9th graders: Considering our program

What should I do now before I apply in 10th grade?

Pursue your interests- We encourage you to pursue your interests outside of the classroom as well.  Join a club or a team, volunteer in your community, pursue independent research, read books, learn a new language, do art or play music!  There is no right way to be involved - choose activities that interest and engage you.

Choose classes that challenge you and fulfill CADR requirements- Work with your school counselor to choose high school classes that challenge you and fulfill some of your College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs).  Applicants are not expected to have completed CADRs before applying nor will their completion be considered in your application.  Rather, completing CADRs in high school will help you along the way to meeting these requirements during your time at UW.

What opportunities exist at UW for me to explore now?

There are numerous programs at UW that exist for K-12 students. Programs that you might be interested in include: Making Connections at the UW Women's Center, Young Executives of Color Program at the Foster School of Business, UW Multicultural Recruitment and Outreach, The Allen School K-12 Outreach Programs, UW College of Engineering K-12 Programs, UW Health Equity Programs, and the Robinson Center's Summer Stretch Program. 

For a more comprehensive list of opportunities, you can explore the UW Youth Programs Directory.

How can I learn more about the program now as a 9th grader?

Our outreach begins every year in the fall and concludes in March when our application is due. Current 9th graders and their families are more than welcome to attend our information sessions in the fall. Another resource available to students is our recorded videos and our program information on our website.

We also encourage you to reach out to us via email at uwacad@uw.edu with any questions or if you want to learn more.

Applicant Eligibility

I am an undocumented student.

If you currently live in Washington state - yes! We welcome applications from undocumented students.  Please read more about applying to UW here:  www.washington.edu/admissions/undocumented/undocumented-faq/

WASFA is used to determine Washington State 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.

Another resource is the national undocumented student network. You can find scholarships and academic/professional development resources for undocumented students here.

If you are undocumented and living in a state other than Washington, please contact us to discuss your options.

I am an international student.

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. Please consult our International Student Policy to determine if you are qualified to apply. https://robinsoncenter.uw.edu/programs/international-student-policy/

I am a homeschooled student.

Homeschool students bring unique qualities to our program, and we welcome your interest in the UW Academy. Homeschool applicants are assessed in the same context as other applicants in our holistic review process.

Scores from SAT or ACT are not required for 2022 applicants due to the lack of available testing sites in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, 2023 home-schooled applicants and applicants who do not have letter or numeric grades will be required to submit SAT or ACT scores.

I am an out of state student.

As a student who is applying to our program from outside of the Seattle/Western Washington State area, you have some additional things to consider as a part of this decision.  While we have often admitted out-of-state students to the UW Academy, we want to be clear that there are additional challenges that come with this move.  

Living: Most of our students come from the local area around the university, and most of them will live at home for at least their first year of college.  UW Academy students who move to the area to attend the UW sometimes enter directly into the residence halls.  To qualify to live in UW campus housing  you must be 16 years of age by September of the year you begin at UW, and you must turn 17 before June 30th of your first academic year.  Students who are too young to qualify for the residence halls in their first year must seek out their own safe, secure housing options.

Cost: Like all students coming to the UW from outside of WA state, you will be required to pay out-of-state tuition.  In addition, since the Robinson Center supports the Academy program and associated activities with funds from Washington State’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), we also require an additional quarterly fee from any students who have not established WA state residency.

Common Application Challenges/Concerns

There are multiple students from my high school applying. Does that hurt my chances of being accepted? Are there limits or quotas for different schools?

We do not have any quotas for high schools. We evaluate students on their own merit, and we have accepted numerous students from the same school in one cohort.

One of my teachers hasn’t filled out their evaluations for me yet and I’m worried they won’t finish in time.

You should receive an email every time a teacher finishes an endorsement for you, so make sure you have received emails regarding all of your recommenders. If you have not, politely remind them about their endorsement and about the due date of the application. If your recommender needs our email prompt resent to them, contact us at uwacad@uw.edu.

All endorsement forms are due at the time the application is due. Please give your teachers enough notice to complete the form.

What subjects do my teacher evaluators need to teach to serve as a required evaluator?

You are required to have two teacher evaluations. One evaluation must come from an English or history teacher and the other must come from a math or science teacher.

