By Megan McConnell, Academic Counselor, UAA Advising
and Susan Inman, Undergraduate Program Manager and Adviser, Environmental Health
It’s the middle of May and a lot of you are finishing your first year at the community college. The University of Washington beckons; you plan to transfer after earning your associate degree next year at this time. If you’re hoping to get an acceptance letter about this time next year giving you the go-ahead to start at the UW in Autumn 2007, what needs to happen in the coming year?
Visit Transfer Thursday, if you haven’t already.
When to do it: Now.
Every Thursday afternoon a representative from the UW Admissions office provides an overview of the admissions process. Academic counselors and an admissions counselor are also available to talk to students one-on-one (bring copies of your transcripts), plus many departments offer helpful information sessions on Thursday afternoons. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to visit the UW on a Thursday and begin to plan your transfer! For more information, visit
Choose a UW major (or two!), find out the admission requirements, and begin to take prerequisite classes.
When to do it: Now.
Because one of the criteria on which the UW makes its admissions decisions is preparation for intended major, choosing one and then preparing for it by taking introductory coursework and at least some of the prerequisites for admission is something prospective transfers ought to be doing. Please note, if the major you’ve chosen is a competitive one, we also counsel you to begin thinking about—and planning for—a “backup” major. For more information, visit our “Choosing a Major” website:
Make sure you’ve met the “core subject requirements.”
When to do it: Now.
All applicants to the UW are required to have satisfactorily completed set amounts of different academic subjects prior to enrollment, whether taken in high school or at the college level. If you haven’t completed some of these core subject requirements, you can work them into your curriculum in the coming year. The requirements are listed and explained on the Admissions website:
If English is not your first language, pay careful attention to the core subject requirement in English. Having completed English 101 and 102 does not alone satisfy this requirement. Guidelines, including two alternative ways to satisfy this requirement, are provided in detail at:
If English is not your first language and you are not a U.S. citizen, make sure you’ve met the University’s English Language Proficiency requirement.
When to do it: Sometime between now and the quarter you would start at the UW.
Non-citizens who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate English proficiency. This can be done either by submitting minimum test scores (on the TOEFL or Michigan Language Test, for example) or by completing ESL course work through the University’s Academic English Program (AEP) once enrolled at the Seattle campus. Students must register for their AEP course before any other classes and each one requires a fee in addition to regular tuition. Visit this website for information about English Language Proficiency:
Write the best personal statement you can.
When to do it: Start writing no later than December 2006. You can start it sooner if you like!
Writing a good personal statement means spending time on multiple drafts, soliciting feedback, and incorporating changes. Although it’s not due until your application is due (February 15, 2007), we recommend you start well before then! Personal statements are like snowflakes—each one is unique, and to do the best job you can of telling us who you are, what makes you special, why you want to study what you want to study, what you want to do with yourself after you graduate, and what kinds of obstacles you’ve overcome in your past . . . well, that takes time.
Complete your UW application and supporting documents.
When to do it: December 2006-January 2007, ideally. The deadline is Feb. 15, 2007 for Autumn 2007.
There are two ways to apply to the University: online or download and print a portable document file (PDF) version of the application from your computer. Both options are available at: http://admit.washington.edu/Apply/Transfer/Apply. If you do not have access to the Web, please contact Admissions to request that they mail you a copy of the PDF. Along with the application itself, students must submit an academic planning sheet for their intended major. For those who apply online, the worksheets are converted into an online grid that is completely integrated into the application. Applicants who use the PDF version of the application will download an exact replica of the worksheet they’ve been using as prospective students and mail it in along with the rest of the application file. A complete application file includes an application fee, the personal statement, an official copy of your high school transcript, two official copies of your college transcripts, and official test scores from the ACT or SAT (if you are an applicant with fewer than 40 credits at the time of application). Make sure to contact your schools to request transcripts well in advance of the admission closing date.
Apply for federal financial aid.
When to do it: January-February 2007.
You can pick up a FAFSA on any college campus, and it’s also available on the web at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. Fill it out, including the UW (code 003798) as one of the schools you want your results sent to, and submit it as soon after January 1, 2007, as possible. It must be submitted by February 28, 2007 to receive priority consideration.
Start looking for scholarship money.
When to do it: January 2007.
Look far and wide for scholarship sources. Your academic adviser at the community college may have some ideas; if you or your family belong to any clubs or community organizations, they may offer scholarships; and the web is a good place to look, as well. Once you’ve submitted your UW application and been assigned a UWNetID, you may use the scholarship database maintained by the UW’s Scholarship Office, as well. Be sure to check out the Martin Foundation scholarships for transfer students. That website is:
Complete your departmental application, if applicable.
When to do it: Varies by department, but many of the competitive departments that require separate application have deadlines ranging from January to July for Autumn admission.
Nursing students apply for Autumn admission in the middle of January of that year; business and social welfare students submit their departmental applications in early April; engineering students pull their departmental applications materials together by July 1. If your program requires a separate application and you have already met the prerequisites, make sure you get your application and any supporting documents together by the departmental deadline.
Apply for child care assistance.
When to do it: Student-parents who are U.S. citizens or residents must submit a FAFSA by the February deadline; international students do not submit the FAFSA but complete an International Financial Statement instead. All applicants then submit their childcare assistance application in May.
Student-parents enrolled at the UW Seattle campus who need to put their children in child care while they attend classes are eligible to apply for financial assistance to subsidize their child care expenses. To find out more, visit:
http://depts.washington.edu/ovpsa/childcare. Please be advised the program requirements are changing between now and Autumn 2007, so a personal visit or phone call to the Childcare Assistance Program (482 Schmitz or 206-543-1041) might be useful.