How do I apply?

To apply, a student applicant first creates a profile in MyRC on the Robinson Center website. From there, the application requirements can be fulfilled and edited in multiple sessions before submitting the final application for consideration prior to the deadline.

How many students apply and are accepted to Transition School?

Transition School receives approximately 80 completed applications each year from students who attend public school, private school, and homeschool. After careful review of all completed applications, TS notifies those qualified to schedule an interview, accompanied by family, and a campus visit as allowed by UW Safe Start COVID-19 guidelines at that time. If qualified to interview, TS provides an additional writing prompt for the student applicant to complete and may conduct conversations by phone with one or more of the teachers who completed recommendations as a part of the application process. Ultimately, TS invites 20 students to participate each year, and on average, 16-18 students accept and enroll. 

What makes Transition School different from a traditional school experience?

Transition School is designed to serve young students who are able to learn at an accelerated and advanced level. Accepted students enter the year-long Transition School program after completion of 8th grade to prepare for entrance into the University the following academic year. Throughout TS, students are expected to possess and demonstrate increasing capacity to be self-motivated, independent, and engaged scholars who are prepared to make the most of the University experience. The TS curriculum is not intended to replace the standard high school curriculum, nor does it bear much resemblance to AP or IB coursework. The focus is to prepare TS students to be strong scholars at the University.

How does Transition School lead to Early Entrance at UW?

Based on progress made during Transition School and in a University class during spring quarter, TS leadership and instructors make recommendations for admission into the University as full-time undergraduates. No additional entrance exams are required. Following admission to the UW, Transition School students (TSers) become Early Entrance Program students (EEPers). Selection of majors and other university programs are subject to the individual guidelines of each major. It is important to note that neither Transition School students or EEPers earn a high school diploma. Students who advance after one year of Transition School and successfully complete undergraduate studies in four subsequent years are typically 19 years old at the time of graduation from UW.

For current 10th grade students interested in early admission to UW without first attending Transition School, please visit the Robinson Center website for more information about the UW Academy program.

How are students supported during Transition School?

A variety of supports have been thoughtfully designed to guide students throughout their Transition School experience. In addition to coursework in Math, Science, English, and History, students participate in a non-graded Health, Wellness & Physical Fitness class, attend instructional Office Hours, as well a weekly whole group Community meeting and an individual or small group Tutorial meeting. Each of these supports provide opportunities to identify and discuss social, emotional, and physical needs that contribute to a positive academic experience in the unique learning atmosphere afforded by TS. In addition, TS assists with mentor/mentee pairings which match individual TS students with older EEP student mentors of similar interests and goals. Mentors help new students build relationships not only with the Robinson Center community but with the wider University of Washington community. TSers can seek help from their mentor for any number of questions from social to academic. There are many mentor/mentee activities planned throughout the year to foster these important connections.

What does a typical day at Transition School look like?

On a typical day, a student may attend class for three or four different subjects per day, as well as a combination of scheduled Office Hours, Tutorial, and/or Community meetings that occur throughout the week. The curriculum is fast-paced and in-depth, and classroom teaching emphasizes discussion over lecture. TS faculty members are experts in their fields, with advanced degrees and years of teaching experience. Teachers emphasize collaborative learning; it is vital to the success of the students that they develop a community among themselves and work together throughout the year. Social activities are also organized throughout the year to assist the students in developing and maintaining a close learning community.

What type of learner thrives at Transition School and in Early Entrance?

Students who benefit from Transition School and Early Entrance must be self-motivated, responsible, active learners, and collaborative peers. Although there are strong systems of support in TS, students must be able to make difficult decisions about their coursework and their academic career at a very early age. Other notable skills and dispositions include: intellectual curiosity of multiple subjects, consistently high achievement, strong organization and time management, demonstrated need for academic challenge, social maturity and aptitude, and ability to successfully navigate competing needs and deadlines.

What happens if a student does not advance from Transition School to the Early Entrance Program?

In the unusual circumstance that a student does not advance to EEP from Transition School, TS guides the student and family in following the Academic Success Plan created during the application process and the student returns to the public, private, or homeschool program of choice.

Can I live in the dorms if I am admitted to Transition School?

No. Transition School is a commuter or non-resident program offered to young scholars and located on the University of Washington Seattle campus. During Transition School, students are not considered University of Washington students and therefore are not permitted to participate in UW student activities, clubs, residential living, undergraduate research, or other extracurricular programs. Upon successful completion of Transition School and admission to UW via the Early Entrance Program, a student is considered a traditional UW freshman and encouraged to explore the many sponsored campus activities and clubs available, with some exception pertaining to on-campus housing due to the young age of the student.

How much does Transition School cost?

