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November 23, 2012 at 8:00 AM

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UW admissions director gives application tips

Undergrads should look elsewhere

Regarding “Director holds the key to UW’s door” [page one, Nov. 14] on the angst of admission to the University of Washington, I would advise prospective freshmen to look elsewhere.

Here’s why from my perspective as a returning student who graduated in 2004 with a 4.0 grade-point average.

The UW is a great postgraduate institution. It regularly boasts about the amount of money it brings in from research grants. These do not benefit underclassmen in terms of class size or participation in that research. The school’s emphasis and bragging rights are focused on its graduate programs, not on what it does for underclassmen.

Lower division (freshmen and sophomore) class sizes at the UW are huge — 400 people per class is not uncommon. These students, in effect, subsidize the upper-division students (juniors and seniors) and graduate students whose class sizes are smaller and who have the attention of full professors rather than adjuncts and assistants.

I found inflated grading and few critical-thinking challenges at the UW. Only one professor graded on a curve.

There are excellent smaller colleges across our nation where Washington state students have a geographical admissions advantage. Many of these schools have small class sizes and opportunities available to underclassmen that are only available at the UW to graduate students.

I suggest that state high-school seniors set their sights wider.

— Sue Ellen White, Langley

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