You may also have up to two optional evaluations from other teachers, coaches, supervisors, or other mentors who can speak to your talents in ways that your two required evaluations cannot. The individuals who submit optional evaluations may come from any subject area and from any educational program, including high school, summer programs, individual tutoring, or enrichment programs, etc. Example subject areas for the optional evaluation category include World Language Teachers, Economics Teachers, AP Computer Science Teachers, Psychology Teachers, etc. 

Applicants are expected to make sure that their teacher evaluators meet this criteria and can email uwacad@uw.edu to confirm.

I don't have my 10th grade semester one grades finalized yet. Can I still submit Part 1 of the application?

Yes! You can go back and edit Part 1 of the application as much as you would like. For questions you do not have answers for yet (grades, teacher evaluator emails) please leave those questions blank and submit Part 1. This will allow you to start Part 2, and then you can return to Part 1 when you are ready.

I’m having trouble logging in to my online application. What do I do?

Email uwacad@uw.edu to request that your password be reset. DO NOT make a second account because that could result in us marking your application as incomplete.

I registered to take the SAT or ACT but I haven’t taken it yet. How should I fill out the Test Scores section of the online application?

Make sure to put your test date in the date field, and then put zeroes or ones in the Scores fields. We will match up your scores with your application when we receive them.

I fully submitted by application (both part 1 and 2) but need to go back and make an edit. What should I do?

If you need to make a change prior to the deadline and have already submitted everything, please email uwacad@uw.edu and we can briefly reopen your application.

I opened the application but I can't see the essays. Where are they?

To access Part 2 of the application, which contains the essays, you must first submit Part 1. Students can access and edit Part 1 as much as they need to before the deadline. However, both Part 1 and Part 2 of the application must be fully submitted by the deadline.

Can I apply for direct admission into the major I am interested in?

UW Academy Students are not eligible for direct admission into majors. Instead, our students are able to explore and apply for all majors at UW once they are fully enrolled. The Robinson Center works with departments to ensure that our students are not negatively impacted by being ineligible for direct admission into their preferred major.

Program Considerations

Do I have to pick a major or know what I want to do at UW when I enter?

Not at all.  We imagine most students have some interests they want to explore when they come to UW while others may think they know exactly how they want to spend their time.  Our team enjoys working with students at all phases of their exploration of majors and departments and encourages all students to come with an open mind. There are many paths students have never heard of or yet had the chance to explore in high school.  This page is a great starting place to begin your exploration.

I want to pursue computer science, and heard it is a competitive major. How do I pursue that?

UW Academy Students follow the current UW student pathway to apply into the Allen School, which requires you to take some prerequisite classes. Most of our students interested in computer science apply at the end of their first year after completion of the prerequisite courses. We have many of our students apply each year, and are happy to work with students to support them while applying.

We also encourage students to consider multiple different pathways to get to their career goals. We know that many RC students are interested in computer science and computer engineering when they apply for UW admission through our program. We encourage our students to investigate all technology majors, including electrical & computer engineering, human centered design & engineering, informatics, theoretical chemistry, health informatics and health information management, design, oceanography, statistics, geographic information systems, applied and computational mathematical sciences, and information systems in the Foster School of Business. Working in the computer science and engineering industry is a great goal for which the above majors provide viable pathways. However, being focused on a computer science or computer engineering major as the ONLY pathway into that industry is not recommended.

If you are interested in learning about computer science but perhaps want to major in a different area, then you are welcome to take non-major courses. 

I want to pursue an engineering major. How do I pursue that?

UW Academy students will follow the same pathway as engineering undeclared students during their first year if they have interest in engineering. Once they complete the prerequisite courses and requirements for placement into an engineering major, they will apply for placement at the end of their first year. You can learn more about the placement process here. 

Can I get a job or an internship before I am 18?

Yes!  You will need your parent/guardian's permission as well as our permission.  Please read more here about youth employment in the State of Washington.

Can I participate in research or do medical volunteering before I am 18?

In most cases, yes.  Some opportunities may be limited to those who are 18 or older so we will have you prioritize those for your final years at UW.  In the meantime, we have many students who find research or shadowing opportunities within their first 1-2 years at UW.  Our team is adept at helping younger students navigate these opportunities.

Can I study abroad before I am 18?

Yes!  Many of our students will take advantage of the wonderful study abroad options offered at UW.  However, students will need to have their parent/guardian's permission to travel internationally before they are 18.  For students who can't or aren't comfortable traveling internationally, UW offers domestic programs as well, even some in Washington state.  Finally, opportunities exist for a period of one week to one year so students and families can find an opportunity that works for their needs.