Transition School tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year is $20,000. Tuition directly supports the learning needs of Transition School students. Families are also responsible to purchase any textbook materials associated with Transition School classes. The staff and faculty at TS recognize this additional financial burden on families and use open source, free, and widely available course resources whenever possible to keep textbook costs to a minimum each quarter.

Is there financial assistance available?

Yes. The Robinson Center is committed to ensuring that financial need is not a barrier to participation in Transition School. The RC has a robust and growing tuition and fee waiver fund and offers some financial assistance to students and families with a demonstrated need. Families who wish to apply for financial assistance must do so at the time of acceptance into the program. This requires a FAFSA be completed and submitted to the University of Washington’s Office of Financial Aid, with a copy sent to the Robinson Center. If a family is eligible for the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program, they do not need to submit a FAFSA and can submit their most recent tax return instead. A financial assistance committee, including the Director and selected Robinson Center staff, in consultation with the UW Financial Aid Office, will determine financial need and award amounts for each student. We encourage students for whom the costs entailed by application to Transition School (including the ACT and application fee) might represent a major impediment to contact the Robinson Center to inquire about exemption or financial assistance for these costs.

What are scholarly skills?

The curriculum of Transition School has been developed with several related goals in mind. First and foremost, the Robinson Center prepares TS students to be successful undergraduate students at the University of Washington. This requires not only providing a curriculum rich in content, but one that addresses the scholarly skills students will need to make the most of their University experience. The workload for TS classes is significant; students have substantial ground to cover, both in content and skill acquisition, before they can be successful at the University. Scholarly skills include consistently conducting oneself respectfully as a member of the learning community, demonstrating responsibility and preparation for one’s own learning, communicating effectively with peers and adults in multiple contexts across TS, and maintaining a growth mindset and willingness to receive feedback for improvement.

Is the ACT required?

Yes. All Transition School applicants must submit ACT scores. The ACT contains multiple-choice tests in four areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The writing portion of the ACT is not required for the Transition School application. Given the age of Transition School applicants and the absence of a complete high school transcript, the ACT is used to assist in building a picture of an applicant’s academic readiness for college-level work. It is not expected that applicants prepare extensively for the ACT exam. At most, a student may wish to read through the practice test and become familiar with the test format. If Transition School is the right educational fit, most students are able to take the exam with little preparation. Scores in the 85th percentile or higher show potential readiness for college-level work. However, the Transition School Admissions Committee reviews applications with a holistic lens, so students applying with ACT scores below the 85th percentile are still encouraged to submit all materials for consideration.

What if I haven’t taken Algebra 2 or need to demonstrate readiness in another subject?

Occasionally, students are provisionally accepted to TS having not yet completed Algebra 2, and/or demonstrated the readiness to advance in literacy or writing, and/or present other academic concern(s). In such situations, the student may be required to take a course in the Robinson Center’s Summer Stretch program prior to the start of TS to develop those skills and acquire the knowledge that support student success in TS. Summer Stretch courses are advanced level, intensive, five-week classes that serve as excellent preparation for TS. The final admission decision will be made after the successful completion of the Summer Stretch course. 

Provisionally accepted students must take the required Summer Stretch class. Some students fully admitted to TS may also be strongly encouraged to take a Summer Stretch course in order to strengthen their preparation for Transition School. If, due to unforeseen or extenuating circumstances beyond control, a student is unable to attend the required Summer Stretch class, the TS Principal may, at his/her discretion, approve an alternative provider of equivalent learning to assist the student in completion of their TS preparation.

What if I have already taken Precalculus?

Occasionally students enter Transition School who are advanced beyond the TS Precalculus class. If an incoming student has already passed Precalculus with a B or higher, can demonstrate continued readiness for advanced math in Fall Quarter TS Precalculus, and is progressing well in all of their other TS courses, a case-by-case evaluation will be made to determine whether the student should be enrolled in a more advanced UW math course instead of the TS Precalculus course in subsequent quarters. In such cases, the family is responsible for the additional cost of tuition beyond Transition School.

How can I request a transcript?

A written request with a signature must be received from the parent allowing release of a transcript. The request may be faxed or emailed to our office; we are unable to accept telephone requests. Each transcript request is $9.00, to be paid by either a check or credit card.  Please allow up to 5 working days for processing your request.

Transition School Transcript Request Form (PDF)

Transition School Student Handbook - General Information (Chapters 1-5)

This handbook describes the traditional learning experiences and community gatherings TS has offered to students and families for more than four decades. While we are all disappointed that the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus has limited our ability to safely provide in-person teaching and learning at this time, the TS staff and faculty are committed to creative and innovative solutions to ensure not only the rigorous learning experience your student is expecting, but also an engaging community experience that is a hallmark of the Transition School program.

The selected pages of the Transition School Student Handbook included here provide an overview of helpful pre-application and application information, as well as some insight into the academic curriculum and community learning experience in TS.

TS Handbook (PDF)