Transition School

Interested in Transition School? RSVP to attend an Information Session to meet Faculty, Alumni, as well as interested students like yourself! 

Transition School Admissions Calendar 

What is Transition School?


The Transition School (TS) is a one-year college preparatory program offered through the Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington. TS prepares students to enter the University as fully matriculated undergraduates via the Early Entrance Program (EEP). This is not a dual enrollment program; students leave the K-12 school system to enter Transition School. Students apply during their 8th grade year and begin TS the following fall. Each year, a small cohort of students are accepted from a larger applicant pool. To be successful in this intensive learning experience, candidates need to demonstrate academic achievement, a scholarly aptitude, and self-motivation.


Once admitted, Transition School students take courses in English, History, Biology and Math that are fast-paced, in-depth and accelerated. In the Spring, students take one University course that they get to choose.  Students also participate in health & wellness, service-learning, and a college-preparatory course called UREADY.


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 Academic 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.


Admitted students attend classes at the Robinson Center on the University of Washington campus Monday – Friday.  Schedules vary by quarter. 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 Early Entrance Students as fully matriculated freshmen at the University of Washington. EEP students’ support system includes an academic adviser and the program staff, their peers, and continued access to the Robinson Center lounge, kitchen, and sponsored activities.

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. 


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 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.

Residence: Since we do not offer on-campus housing, students reside in the Puget Sound area with their families.  

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.


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

How to Apply


The application process opens in November. Current 8th grade students will create an online profile through our website. In addition to the questions within the application to be answered, we require the following documents to be uploaded within the online application:

  • ACT Scores
  • Grade reports from 7th and 8th grade years
  • Two teacher recommendations (One from a STEM, one from Language Arts)
  • Payment of application fee

Students should begin the application as soon as possible.  There will be a set of questions for you to answer, in addition to the above components.  We highly recommend filling out the questions and selecting the “submit” button.  This does not mean your application is complete, this means that your name will be in our system with an open application.  This will also give you more time to go back and upload ACT Scores, Grade Reports, and the payment.  This also gives your recommending teachers enough time to complete the questions that we will email them.  All portions of the application need to be completed by the deadlines below:


11.4.19  –  Applications Open! Applications for all interested students open online through the Robinson Center website.

2.3.20  – Early Decision Application Due  –  Deadline for all applicants requesting an early decision. We understand that some families may need to know earlier than June about their child’s admittance into the Transition School. If a student wishes to be considered for Early Decision (March 31, 2020) they must complete and submit all application materials by February 3, 2020.  If they are not admitted at that time, they are automatically considered with the rest of the pool of candidates for final decision in June. 

3.9.20  –  All Applications DueComplete online applications are due to the Robinson Center by 5pm

3.31.20  – Early Decision Notifications –  Applicants requesting an early decision will be notified of acceptance or placed in the applicant pool for the final decision date.

6.12.20  – Admission Decision NotificationsAll Transition School applicants will be notified of final admission decisions.


All Transition School applicants must submit ACT scores.  The ACT 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.

ACT Reading and Math scores in the 85th percentile or higher show potential readiness for college-level work.  However, we review applications with a holistic lens, so students applying with ACT scores below the 85th percentile are still encouraged to submit all materials. 

Age & Test Dates: All applicants need to take the ACT as part of their application to Transition School.  Students who are 13 and 14 years old will need to take the National ACT, offered on:

  •            Dec. 14, 2019
  •            Feb. 8, 2020

Please note that you must register six weeks in advance of the test. You will upload your ACT official score sheet to the online application once you receive your scores, which may take a few weeks.  Register either via ACT website.  The written portion will not be required to apply.

Students who are 12 years old  or who are unable to take the ACT on the dates above, will need to take the Institutional ACT (iACT).  You may schedule an iACT test here on the University of Washington campus.  The iACT score can only be used once for the Transition School application, and no other application to college.  

The iACT will be offered at University of Washington’s Testing Center the following dates:

  •           Jan. 9, 2020
  •           Jan. 23, 2020
  •           Feb. 6, 2020
  •           Feb. 20, 2020
  •           Mar. 5, 2020

To register for iACT, call: 206-543-1171 or email 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.  The Robinson Center will receive your iACT official score sheet from the Testing Center within the week of testing.  

Code: 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).


7th and 8th grade transcripts can be uploaded to the online application portal.  Screen shots of online report cards are acceptable documents to upload.  7th grade transcript must include final grades for all courses completed.  8th grade transcripts must include all 1st semester grades.


Applicants will select two educators who can speak to the student’s academic performance and behavior in the classroom – one teacher will be from the STEM field, the other will be in Language Arts.  Teachers will not need to write a letter. Students will need to inform these two teachers that they’re applying to the Transition School, and will enter the teachers’ emails in the online portal as part of the application.  Each teacher will be emailed questions about the student to answer.  Students will have the option waive their rights to review 


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


The next stage of the application process is the interview. Should the candidate be invited for an interview by the admissions committee, they will participate in an all day family visit to Robinson Center.  Applicants will have the opportunity to engage with current Transition School students and participate in classes while their parent(s)/guardian(s) observe the classes.  At the end of the day, both the applicant and parent(s)/guardian(s) interview with the Admissions Committee.  


Families will be notified of admission decisions according to the dates listed below:

Early Decision- March 31, 2020

(Final) Admission Decisions- June 12, 2020 

Cost and Financial Aid


Tuition for Transition School will be $20,000 for the academic year 2020-2021. 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.


  • Robinson Center Main Desk

(206) 543-4160

  • Email:

Appeal Process


All applicants are allotted one opportunity to appeal the decision of the application committee. Any denied applicant may appeal. Applicants that are waitlisted have not been formally denied and cannot appeal their position on the waitlist. They are eligible to appeal if they are denied after the waitlist period has expired. Generally, applicants petition if they believe their academic or personal circumstances could not be considered adequately through the standard admission review process or that an error occurred in the application review. All appeals must be received within two weeks of the Transition School’s admission decision.

How do I appeal?
All students can view the current status of their application to the Transition School by logging into their account on the RC website and clicking “View Applications” on the left column menu. When an application is officially denied, the application status will reflect this change and offer applicants a new link which they can follow to appeal the decision. Clicking on the “appeal” link will bring up a page where applicants can describe their appeal and upload up to three documents that contribute to the case they are presenting to the admission committee. We recommend preparing these materials prior to clicking the link.

What do I need to include in my appeal?
All appeals must include a formal appeal letter (no more than 3 typed pages), composed by the student applicant, which presents a clear and concise explanation of the applicant’s reasons for seeking reconsideration. Applicants should keep in mind that the application committee has already reviewed the original application. Typically, appeals present new information about the applicant or seek to provide additional explanation about aspects of the academic record that are not as strong, including information about circumstances and hardships, such as personal or family illness, factors related to a disability, or familial or cultural barriers that may have affected the applicant’s academic performance and record. Appeal letters should clearly explain why the applicant thinks they are a good candidate for the Transition School and why they are in need of the highly accelerated education offered by the Robinson Center.

Additionally, appeals may include (but do not require) supporting materials like updated transcripts, additional letters of support, or other documentation of the student’s experience.

What is the process for considering appeals?
All appeals are considered by the Robinson Center admission committee, which will reconsider each case and make initial decisions based on the information provided. If the RC admission committee decides not to support the appeal, it will be taken to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, where it will be considered again from a different angle. Final decisions will come from Dean’s Office, approximately two weeks after the appeal was received.

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!