Ready : What You Need to Know
Colleges don’t just look at your GPA. You need to be involved in groups, and challenge yourself to take on leadership opportunities within those groups. That way, teachers and coaches can get to know you and see your commitment to your education and life goals, which will help them write your letters of recommendation in the future.
Learn how to avoid scholarship scams and identity theft as you look for financial aid and then attend college.
Think “big picture.” Your college applications will be a snapshot of who YOU are; what do you want colleges to see in that snap shot? You can always add or remove things to that picture, and you can get started now!
College Credit in High School
In some cases, students can receive course credits based on college-level knowledge and skills gained outside the classroom (or from non-college instruction programs), including employment and military training and service. Identifying prior learning that is eligible for college credit can make a student’s education more affordable and reduce the time to a degree or certificate. Below are a few of the most common ways to earn college credit in high school.
Advanced Placement Programs
Advanced Placement programs enable students to take college-level courses while in high school. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) maintains a comprehensive Advanced Placement website at the link above. Interested students should check with their school counselors about the availability of these programs.
High-quality programs of international education are offered to a worldwide community of schools. Three programs for students aged 3-19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Check availability with your high school counselor.
The Running Start program in Washington allows 11th and 12th grade students to take college courses at Washington’s community and technical colleges and at Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Washington State University, and Northwest Indian College.
Other Dual Credit Programs
Other dual credit programs allow high school students to enroll in college-level courses, either at their own school or at their local community college. Check the Washington Student Achievement Council website link above for comprehensive information on College in the High School, Tech Prep, Gateway to College, and more. As with AP courses, not all schools offer these options. Interested students should check with their high school counselor.
College Admission Standards
New minimum college admission standards for students seeking admission to a public, four-year college or university, went into effect in fall 2012. An academic road map for middle and high school students, the new minimum standards do not guarantee admission but do establish a foundational level of academic achievement needed to do successful college work. More information available on the Washington Student Achievement Council website.
Check out our dual credit lookup tool to find out how your AP, IB, or Cambridge test scores apply as college credit.