What Do I Need to Know Before I Apply?


The UW Academy accepts applications from students who are currently enrolled in the 10th grade.  Applicants must supply an unofficial High School transcript which includes first semester grades from their 10th grade year.  We are unable to consider applications from students in the 9th or 11th grade.

Admission to the UW Academy is competitive. We look for students who love to learn, who actively seek out academic challenges, and who have the personal maturity to succeed in the university two years early.  While there is no minimum high school GPA or test score required to apply to the UW Academy, admitted students tend to have excellent test scores and grades. For the incoming class of 2023, the range of ACT composite scores was 29-36 and the range of high school GPAs was 3.75-4.0 (out of a 4.0 scale). Only one admitted student took the SAT. That said, the Academy employs a holistic admissions model. This means that we carefully evaluate all elements of an applicant’s admission file (not just grades and tests) to determine whether the Academy and the UW are the right educational match for them.  Unique educational experiences, service, goals, or other non-academic strengths will also be considered in our admissions decisions.

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.

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.

Making an Informed Decision

We recognize that deciding to leave high school to come to college early is a big decision, one which must be carefully considered by both students and their families.  To this end, we provide multiple opportunities for interested parties to investigate the Robinson Center and the UW Academy program prior to applying, and even after they have been formally accepted.  We want all of our students to be able to make informed decisions about early entrance and to have the chance to ask themselves whether the UW Academy is the right fit for them!

Students and families who are interested in learning more about the program and who would like to meet the staff and students firsthand are invited to attend one of several Information Sessions, held both on campus and in locations across Seattle. Here, students and families can learn about the program ask questions of both UW Academy staff and current students. Dates for these information Sessions will be posted in early Fall.

Prospective students are also encouraged to sign up for a UW Academy Visit Day, where they will be allowed to meet and ask questions of Academy staff in a more intimate environment and take a campus tour.  Visit Days occur throughout late January and early February, and priority will be given to current 10th graders. The RSVP for Visit Days for the 2024 application cycle is now closed.

Once the application process is complete, admitted students will have another chance to consider whether the UW is the right fit.  During Decision Days in mid-May, students will shadow a current Academy student, meet with the Director of the Program, and get a chance to see what “a day in the life of an Academy student” is like.  Admitted students will be contacted to participate in Experience Days when they receive their decision letters.

How to Apply

Preparing to Apply

Though the complete application for the UW Academy is not due until early March each year, there are a couple of tasks that prospective students should be working on well in advance of the deadline. There are also tasks that should be completed by students and parents/family members before January each year.

Application Fee and Fee Waiver Request

The fee to apply to the UW Academy Program is waived for the 2023-2024 application cycle.

Application Guide

For more detailed information about the application, please review our UW Academy Application Guide. We also have an Application Checklist to help applicants stay on track. You will find the prompts to the essays in Part II of the application. For your convenience, here are the Academy Application Essays and some Applicant Strategies.

Online Application Drop in Support for Students

From December through February we host online drop in application support on Wednesdays from 4-5pm PST for students. This drop in support is provided to current 10th grade student applicants to help answer questions about the program or technical questions about the application. The RSVP for this support event is now closed for this application cycle.

We recommend that all prospective applicants complete the tasks below as soon as possible, even if you are not totally sure if the UW Academy is right for you.

Application Writing Workshops

The Robinson Center will hosts online writing workshops in January and February for applicants to work with a current Robinson Center student to get support with their application materials.  The RSVP for both events is now closed.

The Robinson Center understands the importance of providing prospective students with support during the application process. At the same time, it is important that we maintain a fair and objective admission process for all of our students whether they attend this session or not. Staff will be on hand to answer technical questions about the application process and the application itself, but will not be brainstorming and proofreading the essays with prospective students.

Priority Deadline for filing the FAFSA or WASFA at UW

All prospective students planning on exploring financial aid should submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid). These application open on October 1st each year, except in 2023 the FAFSA opened in December. Submitting by the UW’s priority deadline date helps to insure that you are eligible for the maximum amount of aid (and doesn’t hurt you at all if you don’t end up applying). This year the deadline is February 28th, 2024. For more information on this process, please go the the UW Financial Aid website.

