) after age one year or proof of immunity.
  • Submit proof of freedom from tuberculosis by either a negative skin test or negative chest X-ray within six months of completing the health history form.

To protect the health of our entire community, we require all full-time degree-seeking students to have health insurance. You either must purchase the Washington University Student Health Insurance Plan or prove that you have adequate coverage through another plan. If you do not demonstrate that you have adequate coverage through another plan, you will be automatically enrolled in our plan and billed accordingly. The cost of the WashU Student Health Insurance Plan, as well as instructions for obtaining a waiver through proof of adequate coverage, will be provided to enrolling students.

Application Process for WashU Merit Scholarships

To apply, use either the Common Application or Coalition Application. Both applications open on August 1st and must be completed by the appropriate application deadline.

On either the Common App or Coalition App, selecting Washington University in St. Louis and hitting “submit” will automatically create a WashU Pathway account for you, which is how you will track the status of your application. The Pathway also allows you to apply for our Signature Scholar Programs and the University Scholars Program in Medicine.

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