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What is Early Entrance?
The Early Entrance Program is a two-step program consisting of one year of Transition School, an intensive college preparatory program taught at the Robinson Center, and subsequent full-time enrollment at the University of Washington, typically beginning with one or more courses during the Transition School year.
The Early Entrance Program is the Robinson Center’s original early university entrance program. Recognized as one of the most prestigious early university entrance programs in the nation, this program facilitates early entry to the University of Washington for a carefully selected group of eighteen highly-capable young students younger than fifteen (15) years old. Applicants must have completed the 8th grade at the time of admission.
“The University of Washington catalog was like a toy catalog,” said Jina. “I just wanted to take everything.” At age 13 Jina entered the Transition School, a “one-room schoolhouse” on the University of Washington campus that is part of the Robinson Center for Young Scholars. Within a year Jina was a full-time UW student, at age 14.
Some students, like Adam, were dubious at first. “Before I made the visit I thought that Early Entrance was comprised of overachieving, out-of-my league geniuses doing incomprehensible work and not having much fun with it. The visit to EEP changed my views completely; these were not wunderkinder, just bright kids having fun doing challenging work. The more I observed the program the more fun I thought it would be to be in it, and how much I would gain from it later on.”
Parents, too, have their own concerns about the program’s ability to support the social and emotional development of their students. “And yet,” said Adam’s mother, “the support system the students build within the class is tremendous. They watch out for each other while the staff is watching out for them.”
Our research confirms the personal observations of those involved in the program: Highly capable and motivated students benefit from academic challenge and from being with students like themselves. A collection of research on early university entrance may be found on the Robinson Center’s Research page.
The most successful Early Entrance Program students are strongly motivated to fully develop their intellectual capacity, and are enthused to learn. It is this combination of ability and strong self-motivation that we look for in applicants.
Beyond Transition School
Following successful completion of the Transition School year, students become regular, full-time students at the University of Washington. EEP students’ support system includes a special academic counselor and the program staff, their peers, and other resources.
The Robinson Center is a good place to see old friends and bring new ones. Once a student completes Transition School and enters the EEP, it becomes the students’ responsibility to monitor their own progress, to seek help as appropriate, to budget time, to study thoroughly, and to make use of University resources, such as the library and the Advising Center. Though the students become more independent at this step, the resources of the Robinson Center are available to them throughout their college experience.
Students are provided with individual guidance in designing their undergraduate program to suit their personal needs and aspirations, and in fulfilling the distribution requirements for graduation. The first two years of undergraduate study are usually devoted to fulfilling University distribution requirements while also exploring the wealth of classes offered at the UW. By their junior year, students choose a major and focus on their specific field of study.
Housing: Students live at home or in a family setting until they are solidly established at the University, preferably during at least their first two years in the program. Most nearby communities have express Metro bus service to the campus. Students must be residents of Washington State, or be willing to relocate to Seattle.
Alumni: Graduates of the Early Entrance Program are enrolled in the graduate schools of their choice, schools such as Oxford, Brown, Cal Tech, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, University of Washington, and Yale.
Our students pursue graduate degrees in such fields as anthropology, biochemistry, medicine, law, computer science, classics, engineering, geophysics, mathematics, music and political science.