Transition School

What is Transition School?

Transition School (TS) is a one-year college preparatory program for students intending to enter the Early Entrance Program at the University of Washington (EEP). Students intending to enter the Early Entrance Program must successfully complete Transition School before they are admitted into the University of Washington as undergraduates via the Early Entrance Program.

This is not a dual enrollment program; students leave the K-12 school system to enter Transition School. Students enter the program after having completed the 8th grade. Students must be 14 or younger at the start of school in September.  Once admitted, Transition School students take courses in English, History, Biology and Precalculus that are fast-paced, in-depth and accelerated. Students also participate in service-learning during Spring Quarter, and take a University course during Spring as well.

Admitted students attend classes at the Robinson Center on the University of Washington campus starting at 8:30AM and ending usually by 3PM. They also individually attend a weekly tutorial in which they work on study skills and talk one-on-one with a faculty member.

In their coursework, students acquire the habits-of-mind and the study skills that will be essential to success at the University. They learn to be responsible for their own learning and how to ask for help. We emphasize values of collaboration, non-competition, and community. Students are welcome at the Robinson Center throughout the day, and encouraged to socialize with each other. Our older students, currently UW undergraduates, serve as teaching assistants in the TS classroom, and also mentor the Transition School students via a TS/EEP mentoring organization.

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.

EEP Alumni remain connected to the Robinson Center through our Alumni Speaker Series and our Mentor Bank.

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How to Apply

The online application process typically becomes available in November. Applicants must complete our online application . In addition, we require the following documents to be uploaded within the online application:

  • Grade reports from the previous and current academic year
  • Recent ACT scores (written portion not required)
  • Two teacher recommendations (one from Math/Science, the other from Language Arts/Social Studies)

Once all the application materials are complete, and the application fee is paid, applications are reviewed by our Admissions Committee. This committee determines whether the applicant will move on to the next stage of the admissions process with an interview. The interview takes pace during a scheduled all-day visit to the Transition School, where the applicant and their parents observe classes and interview with Robinson Center Administration.  Should the applicant and family be invited for an interview, they will bring a one page typed essay answering the prompt, “Why does Transition School/Early Entrance seem like a good option for you? What motivates you to apply for a program that will lead to early college entrance rather than the more traditional route of high school?”

Families of applicants will receive emails through each stage of the process to communicate progression.



Applicants must have completed the 8th grade at the time of admission. Candidates should be 13 or 14 years old at the time they begin their academic year in Transition School in September.

Out of State Students: The UW Academy does consider out-of-state students for admission, though these students will have to pay Non-Resident tuition for some of their time at the University of Washington (see below).

International Students: Our mission is to admit and support motivated, highly-capable students seeking early entrance to the UW, and we welcome applications from international students who fit this profile. But because of the unique nature of the early entrance programs housed in the Robinson Center, only students with particular types of international visas will qualify to apply. Since our students enter the university in a non-traditional way, we are, in some cases, restricted by law and are unable to admit students who are supported by particular visa types. In addition, students with applicable visas must submit evidence of their language proficiency alongside their application. For more information, read our International Student Policy.

Undocumented students: The Robinson Center and the University of Washington welcome applications from undocumented students. To learn more about applying, please consult the UW’s Undocumented Student Resource page.

ACT Testing

While all applicants need to take the ACT as part of their application to Transition School, students who are 13 and 14 years old will take the National ACT, offered on Sept. 14, Oct. 26, and Dec. 14; please note that you must register six weeks in advance of the test. Register either via mail or the ACT website (  The written portion will not be required to apply.

When asked for a school code for the Transition School, enter either 481174 (if asked for a 6-digit code) or 9899 (if asked for a 4-digit code).

If you are not able to arrange for the ACT in a timely way or if the national test dates are not possible for you, you may schedule an I-ACT test here on the University of Washington campus.  This will be true for students who are 12 years old.  The I-ACT, or Residual ACT, is only for students who are unable to schedule a National ACT exam. The I-ACT can only be used for the Transition School application, and no other application to college. You can find out more about the I-ACT here.  Call or email the University of Washington’s Testing Center to schedule a test date: 206-543-1171 or Be sure to identify yourself as a Robinson Center Transition School applicant. Tests are given on specific dates at the testing center on campus at 1410 NE Campus Parkway, 440 Schmitz Hall.

This test helps us assess readiness for college-level work. We do not expect our applicants to prep extensively for the ACT; at most, read through the practice test and familiarize yourself with the format of the test. If the Transition School is the right educational fit for you, you should be able to take the exam without much preparation.

While not absolutely required, ACT Reading and Math scores in the 85th percentile or higher show potential readiness for college-level work.

Application Deadlines

  • Applications are considered complete when ALL of the following are included:
  •  Online Application Form
     Grade Transcripts
     Teacher Recommendations
     ACT scores
     Application Fee Payment


Cost and Financial Aid

Tuition for Transition School will be $20,000 for the academic year 2019-2020. In addition, families must pay tuition for the UW course the student takes in spring quarter.

For families needing assistance, financial aid is available. Once accepted into the program, families interested in financial aid need to submit a completed FAFSA to the University of Washington, and provide the Robinson Center with a copy of this document. If a student is eligible for Free/Reduced Lunch, submission of confirming documentation can also be considered as evidence of need.


Academic Counseling

The Robinson Center provides a full-time academic adviser for all Transition School, Early Entrance and UW Academy students. This adviser works with the Transition School students throughout their time at the Robinson Center.

In Winter Quarter, our adviser teaches a weekly “U Ready” course for the Transition School students, which includes topics such as college registration, communication with faculty, campus resources, health and wellness, and other topics. The adviser also meets with each student individually during Winter and Spring Quarters to provide more information and guidance as they make decisions related to college registration, majors, University requirements and procedures, and academic opportunities such as travel abroad and research.



  • Robinson Center Main Desk

(206) 543-4160

  • Email:



Early Entrance Events

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Early Entrance News

Applications for the 2020-2021 cohort will open Fall 2019.  Learn about the process here, contact with questions.  Stay tuned for date releases for Info Sessions!