FAFSA not only helps to secure federally subsidized grants and loans to help fund your education, but it is also required in some outside scholarships as well (including the UW Academy need-based scholarships). Students always have the option to refuse any aid that is offered after filing. You do not have to have completed your annual tax return in order to complete the application. To find the application, go to https://fafsa.ed.gov. The UW’s school code is 003798.

WASFA is used to determine undocumented students’ eligibility for state financial aid. If eligible for WASFA you will have access to in-state tuition, either the College Bound Scholarship, or the Washington College Grant (formerly known as the State Need Grant). For more information please check the instructions and information on the WASFA website.

If you are confused and want to know whether you should apply for FAFSA or WASFA, please reference our guide.

Registration Deadlines for the ACT/SAT  (Optional)

Students applying for the UW Academy may choose to take either the SAT or the ACT Exam to submit as a part of their application, though this is an optional requirement. The optional essay portion of these exams is not required. Be aware, these exams are only administered on certain dates during the year, and you must register for them at least a month in advance. You must take your test prior to the end of February, or your scores will not be published in time for us to include them as part of your application. If you are considering submitting test scores as part of your application for the UW Academy, we recommend that you register for a test date ASAP! Register for the ACT here or register for the SAT here. For the ACT, please send to scores to both UW (4484) and to the Robinson Center (9899). For the SAT, please send to scores to both UW (4854) and to the Robinson Center (9899).  Free SAT online prep materials can be found here.

Walk Through of Application

The 2024-25 Application Walkthrough will be posted in Fall 2024.

After Applying

Communication with Applicants

Within one week of the application deadline, applicants will be notified by email that their complete application has been received. Decisions will be emailed approximately six weeks after the application deadline. Please note that due to the volume of applications, we are unable to speak with applicants about the standing of applications during the review process.

Admission Decisions

Each year, approximately thirty-five students are accepted into the UW Academy. In addition, several applicants may be offered a spot on a wait list. Before making their decisions about whether to join the Academy, accepted students attend events during Academy Decision Days. During this time, accepted students are paired with a current Academy student for a “day-in-the-life” experience. Accepted students can also have an individual meeting with an Academy staff member. New Academy families can also look forward to an informational meeting to better understand what it means to support an incoming college student.

The Academy cohort is usually set by the end of May. A reception welcoming new students and their families is held in mid-June, followed by a family orientation for parents and guardians of incoming Academy students. At the conclusion of 10th grade, Academy students request final transcripts from their schools, withdraw from high school, and enroll as full-time students the following Fall.

Please note: all students admitted to the UW Academy will have REQUIRED Academy and UW academic counseling, orientation programming, and Autumn quarter registration workshops through mid-July, as well as bridge programming starting in mid-September. A calendar with more specific dates will be made available to students in May, once admission decisions are finalized. Please keep this in mind when making summer vacation plans.

Final High School Transcripts

Applicants who are admitted and who confirm their intention to enroll at the UW through the Academy will be required to send a final high school transcript to the UW admissions office that includes second semester of the 10th grade year. Final transcripts should be submitted as soon as the spring term of the sophomore year is complete and coursework and grades have been recorded on the transcript(s), but no later than July 15.

The UW Academy staff will verify that all admission requirements have been satisfied, and the offer of admission can withdrawn if important discrepancies are discovered.

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 their circumstances have changed since submitting their application. All appeals must be received within two weeks of the Academy’s admission decision.

How do I appeal?

All students can view the current status of their application to the UW Academy 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. RC staff are unable to speak with applicants about the reasons for their denied status. Instead, 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 UW and why they are in need of the highly accelerated education offered by the UW Academy.

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 first considered by the Robinson Center admission committee, which will review the information provided and make a decision to support or not support the appeal. If the RC admission committee decides not to support the appeal, it will be sent to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, where it will be considered again by one of the Associate Deans. Final decisions will come from Dean’s Office, approximately two weeks after the appeal deadline.