WA Rolls Out Guaranteed Admissions Program for High Schoolers

Photo by Element5 Digital from Unsplash.

Starting with the Class of 2023, school districts throughout Washington will be participating in the Guaranteed Admissions Program (GAP). Students in the Bellevue School District, Lake Washington School District, Northshore School District and others may be eligible for guaranteed admissions to five of Washington’s public four-year institutions. This includes Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College, Washington State University and Western Washington University.

The program was first piloted between 2021–2022, but it has since expanded to 66 districts and schools. Currently, about 40 percent of high schoolers in Washington do not attend college after high school, so the GAP is focused on decreasing that percentage to better prepare students for jobs requiring post-high school credentials.

Starting in 11th grade, via data-sharing partnerships, students can engage with the participating colleges to prepare and familiarize themselves with college admissions. Then in the 12th grade, the institutions can determine eligibility for the program. To be eligible, students must have at least a 3.0 GPA, attend a school in a district that is participating in the program and complete the College Academic Distribution Requirements. These requirements include meeting the minimum credits and types of courses for English, math, science, social studies, world language and fine arts.

Students who meet all of these requirements, including Running Start students, are guaranteed to be admitted into the five participating Washington institutions. Once accepted through the GAP, students will first need to fill out the Common App to provide additional information and see their eligibility for scholarships. Then they will need to upload their unofficial transcript to make sure all high school classes are completed or in progress. Finally, students will need to complete a FAFSA or WASFA to qualify for the most state and federal financial aid. After completing these steps, they will receive a formal admission packet in the mail with information on what happens next.

For students in 11th and 12th grade who are interested and eligible, follow the requirements listed above and reach out to your guidance counselor with questions.