Ready : What You Need to Know
You may think it’s early to start planning for college, but your time in high school will go by very quickly. That’s why getting a general idea of what to you need to do to prepare for college will save you time and stress later on.
Why start now? College applications ask all sorts of questions: What classes did you take? What awards have you received? What activities have you participated in? By the time you’re a senior, you might forget some of the things you did as a freshman or sophomore. Keeping track of your progress is a good way to avoid confusion later. It also shows you where you need more work as you go along.
Why college? Going to college means you’ll make more money in your lifetime. It also makes you more independent and able to make decisions on your own. College will allow you many other valuable experiences—far beyond just an education and diploma.
College is a time to continue pursuing the passions you’ve found; it’s a chance to meet new people and move beyond your comfort zone. These are all things that contribute to you becoming a more well-rounded, self-sufficient, and happy person.
Whether you go to a four-year university, to community college, or to a technical or vocational school, if you’re choosing to advance your education past high school, you’re choosing a better life for yourself.
College Credit in High School
Dual-credit programs allow high school students to enroll in college-level courses, either at their own school or at their local community college. Not all schools offer every option, so interested students should talk to their high school counselor. Check the OSPI Dual Credit website for comprehensive information, or visit the program links below.
Advanced Placement (AP) Programs
Advanced Placement programs enable students to take college-level courses while in high school. Students may earn college credit or move into higher-level college courses by taking AP exams.
International Baccalaureate (IB) 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.
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.
College Admission Standards
Minimum college admission standards serve as an academic road map for middle and high school students. The minimum standards do not guarantee admission but do establish a foundational level of academic achievement needed to do successful college work. More information available is available from the Washington Student Achievement Council.
Check out the dual-credit lookup tool to find out how your AP, IB, or Cambridge test scores apply as college credit.
Residency and Citizenship
Your residency and citizenship status can have an impact on things like financial aid and the cost of tuition. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please visit our page on residency and citizenship.